Best Handheld Anemometer Options

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best handheld anemometer small kestrel wind meter

You’ve no doubt seen anemometers around the place… An anemometer is a wind speed measuring device that is commonly used by weather stations and individuals or institutions interested in measuring changes in wind speed. To give the best reading, an anemometer is typically mounted on a pole positioned in an open space so that they are not obstructed by buildings or trees.

They often contain a set of three or four cup-like shapes that catch the breeze and spin at a speed proportional to the speed of the wind. Other smaller variations of these “weather-station” varieties include hand-held anemometer models that contain a fan or miniature propeller that works in a similar fashion.

In sailing, many yachts have wind instruments located at the top of the mast – clear of any obstructions. However, dinghies typically do not have the same equipment installed, so many people find it handy to have a handheld anemometer in the sailing gear kit to give them accurate wind speed readings.

The best handheld anemometer is not necessarily a requirement for laser sailing or dinghy sailing in general, but a hand-held anemometer can be a handy piece of equipment.

The main advantage of a handheld anemometer is its portability… we can carry it anywhere and measure the airspeed quickly and easily, wherever we want. Another advantage is it does not need any electricity, other than battery power. Being able to check the wind speed anywhere and anytime we want can be quite handy.

As these are not considered expensive devices, the best handheld anemometer for sailing can be a useful addition to your sailing gear kit and can help when selecting different sails or rigging based on the wind speed it measures. Or it can be just used for interest to see exactly how hard the breeze is blowing.

ImageTitleRatingMore Info
HOLDPEAK 866B Digital AnemometerHOLDPEAK 866B Digital Anemometer

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Proster Handheld AnemometerProster Handheld Anemometer

4.4 out of 5 stars
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HVAC Anemometer Handheld CFM ProHVAC AP-846A Handheld Anemometer

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Extech 45118 Mini Waterproof Thermo AnemometerExtech 45118 Mini Anemometer

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Kestrel 2000 Pocket Wind And Temperature MeterKestrel 2000 Wind Meter

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Extech AN100 Mini Handheld Thermo-AnemometerExtech AN100 Mini Handheld Thermo-Anemometer

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Whatever your use, there are quite a few handheld anemometers that work well and are very reasonably priced.

Our Picks for the Best Handheld Anemometer

If you are after a handheld anemometer that is simple to use and at the same time has all the necessary functions to collect tell you what you need to know, we have some great suggestions below.

These units are reliable, provide accurate weather readings, are convenient and affordable. Here is a closer look at selected portable models of anemometers that are available for purchase online.


HOLDPEAK 866B Digital Anemometer

HOLDPEAK 866B Digital Anemometer

Key Specs

Manufacturer/ModelHOLDPEAK 866B Digital Anemometer
Product Weight7.1 ounces
Product Dimensions6.49 x 3.34 x 1.49 inches
Type/number of batteries required2 x AAA batteries
Batteries includedyes
Wind Speed Range0.3-30 m/s
Wind Speed Resolution0.1 m/s
Wind Speed Unitsm/s, km/h, ft/min, knots, mph
Backlit displayyes
Auto Power Offyes
Other featuresbuilt-in temperature regulator, wind chill indication, low battery indicator, MAX/MIN/Average/Current function, ℃/℉
Accessorieslanyard, case

This product is promoted as providing highly accurate and steady wind speed measurements. It will record wind speeds from 0.3 to 30 m/s to a maximum of 69 mph / 111 kmh / 60 knots. The accuracy is said to be within 0.1 digits with quick measurements to assist in determining conditions at any given moment.

There are many different functions built into this wind gauge. In addition to reading wind speed, this handheld device provides temperature and wind chill readings. All data is shown on an LCD display. Wind speed can be read in m/s, km/h, ft/min, knots, and mph measurements.

Extras include adjustments to read the temperature in either °F or °C and you can record and recall conditions. They include maximum, minimum, average, and current temperatures. There is also a low battery indicator and a built-in screw hole permits attachment to a lanyard.

Pros

Comes with a warranty
One of the best anemometer models in the marketplace
Slick design with easy to read LCD display
Quick changing between functions makes this a very useful instrument

Cons

Some users felt the design made this unit appear to be cheaply made
The accuracy of the readings may be off when compared to other similar products
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Proster Handheld Anemometer

Proster Handheld Anemometer

Key Specs

Manufacturer/ModelProster Handheld Anemometer
Product Weight11.3 ounces
Product Dimensions6.49 x 3.34 x 1.49 inches
Type/number of batteries required1 x 9V 6F22 battery
Batteries includedyes
Wind Speed Range0.4-30 m/s
0.8-58 knots
Wind Speed Unitsm/s, km/h, ft/min, knots, mph
Backlit displayyes
Auto Power Offyes
Other featureslow battery indicator, MAX/ MIN/ Current Wind Speed, hold data, unit switch
Accessoriescase

This product is for measuring wind speed and air volume in a compact size. The wind speed range goes to a maximum of 58 knots and displays it in five different units depending on your preference (m/s, km/h, ft/min, knots, mph). It features three different reading modes (max/min, AVG, current wind speed.

The LCD screen is backlit, there are manual/auto power-off options as well. A handy unit for many uses.

Pros

Well made, compact, portable design
Available at an affordable price

Cons

The manual is very poorly written with many important details missing
Cubic feet/minute air volume can be calculated, but there is no explanation on how to do this
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HVAC AP-846A Handheld Anemometer

HVAC AP-846A Handheld Anemometer

Key Specs

Manufacturer/ModelHVAC AP-846A Handheld Anemometer
Product Weight11.3 ounces
Product Dimensions11.06 x 8.35 x 2.64 inches
Type/number of batteries required1 x 9V 6F22 battery
Batteries includedyes
Wind Speed Range0.001-45 m/s
0.001-100 mph
Wind Speed Resolution0.001 mph
Wind Speed Unitsm/s, km/h, ft/min, knots, mph
Backlit displayyes
Auto Power Offyes
Other featureslow power indicator, data hold, ℃/℉ switch, stretchable and adjustable blades
Accessoriescarrying case

This is a high-precision anemometer that will track wind speeds up to 100 mph / 87 knots and displays wind in five different measuring units, depending on your requirements (m/s, km/h, ft/min, knots, mph).

The large display with a backlight makes this unit easy to read and will warn you when the battery is low. Additional features include an airflow area setting and manual or auto power-off options to save your battery usage.

This product comes complete with a 2-year warranty.

Pros

Easy to operate
Versatile
The anemometer comes in a protective hard-shell case

Cons

Backlight times out quickly requiring frequent activation
The battery cover is not easy to remove
When measuring min/max values, you can only do one or the other, not both
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Extech 45118 Mini Anemometer

Extech 45118 Mini Anemometer

Key Specs

Manufacturer/ModelExtech 45118 Mini Anemometer
Product Weight‎3.52 ounces
Product Dimensions5.3 x 2.8 x 0.8 inches
Type/number of batteries required1 x CR2032 Lithium battery
Batteries includedyes
Wind Speed Range100 to 5500 feet/min
Wind Speed Unitsm/s, km/h, ft/min, knots, mph
Backlit displayno
Other featuresDisplays air velocity and ambient temperature on dual display

The dual LCD display on this handheld wind meter provides the reading of air velocity along with temperature and wind chill. Functions include average and maximum readings with a one-second display update. There’s also a hold function and after 20-minutes the unit will shut off automatically.

The water and shock-resistant housing is rugged and makes the Extech anemometer durable. The fold-up, flip-style case acts as an extension handle and also protects the meter when flipped down for storage. This portable wind meter floats and has been drop-tested to six feet.

The wind speed measurements can be displayed as ft/min, mph, m/s, km/h, knots, or Beaufort Force. Also, the selectable averaging feature has settings of 5, 10, or 13-second intervals. The plastic wind vane is replaceable and temperature/wind chill can be recorded from 0° to 122°F, and wind speed from 1 knot up to 54 knots.

Pros

Lightweight and handheld
Easy to use and flip top is a handy extension handle
Data is displayed quickly when needed

Cons

The LCD display is not backlit
The temperature display is smaller than wind speed and cannot be reversed
The extension handle requires two hands to fully extend
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Kestrel 2000 Wind Meter

Kestrel 2000 Pocket Wind Meter

Key Specs

Manufacturer/ModelKestrel 2000 Wind Meter
Product Weight‎0.05 pounds
Product Dimensions6 x 1 x 3 inches
Type/number of batteries required1 x 3V CR2032 battery
Batteries includedyes
Wind Speed Range0.6-60 m/s
1.2-116.6 knots
Wind Speed Resolution0.1 knots
Wind Speed Unitsm/s, km/h, ft/min, knots, mph, Beaufort
Backlit displayyes
Other featureswaterproof (IP-67), floats, drop-tested to military standards (MIL-STD-810G), patented, simple 3-button control, reads min/max/average
Accessoriesslip-on protective cover, neck lanyard

This rugged, handheld wind and airflow meter contains a large, replaceable impeller. There is also a responsive temperature sensor.

The large, clear LCD screen displays maximum, current, and average wind speed, wind chill, and air/snow/water temperature.

This unit comes complete with a slip-on protective cover, neck lanyard, coin cell battery (CR2032), and an impressive 5-year warranty. It is also waterproof, floats, and meets military drop-test standards.

Pros

Attractive looking product
Easy to operate
Large LCD screen

Cons

Not exactly waterproof if water gets into the unit
If the lanyard gets wet, water may leak into the meter housing
Customer service may be difficult at times
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Extech AN100 Mini Handheld Thermo-Anemometer

Extech AN100 Mini Handheld Thermo-Anemometer

Key Specs

Manufacturer/ModelExtech AN100 Mini Handheld Thermo-Anemometer
Product Weight‎1.61 pounds
Product Dimensions2.9 x 1.3 x 7 inches
Type/number of batteries required1 x 9V battery
Batteries includedyes
Wind Speed Range0.4 to 30.0 m/s
0.8 To 58 knots
Wind Speed Unitsm/s, km/h, ft/min, knots, mph
Backlit displayyes
Auto Power Offyes
Other featureslarge display of airflow or air velocity, simultaneous display of air flow or air velocity plus ambient temperature, 20 point average for air flow
Accessoriesvane sensor with 3.9ft (120cm) cable, protective rubber holster, carrying case

If you are one of those data nuts, this could be the best wind meter you will ever buy. It has several functions and can measure remote surface temperatures ranging from 14° to 140°F. The wind speed range is from 0.8 to 58.3 knots, so will pretty well cover all sailing conditions.

It includes an auto shut-off function plus a dual-function backlit LCD display screen. The measurements recorded include maximum, minimum, and average. Readings are updated each second.

The readout will simultaneously display airflow (eg. Cubic feet/min) or air velocity (eg. Speed) and temperature. Wind speed can be displayed as m/s, km/h, ft/min, mph & knots. The wind speed accuracy is rated at +/- 3%. The package comes complete with a protective rubber case, carry case, and a 9-volt battery.

Another thing that makes this handheld anemometer a great option is the 3.9ft (120cm) cable. This means that you can place the sensor clear of any obstructions while still being able to easily read the display.

Pros

Works well for the intended use
Easy to operate, lightweight
The display is large enough to read easily
The LCD display is backlit

Cons

Not as accurate as was hoped for
Does not create graphs or visuals based on recorded data
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Do You Need A Handheld Wind Speed Meter?

As stated above, these instruments are not mandatory for sailing. However, they can certainly come in handy, and it can be interesting to know exactly what the weather is doing. You can’t always trust the forecasts, so it’s good to be able to know what is going on wherever you are.

The digital anemometer options mentioned above are able to quickly and easily provide a wealth of information and are very reasonably priced. So check them out and add them to your kit.

Have you got a favorite anemometer? What’s your pick for the best handheld anemometer for sailing?

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