The 10 Best Refractometers

Updated August 05, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

10 Best Refractometers
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 22 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top picks for this wiki. Aquarium owners, brewers and beekeepers, take your pick. These refractometers will help you measure the salinity and specific gravity of tank water, the specific gravity and sugar content of a brew before fermentation, or the amount of water in honey. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best refractometer on Amazon.

10. Magnum Media Salinity 10ATC

The Magnum Media Salinity 10ATC is a good budget choice for those looking to save a couple of bucks, but it's not as durable as some other models, and needs to be calibrated before use to ensure accuracy.
  • small enough to fit in a pocket
  • needs a strong light to work
  • testing should be performed indoors
Brand Magnum Media Salinity 1
Model pending
Weight 9.6 ounces
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

9. Deepwater Aquatics ATC DW1111

The Deepwater Aquatics ATC DW1111 is a necessary tool for any marine aquarist. It allows for 20/20 calibration at room temperature, ensuring accurate readings. It has a fine scale running from 20-40 ppt salinity.
  • great for daily use
  • comfortable textured grip handle
  • not as easy to read as digital
Brand Deepwater Aquatics
Model DW1111
Weight 9.6 ounces
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

8. Ade Advanced Optics 515-B

Save time and energy by investing in the Ade Advanced Optics 515-B. It precisely measures the sugar content of beer or wine through a simple drop placed on the prism, and it's more accurate than hydrometers.
  • aircraft aluminum body is built to last
  • crystal clear premium optical lens
  • does not work for honey
Brand Ade Advanced Optics
Model RSG32ATC-515
Weight 4.8 ounces
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

7. Brew Ur Beer

The ergonomically-designed Brew Ur Beer will help you optimize the quality and flavor of your home brew to your satisfaction. If you are ready to step your brewing process up to the next level, it's a smart choice.
  • consistently delivers accurate readings
  • includes a lens cleaning cloth
  • doesn't include an instruction manual
Brand Brew Ur Beer
Model pending
Weight 5.6 ounces
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

6. Milwaukee MA887

The Milwaukee MA887 takes the guesswork out of determining the salinity of natural and artificial seawater. It is suitable for ship, shore or home use, and can be easily wiped clean when you are finished.
  • has a low battery indicator light
  • auto shut off after 3 min. of inactivity
  • hard to calibrate
Brand Milwaukee
Model MA887
Weight 14.4 ounces
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

5. Ade Advanced Optics

The Ade Advanced Optics is an easy to use device that measures the sugar content of beer with no conversion needed, as the scale measures both Brix and SG. It's a great addition to any home brewer's tool kit.
  • includes atc of 10 - 30 degree celcius
  • instant reading with a couple drops
  • focus adjustment for easy viewing
Brand Ade Advanced Optics
Model pending
Weight 4.8 ounces
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

4. Extech RF40

The Extech RF40 measures the freeze point of automotive coolants like propylene glycol and ethylene glycol. It can be used in liquids from 32°F to -60°F, and also provides the battery charge condition.
  • includes a vial of distilled water
  • more accurate than a dc volt meter
  • comes with easy to follow instructions
Brand Extech
Model RF40
Weight 14.4 ounces
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

3. Vee Gee BTX-1

The portable Vee Gee BTX-1 has a convenient streamlined handheld design, so you can keep it handy for quick reference testing. It also features a non-roll design, so it won't roll off the table and get damaged.
  • ambient light illuminates the scale
  • durable metal and rubber outer shell
  • rubber grip protects it from hand heat
Brand Vee Gee Scientific
Model BTX-1
Weight 11.2 ounces
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

2. Agriculture Solutions

The dual-scale Agriculture Solutions accurately measures the concentration of aquarium salinity using specific gravity and parts per thousand testing. All it takes is a couple of drops, and it is very easy to use.
  • automatic temperature compensation
  • includes screwdriver and cleaning cloth
  • replaces hard to read hydrometers
Brand Agriculture Solutions
Model pending
Weight 12 ounces
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

1. Sper Scientific 300003C

The premium Sper Scientific 300003C is a good choice for testing products with unknown sugar content when you need superior precision. It can be used in labs, production lines, or science classes.
  • no battery or other power source needed
  • come with a certification of calibration
  • includes a hard carrying case
Brand Sper Scientific
Model 300003C
Weight 2 pounds
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

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Last updated on August 05, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.


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