The 7 Best Soil Testers

Updated March 13, 2017 by Quincy Miller

7 Best Soil Testers
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 25 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. Keeping your lawn green and your garden lush can be hard, especially if your soil has gone bad. Over time, dirt can become acidic or alkaline, too wet or too dry -- and all are bad news for your grass and veggies. With one of these soil testers, though, you can quickly find out exactly where you stand -- and what to do about it. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best soil tester on Amazon.

7. Rapitest 1880

If you want a tester that's versatile while still being easy to understand, then the Rapitest 1880 is a good all-around choice. It has 3 prongs and a simple interface, making it user-friendly. One issue: the dial is situated so that you have to bend upside down to read it.
  • cleaning pad included
  • chromatic filter to correct light
  • not durable enough for long-term use
Brand Rapitest 1880
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

6. Kelway pHD

This Kelway pHD is a very pared-down instrument, making it easy to know exactly what you're looking at. It's ready to go right out of the box, with no batteries, chemicals, or anything else needed. It only measures pH levels, though, so you may need to buy other tools.
  • more exact than multifunction tools
  • can take a beating
  • a little on the expensive side
Brand Kelway
Model PHD
Weight 0.8 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

5. Luster Leaf 1601

The Luster Leaf 1601 isn't a meter, but is actually a testing kit. It has a patented Color Comparator system that makes it easy to see exactly what's going on with your dirt -- and what do about it. Unfortunately, some users say it gives inconsistent results.
  • includes detailed instructions
  • recommendations for 400 plants
  • ph levels may run high
Brand Luster Leaf
Model 1601
Weight 0.3 ounces
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

4. XLUX T20B

Getting the right pH levels is one of the most important -- and trickiest -- parts of having healthy lawns, which is why the XLUX T20B is worth every penny. It also measures moisture levels, but the accurate pH values are what make this device such a home run.
  • wide contact area improves accuracy
  • easy to switch between readings
  • only needs light cleaning
Brand XLUX
Model pending
Weight 8 ounces
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

3. MacDoDo 4-in-1

The MacDoDo 4-in-1 has a rigid, nearly 8-inch probe to get deep in the soil to check its health. With 5 moisture levels, it gives you some of the best accuracy possible regarding your watering habits. In addition, it uses a 9v battery that will last for quite some time.
  • simple to use and easy to read
  • very wide temp measurement range
  • auto power off function
Brand MacDoDo
Model pending
Weight 6.4 ounces
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

2. Dr.meter S30

The Dr.meter S30 will make it so that you never have to stick your finger in the dirt and guess at moisture levels ever again. With 3 precise tests and calibration tables, you'll know exactly what kind of shape your soil is in.
  • great for indoor plants
  • 2 prongs for accuracy
  • easy to read outdoors
Brand Dr.meter
Model pending
Weight 3.5 ounces
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

1. Gain Express

To get the best readings, you need to get down to the roots, and the long electrode on this model from Gain Express lets you penetrate deep into the soil. It's also slender enough that you don't have to worry about damaging your plants while you're testing.
  • waterproof for durability
  • fast and accurate readings
  • doesn't require calibration
Brand Gain Express
Model ZD-06
Weight 10.4 ounces
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

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Last updated on March 13, 2017 by Quincy Miller

Quincy is a writer who was born in Texas, but moved to Los Angeles to pursue his life-long dream of someday writing a second page to one of his screenplays.


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