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5 Ways to Use an Anemometer

5 Ways to Use an Anemometer

What is an anemometer?

An anemometer (also known as air velocity meter) is used to measure the speed of wind or gas currents in meteorology. Anemometers are commonly considered to be weather station instruments.

How does an anemometer work?

Standard anemometers, such as weather station vanes typically include a series of ‘cups’ or ‘cones’ used to capture wind, a weather vane to align with the wind, dials for measuring the direction of air flow, internal measuring instruments to process and convert the velocity into a value, and a display to show a visual result. When wind or air flow falls in contact with the cones they will rotate, the reverse side of the cone includes a point to deflect the wind; the speed at which the cones rotate is processed by the internal components of the anemometer and is converted to provide a velocity value on the display.

Anemometer Weather Vane

Hand held anemometers are simplified versions of standard anemometers and include a protruding fan that is designed to guide wind through the air channels and rotate the fan blades. The speed is then calculated by the internal components of the device and then projected onto the device’s display. Hand held anemometers typically include a button used to convert the measurement value into kph, mph or knots.

5 uses of hand-held anemometers:

Anemometers a highly-versatile air measurement devices that can be used for a wide variety of applications from DIY to recreational sports. Below we have included 5 ways in which hand held anemometers can be used:

Air filtration

Technicians often use hand held anemometers to test office air filtration and ventilation systems to ensure that they are operating as expected and meeting air quality guidelines. Air testing equipment is essential for detecting air filtration blockages, and hand held anemometers provide an inexpensive solution for air installation company technicians and quality control inspectors alike.

Wind farming

Aside from forecasting, hand held anemometers can be used to shortlist locations with high wind exposure, such as hills and coastlines, for wind farming. Areas that capture strong wind currents ensure that wind farms are generating ample amounts of energy that can be converted into electricity for energy companies and cities.

Wind Turbine in the Countryside


We have briefly touched on how standard anemometers are used in weather stations, however hand held anemometer models may also be used in order to conduct spot checks in areas without access to a nearby weather station. Anemometers can be used to measure wind pressure and air velocity in knots, mph and kph; certain types of anemometers such as Reed’s 1900 air velocity meter also includes fpm and temperature monitoring.

Sailing & Yachting

Anemometers are essential in water sports such as sailing as a way to ensure optimum sailing conditions. In competitive sailing, a hand held anemometer can be paired with other devices to monitor wind velocity and direction, allowing the competitor to navigate to the most advantageous position in order to collect wind behind the sails.

Sailing Boat


In recreational fishing, anemometers are often used as a way to determine optimum fishing conditions. If the wind is too strong then this may result in damage to fishing rods and equipment.

What to consider when buying an anemometer

Anemometers are useful devices for a wide range of applications and there are many variations available to buy on the market today, therefore we have included a brief list of things to consider when looking to buy an anemometer:

  1. Construction – Is the anemometer constructed from suitable materials for your application? Whilst all anemometers are capable of measuring air velocity, cheap anemometers may be constructed from weaker materials that may break after a short amount of time. If you are looking to use your anemometer on a daily basis or in harsh, outdoor conditions you may want to consider investing in a more expensive professional anemometer.
  2. Applications – Are you looking to measure in knots, fpm or kph? Not all anemometers have built-in selectable units. Professional anemometers typically include a series of units that can be selected when required, whist cheaper models may only offer one pre-determined unit of measurement. Similarly, some of the best anemometers offer a variety of other functions such as temperature, humidity and moisture measurement, if you require tools for multiple purposes then you may want to consider investing in an all-in-one environmental meter.
  3. Cost – How much are you willing to spend? Hand held anemometers can be picked up for anything from £10 to £200+, therefore we recommend setting a budget on how much you are willing to spend – It is important to factor in your requirements to ensure your budget is realistic.
  4. Approvals – It is important to make sure your anemometer comes with the correct approvals for your region is using professionally. The Reed anemometers we sell all come complete with EC type approvals.

The Measurement Shop’s range of anemometers for sale

Reed 1900 compact air velocity meter

Reed R1900 Compact Air Velocity Meter

The R1900 is a portable, compact digital anemometer with a dual LCD screen that simultaneously displays air velocity and temperature. These devices are commonly used for monitoring indoor air quality (IAQ) and ventilation system checks. This model can measure in fpm, m/s, kph, mph, knots and temperature.

Reed LM-8000 6-in-1 Multi-function Environmental meter

Reed LM-8000 6-in-1 Environmental Meter

The LM-8000 is a compact 6-in-1 environmental meter that measures air velocity, air temperature, ambient temperature, relative humidity, light and contact temperature. These meters are fantastic value for money and are often used by technicians and professionals in HVAC refrigeration servicing for checking the temperature of condensers, as well as for monitoring air flow in ventilation systems.

Reed LM-81AM compact vane anemometer

Reed LM81AM Vane Anemometer

A low-cost, professional compact vane anemometer manufactured by Reed Instruments. This compact anemometer measures in fpm, m/s, kph, mph and knots as is frequently used to detect filter blockages. The device includes a low-friction vane for improved accuracy.

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