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Machine Coolant Testing Instruments

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Machine Coolant Testing Instruments

All You Need for Monthly Machine Coolant Tests 

It is important to frequently test machine coolant so that you are aware of dangeraous bacteria growth, changes in pH levels that may prevent the machine coolant from working, and particles and contaminants that can harm tools and equipment.  There are many articles on creating a Machine Coolant Management program in The Machine Coolant Index.



Digital Brix Refractometer 

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Cobalt Test Strips

Click here to purchase

pH Test Strips

Click here to purchase

Bacteria & Fungus Test Kit

Click here to purchase

Graduated Cylinder

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Complete kit

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Also available


Optical Refractometer 0 - 32%

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pH Test Strips sold in boxes of 100


Cobalt Test Strips   sold in tubes of 100











  Keep Your Machine Coolant At The Proper Concentration 

Thick machine coolant gets gummy and clogs diamond wheels and machines. Thin machine coolant allows rust to form and bacteria to grow.  As water evaporates the machine coolant gets thicker.  Light bends as it goes through liquid.  Thicker liquid bends light differently than thinner liquid. 

Digital Brix Refractometer - Highly Recommended

Atago PAL-1  0-53%  

Atago's new Digital Hand-Held "Pocket" refractometers feature "easy-to-use" and "easy-to-understand" ergonomic architecture. This new PAL Series achieves not only a "palm fitting" design but also a unit with highly hygienic properties. By reducing the number of unnecessary assembly parts such as the grip, Atago has cut down the risks of creating a germ reproductive environment. 

These units are also completely washable. Moreover, they are equipped with the E.L.I. function, for more reliable measurements outdoors or near a strong source of external light interference. 

Product Highlights...
Ø      Extremely water resistant (IP65).
Ø      Revolutionary new feature E.L.I. (External Light Interference) for use even in bright sunlight.
Ø      Calibration with water only.
Ø      Light and compact, 100g.
Ø      Automatic Temperature Compensation.
Ø      Highly water resistant design (IP65) for easy cleaning with running water.
Ø      Ergonomically designed for one-handed operation.
Ø      Fast 3 second measurement time.


Digital Refractometer


Easy to use with safety goggles & gloves














Bug Check BF  Bacteria Test Kit 

BF test kit for counting bacteria and fungi

Quick, Easy-to-Use, Self-Contained



  1      2     3     4      5     6     7

Samples taken from 4 saw grinders

# 1 Unused  # 2 Grinder 1 # 3 Grinder 2 # 4 Grinder 3  # 5 Grinder 4  # 6 Drinking water  # 7 Mud puddle

 Standards from 100's (left) to millions (right)coolant_test_instruments-9.jpg

The simple easy-to-use test kit for counting total bacteria and fungi in all water-based fluids.

 All water-based fluids are susceptible to microbial contamination - (bacteria, fungi, algae and mold).  High levels of contamination lead not only to foul odors but to microbial spoilage of your products and health concerns for your workers. 

Bug Check is an accurate and highly-consistent test kit that makes counting both total bacteria and fungi simple and easy. 

  Easy to Us

1. Dip paddle in fluid.   

2. Wait 24-48 hours.   

3. Match with chart photos. 

Storage:   Do Not Refrigerate.  -  Store at Room Temperature.

Bug Check is a non-hazardous, microbiological culture media.  - No hazard class label required.

4 things users need to know:

1. Baseline Testing - Get started on the right foot.

2. Consistency, Consistency, Consistency.

3. Dilution

4. Store at Room Temperature - Do Not Refrigerate. 

1. Baseline Testing

To start out, for the first two to three weeks, you will need to test more frequently than normally to determine the base load of bacteria/fungi that is typical for your fluid. After determining your own baseline, look for changes from this baseline level to decide when to take corrective action. Determining your baseline means taking two or three samples from each site you plan on monitoring each week for the first couple of weeks and recording the results. After the baseline load is established, you determine the frequency of your regular test schedule. Weekly testing is typical, i.e. dip on Friday, read on Monday. 

2. Consistency

Be consistent where you locate the test, after sampling the fluid, while you wait for signs of growth. For best results, place the tubes in the same spot each time, so you minimize external factors and maximize the consistency of your results. Placing the tubes in the same location in the same room each time will contribute to consistent results. If you have an incubator, use it at 28 degrees C (app. 80 F). Normal office or room temperature is fine.  If not, no problem, just be consistent in where you place the test for the 24-48 hours required before examining for growth. Incubating time can vary due to the wide variety of species of bacteria/fungi and your specific testing circumstances. 

3. Dilution

When you test a high viscosity solution, we recommend that you dilute with tap water and adjust the result when reading. For example: If you dilute at a ratio of 1 part solution to 10 parts water, and the resulting contamination reads 105 you simply need to adjust your reading to 106. 

4. Store at Room Temperature - Do Not Refrigerate!

Bug Check BF does not require refrigeration. In fact, it is recommended that you do not store Bug Check BF in a refrigerated container. Store at room temperature and keep out of direct sunlight. To maximize shelf life, avoid extreme temperatures, i.e. keep from freezing and below temperatures of a 100 F. 

Cobalt Test Strips

An easy, simple, accurate way to determine the cobalt content of your machine coolant.  Use them like pH paper.  Dip them in the machine coolant and then compare the color.  Boeing feels that 10 or under is good.  This picture is pretty good.  At 10 or under you can just possibly see a very faint blue color.   Hold by the arrows when you dip.  

pH Test Strips - Very Accurate & easy to use

pH tells you whether your machine coolant is acid or caustic.  Either one can promote bacteria growth and affect skin.  You need to keep your machine coolant at the proper pH with water and additives.  

The indicators in colorpHast® strips give you such sharp, clear color changes, it's easy to make accurate readings. All you have to do is dip the paper in the machine coolant and match the color scale on the side of the colorpHast® package to the pH strip.













Optical Refractometer Refractometer 0 - 32%  


Easy to Use - The operation of this Brix Refractometer consists of placing 1 or 2 drops of sample on the prism, closing the daylight plate over the sample, then looking through the focusable, cushioned-rubber eyepiece for the reading.










 Accurate - features the largest, easiest-to-read scale available with clear, sharp figures, screen shading, and incredible contrast. These features significantly enhance overall accuracy... even when the instrument is used by several different operators. All units feature rubber grips on the body, which block the transmission of hand heat to reduce temperature errors.

 Rugged construction to provide years of reliable use. The optical glass prism is mounted in an all-metal housing which allows the sample and prism to reach temperature equilibrium quickly. Non-roll stand keeps instrument from accidentally rolling off table or benchtop. 

Automatic Temperature Compensation - This feature frees the user from having to recalibrate in work environments with large temperature swings. The effective compensation range is 10 to 30°C. 

Supplied with storage case, one plastic transfer pipet, instruction manual. 


Range 0.0-32.0% Brix
Resolution:  0.2%
Accuracy (at 20°C):   ±0.2%
Temperature Compensation:  Automatic from 10 to 30°C
Calibration Liquid:  Distilled Water
Sample Type: Transparent, Translucent, & Opaque
Sample Quantity:   >0.1ml
Prism:  Optical Glass
Prism Housing:  Stainless Steel
Dimensions:  1-9/16 x 1-9/16 x 6-1/2 inches  (40 x 40 x 165mm)
Weight:   8.4 oz. (240g) 


About Refractometers

When a straw is placed into a glass of water, the straw appears bent. Now if a straw is placed in a glass with water containing dissolved sugar, the straw should appear even more bent (see illustrations). This phenomenon is known as the principle of light refraction. Refractometers are measuring instruments which put this phenomenon of light refraction to practical use. They are based on the principle that as the density of a substance increases (e.g. when sugar is dissolved in water), its refractive index (how much the straw appears bent) rises proportionately. 

If the sample is thin, the angle of refraction is large (see "a") because of the large difference in refractive index between the prism and the sample. 

If the sample is thick, the angle of refraction is small (see "b") because of the small difference in refractive index between the prism and the sample.