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A rain gauge, as its name suggests, is an instrument used to measure the amount of liquid precipitation over a time period. In short, a rain gauge measures rainfall. Meteorologists and hydrologists use this instrument for professional reasons, but there are also varieties of this instrument that will be perfect for a typical homeowner with a lawn, backyard or garden.

Why do you need the best rain gauge for home use, you might ask?

There are plenty of rain gauge uses and advantages but mainly, a home rain gauge will prevent drought and overwatering your plants. This means huge savings on the water, in the long run, better irrigation management and a healthy, stress-free garden all in all. If you want to save some bucks and grow healthy plants, buying the right rain gauge might just do the trick.

The 10 Top Rated Rain Gauges Of 2018

When it comes to buying the right rain gauge whether you’re looking for a decorative rain gauge, faucet rain gauge or a wifi rain gauge, there is a myriad of options to choose from. It can all get confusing but we’re here to help you sort rain gauges out. To start, here’s a comparison table of the best rain gauges you can buy:

Rain GaugeWeightTypeRainfall Capacity 
AcuRite 00850A22.7 oz.Analog5 inches
Stratus Premium Rain Gauge2.2 lbs.Analog11 inches
B & L Industries 1990-124.8 oz.Analog5 inches
La Crosse Technology 705-109 8.0 oz.Analog6 inches
Evergreen Garden Frog14.1 oz.Analog5 inches
Outdoor Home Professional Dual Scale8.8 oz.Analog6 inches
Springfield 2-in-18.0 oz.Analog5 inches
AcuRite 00810A20.3 oz.Analog5 inches
La Crosse Technology 724-1710 8.0 oz.Digital99.99 inches
Taylor Precision 2706 6.4 oz.Analog5 inches

In case you still need more info, we have in-depth rain gauge reviews below. We’ve even included a buying guide that includes important rain gauge information and rain gauge facts to further help with your shopping.

AcuRite 00850A2 – Best-Selling Rain Gauge

most accurate wireless rain gauge

As a leader in time, temperature and weather technology, AcuRite is one brand you can trust. Whether you’re an enthusiast or a professional gardener, AcuRite has a complete range of rain gauges to choose from.

One of our favorites is this AcuRite 00850A2 Easy-Read Magnifying Rain Gauge. What we like best about this option is the easy-to-read inch markings. While other rain gauges have small prints, the numbers on this AcuRite rain gauge will be magnified by over 35% as it fills with water. This means that you can see the readings better and record it more accurately too.

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With the AcuRite 00850A2 Easy-Read Magnifying Rain Gauge, you can collect up to 5 inches of water.

But the best part is the easy set-up.

Complete with an integrated hang hole for wall mount or stake sets for installing into the ground, you wouldn’t need the AcuRite rain gauge manual to get this thing set-up and ready to measure rainfall.

What We Liked

  • Easy-to-read numbers
  • Weather-resistant construction
  • Easy set-up
  • Affordable price tag

What We Didn’t Like

  • Not the most durable plastic material
  • Prone to breaking or cracking
  • Too big for some users

Stratus Premium Rain Gauge – Extra-Large Capacity

stratus rg202 long term professional rain and snow gauge

You don’t need to be a meteorologist to measure rainfall. With the Stratus Premium RG200 Rain and Snow Weather Gauge, you’ve got everything you need to track rainfall amounts on your lawn, garden or backyard. It even comes handy for teaching kids about weather.

We’ll recommend the RG200 if you’re looking for a rain gauge that also doubles as a snow gauge. When you opt for this product from Stratus, you’ll get a funnel top that catches the rain which it then delivers to a one-inch measuring tube.

Also included is an extra-large outer cylinder that can collect up to 11 inches of rain. The same outer cylinder can be easily detached to measure snow, hail or sleet.

national weather service official rain gaugeBut the key selling point for us is the accuracy. With 1/100th of an inch marking, you’ll be able to measure rainfall more accurately than other standard analog rain gauges.

What We Liked

  • Can also monitor snow, sleet and hail amounts
  • Extra-large rain volume capacity
  • No metal parts prone to rusting
  • Easy to install

What We Didn’t Like

  • Expensive
  • No outer scale

B & L Industries 1990-12 – No Clog Rain Gauge

decorative rain gauge

One problem with extra-large rain gauges is clogging. When you have a large gauge, it’s easy to get clogged up by falling leaves and debris. This can significantly affect the accuracy of rainfall measurements. Luckily, you’ve got the B & L Industries 1990-12 E-Z Read Jumbo Rain Gauge to choose if you’re looking for a jumbo unit perfect for days when it’s raining hard.

Made of sturdy plastic, it won’t easily break like other cheap glass rain gauges. It’s also pretty lightweight. Bright colored and large markings make it easier to read even from afar. And if you care about how it will complement your decor, the clear tube with green accents should blend in well with the outdoors.

What We Liked

  • Easy to read bright and large numbers
  • Sturdy plastic construction
  • No clogging
  • Unobtrusive design

What We Didn’t Like

  • Not suitable for ground use
  • May crack or leak at freezing temps

La Crosse Technology 705-109 – Best Backyard Rain Gauge

acurite rain gauge calibration

Most rain gauges are shaped like a tube. The La Crosse Technology 705-109 Waterfall Rain Gauge, however, is set apart from the rest because of its innovative large width waterfall design.

Designed to easily mount onto a rail, deck or top of stake, this Lacrosse rain gauge comes complete with screws for secure and easy mounting. We also love how extra-large the markings are. This makes reading the measurements incredibly easy and convenient.

Toss in the red floating rain level marker and you’ll quickly gauge the amount of rainfall even from afar.

digital rain gauge with app

Like the Lacrosse wireless rain gauge, this analog Lacrosse rain gauge boasts the brand’s solid reputation for quality and innovation.

Both products are certainly excellent choices. But if you’re after a budget-friendly purchase, this waterfall rain gauge will work well for any backyard. This is one of the best rain gauges you can buy under $10.

What We Liked

  • Innovative design for ease of use
  • Easily mounts on deck or rail
  • Easy to empty and clean
  • Includes floating rain level marker

What We Didn’t Like

  • May crack at freezing temps
  • Not the most durable

Evergreen Garden Frog – Best Decorative Rain Gauge

best manual rain gauge

Who says rain gauges should be dull and boring? If you’re looking for a rain gauge that’s both functional and decorative, look no further than this Evergreen Garden Frog Decorative Rain Gauge. There are plenty of garden rain gauges in the market but this umbrella frog rain gauge has to be one of our top favorites.

It’s cool, practical and it will look good in any backyard or garden.

The frog rain gauge complete with an umbrella is made of polystone, metal, and glass. On the frog’s right hand is a rain gauge that can measure up to 5 inches of rainfall.

It’s a real attention-catcher but there’s also a flipside. It’s more expensive than most standard rain gauges. You’ll spend more than twice as much than if you buy the La Crosse Waterfall Rain Gauge.

What We Liked

  • Cute and eye-catchy design
  • Large markings for easy reading
  • Solid and sturdy construction

What We Didn’t Like

  • Expensive
  • Prone to rusting

Outdoor Home Professional Dual Scale – Best Dual Scale Rain Gauge

best jumbo rain gauge

Most outdoor rain gauges only have one scale typically in inches. This Outdoor Home Professional Dual Scale changes all that with its deluxe design complete with dual scales – inches and millimeters. This makes readings more accurate than ever.

So if you’re looking for the most accurate rain gauge you can read manually, this is one product we can highly recommend.

rain gauge with thermometer & humidityIn addition to accurate readings, we also like how tough and sturdy this garden rain gauge is. It is made of polycarbonate plastic which is also UV resistant. It cannot only stand hot temperature but also cool frosts.

Installation is also a breeze. You’ll just need to screw the mounting plate in place and you’ll be able to easily slide the rain gauge into position. If it needs cleaning, just slide it out, clean it and set it back up again for the next rainfall.

What We Liked

  • Heavy duty plastic construction
  • Can withstand frost and sun
  • Quick and easy to install
  • Tough and unbreakable

What We Didn’t Like

  • Expensive
  • Markings are not prominent

Springfield 2-in-1 – Best Budget-Friendly Rain Gauge

best wireless rain gauge

Why spend a fortune on a rain gauge if you can buy the Springfield 2-in-1 Sprinkler and Rain Gauge for about $5? This is the cheapest outdoor rain gauge we found on Amazon. You might think it will not perform accurately as the more expensive varieties but you’d be wrong.

Coming from a brand like Springfield that has over 50 years of manufacturing experience in the thermometers and gauges industry, you’ll simply love this product. At such a good price, you can expect to enjoy accurate measurements for years to come.

We especially recommend Springfield 2-in-1 Sprinkler and Rain Gauge for a number of advantages.

For one, we like that there are 2 functions you can enjoy at a good price. You’ll get two gauges – one for measuring rainfall up to 5 inches and the shorter one is perfect as a sprinkler gauge with capacity up to 1.5 inches.

You won’t just know if there’s enough rainfall for your plants but you’ll also be able to know how to control your sprinkler so the plants just have enough water to be healthy.

What We Liked

  • Inexpensive
  • Weather-resistant construction
  • 2-in-1 design
  • Easy to read markings

What We Didn’t Like

  • May crack at freezing temps
  • Not long lasting

AcuRite 00810A2 – Best Glass Rain Gauge

wifi enabled rain gauge

Another budget-friendly option we’ll gladly recommend is this AcuRite 00810A2 Glass Rain Gauge. Though not as popular as the other AcuRite rain gauge we’ve listed above, this product is also handy for monitoring lawn and garden watering. It’s also cheaper. You can save a few bucks and still measure rainfall up to 5 inches accurately.

The AcuRite 00810A2 is made of weather-resistant glass construction. It will do the job even at very cold temperatures. But what we like best is the easy setup. If you want to place it on the ground, it will stand upright on its mounting base.

You can also mount it on a wall or fence.

What We Liked

  • Easy set-up on the ground, wall or fence
  • Dual scale
  • With removable tube vial for easy emptying
  • Affordable price tag

What We Didn’t Like

  • Plastic mount is not very durable
  • Markings may fade over time

La Crosse Technology 724-1710 – Best Wireless Rain Gauge

stratus rain gauge manufacturer

If you’d rather invest in a wireless rain gauge for the conveniences and fast readouts, we can swear by the accuracy of the La Crosse Technology 724-1710. In terms of rainfall capacity measurements, most outdoor rain gauges got nothing on this Lacrosse wireless rain gauge.

It can measure up to 99.99 inches of rainfall in a matter of seconds. This is the type of gauge where you’ll get a tilting measuring cup that measures precipitation and also self-empties when water overflows. The best part, you can even check the rainfall from last week if you wish to.

You’ll have to pay big bucks, however, in order to enjoy the convenience and efficiency of this device.

What We Liked

  • Fast and accurate measurements
  • Large rainfall capacity readings
  • Durable and weather-resistant
  • Can monitor temperature indoors and outdoors

What We Didn’t Like

  • Expensive

Taylor Precision 2706 – Easy to Read Rain Gauge

best rain gauge 2018

Do you really have to go out and check your rain gauge in order to read the measurements? Not if you have the Taylor Precision 2706 Jumbo Rain Gauge. With jumbo markings, you can easily read and measure rainfall even from up to 50 feet away.

It’s easy to see from inside the comforts of your home. It may not offer the same convenience as some digital rain gauge with an app but it’s still a pretty easy to read for its price. But ultimately, what makes it an even more excellent choice is the fact that it includes a funnel filter.

With the filter in place, debris will be minimized. This means less likelihood of clogging. It will also ensure that readings are as accurate as possible. You’ll get mounting brackets when you purchase this product.

What We Liked

  • Easy to read markings
  • Weather resistant construction
  • Funnel filter to minimize debris

What We Didn’t Like

  • Only one scale measurement

Choosing The Best Rain Gauges

Rain gauges for home use are readily available everywhere. With a plethora of options, how do you choose one? This rain gauge buyer’s guide should provide you will all the information about rain gauges you’ll need.

What Is A Rain Gauge?

A rain gauge by definition is a meteorological instrument used to measure rainfall during a specified period at a given location. Weather stations use this instrument but it’s also becoming even more common among households who want to manage their irrigation better and also save money on water in the long run.

How Does A Rain Gauge Work?

Rain gauges are incredibly simple and easy to use. But a wireless rain gauge and thermometer is even more convenient to set-up. Either way, you need to understand how a rain gauge works.

To know how a rain gauge measures rainfall, you just need to follow a few simple steps. This is applicable to a typical analog/manual outdoor rain gauge.

  • Set-up your rain gauge in your backyard or garden. Make sure it’s empty before each rainfall to ensure accuracy.
  • To measure the rainfall, lift the rain gauge to eye level.
  • Read the height of the water. The water will appear slightly curved. You have to read the height at the base of the curve.
  • In general, rain gauge measures in tenths of inches. If your rain gauge is filled to the 0.60 line, for example, it means that 0.6 inches of rain have fallen.
  • If there’s little to no water on your garden rain gauge, just record it as a “trace” of precipitation has fallen.
  • Empty the rain gauge and set it up again for the next rainfall.

Types of Rain Gauges

best rain gauge 2019

Garden rain gauges come in two major types. Both types will accomplish the same thing – measure rainfall. It will only differ in terms of accuracy and convenience. Here are the different types of rain gauge units you’ll find on the market.

Analog rain gauges

Analog rain gauges are usually made of clear acrylic or glass with markings in inches, centimeters or millimeters. We’ve included plenty of analog or manual rain gauges on our list because this type is incredibly easy to use and set up. You can mount it on a fence, post, deck rail or on the ground. Make sure the area is free of obstruction to ensure accuracy.

Analog rain gauges are also cheaper in general. On the downside, it’s not as convenient to use as a digital rain gauge.

Digital rain gauges

If convenience is what you’re after and you’re willing to shell out some extra cash, what you need is a wireless rain gauge or a digital rain gauge with wireless self-emptying rain collector.

A wireless rain gauge and a thermometer are equipped with a rain sensor that collects and analyzes precipitation data. This type of gauges also includes a self-emptying rain collector which will transmit readings wirelessly to an LCD display.

Even from the comforts of home, you’ll be able to read data accurately. Like analog gauges, just make sure you’ve mounted the rain collector in an unobstructed area.

Choosing a Rain Gauge

When scouting for the best rain gauge, there are key factors to consider. Here are three considerations that will help you nail the right rain gauge for your needs.

Convenience

While all rain gauges can accomplish the same thing, not all rain gauge units offer the same level of convenience. With a typical analog rain gauge, for example, you’ll need to read the rain gauge manually. With a wireless unit, the device does the reading for you. But it’s also important to note that with the differences in convenience there’s also some difference in price tag.

Accuracy

You can make a rain gauge out of a plastic bottle with markings of measurements. This will save you a few bucks but it may not be as accurate as buying a branded rain gauge. Between a manual outdoor rain gauge or a wireless rain gauge you can read from your iPhone, there may be a difference in accuracy but they’ll give you a good reading either way provided that you set things right.

Cost

best rain gauge 2019

Finally, we have to consider cost. Some rain gauges will cost you under $10 while other units may cost you over $30. Analog rain gauges, naturally, are cheaper. But if you wanted convenience and you’re willing to pay the price, buying a reliable wireless rain gauge is a good choice.

Conclusion

Buying the best rain gauge isn’t complicated if you know what you are looking for. Like with any other purchases, you just need to find the perfect balance of price, quality, and convenience. If you’re looking for the best wireless rain gauge, we can vouch for the La Crosse Technology 724-1710.

If you’re on a tight budget and you’re looking for the best analog rain gauge under $10, don’t look any further than the AcuRite 00850A2. It’s easy to read, easy to use and pretty accurate too.

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