10 Best Stopwatches Reviewed & Fully Compared
Fitness instructors, coaches, and gym teachers find that having a good, reliable stopwatch is essential. Whether you are timing planks or lap speeds, stopwatches are handy to have. There are a wide range of stopwatches to choose from based on your specific needs. They can be simple, basic and cheap to complex, full of features and pricey. There are two types of stopwatches, mechanical and digital. Mechanical stopwatches are broken down into interruption, fixed distance, and single action. Interruption style has a start and stop button as well as a zero button for resetting once it has been stopped. The fixed distance stopwatches can time distance. The single action stopwatch has a single button that you press any number of times to achieve starting, stopping and clearing or resetting to zero. Digital stopwatches will generally have three buttons, start and stop, mode, and lap or reset. The 10 stopwatches below were reviewed using features, accuracy, function, and durability.
- Marathon Adanac 3000
- Accurate & Great Value
- ACCUSPLIT Pro Survivor
- 5 Year Warranty
- MARATHON Adanac 4000
- Easy to Use
10 Best Stop Watches
Marathon Adanac 3000
You won’t need to know anything to just pick up this stopwatch and begin using it. It has a very intuitive design. It is lightweight while still being solid. It has a very easy grip and a nice size. The lanyard is helpful to wear around the neck or hang out of your pocket for easy access.
The buttons are placed perfectly and they have a positive feel. When you hit one, you get a beeping sound alerting you. The overall size and shape are easily held and used without effort for both men and women.
Cost and Value
This stopwatch is truly an unbelievable value and can work well for you, day in and day out. The design has the buttons placed in the right spot for a comfortable feel in the hand. You can easily pick this stopwatch up and start using it immediately without having to read a complicated user manual to figure out how all the features work.
- Great shipping by Marathon
- Easy to use
- Comes with the battery already activated
- Great value for price with a solid build and comfortable feel
- No backlight
- It has no memory
ACCUSPLIT Pro Survivor
This is a durable stopwatch and can help you with your timing requirements. It is calibrated to be within a 0.04 seconds per hour for 12 months of the year. Inside the quartz and IC controller ensure that the 1/100 of a second is captured. Only the aging of the quartz and shocks can cause this stopwatch to be inaccurate.
There is no countdown feature, this is only a stopwatch. There is no audio sound, you just get terrific, tactile sound of clicking of the buttons. It is overall a very quiet tool, only if you are really listening in do those clicks sound, otherwise, they can generally blend into the background.
Cost and Value
If you are looking for a nice, affordable and super accurate stopwatch this is it. Even at the low price point, the buttons on this stopwatch are reliable-many times in this price range they tend to not be so reliable.
- 5 Year Dual no proof of purchase and proof of purchase warranty
- Works on a WOS 2.5 operating system
- Well priced, fairly quiet
- No fail buttons means no beeps
- 5 year expected battery life
- Cord not easily removed without cutting it off
- Clock feature needs more instruction for use
MARATHON Adanac 4000
Truly a basic stopwatch at a very reasonable price point. It is simple to use yet still is durable. It has a nice bright color so it is very easy to spot. Equipped with large buttons for ease of use. It is super water resistant, so don’t worry about using to time laps at the pool.
Overall very nice stopwatch
Weather you are a track coach, swim instructor or fitness trainer, this split works well. It is water and shockproof. It has nice bright colors in red, black and yellow. It reads clearly with a large number display.
Cost and Value
A nice and durable stopwatch at a bargain price. Large, tactile buttons will click when you push them. The tension on the buttons also is perfectly designed so you aren’t going to accidentally press them. The display is nice and large so it is clear and easy to read with a plastic lens that holds up well to scratching.
- Well made
- Excellent buttons
- Easy to use
- Nice shape and size makes it comfortable to operate and hold
- Holds up well to wear and tear
- Can be used and stand up to a variety of wet environments
- Screen can get foggy now and then
- Screen doesn’t light up
Ultrak 100 Lap
This is a super durable stopwatch that you can drop, and through in your bag, throw in on concrete and use near water. It will hold up to the water and not skip a beat working even after it takes a beating.
The battery life of this stopwatch is insane. You can use it through many training sessions training or coaching practices and be able to rely on it to do the job and work. When some of the fancier models computer blacks out, you can count on this stopwatch as a backup that will come through for you
Cost and Value
You have a dependable and durable stopwatch with the Ultrak 100. It works great and has an awesome battery. The lap counter is really helpful and the recall memory is very useful. While anyone can easily use this watch, rowers specifically, will
- Made for rowers
- Dependable with great battery life
- Nice memory
- Slight snap, then a beep when pressing buttons
- Great for sporting events
- Recall button can be sensitive
- Could use clearer instruction manual
Reliable and precise
The buttons work well so when you press them you don’t have to worry if they did their job or not. You can easily replace the batter with a standard watch battery that can be found almost anywhere. Even though the watch stays on all the time as there is no on/off button, the battery life is terrific.
Cost and Value
The Oslo stopwatch works great. Just hang it around your neck and start using it. The beep function is helpful. There is a large display that is clear and easy to read. As it reaches 0, it will automatically count up from zero. It is easy to use.
- Great battery life and replacing battery if needed is easy to find
- Good tension with buttons
- Counts down to zero then automatically will start counting up from 0
- Beep is not super loud
- Beeper goes off with 5 seconds left in the countdown
- It does not have a clock
- There is no backlight
You get a nice compact interval timer in this stopwatch. There are literally limitless numbers of ways you can use this stopwatch to your advantage. Using this versus using your phone is advantageous because while your phone has a timer option it also has a ton of other distracting features such as texts and emails that can pop up and interrupt your activity. There's not a chance you will be distracted while using this tool.
Lots of uses for a timer
Many people who work full time are sedentary with mostly computer and desk work. You can use this stopwatch to set intervals of say 20 or 25 intervals for working with 3-5 minute intervals to stretch your legs and give your eyes a rest from the screen. You can use it in the kitchen for cooking, especially if you have more than one dish being made. Musicians can use it for music and athletes can use it to train.
Cost and Value
Gymboss is a trustworthy company with high customer service standards. You are also getting a 1-year warranty so there is extra safeguarding. It's an excellent timer that you can use for a wide variety of activities and it comes in a convenient, compact and lightweight package.
- Powered by one AAA battery
- You can set this alarm for every one minute for 90 minutes
- Timer is compatible with the Galloway method
- Vibration and alarm can be used simultaneously or individually
- Long battery life
- The seal is more for spills and splashes, but not to take and use in aqueous environments like the pool or the ocean
- Does not have a countdown option
This is a very simple stopwatch that is very easy to use. There are only 3 buttons that are very self-explanatory. Green means go, red equals stop and yellow clears the screen. It is well sized at 3” across with grips on the sides so it is very comfortable in little hands. It also comes with contrasting color combinations your child will enjoy.
Other stopwatches offer many bells and whistles that often come with noise. The various modes and alarms can be difficult for children to learn how to use, to understand and can be a nightmare for parents to figure out how to turn off. There are no sounds at all with this stopwatch, even the smallest 5-year-olds can easily use it right away and understand how.
Cost and Value
Renzo’s is a family-friendly company from manufacturing to the final product and they pay attention to the details that will attract children. They use high-quality ingredients and make sure that they also take safety into account. There are a couple of cute extras you get along with this medicine that is safe and gentle for your little one.
- No beeps, the stopwatch counts up
- Easy to time with a useable stop button that only clears the time if you hit yellow
- Has cord to wear around neck
- Formulated with vitamin C
- Super easy to use, very straight forward only three colored buttons
- Long battery life and replacement batteries are cheap
- Does not count down
- Does not hold time
This is a top of the line product that offers a lot of nice features. You get a timer, dual time zone ability, and an alarm with a chime function as well as an analog compass. It feels solid and sturdy. It uses a CR2016, capacitance 90 M Ah battery. It also has a light to see the display at night.
Great overall watch
This is a sharp looking stopwatch that is very unobtrusive. Easily hangs from anything, but is very convenient off your belt that has an upside-down display so all you have to do is take a quick glance down and you have the time. The winding stem is on the side and out of the way so it is less likely to get damaged.
Cost and Value
A terrific value in a carabiner watch that comes packaged with an extra battery. A ton of neat features compliment quality materials and a solid build. You can enjoy fast shipping and has a great clip feature should you not want something hanging around your neck or something on your wrist.
- Has military time
- Has a countdown repeat timer
- Sounds on the stopwatch can be silenced
- Great for hiking, camping, geocaching
- Water resistant up to 100 feet
- Weighs 2.75 ounces
- Can be on the heavier side, not for people looking for lightweight gear
- Could have better contrast between the hands to the face to make reading it easier
This stopwatch is very easy to use. The simplicity of use makes it very hard to make a misstep as both the left and right buttons have the same function. The numbers are very large for anyone to easily read even if they are wearing swim goggles.
It will keep great time
You will be able to time perfectly with this durable watch. The instructions that go with it are very clear to understand and follow. Its memory per lap is super helpful as well. You get a nice readout with a high-quality split screen.
Cost and Value
This is the stopwatch used by professional baseball scouts worldwide. It is super durable and has a nice large display. It is comfortable holding it in your hand and a left or right-handed person can use it with no problems. A nice long battery life with a 5-year warranty to boot, there isn’t much to gripe about with this stopwatch.
- This watch and remember 16 labs that can be recalled individually until the timer hits zero
- It’s quiet, it doesn't beep just clicks when buttons are pressed
- Official stopwatch relied on by professionals
- Truly an accurate stopwatch
- Clicking on and off is very solid
- Doesn’t keep the time of the day
- Doesn’t have a light
This stopwatch has an overall nice sturdy feel and grip. It’s weight is appropriate and it has a professional look and quality. It is very accurate and can be used to time laps with no problems.
Buttons have good tension
The buttons have a nice amount of tension. You can lock the start stop button so you won’t have to worry about it accidentally getting hit when not in use. They are also comfortable and it is easy to figure out how to use the functions of this stopwatch.
Cost and Value
You are getting a terrific stopwatch at a super price point. It has so many features that makes it very versatile. It has a good size and an overall good, comfortable grip.There is a 300 lap memory.
- Doesn’t have a silent mode, but just beeps when you start and stop
- You have the ability to lock the start button
- Great lap recall
- Tons of features
- Nice price
- Warranty red tape can be confusing
- Could have a clearer instruction manual
Most people tend to lean towards digital stopwatches because they are less expensive vs the higher priced more extravagant mechanical options. Even though digital stopwatches tend to be more affordable, they are still fairly accurate up to 1/100th of a second. The limited functionality digital watches have are better used by seniors and children. Whatever stopwatch you choose is right for you, one thing is for sure and that is that they are terrific tools for measuring time.
The Criteria We Used For Our Evaluation
Competitions, training sessions, practices, music, there are countless numbers of ways stopwatches can be super useful and helpful. Because of this, you can look for a number of different features in the watch of your choice to suit your needs best. Swimmers would most likely want water resistance. Viewing in the dark is a good reason to find one with backlighting. Memory size is important for those who want to store times. Being easy to spot on a field is something that might warrant a nice bright color. Anyone wants their stopwatch to have precision, so a great reputation regarding calibration of a watch is important.
Additionally, stopwatches have alarms, countdown timers, stroke rate mode, and can also be shock-resistant. Many come with a convenient strap or cord, some come with clips for easy wear. A strong battery life and also watches that have batteries that can easily be found at any store for an inexpensive price is surely important. Last, there is nothing better than a solid warranty on your product regardless of how inexpensive or expensive it is. There are many options available that have 1-5 year warranties.
Any stopwatch you pick is going to be very accurate and have the ability to measure most any time-frame. They are very helpful if you are training for an athletic activity and trying to increase your effectiveness and sharpen your skill. They are necessary during track and swim meets. You can look for a watch that has any number of features to compliment your use, for instance, the Ultrak 100 is designed specifically with rowers in mind. It has the features that a rowing coach or athlete would find advantageous.
Most any stopwatch no matter how basic or complex will come with a user manual, that you should reference if you are unsure how to operate your product. You want a stopwatch to not only be streamlined to your needs but also be practical and functional. It should be comfortable and easy to hold in your hand. It should be easily attached by either clip or hung around the neck for hands-free use. It should ideally be lightweight, which is a very common need for most stopwatch users. However, it is true, that there are some people who need specific materials and functionality that outweigh weight. Kids and seniors would benefit from the least amount of complexities and large displays that are easy to read. Most people prefer some type of backlighting feature. Almost anyone can enjoy a fun color or design.
To get a better understanding of some of the important functional features when looking for a stopwatch below lightly covers such phrasing:
- Cumulative split. This references a time of your choosing for recording while the stopwatch is working. This is very helpful if you need to know the time of each individual lap finished.
- Lap split: the measurement of the frame of time between each cumulative split.
- Alarm: Just as you’d think, set the time for whenever you want the ring to go off.
- Countdown mode: This will allow you to set a time you want a countdown from and when it reaches zero might set the alarm off or just begin counting back up.
- Recall: The button to use so you can see all your previous splits.
- Stroke rate calculator mode: A measurement of strokes per minute, mainly used for swimmers.
It is never a bad idea to have a backup stopwatch in on you if you are someone who actively needs to use this tool. Nothing is ever going to be perfect, and while you very well may need a back up at some point, it’s nice to have a primary stopwatch that you can rely on. You want to check out the battery information like we previously discussed. Also the materials the stopwatch is made out of can determine how strong and reliable the product will be. The material used for the lens or display play a part because you want to be able to see your times clearly, an easily scratched surface can make that difficult.
Other Important Factors to Consider
Remember, a stopwatch counts up from zero. A timer counts down towards a specific interval. A chronograph can show the time as well as the stopwatch function with the use of independent buttons to work the stopwatch features. It is important to know the difference between these three.
There are different types of protection that you can look for in your stopwatch such as water and dust resistance. Some can be anti-magnetic. Shock resistance is another nice form of protection to help tolerate accidents like drops.
Other considerations are finding out what length of time the watch you’re looking for can actually time. This is called time register and you can find products that offer a 60-minute register. A feature for displaying the month and day which is a helpful calendar feature. You might be surprised to know you can actually find stopwatches that include FM radio in their design. And others are great for runners, with a pacer included in their features so you can figure out the pace of your running.
Q: How do you use split times?
When referencing running, a split is the time from the first part of the race to the halfway point against the second. Literally, it is like splitting the race right down the middle. Your split time when you are training will help guide you to understand what your performance would ideally be at the halfway point of your race. It helps you to know, while you are actively running if you need to keep your current pace or speed it up for the time you are working towards.
Q: How can teachers use a stopwatch in the classroom?
Teachers can easily benefit from using a very basic stopwatch in the classroom. Giving children tangible boundaries and limits is very helpful. Timing activities can help children smoothly move from one activity or lesson to the next. Science teachers can use stopwatches to time experiments and get them done right. It is self-explanatory how gym teachers can use them.
Q: How can children benefit from using stopwatches?
Children can use basic digital stopwatches easily and the stopwatch can help enforce number and time recognition and reading as well as counting. Have children time outside races, or time their activities. Have them time their own “quiet time” and get them to take a timeout much easier with fewer tantrums.
Q: Why are stopwatches helpful when you are working out?
The stopwatch tends to be a huge factor in Crossfit and functional fitness training circles. Timing workouts help to measure performance against others which will ultimately help motivate you to either stay at the top or work towards the top. Some training styles require timing training intervals. Some people have specific training programs that require timing total work out times.
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