Edited by Stephen J. Mraz

The Estik from Tempil, South Plainfield, N.J. (tempil.com), makes it simple to take surface-temperature readings. It uses a thermocouple to provide users with temperature readouts from 32 to 999°F (0 to 573°C) ± 2%. Therefore, unlike IR-based devices, there’s no need to know the emissivity of the surface material to get accurate readings. Users press the Estik against a surface, either polished or unpolished, and in 5 sec a three-digit readout of temperature is backlit in the display. The 6.9-oz device is powered by a 9-V battery that lasts about a year if used for 30 hr during that year.