2014 Product Resource Guide: Refractometers

By Lab Manager Magazine

Refractometers come in all sizes, shapes, capabilities, and prices. Some readers may recognize refractometry as a “high school” analysis method or a specialized technique for measuring specific analytes like sugar in water. Increasingly, lab and process engineers employ refractometry to provide quick measures of key quality attributes that under normal circumstances would require much lengthier assays on significantly more expensive equipment.

Top 5 Signs that You Should Service or Replace Your Refractometer

Refractive index measurements for your current instrument are no longer accurate or aren’t accurate enough for your applications. 
You are starting to deal with harsh substances and your current instrument is not designed to stand up to spills of corrosive substances, etc. 
The type of refractometer you currently have—either benchtop, handheld, or in-line—is not suited to your facility or applications. 
You are experiencing instrument-related errors in your flat-prism refractometer. However these could be due to improper cleaning, inappropriate application of analyte to the prism surface, and poor temperature control. If these errors are cropping up often, you may want to invest in a refractometer with “smart” features and/or Peltier cooling. 
Your refractometer does not connect or does not connect well to other instruments in your lab, such as pH meters or polarimeters. 

Top 5 Questions You Should Ask When Buying a Refractometer

What is the range of readings (highest to lowest) the instrument can make? This will help you make sure it will suit your purpose. 
How easy can the refractometer be read and understood? This is especially important if non-experts will be the main users. 
What is the calibration temperature of the refractometer? 
How easy it is to calibrate? Must you purchase a calibration liquid, or can you calibrate with distilled water? Does it calibrate with a set screw or a dial or knob? 
How easy it is to clean the instrument? 

Recently Released Refractometers

Bellingham + Stanley Pro-Juice

  • Can achieve the same high accuracy results for orange juice as it can for other fruit based juices
  • Provides a measurement accuracy of 0.01 °Brix for sucrose solutions and a reproducibility of 0.02 °Brix between orange juice samples, regardless of temperature deviation or operator skill level
  • Allows for cost savings and higher profits from increased concentrate yield



  • Features a brighter field of view than its predecessor, the DR-A1, making it easier to measure inhomogeneous and/or dark samples
  • Refractive index (nD) 1.3000 to 1.7100
  • Brix 0.0 to 95.0%
  • Measurement temperature range: 5 to 50°C (at unit of 0.1°C)
  • Provides measurement accuracy of (nD) ±0.0002 (refractive index) and Brix ±0.1%


HI 96801

  • Suited to the analysis of fruits, energy drinks, puddings, soy milk juices, jam, marmalade, honey, soups, jelly, tofu and condiments
  • Dual-level LCD displays measurement and temperature readings simultaneously
  • Includes Automatic Temperature Compensation for accurate measurements
  • Provides easy measurement; place a few drops of the sample in the well and press the READ key

Hanna Instruments

Abbemat Series

  • Sophisticated measuring principle guarantees maximum accuracy
  • Low sample volume, highest efficiency
  • Simple to adjust
  • User-friendly, quick and easy
  • Performance, Performance Plus, Heavy Duty, and WR-MW models available

Anton Paar

Refractometer Manufacturers

Anton Paar www.anton-paar.com

ATAGO U.S.A www.atago.net

Hanna Instruments www.hannainst.com/usa

Index Instruments www.indexinstruments.com


Reichert www.reichert.com

Rudolph Research Analytical www.rudolphresearch.com

Xylem www.xylemanalytics.com

Categories: Lab Products

Published In

2013/2014 Product Resource Guide Magazine Issue Cover
2013/2014 Product Resource Guide

Published: August 9, 2013

Cover Story