Jake Frith tests the Kethvoz KE-866B digital anemometer against the instruments on his boat
While down on the beach early one morning trying to vainly guess whether there was enough wind to rig up my hydrofoil windsurfing gear, it struck me that like every other handheld scientific instrument in life, perhaps the Chinese were offering an unfeasibly cheap digital anemometer on Amazon now.
One quick web search later and yes, as I suspected, anemometers now start at £12 including delivery.
That one was a ‘pocket anemometer’ though, which I swerved as its impeller is just 2cm across and feedback suggested that it took a few knots of wind to get it started, making its low windspeed accuracy questionable.
Spending more for a larger device with far better reviews seemed to be sensible.
I opted for the Kethvoz KE-866B digital anemometer, but I noted that it goes by three or four alternative names and sells for up to £24.99.
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This is a sensitive device. Put two AAA batteries in and walk slowly around a room, and the 6.5cm impeller starts turning and it can read down to the 0.2 knots you are shuffling around at.
A UNIT button shifts it easily through mph, knots, m/s, ft/min and km/h and a temperature display tells you in centigrade or Fahrenheit what it was wherever you were storing the unit about 20 minutes ago.
The only negative reviews were about this very delayed temperature reading, which I don’t require anyway.
Testing the Kethvoz KE-866B digital anemometer against my Garmin masthead cup-type anemometer on the boat, the Garmin read 5% more, but that’s what I would expect at the top of a 30ft mast.
Similarly, Netley Cliff Sailing Club’s clubhouse anemometer was reading just under 7 knots when the Kethvoz said 6.3, but the club’s cups spin 25ft up and the Kethvoz was only at the end of my arm.
The lanyard unscrews and, usefully, is the same thread as a standard camera tripod bolt, so I often put it in Average Speed mode on a tripod for a few minutes to get a good idea of the mean windspeed – more useful than a single point in time.
Since reviewing the Kethvoz KE-866B digital anemometer, a new version with mobile phone connectability has been launched, RRP £42.99