Top 10 Best Rain Gauge 2021

Difficult to make a choice for your new rain gauge? We wrote this Rain gauge special buying guide to help you, with the TOP10 of the best sales of the moment, tests, opinions… As in all our buying guides, we've done our best to help you choose the best Rain Gauge!

Our selection of rain gauges

Rain gauge buying guide

The rain gauge is available in a wide choice of models adapted to all needs. But finding the right one can turn into a nightmare if you don't know what to base it on. Our buying guide and our Top 10 Best Rain Gauge 2018 will be of great help to you in your purchasing process. We established them after a series of tests and comparisons.

Buying guide: how to choose the best rain gauge?

The rain gauge is part of the range of meteorological measuring devices and instruments including the anemometer, the barometer, or the thermometer hygrometer. It effectively allows determine the amount of rain that fell during a downpour.

At one time, the rain gauge was confined to the fields of meteorology, rainfall and the nursery alone. This pluviometric measuring device is currently finding its place in gardeners and farmers. We then speak of garden rain gauge and agricultural rain gauge. They are a great help in quantifying precipitation, in order to determine whether or not watering is necessary. Indeed, some plants have a specific water requirement. It is therefore better to stick to the threshold set to ensure their proper development. Finally, by respecting this "greener" watering rule, gardeners and farmers can also save considerable money.

Choose your rain gauge according to the desired use

Using such a device is the first thing you should consider before deciding to buy a model. You should therefore know that the rain gauges that you will find on the market have a common functionality. However, each model is adapted to a specific use. If, for example, you work in gardening or are just an enthusiast, the manual rain gauge is for you. If, on the other hand, you are a professional or if you work in agriculture or in meteorology, the direct or automatic reading rain gauge is more appropriate.

Here are the results of our tests and comparisons on the models offered on the market. They will serve as a guide to the best rain gauge for your daily life.

Manual rain gauge

The manual (or direct reading) rain gauge is the most basic model. It is in the form of a graduated funnel, with a rather basic measuring range. A simplicity that arouses the interest of gardeners and farmers, amateurs and professionals alike.

This rainfall measurement device is also proving Easy to use. To determine the amount dropped per square meter, simply read the level of water that has settled in the funnel. We also note the ease of installation: you will only have to plant the support in the ground. As a bonus, take advantage of advantageous rates. You can afford a manual rain gauge for less than a dozen euros.

Automatic rain gauge

In many ways, an automatic rain gauge is more practical than a manual rain gauge. You will effectively avoid the tedious task of reading the level of rainwater on the tank, or even emptying it before a new measurement.

There are two types of automatic rain gauges, namely standardized models and non-standardized models.

The so-called "normalized" rain gauge is found in meteorological stations in France. It is made up of two buckets looking in opposite directions. In practice, one of them collects the rainwater and once full, it self-empties leaving its place for the other bucket. The measurement is therefore made by multiplying the total volume of the buckets by the number of empties. On some models, this last element is displayed clearly on an LCD screen or electronic display or dial.

The non-standardized rain gauge uses an electronic gauge which is used to measure the amount of precipitation during a defined period. Depending on the model, it thus has a more or less significant measurement range. During a measurement session, the non-standard rain gauge transmits in real time to a weather station located indoors. A practical aspect that arouses the interest of gardeners or farmers using an automatic watering system. Finally, the non-standardized rain gauge is available in models powered by one or more batteries, by solar energy, or with measuring devices such as a weather station.

How to choose the best rain gauge?

Our tests and comparisons have enabled us to highlight the main advantages of the electronic rain gauge.

Extremely precise

An electronic rain gauge is high precision and therefore reliable. Its principle is based on the bucket system. Equipped with a transmitter and an electronic pulse or ultrasonic wave transmitter, the latter sends signals to the weather station each time the receptacle is automatically emptied.

For more details in the calculations, some electronic rain gauge models are also equipped with a whole set of sensors. Indeed, the operation takes into account various parameters such as atmospheric pressure, wind speed, wind direction, relative humidity, evaporation rate, and air quality.

This precision explains the enthusiasm of gardeners for the electronic rain gauge. By reading the data on the LCD screen, they can know the right time to water, but also the amount of water required.

Temperature measurement

The usefulness of an electronic rain gauge is far from being confined to the sole domain of calculating precipitation. Indeed, it can also act as a weather station in its own right. Thanks to its temperature sensor, you can also measure indoor and outdoor temperature using high precision technology. This data proves to be very useful for gardeners who grow crops in greenhouses, where temperature and humidity measurement play a major role. In climatology, this device for measuring rainfall can also be very useful.


Some models of electronic rain gauges are associated with a wireless weather station, which allows you indoor and outdoor use. They're tough enough to withstand the elements, even when the hail is on the party. These measuring devices are therefore very good tools for making weather forecasts. Moreover, in the majority of cases, no calibration manipulation is required.

Use of a rain gauge

The use of a rain gauge must follow a few very specific rules. However, it is also essential to know its principle. Thus, for a conventional rain gauge, during showers, this instrument for directly measuring the amount of rainwater collects water in a kind of tank. As the quantity increases, a float rises and a stylus transcribes the rising water in a kind of diagram. When the tank is full, emptying takes place through a pipe called a siphon. The collected rainwater will then pass into a container. Once the rain gauge is empty, the stylus is reset to zero, then will describe a straight line in height. The same scenario will be repeated in the event that there is another downpour.

In other models, the water is collected in the upper part of the measuring instrument and then goes accumulate in the tube. There is also a kind of cover preventing the water from evaporating. The precipitation measurement can then be interpreted using graduations.

It is still important to point out that like all instruments used to measure meteorological data, errors can occur. But in general, these are less and have no serious impact on the global interpretation. In most cases, however, there are certain rules to be taken very seriously. Sometimes mistakes are the result of design flaws. The most common skewed data remains the consequence of improper installation and use. The environment is also a factor that should not be taken lightly.

As for where you will need to install the device, the ideal is that it should be installed at least 0.5 m from the ground and should not exceed a collection height of 2 m.For information, at Météo-France, the standardized height is 1 m.In addition, it is also crucial that you make sure that the ground is perfectly flat and that the sky is well exposed.In this context, be aware that the presence of trees or anything else can distort the weather data you want to collect.If we go into more detail, the slope of the land that will accommodate the device must not exceed 19 °. installed at a distance four times greater than the obstacle. To take an example, if a tree 2 m high is present in the installation area, you must place your measuring device at least 8 m from this obstacle.

Regarding actual usage, it is important that you know how to interpret the measurements. In addition, you will need to know the best conditions to avoid erroneous data.

How to measure the amount of rain?

In the middle, precipitation heights are also called precipitation blades. In order to measure them within a set time interval, the use of a rain gauge is most appropriate. To do this, different steps have to be followed.

Installation of the rain gauge

As already mentioned above, editing is a particularly important step, because done incorrectly, you risk distorting all your measurements. In addition to placing your instrument for quantifying precipitation in a well-opened area, you will also need to ensure sufficient sunlight. The main risk is that the collected water evaporates in the event of high temperatures. For installation, of course, you will have to follow the manufacturer's recommendations in the equipment manual to the letter. In general, measuring instruments of this type are delivered with a foot or stake for positioning at a certain height. Note, however, that depending on the make and model, this accessory may not be included in the starter pack.

You should also know that if your rain gauge is only a few inches from the ground, splashes could get in. Besides the risk of corrupted data, mud could also damage your device. Also consider the wind speed in the locality or region where you plan to install the device. Besides, the strength of the wind varies depending on the location of the rain gauge in relation to the ground. And when the wind kicks in, the amount of water collected can change significantly.

Measuring the amount of precipitation

Depending on the model you have chosen, taking measurements with this type of device can be done automatically or manually. Manual models are equipped with a transparent cylinder-shaped container with measurements having a top end in the shape of a funnel. This particular aspect allows to avoid the risk of evaporation of liquids. When the rain falls, water collects in the bottom of the cylindrical tube. In most cases, to know the measurements, you will have to uninstall the tank before you can interpret the data provided by the graduations.

To try to make things easier, it is possible to say that the amount of rain, height of water or precipitation corresponds to the amount of water that has been collected. The value received is generally expressed in millimeters (mm) or liter per square meter (L / m²). Here it is important to note that one millimeter corresponds to one liter per square meter. In addition, you should also know that automatic models can use other processes or another unit of measurement. One can for example find the measuring system by optical principle, by tilting bucket or by weighing.

In addition to being able to study precipitation, rainfall is a technique that allows us to plan and anticipate in other areas. One can speak among other things about the capacity of a rain gauge to evaluate the quality of the fallen rain and in various climatological studies.

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Dernière mise à jour : 2021-04-18 02:31:16