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In deciding which Geiger counter model to purchase, we recommend that you first decide between these two basic types of construction:

bulletPocket Models, versus:
bulletProbe Models, that is, Models with External Probes


     Pocket Models                                           Probe Models
      $239 to $595                                             $279 to $1,095

What is the difference between a Pocket or Handheld Model, versus a Probe model?  The heart or sensor of a Geiger counter is its Geiger-Mueller tube, and in a Pocket or Handheld Geiger counter, that GM tube is built right into the case.  In a Geiger counter with an external probe, the GM tube is relocated to the end of the wand-style probe itself, attached by a cable to the base unit.  See the pictures above:

Why choose a Pocket or Handheld model over a model with an External Probe?

The advantage of a Pocket or Handheld model is that it is generally easier to use, and more compact and lightweight.  By definition, a Pocket model can be held in and operated by one hand, leaving the other hand free, without any distracting cables .  Pocket or handheld models are also less expensive.  For general area monitoring and in most instances where specific objects are checked for radioactivity, a Pocket or Handheld Geiger counter is usually sufficient

Geiger counters with external probes offer these four advantages, which may or may not be necessary for your application:

bulletThe detector can be easily maneuvered to "probe" in a tight area, such as in mineral prospecting, or
bulletThe external probe extends your arm length and can therefore be easily positioned to scan objects down low to the ground or floor without having to bend over, or
bulletThe handle of the probe allows detection at a distance, reducing the chance of radioactive contamination on your hand, such as a HazMat team frisking persons at a disaster scene, or
bulletIf you were to build a shelter, or if you wanted to monitor outdoors continuously, an external probe configuration enables you to install just the probe outdoors, with the survey meter itself safe inside the structure, connected to the probe by running the cable through the wall.

Select the navigation buttons above, or click on these links to Pocket Models and/or Probe Models buttons above to learn more about the individual models available.  Or click on this link or select the navigation button above to Compare Models.  Or click on this link or select the navigation button above for the Software accessory on our selection of Digital Geiger Counters.