What Makes the Palm Abbe the BEST Digital Handheld Refractometer in the World?

The Palm Abbe® digital handheld refractometer is unique compared to other digital handheld refractometers thanks, in part, to MISCO’s Optical-Engine™ technology. The Optical-Engine is an integrated measurement engine comprised of a light-source, optics, and measurement electronics assembled into a single, nearly indestructible, module.

How Does the Palm Abbe Digital Refractometer Work?

The measurement process begins by modulating a high-intensity LED light source which is specially selected to provide light-energy at precisely 589.3 nm, the sodium D-line, the most common reference wavelength for refractive index measurements. Miniature optical elements and custom filters then focus that light energy on the measuring surface of a sapphire optical element. Sapphire, the next hardest substance to diamond, is virtually unscratchable. Other digital refractometers only have a common glass measuring surface. In the absence of a fluid sample on the measuring surface (Fig. 2) the light-energy is total internally reflected toward a linear detector array. 

How Digital Refractometer worksIn Fig. 3, some of the light-energy from the LED is predictably lost into the test fluid. There is a direct relationship between the amount and angles of light-energy lost into the fluid and its critical angle. Past the critical angle, all light energy is internally reflected from the measuring surface where a shadowline is projected on a high-definition detector array with 1,024 individual detector elements, and a resolution of 3,256 pixels per inch (ppi). Compare this to competing refractometers which only have low-definition detector arrays with just 128 elements and a resolution of only 400 ppi. Imagine how much sharper the shadowline image is on the MISCO HD detector array, with 87% more detector elements and more than eight times the resolution. To put it in perspective, it would be like the difference between a 2.5 megapixel camera and a 20 megapixel camera.

Comparing the MISCO Palm Abbe to other Digital Handheld Refractometers

Besides the obvious advantages of the MISCO Optical-Engine, the Palm Abbe digital refractometer has a stainless steel sample well and a protective evaporation cover. Most competing refractometers have a plastic well or an anodized aluminum well and no evaporation cover.

The Palm Abbe refractometer has a large 24-character backlit display, which displays the fluid name, the unit of measure, and the actual measurement. Error messages on the Palm Abbe display are displayed as text characters, and it can display them in English, French, German, Spanish, and Russian. Competing instruments usually have just three or four numeric digits, no unit of measure or fluid name display, and error codes are cryptic.

The Palm Abbe refractometer is available with an optional Rubber Armor Jacket, which makes it the most rugged refractometer available and, for a change, it is made right here in the USA, instead of Asia.

MISCO, Optical-Engine, and Palm Abbe are trademarks or registered trademarks in the U.S. and other countries.

Additional Training:
Digital Refractometer Care & Maintenance
The Heat Is On - Measuring Hot Fluids
How to Take a Reading with the Palm Abbe Digital Handheld Refractometer
How to Zero-Set a Digital Handheld Refractometer
How to Change a Digital Refractometer Battery
Digital Refractometer Error Messages
The Art of the Chart – Charting Solution Concentrations Using a Refractometer
3 Digital Refractometer Secrets Even Your Mother Doesn’t Know

Build Your Own Refractometer

While we pride ourselves in having one of the largest selections of refractometers available, we recognize that every user is different and that there may not be a one-size-fits-all solution to your measurement needs. Build-Your-Own Refractometer allows you to design a custom refractometer to your exact specifications. Just select the desired number of scales, choose protection options, and then add accessories to your design - truly making it your own. When you're done you can choose to print a custom quote or place the order immediately! Give it a try! Of course, call us anytime for personalized service. 866-831-1999

Build Your Own Refractometer

Our Build-Your-Own Refractometer section allows you to design a custom refractometer to your exact specifications. First, select the measurement scales. Next, add options and then accessories to your design. Finally, you can print a custom quote or order immediately. TRY IT NOW!


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Contact MISCO

6275 Cochran Road, Solon OH 44139

Toll Free 866-831-1999

Phone 440-349-1500 

Fax 440-349-1511