5 Best Battery Acid and Antifreeze Coolant Refractometer Instruments

An alternative and the most accurate way for measuring the specific gravity of battery electrolyte is using a battery refractometer. Unlike a battery hydrometer that uses the principle of buoyancy to determine the specific gravity of fluids, the refractometer works by utilizing the refractive properties of liquids. Generally, refraction is the property of bending light. Liquids that are denser than water (possess higher specific gravity) tend to bend light through a prism more than less dense fluids.

In this article, we review some of the best battery refractometer instruments that measure the specific gravity of battery acid and as a bonus, determine the freezing point of ethylene glycol and propylene glycol based antifreeze or coolant fluids. If you are an auto mechanic or work in the automotive industry, you definitely understand why it is important to measure the freezing point of engine coolant after mixing it with water. A properly mixed coolant ensures that it remains in liquid form even in very cold weather like during the winter. As a result, the engine remains protected without the risk of the coolant solidifying throughout the extreme weather conditions.

5 Best Battery Electrolyte and Coolant Refractometers Review

Extech RF41 Portable Battery Coolant/Glycol Refractometer with Automatic Temperature Compensation (°C)Antifreeze Refractometer for Glycol, Antifreeze, Coolant and Battery Acid.Ade Advanced Optics aaogabf100atc Fahrenheit ATC Glycol Antifreeze/battery Fluid Refractometer3-in-1 Antifreeze Tester in Fahrenheit Scale for Checking Freezing Point and Concentration of Ethylene Glycol and Battery Acid Condition4-in-1 Refractometer Ethylene Glycol, Propylene Glycol in antifreeze liquids freezing point temperature and freezing point concentration, automotive and industrial battery liquid
4-in-1-Refractometer-Ethylene-Glycol-Propylene-Glycol -n-antifreeze4-in-1-Refractometer-Ethylene-Glycol-Propylene-Glycol -n-antifreeze
Users' Ratings
  • Measures the specific gravity of battery acid from 1110 to 1300
  • Also measures freezing point of Propylene/Ethylene Glycolin from -50°C to 0°C.
  • Has an easy-to-read scale
  • The automatic temperature compensation from 10°C to 30°C feature is integrated.
  • The prism and lens have a simple focus adjustment.
  • Has 4 scales; three for showing freezing point of three different fluids and one for showing battery electrolyte specific gravity
  • The scale is in degrees centigrade
  • Features automatic temperature compensation with a compensation range of 0-30° centigrades.
  • The specific gravity scale ranges from 1100 to 1400
  • Measures freezing point of Propylene or ethylene glycol
  • Has multiple scales for measuring ethylene, propylene glycol, and brake fluid.
  • Temperature scale is in degrees fahrenheit
  • Also measures the specific gravity of battery acid
  • Has automatic temperature compensation for temperatures between -60 Deg F and 32 Deg F.
  • Measures the freezing point
  • Also measures concentration.
  • Determines the specific gravity of battery electrolyte
  • Has three scales: specific gravity scale, ethylene glycol scale, and propylene glycol scale.
  • Measures specific gravity of battery electrolyte
  • Determines the freezing point of ethylene glycol and propylene glycol based antifreeze coolant.
  • Also measures and checks Windshield Wiper Fluid
  • Has 4 scales for measuring four types of fluids: battery acid, washer fluid, antifreeze liquids, and urea solution.
  • Temperature scale is in fahrenheit.
  • Built with automatic temperature compensation feature
  1. Easy to use and calibrate
  2. Only requires 2 to 3 drops of solution.
  3. The tool has an easy to read scale
  4. It is compact and easy to carry
  5. It stows away nicely in a tool box in its carrying case
  6. The ATC guarantees accurate refractometer readings
  1. Only needs 2 to 3 drops of solution and a few seconds to get accurate readings.
  2. Its firm plastic case keeps it secure.
  3. Has an easy to read scale
  4. The ATC guarantees temperature compensated refractometer readings
  1. Free replacement guarantee within the warranty period
  2. Requires only 2 to 3 drops of sample
  3. Aircraft aluminum body and premium optical lens make the refractometer durable
  4. Checks brake fluid for water absorption
  5. Fairly priced
  6. Has a 2 years warranty
  1. The body is made of aluminum alloy for increased durability.
  2. It is resistant to abrasion and corrosion
  3. Requires only 2 to 3 drops of sample
  4. Convenient for use in different temperature because of its automatic temperature compensation feature.
  5. Covered by 1 year warranty.
  1. Has most functions; 4 distinct functions
  2. Resistant to corrosion
  3. Portable, safe, and reliable
  4. Has a 2 year warranty Free Replacement Guarantee
  5. Cheapest
  1. A bit pricey.
  2. Only measures specific gravity between 1150 to 1300
  1. You need a tool to open the hard carry case
  1. Cloth carrying case wont protect the instrument from impact
    1. Carrying case is not robust enough to protect the instrument from heavy impact.
    Parts Included Tool with case
    Calibration screwdriver
    Plastic pipette
    User manual
    Sturdy plastic case
    Cleaning cloth
    3 suction tube
    Screw driver
    Operating instructions
    Cloth case
    Calibration screwdriver
    Plastic pipette
    User's Manual
    Firm plastic case
    Cleaning cloth
    Suction tube
    Screw driver
    Operating instructions
    Plastic case
    Cleaning cloth
    Suction tube
    Screw driver
    Operating instructions
    Temperature Scale -60° F to 32° F 0° C to 50° C -60° F to 32° F -84°F - 32°F for ethylene glycol and -60°F-32°F for propylene glycol -60°F-32°F
    Specific Gravity Scale 1.150 - 1.300 1.100 - 1.400 1.110 - 1.400 1.100 - 1.400 1.100 - 1.400

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