Anemometer is a speed measurement tool. It’s designed specifically to measure wind speed and air flow rate. However, it’s not weird that a single anemometer comes with other measurements. It benefits you to cover as many measurements as possible.
There is a broad application of this instrument including for home use, HVAC, sailing, paragliding, drone flying, kite surfing, kite flying, ballooning, storm chasing, golf, athletics, etc.
For home use, you could use it as an independent weather station. This requires you to install other weather sensors as well. In agriculture, it checks the wind speed before the spraying. While in construction, it’s important to access the wind before working with cranes.
There are a large number of anemometers on the market which may lead you to be frustrated to choose from. It can be the cup model or the wire hot type or the handheld/impeller type. Each model is great to use for a specific purpose. Therefore, you have to pick the right model for your needs.
In this article, we are going to break them down. The following is the review section of the top 10 anemometers that we gather from the market. Scroll further to read the buying guide and some important information about anemometer.
Top 10 Best Anemometers
1. Davis Instruments 6410 Anemometer for Vantage Pro2 & Vantage Pro [for Home]
However, this device can’t stand alone. This anemometer is actually a component of (cabled or wireless) Vantage Pro2 and Vantage Pro weather station. Despite unofficial, however, you could use Arduino as the interface to reduce the cost.
This anemometer is ideal to install on your roof (outdoor). The cable is 40 feet or about 12 meters. You could lengthen the cable up to 240 feet (42 m) but it can reduce the maximum reading of the wind speed. Make sure that the cable type used is 4-conductor 26 AWG.
It measures down to 1 mph resolution. Other units are also available: km/h, m/s, and knot. The measurement range is 1 – 200 mph. While the accuracy is ±2 mph. The wind direction, on the other hand, provides 16 points (each division is 22.5°) and ±3° accuracy.
- Durable and last long
- Easy to set up
2. Testo 405i Wireless Hot-Wire Anemometer Smart Probe [for HVAC]
It’s for sure we recommend this Testo 405i if you are looking for an anemometer for HVAC. The ability to measure the wind speed without using a propeller makes this option as the first item you have to highly consider.
It’s not only able to measure the air velocity, but also the volume flow (cfm). Other measurements covered by this instrument include temperature and in-duct air flow. To measure the volume flow in the duct, make sure you enter the dimension of the duct.
This hot wire anemometer lets you measure in-duct air flow more easily rather than the cup or vane anemometer. The probe will enter the hole easily. The shaft is also telescopic and hinged. It’s extendable up to 15 inches to reach the farthest point. All of these shaft feature makes it a no-brainer to inspect air conditioning system.
However, the reading is not displayed right on the device. It sends the reading wirelessly to your phone or tablet using the Bluetooth 4.0 connection to display more detailed information about the measurement. You could also access the reading using the Smart App.
Overall, this is the ideal option for HVAC. It’s designed to measure the in-duct airflow speed (not limited for that only actually) in the range within 0-30 m/s, while the temperature range is -4° to 140 °F. The battery can last for 15 hours. Try to watch this video to learn how to use it. Make sure that your smartphone has compatible iOS (iOS 8.3 or later) or Android (Android 4.3 or later) version in order to work properly.
- Great to use for HVAC
- The ISO calibration certificate can be requested on the official site
- Affordable due to smartphone use
- Your iOS or Android must be compatible with the requirements
3. Kestrel 2000 Pocket Anemometer [Wind Speed + Temperature + Windchill]
If you are going to do some outdoor activity in a cold extreme temperature and afraid of suffering from frostbite or hypothermia, then you need a tool that is at least able to measure the outside air temperature and the wind speed. To make it convenient, it should display the wind chill temperature. In this case, Kestrel 2000 is the right anemometer for you.
Instead of you read the chart, Kestrel 2000 is the anemometer that comes with not only does measure the wind speed but also measures the air temperature and wind chill temperature. By displaying the wind chill temperature, you could take a well-informed action accordingly.
It features all the important protection to carry in an extreme environment. It’s water and dust resistant (IP67), military-grade drop-tested, pocket-size, slip-on cover protected, and 5-year warranty as well. Since it’s water-resistant, it’s able to measure the snow and water temperature. The battery also would last for approximately 300 hours. The backlight is useful in a dimmed environment.
The measuring range of wind speed is 0.4 – 40 m/s. While the temperature is from -29 to +70ºC. The wind chill temperature is displayed in Celcius or Fahrenheit and ranged from -29 to +70ºC as well as the air temperature reading. Selectable units for wind speed are knots, m/s, km/h, and mph.
Overall, Kestrel 2000 is the serious anemometer that we recommend to bring when facing an extreme environment. It’s simple to use, rugged, and reliable. Hiking, paragliding, ballooning, etc are activities that require this tool for safety. It’s quite basic but provides an accurate reading. Though the overall display and measurement functions don’t seem fancy, it would meet your cost and need.
- Measure the windchill
- Gives essential basic measurements for extremely cold temperature environment
- It doesn’t measure altitude
4. AcuRite 01512 Wireless Home Weather Station with Wind Meter [for Home]
If you are buying an anemometer or wind meter for home use, you are better off buying the other weather measurement elements. This is important to give you comprehensive information. Acurite is one of the best brands you could give a long look since it sells several great weather station products on the market.
AcuRite 01512 is one of the options available for weather enthusiasts. Even, this is an affordable option which is ideal for most people in our opinion. This one lets you measure with its three sensors: the wind speed, wind direction, humidity, temperature, and rainfall. However, you get more readings on the easy-to-read colored screen.
The set up is easy since it’s wireless. You could keep in touch with the wind meter with no cable installation required up to 330 meters distance. Weather enthusiasts can now be more independent to monitor the weather around their living environment. While the screen is able to stand anywhere.
- Easy to set up
- Reasonable price
- Comes with wind meter and other major weather gauges
- Pretty long to transmit the data (18 seconds)
5. Kestrel 1000 Pocket-Sized Basic Anemometer
If you are looking for a basic anemometer that just measures the wind speed, then Kestrel 1000 comes up as the winner. We recommend this Kestrel anemometer model due to the accuracy and other essential features that are able to fully support your activity both indoors and outdoors.
It’s rugged, pocket-size but easy-to-read large screen display, water and dust resistant (comes up with an IP67 rating), military-grade drop-tested, replaceable impeller, 5-year guarantee, and relatively affordable. For protection, it also provides the slip-on cover which is good to protect the impeller while unused.
The measurement range is standard, from 0.4m/s to 40m/s (0.8 to 89.0mph). The units available are knot, meter/second, km/h, mph, feet/minute, and Beaufort Force (B). On the screen, the current wind speed that you read is the average wind speed of the last 3 seconds, and the screen is refreshed every 1 second. Other measurements are the overall average speed and maximum gust wind. The overall average speed is counted from the latest system turns on.
All in all, if you are on a budget but won’t sacrifice quality and accuracy, Kestrel 1000 can be your pick. If you wonder how to use it, watch this. Don’t worry about power! It uses an easy-to-get Lithium coin cell CR2032 battery that would typically last for 300 hours. The automatic 45 minutes off would help you save battery power.
- For those who are on a budget but won’t compromise with product quality and accuracy
- Due to basic function, it only measures wind speed
6. WM-2 Anemometer for Travellers, Bikers, Riders, Sailors, Kiteflying, etc
Ambient Weather WM-2 comes with a Beaufort scale displayed on the screen in the shape of a graphic bar which is very important to give a quick view for the users. This Beaufort scale bar lets you quickly realize how dangerous the wind is so that you could decide to go out or not.
This WM-2 handheld anemometer can be used for sailors as well. When the bar shows reading 9, it may become a serious danger for the yacht despite it’s well-equipped.
It measures the wind speed for sure as the main function, temperature, wind gust, and wind chill temperature. There are three buttons: set, “+”, and hold. The set button has 6 functions. How many seconds you hold it will generate different function. Further, you are able to change the time interval of the wind speed average up to 10 seconds time interval.
Though it’s affordable, many customers feel it’s not like a cheaply made product. It uses a CR2032 battery which is easy to get. Font reading is big and easy to read. Besides, it comes with a backlight which is important to activate in a dimmer place. Overall, this is the handheld vane anemometer that is worth to consider. For bikers, travelers, kiteflying, sailors have to take a look at this simple equipment.
- Displaying the Beaufort scale on a graphic scale bar
- Large screen, easy to read, big font
- Some customers reported the battery power runs out faster than it should be
7. Fieldpiece STA2 in Duct Hot Wire Anemometer [Best for HVAC]
Instead of using the anemometer and bulky hood, Fieldpiece STA2 lets you measure the CFM easily and accurately due to its wire hot probe and the average function feature. In addition, the probe is telescopic, extendable up to 38 inches which should cover any duct size, and laser-etched with inches scale to let you easily measure the duct depth/diameter.
The average function is the best overall thing about this excellent HVAC measuring device. Via that function, you could measure the CFM across the duct which is important to generate reliable and accurate measurement. It measures the CFM from the duct’s edge side up to the hole and divided by the time interval to generate the average reading. You could measure the average FPM and temperature against time as well.
Though it comes with a backlight, you could only see two readings on the screen. So, you have to make some clicks on the buttons to change. For further explanation using this hot wire anemometer, you could watch this official video from the company.
All in all, Fieldpiece STA2 is the best anemometer for HVAC. It’s the wire hot anemometer model. So you don’t hesitate to measure the airflow in the duct. Either the duct is circular or rectangle, you just need to enter the dimension to the measurement and start measuring properly.
- Great to use for HVAC (in-duct measurement) due to hot wire sensor
- Measure properly using the average function
8. Raymarine i60 Wind + Masthead Transducer [Anemometer for Sailing]
If you are looking for an anemometer for sailing, this Raymarine i60 and Masthead Transducer may be your preference to install in the bridge near the steering system (cockpit) so that you could easily monitor the wind speed.
Actually, these two instruments are sold separately. However, this is the package so that you could easily purchase them.
The Raymarine i60 is the display system, while the Masthead transducer consists of a cup and vane. The transducer works as a converter that changes the energy into one form of another energy.
Right on the screen, you could see the speed is displayed digitally while the wind direction is shown by the analog pointer. The digital screen provides the reading of Beaufort wind speed, True/apparent wind speed, maximum wind speed, etc. The alarm is also available.
For further explanation about the Raymarine i60 Wind user manuals, you could read on their official page on the tab “documents”.
- Designed to install on the cockpit area
9. Holdpeak 866B Digital Handheld Anemometer
The next anemometer we share with you is the Holdpeak 866B handheld anemometer. It measures wind speed, ambient temperature, and wind chill temperature which are the essential things to monitor in an extremely cold environment, to avoid frostbite.
This Holdpeak 866B handheld anemometer is the basic tool but we consider it’s worth a mention. If you don’t require a high degree of accuracy, then this tool can be your friend. The overall display doesn’t seem fancy, it would meet your cost and need. It’s also connectable to Bluetooth which is an extra great value to consider.
- Affordable but gives essential basic measurements
- The size is quite larger (it’s probably larger than your hand)
10. Davis Instruments 6250 Vantage Vue Wireless Weather Station Cup Anemometer LCD Console
When it comes to storm chasing, you need an anemometer that has a wind direction. Even, you need to measure not only the wind speed but also the other measurements as well such as temperature, humidity, and air pressure. Aside from that, it must be portable as well as you are mobile.
Davis Instruments 6250 is able to measure wind speed, wind direction, temperature (both indoor and outdoor), barometric pressure, and humidity. Even this Davis product is able to use for firefighting as well due to the rainfall and dew point measurements that it covers.
What makes us pick this for storm chasing is the ability to be mounted on the top of your vehicle so that you can carry it anywhere along with. At the same time, you keep monitoring the data that is wirelessly receipted by the console. It’s easy to set up.
In summary, if you are looking for a vehicle-mounted anemometer for storm chasing, then the option that we suggest is Davis Instruments 6250 which is actually a wireless vehicle-mounted weather station. Due to its function that includes the anemometer, we love to share this with you.
- Great for tornado hunting/storm chasing
- Mounted on the top area of car/vehicle
- Not handheld
Buying Guide: What to Consider When Buying An Anemometer
1. Select the Right Type
When buying an anemometer, it’s always important to select the right type.
There are several types of the anemometer, however, we find 3 of them are the popular ones in today’s market: cup anemometer, propeller/impeller anemometer, and hot wire anemometer.
– Cup Anemometer
As the name suggests, it employs several cups that are mounted on the arms (each cup is mounted on one arm); at the same time, the arms are mounted on a single rotating shaft. The cups are separated in an equal distance vertically. When the wind passes the cups, the cups will rotate.
Since it’s not portable, this model is right to use for home use. You could use this also for storm chasing, sailing, and firefighting but it must be able to be mounted on the top of the vehicle.
– Propeller/Impeller Anemometer
Instead of using the cups, this model employes a propeller/impeller to measure the wind speed. While the cups rotate horizontally, this model rotates vertically. The most used of the propeller anemometer is the handheld model that we can easily find on the market. This handheld is portable and easy to carry.
Due to great mobility, this model can be used for almost all applications. Simply, it fits in the pocket. However, it would not be a great idea to use this model for in-duct airflow measurement in HVAC.
– Hot Wire Anemometer
Hot wire anemometer (HWA) looks simpler but the way it works is more complex than the cup and vane anemometer. The idea of this anemometer is based on the correlation between heat transfer and fluid velocity.
This type of anemometer is ideal for HVAC especially if it doesn’t matter about the airflow direction such as the wind that passes through the ventilation; the airflow direction is monotonous. It’s commonly used for in-duct airflow measurement.
Accuracy is critical, especially for a serious application. However, in some cases, you could rely on the anemometer that provides some degree of accuracy. It may not precisely accurately measure, but works well. If you pursue the accurate one, you have to rely on the certificate from a trusted authority.
3. It Covers Other Measurements
It’s always a good idea to pick the anemometer that comes with other sensors such as a thermometer, barometer, etc. This is important to suit your need. For example, the anemometer should be built-in with altitude meter, compass, barometer, and thermometer for hiking. Moreover, the screen should display the windchill temperature as well. In order to be suitable for sailing, the screen should display the Beaufort scale.
Despite the cup anemometer, if would be great if portable. If it’s possible to be mounted on the vehicle, then it’s good. A handheld anemometer is the best overall of this thing. It’s possible to fit in the pocket. A small bag would be suitable to store it. In the case of a stationary anemometer, you could mount it on the tripod.
5. Water and Dust Resistant
Carrying an anemometer during the outdoor activity requires extra attention to the durability of the product. Snow, rain, and mud can damage the instrument. A tested anemometer should exceed this requirement. In this case, an IP-rated anemometer can be relied on to carry.
Anemometer is required for many applications. From fun activities such as kiteflying to serious even such as firefighting, the anemometer can determine the human decision about the weather. This is a simple tool but helps a lot. Hopefully, the information that we put on this page helps you, at least let you could narrow down all the random choices on the market to be the top 10 list of the best anemometer.