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$10 Thermapen Knockoff

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JONNYROTTEN

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Thousands of positive reviews. At the bottom of the page there are others in the same price range with again, thousands of positive reviews.

Anyone use any of these?

Is it possible Themapen started it and now there are knockoffs that work just as good.

At the end of the day its a thermometer and not where I want to dump a ton of money...if it works it works


https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01IHHLB3W/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20
 
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JugDog

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I have not used one of those but if I ever managed to break my thermapen, I would immediately buy a new one. They are pricey but worth every penny, in my opinion.
 

MaxStout

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Looks to be very accurate, though probably not as rugged. I might buy one just to see how it matches up to my other thermo. If it's close I'll keep it around for a backup.
 

augiedoggy

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There are tons of these sold under a bunch of names and even no name on ebay starting at $4 shipped...
I think its one of those things you'll just have to buy and report back on with real experience unless someone else actually has experience to share with them your likely just going to get a lot of comments about the thermapen justifying the the 35 times or so higher price of it.. The last thing many people want to here either way is that a $5 thermometer can now do the same thing (or reasonable close) whether its actually true or not. thermapen probably designed the first one and set the ridiculous price since they had the market in the beginning and these are all clones..

My guess is there is are tradeoffs like .05 degrees temp inconsistencies or a 3-4 second lag time compared to the thermopen as some reviews mentioned. in reading temps or not at rugged.... tradeoffs like that would be worth it to me to save $170 but thats just me..
 
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JONNYROTTEN

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I'm not to worried about rugged. It's not like I'm playing darts with it. My concern would be accuracy and speed. I thought a Thermapen had a 3 second read time. This has 4. I'm an impatient SOB but one second I can handle. I think I'll give it a shot. I'll calibrate it with my floating thermometer I know is accurate but painfully slow
 

day_trippr

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[...]tradeoffs like that would be worth it to me to save $170 but thats just me..
$170? Where'd that come from? :confused:

fwiw, I bought my Screamin' Yellow Thermapen when they first came out, primarily for use with my smoker, grill and range (they were the rave of the home cooking crowd right off the bat). It can be transformative wrt perfectly cooked food.

The revelation that it was an excellent standard to calibrate the dozens of temperature sensors in my home was a bonus - I still use it way more for cooking than brewing.

Between the durability, accuracy, reliability and form factor I still don't think they can be beat...

Cheers!
 

augiedoggy

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$170? Where'd that come from? :confused:

fwiw, I bought my Screamin' Yellow Thermapen when they first came out, primarily for use with my smoker, grill and range (they were the rave of the home cooking crowd right off the bat). It can be transformative wrt perfectly cooked food.

The revelation that it was an excellent standard to calibrate the dozens of temperature sensors in my home was a bonus - I still use it way more for cooking than brewing.

Between the durability, accuracy, reliability and form factor I still don't think they can be beat...

Cheers!
I googled it using the crappy yahoo engine that came up in my browser and this image was the first I saw.
https://jet.com/product/detail/0aa7...&clickid=37608197-5715-42b3-bdb8-c6e29b924a9e

the prices seem to be all over the place when I look further. but the two actual thermapen ads that come up are for $176 and $83..
 

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I paid about $69 for mine. Right on the thermoworks website.

They currently show $79, but they often have sales in weird colors (mine's pink) or open box sales. I've never seen them below about $65, but certainly never more than $79 for this model.
 

day_trippr

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fwiw, the "Classic" that I have had for so long I can't remember is priced at $79...

Cheers!
 

JohnSand

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I use another inexpensive one. It reads accurately, but takes about 6 seconds to get to the right temp. I probably saved more than $50 over the thermapen, and brewday is less than a minute longer.
 

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If you're looking for something good, but cheaper Thermaworks has the RTC-600C which is on sale for $19 and a fast, waterproof thermometer. I have two and used one for years for brewing without any complaints, especially how often I may have gotten it wet while taking readings... A few months ago I did break down and finally picked up a MK4 since I love the lighted, rotating display and turning it on is as easy as unfolding the probe.
 

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If you're looking for something good, but cheaper Thermaworks has the RTC-600C which is on sale for $19 and a fast, waterproof thermometer. I have two and used one for years for brewing without any complaints, especially how often I may have gotten it wet while taking readings... A few months ago I did break down and finally picked up a MK4 since I love the lighted, rotating display and turning it on is as easy as unfolding the probe.
Yeah, the lower-end Thermoworks thermometers are still quite good. I have this one, also $19. Very fast reading.
 

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Of all the things I have spent a fair amount of money over, my Thermapen is the one thing I wish I had bought yeas ago. For all I know, the knockoffs work fine and are so much cheaper, but when I finally spent the $ on my Thermapen, I was and still am so happy with it. Yes, it is a $75 thermometer. But it is also probably the last thermometer you will buy.
 

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They say Thermapen has a 3 second read time but in my experience it’s almost instantaneous. I’ve goofed around and rest the air temperature all around the house.

That quick of a read is important for me in getting to strike temps on a (pretty powerful) propane burner where I can overshoot pretty quickly. It’s also great in reading temps on the grill where sometimes the difference between properly cooked and over cooked can be a few seconds.

There are tons of these Thermapen type thermometers out there and I figure that if any of them would compete with it you’d hear about it.
 

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If you're looking for something good, but cheaper Thermaworks has the RTC-600C which is on sale for $19 and a fast, waterproof thermometer. I have two and used one for years for brewing without any complaints, especially how often I may have gotten it wet while taking readings... A few months ago I did break down and finally picked up a MK4 since I love the lighted, rotating display and turning it on is as easy as unfolding the probe.
I also use the RTC-600C from ThermoWorks, fantastic thermometer for the price ($19). I would highly recommend it for people wanting something a little less expensive.
 
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JONNYROTTEN

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I just ordered 2 of the RTC-600C's. One for brewing and 1 for cooking. Thanks for the tip guys.
 
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I've had a thermapen for 4 years now. It's an amazing instrument. I agree that the temp is almost instantaneous. I would never want to be without it again! It is honestly more critical for cooking than brewing, but I use it for both.

I don't like to get too political in here. But you all do realize that when you buy the cheap stuff you are rewarding copy cats for stealing the great engineering work of a company right? I don't support price gouging, but a reasonable price to sustain the company for a cutting edge design and quality products is a good thing.
 
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JONNYROTTEN

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But you all do realize that when you buy the cheap stuff you are rewarding copy cats for stealing the great engineering work of a company right?
That's a crazy statement. If that were the case there would only be one of everything in this world. Everyone would be driving a ford. There would only be one television and so on and so for infinity....The world would be an awfully boring place ruled by monopolies.
 

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I've had a thermapen for 4 years now. It's an amazing instrument. I agree that the temp is almost instantaneous. I would never want to be without it again! It is honestly more critical for cooking than brewing, but I use it for both.

I don't like to get too political in here. But you all do realize that when you buy the cheap stuff you are rewarding copy cats for stealing the great engineering work of a company right? I don't support price gouging, but a reasonable price to sustain the company for a cutting edge design and quality products is a good thing.
Good point but lets look at the other side of that arguement,
Do you drive a ford? do you only own or use xerox brand printers and copiers and kodak cameras? does everyone here only buy stout brand kettles with TC ports and camco brand heating elements? If not your rewarding a copycat company right? How about generic prescription drugs. Point here is everyone copies and improves on or makes cheaper versions of everything in all types of industry. Its called capitalism and its what makes the industry competitive... Without companies could charge whatever they wanted for anything. if another company can make a reasonable copy of this device for $5 then shame on thermapen for overcharging is how I see it.. They already made their millions off it.

Im eating a knockoff brand of cheerios now as I type this. By the way I've brewed clones or knockoffs of my favorite brand name beers too
 

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There are differences between a legal copy, a pirated copy, a similar but distinctively different item, and a complete counterfeit.
 

augiedoggy

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There are differences between a legal copy, a pirated copy, a similar but distinctively different item, and a complete counterfeit.
And those differences change from country to Country or depending on your legal team or effort into hiding what you're copying it's all really the same thing though. I've installed equipment at places where the specific goal was just to reverse-engineer it and copy it and sell their own version everyone does it. We don't even know if there's any patented technology in this thermometer. Or technology that thermapen developed for that matter. We're all just assuming here right? Or is it a well-known fact that thermapen had the only quick pocket thermometer on the market first? Because when I do a search I see a lot of different brand name and generic folding pocket thermometers that advertise quick readings. A counterfeit by the way would also counterfeit the brand name of the item it copying. Like the knock off fotek solid state relays a lot of electric Brewers here use. These are just generic items that copy a brand name item and look the same obviously since they don't perform the same they are not the same internally.
 

auburntsts

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And those differences change from country to Country or depending on your legal team or effort into hiding what you're copying it's all really the same thing though. I've installed equipment at places where the specific goal was just to reverse-engineer it and copy it and sell their own version everyone does it. We don't even know if there's any patented technology in this thermometer. Or technology that thermapen developed for that matter. We're all just assuming here right? Or is it a well-known fact that thermapen had the only quick pocket thermometer on the market first? Because when I do a search I see a lot of different brand name and generic folding pocket thermometers that advertise quick readings. A complete counterfeit by the way would also counterfeit the brand name of the item it copying. Like the knock off fotek solid state relays a lot of electric Brewers here use.
Not passing judgment. Just making an observation as folks start going down a rabbit hole since, as you noted, we really don't have the facts (as far as I know) to make a definitive judgment one way or the other.
 

augiedoggy

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Not passing judgment. Just making an observation as folks start going down a rabbit hole since, as you noted, we really don't have the facts (as far as I know) to make a definitive judgment one way or the other.
That's a fair statement for sure. I see an item that resembles the thermapen in a lot of ways but does not perform the same way nor is an exact copy it's just a folding high speed thermometer as far as I see it . And yes they try to copy some of the looks of the thermapen just as a generic Cheerios or toilet paper brands for that matter try to copy the popular brand names with their packaging. By using similar colors or designs to to imply to the customer that it's the same thing for less money
 

auburntsts

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That's a fair statement for sure. I see an item that resembles the thermapen in a lot of ways but does not perform the same way nor is an exact copy it's just a folding high speed thermometer as far as I see it . And yes they try to copy some of the looks of the thermapen just as a generic Cheerios or toilet paper brands for that matter try to copy the popular brand names with their packaging. By using similar colors or designs to to imply to the customer that it's the same thing for less money
I'm guessing that some of the "concern" here is being generated by the warning statement on Thermoworks' website.
 

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I have one of these. It works well and seems to be accurate (or at least matches the temp of my other thermometer), but it's nothing special. Takes 7-10 seconds to settle on a temp like most thermometers do. Can't complain for the price though!
I use another inexpensive one. It reads accurately, but takes about 6 seconds to get to the right temp. I probably saved more than $50 over the thermapen, and brewday is less than a minute longer.
I certainly have nothing against looking for great values as pointed out. I have a Thermapen and believe in this product beyond question. Yes I paid $70 but I have gotten flawless service from it and continue to believe it will give me good service right on.

The speed of the Thermapen is instant, and depending on your uses (in addition to brewing), this speed is critical. I have an infrared TEC grill, and this cooktop gets cherry red hot for quickly searing a steak w/o overcooking. I can pop in the Thermapen's probe and be done reading very quickly. If a similar device needs up to 10 seconds to provide a reading, my hand and arm will suffer from the extreme grill heat while waiting for a reading. Of course I have a use my one thermometer for everything mentality, and while not using the Thermapen for brewing only, it does everything exceedingly well.
 

MaxStout

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But you all do realize that when you buy the cheap stuff you are rewarding copy cats for stealing the great engineering work of a company right? I don't support price gouging, but a reasonable price to sustain the company for a cutting edge design and quality products is a good thing.
Broad brushstrokes there.

How do you know the Chinese knockoff has infringed on any of Thermoworks' patents? The scope of Thermoworks' claimed invention (i.e., the claims) may have nothing to do with appearance or overall functionality. Quite often, the point of novelty of a product lies in a component, modification or subsystem. It's not terribly hard for someone to design around that patented technology and still end up with a product that is very similar in form and function.

Also, how do you know the relevant patent(s) haven't expired? Thermopens have been around a long time. It's quite likely much of the patented technology has moved into the public domain.

And if there is an infringement, I will guarantee that Thermoworks will act on it. It's not difficult to get an order seizing a shipment once it hits US Customs.

I'm not necessarily defending the knockoffs. And I'm not saying true infringement doesn't happen--it does. But if you are outraged by this, you are in for a frustrated buying experience whenever you want to buy a lot of things in the marketplace. The Chinese are skilled imitators, but the ones who want to stay in business know better than to violate US or international IP laws.
 
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That's a crazy statement. If that were the case there would only be one of everything in this world. Everyone would be driving a ford. There would only be one television and so on and so for infinity....The world would be an awfully boring place ruled by monopolies.
No, THAT'S a crazy statement. Just because two things perform the same function doesn't mean that one copies the other. Ford couldn't patent the basic concept of a car any more than Thermopen could patent the thermometer, or ABInBev could patent weak fizzy beers.

On a related note, I had a very awkward conversation yesterday, explaining to someone who was trying to sell a Gibson Les Paul that their guitar was not, in fact, a real Gibson, despite it having a Gibson logo, a serial number and it being clearly stamped "Made in U.S.A.". It was a $250 Chinese knockoff, and they wanted $800 for it. Sadly, I don't doubt they'll get it from some poor unsuspecting buyer, as the seller didn't seem appropriately surprised.
 
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JONNYROTTEN

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No, THAT'S a crazy statement. Just because two things perform the same function doesn't mean that one copies the other. Ford couldn't patent the basic concept of a car any more than Thermapen could patent the thermometer, or ABInBev could patent weak fizzy beers.

On a related note, I had a very awkward conversation yesterday, explaining to someone who was trying to sell a Gibson Les Paul that their guitar was not, in fact, a real Gibson, despite it having a Gibson logo, a serial number and it being clearly stamped "Made in U.S.A.". It was a $250 Chinese knockoff, and they wanted $800 for it. Sadly, I don't doubt they'll get it from some poor unsuspecting buyer, as the seller didn't seem appropriately surprised.
You story is not related at all. The guitar had a Les Paul logo. Clearing trying to claim it was something its not and highly illegal. I just received my thermometer and nowhere on it says Thermoworks. Theres a big difference between using the same concept and copyright infringement.
The member said it was "stealing" buying one of these thermometers and "rewarding thieves" for stealing there technology. And to that I say...that's a crazy statement...no one "owns" thermometer technology and I would guarantee if you cracked them open there not exactly the same or they would function exactly the same and they don't even claim to
 

augiedoggy

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I'm guessing that some of the "concern" here is being generated by the warning statement on Thermoworks' website.
I never visited the website. What does the warning say? That using another product other than thiers may result on some sort of horrible disaster 🤔
I'm still waiting for something horrible to happen to my girlfriend's Ford since I disreaded Ford's warning and bought American made tie rods from Dearborn Michiganfor about half the price vs buying the "Genuine Ford motor company" tie rods ironically produced in China now that they no longer use the manufacturer in Dearborn..... I guess I'm supposed to believe the Chinese parts are better quality and that's why they cost more vs just because Ford gets commission off of them or whatever.
 

auburntsts

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I never visited the website. What does the warning say? That using another product other than thiers may result on some sort of horrible disaster 🤔
I'm still waiting for something horrible to happen to my girlfriend's Ford since I disreaded Ford's warning and bought American made tie rods from Dearborn Michiganfor about half the price vs buying the "Genuine Ford motor company" tie rods ironically produced in China now that they no longer use the manufacturer in Dearborn..... I guess I'm supposed to believe the Chinese parts are better quality and that's why they cost more vs just because Ford gets commission off of them or whatever.
In a nutshell, it says caveat emptor, more or less.
 
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Let me start off by saying I didn’t intend to start a big discussion. In hindsight I could have worded my comment in a much better way to convey my point. (I should know better than to ‘forum’ when I’m two beers in at night!)

It would probably help to understand that I am an architect. As a result I place a high value on the act of design and the innovation that goes into it. So, patent or no patent, I believe in the intrinsic value of that design and will tend to pay (more) for that good design. I make no judgments against those of you who buy legal evolutions of design. Including someone who figured out how to make it cheaper. I also have no interest in telling you your viewpoint is not good. (This is what I think I could have worded better, because I clearly was trying to convince you all of something in my first post!)


That's a crazy statement. If that were the case there would only be one of everything in this world. Everyone would be driving a ford. There would only be one television and so on and so for infinity....The world would be an awfully boring place ruled by monopolies.
There is a big difference between evolution and advancement and just figuring out how to make it cheaper ($) and cheaper (quality). I believe that really great design has tangible benefits for the end user. I often see copy cat items that give between 50%-80% of the value of the original item. There is a whole rabbit hole to go down there about the value of being less expensive….which is a real and important thing…vs the value of improving and evolving an idea into something that is truly better than the original. I make no judgements for any of you about how you choose to see that. I make those choices differently all the time. Sometimes cheap, sometimes quality. For me it depends on the circumstances.

Good point but lets look at the other side of that arguement,
Do you drive a ford? do you only own or use xerox brand printers and copiers and kodak cameras? does everyone here only buy stout brand kettles with TC ports and camco brand heating elements? If not your rewarding a copycat company right? How about generic prescription drugs. Point here is everyone copies and improves on or makes cheaper versions of everything in all types of industry. Its called capitalism and its what makes the industry competitive... Without companies could charge whatever they wanted for anything. if another company can make a reasonable copy of this device for $5 then shame on thermapen for overcharging is how I see it.. They already made their millions off it.

Im eating a knockoff brand of cheerios now as I type this. By the way I've brewed clones or knockoffs of my favorite brand name beers too
I am very much a capitalist. I believe in a strong competitive free market. But, sometimes cheaper means things like abusive practices to workers or lack of protection of intellectual property. The free market is a great concept, but if you do not have equitable conditions for the free market then you don’t have a free market at all. This was part of why I stuck my neck out at all. I’m not against someone taking a great idea and making it greater, but creating a poor version of a copy and selling it cheap based on cheap labor and lax laws isn’t something I like to reward. It quite frankly just lowers the bar for the rest of the world. Why do you think we don’t manufacture much in America anymore? It was millions of people making the decision to but “that thing” cheaper and cheaper. I’m not holier than thou however. I go cheap on many occasions, but not all.

also...I DO judge you for eating cheerios, especially generic ones!

Broad brushstrokes there.

How do you know the Chinese knockoff has infringed on any of Thermoworks' patents? The scope of Thermoworks' claimed invention (i.e., the claims) may have nothing to do with appearance or overall functionality. Quite often, the point of novelty of a product lies in a component, modification or subsystem. It's not terribly hard for someone to design around that patented technology and still end up with a product that is very similar in form and function.

Also, how do you know the relevant patent(s) haven't expired? Thermopens have been around a long time. It's quite likely much of the patented technology has moved into the public domain.

And if there is an infringement, I will guarantee that Thermoworks will act on it. It's not difficult to get an order seizing a shipment once it hits US Customs.

I'm not necessarily defending the knockoffs. And I'm not saying true infringement doesn't happen--it does. But if you are outraged by this, you are in for a frustrated buying experience whenever you want to buy a lot of things in the marketplace. The Chinese are skilled imitators, but the ones who want to stay in business know better than to violate US or international IP laws.
I don’t think you quite understand how China works. Lots happens there that we would shake our heads at. But I will be the first to admit that I am no expert. I spent 2 months there a long time ago. So I base my half assed understanding a lot on that.

I don’t work for Thermoworks. It’s up to them to defend their design work. I was only trying to make a statement about a good design and how that little bit extra in a quality instrument like this can be worth the $.

Peace out! :fro:
 

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economics aside,

The folding thermometer I bought advertises 5 second readings. If it can do that and its accurate, great! I already have an inkbird bluetooth bbq thermometer which works well and this is more of less for checking things on the grill and to check accuracy of other probes in my brewing kettles from time to time as well as starter temps and such.
 

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I might want one of these. I've had a few different thermometers in the kitchen that have failed the past few years. Mostly cheap design and broken wires. I won't use my Thermapen for food. No, I am not afraid of contamination or anything, it's just that the Thermapen is in my brewing kit box several rooms away (or in the garage, as the case may be...) and so it is not convenient to go get that when the kitchen drawer is right next to the stove.

If this things operates similarly to my thermapen, even if made cheaper, then it's no worse than the thermometers I already use for cooking.

And FWIW my thermapen has started to not turn on sometimes when I fold and unfold the stick. Not sure if something got inside it or what, but I'm half afraid it's not going to last much longer.
 
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