Last Updated: March 28, 2020
To keep your pool water chemically balanced, you need a dependable, accurate water tester. Digital models are easy to read and use, but with so many brands on the market, how do you find the best one for your needs?
We’re here to help you shop. We’ve tested all of the top brands and come up with this list of the 10 best digital pool water testers available in 2019.
For each of our favorite models, we’ve written detailed reviews that compare price, accuracy, durability, overall design, and warranty so you can easily choose between them. If you’re wondering about the specifics of digital water testers, take a look at our buyer’s guide, which will walk you through the most important features.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
The 10 Best Digital Pool Water Testers – 2021
1. Hach 9531600 Pocket Pro Tester – Best Overall
If you’re looking for a great digital water tester, we recommend the Hach 9531600 Pocket Pro Tester. This sturdy, portable machine is accurate, well-priced, and simple to use.
The compact Pocket Pro weighs only 9.4 ounces and is powered by four replaceable AAA batteries, which are conveniently included in the package. This model also includes a lanyard, a bottle of calibration solution, and a quick start guide. The large, easy to read LCD screen is designed to prompt you to calibrate the tester every 15 cycles, and the machine is waterproof up to three feet.
This model has a clunky plastic design and comes with a shorter one-year warranty. In testing, we found it very accurate.
2. HoneForest Water Tester – Best Value
If you’re looking for high value at a low cost, you may be interested in the HoneForest HFTDS-M7 Water Tester, which we found to be the best digital pool water tester for the money.
This very inexpensive model weighs a light 1.6 ounces and has a sleek design. The simple, well-labeled interface has a colorful, backlit LCD screen, and the back of the machine has a handy chart. It features a sturdy titanium alloy probe and automatic temperature compensation for accuracy in all weather. This water tester can measure total dissolved solids, electrical conductivity, and water temperature, but not alkalinity. It automatically locks your test reading after three to five seconds and turns off after two minutes. The package includes a leather bag and a color box.
The included instructions are somewhat difficult to follow, and the tester has a cheaper feel, which isn’t surprising given its low price. HoneForest offers a 90-day money-back guarantee and a lengthy three-year warranty.
3. Lamotte 1749-KIT-01 PockeTester – Premium Choice
If you have a larger budget, you may want to look at the Lamotte 1749-KIT-01 PockeTester. This high-end model has quite a few convenient features but is also fairly heavy and pricey.
This 1.41-pound machine is capable of reading salt levels, total dissolved solids, and water temperature, and it comes in a nice carrying case with a bottle of salt calibration standard. It has a more complicated interface but ihttps://www.wikihow.com/Test-Pool-Waters fairly simple to use. You can choose between Celsius and Fahrenheit, and the machine can remember up to 25 test results.
This model requires four CR2032 batteries, which aren’t included. It’s not particularly good-looking, and the price is quite high. Lamotte offers a six-month warranty for the probe and a one-year warranty for the rest of the machine.
4. HM Digital TDS-EZ Water Tester
The HM Digital TDS-EZ Water Tester is another low-cost, lightweight model that isn’t as well-designed and has fewer features.
This 1.12-ounce model is made of somewhat cheap-feeling bright blue plastic. It’s compact and easy to use, with just two buttons, and has a convenient TDS color chart on the back. This tester has an LCD screen, a basic memory function, and a 10-minute auto-off feature. It has two metal probes protected by a cap and works off of two included LR44G batteries.
This water tester doesn’t have automatic temperature compensation, so it’s not as accurate when the temperature fluctuates. It also doesn’t arrive well-calibrated, so you’ll have to spend some time calibrating when it arrives. This model is backed up by a two-year warranty.
5. Aqua Chek NP207 Water Tester
The Aqua Chek NP207 Water Tester is a reasonably-priced test strip model that can read a range of measurements but is harder to use and less accurate.
At 5.3 ounces, this model is lightweight, fairly compact, and well-designed. It’s capable of reading chlorine, bromine, and alkalinity, and takes about 15 seconds to test. It has a water-resistant LCD screen, and you won’t have to color match. This tester works with two AA batteries, which aren’t included, and requires you to use the company’s TruTest test strips. The package includes 25 strips to get you started.
This machine is more difficult to use, as you have to get the timing just right to ensure accuracy. You’ll also have to pay for replacement test strips. We found the included instructions difficult to follow, and the machine isn’t as accurate as other models. Aqua Chek offers a short 60-day warranty.
6. HM Digital Pocket Size TDS Tester
Another low-cost option is the HM Digital TDS-4 Pocket Size TDS Tester. This machine has a clunky design and offers few features but has a decent warranty.
At 1.6 ounces, this tester is very lightweight but has a dated design. The simple two-button interface, which offers a single-test memory feature, has a small but legible screen. There’s also a 10-minute auto-off feature. This model reads total dissolved solids and has automatic temperature compensation. It works with included non-standard alkaline batteries.
This machine can’t read alkalinity or water temperature and is a little harder to use. It’s fairly accurate but not especially precise and has a cheaper feel. This tester is backed by a lengthy three-year warranty.
7. Solaxx NP2064 Electronic Water Tester
The Solaxx NP2064 Electronic Water Tester is pricey but lightweight. It’s not especially durable or accurate and can’t read the full range of measurements.
This easy-to-use tester doesn’t require you to use test strips or match colors. It has a simple two-button interface and holds your last test reading. It can measure salt content and water temperature and comes with a marked water cup for testing. It works with two included AAA batteries.
This model isn’t durable or accurate enough to justify its high price. It can’t read pH or specific bromides and comes with vague, unhelpful instructions. Solaxx offers a basic one-year warranty.
8. Blue Wave Pool Water Tester
The Blue Wave NP2060 Pool Water Tester could be a decent option, with quite a few features and the ability to read a range of measurements, but it’s also very expensive and not very precise.
This heavy two-pound tester can read pH, chlorine, temperature, salt, total dissolved solids, and oxidation-reduction potential. It has a more complicated four-button interface with a temperature unit toggle, a dedicated calibration button, and a low battery indicator. It has basic memory and auto-off features and works with two included AAA batteries.
This model is very pricey and not especially accurate. The interface is somewhat more difficult to use. This tester is backed by a shorter one-year warranty.
9. eSeasongear SALT-3050 Waterproof Tester
The eSeasongear SALT-3050 Waterproof Tester is less accurate and harder to use but has several useful features.
This 2.4-ounce model, sold at a reasonable price, has a dated, clunky design and comes pre-calibrated. The complicated interface has three dual-purpose buttons, a basic memory feature, and a built-in temperature compensation and salt conversion factor. It’s waterproof and uses three standard LR44 batteries, which aren’t included.
This tester isn’t as accurate as we’d like, and it doesn’t handle higher salt contents well. There’s a basic one-year warranty.
10. Pop V PH Meter Pool Water Tester
Our least favorite model is the Pop V PH Meter Pool Water Tester. Though it’s low-cost and highly portable, it also has few features and isn’t very durable.
This compact four-ounce model is only designed to read alkalinity. It has built-in temperature compensation, an LCD screen, and a protective cap. The package includes two standard LR44 batteries, a manual, and pH buffer powders.
The sensor isn’t very stable or durable, and the tester’s yellow and black plastic body has a cheaper feel. You may need to recalibrate it often to maintain reasonable accuracy. This model is backed up by a basic one-year warranty.
You’ve read through our list of the 10 best digital pool water testers. But how do you pick the model that will work best for you? We’ve written this handy guide to the major features so that you can better understand your options.
There are two major types of digital water testers. The most common type is equipped with a metal probe that you stir in the water you want to test. This type is the easiest to use but may also be more expensive. Many will interpret the results for you, but some require you to match the TDS color to an included color chart. If you’re color blind, you may want to look for a model that doesn’t require color matching.
The other major variety requires you to use disposable test strips. You dip these paper strips in the water and the machine reads the results for you. These models are more difficult to use accurately, and you’ll need to get the timing right. They may be less expensive.
All of these water testers are battery-operated. Some work with standard AA or AAA batteries, while others require non-standard batteries. Keep in mind that standard batteries are easier and often cheaper to replace. If you’d like to be able to use your tester right away, you may want to look for a model that comes with the batteries it needs.
What are you looking to measure? Digital water testers can read a range of things, including alkalinity, salt content, water temperature, total dissolved solids, electrical conductivity, and oxidation-reduction potential. You may want to consider which measurements matter to you and shop for a model with the right capabilities.
One additional feature you may want to look for is automatic temperature compensation (or ATC). This feature will adjust its readings based on the water temperature, ensuring accuracy in a range of weather conditions. If you pick a model without this programming, you may encounter less stable readings.
Other available features include memory and auto-off capabilities. Models with memory programs will hold onto your test reading for a few minutes or until you test again. Some can hold up to 25 test results for later comparison. Auto-off features, which often activate after 10 minutes of inactivity, can be useful battery-extending options.
How much are you willing to spend on your new water tester? If your budget is tight, you can get a great model for under $20. If you’re willing to spend more, you may appreciate the added features of a more expensive model.
Digital water testers are generally lightweight, very portable machines. They can range from just an ounce or two up to several pounds, so you may want to think about the size of your new tester. If you’re looking to carry your water tester around quite a bit, you may be interested in a model that includes a carrying case or a protective cap. These features will protect your device and extend its durability.
Would you like your digital water tester to be protected by a good warranty? All of the models reviewed here have a warranty of some kind, though they range from two months up to three years. You may want to consider how long your warranty will last and whether you can extend it. You may also want to pay attention to the specifics of each warranty, as some offer different coverage for components like the probe.
Our top pick is the Hach 9531600 Pocket Pro Tester, which is accurate, easy to use, and fairly priced. If you’re looking to save money, you may prefer the HoneForest HFTDS-M7 Water Tester, which offers a good range of features and measurements at a very low price. Are you shopping for a premium model? The Lamotte 1749-KIT-01 PockeTester is a high-end machine with quite a few useful features and a nice carrying case.
Testing your pool water is important, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. We hope this list of the 10 best digital pool water testers, complete with comprehensive reviews and a detailed feature guide, helps you to sort through your options and buy a great model.
By Kate MacDonnell
Featured image credit: PublicDomainPictures, Pixabay
Table of Contents
- A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
- The 10 Best Digital Pool Water Testers – 2021
- 1. Hach 9531600 Pocket Pro Tester – Best Overall
- 2. HoneForest Water Tester – Best Value
- 3. Lamotte 1749-KIT-01 PockeTester – Premium Choice
- 4. HM Digital TDS-EZ Water Tester
- 5. Aqua Chek NP207 Water Tester
- 6. HM Digital Pocket Size TDS Tester
- 7. Solaxx NP2064 Electronic Water Tester
- 8. Blue Wave Pool Water Tester
- 9. eSeasongear SALT-3050 Waterproof Tester
- 10. Pop V PH Meter Pool Water Tester
- Buyer’s Guide