Whether you’re a coach, a player, or a hobbyist, the right radar gun can help you measure your speed and evaluate your progress as you work to make things move faster. But what makes a radar gun the “right” one? How do you sort through the dozens of available models out there and choose the best radar gun for you?
There are a lot of things to consider, but three of the most important are accuracy, range, and recommended uses. When choosing the best radar gun, you have to make sure that it will give you an accurate reading at speeds that are appropriate for your intended usage.
Considering those factors, we compiled a list of the top three radar guns. While the Pocket Radar Ball Coach was our top pick, all of the radar guns that made the cut have an accuracy of +/- 1 MPH and can clock speeds of at least 130 MPH at a range of at least 125 feet.
Top 3 Best Radar Gun Compared
#1 Pocket Radar Ball Coach/Pro-Level Speed Training Tool and Radar Gun
Award: Top Pick/Best Overall
WHY WE LIKE IT: The Pocket Radar Ball Coach is an ideal companion for all types of ball sports, ranging from baseball to tennis and even hockey. It has an exceptional range of up to 125 feet and can measure speeds from 25 to 130 MPH, making it one of the most versatile on the market.
If you’re looking for a radar gun that’s versatile and easy to use, the Pocket Radar Ball Coach is the best radar gun out there. It can measure object speeds from 25 to 130 MPH at a distance of 125 feet, making it ideal for all uses, from ball sports to car speeds.
One thing that really stands out about the Pocket Radar Ball Coach Radar Gun is its ability to go hands-free. Many radar guns require you to time your object and hold down the trigger while you’re registering an object’s speed. This can be a problem in certain circumstances like if you’re by yourself and want to measure the speed of a baseball you’re throwing.
This radar gun fits into a tripod mount for smartphones so you can set it up, press the button and do your thing. Instead of needing someone to manually time the shot, it has sensitive triggering capabilities that intuitively tell it when to measure speed. Like the others on this list, when set up correctly, it’s also highly accurate, measuring speeds to within +/- 1 MPH.
However, several users reported that it does have a little trouble with consistency at speeds on the higher end of the threshold, so if your main usage is high-speed sports like car racing, you may want to consider a radar gun that can handle more intense speeds with ease.
The Pocket Radar Ball Coach Radar Gun is powered by two AAA batteries, but it comes with a charger, so you don’t have to worry about having fresh batteries on hand at all times. Just make sure you’re charging the batteries when they get low so you don’t find yourself waiting for some juice when you want to use the radar gun. You may also want to read 8 of the best radar detectors.
#2 Bushnell Velocity Speed Gun
Award: Honorable Mention/Best Budget
WHY WE LIKE IT: The Bushnell Velocity Speed Gun has the lowest activation threshold of all the radar guns on this list. It can pick up speeds of just 10 MPH with an incredible accuracy of +/- 1 MPH, making it a great choice for skating and running speeds as well as remote-controlled hobby cars.
The Bushnell Velocity Speed Gun is another viable option with the same insane accuracy of the Pocket Radar Ball Coach Radar Gun. It can measure ball sport speeds of 10 to 110 MPH from up to 90 feet away and auto speeds of 10 to 200 MPH from 1,500 feet away.
Because it has a lower activation threshold (10 MPH versus 25 MPH) than the Pocket Radar, we thought it was a better choice for measuring running or skating speed.
Unlike the Pocket Radar Ball Coach, however, the Bushnell Velocity requires constant activation of the trigger when measuring speed. That means that someone has to physically hold the gun, accurately point it at the object being measured, and press the trigger. Because it requires more active involvement, which also leaves more room for human error.
According to the manufacturer, the object has to remain in your direct line of sight. If the gun moves to the left or right while you’re holding it, you’ll lose some of the gun’s accuracy. The more off the centerline you get, the less accurate the gun becomes.
The Bushnell Velocity requires two C batteries, which add to the total weight of the gun. At 19 ounces, the weight doesn’t seem like much, but it’s something to consider if you’re going to be using the gun continuously. If your arms start getting fatigued while you’re using it, it can make it more difficult to hold the gun steady and get an accurate reading. For comparison purposes, the Pocket Radar Personal Speed Radar weighs only 4.5 ounces. To outfox the fuzz, you can check out the best police radar detector too.
#3 Pocket Radar Personal Speed Radar
Award: Best Value
WHY WE LIKE IT: Because it weighs just 4.5 ounces, about two ounces less than the iPhone 11, the Pocket Radar Personal Speed Radar is the ideal companion for measuring speeds on the go. It can clock speeds up to a whopping 375 MPH with an accuracy of +/- 1 MPH.
The Pocket Radar Personal Speed Radar is the best pocket radar gun for people who need to measure speed on the go. It’s significantly smaller than others on this list — it weighs just 4.5 ounces compared to the 19 ounces of the Bushnell — so you can carry it around with ease in your pocket or backpack.
Like the others on this list, it’s also highly accurate to +/- 1 MPH and can measure speeds between 7 and 375 MPH, making it the radar gun with the biggest range on this list. If you’re measuring car speeds, you can be as far away as 0.5 miles, or 2,640 feet, from your object, making the Personal Speed Radar the radar gun with the longest range. You can measure runners or skaters at a distance of up to 200 feet. The compact radar gun can take up to 10,000 readings on a single set of the AAA batteries it requires to work.
The only downside to the Pocket Radar Personal Speed Radar is that it’s not recommended for ball sports. Because it only measures things that have been in motion for at least one second, it has a difficult time measuring ball or puck speeds with accuracy. If your main uses are vehicle speed, skating or running speed, or R/C Hobby speed, the Pocket Radar Personal Speed Radar is the best radar gun for you. But if you’re looking for something to measure ball speeds, you’ll need one of the others on this list. For your car, you may want the best Cobra radar detector.
How We Decided
When you’re trying to measure your speed, whether it’s to improve your pitching or decrease your mile time, a radar gun is a handy tool that can help you keep a log of your progress. But if you want accurate measurements, you have to make sure you’re choosing the best radar gun for you. To help you out, we narrowed our list down to the top three based on range, accuracy, and overall usage. We only listed options with an accuracy of +/- 1 MPH that could register speeds of at least 110 MPH. We also considered how versatile the radar guns were and only included those that could multitask and handle several different types of moving objects.
Radar Gun Buying Guide
The Most Important Features to Consider
When choosing a radar gun, the key is to find one that’s extremely accurate at a wide range of both speed and distance. Of course, you’ll also need to determine whether or not it’s compatible with the moving objects you’re trying to measure.
When checking a radar gun’s range, there are two important factors to consider: the distance from your object and the speed at which the radar gun will register a reading. Some radar guns, like the Pocket Radar Personal Speed Radar, will measure speeds up to 375 MPH, while others, like the Pocket Radar Ball Coach max out at 130 MPH. Some will allow you to stand 200 feet from your object, while others, like the Bushnell Velocity, require you to get within 90 feet. The best choice for you depends on how you intend to use the radar gun.
Another vital feature of any radar gun is accuracy. If it’s not giving you a proper reading, what’s the point? Every radar gun on this list has an accuracy of +/- 1 MPH, provided you follow the directions carefully. Along the same lines here, you also have to check how temperamental the radar gun is. Is there a lot of room for human error? If so, it increases your chances of getting an inaccurate reading.
- Recommended Usage
Another thing to consider is the recommended usage. Some radar guns are designed to handle a wide variety of tasks and can measure the speed of anything from baseballs to cars to a person running. Others might do well with running speeds, but fall short when it comes to ball sports. Decide what you’re going to be using the radar gun for and then check to make sure the technology in the one you choose is compatible with your needs.
Radar Gun FAQs
How do you use a radar gun?
To effectively use a radar gun, point the gun at your target, making sure the target is in your direct line of sight. In other words, the moving object should be coming directly at you, not crossing perpendicular in front of the gun. Once you’ve accurately lined up your target, you press the button or hold down the trigger, depending on your model, until you get a reading.
How accurate are radar guns?
Most radar guns are accurate to within +/- 1 MPH, provided you carefully follow the usage instructions. The more the gun moves off the direct line, the more it negatively affects its accuracy.
What is the best radar gun for baseball?
You have several different options when it comes to ball sports and radar guns, but the best radar guns for baseball are the Pocket Radar Ball Coach or the Bushnell Velocity Speed Gun.
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