New Palm Abbe Family of Digital Handheld Refractometers Puts Laboratory Precision in the Palm of Your Hand

MISCO Palm Abbe Refractometer

Refractometer Puts Laboratory Bench-Top Precision in the Palm of Your Hand

MISCO formally introduced its new Palm Abbe family of handheld digital refractometers today at PITTCON 2005. “With the Palm Abbe, we are able to break price and performance barriers previously unattainable by handheld digital refractometers,” says Michael Rainer, MISCO CEO. “The Palm Abbe family was designed to expand and complement MISCO’s existing line of high-quality refractometers.”

Priced between $300 and $500 (US), the Palm Abbe breaks the price barrier that previously separated digital models from traditional analog handheld refractometers, while also breaking the performance barrier between digital handheld instruments and intermediate bench-top refractometers. Palm Abbe allows for the instant “field” determination of measurements with precision comparable to mid-range bench-top refractometers costing thousands of dollars more.

The flagship of the family, the model PA203, can be custom-programmed to read and report up to five different fluid-specific scales. Fluid-specific scales allow users to read directly in the particular unit of measure in which they are interested, i.e., percent concentration, freezing point, etc., thus eliminating the need for arcane conversion tables and charts correlated to Brix and refractive index.

PA203 users may select from thousands of possible fluid / scale combinations. Fluid scales include various acids, glycols, chlorides, alcohols, urine, blood plasma, or virtually any other water-soluble fluid. Custom scales can be produced and programmed for proprietary aqueous solutions. Users may even select display prompts and measurements in English, Spanish, French, German, or Russian.

The PA202 model includes dual scales for measuring both Brix and index of refraction, as high as 85 Brix or 1.5000 refractive index. The model PA201 has a single Brix scale that reads as high as 56 Brix. The PA201 is priced comparably with many traditional analog refractometers.

Protection against inaccurate readings due to temperature differences, a major concern in refractive index measurement, is assured with nonlinear temperature compensation. Temperature compensation is automatic for fluids read between 0 and 50 °C (+32 to 122 °F).

The stainless steel sample well requires only a single drop of fluid to take measurements. A simple, user-friendly interface consists of two buttons: one to take readings and the other to step through various menu options. A large, dual-line, multilingual LCD display is easily read, even in dim light.

The digital refractometer removes the subjectivity associated with analog refractometers that require users to interpret where a boundary line crosses tiny scale divisions. Calibration of the Palm Abbe is automatic and does not require special calibration solutions or tools; they automatically calibrate themselves to water.


A world leader in the refractometer field, MISCO is headquartered in Cleveland, OH, home to the company for more than 55 years. MISCO designs, manufacturers and sells a variety of refractometers, including: digital bench-top laboratory refractometers, inline process control refractometers, digital handheld refractometers, and traditional handheld instruments. For more information, or for technical assistance, please call (216) 831-1000, or access MISCO’s new web site at