Pressure gauges are used in all sorts of different applications. Depending on what your pressure gauge is designed to measure, it is important to have a high quality gauge so that you can keep an eye on your materials and machinery. A low-quality pressure gauge versus a high-quality gauge can make the difference between a good and poor quality product, or even determine how often you might need to buy new machinery. There are three main areas that you should consider when choosing your pressure gauge: construction, accuracy, and usability.

Construction

It can be difficult to determine all of the details of a pressure gauge’s construction just by looking at it. Even the packaging that comes with the gauge may not detail everything that went into constructing it. As such, you may need to consult the manufacturer to find out about the construction of your gauge. Gauges with welded sensors tend to be of higher quality than gauges with O-rings or thread tape. Other things to verify in the construction of your pressure gauge include:

• Isolating diaphragm
• Metal enclosure
• Type of battery used
• Battery assembly

You will also want to consider what will happen if your gauge happens to get dropped on the ground. Since this can happen from time to time, you will want to select a durable gauge that hopefully will not break if it happens to get dropped. If you cannot tell how well your gauge will hold up in various conditions, you should call up the manufacturer and ask.

Accuracy

Having accurate readings is obviously very important when you are measuring pressure. Thus, you need a gauge that is as accurate as possible. Different gauges may be determined to either have an Of Span accuracy or an Of Reading accuracy. Of Span looks at the entire range of the gauge and provides a specified accurate reading to a given percent across the whole range. An Of Reading accuracy looks at whatever the current reading is on the gauge, and the accuracy is a given percent of that particular reading. Gauges with Of Reading accuracy tend to be more expensive than gauges with Of Span accuracy.

Pressure gauges may also function differently depending on how they were calibrated by the manufacturer and the different temperatures that it is subjected to. Gauges may react differently in cold temperatures than they do in hot temperatures, for example. If you really want to know how well your gauge performs, you may need to inquire about the calibration process from the manufacturer.

Usability

More than anything, your pressure gauge needs to be usable. In fact, your pressure gauge should hopefully be so easy to use that you do not even need an instruction manual. Basically, you should be able to determine how to use your pressure gauge just by looking at the interface where possible.

You might also consider investing in a gauge that offers a certain amount of customizability. This should include the ability to test pressure safety valves and pressure switches, as well as log data long-term. With how advanced technology is today, you should also be able to hook your gauge up to a computer for even more uses, including acquiring data in real time and continuously logging data.

Errors can happen with gauges, especially when used by different people. As such, gauges should be able to work well even with human error in order to help keep the area and people around it safe. These gauges should have warnings in case of exceeding full-scale pressure, accidental overpressure safety factor, always have live pressure on display, and be able to stop pressure display if the sensor becomes damaged.

There are a lot of things to consider when you are choosing a pressure gauge, but you mostly want to look at construction, accuracy, and usability. Even when you find a gauge that seems to meet everything that you desire, you should still test it out and make sure that it will work for your purposes before you commit to purchasing it. Look closely at the brochures and specification sheets that come with your gauge, and call up the manufacturer if you have any other questions that those papers do not answer. When you work with materials in situations that could be hazardous with a faulty gauge, you want to make sure you get exactly what you need.