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Advantages and Disadvantages of Contact and Non-Contact Thermometers Contact Thermometers:

  • June 30 2023
  • Riho Kato
放射温度計 AD-5635


Temperature measurement devices are broadly divided into two types:

non-contact (infrared) thermometers and contact thermometers.

Each type, non-contact and contact thermometers, has its own advantages and disadvantages.


The following is a comparison table between non-contact and contact thermometer.

Non-contact (infrared) thermometer.
Contact thermometer
【Advantage】 【Disadvantage】

Minimizing the influence of heat transfer from the thermometer

to the object being measured.

There are cases where the temperature difference between the

object being measured and the sensor can result in the influence

of heat transfer.

It is possible to measure moving objects or rotating bodies. Difficult to measure moving objects.
Low risk of contamination or infection, hygienic and safe. There is a risk of contamination or infection.
Fast response time. Slow response time.
Easy measurement of surface temperature. Multiple-point measurement is required for surface temperature measurement.

By optimizing the D:S ratio, repetitive measurements of objects

with the same shape become relatively easy,

making it practical for relative temperature measurements.

When measuring multiple objects,

it is necessary to set up each one individually.

【Disadvantage】 【Advantage】
Limited to measuring only the surface temperature. Internal temperature can also be easily measured.

To achieve accurate measurements, there are several

considerations such as emissivity, appropriate D:S ratio, and the

influence of ambient light that need to be taken into account.

Relatively easy to measure with good accuracy.


Based on these advantages and disadvantages, selecting the appropriate thermometer according to

the application is key to temperature measurement.

For contact thermometers, there are various types available,

such as center temperature thermometers capable of internal temperature measurement, highly accurate thermocouple thermometers,

and convenient built-in thermometers for integration or installation.

In addition, our company also offers non-contact thermometers that come with

a center temperature sensor and non-contact thermometers that can be connected to thermocouple temperature sensors.