Do you work with or around radiation? Geiger counter will help you perceive the level of radiation. An electrical instrument that detects several kinds of ionizing radiations is known as Geiger counter or Geiger-muller counter.
It can identify different types of ionizing radiation like alpha and beta particles, gamma rays, neutrons with the help of the ionizing effect turn out in the Geiger-muller tube. This device is widely used for hand-held radiation survey and perhaps one of the world’s premier instrument of radiation detection.
A Geiger counter comprises a Geiger Muller tube (a pair of electrodes with high voltage) used as a sensing element for radiation detection and electronics which process as well as displaying the result on the screen. The tube is filled with an inert gas like argon, neon, or helium at very low pressure.
It can sense not only alpha, beta, gamma but also cosmic radiations provided that comes with a higher level of sensitivity.
Geiger counters provide a pulse with constant height over a broad scope, so no need to precisely regulate the power supply. Geiger Muller counters also require a very small amplification because they produce a very large output pulse. However, the vital use of Geiger counters is in discrete particle detection but they are also found in gamma meters.
There are many designs of Geiger counter’s available in the market but they generally categories into four types: thin-walled, windowless, end-window, thick-walled, and hybrid ones (by merging two or three types into one). Geiger counters are mostly used for portable instrumentation because of their simple counting, sensitivity, and potential to sense a low level of radiations.
Here we sum up the top ten Geiger counters according to their accuracy level, compact size, processing speed, and portability.
Top 10 Best Geiger Counters
1. Soeks 112 Compact Geiger Counter [Best Overall]
SOEKS 112 is one of the most compact Georgie counters available for individuals to detect level intensity of radiation from any object. It provides accurate information about Beta, Gamma X-rays instantly.
This smallest dosimeter consists of a highly sensitive Geiger muller tube termed as SMB20-1 for discrete radiation sensing. It comes with 2 × LR44 batteries which provide 100+ working time.
This Geiger counter has an exceptional reading spanning of about 0.01-999 uSv/h. It produces a click sound along with a red flash whenever expose to the environment having a radiation level above the normal range. Also, you can easily configure the threshold for background radiation and a level to get notify (alarm) when reached.
- Quick detection of X-ray, beta, and gamma radiation.
- Highly sensitive Geiger muller tube
- The good battery life of more than 100 hours (2 × LR44 batteries)
- Easily configurable
- Small and compact design
- Lack of Versatility
- Very small display
- No filter selection
- No USB Interface
2. Radex RD122-BT Geiger Counter
Radex RD122-BT is a next-generation device for the sensing of beta, gamma, and X-rays. Along with radiation detection, this gadget also provides real-time data about the environmental temperature and air pressure. It can easily connect with android / iPhone or tablets through the Bluetooth module.
A free app named as RadexRead introduce by the RADEX is available on the google play store. This app helps you to get the Geiger counter data directly on your phone screen. The app also perceives your location from GPS and assigns the data to that place. It has a very small size of about 3.8 × 1 × 2.7 inches so that you can easily carry this device in your pocket. If you go for a walk with this counter, it continuously obtains the data along the path and showing the intensity of radiation along the path.
- Multilingual (English, Japanese, French, German)
- Significant internal storage
- Audible and vibrational alarm along with an integrated flashlight
- Low battery life
- Black and white display
- Limited monitoring spectrum
3. Quarta-Rad RD1008 Professional Geiger Counter
RD 10008 is the advanced type of radiation detector in the RADEX family. This device consists of two types of radiation sensors (1×Beta-2 & 1×Beta-2M). It is highly accurate and allows the users to change the calibration setting according to the requirements. RD1008 provides almost 500 working hours with a single AA battery.
Two separate sensors allow this gadget to separately display the readings for alpha and gamma rays. The gamma rays showed in microsieverts per hour (mcSv/hr.) while beta radiations unveil in separate units of measure. Separate and continuous detection of radiations allows us to easily differentiate between beta and gamma radiations. RD1008 has a good detection range of about 0.01-999.0 mSv/hr.
- Easy to use
- Simultaneous detection of beta and gamma rays
- Long battery life (up to 500 hours)
- A significant range of detection
- Manual calibration according to the requirements.
- Unable to detect alpha rays properly
- The large size of 5.51 × 2.52 × 1.02 inches
- Difficult to carry out
- Black and white Display
4. Soeks Ecovisor F4 Geiger Counter
This is a hybrid type of device used for various tasks like detection of ionizing radiations, the Nitrate level in foods, Electromagnetic field, and water quality. Like other Geiger counter, its main task is to detect alpha, beta, and gamma radiations in food, air, and water. This device also enables you to detect the level of nitrite in your food (vegetables, fruit, and meats).
Not only that, but this Geiger counter can also measure the electromagnetic field (EMF) around your environment as well as electronic appliances and identify any harmful EMF spectrum. Lastly, it also works as a TDS meter for measuring the quality of water. All these features come up with this small high-tech gadget. This Geiger counter is very easy to use due to its large and convenient touch screen.
- A hybrid device having four modes (Radiation detection, Nitrate tester, EMF detection, & TDS meter)
- HD display with touch screen feature
- Built-in rechargeable battery
- High level of Accuracy
- Comparative large size
- Low battery life
- Required proper maintenance
5. GQ GMC-600 Plus Geiger Counter
GQ GMC-600 plus come up with an open GQ RFC1201 communication protocols for quick and secure system integration. It can log the recorded data into the server via WIFI communication and have the internal memory at the same time. Easily accessible history, large data storage capacity along with Geiger counter-world map service make this device more attractive for real-time scientific testing and evaluation.
It can detect the alpha, beta, gamma, and X-rays with a dose range of 0-4250uSv/h and CPM range of >1,000,000. This Geiger counter consists of a high-tech tube of LND 7317 for the sensing of ionizing radiations. It also provides a graph from the continuously recorded data up to 60 seconds which allows the users to check out different patterns.
- Maximum data information like CPM, uSv/h, mR/h, elapsed time, date, etc.
- Provides Real-time graphical visualization
- Three-point calibration (CPM, uSv/h, & mR/h)
- Variable baud rate
- Highly sensitive Geiger tube LND 7317
- Minimum detectable range: Alpha 2.0Mev, and Beta, Gamma, X-ray 0.1 Mev
- Big size: 5.98 × 5.35 × 1.89 inches
- Dot-matrix display with backlight
- Low battery life when using graphical mode
6. Mazur Instruments PRM-9000 Geiger Counter
PRM-9000 Geiger counter is a highly accurate and precise radiation detector. It consists of LND 7317 as well as a two-Inch pancake GM tube for the detection of alpha, beta, gamma, X, and cosmic rays. Moreover, it also has an internal data logging for storage and retrieving of recorded information. It can monitor a broad radiation spectrum as well as low energy radionuclides.
The user can easily scroll down several screens on PRM-9000 for monitoring data in count per minute (CPM), Count per second (CPS), uR/hr, mR/hr, and uSv/hr. It operates almost 4-years on a single 9-volt lithium battery that can easily be replaced by the user itself. The USB interface is unable the user to extract the recorded data in CSV format for scrutiny. It allows the user to do the manual configuration of the dose rate and audible alert.
- High measurement range of 0.001-125 mR/hr
- +/- 10 percent of accuracy
- Long battery life (up to 4 years)
- Monitor broad radiation spectrum
- Dual Geiger tubes (LND 7317, Two-inch Pancake GM Tube)
- Currently only available in the U.S and some European countries
- A little bit heavier than other Geiger counters: 13.0 ounces
7. GCA-06W Professional Digital Geiger Counter with External Wand – NRC Certification Ready
The GCA-06W is a precise, simple to use, and fast handheld Geiger meter. It can detect a wide range of nuclear radiation. This Geiger counter has passed the ANSI-STD N323A calibration, which means that this device is NRC certified. Aside from that, this instrument can also detect alpha, beta, X-rays, and Gamma radiation above 3MeV, 50KeV, and 7KeV energy levels respectively.
This Geiger meter has a track record of detection of nuclear radiations in industrial settings, oil fields, transport containers, physics lab in school, scrap metal, soil top, and interior spaces. It has a wand attached externally to the meter. This wand makes radiation detection simple and efficient. The LCD of this meter is simple to read. The LCD is a 2 line and 16 characters display which shows the radiation level as well as the current count. Since the measurements are taken into count per second or counts per minute mode, these measurements are then converted into the radiation levels like mR/hr and mSv/hr.
- It is Lightweight, the weight of the device is 1 pound
- NRC certified
- The counting resolution of this Geiger meter is 1 count per minute
- The radiation resolution of this meter is 0.001mR/hr
- It is not durable and breaks easily because of its plastic body
- It doesn’t give a solid feel when you hold it
- Very fragile and can be susceptible to dirt, moisture, etc. In short, it is not designed to use in outdoor
8. 3B Scientific Geiger Counter Radiation Detector
The design of this Geiger counter is very compact and is very simple to use. For the detection of alpha, beta, and gamma rays, it is a great device. It has a filtering switch at the front of the tube of Geiger meter to filter out different types of radiations. Another nice thing is it has an integrated USB interface. It can count pulses with both permanent and variable gate, and the pulses being measured are stored in the inter memory of the Geiger counter. The gate can be adjusted to seconds, minutes, or hours.
For the accurate recording of radiation being measured, it has an integrated display with date and time. The radiation level being measured is displayed in the form of numerical value. The height of this Geiger counter is 163mm, and the length is 72mm. The width of this device is 30mm. This counter can detect alpha particles above 4MeV energy, beta particles above 0.2MeV, and Gamma rays above 0.02MeV. The LCD of this Geiger counter is a 4 digit numerical display.
- A very versatile device, perfect for radiation measurement
- Lightweight, the weight of the device is 14.5 ounce
- Numerical display
- This device is expensive relative to other Geiger counters
- It has a plastic body that can be subject to cracks. Hence it is not very much durable.
9. Radex One Geiger Counter Personal with Software
One of the best features of this Geiger counter is that it just doesn’t show the immediate radiation reading, instead it displays the radiation detected over a specific time duration. This mode of this device is called Accumulative Dose Mode. It is a very significant feature and is very scarcely found in the Geiger counters. Most of the Gieger counters show the current radiation level only.
The dimensions of this device are 3.8 * 1 * 2.7 in. The operating mode of this Geiger counter is very simple. It is precalibrated, so no additional calibration is required. For the analysis of reading a PC software is available for this instrument. It is the best device for the detection of X-rays, beta, and gamma radiation. A CR123A battery is required for this Geiger counter.
- It gives the result immediately, almost in 10 seconds.
- The design of this device is very compact and is easily portable
- It is connectable to a PC through a USB cord
- It has Accumulative Dose Mode
- The weight is very low, 1.3 ounces
- This device doesn’t have a maximum dose rate feature
- The device stores almost no data at all
10. Radex RD1503+ Geiger Counter
Radex RD1503+ is a quick and simple Geiger counter. The size of this instrument is very small. The hight of this device is only one inch. The overall dimensions of this Geiger counter are 4 * 2.3 * 1 inches. Due to its compact size, to carry around this device is very easy.
This Geiger counter provides a swift and convenient way to detect radiation background of interior premises, soil top, and non-edibles. It comprises a beta-and gamma-radiation low-voltage SBM20-1 Geiger-Muller style counter used in specialized dosimetric devices. Two AAA batteries are required for this device. The manufacturer of this Geiger counter is Quarta Rad.
- Even after the counter is turned off, the value background dose rate remains saved.
- The difference between the dose rate of the background and averaged values are displayed by this device.
- When any button is pressed, it is displayed in the form of animation on the screen of the Geiger meter
- A vibration signal and audio alarm have added in this instrument
- The interface is a bit clunky, and the style of the device is not very much attractive
- Not suitable for the detection of high-level radiation
Since many Geiger counters are available on the online market, when reviewing specs and functionality to suit your needs, it’s easy to get confused. While buying a Geiger counter, the following points should be kept in mind:
1. It has to Suit your Needs
First of all, you should be aware of your need. Why are you buying a Geiger counter is very necessary for determining which device you should purchase. Most people purchase a Geiger counter to check the level of radiation in their environment, food, water, or home. The people who live near a nuclear plant mostly keep a Geiger counter to continuously monitor the radiation level around their surroundings.
In short, which device you should purchase depends on your requirements. So, first, think about your needs, and then buy the instrument.
2. NRC Certified
Whatever the reason is for which you are buying a Geiger counter, please check that if the Geiger counter is NRC certified or not. As discussed before, if a Geiger counter has NRC certified, then it means that the device has passed the ANSI-STD N323A calibration. If a device has not passed the NRC test, then this means that you can’t say anything about the accuracy of that device. So, you should check this parameter before buying any Geiger counter.
Before buying a Geiger counter, check its radiation resolution. Also, check at which level it detects alpha, beta, X-rays, and gamma radiations. Then compare that with your requirements. If it suits your need, then feel free to purchase it.
Another major point to consider while purchasing a Geiger counter is to check the lifetime of the device. To know the duration until the Geiger counter can work properly is very important. Every device has a specific period up to which it works properly. After that period, it starts to show lacking the performance.
5. Which One Proposes the Best Price
Whatever you buy, it is evident that you try to buy it at a low price. So is the case with the Geiger counter. When you are purchasing a Geiger counter of specific requirements, search for different Geiger counters of numerous brands. After matching their specifications, compare the price of each Geiger counter available. If your requirements have matched, then choose the most economical one.
In this article, the ten best Geiger counters have been discussed. Their salient features alongside their pros and cons have been mentioned in the article. The radiation resolution and detection range of different types of radiations like alpha, beta, and gamma have been discussed. From the above mentioned top 10 Geiger counters, the GCA-06W is, in our opinion, the best Geiger counter. The main reason for the selection of this device is that it is NRC certified. The size of this device is reasonable. This Geiger counter is neither very large nor very small. But what Geiger counter you want to purchase depends upon your choice and need.