Looking For The Best Refractometer For Honey? Here Are 8

best refractometer for honey - Honest Beekeeper

For any beekeeper, the most rewarding part is finally extracting honey from the combs. However, before you consider extracting the honey, you have to confirm its water content. Honey’s water content will determine how long it will remain fresh. Honey typically has no expiration date, unless it has higher water content. The higher the water content, the lower the quality the honey. This is why beekeepers need to be absolutely sure the honey is ready to be extracted.

 

Beekeepers should aim for honey with water content less than 20% before considering extraction. However, if the water content is too low, the honey will crystallize. Luckily, modern technology is here to help us. The honey refractometer measures honey quality so beekeepers know exactly when it’s time for extraction. Every beekeeper should have a refractometer on hand. If you’re looking for the best refractometer for honey, you’ve come to the right place. Here is a list of the top 10 honey refractometers for beekeepers.

 

If you’re new to using a honey refractometer, be sure to read our upcoming post all about honey refractometers and how to read them.

Want To Skip The Long Article?

If you’re in a rush or just don’t want to scroll through this whole article and all you want is a quick suggestion for the best refractometer for honey, then this section is for you! After assessing countless honey refractometer reviews from all levels of beekeepers, we found that the Aichose Refractometer for Honey Moisture may be the best refractometer for you! It’s an amazing, 3-in-1 tool that measures sugar content, Baume, and water content. It also comes with a 12-month replacement warranty which is a great incentive for buyers to give them a try!

 

If the Aichose Refractometer is not available, then our next best pick would be the Hobein Honey Refractometer.

best refractometer for honey
Screenshot Courtesy of The Norfolk Honey Company
ImageModelFeatures
Tiaoyeer Refractometer for Honey MoistureManual Instrument
Brix Scale of 58-90%
ATC Feature
Waterproof
V-Resourcing 0-90% Brix Meter RefractometerManual Instrument
Brix Scale of 0-90%
ATC Feature
Easy to Use
TRZ Brix Refractometer with ATCManual Instrument
Brix Scale of 58-90%
ATC Feature
Two Calibration Modes
TekcoPlus Optics Honey Sugar Moisture Brix Baume RefractometerManual Instrument
Brix Scale of 58-90%
ATC Feature
Measures Baume and water content
Comes with oil and a portable LED light
Aichose Refractometer for Honey Moisture Manual Instrument
Brix Scale of 58-90%
ATC Feature
Measures Baume and water content
Made of Aluminum
Hobein Honey Refractometer Manual Instrument
Brix Scale of 58-90%
ATC Feature
Measures Baume and water content
Made of Aluminum Alloy
Milwaukee MA871 Digital Brix RefractometerDigital Instrument
Brix Scale of 0-85%
ATC Feature
Powered by 9-Volt Battery
Atago 4422 PAL-22S Digital Hand-Held Pocket Honey RefractometerDigital Instrument
ATC Feature
LED-Illuminated Display

What To Consider When Choosing A Honey Refractometer

When you use a honey refractometer, you will take a small sample of honey from your hive and place it between the measurement prisms. You will look through the eyepiece to determine the Brix measurement. Light passes through the honey and it will refract at a certain angle depending on the density of that liquid. Sugar will increase the density of honey so you can determine the volume of sugar occupied in the honey depending on the angle of refraction. For more information, check out our upcoming post all about how to use an honey refractometer.

 

As a beekeeper, there are several features to consider when purchasing a refractometer:  

Instrument Type

You can choose to purchase a manual or digital refractometer. A digital refractometer will have a button to read the sample and the results will be automatically displayed on a digital screen on the tool. A manual refractometer will require the user to look through an eyepiece to determine the Brix measurement.

 

There are pros and cons to both instrument types. A manual type is an economical approach that gives the user control over reading the results while the digital type eliminates any human reading error. Your personal preferences and confidence in reading the tool will determine which instrument type is right for you.

Measurement Range

You should know that refractometers tend to display portions of the measurement range and you need to decide how much range you will need. Typically, a refractor will display a sugar content range of 58% to 90%. Why? Because if a refractor displayed 0 to 99%, it would be practically impossible for the user to obtain accurate readings since the scale markings would be extremely small.

 

When you’re measuring the sugar content of honey, you will want to see results in the higher end of the spectrum. Good honey refractors will show a range beyond 90%. 

Temperature Accuracy

When purchasing a refractometer, you need to consider the temperature requirements for testing honey. The refractor index can change with the temperature. A good honey refractor will have an automatic temperature compensation (ATC) feature. With ATC, the tool will report the same value over a wide range of temperatures, typically between 55°F and 85°F. It’s worth investing in a tool with the ATC feature to ensure every honey measurement is accurate no matter the surrounding temperature.

Learn More About Beekeeping

Whether you have one or two hives in your backyard or have acres dedicated to honeybees, all beekeepers need to start with the foundations of maintaining a hive. 

As a beekeeper, you will need to have an extensive understanding on topics including: 

    Best Hive Location

    Different Bee Species

    Hive Behavior

    Beekeeping Equipment

    How to Inspect the Hive

    Spot Parasites and Diseases

    Seasonal Management

    Swarm Capturing

    How to Install A Colony

If you want to learn these topics quickly and ensure that your hive will be a success, check out this easy-to-follow guide on How To Become A Beekeeper.

Tiaoyeer Refractometer for Honey Moisture

The Tiaoyeer Honey Refractometer is a portable, compact device that comes with a Brix scale of 58 to 90%. This tool is primarily used for honey, jams, and syrup. This manual tool only needs an ambient light source. It can measure sugar content up to 90% Brix. It also features an advanced automatic temperature compensation (ATC) feature from 50 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit (10-30 degrees Celsius) which provides faster results no matter the surrounding temperature. This is a waterproof device made from durable aluminum material.  With user comfort in mind, the refractometer also features rubberized grip handles to prevent the user from dropping it. The eyepiece offers flexibility and comfort as well.

 

This refractometer comes with a plastic case, a screwdriver for manual calibration, a pipette, and a cleaning cloth. The Tiaoyeer Honey Refractometer measures 14.5 cm in length.

 

Some reviewers found the calibration instructions to be unclear and they had trouble getting started. However, online research helped them figure out how to properly calibrate the device.

 

V-Resourcing 0-90% Brix Meter Refractometer

The V-Resourcing Honey Refractometer is a portable device that comes with a Brix scale of 0 to 90%. The tool is primarily used for honey, fruit, beverages, and sugar. This device features an automatic temperature compensation (ATC) from 50 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit (10-30 degrees Celsius).

This refractometer comes with a plastic case, a screwdriver for manual calibration, a pipette, and a cleaning cloth. The V-Resourcing Honey Refractometer measures at about 8 inches in length.

The device is very user-friendly as multiple users say it’s easy to use, even for beginners. Unlike other models, this unit is not waterproof. Reviewers have noted that the lens is plastic which means certain cleaning solutions should not be used. The device is already calibrated when it arrives and results are displayed quickly.

TRZ Brix Refractometer with ATC

TRZ Honey Refractometer is a compact device that comes in a Brix scale of 58 to 90%. It’s primarily used for measuring sugar content in honey, condensed milk, syrups, and jam. This device features an automatic temperature compensation (ATC) from 50 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit (10-30 degrees Celsius). The tool offers two calibration modes. The first is the upper calibration line with 78.8% Brix that uses a clove oil calibration solution and requires an additional standard test block. The lower calibration line with 65% Brix. This refractometer can recognize daylight and adjusts the display to make the results easier to read.

 

This refractometer comes with a storage box, a screwdriver for manual calibration, a pipette, calibration liquid, and a cleaning cloth. The TRZ Honey Refractometer measures at about 8 inches in length.

 

This unit is specifically designed to measure moisture in honey or any other liquid with high sugar content. This tool also offers precise measurement by featuring a sharp dividing line and an adjustable eyepiece for sharpness adjustment. This tool cannot be calibrated with water.

TekcoPlus Optics Honey Sugar Moisture Brix Baume Refractometer

The TekcoPlus Honey Refractometer is a portable, small tool that comes in a Brix scale of 58 to 90%. The main purpose of this device is for beekeepers who want to test sugar content, Baume and water concentration of honey.  It can also be used to measure other high-sugar liquids such as syrups or jelly. It comes in a Baume scale of 38 to 43 Be’ and a water scale of 12 to 27%. This device features an automatic temperature compensation (ATC) which increases the accuracy of the results no matter what temperature you are working in.   

 

This refractometer comes with an instruction manual, a mini screwdriver, 2 pipettes, a reference block, a cleaning cloth, Dioptric oil, a portable USB LED light, and a protective carrying case. The TekcoPlus Honey Refractometer measures at about 15.2cm in length.

 

With user comfort in mind, the refractometer also features rubberized grip handles to protects the test solution from getting warmer due to body heat. Reviews boast that this is an excellent value for the price. The results are displayed clearly and calibration is an easy task.

Aichose Refractometer for Honey Moisture

The Aichose Honey Refractometer is a compact and durable device that serves three uses: sugar content, Baume, and water content. The tool comes in a Brix scale of 58 to 90%. It’s the ideal refractometer for beekeepers because its main purpose is to measure contents in honey. This device features an automatic temperature compensation (ATC) which increases the accuracy of the results no matter what temperature you are working in.    

  

This refractometer comes with a plastic case, a cleaning cloth, 3 suction tubes, and a screwdriver. The Aichose Honey Refractometer measures at about 6 inches in length.  

 

The tool is made of aluminum alloy which makes it durable. It provides easy instructions for manual calibration. One unique feature of this unit is a 12-month replacement warranty. Many reviewers feel that this is a high-quality product for the price. The measurements are easy to read and accurately measures the sugar content for honey.     

Hobein Honey Refractometer

The Hobein Honey Refractometer is a portable and durable device ideal for testing sugar content, Baume, and water content. The tool comes in a Brix scale of 58 to 90%. It’s a manual tool that only needs an ambient light source.  This is an easy-to-carry device that is suitable for honey, syrup, and jam. This device features an automatic temperature compensation (ATC) from 50 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit (10-30 degrees Celsius). The tool is made of aluminum alloy which makes it durable.

This refractometer comes with a dropper, cloth, mini screwdriver, and a tool for calibration. The Hobein Honey Refractometer measures at about 8 inches in length.

Reviewers find that this is a great tool for the money. The eyepiece is adjustable to bring clarity when reading results easier. The tool is calibrated appropriately straight out of the box.

Milwaukee MA871 Digital Brix Refractometer

The Milwaukee MA871 Digital Brix Refractometer is a portable, digital refractor that with a Brix scale of 0 to 85%. The digital tool uses a digital display so the user does not have to look through an eyepiece. This device features an automatic temperature compensation (ATC) from 50 to 104 degrees Fahrenheit (10-40 degrees Celsius). It’s powered by a 9-volt battery that will last around 5,000 readings.

 

This refractometer measures at about 10 inches in length.  

 

Reviews boast the simplicity of using this device because all you have to do is place the honey sample on the prism and the LED display will show the results. Reviewers love that the calibration holds for a long period. It’s a fairly priced tool for a digital unit. Many reviewers agree that a digital refractometer saves them time and effort when measuring sugar content.

Atago 4422 PAL-22D Digital Hand-Held Pocket Honey Refractometer

The Atago 4422 PAL-22S Digital Hand-Held Pocket Honey Refractometer measures the amount of moisture in honey. This is a digital scale that measures the moisture in honey between 12 and 30%. This device features an automatic temperature compensation (ATC) from 50 to 104 degrees Fahrenheit (10-40 degrees Celsius). The tool is water-resistant and made with an ABS resin body for durable and protection from honey. It also has an LED-illuminated display with ELI technology that helps provide a better display when the user is outdoors.

 

The Atago Honey Refractometer can read samples in 3 seconds. The only downside is that this tool is more expensive compared to other models. Some reviewers of this product are professional beekeepers so they find that it’s worth the investment for a more accurate reading.

Final Thoughts

The right technology will ensure that you don’t harvest fermented honey by accident. Refractometers are a great tool that every beekeeper should own. Beekeepers of all levels, from hobbyist to commercial can benefit from having the device. Luckily, there are units on the market that are budget-friendly while there are others that are efficient and easy to read. If you are a beginner, consider your future beekeeping endeavors to determine which refractometer is the right fit for you.

 

The list of honey refractometers in this article shows the best tools on the market today. These devices were designed with the user in mind as it provides accurate measurements in a clear display. As a beginner, this tool will help you determine the best time to harvest your first batch of honey without risk of it fermenting due to too much water content. If you are an experienced beekeeper, you can have a consistent method for ensuring every hive produces the very best honey.   

 

If you’re still looking for the best refractometer for honey, take a look at this list. Each model is ideal for any beekeeper because they are durable, easy to use, and accurate.

 

HonestBeekeeper.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.