RIDGID Professional Thermal Cameras Review 

 August 28, 2019

By  Randy Angwin

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Last updated on July 11, 2021

Innovation is at the heart of what RIDGID stands for. The brand is the leading manufacturer of tools and equipment for tradespeople since 1923. Armed with the necessary expertise they’ve designed the first modern pipe wrench.

Today RIDGID continues to innovate more efficient tools for those who build our world, brick by brick.

RIDGID prides itself on building tools that are durable and reliable. They're renowned for helping professionals do their jobs more efficiently with faster turnaround times.

RIDGID’s range of thermal cameras is all cutting edge and used extensively in the building & construction industries. The design on their thermal cameras are lightweight and built with impressive technology that allows the user to quickly identify faults in pipes & buildings.

RIDGID RT-3 57533 Thermal Imaging Camera, High Resolution Infrared Digital Camera for Commercial and Residential Applications

Let’s take a look at some of the different thermal cameras they currently have available on the market.

RIGID's Line of Thermal Cameras

With so many options available in the thermal imaging market at present, we can’t blame you if it gets overwhelming at times. Let’s simplify and cut out the jargon to get to the functionality of the different thermal cameras you can select from RIDGID’s range.

RIDGID RT-3 Thermal Camera

Detecting costly faults on time can save you a lot of money and possibly downtime in production. This thermal camera identifies any connections in your system that are prone to overheating, leakages in your pipes as well as thermal bridges that could result in energy losses.

It offers you superior resolution when viewing thermal images and comes fitted with infrared capability for easy detection. It can expand images up to 320x240 pixels with RIGID's SuperResolution features but has no digital zoom feature. Its native thermal resolution is 160x120. The temperature measuring range is -20 to +280°C with thermal sensitivity of less than 120mK. 

The field of view is 31° x 23° with display options that allow for infrared images only. The user-friendly interface assists with easy navigation and gives you a bright display resolution. You’re able to change the color palette to:

  • Iron
  • Rainbow HC
  • Cold–hot or grey

You can also zoom in on different temperature areas when the device is in photo mode.

The interface for connectivity is made easy via a USB 2.0 micro B connection. It has an internal storage capacity of 2.8GB and excellent visual camera resolution.

Why We Recommend It

This is a good entry-level purchase in thermal cameras. It gives you high-resolution images and easy user interface connections. It's lightweight and easy to carry around anywhere. We think its good value for money all round; although it does not have WiFi like the other RIGID models below.

  • High-resolution images
  • Able to zoom into low and high temperatures
  • Cannot connect via Wi-Fi

RIDGID RT-5X Thermal Camera

Thermal imaging has become a vital part of the building and construction industry due to its effectiveness to identify problematic areas in buildings. It can help you ‘see’ into the interior of walls for any thermal activity brought on by leakages, electric short circuits, and other faults.

The resolution on the RT-5X is the same as with the RT-3 at 160x120 for infrared imaging along with their SuperResolution which goes up to 320x240. It doesn’t have a digital zoom but can focus on images at a distance. The temperature measuring range is from -30 to 650°C with thermal sensitivity of less than 100 mK. 

The interface is a bit more exciting than the RT-3 and fitted with Wi-Fi capability & a USB 2.0 micro B connection. The internal storage capacity to store your images is 2.8GB and the super-resolution technology enhances your images to 320x240 pixels for excellent visual camera resolution as noted above.

When it comes to the field of view it has capacity at 31° x 23° with four different color palettes to pick from. It’s fitted with an easy to operate interface and a display screen that is 3.5” in size. 

Why We Recommend It

The RT-5X has an improved measuring range and allows the viewing of infrared images as well as real images. It can also save images in different file formats. It’s also enabled with E-assist which is an added feature not present in the RT-3 device as well as having WiFi which is almost a requirement for most jobs today.

  • Improved measuring range
  • Enabled with E-assist
  • Limited color palettes

RIDGID RT-7X Thermal Camera

The further we progress in the thermal imaging lineup offered by RIDGID, the better it gets. The RT-7X is loaded with extra features that make it stand out from its predecessors.

The insightful interface is designed to save you time and is intuitive for easy navigation. It allows for Wi-Fi or USB 2.0 micro connectivity. You get an internal storage capacity of up to 2.8GB and it expands images with the super-resolution feature up to 480x360 pixels for excellent visual camera resolution.

The field of view is designed to function at 35° x 26° and it also has four different color palettes to pick from; the same as the RT-3 & RT-5X. The display screen size is standard across all the thermal imagers at 3.5”. 

You get a higher thermal resolution with the RT-7X at 240x180 pixels per image. This unit is also not fitted with a digital zoom feature but has a more varied range of measurement functions. The temperature measuring range is -22 to 1202°F and the thermal sensitivity is a bit lower at less than 90 mK.

Why We Recommend It

We appreciate the fact that you have greater measurement functions included in this unit, which allows for ambient humidity and fluctuating temperatures. The higher resolution on infrared images also makes it easy to spot potential issues or problems. The higher temperature detection range also makes it ideal for industrial inspections.

  • Broader measurement functions
  • Greater field of view distance
  • No digital zoom feature

RIDGID RT-9X Thermal Camera

This is a top of the range thermal camera produced by Rigid. It gives you the same reliability and convenience of the other thermal cameras we mentioned albeit with an added punch.

It’s the first thermal camera from the range fitted with digital zoom capabilities, allowing you to zoom 2x, 3x up to 4x. The interface is Wi-Fi enabled and USB 2.0 micro B compatible. The internal storage capacity remains at 2.8GB across the entire range and is fitted with super-resolution technology for outstanding visual camera resolution.

You have 10 different color palettes to select from and the field of view is increased to 42° x 30°. The resolution surpasses the other thermal cameras we mentioned with up to 640x480 pixels per image with their SuperResolution and natively 320x240. The temperature measuring range remains at -30 to 650°C and thermal sensitivity is set at less than 60 mK.

Why We Recommend It

The added benefit of digital zoom included in this unit is an exciting feature. Also, the higher thermal resolution on your images will improve how you view information on the screen. If you are looking for a high-end thermal camera that is suited to almost any job this is a perfect fit.

  • Digital zoom capability
  • Ten different color palettes to pick from
  • Batteries can run out quickly
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Benefits of RIDGID Range Thermal Cameras

Besides the efficiency of all the thermal cameras we’ve listed thus far, there are some added benefits included in most of them:


This feature allows you to use different settings to reflect temperatures and emissivity using a digital camera.

RIDGID Thermal App: 

This app allows you to transfer data wirelessly using any iOS or Android SmartPhone. It comes standard with the RT-5X, RT-7X, and RT-9X which are Wi-Fi enabled. The app is easy to download on the RIDGID website and can pair successfully with most devices once a Wi-Fi connection has been established. 

Lifetime Warranty: 

RIDGID offers you a lifetime warranty on any thermal camera that has defects materially or because of poor workmanship. RIDGID will either repair or replace the device or offer a full refund if the device is still defective after being repaired three times. 

What is SuperResolution?

SuperResolution is cutting edge technology used in enhancing images for greater detail and better detection of irregularities. It can add extra detail to the already saved pictures. Some other functions include:

  • It increases pixels on images
  • It selects the perfect image with four times more resolution than normal images
  • It allows for five SuperResolution images to be developed simultaneously
RIDGID RT-9X 57518 Thermal Imaging Camera with Wi-Fi, and Temperature Range -30 to 650 degrees Celsius

Final Thoughts

With a trusted name such as RIDGID behind any product, you can have the assurance that outstanding workmanship has gone into producing these tools. Their thermal cameras are widely used by professionals across different industries to successfully and expediently do their work every day.

Whatever your selection will be when deciding on a thermal camera, important features such as E-assist, higher resolution images, and Wi-Fi connectivity must be considered.

Also having a lifetime warranty added to any product gives you some peace of mind.

RIDGID remains passionate and committed to producing high-quality equipment that will improve the way we build. Let us know in the comments below how using a thermal camera has improved the way you do your job.

About the author 

Randy Angwin

Randy Angwin holds a master of science degree from University of Florida. He is an expert in infrared and night vision technology. His knowledge helps us staying on top of the latest trends in the thermal industry. When not working, Randy likes to hunt and spend time with his two German shepherds.

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