The best Geiger counter is useful for checking food and water quality, detecting radiation exposure around your environment, and for personal protection on a visit to areas with high radiation levels.
If you wish to buy the best Geiger counter with guaranteed quality – emphasis on quality – then this review is definitely for you.
I’ve crunched the numbers, prices, and features to give you the best return on every dime you spend. That’s not all:
I’ve given you important points to note before buying a Geiger counter: the features, price, measuring ability, and many more.
Ready? Saddle up, and let’s begin.
- Comparison Table of Best Geiger Counter [Updated 2022]
- Reviews of 10 Best Geiger Counter
- The Buying Guide of Best Geiger Counter
- General FAQs of Best Geiger Counter
- 01. What is The Measurement Unit/S of Geiger Counters?
- 02. Can Hand-Held Geiger Counters Give An Accurate Measurement of Radiation Levels in Food?
- 03. What Radiation Types Do Geiger Counters Detect?
- 04. Is There A Difference Between Geiger Counters And Dosimeters?
- 05. How Long Can A Geiger Counter Last?
- 06. What Makes The Click Sound on Geiger Counters?
- 07. Can Geiger Counters Produce Radiation?
- 08. Is it Possible To Measure Radiation From X-Rays With Hand-Held Geiger Counters?
- Closing Words
Comparison Table of Best Geiger Counter [Updated 2022]
|SOEKS EcoVisor F4|
What’s The Best Geiger Counter?
Radex RD 1503 is the best Geiger counter in the market.
It was upgraded to Radex 1503 in 2013 by the manufacturers.
It’s designed for the common person, without an iota of technical knowledge.
The upgraded version still costs the same but comes with some upgrades.
Why is Radex 1503 The Best Geiger Counter?
The best feature of this device is perhaps its simplicity.
Despite this simplicity, the Japan consumer protection agency has certified it as the best.
And they confirmed it has similar accuracy and precision as some lab equipment.
The upgraded version (RD 1503+) measures not only immediate radiation exposure but also build-up over time.
It measures X-ray, beta, and gamma radiations exceptionally and lasts long periods on 2 self-discharge rechargeable batteries.
You can recharge the batteries via the USB port.
Reviews of 10 Best Geiger Counter
01. GQ GMC300Eplus – Best Quality Geiger Counter
- Portable (weighs 6 ounces)
- Captures beta and gamma radiations
- Can transfer data to PC via USB
This is an upgrade over the previous GMC 300E.
It has a visual interface that is very easy to understand.
This is because of the large font size (the font size setting can increase it) and a dot matrix display, which comes with a backlight.
If you intend to conserve the battery, you can switch the device to a battery saver, which turns off the backlight.
Also, there’s an audio port you can connect to any external device for data input.
And a USB port for exporting data to an external device and recharging the batteries.
The exceptional feature of this device is the automatic recording system.
This enables the logging of data into the internal memory in real-time.
You can also upload the data to the Geiger counter world map.
There’s also free software that you can use to analyze the data on your PC.
The software is quite easy to use.
- Free software for analysis on PC
- Long-lasting rechargeable battery (lasts a full day) that gets fully charged in 1 hour
- Has audible alarm
- The display is easy to understand
- The software’s interface looks outdated. The user interface needs to be improved
02. RADEX RD1503+ – Best Performance Geiger Counter
- Weighs 3.17 ounces
- It runs on 2 AAA replaceable batteries
- Reliable accuracy of +/-15 percent
- Measures gamma, beta, and X-ray radiations
Radex 1503 is one of the best Geiger counters on the market.
And the Radex 1503 plus is even better.
It detects three radiation sources: gamma, beta, and X-ray.
The moment radiation is detected, an audio alarm or vibration is set off.
This brings your attention to the imminent danger.
Aside from measuring the current radiation, it comes with a dosimeter that allows it to measure accumulated radiation over a period (dose).
This makes it a good fit for junkyards and industrial plants where one is most likely to come across sources of radiation.
It comes with just two buttons.
This means it’s very easy to operate because you don’t need to spend a long time trying to learn several buttons.
It comes with free Radex data center software, which you can download from the web to your PC.
Analysis by the software gives a better understanding of the data collected by the device.
- Small and portable: It has the same size as a clenched fist
- Long-lasting on 2 AAA batteries
- Highly sensitive and accurate for a device, its size
- Easy to use
- The display interface is too small: strains the eyes to read details
- Body build should be more solid
03. GQ GMC-320Plus
- Weighs 7.83 ounces
- Audio and visual alerts
- Comes with rechargeable batteries. Supports non-rechargeable batteries too
- The display interface comes with a zoom feature
This is an upgrade over the GQ GMC-300E.
For instance, they have expanded the internal memory to 1 megabyte (1 Mb) that can store more data.
Hence, measurements are saved automatically to the internal memory and analyzed later.
They can also be uploaded to the Geiger counter world map.
The graphics and visual interface have a major upgrade: there’s a zoom feature.
It’s also backlight enabled, and there’s a way to adjust the brightness to conserve the battery.
There’s an audio port, which can be connected to a phone, external speaker, and other devices.
To make analysis easy, there’s free software for data analysis.
The readings measured can be transferred from the device to a PC via a USB port and then analyzed.
To help you know your way around the device, there’s simulation software that mimics the user interface of the device.
This software is available on the internet and can be downloaded to a PC to have a feel of the device before buying it.
- The interface is easy to understand
- It comes with an automatic-data-record feature
- Battery is rechargeable
- Long-lasting battery
- Buttons are slow to respond
- Body casing is too fragile
- It weighs 1.2 pounds or 19.2 ounces
- It has a sensitive external wand
- Powered by external power or batteries
- Resolution is 0.001 mR/hr resolution or 0.01 uSv/hr
The GCA-07W has a wide range of radiation detection: it detects alpha, gamma, beta, and X-ray radiations.
The device comes with a sensitive external wand that’s connected to the main device via a cable.
The very sensitive GeigerLCD muller tube in the device, called the LND712 detects Alpha, beta, X-ray, and gamma radiations exceeding 3KeV, 50 KeV, X-Ray, and 7 KeV, respectively, in terms of energy.
A wire mesh encloses the end of the tube.
During purchase, you can ask the manufacturer for an NRC (Nuclear regulatory commission), which validates its accuracy.
Important note, however: the cost of the certificate is non-refundable and would mean an increase in the machine’s cost.
When taking measurements, you can choose between counts per minute or counts per second, with the simple push of switches at the front of the machine.
You should not use the wand to touch anything directly. This can destroy the GM tube.
- Free Geiger graphing software
- Detects a wide range of radiation: including alpha
- It can be purchased alongside an NRC certificate
- Data output port included
- Highly accurate
- It’s quite heavy
- Battery power is limited
05. MKS-05 IP30
- Weighs 6.9 ounces
- It runs on 2 AAA alkaline batteries
- Measures Gamma and beta radiations
- It comes with an additional shockproof casing
- Has a dosimeter
At just 6.9 ounces, the MKS-05 IP30 can easily fit into trouser pockets.
This means you can travel with it and hold it in your hands to take readings easily.
It measures both gamma and beta radiations.
But does not measure alpha radiations, which are redundant since substances that emit gamma rays will most likely emit alpha particles.
Aside from reading immediate radiation exposure, it can also measure accumulated radiation exposure over a set time.
Since it comes with just two buttons (mode and threshold), it’s easy to operate.
To set threshold levels, there’s a single button.
There’s also a button to set sound alarms that are activated the moment radiation levels exceed the pre-set threshold.
- Easy to operate: two-button control
- Clear LCD display
- you can set an audio alarm
- Audible signal for detection of each gamma or beta particle
- Casing is fragile
- Price is a little high
6. GQ GMC-600 Plus
- Large display interface
- Uses U.S metric system
- It runs on rechargeable batteries
- Detects alpha, beta, gamma, and X-ray
- Weighs 1.59 ounces
If there’s a roll call for the best Geiger counters out there, this will make a list.
It comes with a large visual display interface and can be rotated by 180 degrees.
In addition, you can zoom into the graph to view minute details.
There’s a USB port that mediates the transfer of data to external devices and serves as a charging port.
To further increase the longevity of the battery, there’s a back-light control that turns the backlight on and off.
There’s an in-built wireless Wi-Fi connection that enables readings to be backed up automatically to the Geiger-counter world map.
It can take readings per hour, minute, or second.
The internal memory is stored as data, transferred later to a PC for analysis.
The Geiger Muller tube is an LND 7317. It is highly sensitive and measures beta and gamma radiations and X-rays.
To get accustomed to the system before purchase, one can download a replica of the operating software.
- Very sensitive
- Long-lasting battery which is rechargeable
- The display interface is easy to understand
- In-built Wi-Fi logs data automatically to an online server
- Data can be viewed in a graph on the device
- Casing is fragile
- A bit difficult to operate because there are no markings on the buttons
7. SOEKS 112
- Range is 0.01-999 uSv/h
- Weighs 1.06 ounces
- It comes with a dosimeter
- Operates on 2 LR44 batteries
SOEKS 112 is one of the smallest – if not the smallest – Geiger counter on the market.
It literally resembles a ballpoint pen.
When radiation is noticed, the machine gives out audio clicks.
The frequency of the clicks increases with the magnitude of the radiation measured.
If you need to measure radiation discreetly, there is a setting to disable the sound and LED lights.
This keeps the battery consumption at a minimum.
A threshold radiation level can be set.
When the threshold is exceeded, an audible alarm rings off immediately.
To increase the sensitivity and accuracy, manufacturers inserted an SMB20-1 Geiger Muller tube that runs across the entire length of the device.
This enables the device to measure gamma, beta, and X-ray radiations.
- Long battery life
- Tiny and portable
- Easy to use
- No automatic data logging
- LR44 batteries are hard to find
8. Radex One
- Detection range of 0.05~999.0 mcSv/hr
- Weighs 1.3 ounces
- Small and portable
- It runs on one AAA replaceable battery
- Includes a belt clip and USB cable
The Radex one is one of the best Geiger counters within its price range.
It’s portable and fits within a clenched fist.
It comes with a belt clip that attaches the machine to one’s belt.
There is audio and vibration, which can be turned on and off.
Also, you can set an alarm that sounds when a pre-determined threshold set by the user is surpassed.
The SBM-20-1 Geiger-Muller tube located within it measures beta, gamma, and x-ray radiations.
Since the tube runs across the total length of the device, it is sensitive, and readings are accurate.
With a measurement cycle of just 10 seconds, it’s one of the fastest Geiger counters.
It runs on an AAA battery, which lasts for a long period before the need for change.
At the bottom, there’s a USB port that is used to transfer measurement data to PCs.
To analyze the data, the data analysis software will need to be downloaded.
- Fast measurement cycle
- Long-lasting battery
- Measures current and accumulated radiation levels
- Small screen size
- There’s no backlight for the display interface
9. SOEKS EcoVisor F4
- Weighs 2 ounces
- Runs on AAA batteries: 2 of them
- Touch screen display
- A composite probe at the terminal end
This stylish Geiger counter is a little different from the rest.
It measures the nitrate content of foods, radiation exposure, electromagnetic radiation, and water quality.
The in-built dosimeter measures background radiation in any object, such as food substances.
It also measures accumulated radiation and alerts you when it has exceeded a certain limit.
There’s a composite probe at the terminal.
For this reason, all measurements are always accurate at any temperature: low or high.
It comes with a USB port at the top for charging the device.
The port can be used to connect to a PC for analysis of the data collected.
The touchscreen display makes the device easy to use.
On the home screen, there are different icons that match with different actions.
- Easy to use
- Works at any temperature
- Gives accurate readings
- The battery doesn’t last long
10. Nuk Alert
- Extremely long-lasting battery
- Really small: weighs 6.7 ounces
- Has a slot for key chains
- Has audio alarm
What if you could have a Geiger counter that’s so portable and can serve as a keyholder?
Well, with Nuk alert, this dream is a reality. It’s barely the size of a little muffin.
And with the keyholder, you can carry it along outdoors, around the house, and travels.
It measures gamma, beta, and X-ray radiations.
Unlike other Geiger counters, it’s been certified EMP-resistant.
Hence, they will work even during an EMP attack.
The batteries last for over ten years without replacement which keeps the unit on perpetually.
But what if the battery needs to be replaced?
It’s easy: the unit can be sent back to the company.
- Long-lasting battery
- EMP resistant
- Measures radiation exposure continuously
- No display interface: does not measure but indicates radiation exposure.
The Buying Guide of Best Geiger Counter
No one wants to spend money on a Geiger counter, only to be dissatisfied with the quality.
It’s even worse, with the many brands and types in the market.
Before purchasing a Geiger counter, there are important features to look out for. They include:
Radioactivity is divided into three major energy sources: gamma, beta, and alpha radiations.
Most Geiger counters can detect gamma and beta rays, which can penetrate the metal casing surrounding the GM tubes within the device.
Few Geiger counters can measure alpha radiation.
This is because alpha particles have a very weak penetrating ability: even a sheet of paper is enough to obstruct them.
Hence, they can’t pass through the casing that surrounds the GM tube.
To solve this, Geiger counters that can measure alpha radiations have an exposed area called a window, covered by a metal grill.
Just below the metal grill is a very thin mica, which the alpha particles can pass through and be detected by the GM tube.
If you need to detect alpha radiation, watch out for a window with a wire mesh around it.
Also, you’ll need to detect alpha radiation if you’re performing contamination monitoring.
What’s the need to take readings you can’t read later?
Before you buy a Geiger counter, make sure that the size of the font and graph is visible to the unaided eyes.
You can confirm this from pictures of the device on E-commerce marketplaces such as amazon.
In addition, if you’ll be using the device mostly in the dark, make sure it comes with a backlight feature.
Medium For Data Communication
To make sense of the readings on the device, it’s important to analyze the data.
And to perform analysis, the data must be transferred to a PC.
For this reason, make sure the Geiger counter comes with a USB port for data transfer and software for analysis of the data.
Even if it doesn’t come with the software, the manual will show the website to download it from.
Geiger counters come with either A-type batteries or lithium batteries.
A-type batteries are not rechargeable but can be replaced. But lithium batteries are rechargeable.
The decision to buy Geiger counters with A-type or rechargeable lithium batteries depends on your access to electricity.
But if you’ll be going into the mountains or areas where power supply is absent, it’s best to buy those with A-type batteries.
That way, you can go with extra batteries in case the ones in the unit run out.
Finally, some rechargeable batteries have a high ability to store charge.
Others run out after a few hours. You can check reviews and technical specifications to know how many hours the battery can last.
Having a Geiger counter that’s difficult or almost impossible to operate is of no use.
Hence, an important factor to consider is the ease of use of the device.
Can a person without technical knowledge operate it?
What of the results, are they easily understood?
If the answers to these questions are yes, then you can go ahead with the purchase.
General FAQs of Best Geiger Counter
01. What is The Measurement Unit/S of Geiger Counters?
Geiger counters measure radiation majorly in counts per minute (CPM).
Other units are milli-Roentgens per hour (mR/hr) and micro-Sieverts per hour (ųSv/hr).
02. Can Hand-Held Geiger Counters Give An Accurate Measurement of Radiation Levels in Food?
No. This is because the background radiation exerts a damping effect on the radiation from the food.
But in laboratory settings, the food substances are placed in special lead chambers, which shields them from background radiation.
But if you must, scan a large amount to upset the damping effect of background radiation.
And measure all portions of the food substance.
03. What Radiation Types Do Geiger Counters Detect?
The type of radiation a Geiger counter is able to measure depends on the make-up of the device.
They mainly detect gamma, beta, and alpha radiations.
04. Is There A Difference Between Geiger Counters And Dosimeters?
Geiger counters measure immediate exposure to radiation, while dosimeters measure accumulated radiation exposure over a period.
05. How Long Can A Geiger Counter Last?
At a minimum, they last for 5-8 years. This can be longer if the device is well taken care of.
06. What Makes The Click Sound on Geiger Counters?
They fill the Geiger tubes with an inert or non-reactive gas, with a metal rod that connects the two opposite ends of the tube.
These are then encased in a metal covering.
In the normal state, the tube does not conduct electricity.
But when radioactive particles pass through the tube, a complex ionization reaction that occurs, which produces click sounds.
07. Can Geiger Counters Produce Radiation?
No, they cannot. They are entirely safe.
08. Is it Possible To Measure Radiation From X-Rays With Hand-Held Geiger Counters?
Yes, it’s possible.
Radioactivity is very dangerous to the human body.
It’s one of the worst forms of environmental pollution., currently plaguing the earth’s environment.
And no one is immune from its effects.
Buying a Geiger counter alerts you to when you’re exposed to it and protects you and your family.
Although they may set you back some dollars, your health and that of your family are surely worth protecting.
But before you make your purchase, do endeavor to go through the factors I mentioned.
They will guide you to making the best decision which you wouldn’t regret.