Let’s talk the best rain gauges!
Accuracy, of course, is important—after all, that’s job #1 for any rain gauge!
Beyond this simple principal, rain gauge options boil down to analog versus electronic. The latter are wireless and let you monitor rainfall from the comfort of your dry home. On the other hand, simple analog rain gauges tend to be more accurate.
We tried out several rain gauges, measuring for accuracy. Then we looked at how easy they are to read—some are better than others.
For the best budget-friendly rain gauge, we’d recommend the simple AcuRite 008-50A2. Super easy to use and read. Here’s more:
What We Liked
• Can read it from a distance. The numbers are magnified by 35%, so it is easy to read.
• Mount to a poll, fence post or stake into the ground. (The most accurate would be a pole away from any building or obstruction. The problem with mounting it on the ground: it’s easy to knock over and your lawn sprinklers may bias the reading!
• Measures up to 5″ of rain.
What Needs Work
• Frozen water may break the gauge. This gauge is made of acrylic . . . and if left outside in the winter, it may break when iced over.
• Screws for mounting are not included.
• Not very sturdy—even when staked into the ground, it can be easily tipped over. We’d recommend mounting on a post.
• Not the best choice if you need a reading down to the hundredths of an inch. In that case, we’d recommend the next rain gauge.