For anyone out on the water, whether they are in a boat, sailboat, yacht, or dinghy, knowing the wind speed can be crucial for boat safety. Most boats have a stationary wind reading device high up on top of the mast, but having a handheld device is also smart. To read the wind from your wrist, an anemometer is the best choice.

Anemometers come in a variety of styles and many have different budgets available. They are useful and can be easily used when out on the water. However, finding a quality anemometer can be difficult if you don’t know what you’re looking for.

Our guide is designed to help you find the best anemometer that will help guide your path through the waves. Below we have some important features, as well as a list of the ten best anemometers.

How To Choose An Anemometer – Buying Guide


Out of all the sailing instruments available, anemometers for home use tend to stand out as the top choice because they are smart, durable, accurate, and functional. With all the options and budgets available, you are faced with an overwhelming decision.

Here are some features that will help you determine what makes a quality anemometer. These tips will make the buying process effortless, so you can get back to focusing on measuring the wind.

Measurement Accuracy

Anemometers need to be accurate because you will be dependent on the measurements you receive to make important decisions. For boaters and sailors, the measurement needs to be as accurate as possible, so they can choose the best heading for their boat. You’ll want a wind gauge that is reliable and one of the best ways to find one, if you’re shopping online, is to read anemometer reviews because they can tell you whether the device will be accurate or not.

Response and Wind Speed

Portable anemometers are small sized devices, so they are normally restricted to measuring a max wind speed of about 100 miles per hour. For boats, this shouldn’t be a problem because nobody should ever be out on the water in wind speeds that high. However, the response time it takes for the anemometer to take the measurement can be important, especially if you are trying to measure gusts of wind. The best handheld anemometer will have a fast response time.

Size and Construction

A digital anemometer will likely be rather small in size. They are meant to be handheld, after all. A pocket anemometer is great because you can take it anywhere and easily carry it on your body. But just because their small, doesn’t mean that they can skimp on construction.

Portable anemometers need to be well-constructed, so that they don’t break in the wind. Their construction should be durable and sturdy to ensure you can take a measurement whenever you need.

Build and Design

Just like the construction, a home anemometer needs to be well-built with a smart design. Some designs are a stationary piece with a small fan like piece to read the wind. Others will have a folding piece that you will actually move to properly position the small weather station.

You will have to decide what build and design best suits your needs and there’s no need to worry, because there are plenty of options on the market.

Measurement Scale

If you are from the United States, you are likely going to be the most comfortable using the Imperial system and having your measurement given to you in inches. However, other sailors would prefer to use the Metric system and have their readings given in meters. No matter what you feel comfortable with using, you’ll want to ensure that your digital anemometer will give the measurement scale in a form that you feel comfortable with using.

Battery Life

Most modern anemometers are digital anemometers, which means they need a source of power to function and relay the information to the screen for you to read. A battery is the most common form of power for portable anemometers and works perfectly fine. Most batteries will be long lasting, not just a single use, and the best anemometer will have a low battery indicator.



Q: How does an anemometer work?


A wind speed gauge handheld device or anemometer works by building a mathematical relationship between the speed of the wind and an electric current. A digital anemometer has a small fan, which acts like a wind turbine, or the wind to move and maneuver. As the wind turns the rotors of the fan, the faster they go the more electricity they produce. By reading these measurements you are able to get an accurate reading of the overall windspeed and make your decisions from that information.

Q: Why would I use an anemometer?


Many different people rely on a wind gauge from professions like architects to scientists and engineers, but for sailors a pocket anemometer is one of the most important tools to have aboard their sailboat. Sailors rely on the wind to power their sailboat and move it forward, hence the common saying, “Sailing with the wind”. While most sailors will have a backup motor aboard, should it ever fail and they have to rely solely on their sail, a home anemometer can help them make the best decisions, find a clear heading, and assure they are safe sailing.

Q: Does this anemometer measure more than just wind speed?


Yes. Many anemometers for home use will also measure the wind gust and chill, temperature, airflow, and humidity. This means that a digital anemometer truly is a mini weather station for you to rely on when sailing the seas.

Q: Will I be using this mobile anemometer near water or in rain?


If you are a sailor, yes. While most anemometers will not be fully waterproof and cannot be submerged in water, they should be durable enough to resist a light sea spray or light rain. You shouldn’t use your pocket anemometer in heavy water conditions for extended periods of time because it may damage the device.

Q: Do I need a detached instrument or is an all-integrated wind speed meter okay?


The best handheld anemometer will be everything you need in one device, so no extra attachments are needed, and the all-integrated design should be perfect for your needs. If you need other readings or higher readings, you should look at other specialized devices.

Q: What type of weather conditions will I be using this handheld anemometer in?


Any weather conditions you need. A top rated handheld anemometer should be able to be used in any weather, no matter the condition. However, be cautious of exposing your wind gauge to harsh weather or lots of water, as it could risk damage to the device.

Globo Surf Overview

A top rated handheld anemometer will always be a popular choice amongst sailors for their safety on the water. Anemometers are durable, functional, and intelligent devices that can help you determine the best path for you to sail. With the best anemometer, you’ll confidently be captaining your boat. Plus, an anemometer would make an excellent gift for sailors and boaters.

More Boat Reviews:

Do you own one of the anemometers that made it onto our list? Let us know how it has worked for your sailing needs in the comments section below.

Globo Surf Anemometers Reviews

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Rated 5/5 based on 1 customer reviews
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Great list. You have truly picked up the best products. The internet is saturated with lots of products and it's really hard to pick the right one.

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Globo Surf
My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!