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Which is the Best EMF Meter? My Review

If you’re searching for info on which EMF meter is best, you’re probably aware of the dangers of electromagnetic fields (EMF) on the human body, and plant and animal life.

You might already know that your nervous system, brain, heart and reproductive systems are particularly vulnerable to EMF emissions.

And you might already know there are thousands of independent scientific studies [1] linking EMF radiation to many diseases. Diseases such as brain tumors, cancer, Alzheimer’s, cardiovascular disease, epilepsy, depression, behavioral problems, poor sleep, and more.

Or perhaps you or a loved one is feeling unwell, and you suspect EMFs are contributing to the illness. Maybe you have a pacemaker, and need to avoid EMFs.

Don’t underestimate EMFs because the studies tell us they impact our health even if you can’t feel anything.

There is a clear, present, and ever-increasing danger to the entire population of our country from exposure to the entire non-ionizing portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. The dangers cannot be overstated because more non-ionizing radiation injuries occur covertly, usually do not become manifest until after latent periods of years, and when they do become manifest, the effects are seldom recognized.
—Dr. Milton Zaret, 1973, the first medical doctor to testify to the US Congress [1]

If you’re new to all this, the first thing is to understand, I suggest you read my article which lays out the types of devices that create EMFs in your home and how to protect yourself [2]. The next step is to measure your exposure, so you can take action to eliminate or reduce it.Meter with EMF levels

You’re ready to invest in an EMF meter, but aren’t sure which one to purchase? Like many people, you’re tempted to go with the lowest-priced meter. But if the meter isn’t sufficiently accurate or sensitive, or doesn’t read the different types of EMFs you’re being exposed to, it won’t be helpful for your purposes.

What I’ve set out to do here is to review the EMF meters that offer the best value for your money and are easy to use. But first, I’ll discuss the different types of EMFs you will want to measure.

The Four Types of EMFs You’ll Want to Measure

  1. Radio Frequency microwave radiation (RFs), which includes radiation from your cell phones, WiFi, microwave oven, Bluetooth [3], smart appliances in your home, smart meters and more.
  2. Electric fields, which are generated by your appliances such as the fridge, clock radio and hair dryer, as well as the fuse box, overhead power lines, power transformers, and electrical wiring [4].
  3. Magnetic fields, which are generated by your appliances such as the fridge, clock radio and hair dryer, as well as the fuse box, overhead power lines [5], electrical wiring, power transformers, and any device with an electric motor. Here is a an article which explains more about magnetic fields [6].
  4. Dirty electricity, which is “noise” in your electrical power supply, caused by outside sources such as cell phone towers, as well as sources inside the home.

4 EMFs: Radio Frequencies,Electric fields, Magnetic fields, Dirty electricity

There are meters available that can measure the first three types of EMFs in one device: RF radiation, electric fields and magnetic fields. These meters are called tri-mode or tri-field meters, and it’s like having three meters in one.

First, I’ll review two of the best tri-mode EMF meters I found on the market. Then I’ll review a meter that measures the levels of dirty electricity in your home wiring.

A Review of the TriField TF2 and the Cornet ED88TPlus EMF Meters

To compare the TriField TF2 [7] meter with the Cornet ED88TPlus [8] meter, I compiled a table with their specifications below, so you can view the specs at a glance. (Note: The Cornet ED88T and the Cornet ED88TPlus are basically the same EMF meter. The newer, “plus” version has slightly better ease of use, and data logging capability.)

Trifield TF2 meter compared to Cornet ED88TPlus meter

From the table, you can see that both meters have a backlight feature and audio functionality. These two features are important. The backlight allows you to read the display even in poor lighting. And the audio functionality I particularly like because it allows you to hear the intensity of the EMFs, like a Geiger counter.

This is useful because you’re able to get a sense of the relative intensity of the radiation as you move around, without having your eyes glued to the screen. Also, generally the audio function can pick up really low levels of radiation, levels too low to register on the display.

How to Get the Attention of Friends and Family

More importantly, the audio functionality might be the only way to get the attention of friends and family members who are skeptical about EMF radiation. Now you can have them hear the increase in radiation as you move closer to a source. And also, the drop-off in sound as you turn off the WiFi, or turn your cell phone on to airplane mode [9] for example.

The Pros of the TriField TF2 EMF Meter

  1. This EMF meter is very simple to use right out of the box. There’s just one knob, which you turn to the type of field you want to measure.Trifield EMF meter
  2. Has really good accuracy and sensitivity in magnetic field mode.
  3. Has really good accuracy and sensitivity in electric field mode down to 1 V/m.
  4. Has “standard” and “weighted” frequency mode capability in electric and magnetic modes. At 50/60 Hz (normal power line frequencies in the home) the standard and weighted mode readings are the same. However, for frequencies higher than 60 Hz, the meter has more sensitivity in the weighted mode, for more accurate readings.
  5. In Radio Frequency mode, Peak Hold function allows capture of pulsing signals, such as of smart meters that can pulse many times in less than a minute. Studies indicate that it’s the pulsing of the radiation that makes it particularly dangerous, which means this peak measurement number is particularly valuable.

The Cons

  1. In Radio Frequency mode, the sensitivity is 1 µW/m². The sensitivity of the Cornet is more sensitive, going to 0.5 µW/m².
  2. In RF mode, the maximum frequency that can be measured is 6 GHz. The Cornet ED88TPlus measures up to 8 GHz. Given that the world is moving toward 5G and the “Internet of Things” and wireless industry will be using higher frequencies, a meter that measures beyond 6 GHz will prove useful.
  3. To change the backlight setting or audio function, you have to get into the battery compartment in the back.

The Pros of the Cornet ED88TPlus EMF Meter

  1. This EMF meter has very good RF functionality, and RF is the default mode. Reads signal strengths for frequencies up to 8 GHz. Its sampling rate is 10,000 times per second, and the sensitivity is better than for the TriField TF2. Very low RF signals (down to 0.05 µW/m²) can be detected with the Audio Sound function. Cornet EMF meter
  2. For part of the RF spectrum (100 MHz – 2.7 GHz), the meter also gives the actual frequency of the reading. This can help you more easily identifying the radiation source as many devices, e.g., WiFi modems, cell phones, smart meters and microwave ovens, operate in this range.
  3. Has good sensitivity in magnetic field mode as it can measure in two scales which you select (LF30 or LF600).
  4. A histogram displays the last 30 readings since the meter was switched on. This is useful for measuring smart meter radiation that may only pulse about once a minute. The histogram and MAX function (which reads the maximum value since the last power-on) make it easy to measure short bursts of radiation.
  5. Has programmable alarm triggering with the colors green, yellow and red indicating radiation levels. The alarm can be programmed to go off at different levels. In the system setup menu, you can set the color green to correspond to levels recommended by the Bio-Initiative Report.
  6. Given the very good functionality in RF mode, the price of around $180 means good value for your money.
  7. Has a USB port for connecting to your computer and logging the data.

The Cons

  1. The meter has a lot of capability accessed through three buttons (UNIT, HOLD and LIGHT) and the initial learning curve can be high. User manual instructions aren’t the friendliest.
  2. Offers limited sensitivity in electric field mode – only measures down to 10 V/m.

Which EMF Meter is Best, and Where Can I Buy One?

There isn’t one meter that’s best for everyone’s purposes. Whether you choose to purchase the TriField TF2 or the Cornet ED88TPlus comes down to a question of personal choice.

If you want a meter that’s easier to use, and the reduced functionality in RF mode isn’t a concern, you can go with the TriField TF2.

But if you want increased functionality and sensitivity, especially in RF mode, the Cornet ED88TPlus is the better choice.

You can purchase the TriField TF2 meter here [7], and the Cornett ED88TPlus meter here [8].

An EMF Meter that Measures Dirty Electricity: The Graham-Stetzer Microsurge Meter

Neither the TriField TF2 nor the Cornet ED88TPlus measure dirty electricity. Dirty electricity is a form of electrical pollution, also known as “voltage transients” or “electrical noise,” and travels along power lines and home electrical wiring, in fact any electrical wiring. It’s caused by external sources such as cell phone towers, as well as many devices and appliances in the home. (Really, anything that converts AC power to DC power.)

Here are some devices that can cause dirty electricity:

devices that create dirty electricity

Dirty electricity presents as spikes and surges above the standard 50/60 Hz.  You can think of these RF spikes as distortions on top of what should be a perfect 50 or 60 Hz AC sine wave. The problem is that this dirty electricity radiates into the room.

Dirty electricity can be measured using a Graham-Stetzer Microsurge meter, which measures the average value of the changing voltage as a function of time (dV/dt). The measurements of dV/dt read by the meter are defined as GS (Graham-Stetzer) units. A GS unit is a measure of the energy on electrical wires generated by these spikes, or “intermediate frequency transients.” It can also be measured by a Greenwave meter, which also has a good reputation, though my preference is for the Graham-Stetzer meter who are the pioneers in this field.

Why Be Concerned About Dirty Electricity?

Why should you be concerned about dirty electricity? Because studies show that frequencies ranging from 2 kHz to 100 kHz (where most of these spikes fall) are particulalry dangerous to the human body. 

These frequencies can capacitively couple to your body and transfer energy, even more so than cell phone or WiFi radiation. Samuel Milham, MD MPh, the author of the book, Dirty Electricity, believes it is a major public health crisis of our time.

Most of the research on dirty electricity has been done by Russians. And in 2003, for example, Kazakhstan legislated the maximum permitted level of dirty electricity allowed in the workplace to be 50 GS units. You might be interested in reading my more extensive article on dirty electricity [10].

What are typical dirty electricity levels found in most homes? It depends. If you live in a rural area, don’t have lots of electrical appliances, and don’t live close to a cell phone tower, you might find levels of around 50 GS units. (Ideally, the levels in your home should be below 50 GS units according to the manufacturer.)

However, if you live in an urban area, have lots of electrical appliances (especially the “smart ones”), live close to a bank of smart meters or a cell phone tower, you can easily find levels of 150 to 500+ GS units. Some people have noted readings as high as 1500 GS units! (A reading of 2000 GS will max out the meter.)

In this case, you’d definitely want to know your exposure. And you’ll want to reduce it by eliminating devices which cause dirty electricity and possibly plugging in special Stetzerizer® filters.

How To Use the Graham-Stetzer Microsurge Meter and the Stetzerizer® Filters

dirty electricity meter

The Microsurge meter is super easy to use, and the large digital screen is simple to read and understand.

First, you’ll want to measure the levels of dirty electricity with all appliances switched off and unplugged. Simply test each circuit by plugging the meter into every electrical outlet in your home and checking the levels. If the GS levels are high with everything unplugged, you’ll know the source of the problem is external. In this case, a better solution may be to filter the power supply where it enters the home with a whole house dirty electricty filter [11] .

Then you’re going to measure the levels with everything switched on. If the readings have jumped, you’ll know the source of the problem is internal. You can mitigate some of this exposure by getting rid of the most polluting of devices: compact fluorescents (CFLs) and fluorescent tubes, dimmer switches, smart meters, smart appliances, DECT cordless phones and WiFi.

Always make sure to turn off WiFi at night!dirty electricity filter

If after removing the worst offenders the readings are still high (over 50 GS), you can reduce your exposure by plugging a Stetzerizer® filter into the outlets that need mitigating.

How many filters will you need? The best way to estimate the number of filters you’ll need is to count the total number of switches in your circuit breaker (fuse box) panel. You should expect to use about one filter per switch.

The Graham-Stetzer Microsurge Meter and Filters at a Glance:

If you live in the U.S., purchase the Graham-Stetzer meter and filters here [12].

In conclusion, the science is very clear the human body is sensitive to electromagnetic fields. EMFs have biological impacts, and can make the body more vulnerable to disease. But with a good EMF meter, you can now measure—and mitigate—your and your family’s exposure to these invisible sources of disease.

Sources and Bibliography

  1. Paul Brodeur. The Zapping of America: Microwaves, Their Deadly Risk and the Cover-up.” Norton, 1977