In one of our recent postings, Meter to Test Chromium in Water, we mentioned something called a ‘ReagentStrip’… and within a hours of our article hitting the blog we had half a dozen people asking us to explain the difference between a ‘reagentstrip’ and a ‘test strip’ — if one exists.

eXact Micro 7+ Water Test Kit
eXact Micro 7+ Water Testing Meter
Uses ReagentStrips to Test for Chromium (VI)

Well a difference certainly does exist and since testing for hexavalent chromium (also known as chromium 6 and chromium (VI)) has become such a hot topic recently, we will outline the differences between Chromium ReagentStrips (available at FilterWater.Com) and Chromium Test Strips (available at Shop.WaterTestingBlog.Com).

Primary difference between reagentstrips and test strips?

Simply put, a test strip determines the value of a specific water quality parameter by getting dipped into a sample and having the color of its test area, also called a test pad, compared to a color chart, color wheel, or other visual colorimetric standard while a reagentstrip delivers controlled amounts of reagents to a pre-measured sample and the sample, after reagent delivery, gets placed in a meter or other device and its color gets analyzed.

Chromium (Chromate) in Water Test Strips

Chromium in Water Test Strips

  • Test Strips — Dip, read and compare a portion of the strip visually.

  • ReagentStrips — Delivery method for reagents into a test sample. Resultant color change in test sample gets analyzed visually or by a meter.

Which is a better testing device?

Not really a fair comparison, if you want the truth. Each has its benefits and each has its downfalls while both testing methods, if used properly, will yield results worth having.

In the case of testing for Chromium (VI),

  • Chromium Test Strips work well as an on-the-spot visual screening method for hexavalent chromium… but they have limitations related to the testing party’s ability to interpret colors.

  • Chromium ReagentStrips require the use of a specific testing meter, the eXact Micro 7+ water testing meter, but the results of testing have practically no subjectivity since the meter and not a person analyzes the test sample. The reagentstrip did nothing except add required chemical reagents to the sample before analysis.