7 Best Geiger Counters | March 2017

We spent 31 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. Whether your job places you in potentially radioactive situations or you simply want to ensure your environment is always safe, one of these quality Geiger counters will provide you with all the readings you need to stay informed. They're also a must-have for doomsday preppers. Skip to the best geiger counter on Amazon.
7 Best Geiger Counters | March 2017

Overall Rank: 5
Best Mid-Range
Overall Rank: 3
Best High-End
Overall Rank: 2
Best Inexpensive
The SOEKS 01M can be used in English, German, and Russian, and is built to match US military grade sensitivity specifications. It utilizes a convenient micro-USB connection for charging or it can be powered by AAA batteries.
Designed primarily for use in the private sector, the Ecotest TERRA-P has a programmable audio alarm that sounds if radiation reaches a predetermined level, so you can set your threshold for safety and then focus on the work at hand.
The International Medcom CRM-100 Digital radiation monitor can display its levels in either milliroentgens per hour or in counts per minute, a feature useful for first responders who need to quickly assess hazard levels in a potentially dangerous environment.
The RADEX RD1503+ reads almost all radiation types during its efficient, 40-second measurement cycle. It has a vibration feature added to the audio alert, so it keeps its user informed even when the device is tucked away in a pocket.
  • background dose rate is always saved
  • sound levels are adjustable
  • confusing instructions
Brand RADEX by Quarta-Rad
Weight 7.2 ounces
The Mazur Instruments PRM-9000 is small enough to rest comfortably in the palm of your hand, and comes with a convenient carrying case to protect it from damage whether it's being stored or transported to or from the field.
  • monitors multiple levels
  • features headphone jack
  • visual and audible beeper alerts
Brand Mazur Instruments
Model PRM-9000
Weight 1.3 pounds
The wrist tether of the GMC-320-Plus allows it to always be on hand when you need it in potentially dangerous situations, even if its own alert scares you into almost dropping it. It is a reusable, sensitive machine that is surprisingly affordable given its quality.
  • records data for later playback
  • available technical support forum
  • uses an open communication protocol
Brand GQ
Model GMC-320 Plus
Weight 12.8 ounces
With an extremely small, yet exceedingly sensitive, microprocessor-based survey meter, the SEI Radiation Alert has higher sensitivity than most other models in its class. That helps to explain the much loftier price tag it also carries.
  • very compact and ergonomic design
  • red flashing light for detection
  • internal halogen-quenched tube
Brand S.E. International Inc
Model pending
Weight pending

Ions From Icons: A Celebrity Geiger Breakdown

Let's say you're a bar owner, and your bar is full of hetero-normative couples who have been dating for a while and who are utterly average looking and totally shallow. Then, a couple walks in that's just on another level–we're talking beyond Brangelina.

The very existence of this attractive new couple causes a rift between the the two lovers in each of the other pairs. The women, positively charged by the possibility of dating a man like Brad Pitt, all head out the door. The men, negatively charged by sudden feelings of inadequacy and intimidated by the beautiful woman, all head to the bar for some liquid consolation and courage.

This is, more or less, what's happening inside the Geiger-Müller Tube of a Geiger counter.

You have a tube (the bar) filled with a low pressure gas like argon (the couples). Then a radioactive element appears (Brangelina) and causes the argon to ionize, dividing a positive ion (the women) from a negative electron (the men).

The positive ion is absorbed by the opposing current in the tube's exterior (the women leave the bar).

The negative electron is attracted to a positively charged bar of tungsten running through the tube (the men go to the bar for a drink).

Each time a man buys a drink, and each time a negative charge from an electron hits the bar, the Geiger counter counts it. This happens to more argon atoms per second depending on the level of radioactivity, and you get a clean, clear measurement as a result.

Counting Geiger Counters

When you look at the fairly broad field of available Geiger counters, you might feel a little something akin to radiation sickness coming on. Rest assured; your rad count is just fine. You're just a little overwhelmed with options, and that's understandable.

So, let me break down a few variables you can consider that'll make your selection process that much simpler.

First, there's the detection method itself, which is likely either a standard Geiger-Müller tube or a pancake tube, which works on the same principal but utilizes a different shape. Note that the pancake tube is preferred for detecting beta and gamma radiation, and has a tendency not to be as effective with alpha radiation.

There are other, frankly more expensive builds out there, but they don't concern us today.

Second, you'll want to look at the display. Is it clear and easy to read? Is there enough pertinent information available without a lot of menu diving?

And lastly, tying the two points above together, I say ask yourself why you want to get one. Is it for a class or a hobby? Are you genuinely concerned with radioactivity in your home or neighborhood? Is it part of your job?

If the answer is yes to either of the latter questions, then spare no expense and get yourself one of the best we recommend.

If you're just on the curious side, and you like the idea of the counter, the unit at number five should please you with its accuracy and vintage appearance.

From The Mind Of Mr. Geiger

Poor Walther Müller. There he was, right alongside Hans Geiger, developing the tube that would become the centerpiece of the Geiger-Müller Counter in 1928.

History has a way of simplifying the names of things, removing what we deem unnecessary, for better or for worse.

Sometimes it's a natural progression, and sometimes it's more propaganda than populism. Think of how The Facebook became Facebook, or how Vault Boy in the picture there effectively convinces thousands of survivors in the popular Fallout video game series to remain in their underground vaults.

Nowadays, Geiger's name is as synonymous with radiation as cell phones. Oh, what's that? We don't talk about cell phones' radioactivity? Well, never mind then.

So, Geiger and Müller put this magic tube together in 1928, and, frankly, not that much has changed in its construction.

More advanced methods of quenching have been developed, which reduce the time between electrons pinging the tungsten rod and the resetting of the internal gas. The display and data recording in the devices have also become more elaborate and useful.

But the core, as developed by both men, still remains.

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Last updated: 03/23/2017 | Authorship Information