best rain gauge reviews

Best Rain Gauge Reviews: Should You Get a Wireless One in 2018?

Are you stuck on which is the best rain gauge to buy for your home, farm, or weather observation hobby?

You’re not alone in this;

Many other people also get confused on which rain gauge due to the many options available on the market.

Today, I’ve decided to put this post to teach you some crucial info about the rain gauge—including how to easily get the right rain gauge for you.

What’s more?

I’ve also compiled for you the ultimate list of the TEN top-rated rain gauge models that will help you effortlessly and accurately measure rainfall.

Let’s get into the details…

Why Use A Wireless Rain Gauge Instead Of A Usual One?

A wireless (or digital) rain gauge is recommended as the most advanced model in today’s world.

As you can easily tell from its name, it involves the transmission of your rain gauge results wirelessly. This is made possible by a sensor integrated into the unit.

The main reason I recommend you to go for a wireless model is the convenience it offers you…like you don’t have to go outside when it’s raining for you to record the data. Instead, you access it via an LCD screen from the comfort of your sofa.

These models are also known for the exceptional accuracy they deliver. Picking a high precision model has a list of benefits. For instance, you’ll get to know the exact amount of water your plants are receiving naturally as a farmer. This way, you’ll know how much water to provide them with, and save your water bills in the process.

Some of these models even come with self-emptying design, making them effortless to maintain.

Unlike the traditional model, the wireless unit will even go a step further and track for you the daily, weekly, monthly or yearly rainfall in your region.

This is quite useful data that can help you know the rainfall trends in your farm, home, etc. and make more informed decisions.

Some wireless models even come with wifi capability (commonly referred to as the wifi rain gauge models) that lets you remotely access and share your rainfall data with others for comparison purposes.

Overall, a wireless rain gauge makes your life easier while providing you with real-time data.

In our next section, we’ll focus on the most reliable, high precision units you can find on the market today…

Our Best Rain Gauge Picks:

1. AcuRite 00850A2 5-Inch Capacity Easy-Read Magnifying Rain Gauge

For only a few bucks (and I mean very few) you can become a proud owner of this AcuRite 00850A2 rain gauge. If you’re familiar with AcuRite products, then you know that you can rely on this product to meet your precision and accuracy expectations.

The unit can measure up to 5 inches rain water, making it ideal for use to measure heavy downpours. It comes with a special design—where its numbers become magnified by up to 35% when it’s filled with water. This allows you to effortlessly read and record the amount of rainfall collected.

The integrated hang hole ensures that you don’t struggle when installing this rain gauge for use. It allows you to mount the unit on the wall or drive the stake directly into the ground for standalone mounting (great for farmers and landscapers).

And yes, it also comes with a durable, weather-resistant construction. This enables it to withstand all the harsh outdoor weather and climate out there and serve you for an extended period of time.

Highlighted features:

  • Can measure up to 5” water
  • Easy to read inch markings and white numbers
  • Numbers magnified over 35% for easy read
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    Durable, weather resistant construction
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    Integrated hang hole facilitates easy mounting
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    One year limited warranty

2. AcuRite 00899 Wireless Rain Gauge with Self-Emptying Collector

If you’re looking for the best wireless rain gauge, you’d want to try this AcuRite 00899. The unit wirelessly transmits data from an outdoor sensor integrated into the rain gauge. Like any other top-quality wireless rain gauge out there, this model offers you the most precise, reliable rainfall measurements.

The first thing that makes this model popular is its self-emptying function. This makes your work easier as you don’t have to empty it manually every time.

You’ll also appreciate the bold, easy to read LCD screen as it facilitates easy reading of the recorded rainfall. You can either wall mount this display or place it on a table top.

For your info, this unit is one of the few that records rainfall history- including rainfall event- at a daily or weekly basis.

Something else that makes this unit worth every cent is the integrated flood and rain alarms. The two convenient alarms notify you when flooding is likely to occur or when the rain starts. You’ll agree with me that such a function will help you plan your activities better than ever before.

Similar to the previous AcuRite, it also features a durable, all-weather construction, meaning it will stand the test of time too.

Highlighted features:

  • Measures rainfall in inches or millimeters
  • Flood watch alarm for indicating flooding conditions
  • Automatic, self-emptying cups
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    Durable, weather resistant construction
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    Frequently updates data (after every 16 sec)
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    Rainfall alarm for indicating when it starts raining
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    Stronger signal penetration

3. La Crosse Technology 724-1710 Wireless Rain Gauge

La Crosse Technology is also a popular name in the weather equipment field. In our third spot, we feature their wireless rain gauge which is also favored due to its list of unique features on top a reasonable cost. It also allows you to access current and historical rainfall data from the comfort of your sofa.

Like the AcuRite wireless unit, this model also features a self-emptying design. As I’ve just told you above, this feature makes your life much easier while enhancing the overall accuracy of the unit.

It also comes with a user-friendly LCD display that lets you access the recorded rainfall without straining. The display comfortably stably rests on your table, and its stylish looks will add some beauty to your home.

With a longer transmission range (up to 300m), you can trust the outdoor sensor to send signals to the indoor display smoothly and accurately.

The unit runs on 2AA batteries which are readily available at your local stores.

Because it comes with a durable plastic case, it can withstand moisture or precipitation (and all the other harsh outdoor weather conditions) to serve you for a long time.

Highlighted features:

  • Self-emptying rain gauge
  • Provides you with rainfall history graph
  • Also monitors the indoor/outdoor temperature
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    Durable, all-weather construction
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    User customized rainfall alarm

4. Stratus Precision Rain Gauge with Mounting Bracket (14" All Weather)

Stratus Precision Rain Gauge is another excellent example of a quality rain gauge that’s made to last and last. I highly recommend it to everyone looking for a reliable unit—including gardeners, farmers, backyard enthusiasts, etc. It’s also great for teaching kids about the weather!

So, what qualifies this unit to appear on our list? First, it allows you to easily and accurately measure not just rainfall but also sleet, hail, and snow amounts. This comes from the fact that it is accurate to a hundredth of an inch. Besides, it’s built in accordance with the US Weather Bureau standards.

It features an extra-large outer cylinder which captures large volumes of rain (as much as 100-inch). This qualifies it for use in areas prone to heavy rains.

I was also eager to know how durable this unit is. And guess what? It is constructed using heavy-duty, UV-resistant polycarbonate material! This acts as enough assurance that the unit will hold up to years of full sun and rough weather without fading or corroding.

The included "Quick Connect" bracket will make you love this rain gauge even more. It makes the installation process (on a post) as easy as pie. The bracket also lets you effortlessly remove the unit cylinder for cleaning, emptying, or measuring!

Highlighted features:

  • Quality rain gauge made to last
  • Easily and accurately records rainfall
  • Easy to read
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    Incredibly easy to install

5. Toland Home Garden Clear Rain Gauge Udometer Decorative Replacement Glass Tube

This is actually a replacement glass vial (or udometer) that easily fits all the Toland Home Garden rain gauge products. It measures approximately 8” tall and has 2mm diameter around its lip, enabling it to rest on the ring of your udometer holder.

Once you’ve set this udometer in place, it will accurately measure the amount of rainfall in your yard or garden. Actually, it measures as much as 7” or 17cm of moisture in your yard.

Since it features bold, large print letters that won’t fade easily, you’ll never have any issues reading the recorded rainfall.

If you’re all about style, you’ll also be well off with this unit. You just pair it with any Toland Home Garden rain gauge product of your choice, and you’ll enhance the beauty in your yard or garden.

Highlighted features:

  • Replacement glass vial
  • Quick and easy replacement
  • Easy to read measurements
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    A beautiful addition to your garden
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    Measures up to 7” of rainfall

6. La Crosse Technology 705-109 Waterfall Rain Gauge

Even with a fairly low cost, La Crosse Technology 705-109 Waterfall Rain Gauge affords a super-stylish design (inspired by cascading waterfall) to enhance the look of your deck or garden.

Apart from great looks, this affordable rain gauge also offers you accurate rainfall measurements. It comes with a vibrant red floating marker for rain level to help you easily obtain accurate measurements, even from a distance. Moreover, it features large numbers with clear measurements marks for even easier reading.

Mounting this unit is fun! It gives you the option of either mounting it on the fence or the deck railing. You’ll have an easy time mounting the rain gauge at the ideal height that facilitates easy measurements and emptying.

Remember it also features a unique design, where the rain collecting vessel smoothly slides on or off the bracket to let you easily empty or clean it.

Regarding outdoor durability, this model also scores highly. If boasts of durable materials that make it a long-lasting solution to your weather observation needs.

Highlighted features:

  • Innovative design slides on/off the bracket for easy use
  • Mounts on the deck, top of stake or fence rail
  • Can measure up to 6” rainfall
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    Large width waterfall design
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    Perfect for measuring backyard rainfall

7. La Crosse Technology 724-1409 Wireless Digital Rain Gauge

Haven’t found the best wireless rain gauge yet? You might want to consider this La Crosse Technology 724-1409 Wireless Digital Rain Gauge as another great option. This particular model comes at a slightly lower cost than other wireless models while still offering you the same features you’ll find in the high-end products.

One such feature involves the self-emptying bucket capability. This makes it easier to use as you don’t have to manually empty it to prepare it for fresh rain recording.

The unit features a wide mouth bucket that easily captures rain. It then transmits the rain recordings wirelessly to an indoor display as far as 300 ft. (that’s the signal transmission range). Note that the indoor display not only offers you the current rain recordings but also offers additional loads of data that will help you understand the weather trends in your area.

The display even indicates time, and calendar and your indoor temperature!

Even more interesting is the fact that the rain gauge provides you with customizable rain alert that you can easily customize according to your preferences.

Highlighted features:

  • Self-emptying bucket
  • Receive current, daily, weekly monthly, yearly and total rainfall readings
  • 24hr customizable rain alert
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    Measures indoor temperature
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    Low battery and signal strength indicator buttons
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    Utilizes 4 AA batteries (not included)

8. Luster Leaf 1640 Rainfall Gauge

You can now plan your days better with the Luster Leaf 1640 Rainfall Gauge. This particular model is designed to do one and ONLY one thing—record the rainfall in your garden, yard or patio with the highest precision.

You’ll appreciate the fact that the cylinder of this unit is marked using both inches and cm measurements for increased reading accuracy. It can hold as much as 5” amount of rain water, which is well worth it at its price.

The cylinder is designed using the polystyrene, which enables it to resist breaking attempts when accidentally dropped. Besides, this material is famed for withstanding rough weather conditions for many, many years.

Above all this, it comes with a truly attractive mounting bracket or adjustable stake. Needless to explain, this will facilitate easy, quick assembly and placement. Not just that, it will also decoratively accent your yard or garden.

Highlighted features:

  • Can hold up to 5” rainfall
  • Marked with both inches and cm
  • Easy and quick to install (metal stake included)
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    Easy to lift cylinder for emptying
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    Polystyrene cylinder construction for durability

9. Headwind Consumer Products 820-0015 Jumbo EZRead Rain Gauge

Headwind Consumer Products 820-0015 Jumbo EZRead Rain Gauge

Headwind Consumer Products 820-0015 Jumbo EZRead Rain Gauge is the second last product on our list. It lets you accurately measure the amount of rain in your area, up to 5 inches.

Unlike most of the models in its price range, this Jumbo product features a unique, sturdy funnel design that keeps off leaves and other debris that might skew the readings.

It also features bright red float that easily indicates the amount of rainfall recorded. In addition to that, it boasts of larger yellow numbers and markings that make it easy for you to read from a distance. To be exact, you can accurately read the rain gauge recording when you’re as far as 50’.

When it comes to looks, this rain gauge also doesn’t disappoint. It features clear tube design with green ends that unconstructively blend with your outdoor décor—a adding a sense of style and radiance to your garden.

Thanks to the patented self-sealing plug, this unit does not suffer from the leakage issue which can significantly affect the accuracy of the recorded results.

Highlighted features:

  • 26 inches tall rain gauge
  • Easy to read from a distance
  • Headwind DebrisGuardTM Funnel keeps off debris
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    Patented self-sealing plug prevents leakage
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    Decorative bright color enhances the style and radiance of your garden
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    Easy to hang on the deck or fence

10. Taylor Jumbo Jr. 20" Easy-Read Rain Gauge

Finally, we have the Taylor Jumbo Jr. 20" Easy-Read Rain Gauge. Like the previously discussed model, it also enables you to accurately measure your area rainfall up to 5”. And it’s an excellent choice for weather enthusiasts and gardeners alike.

The most notable thing in this rain gauge is the extremely easy to read, bold numbers and markings. These allow you to accurately record the captured amount of rain from as far as 50’. In other words, you can record the rainfall without necessarily leaving the comfort of your home.

The funnel filter included in the rain gauge also facilitates accuracy measurements by ensuring that outdoor debris does not find their way into the unit.

Like all the other products that made it to this list, this model also comes with durable high impact plastic construction for maximum durability and longevity.

Installing this rain gauge for use will take you a few minutes. The mounting bracket and ground spike included in the box will allow you to effortlessly mount it on the wall or spike it to the ground.

Highlighted features:

  • 20” tall jumbo rain gauge
  • Accurate, easy to read measurements
  • Funnel filter prevents outdoor debris
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    High impact plastic construction for exceptional durability
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    Bracket and ground spike for easy installation

What To Check Before Getting A Wireless Rain Gauge?

The ideal rain gauge for you should measure rainfall with the highest possible precision and accuracy. It should stand the test of time and should be easy to use.

Below are the top factors to consider so that you end up with the most accurate rain gauge for your rainfall measuring needs.

Type of rain gauge

I believe the first thing you need to do when buying a rain gauge is deciding what type will meet your specific needs.

This is because they’re more than one type of rain gauges out there, each functioning differently from the other.

The most popular models include:

  • Manual rain gauge: this is the oldest type of rainfall available today. It features a vertical tube with open top and closed bottom. When rain collects inside the rain gauge, you’ll need to use the graduations on the side to manually record the amount of rainfall and then empty it for the next reading.
  • Weighing rain gauge: this model collects moisture in a container placed on top of a scale. The amount of rainfall is weighed and recorded using a logger (or pen for older models).
  • Tipping bucket rain gauge: arguably the most common model, a tipping bucket model comes with two compact containers placed next to each other. However, only one cup gets exposed to the gauge funnel at a time. When the first container gets filled with water to a given volume, it tips to dump the water, while exposing the other bucket to get filled. The measurements are then recorded based on the number of tips of the two containers.
  • Acoustic rain gauge: this type of rain gauge works by recording the amount of rain drops falling onto a plate placed right above a special sensor.

Each drop produces an acoustic signal (whose intensity varies depending on the size of drop). The cumulative number of signals over a given period of time is regarded as the amount of rainfall in the area.

Which of the above rain gauge styles do you prefer?

Accuracy

How accurate is the rain gauge you plan to buy?

You should ask yourself this question if you want to receive accurate rainfall data and reports. Where possible, I’d recommend you to get a unit that offers you high precision readings (to the smallest possible unit).

You’d get more accurate readings if you go for a unit that reads as small as millimeters.

The accuracy factor should be a must for all the landscapers, gardeners, farmers, etc., looking for the most reliable rain gauge.

Durability

Yes, you should also look for a unit made using quality materials. Remember you’ll be using your rain gauge outdoors where it’ll be exposed to all kinds of weathers.

As much as possible, avoid the cheaply built products that can’t withstand different weather and climates.

Pro TIP: People who live near the ocean should be more serious about the durability factor, as buying a cheap model can get easily affected by salt corrosions.

Ease of installation

If you’re not watchful, you can end up with a unit which installing is a real problem.

If you don’t want to end up in such situation, it’s always advisable that you buy a package that complete with the mounting hardware included for hassle-free installation.

You should also decide the installation method, depending on where you wish to place your unit.

Do you want a freestanding model that you drive its stake into the ground or one that’s intended for mounting on the post/wall?

Capacity

The capacity of a rain gauge also matters when it comes to picking the perfect model for accurately measuring rainfall in your area.

If you live in an area that receives heavy downpour, it’s more convenient to get a model with more room. Believe you me; this will improve your overall measuring accuracy.

In general, getting a bigger capacity is wise as it helps you receive error-free measurements at all times.

Extra features:

  • You might want to look for a decorative or stylish unit if you want to add beauty to your garden yard.
  • You can search for a wifi rain gauge if you wish to access your rain gauge data remotely via your mobile device.
  • You can also look for an electronic rain gauge with alarm feature to alert you when it starts raining, when flooding is about to happen, etc.
  • If possible, get a self-emptying rain gauge and get to enjoy the convenience it presents you with (read more about this type of rain gauge below).

Self-Emptying Rain Gauge: What Are These?

As the word suggests, a self-emptying rain gauge is one in which the rain collection cup automatically empties itself.

In simpler words, the rain gauge collection cups tilt to dump all the collected water after taking the measurements.

This feature is usually present in the wireless rain gauge models.

The function is highly convenient because it makes such a rain gauge maintenance-free. You don’t have to walk to your unit to empty the collected rain every time to prepare it for new recordings.

Something else…this function improves the accuracy of your rain gauge. By the cups emptying all the previously collected rain, they ensure that the previous downpour will not affect the new/future recordings.

If you come across a self-emptying rain gauge, don’t think twice about buying it!

Frequently asked questions

1. Where should I install my rain gauge?

The best place for installing your rain gauge should be in an open area, away from any building, structures, etc. Also, there should be no overhead obstructions, e.g., electric wires, trees, etc., as they can direct the rain water away from your unit and cause inaccurate measurements.

2. Can I use my rain gauge to measure snow?

Some models claim to measure rain gauge as well. But for the most accurate measurement, I advise you to use a snow gauge as it’s specially designed for this purpose.

3. How do I use my rain gauge to measure rainfall?

Using a rain gauge is pretty easy, and you don’t require any prior experience to operate it. Read the steps below on how to operate your unit:

measuring rainfall
  • First, ensure your rain gauge is completely empty before you can use it to measure any rainfall
  • When the unit has collected moisture, you can take the recordings. If you’re using an electronic rain gauge, your job will be pretty easy as you’ll just need to read on the screen.

For the manual model, simply lift the rain gauge to your eye level for reading. Ensure the water level is at eye level for accurate reading. Record the height of the water.

NOTE: You might find that your rain gauge has formed a meniscus due to the surface tension. The best reading, in that case, is the height at the base of the meniscus.

  • If you find that your rain gauge is empty after a rainfall, then you should record that a “trace” of precipitation.
  • Finally, empty the rain gauge to prepare it for the next measurement.

Final Verdict

So, we’ve come to the end of our rain gauge reviews. Whatever your needs or intended use for the rain gauge are, I advise you to ensure you invest in a reliable model that accurately measures the rainfall in your area.

If you’re stuck on which ran gauge to buy, read our buying guide for expert advice on what you need to look for to get the perfect model for you.

Our ultimate list of the 10 top-rated wireless rain gauge reviews will also greatly help you in your research for the most reliable model.

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