Extech CG204 Coating Thickness Tester by ExtechExtech CG204Written by: Tony RachedDate Published: 01/25/20143 / 5 starsExtech CG204 Coating Thickness Tester Review: This is a review I wrote on this product for Amazon.
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:
- Cheap, actually about 25% the cost of the leading competitor in the field (my other meter)
- Screen easy to read
- Stores values (not very useful to me, but I can see the benefit)
- Compact and easy to carry
- Accurate when calibrated
- Come with a belt mounted pouch
- Will automatically switch between Steel and Aluminum (Fe and NFe)
- 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:
- 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.
- Requires calibration when switching between ferrous to non-ferrous body panels
- Will default to micro-meters after turning off (I prefer using mils as my unit of measurement)
- Too many buttons
- Confusing instructions and menus
- Has a USB port but the software does not work on a Mac and it’s hard to figure out
- Does not seem very durable
- Does not come with wrist band
- 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.