Thermapen Mk4 Review
Thermoworks are one of the best known digital thermometers companies around right now, with a large range of consistently highly rated products. A little while ago we reviewed both the Thermoworks Smoke and the Thermoworks ChefAlarm. We loved both because of their great build quality, user friendliness and accuracy. So, we were very excited when Thermoworks offered to send us a couple of there other products to review. This means we can finally give you a thorough review of one of their most popular products, the Thermapen MK4.
This Thermapen review is part of a double post where we also review the Thermopop.
Thermoworks kindly provided a Thermapen MK4 in return for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions herein are my own and are not influenced by the related company in any way.
- 1 Thermapen Mk4 Review
- 1.1 Quick Look
- 1.2 What’s included with the Thermapen?
- 1.3 Features
- 1.4 Build Quality and Design
- 1.5 Ease of Use
- 1.6 What we like about the Thermapen
- 1.7 What we dislike about the Thermapen
- 1.8 Thermapen vs Thermopop
- 1.9 Overall Thoughts
- 1.10 Thermapen Mk4
- 1.11 Pros
- 1.12 Cons
- Great user experience through some very nice design features. For example, automatic turning on and off, rotating display and intelligent backlight.
- Super fast reading of around 2-3 seconds.
- Good range of temperatures, from -58.0 to 572.0°F (-49.9 to 299.9°C).
- Great build quality and design.
Temperature Range: -58.0 to 572.0°F (-49.9 to 299.9°C)
Accuracy: ±0.7°F (±0.4°C) from -58 to 392°F (-49.9 to 199.9°C) otherwise ±1.8°F (±1.0°C)
Response Time: 2-3 seconds
Probe: 4.3 L inches, High Performance Type K Thermocouple
Display: 1 H x 1.54 W inches (25 H x 39 W mm) LCD – rotates 360° with intelligent backlight
Water Resistance: IP 66/67*
Battery: 1.5 volt AAA, 3,000 hours typical (without backlight)
Dimensions: 1.97 H x 6.2 W x 0.75 D inches (50 H x 157 W x 19 D mm)
Weight: 0.26 lbs (120g)
What’s included with the Thermapen?
- Thermapen MK4 thermometer
- A certificate of calibration
- A simple instruction manual
- A thorough guide to using and caring for your Thermapen
For such a simple device we were wondering if we’d even need a ‘features’ section as we didn’t expect there to be much to talk about. However, we were wrong about that.
The place to start is the performance of the actual thermometer. When working with temperature of less than 392°F you’re looking at an accuracy of ±0.7°F, which is really quite impressive. This is made even more impressive by the fact that the Thermapen can detect this in around 2-3 seconds and works up to a temperature of 572°F.
So, the basic function of the thermometer works as expected but what about the quality of life design features that Thermoworks have included?
There is no button to turn it on and off. Instead when the probe is opened up from the body, it automatically starts up and will instantly detect the temperature of the surroundings. Then when you’re done you fold the probe back up and it turns itself off. In addition to this there is a sleep mode than enables after 30 seconds of no use to help save the battery. This is triggered by a motion sensor so when it isn’t being moved, it turns itself off. The time limit is even configurable by the user.
Another feature the Thermapen offers is a superb display. Many cheap instant read digital thermometers offer very basic displays that just about do the job. Not with the Thermapen! This is an LCD display that automatically rotates when needed so you always have a conveniently rotated display. This sometimes doesn’t line up exactly with how you want it, but more often than not it works very well and can be adjusted if you would like. Also, the quality and clarity of the LCD screen is noticeably better than any other we’ve seen, so if it isn’t rotated exactly as you’d want, you’ll still be able to read it without a problem.
The screen also has an intelligent backlight. This is where the screen lights up when your surroundings get a bit dark. This is done automatically so there is no need for you to worry about finding a button to press to light up the screen.
The Thermapen is also waterproof, offers around a 3,000 hour battery life and comes ready to go out of the box in 10 different colors.
Build Quality and Design
As we’ve mentioned before the design of the Thermapen offers way more than we ever expected. This is one of the best designed products we’ve used, it looks great, it has some incredibly intuitive features that just work without you having to think, which is exactly what an instant read thermometer needs to do!
For the build quality we are just as impressed. It’s manufactured in the UK and has a solid feel to it with its plastic and rubber outer coat, perfectly weighted hinge and crystal clear display. It’s this level of quality that we suspect people have reported years of use without any problems.
Watch the below video for a little look into how (the old) Thermapen was created:
Ease of Use
This is where the Thermapen really shines. We never realized how easy and even enjoyable it was using an instant read thermometer until we used the Thermapen. It does everything you’d ever want it to do and all you have to do is unfold it. The automatic rotating display and backlight both work fantastically and the super fast, accurate read means no more waiting 10-20 seconds for what you hope is the right temperature.
Another thing to note is that the Mk4 now uses AAA batteries which many find much more convenient and easier to change than the old ‘coin cells’ that were used before.
Read more on King of the Coals:
- Flame Boss 400 Review
- Best Digital Thermometers for Smokers
- Best Automatic BBQ Temperature Controllers
What we like about the Thermapen
If you’ve read all of the above, you’ll have noticed we like pretty much all of it. But if you’re skimming to this section then here’s that information again in a nice little summary.
- Fantastic user experience, everything works super easily with incredibly intuitive features.
- Super fast, super accurate temperature readings.
- Great build quality.
- 10 colors to choose from.
What we dislike about the Thermapen
There is very little we dislike about the Thermapen. The whole experience is wonderful and honestly, we don’t know why it’s taken so long to start using one. Having said that, here’s the one thing that we (and others) have expressed a dislike for.
- The price. We get it though, the amount of value and quality you’re receiving and the amount of stress and time you’ll save using one of these, instead of working your way through cheaper models, makes it well worth the price. However, it still is expensive.
Thermapen vs Thermopop
Like we said before, this is a double post of two Thermowork products, so of course we’re going to have a comparison.
They are obviously aimed at slightly different markets, with the Thermopop being a more budget friendly thermometer. But it still works well, the time to read the temperature is very similar to the Thermapen and it has the same temperature range but a slightly lower accuracy. It’s also missing a lot of the convenience of the Thermapen, for example you have a button to turn it on and turn on the backlight. If you don’t mind these small inconveniences though, and want a cheaper and slightly more portable, but still high performance and quality thermometer, then the Thermopop is a great option.
However, if you have the money for the Thermapen we think you should definitely go for that.
We honestly can’t think of a better example of a product that’s fit for purpose, it’s that good. If you look past the price tag then you’re left with an incredibly well designed, top quality thermometer that performs about as well as physically possible. There’s no wonder that this is recommended by virtually everyone that uses it and we’re going to continue to use it as our everyday instant read thermometer. This is probably going right to the top of our best products list!
Check the latest price on the Thermoworks Website.