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Vertex RF-1 ATC Aquarium Refractometer

 
RF-1 Measuring Instruments/ Refractometer - - Maintaining a stable salinity is one of the most important aspects of reef tank husbandry. Gone are the days when the serious hobbyist relied on Hydrometers to keep tabs on this crucial parameter. Now these vital measurements are easily monitored with the Vertex™ Refractometer. - - Easy to Read - Each Vertex™ Refractometer features our Clear View oversized display to ensure the easiest, most accurate readings possible in two scales (±1.0% salinity and ±0.001 specific gravity). - - Vertex™ Refractometers also feature Automatic Temperature Calibration (ATC). Simply put, the unit will self-adjust all samples to the proper reading temperature, increasing the ease of use. Additionally, the insulated, non-slip rubber grip will keep external sources of heat, such as hand warmth, from interfering with an accurate sample reading. - - Robust Construction - Vertex™ Refractometers have an all-metal body housing for added durability. A large rubber hood both provides additional protection to the eyepiece and prevents foreign light from entering the unit body. - - Easy to Use - It takes less than a minute to use the Vertex™ Refractometer. Simply place a few drops of water on the refracting lens and look through the eyepiece and take note of the boundary between blue and white. That's it! You now have an accurate measurement of your tank's salinity. - - Value - Protect your investment. Affordable and more accurate than a hydrometer, Vertex™ Refractometers are the ultimate solution to salinity measurements. - - Exclusive Features - - * Clear View oversized, easy to read display. - * Automatic Temperature Calibration (ATC). - * Comes with mini screwdriver for easy calibration. - * Sampling pipette included. - - Technical Data - - * Total length 7" - * Gradient scale (±1.0% salinity and ±0.001 specific gravity - * Stainless steel housing.


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I'm too much of a snob to buy this...it's heavy! featured

Installation and Operation Operation is simple, just calibrate using a calibration solution (or distilled water if you don't have that) and the little screwdriver. You simply turn it one way or the other until the meter reads "zero".

If you've never used a refractometer the instructions are clear and easy to read. I actually find one easier to use than the old swing arm hydrometers and of course they are very accurate.


Performance vs. Expectations I recently took care of three fish tanks for a friend. Not knowing the top-off levels I grabbed their refractometer and used it to see where the salt was at and gaged how much water was needed, then I retested it several times as I wanted to make sure I got it right.

They own the Vertex, I own a different model (Milwaukee). I was immediately struck by just how heavy and awkward feeling this was in my hand. The Milwaukee feels like a fine scientific instrument, this felt like a pirates telescope. The focus also seemed a bit sloppy and was not as easy to get the fine adjustment I am used to.

Perhaps all that's a bit silly, or as the title reads a bit snobby, but sometimes it really is the little things that matter when products are so close together in terms or performance. Certainly this performs. For the week I took care of their fish I used it everyday. I brought mine over just to compare and the readings were the same. Again, I felt like my Milwaukee was just a bit better built, the higher quality was even more apparent in a side-by-side comparison.


Value for money This product is generally $20 - $40 less than other models and it really does function. So I have to say that value for money is outstanding. If you aren't a snob who needs light weight and smooth adjustments then this is a great refractometer. It's just that no matter which one you buy, it will probably last for years and years and years, so I fell like spending more and getting a better quality instrument is well worth it.


Customer Support I did not have to use customer support for this product.


Liked about it 1. Shorter than other models so fits in a slightly smaller space.
2. Bright view finder that's easy to read.
3. Decent case.
4. Comes with small pipette and screwdriver.


Didn't like 1. Heavy weight.
2. Focus not as easy to get into focus at the fine adjustment level as other models I've used.


Overall rating:
 
2.5
Overall satisfaction:
 
4.0
Would consider buying it again:
 
1.0

By tcamos
Sep 11, 2010
 
Last updated: September 24, 2010
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Great Tool and a Must for the Reef Tank

Installation and Operation This tool is so easy to use. Upon opening the box calibrate it for the first time and begin using I like to check it against a hydrometer just to see how far off the hydrometer is. This unit has an Automatic Temperature Compensation device built in so there is no math or chart comparison. Look through the diopter adjust to your vision be in a well lite room and the reading is clear as day.


Performance vs. Expectations this performance of this is right on. just calibrate every other month or so and there will never be any problems.


Value for money In my research on the internet this is the least expensive ATC refracometer on the market currently. it is well worth the money.


Customer Support I have had no experience with their customer service.


Liked about it Easy to use, Easy to calibrate, the chart is easy to read and the salinity line is definitive. the construction is rigid and the eye piece adjust with ease.


Didn't like should come with calibration fluid.


Overall rating:
 
5.0
Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0
Would consider buying it again:
 
5.0

By fchidsey
Sep 04, 2010
 
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Worth it if you take the salinity a lot

Installation and Operation It operates well. Make sure to rinse the unit with fresh water to prevent the hinged cover from becoming rusted together from the salt water.


Performance vs. Expectations Gives accurate ratings over and over again and has an adjustable eye piece so that you can use it without your glasses on.


Value for money Can be a steep cost for the average reefer but if you are in for the long haul can be worth the cost.


Liked about it Easy to use either specific gravity or salinity units.
Does not require more than a drop of water.
Comes with a protective case in order to protect the optics and glass.


Didn't like Does not come with a dropper or lens paper to clean the glass where the water goes. Do not use paper towels to dry the glass! You will scratch the glass and will not get accurate readings.


Overall rating:
 
4.5
Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0
Would consider buying it again:
 
4.0

By hawaii4485
May 19, 2010
 
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Great refractometer, highly recommended

Installation and Operation No installation required on this product, though a bit of calibration may be needed. Very simple to use, comes with all the proper tools to use it right out of the box. The dropper to collect water is over-sized, which makes it much simpler than some of the others I've used. Quality construction with a nice case, I'm very pleased.


Performance vs. Expectations Performed very well with little overhead, a simple tool that does the job. It comes with a long dropper which makes it's use a lot easier than other refractometers I've used.


Value for money This is a pretty competitively priced refractometer, I think it's a good value. Compared to others at twice the cost, this item works very well and is easy to use.


Liked about it This item gives a clear indication of salinity, it comes with a nice case, and the tools are easy to use for calibration and adding water. Seems very durable and I've been using this unit as my primary salinity measure for the pas 6 months... I've been very satisfied.


Didn't like Works great, absolutely no complaints.


Overall rating:
 
5.0
Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0
Would consider buying it again:
 
5.0

By crvz
Jan 06, 2010
 
Last updated: May 19, 2010
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