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Atago 3850 Digital Hand Held Pocket Refractometer, 1.3306 to 1.5284 Refractive Index Measurement Range

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Specifications for this item
Number of Items
Overall Height
109  millimeters
Overall Width
55  millimeters
Measurement Type
Refractive index , Temperature
Part Number
Temperature Range
10/40  Degrees Celsius
Item Depth
31 millimeters
Size Name
Refractive Index 1.3306 to 1.5284nD
Brand Name

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Key Features

  • Requires only a few drops of sample
  • Measurement in 3 seconds
  • Ergonomically designed for easy, one-handed operation
  • Designed with a strap holder option
  • Highly water resistant

Package Details

Shipping Weight: 0.6 pounds
Package Size: 6.5 x 3.7 x 1.9 inches

Product Description

The Atago 3850 PAL-RI is a handheld, portable, water-resistant refractometer with a high refractive index measurement scale in the 1.3306 to 1.5284nD range, an LED display with external light interference (ELI) technology, and an acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) resin Ingress-Protection (IP-65)-rated body. Handheld refractometers, also known as sugar meters, concentration meters, or Brix meters, are commonly used in the culinary, food and beverage, pharmaceutical, educational, geological, chemical, and ecological industries, and for water-testing applications.

This refractometer is housed in an ABS resin body for use with many sample types and an ambient temperature range of 10 to 40 degrees C. The 3850 PAL-RI is factory-calibrated (calibration certificate not included) and can be calibrated with tap water. The metal sides of the sample well allow the sample temperature to conform quickly and evenly to the prism temperature for accurate measurements. The sloped shape eases sample pouring and helps avoid spills while taking measurements. The outer shell is shaped for easy gripping, with raised grip dots on the back side where the fingertips rest. The LED-illuminated digital display with ELI technology helps provide accurate measurement near windows or outdoors. ELI alerts the user that there is too much light, such as direct sunlight, penetrating through the prism. The unit displays both refractive index and temperature within three seconds, with the refractive index continuously scrolling across the display. The 3850 PAL-RI comes with a protective plastic storage case with a foam cut-out insert to cushion the instrument.


Measurement scale range Refractive index 1.3306 to 1.5284
Specimen measurement temperature range 5 to 45 degrees C
Accuracy Refractive index + or - 0.0003 (water at 20 degrees C), Temperature + or - 1 degrees C
Resolution Refractive index 0.0001, Temperature 1 degrees C
Ambient temperature for unit operation 10 to 40 degrees C
Sample volume 0.3ml
Measurement time Three seconds
Body type ABS resin, IP-65 rated
Power supply Two AAA batteries
Dimensions 109 x 55 x 31mm (H x W x D)
Weight 100g
Warranty Limited two-year

H is height, the vertical distance from the lowest to highest point; W is width, the horizontal distance from left to right; D is depth, the horizontal distance from front to back.

Refractometers are used to determine substance content in a sample, to provide unit readings of substances including Brix, salinity, and alcohol; to detect chemical impurities, or to measure components of samples such as industrial fluid. Refractometers measure the refractive index of a substance, which is its optical characteristic, and the number of dissolved particles in it. The refractive index is the ratio of the speed of light in empty space to the speed of light in a substance; when light passes from one medium to another. Generally, a low concentration sample has a larger angle of refraction than a high concentration sample. For example, a straw placed in a high-concentration substance appears more bent than when placed in a low-concentration substance. Refractometers can work with natural light, or with an external power source such as batteries or electricity. They typically have either a digital or analog reading display, though some units utilize both types. Some analog-display refractometers can be used for both solids and liquids. Digital-display refractometers are used exclusively for liquids. Types of refractometers include handheld, benchtop, and in-process. Handheld refractometers are elongated and telescope-shaped, or shorter and rectangular. Analog handheld refractometer readings are obtained by looking through the monocular eyepiece and viewing where the boundary line intersects with the memory line. Digital handheld models provide a digital readout. Benchtop refractometers typically measure with a higher degree of accuracy than handheld units. In-process refractometers are used for continuous process monitoring and data readouts, and are generally fitted into a piping system for ongoing analysis. Refractometers are used in a wide variety of applications in the culinary, food and beverage, pharmaceutical, educational, geological, chemical, ecological, and automotive industries, and for water-testing applications.

Atago Co., Ltd. manufactures analytical instruments such as refractometers, polarimeters, and saccharimeters, as well as a variety of meters. The company, founded in 1940 and headquartered in Tokyo, offers products that comply with Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP), Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), and Good Laboratory Practices (GLP) system standards, and many International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standards.

What’s in the Box?

  • 3850 PAL-RI refractometer
  • Rigid plastic storage case
  • AAA batteries (2)
  • Instructions

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