Should you buy a NEW or USED Handheld XRF?

Although the new XRF units have flashy screens, wifi, cameras, and current computers driving them, the physics of what’s happening is the same. We can compare old XRF units to the new ones like used cars to new cars. There are still many great used handheld metal analyzers on the market! These “low-mileage” XRFs still have “good tires, breaks, and engines” they just might not have the Bluetooth connectivity we see in some of the newer models.

But should you buy a NEW or USED handheld XRF?

Just like a new car, handheld XRFs lose value after they are no longer “new.” This often reflects things like no longer being under warranty, no more brand new feel, and slightly out of date technology. However, there are some big factors that may push one way or the other:

  1. Cost

Cost for new handheld XRF guns is high with used or preowned units being much less expensive. What are the differences? Just like a new car, while some of the latest bells and whistles will not be on your pre-owned handheld XRF, the value and performance of a used unit is still there. A pre-owned handheld XRF will often be just as sharp as a brand new gun with most users unable to tell the difference between the new and the used unit results. That means your preowned XRF gun will add almost the same value as a new unit but at much lower cost!

  1. Availability

Lead time and product availability may seem like no big deal, but in 2022 the handheld metal analyzer industry is still reeling from the microchip supply chain disruption resultant from the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. Lead times can be high for certain models, sometimes more than 6 months! Your preowned handheld XRF guns are available for immediate shipment. These used units can be as low as HALF the price of a brand new XRF with delivery as fast as same-day!

  1. Warranty vs Certified Pre-owned (CPO)

It is no secret new handheld XRF analyzers come with a 1-5 year manufacturer’s warranty. Pre-owned units often simply have no warranty. With some desperate folks turning to Ebay and buying sight-unseen handheld metal analyzers, the stakes are high for buying a pre-owned “lemon.” Fortunately, companies like The XRF Company (found here: exist that offer certified pre-owned options. You’re no longer buying from a random seller on Ebay. Now, you’re buying from a trusted partner in the handheld metal analyzer market who certifies the analyzers work before you receive them. Companies like The XRF Company partner with a variety of manufacturers and can often take on some of the risk associated with blind, Ebay sales. That being said, if you’re not comfortable without a warranty, you can still buy a new handheld metal analyzer. The price can be as much as twice as expensive as a qualified Certified Pre Owned (CPO) handheld XRF.

  1. But I want the latest and greatest!

Okay, okay! We get it! You’re the type of person who wants a fully-loaded handheld XRF with all the bells and whistles. The company is paying after all and they certainly seem to have the budget to spare. If this is the case, a new handheld XRF is the right choice for you. Just hear us out when we try to save you money on some of the great CPO options that are out there! Hopefully you see my humor here! There are plenty of great reasons to buy new.

Still on the fence between new vs pre-owned XRF? We can help. Contact Us today!

This article was written by Nate Newbury, Founder of Alloy Geek LLC