Rated 1.9 out of 5 by 11
Rated 1.0 out of 5.0 by Caro Junk!
An acid or a base will give a charge, and this item shouldn't need a battery for that. That said, in college, we were taught to calibrate things with liquids, with a standardized pH. White vinegar is about a 3, ammonia from a grocery store is about a 10.
The medium, whether moist soil or a liquid, shouldn't matter a bit; if anything, the jars of vinegar and ammonia should read faster, and be more accurate!
This cheap thing stayed on 7, and bobbled back and forth between 6.5 and 8. No real difference whether I tested it in vinegar or ammonia.
Scientific verdict? Junk. Give me a no-stars option, and a no-bars choice for my review, please.
February 16, 2015
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0 by Alex Appears to produce accurate results
I'm not sure why all the other reviewers are having trouble getting accurate readings from this device. Before testing my soil, I did some semi-scientific testing to see if the device actually works. In short, it appears to work as advertised. I immersed the rods in vinegar (a known acid), and the pH meter jumped down to 2. I then immersed the rods in soapy water (a known base), and the pH jumped to 9, wihch is the maximum alkaline value on the meter.
When I tested my soil, some areas of my yard showed as roughly neutral (~6.5-7 pH). Others showed as slightly acidic (~5 pH). I tested each hole several times, and achieved consistent results with each test. In my book, that shows that this device works.
Some of the other reviews mention the device breaking easily. What, are you jamming it into the ground with the force of a thousand earthquakes? It's made of plastic. I's obviously not industrial-grade. In fact, I'll knock off a star because it does feel a bit cheap. But what do you expect? It's a $10 product.
May 5, 2015
Rated 1.0 out of 5.0 by TURBUNAL Pure Junk
I should have known something that didn't even require batteries would be junk.
I fallowed instructions to the letter and this meter, no matter the conditions, it barely moves one way or the other. I wanted to see if I was right about the product so I put it to the test. I put it in pure wet fertilizer and it barely moves off center. Put it in a lemon and it shows a ph of 6. Put it in a cup of baking soda and water and it has a ph of 7, yea right.
Don't waist your money!
August 10, 2013
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0 by BK42 Good for testing SOIL
This is for testing Soil. It is not for stuff like the gardenese "topsoil" nor mulch nor orange juice, it is for Dirt. "Organic matter" like wood chips and plant material interfere with the testing and may return invalid measurements.
You MUST read the directions and follow them.
Also good to note, this measures the Combined total of nitrogen, phosphorus and potash as "Fertility." If you want a detailed soil analysis of your garden soil mix - hire someone. If not, you should use the one-time soil tests with the little vials for every factor.
March 20, 2012
Rated 1.0 out of 5.0 by ouchmytoe Doesn't work AND falls apart--don't waste your time.
"The Soil Tester" just plain didn't work. I followed all the directions to the letter several times. The meter read 7 pH for everything except for a weak bleach solution when it went to 9 pH for a second and then dropped back to 7. I used litmus paper to verify that the unit was not functioning.
It instructs you to polish the aluminum probe with the included green cleaning pad. When I applied a little pressure the probe fell out. It's not designed to be disassembled--there are no screws on the back.
It's a piece of junk that they are betting most people won't bother to return. The $10 model is so bad in fact, that it's not even available on the Ferry-Morse website. I think they're ashamed of it.
At this time it's got one good review and one (my) bad review. Maybe you have a 50/50 chance of getting one that actually does what it says before it breaks!
Thankfully, Home Depot's return policy is great!
May 20, 2013
Rated 1.0 out of 5.0 by shellback JUNK
The readings on this meter never moves past 7 or 6 no matter what you do. It is truly worthless, I threw it away.
August 15, 2015
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by DGarden Soil Tester
Product worked for me, was easy to use and very helpful in finding out what my soil needs. Not sure what happened in the other reviews. Maybe it was another persons item like in the photo from a review. It is not the same as this item.
August 11, 2015
Rated 1.0 out of 5.0 by Bill Terrible !
Piece of junk. I will be taking it back. To test it's responsiveness I placed the unit in a glass of vinegar, it would not read lower than 6.5
September 25, 2014