Buyer Guide for the Milwaukee MW102 pH Meter

Thursday, April 25, 2024

Review of the Milwaukee MW102 pH tester

If you've ever gone on to a beer brewing forum and seen the question "What's the best ph meter to use?" you are going to get 75 dudes all banging on about how great the Milwaukee MW102 pH meter is.

Truly you will if you do some google-fu. 

A few others might mention the Apera or the Hanna offerings but the MW102 is a killer instrument.

We're not kidding, brewers love it because it's reliable, durable and doesn't break the bank cost-wise. Indeed, it's at the cheaper end of the mid-range pricing scale.

Marijuana growers in California love it too! And just recently growers in Canada too! My, how the world has changed. Kombucha brewers can even use it!

The MW102 is portable and gives fast, accurate, and reliable measurements whether you're in the classroom, laboratory, or for general field use.

And by 'general field use', we mean brewers on the grass in their backyard, brewing up a storm on brew day!

Milwaukee MW102 PH and Temperature Meter

The manufacturer's specifications:
    Milwaukee MW102 PH and Temperature Meter
  • MW102 is a microprocessor based pH/Temperature meter with extended range (-2.00 to 16.00 pH)
  • Automatic Temperature Compensation
  • Automatic calibration in 2 points and ±0.02 pH accuracy. 
  • The meter is supplied with pH electrode and calibration solutions. 
  • MW102 is supplied complete with a SE220 pH electrode, MA830R stainless steel temperature probe, pH 4.01 and pH 7.01 20 mL sachet of calibration solution
  • 9V battery which should give approx 750 hours
  • The user instructions manual

Accuracy and ReliabilityPrice
The Milwaukee MW102 is known for its high accuracy, providing reliable pH readings with a resolution of 0.01 pH and an accuracy of ±0.02 pH. This makes it suitable for laboratory, industrial, and professional use.The MW102 is relatively more expensive compared to some entry-level models, which might be a deterrent for hobbyists or those needing a pH meter for less critical applications.
Temperature CompensationMaintenance
It features automatic temperature compensation (ATC), which adjusts the pH readings according to the temperature of the solution, ensuring accurate measurements across different environments.The electrodes of the MW102 require regular maintenance and calibration to maintain accuracy, which could be seen as cumbersome by some users. Electrodes also need to be replaced periodically, adding to the operational costs.
Build QualityComplexity for Beginners
The meter has a robust build that enhances its durability, making it a good investment for frequent use in challenging environments like laboratories or fieldwork.New users or those unfamiliar with scientific equipment might find the operation of the MW102 a bit complex compared to simpler models.
Dual-level LCD DisplayBattery Life
Its dual-level display shows both pH and temperature readings simultaneously, which is convenient for users and reduces the chance of error in readings.Although it provides adequate battery life, the MW102 uses standard batteries that need replacement over time, unlike some models with rechargeable options.
Portable and VersatileLimited Advanced Features
The design of the MW102 is compact and portable, making it easy to carry around for field testing. It is also versatile, being suitable for a range of applications from brewing and wine making to water quality testing.While it covers the basics very well, the MW102 may lack some advanced features available in higher-end models, such as connectivity options for data logging or integration with other devices.

Actual user reviews from Amazon

Real humans, real beer makers have purchased the Milwaukee MW102 and left some pretty genuine feedback as to how this good unit is: 

"So far I am very happy with this unit. I have more faith in the calibration & readings of this unit. During calibration, this meter requires you to calibrate to 7.01 & then do a slope calibration to 4.01. I have not seen this with other meters, but once calibrated the unit is very accurate & holds calibration without issues. I may have made it sound complicated, but it is pretty easy to calibrate."

"I've owned this meter for 6 months now and it has been very accurate and dependable. I use it for wine making. It's really nice that it has a separate temperature probe because sometimes I use it for just that. A word of advice, buy the Milwaukee probe storage solution. It will decrease the number of times you need to calibrate the probe."

Sounds like sensible advice!

"This is in every way a professional laboratory-grade instrument of the highest quality! It is easy to calibrate and the calibration is very stable and long-lasting. It reads the PH almost instantly and is a joy to use. The tip should be stored in Milwaukee's special storage solution as recommended for longest probe life."

"I elected to give this one a shot because I wanted confidence the readings were correct. And they are. No more dipping a pen wand in the water to find a 8pH then immediately redipping the meter and getting a reading of 3.8 in the same water! So far a great product for the price. Exceeded what I had grown to expect from ph meters."

The unit is rated quite highly on Amazon and you can see why it's reviewers are hugely positive about it!

Maintenance tips for the Milwaukee MW102

As you'd imagine, Milwaukee offers a wide range of calibration, maintenance & cleaning solutions.

The use of calibration and cleaning solutions is fundamental for the correct use of electrodes and for obtaining the most accurate and reproducible readings. If you do not store probes properly, they will dry out and give incorrect readings and then you will need to spend some of your hard-earned Earth dollars on a replacement (which Milwaukee will happily sell you!)

It's a very smart custom to clean your pH electrode fairly often. This is because a coating known as the 'hydrated layer' can develop on the glass bulb. This layer will cause your unit to display inaccurate readings. Which just defeats the whole point of using a meter!

The common method of cleaning the electrode is by submerging it in a cleaning solution for a whole 15 minutes. The solution will break down the hydrated layer.

After the cleaning solution has done its business, the probe must be rinsed with very clean or purified water and then placed in probe storage solution for at least 2-3 hours before calibration is begun.

ph meter milwaukee

Can  I get a replacement probe?

  • You sure can get a new probe - it's known as the 'Milwaukee SE220 '. You'll need one if you haven't looked after your main one by properly storing it - or you broke it by dropping it!
  • Replacing the electrode probes is as easy as changing a light bulb - just follow the instructions.
  • Milwaukee probes are given a warranty of 6 months - which is pretty standard.

When should I clean the Milwaukee ph Meter?

For accurate pH readings the Milwaukee's probe should be properly cleaned and then re-calibrated when:
  • when the on-screen measurement is not close to the reading you were hoping to read. 
  • when the batteries have gone flat, been removed or changed. This is because the unit will not remember
  • when the pH probe is replaced with a new one
If Milwaukee is not for you, you might find something that meets your needs in our pH meter buyer's guide -  which features the popular Bluelab Combo Meter.

We're not worthy...


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