thermoworks thermapen mk4

Discussion in 'Meat Thermometers' started by boykjo, Nov 29, 2015.

  1. boykjo

    boykjo Sausage maker Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    This holiday season I've decided I'm going to invest in a Thermapen. Looking at the MK4 it looks to be superior from all the rest. Hand made too.

    When we exchange gifts at Christmas time usually I get gift cards so I let the Mrs know what ones i want (usually amazon) then she will let everyone know before hand then at Christmas time I'll collect them and make a purchase and get a greatly reduced price on 1 gift that I want. It works out pretty well but I noticed when I went on amazon and searched for the thermoworks thermapen what came was sponsored items like lavaworks thermometers. The thermoworks pen is not even on the front page with a direct trademark search. I did find the pink thermapen on the next page but it has an outrageous price tag of $189.00 sold by thermoworks. Whats the deal with that.. I can buy it directly from thermoworks for $79.20 but the problem is I wont get gift cards for thermoworks. Its usually cabelas, bass pro or amazon.

    Looks like I may have to pay full price if I want one. I could ask for visa gift cards but you have to pay extra money for those gift cards and visa can go you know what
  2. dr k

    dr k Master of the Pit

    Thermapens are the original fastest digital instant read therms on the market.  The warranty doesn't reflect the quality and justify the price.  I have done a lot of research on Electronic Temperature Instruments, Ltd in Worthing, UK where they are made and the marketing group Thermoworks in Utah where they are sold and REPAIRED.  There is no lifetime guarantee like other competitors for $25.00 for a four second temp reading.  After the two year warranty expires they'll fix it for $20 if it fails.  Yes ETI, Ltd. has a fulltime repair department for out of warranty repairs.  I'll buy the Thermapan when ETI, Ltd.  Justifies their price with a lifetime warranty.  After all, none of these 3-4 second read therms are made in the USA.  UK or China!

    Last edited: Nov 29, 2015
  3. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I know all the hype about Thermapen and the followers. I have had my Lavatool Thermowand for a year now and really can't see any benefit to owning the Thermapen. Mines spot on accurate, and has a reading in 3-4 seconds which seems fast enough for me.

    Gave one to my father in law and brother in law for Father's Day and they both like theirs too.

    Just my two cents. I used the spare dough to buy a bulk pack of Tri tip!
  4. dr k

    dr k Master of the Pit

    Mines 3-4 seconds as well.  Best $25.00 delivered kitchen gadget investment yet.  When Thermoworks did a direct comparison test on You Tube against the Thermowand there were several races where the Thermapens weren't hitting their mark in 8 seconds.  I commented on that and they removed that portion of video, proving the discrepencies in the Thermapen.  I guess certain colors are faster than others. LOL

  5. boykjo

    boykjo Sausage maker Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    What I like about the new thermapen MK4 is the 360° read and its waterproof.... I'm bad about leaving my therms at my smoker and out in the rain and then they r toast. I agree at that price they should come with a lifetime warranty. One year on the therm and only 6 months on the probe.... I agree the thermawands warranty could steer me towards the thermawand but if i left it out in the rain on the smoker and it puked i dont think their warranty would cover that type of abuse.
  6. For the price of 1 Thermapen, you can make the "leave it out in the rain" mistake a couple of times and still save a couple of $$.

    Check out Cranky's review of another brand, I think it was in the $35 range. If I remember correctly, it was water resistant as well. You'd only be missing the ability to read it upside down and the pink color. [​IMG]  
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2015
  7. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Thermowand is also water resistant. I left mine out in the rain for 3 days once. Works just fine. They do say not to run it through the dish washer.

    Also high temp is 482, not that I need to measure meat temps that high! Way over done for me!
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2015
  8. joe black

    joe black Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Ditto to Case and Dr. K. I really like my Thermowand. If it ever is damaged beyond the warranty, I'll buy another one, no question.
  9. dr k

    dr k Master of the Pit

    When I got the Thermowand last Xmas it said top rack dishwasher safe. I have no intention of getting anything wet other than the probe to wipe clean. The packaging which I still have says guaranteed for life. I have researched this new Thermapen and am registered with Thermoworks for theor Monday free giveaway. The Javelin Lavatools Pro PX1 is a three second read them at $49.99 on Amazon. Those of us that have the Thermowand have the PS1 model for$25.00. I like the refrigerator magnet and lanyard loop.
  10. bmudd14474

    bmudd14474 Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    I haven't used the other ones but have used the Thermapen and it is bullet proof IMO. I have used it at a vending gig and was able to go from piece to piece with very fast response. I am guessing the others can do that as well but I let someone use it at the vending gig and they were picking up whole tri tips with the probe(not to my approval) and it held just fine and is still working great.

    Good luck on what ever you pick.
  11. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    When I bought my thermocouple instant read therm I'd done no real research. I knew about the Thermapen and knew I couldn't afford one at full price. I attended a BBQ class and bought a CDN (Thermapen knockoff) for $60. It works great, very fast and accurate. You'll see guys here who like the even cheaper Thermowand. If I had some spare bucks I'd buy the MK4 only because left handers like me can use also easily use it since the display flips. That's how my wife's Thermoworks ThermoPop is designed.

    All the knockoffs like CDN, Lavatools, etc., are made in China. I don't remember what the warranty for my CDN is. If and when it develops a problem I'll check it then.

    Also, I don't care about gift cards because I typically don't shop the retailers they're connected with.
  12. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I just sent a letter to the folks at Thermoworks about my disappointment in their product. I had one for about a year and it worked great, now all of a sudden I need to play with the angle of the probe to get it to work. I'm guessing this is rare but I will also be looking at Javelin Lavatools Pro PX1 as a replacement, it's in my cart right now
  13. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I wanted to share my conversation I just had with Thermoworks...

    ME - I gotta say I am disappointed in my thermapen I bought last year, I used it religiously for 6 months cooking on my pit. After I replaced the batteries, it works intermittently, I have tried fresh batteries several times to no avail.

    When the probe is opened it does not go on you have to open and close it slightly and reopen it several times to find the right spot to get it to work, it's a shame I really liked the thermapen.

    Thermoworks - I was sorry to hear of your disappointment with your Thermapen. It sounds like we should take a look at it. We do have a 2 year warranty on the Thermapen and if found to have a warranty related problem we can repair or replace it (our option) for no charge. If it's something not covered, we offer affordable repair services for the Thermapen for $25. I was unable to find your purchase information. Was it purchased directly from ThermoWorks? If you would please reply with your address and phone number, I will issue you a return authorization. Please let me know if you have any questions.

    ME - Purchase Name


    XXX Road


     I appreciate the quick response, but I think I'm gonna consider this a loss and take a chance with Javelin Lavatools Pro PX1, I'm not up for the hassle of sending it back and haggling over if the fault lies with the consumer or the product, then shell out another $25.00

    Have a great day.

    Thermoworks - Thank you for the additional information. I believe that I was able to find your purchase information but the last purchase I have was a yellow Thermapen in January of 2012. Have I missed a more recent purchase? As I stated earlier, we do have a 2 year warranty on the Thermapen but continue to cover warranty issues well past that 2 years. Lavatools shapes their product like a Thermapen in order to imply that it is the same thing. It is not. If you buy one, you are paying too much, at least for the sensing technology and performance. We don't normally offer this, but if you are worried about getting the Thermapen back to us, I would be happy to email you a prepaid return label. 

    ME -Thanks for the offer but I will be using the Thermapen the next few weekends, it's a hassle but I can still finagle it to work.

    Thermoworks - We would be happy to open a return authorization and email you the prepaid return label right now and you could send it in when you are not using it as frequently.

    ME -Do you ship at back free of cost if you deem it satisfactory, or does the consumer pay for the shipping back

    Thermoworks - If found to be a warranty issue, we pay for the shipping back to you. If there are repair charges, the return shipping is already included in the $25 charge.

    ME - So if you feel it's not a warranty issue and I say just send it back without repairing it... who pays for the shipping then?

    Thermoworks - Tell you what, I would be happy to send you a replacement Thermapen out today. This will make sure you have no down time during your busy season. You can then use the enclosed prepaid return label to return the Thermapen that you currently have. When we receive it, we would then let you know what we found that was causing the problem. Just let me know what color and what address you would like it shipped to.

    ME - Now how could I balk at that. Sounds like a plan
    The one I have is a Yellow Thermapen


    XXX Road



    Thermoworks - You should have just received a couple of emails from me. One will be a return authorization email. This is simply for your reference. The second one will be the email confirmation of the shipment for the replacement Thermapen.

    ME -Got it, thanks

    I will send the other back in the box the new one comes in .

    Whats funny about this conversation is, I was willing to consider it a loss and the tech kept offering their help, I guess in the end I did Haggle... [​IMG].

    But the fact that the thermapen failed me is still upsetting.
    daricksta likes this.
  14. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Way to work the system, dude! Seems like customer service is very image-concerned and doesn't want any negative reviews of their products making the rounds because of the fierce competition from virtually identical but cheaper therms. I would've had to post a negative review of you had you rejected their fervent attempt to push a new Thermapen into your hands. Hang tough and demand the replacement be a new (not refurbished) MK4.

    My favorite part of the written exchange? They went ahead and did the research on your purchase history and told you that the only purchase they have on file for you is that yellow Thermapen bought in 2012, implying that it's out of warranty. You reply that you're going to call it a loss and buy a Thermawand. You reduce them to begging you on your knees to take the replacement and also commit to throwing in free return shipping of the defective Thermapen. Then and only then do you say "Ha! It was the yellow Thermapen!" because you know it's too late for them to rescind the deal you just agreed to. Well played, SQWIB, well played.
  15. dr k

    dr k Master of the Pit

    The dialogue you had with Thermoworks when they heard about you giving up and just getting the PX1squeezed them a little to be more flexible or resolve the problem. May be with competitive therms these days this may be a new approach to customer retention without changing their warranty. I would like to hear more of these good CSR stories with Thermapen/Thermoworks if others have had to apply their warranty.
  16. Lavatools replaced my Javelin without any question. They paid for shipping both ways too!
  17. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I'm still going to order the Javelin Lavatools Pro PX1 in the near future. I didn't realize how much I relied on a good thermo until I needed it the most. So a backup is definitely in  order!

    As far as customer service goes, sometimes it depends on who you contact, most CS Folks are going by the book and would fear for their job to make a call like the Thermoworks Tech did.
  18. dr k

    dr k Master of the Pit

    Last night I went on Amazon to see the Lavatools Javelin Pro PX1 and found it has a three year guarantee. I checked the Lavatools original $25.00 PS1 Thermowand and it is still the lifetime guarantee. Probably because it's so inexpensive. You tube probably has the PX1 comparison to the Thermapen. I'll have to check it out.
  19. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I can tell you who has the worst customer service! "Add more water" LEM... [​IMG]
  20. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    And I can tell you who has the best customer service, WEBER... I'll gladly pay Double/Triple for a weber grill.

    OK my curiosity peaked, lets hear it!

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