Timers - Timer Buyer's Guide

Are you looking for the best timer? Then, check our reviews and buyer's guide to find the best timers available on the market in 2020.

Timers - Timer Buyer's Guide

In a world where time moves very fast, and we often tend to lose track of it, a timer could be a very handy prompter. These little gadgets help call our attention whenever we spend more time than expected on a task. Before long, it shapes us into time conscious people with strict adherence to our respective schedules.

However, for a timer to serve its purpose without glitches, you need to get the best quality devices. But what are the best timers on the market, and how do we spot them out? Phone and online timers may present an alternative, but why risk damaging the costly devices when you can get a better timer?

This buyers' guide highlights the types of timers and features you should consider when choosing a brand or model.

Types of Timers

There are various types of timers available in the market from which you can pick. The buyers' choice depends mostly on the purpose of the timer and the area of intended use. Besides, whether you love advanced technology or you prefer the oldies, there is a timer for you. Hence, you have options like mechanical, digital, sand, and egg timers. Let's see more info below.

Traditional or mechanical timers

If you've been around grandma's kitchen recently, you will notice an antique-looking kitchen timer that rings occasionally. It might not look like much, but that's one of her greatest kitchen assets. It doesn't need a battery to function, and it's easy to set up with a dial turning procedure.

Mechanical timers might not have the digital devices' accuracy, but it sure serves its prompting purpose. However, not without limitations as it can only count to 60 minutes.

Digital timers

Now, these are for the lovers of the latest technology innovations. Digital timers run on batteries and have an LCD that shows the time. The digital kitchen timers can count down or up and have different maximum durations depending on the brand or model. You can hang on a wall/your neck, set on a table, or stick to a refrigerator to time your recipes.

Also, you may get a digital hand washing timer to help manage your time in the washroom. These devices come with unique features that fit the bathroom function like water-resistance and a wall hanger. Some may also come with a thermometer for temperature display.

Moreover, you can get a portable meditation timer to help call you back to reality at the appropriate time. Meditation timers have alarms loud enough to call you back from your new-found realm. More so, interval timers help you with activities that involve short breaks and pauses, like reading.

Egg timers

Most of us find it difficult to tell when an egg is done, hence the need for an egg timer. These gadgets indicate when the egg is ready with various signals depending on the brand or model. They are mostly temperature-dependent. They also must be non-toxic and durable.

Sand timers

If you enjoy the relaxing rhythm of the hourglass, then you should get yourself a useful sand timer. The dual glass bulb pinched at the middle has 3-5 minutes capacity, depending on the type, with high accuracy. It's best used for meditation and interval timing.

Features of Timers

Timers come in several forms, types, functionality, and sizes. Getting the best timer for the classroom or kitchen depends on your preference and budget. Also, the various features help to distinguish the devices into different classes. Let's see how to choose a useful timer with respect to the various features.


The alarm is one of the essential features of a timer. The sound of the alarm should be loud enough to call you to order. Also, the alarm needs to be long-lasting and stable to ensure it gets your attention to whatever purpose you got. You may even go for devices with multiple alarm times in case you miss the first ring.


You should also check out the timer's design to ensure it fits into the purpose for which you're getting it. Thus, a kitchen timer might have the color of your countertop to blend in smoothly. Also, the color should be brilliant, as well as the display.

Most LED timers are easier to read than the analog pieces. Try and get an easily mountable device, maybe with a hook/hanger, magnet, or stable bottom.


You sure don't want to keep buying new timers due to easy damage, so try and get a sturdy and durable timer. Durability is an essential characteristic for timers, especially bathroom timepieces exposed to moisture and heat. In such cases, you need to buy a water-resistant timer to withstand the effect of dampness.

Ease of use

Especially for seniors, endeavor to choose a timer that has easy usability. A timer with simple controls will be straightforward to set up and manage. It also helps you to avoid mixing things up when setting the alarms. Moreover, go for one with an excellent mounting aid like a hook, stand, magnet, or clip so you could keep wherever you wish.


A large display and exact numbering make a timer easier to read. Whether it is a mechanical or digital timer, ensure that the screen is visible enough even in low light, especially for seniors. Go for digital commercial kitchen timers with big LCD/LEDs or mechanical ones with quality numbering.

Timer Alternatives

For budget or convenience reasons, one may decide to overlook timing devices for a handier one - a smartphone or computer. Modern phones and computers come with a timing app with which you can prompt yourself in any place. While these may not apply to every situation, they can help keep us on our toes to some extent. They include:

Phone timers

Apart from calls and the internet, our smartphones could serve for several other purposes. In fact, it's a more purse-friendly alternative to the regular traditional or digital timer. Moreover, it's easier when your phone has a hook or stand. Also, you don't need an extra battery as the timer runs on the phone's battery. However, you may not use mobile in some places like the bathroom or kitchen.

Online timers

An online timer can come in handy for meditation and interval timing. No extra costs or batteries are needed. What you need is only your computer or laptop. However, whenever the computer sleeps, the timer stops.

Final Words

You cannot recall the time that has passed, so you need to be conscious of it. Most of us may not be as disciplined as we wish, so we must get a timer to keep us on track. The guide above shows us how to choose an excellent timer to fit our purpose and personality. It also highlights the features that set out the best timers on the market.

Frequently Asked Questions About Timers

Here are the frequently asked questions about timers.

How do you set a kitchen timer?

If it is mechanical, twist the dial clockwise to the desired minutes. If it is digital, just set the minutes and seconds.

What is a digital timer?

A digital timer is a battery-operated gadget that digitally counts down for timing something.

Is a stopwatch the same as a timer?

No. While a stopwatch counts up, a timer counts down.

Does my phone have a timer on it?

Most of the smartphones have it. Check your phone's Clock app to find out.

What do you use a timer for?

There are many things that you can use a timer for. For instance, you can use a timer for cooking or classroom activities.

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