Need budget meters

Need a budget pH and ec pen until I can do better

1 Like

The cheapest yet most functional ph meter i got was the apera ph20 and they also have the ec model as well but even at that your looking at $100 between the 2 but these aren’t something you want to cheap out on. I upgraded a while back to my bluelab and it was $112 now on Amazon on sale for $69 the ec bluelab was $94 now on sale for $73. If you buy cheap you’ll have to buy again or risk messing up your grow using faulty or cheap meters. Vivosun meters are garbage btw

5 Likes

Apera 20 - pH (dont cheap here, $50 is nothing in the grand scheme)

Cheapo TDS ($9 is really nothing)

7 Likes

absolutely agree!!! Been using my apera 20 for almost 2 years now with zero issues.

2 Likes

I use the a

I use the Apera AI209. Used paper and cheaper meters but this is a nice choice.

APERA INSTRUMENTS AI209 Value Series PH20 Waterproof pH Tester Kit, ±0.1 pH Accuracy

More importantly you should prepare to store your meter in solution and master the calibration method for the unit you go with.

8oz. pH Calibration Buffer Solution Kit (pH 4.00 & 7.00), plus 4oz. 3M KCL Storage Solution for pH/ORP Electrodes

1 Like

Agree with the rest the Apera 20 is the cheapest quality PH meter you can get buying one of those yellow Amazon ones is just throwing your money away

2 Likes

I have had digital ph 80 works great over a year now. I clean it regularly with a soft brush store it wet and calibrate it every few weeks about 60 bucks

Just bought a second apera 20 for a backup. I use a cheap ppm meter. Good luck! :+1:t2::v::sunglasses:

1 Like

This is my PH meter of choice.

1 Like

All above of great choices I was lucky enough my local shop had this types, can’t find pic of tds meter but I got both for less then 100$ and both have warranty and local shop helps me keep them calibrated so super lucky. Funny thing in live in a state where it is illegal but have a awsome shop in town.

1 Like


This one does ph and ec and water temp

Best bang for buck ph meter never needs calibration, always reads correctly.

Are these strips? What if your testing a nutrient solution? How can you see the color properly in murky water?

Also does it within a tenth or hundredth? PH is a fickle gal. Huge diff between 6.3 and 6.9. But if it just reads 6… how do u decipher the diff? Or from 6.5 n 7?

Not tryna be a downer, just digital meters are frigging awesome man. No guesswork needed. Colorblind friendly. And if u get a good one, calibration is a once a year deal

5 Likes



30 bux for meter. 20 for solutions. I keep it clean and submerged in holding solution. Has a sponge in cap to soak with base and keeps probe wet. Works great. Just remember…even the best meter will fail fast with improper cleaning and storage.

Spend the bulk of the money on a good Digital PH meter Apear or blue lab and buy cheap Conductivity meter .

2 Likes

Here is my morning PH test of my DWC nutrient, and it’s too high at 6.2 to 6.3, so I’ll add a few mls of PH down.

I have had this bottle for over a year and done at least 500 tests, and it’s still half full.

Looks like 6.5 to me…. Haha I kid. Gotcha man. Yea that beats strips. But its a digital world… come to the dark side my son…


I get 3 at a time just in case one or 2 gives out for any reason mid grow , hey I’ve seen it all at least once are it has not happen to me yet , but just think you and the help both have a pen and within 4 hours the same day in the garden we breaks both pens and we had no spare at week 8 in veg , yeah its worth the $100 for 3 units and they hold they calibration , I get about 3 or 4 grows before the batteries get weak but none have lost its calibration thus far , good pen for cost !