Best Digital Pool Water Tester 2020 – Reviews & Top Picks

Last Updated: March 28, 2020

 Digital Pool Water Tester

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

Best Overall
Hach 9531600 Pocket Pro Salinity Tester
Best Value
Water Quality Tester, Accurate and Reliable,...
Premium Choice
Lamotte 1749-KIT-01 Tracer Salt PockeTester with...
Name
Hach 9531600
HoneForest HFTDS-M7
Lamotte 1749-KIT-01
Editor Rating
4.8/5
4.4/5
5.0/5
Warranty
1 Year
3 Years
1 Year
Best Overall
Hach 9531600 Pocket Pro Salinity Tester
Name
Hach 9531600
Editor Rating
4.8/5
Warranty
1 Year
Best Value
Water Quality Tester, Accurate and Reliable,...
Name
HoneForest HFTDS-M7
Editor Rating
4.4/5
Warranty
3 Years
Premium Choice
Lamotte 1749-KIT-01 Tracer Salt PockeTester with...
Name
Lamotte 1749-KIT-01
Editor Rating
5.0/5
Warranty
1 Year

The 10 Best Digital Pool Water Testers – 2020

1. Hach 9531600 Pocket Pro Tester – Best Overall

Hach 9531600

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.

Pros
  • Very accurate and easy to use
  • Reasonably priced and lightweight
  • AAA batteries included
  • Includes lanyard, calibration solution, and guide
  • Automatic calibration prompts
  • Waterproof up to three feet
Cons
  • Shorter one-year warranty
  • Clunky plastic design

2. HoneForest Water Tester – Best Value

HoneForest HFTDS-M7

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.

Pros
  • Measures TDS, EC, and temperature
  • Sturdy titanium alloy probe with ATC
  • Lightweight and very low cost
  • Sleek design with a simple, useful interface
  • Memory and auto-off features
  • Includes a leather bag and a color box
  • 90-day money-back guarantee and three-year warranty
Cons
  • Cheaper feel
  • Difficult to understand instructions
  • Can’t read alkalinity

3. Lamotte 1749-KIT-01 PockeTester – Premium Choice

Lamotte 1749-KIT-01

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.

Pros
  • Can read salt, TDS, and temperature
  • Comes with a carrying case and a salt calibration standard
  • Fairly easy to use
  • Memory and unit switching features
Cons
  • Expensive and heavy
  • More complicated interface
  • Can’t read alkalinity
  • Standard batteries aren’t included
  • Not particularly good-looking
  • Shorter six-month probe and one-year overall warranties

4. HM Digital TDS-EZ Water Tester

HM Digital TDS-EZ

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.

Pros
  • Compact, lightweight, and inexpensive
  • Simple interface with LCD screen
  • Metal probes have a protective cap
  • Standard batteries included
  • Memory and auto-off features
  • Two-year warranty
Cons
  • Has a cheaper feel
  • No temperature compensation
  • Less accurate
  • Doesn’t arrive well-calibrated

5. Aqua Chek NP207 Water Tester

Aqua Chek NP207

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.

Pros
  • Reasonably-priced and capable of a range of measurements
  • Lightweight and well-designed
  • Includes 25 disposable test strips
Cons
  • Short 60-day warranty
  • Instructions are difficult to follow
  • Timing can be tricky
  • Must pay for replacement test strips
  • Less accurate readings
  • Standard batteries not included

6. HM Digital Pocket Size TDS Tester

HM Digital TDS-4

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.

Pros
  • Lightweight and inexpensive
  • Simple two-button interface
  • Basic memory and auto-off features
  • Batteries included
  • Measures TDS with ATC
  • Good three-year warranty
Cons
  • Dated, cheap-feeling design
  • Can’t read EC, temperature, or alkalinity
  • Has a small screen
  • Not very precise
  • Batteries are nonstandard
  • Somewhat harder to use

7. Solaxx NP2064 Electronic Water Tester

Solaxx NP2064

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.

Pros
  • Lightweight with a simple interface
  • Basic memory feature
  • Measures salt content and water temperature
  • Includes standard batteries
Cons
  • Fairly expensive
  • Not very durable or accurate
  • Can’t read pH or other measurements
  • Vague instructions
  • Shorter one-year warranty

8. Blue Wave Pool Water Tester

Blue Wave NP2060

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.

Pros
  • Can read pH, chlorine, temperature, salt, TDS, and ORP
  • Dedicated unit toggle and calibration buttons
  • Includes standard batteries
  • Auto-off, memory, and low battery indicator features
Cons
  • Very heavy and expensive
  • More complicated interface
  • Shorter one-year warranty
  • Not very precise

9. eSeasongear SALT-3050 Waterproof Tester

eSeasongear SALT-3050

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.

Pros
  • Lightweight, compact, and inexpensive
  • Built-in ATC and salt conversion factor
  • Waterproof
Cons
  • Less accurate
  • Clunky, dated design
  • Harder to use, with a complicated interface
  • Doesn’t handle high salt contents well
  • Standard batteries aren’t included
  • Shorter one-year warranty

10. Pop V PH Meter Pool Water Tester

Pop V PH Meter

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.

Pros
  • Inexpensive and lightweight
  • Reads pH
  • Built-in ATC and an LCD screen
  • Includes standard batteries and pH buffer powders
Cons
  • Shorter one-year warranty
  • Can’t read TDS, ORP, or salt levels
  • May need to be recalibrated often
  • Not very stable or durable

Buyer’s Guide

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.

Type

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.

Batteries

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.

Measurements

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.

Extra Features

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.

Price

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.

Weight

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.

Warranty

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.

Conclusion

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