Help me pick a new tester

So I have a cheap set of the yellow and blue testers for pH and TDS/EC. I have been reading about how inaccurate they can be, and have narrowed myself down to a price range for upgrading. Both of these fit my range. Both are pretty well rated. Any experience with either? Is one likely to last longer?

Apera AI316

Milwaukee MW802


Both those are good meters. The cheap tds meters are good. Mine is still accurate some 3 years later. The ph meter is where you don’t want to cheap out. The apera Ph20 and Ph60 are great. Can’t go wrong with either of those meters that you chose above though if you’re looking for a combo meter.


That’s what I was going to say. I think the tds meter i bought was around $11 at the time and it still works pretty good. I have an apera ph20 and sx620 I think is # on the other. I don’t know they are the best ph testers, but they seem pretty good for what I paid for them.


I have the Apera 20. Just note they recommend storing it in the lower pH solution between uses.

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Thanks everyone. I hadn’t even considered not replacing both. That’s a great idea!

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I’ve got the ph60 that you linked to

I like just having one tool to look after but I’ll be the first to say that price tag is steep AF

I just know me and I misplace stuff and one thing to have to find is better than 2
I already lost the bugger once then remembered that I put it in my hoodie pocket but took the hoodie off earlier


I haven’t tagged you, as I didn’t know you! I will next post. Welcome to the forum. Awesome people here.

No worries. I’ve been stalking your journal. :wink:

@Newt hey brother. I have 2 Apera meters. The PH20, their budget pH meter, and the PC60 that you linked (Al316).

They both are great meters, but the PC60 will do everything you need, has a backlight for easy reading, measures pH, TDS with PPM, and EC among other things we don’t really need. And it has replaceable probes, including a soil probe!

If it were me, I would get the PC60, keep your old meters, and check their accuracy according to the reading you get from your PC60. This makes it so you’ve got your “good” meter in the PC60, and 2 backup meters.

Always live by the mantra “Two is one, and one is none.” You don’t want to have to feed and not be able to adjust pH for instance. Keep backups on hand!

The price of the PC60 is a bit steep, but IMHO it has the features to justify the price.

Thanks, @Dankloud. That’s the one I have left in my shopping list. Just waiting for my Amazon prime rewards points to hit my account to order it.

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You won’t be disappointed!

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Yeah it’s a very good meter

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Maybe one of you that has it, can answer this question. It says to store it with storage solution in the cap. Does that mean it must be stored vertically?

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Lol I don’t remember that so I very well might be storing mine wrong :expressionless:

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The cap has a rubber seal to keep storage liquid in…works pretty well. I did have some seep out a while back but that was due to me having too much in the cap. Don’t have to fill the cap.


Perfect. I wanted to think that was the case, but it wasn’t clear based on the on-line manual:

  1. Preparation Before Use
    If it is first-time use or the tester hasn’t been used for a long time, pour some 3M KCL solution in the probe cap (about 1/5 of the probe cap) and soak the probe for 15-30 minutes.

When not in use, we recommend store the pH probe in the storage 3M KCL solution in the probe cap to keep the sensor’s accuracy. But even if stored dry, it won’t do any permanent damage to the sensor. It will only temporarily cause the probe to lose its sensitivity, which can always be restored by soaking in the storage solution.


Good information
I need to read more carefully

Maybe that’s what why my ppms always seem off (way too high) even tho my plants show no signs of nute overload

Time to soak it I guess


I use my PH20 then rinse in RO then shake off and then into KCL “filled” cap…every time. KCL can help “recondition” the probe too if it has sat dry too long.


Yep that’s what ima do is the reconditioning of my probe

That just sounds wrong


That actually made me LOL.

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