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Extech CG204 Coating Thickness Tester

by Diminished Value Car Appraiser on January 25, 2014

Price:
$190

Reviewed by:
Rating:
3
On January 25, 2014
Last modified:January 25, 2014

Summary:

The bottom line: if you have the time and patience to calibrate this unit every time and you're on a budget, go ahead and buy the extech but if you're a large wholesale buyer and need a tool that works in adverse conditions and will be accurate every single time sans-calibration, I suggest you look elsewhere. For me, the search continues.

Extech CG204
Date Published: 01/25/2014
3 / 5 stars
Extech CG204 Coating Thickness Tester Review: This is a review I wrote on this product for Amazon.Extech-CG204-Coating-Thickness-Tester

I am a licensed car appraiser, my company appraises about 3 thousand cars per year, I’ve used many paint meters throughout the years and decided to take a gamble on the Extech CG204 as my business is expanding and I am hiring about a dozen more field inspectors. I did not want to spend $750 on a paint meter and since I will be buying many, I wanted to give the cheap ones a shot.

With that being said, it is with regret that I have to give this paint meter a 3 star rating.

First, let me start with the Pros:

  1. Cheap, actually about 25% the cost of the leading competitor in the field (my other meter)
  2. Screen easy to read
  3. Stores values (not very useful to me, but I can see the benefit)
  4. Compact and easy to carry
  5. Accurate when calibrated
  6. Come with a belt mounted pouch
  7. Will automatically switch between Steel and Aluminum (Fe and NFe)
  8. Has an alarm that you can set for a minimum or maximum threshold (not sure how many people will use this, seems gimmicky to me)

Now, my Cons:

  1. Requires calibration after every usage. Let me elaborate, for some reason, the paint meter loses its calibration within 5 minutes of usage or after you turn it off.
  2. Requires calibration when switching between ferrous to non-ferrous body panels
  3. Will default to micro-meters after turning off (I prefer using mils as my unit of measurement)
  4. Too many buttons
  5. Confusing instructions and menus
  6. Has a USB port but the software does not work on a Mac and it’s hard to figure out
  7. Does not seem very durable
  8. Does not come with wrist band
  9. The measuring bezel is hard plastic and may scratch surfaces (others are rubberized)

I measured thicknesses using my other meter and compared it to the Extech, they were within 1% of each other, this to me a is a good sign.

The bottom line: if you have the time and patience to calibrate this unit every time and you’re on a budget, go ahead and buy the extech but if you’re a large wholesale buyer and need a tool that works in adverse conditions and will be accurate every single time sans-calibration, I suggest you look elsewhere. For me, the search continues.

Tony Rached

The bottom line: if you have the time and patience to calibrate this unit every time and you're on a budget, go ahead and buy the extech but if you're a large wholesale buyer and need a tool that works in adverse conditions and will be accurate every single time sans-calibration, I suggest you look elsewhere. For me, the search continues.

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