How To Pick The Best Soil pH Tester For Your Yard – 2017 Edition

By Ann Sanders | Soil Care

best soil ph tester

We went on a quest to find the best soil ph tester with the key focus centering on the features, the accuracy of the test results, price and reliability of the product. It will aid you to determine the pH level of your soil easily and thereby help plant suitable grasses/trees/herbs.

​What Is A Soil pH Meter?

A soil pH tester is an important digital gadget that aids you to find out the soil’s alkaline and acidity level. This is essential as plants cannot grow if the soil is too acidic or too alkaline. The tool has been designed for convenient testing. All you need to do is insert the probe into the soil and the display of the device will show you the results.

Top 5 Best Soil pH Testers On The Market 2017

​How To Find The Best Soil pH Tester?

The trick to find the best soil pH tester depends on your needs. There are tools that can have pH detection, moisture sensor and light sensor. Some have led screen for readability convenience, and certain devices have longer probes for testing soils beyond the plant root. Some are designed to test both soil and liquids. Price is also another important factor. The product that has features befitting your requirement and budget, and also of high quality, durable and easy to maintain is the best pick.

​How To Understand The Meter Readings Of The Soil Tester? Is It Too Complex?

The soil tester’s meter readings are not difficult to read when you know what the levels indicate.

  • The pH level 7 is the neutral point.
  • If your soil reading shows anything between 6 - 7.5 then you are approximately close to the neutral level. Hence, your soil is suitable for growing plants, trees, herbs or grasses.
  • Below 7/6.5 pH level is acidic and below 5.0 is very acidic and undoubtedly not suitable for plant growth.
  • If the meter reads 7.5 or above then the soil is alkaline and you cannot grow plants in it.
Best Soil pH Tester

If your soil is too acidic or alkaline you can directly introduce fertilizers, topsoil, compost etc. and make it suitable for growing beautiful turf, plants or trees.

​What Are The Advantages Of Using Soil pH Tester?

Accuracy

​The readings displayed on the digital soil pH meter are completely accurate which offers considerable benefits to the user. Any mistaken in readings even by a fraction can lead to a complete lapse in the growth of plants, application of fertilizers and necessary nutrients in the soil. Therefore, accuracy is an advantage that other pH level testers cannot match up to that of a digital meters.

​Simplistic Usage

​The soil testing device is very easy to use as you only need to poke an end in the soil and get the readings. As soil needs to be tested multiple times at different spots to be sure about the acidity or alkaline level, these digital meters are quite handy and keep hands clean at all times. PH testing stripes and tubes on the other hand are very messy and much more difficult to use.

Best Soil pH Tester

​Precise Results

​Unlike other forms of testing soil’s ph level, the digital testers are by far the most precise because of displaying the exact pH level even to the 0.01 pH unit.

​Objectivity

​ph meters are not like the other soil pH testing methods. This is a huge relief to all those who have trouble reading the color coded testers and distinguishing the lighter shades of the same color. Such color difficulty does not exist if it is a ph meter.

​Multiples Usage

​The ph meter is not a one-time-use product. You can use it as many times as you want, unlike other pH testing kits which must be disposed of after one use.

​Portable

​The device is very small in size and you can conveniently carry them with you in your pocket to test the soil in a farmland, a friend’s yard and so on.

Any Limitations Of The pH Soil Testing Device Should I Be Aware Of?

  • While the meter is portable and easy to use, its readings can be inaccurate in intense climatic conditions.
  • Electronic soil testers are costlier than the manual testing kits (colored dyes or ph test strips)
  • You can only continue to use them again when you calibrate the device at regular intervals.

Things To Take Care Of While Using The pH Soil Testers

To maintain the accuracy of the digital tester, it would work best if you regulate every time before testing the soil. In terms of batteries, many soil test kits do not need batteries or plugs. Others come with in-built batteries. Since soil testing doesn’t consume too much battery per use; they usually last for a very long period.

Top 5 Best Soil pH Meter Reviews

Covery 3 In 1 Soil Tester

Covery 3 in 1 Soil Tester Moisture Meter

Via amazon.com

The Covery’s 3 in 1 soil tester is so called because it has 3 sensors- light, ph and moisture. This 11 inches long device has a nature green meter where the read-out scale shows all the 3 readings accurately.

The light sensor (0-2000 lux being relative light sensitivity) assists you to know whether your crops or plants are getting enough light. The moisture sensor (4-7 normal) indicates the right time for watering the plants. The ph indicator shows the soil’s ph level.

The Covery’s 3 in 1 soil testing meter has a 7.1 inches long probe allowing you to test the soil from 2-4 inches deep. This device can only be tested in the soil and can be damaged if tried to test any form of liquids. With this at hand, you are all set to keep your plants healthy and living for a long period.

What We Like

  • 3 accurate results
  • No batteries/electric plugs required
  • Easy to use
  • Trouble-free maintenance, just wiping the probes after use and fine-tuning is enough
  • Can be used both indoors & outdoor
  • Durable

What We Didn't Like

  • The display is small
  • The display scale is difficult to read from top view
  • Takes 10-15 minutes to display results
  • The probes can easily get damaged if the soil is hard/too dry or if it hits some rocks

XLUX T20B Professional Soil pH Meter Tester Moisture Sensor

XLUX T20B Professional Soil pH Meter Tester Moisture Sensor

Via amazon.com

The XLUX T20B soil tester detects both moisture content and ph level of soils. The meter design looks like a camera lens and the tip is like that of a ball pen, though much thicker. There are 3 rings in the probe assisting to see how deep you dig the probe into the soil.

With this device at hand you will always be aware of the soil’s ph level and be able to choose plants accordingly. It is a super handy tool that saves you from killing plants by never over/under watering the plants.

What We Like

  • Shows 2 accurate results (ph level and moisture in soil)
  • No batteries/electric plugs needed
  • Simple to operate as it has a single button
  • Easy maintenance- after use probes need to be wiped clean and meter fine-tuned

What We Didn't Like

  • Doesn’t not show accurate results of the soil in potted plants
  • Not long lasting

Dr. Lyn Premium Digital pH Pen Tester

Dr. Lyn Premium Digital pH Pen Tester

Via amazon.com

Dr. Lyn Premium Digital pH Pen Tester is a cool gadget to keep a check in the soil to enhance gardening tactics. It can also be used to test a variety of semi-solid and liquid substances.

This is the most suitable ph level testing device for all those who wish to own a single device to test both soil and water. So you can test it in the yard, wipe it clean and test your pool water. The results show up pretty quickly compared to other similar products which makes it worth its value.

What We Like

  • Shows exact ph level within seconds
  • No electric plugs required
  • Easy to use
  • Easy to read
  • Storage case and pocket clip makes it convenient to carry
  • Free buffer powder for calibration, makes maintenance effortless
  • Can be used both in home, garden, aquarium, beer, brewery, pool and soil

What We Didn't Like

  • Needs 4 batteries
  • Power button issues after a few uses
  • Led light keeps flashing making it troublesome to read the ph level
  • Not a long lasting product

Gain Express Soil pH and Moisture Meter

Gain Express Soil Ph & Moisture Meter

Via amazon.com

This soil tester by Gain Express comes with a 295mm long sturdy electrode making it quite convenient to test the soil’s ph and moisture level.

If you have been seeking a probe longer than the majority digital soil testers then this product can work great for you. You can measure way below the root zone of the plant

What We Like

  • Shows 2 results: pH, moisture content of soil within minutes
  • No batteries/electric plugs / chemicals needed
  • Self-powdered
  • Simple to operate
  • Long waterproof probe provides deeper soil testing convenience
  • Can be used for personal small garden/ lawns and also for professional large areas such as vineyards, orchards etc.
  • Durable

What We Didn't Like

  • The readings can be confusing and difficult to understand
  • Requires multiple tests in same spot for accurate readings
  • For deep probe penetration the soil has to be wet or else the probe can get damages it if hits rocks

Kelway PHD Soil PH meter

Kelway PHD Soil PH meter

Via amazon.com

The Kelway Soil pH testing meter comes in a pen tip design. This sleek device with black and white finish can be held in the hand comfortably.

If you are a gardening enthusiast, this little tool can be useful to you. You need to push the tip about 1-2 inches deep to test the soil’s ph level and determine whether the soil is alkaline, acidic or neutral.

What We Like

  • Reads accurate ph level in the soil
  • Does not require chemicals, power source or distilled water
  • Easy to operate
  • Comes with conditioning pads

What We Didn't Like

  • The analogue display is difficult to read
  • The conditioning pads may not be readily available at any store
  • Inconsistency in lower readings
  • The meter only covers the range 3-8 rather than having up to 12-14 showing the high alkaline level of the soil

Best Soil pH Tester - Winner


These are my top 5 picks out of the many ph testing meters available in the market. My personal favorite is Covery’s 3 in 1 Soil Tester. Plants survive on 3 elements: light, water and soil nutrients. With this single tool, i can test all three elements, which makes it the best soil pH meter in my opinion.

​I also need a longer probe. When juggling between Covery’s 3 in 1 soil tester and Gain Express’s Soil pH & Moisture Meter, I found that the later didn’t show accurate results.

Covery 3 in 1 Soil Tester Moisture Meter

Via amazon.com

To dig deeper, the soil had to be moistened quite a bit or else forcing the probe could damage it. Ultimately, Covery’s 3 in 1 shows more precise results which undoubtedly becomes my favorite tool.

​Dr. Lyn Premium Digital pH Pen Tester is an excellent choice for those who need a soil and water testing device. Because Dr. Lyn Premium Digital pH Pen Tester needs 4 batteries to function and my sole purpose is testing soil, I went ahead with Covery’s 3 in 1. And, since it doesn’t need any batteries, it saves me extra bucks for long term use.

​Finally, out of all the 5 products listed, Covery’s 3 in 1 is the least priced while it shows very precise ph level readings with moisture and light sensors as an added bonus.

Pin It!

best soil ph tester
Follow

About the Author

With the endless passion for organic living, I - Ann Sanders has come up with the idea of creating A Green Hand. Being the founder and editor of A Green Hand, my goal is to provide everyone with a wide range of tips about healthy lifestyle with multiform categories including gardening, health & beauty, food recipe,...