Anyone have any opinions on any of the hand-held digital PH meters?

I've been looking over the digital PH meters that are available for soil analysis and perhaps for use in an aqua culture setting as well (double duty) -- however soil is prime use. Anyway, I see models from Hanna, Oakton, LaMotte and perhaps a few others. I'm skipping the cheapie color chart versions since I gather they're difficult to interpret the results -- particularly if you're a bit colorblind (which I am). Anyway I just thought I'd ping you all to see if any of you have tried any of these portable models and see what you thought of them and if there's any pitfalls I should be aware of.. I gather they've got some interesting cleaning/care requirements which is fine..
If you know of a meter that works as good as the >$100 models but is a fraction of the cost, I'd like to hear about it as well.. I also know that I could send out samples to my local AG extension but I've got a lot of samples to check and don't think it would be cost effective..
MTIA
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Comparing retail products in an international forum is very hard as we don't necessarily see the same brands or models. FWIW the cheap electronic probe pH meters that I have seen or heard about are not very reliable. The problem seems to be related to inconsistency due to variation in moisture content. The accurate ones have a "glass electrode" but these models are quite expensive and somewhat fragile.
OTOH the dye indicator system I have used and that are used by experienced gardeners of my acquaintance are quite accurate enough and reliable.
Like some 4% of the male population I suffer from a degree of colour blindness but I don't find it a problem in this case. [Matching socks on dark winter mornings is another matter] The usual male colour blindness is red/green, we confuse shades of green/orange/brown/red especially of low intensity.
The dye system that I have does not require you to separate those colours as they are not adjacent in the spread and you are comparing to a reference card in bright light. I may not see what you see (or my wife sees) but we will probably agree on which colour on the card matches the sample. These systems are cheap (here) for a few dollars you get enough reagent to do hundreds of tests. As always YMMV.
David
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Seems reasonable-- I figured the $10 meters were likely crap -- especially the ones that don't take any batteries and appear to work off of microvoltage in the soil

Ok.. Can you point me to a respectable brand you've been able to get good results with? Our local home centers carry one brand that's like this and I'm not sure if it's any good or not -- it's only about $5 or so.. If my memory serves me, it's the RapidTest PH Soil Tester which can be seen at the following site :
http://homeharvest.com/soiltesting.htm

Yup.. That's me more or less.. Been that way all my life although I never knew it until I looked at one of those DMV hidden number books when I was in high school and couldn't see the hidden numbers on the green pages..

Good to know.. Thanks!
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The one that I have is by Manutec, an Australian company, I have no idea if it is only available in Oz or not, it cost about $12 AU ($9 US). It contains:
- instructions - laminated comparison card - white plastic test plate and stiring stick - liquid dye reagent - neutral white powder for colour display
The way it works is:
- you put a sample (about 1/4 teaspoon) of soil on the plate - moisten with reagent, stir with the stick - compare the colour to the card which is graduated to the 1/2 pH unit - if the colour is not obvious puff a little white powder on to make it show up
I am about 1/5 down the reagent bottle and I have done dozens of tests.
I was wrong about the order of the colours on the card (had to get it out and check) but red/green colour confusion still gives me no bother.
I note the one in your link only does 10 tests and works in solution, I have no experience of that.
David
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Cool.. I did poke around on Ebay and Google and nobody appears to sell Manutec products outside Australia.. I did find one of these and it sounds pretty much like the same sort of test kit :
http://www.benmeadows.com/store/Soil_Management/Soil_Testing/Test_Kits_and_Strips/7695 /
It's a bit pricey but looks like it would be just about as accurate..
Thanks again..
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