Vein finders are an important tool for a wide range of medical professionals. Whether you’re on the front line requiring fast and accurate IV access or working in a hospital with young patients (and various other applications in between) a high-quality vein finder is a must.
I own one myself, (see the top pick below) and know first hand that accuracy, ease of use and suitable battery life are 3 of the most important factors you need in a reliable portable vein finder.
Other important issues to think about are versatility; do you need vein depth analysis for instance? Modes of operation and the type of patient you will be working with also play a part.
As you will find in your own research and via the reviews below, today’s vein finders vary in price considerably with different features between models.
This is why I have put together this guide in order to explore the pros and cons of some of the current market leaders.
Below you will find my picks for the best vein finders today. The selection is based on my own personal experiences as well as that of my colleagues. I have also consulted verified customer reviews in tandem with intensive product research and analysis.
These are the results…
Vein Finders: The Reviews
1. TOP PICK: Veinlite EMS PRO – Transilluminator Vein Finder
My top pick vein finder for 2020 is the Veinlite EMS Pro. Sleek, lightweight and easy to use it is suitable for both adult and child patients.
For those that have used the Veinlite EMS, this pro addition is very similar except for the inclusion of a built-in white exam light mode.
This addition makes it fast and simple to perform an initial patient assessment. In fact, the speed at which you can get readings makes it a good choice for first responders.
Although, whether you’re a nurse or a doctor, phlebotomists or other specialized healthcare worker requiring IV access, you will benefit from this accurate vein finder.
That being said, you may find the vein viewing area a bit small, which is probably my only main complaint about the EMS Pro.
The portability is further increased by the robust design that only takes two AA batteries to power.
That’s the beauty of LED. On full battery charge the vein finder will last you several hundred minutes of continuous use, (550 mins according to the specs) even though Veinlite packs 24 colored LEDs into the tool.
Operation is by a single switch; the patented* color combination creates high contrast imaging that will work accurately on both dark and light skin tones.
The pediatric adaptor makes it simple to find veins on young children. The device also comes with a light shield to help focus the light in the area being examined.
The Veinlite EMS Pro also features an automatic shutoff, so there is no chance of draining your batteries if you accidentally leave it switched on, (which is something I have certainly been prone to do).
Overall Veinlite has knocked it out of the park with the EMS Pro. It is portable, lightweight and easy on the batteries. If you require IV access either out on the front line or in the ward (or even for home care), this is the vein finder to buy in 2020.
2. BEST BUDGET: UMTEC Infrared Vein Finder Viewer
My budget choice vein finder for 2020 is the simple little tool from UMTEC.
Retailing below $100 this is a great choice for those that need IV access but do not require the fast precision of the EMS Pro (at over double the price).
That’s not to say that the performance levels are not good here, however. Far from it. In fact, the vein finder boasts HD imaging and DF2 technology, (I will be honest, this means very little to me but you must agree that it does sound impressive).
UMTEC states that this technology makes the vein finder excellent for alternate care facilities (surgery and blood/plasma centers for example), as well as for home health care services.
It is also fully FDA approved, which clearly means they are doing something right.
The feedback (Amazon customer reviews etc) also helps validate this with a number of 5 star satisfied comments.
As with the EMS Pro, this is a portable and lightweight device. The round design not only looks great, but it is also ergonomic and actually serves to help you find deep veins you might otherwise miss.
The vein finder provides a near-infrared light while in operation, and is 100% radiation-free, making it completely safe to use, (UMTEC recommends that you do not use it up against the face, however, why would you do so?).
On the negative side, there are a few less than satisfied reviews on Amazon.com. This seems to stem from difficulty getting the device to work as advertised.
It is unclear how easily these customers had their issues rectified, (the user comments do not state the outcome).
It should be noted, however, that the manufacturers offer a 90 day, worry-free product guarantee.
If you do not like the performance levels (or anything else about it for that matter), you can send it back, no questions asked.
Overall, this is a great vein finder for the price. If you are on a budget it is definitely well worth considering. Just take note of the range of customer reviews before you buy, however.
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3. BEST FOR SCLEROTHERAPY: Veinlite LEDX Adult Transilluminator Vein Finder
For medical practitioners involved with sclerotherapy there is one clear vein finder option in my opinion; the Veinlite LEDX.
Coming from the same company that manufactures the trusty EMS Pro (my overall top pick for 2020), this takes a similar design but with extra power and performance levels.
True, this vein finder is by far the most expensive portable option in my top 5, however, for Sclero applications it really is hard to beat.
This powerful device features a wide opening so that the viewing area is increased substantially.
It also has a whopping 32 LED’s. These are split with 24 orange LEDs and 8 red ones. The unit can also provide a deeper focus. These attributes help make this the go-to choice when working with obese adult patients.
As with the top pick, the patented* color choice of LED light allows for high contrast imaging that works on both light and dark skin tones.
Similarly, the battery life is also impressive, meaning you should never be caught short while using the vein finder in any given circumstance.
All of the above said, it seems that the device has not pleased all customers that have opted to invest in it. As with most of the vein finders reviewed here, a minority of users have found flaws with the performance. As a result, it has garnered a small number of 1-star reviews.
If you work with obese patients and sclerotherapy this vein finder really is the choice for you. Designed specifically for such use, it will provide the easy vein finding ability that you seek.
Just bear in mind the high price and the fact some users have struggled with it.
4. BEST FOR PEDIATRICS: Respironics Wee Sight Transilluminator Vein Finder
If you are looking for a vein finder designed specifically for pediatric use, this device from Respironics is my top choice for 2020.
Needless to say, however, when working with babies and small children you have to be very delicate. That goes for the tools you use too.
Here the Wee Sight is built so that your young patient will remain comfortable as you search for an appropriate vein. It will also help you achieve fast and accurate results.
The device is designed to lie flat on a surface so that you can drape the baby’s arm or leg over for evaluation. This, in turn, means one person can operate the vein finder while unassisted.
Furthermore, you can also hold the Wee Sight in the palm of your hand with the baby’s limb against it.
Beyond the ease of use, the device also provides enhanced visualization that should help reduce needlestick attempts.
Thought has also gone into the light levels (output light wavelength is 629 nm); this cool output helps to protect the baby from discomfort as it will not burn.
The smallness of the vein finder also makes it appropriate for use inside an incubator.
For those working specifically in pediatric care and require a vein finder that will keep your young patient comfortable, the Wee Sight is the device to buy.
Well designed and easy to use, this is my top choice vein finder for pediatric nurses in 2020.
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5. BEST FOR CLINIC USE: Vivolight, VIVO500S Vein Scanner with Floor Stand
For anyone looking to invest in a high-grade vein finder suitable for their clinic, this option from Vivolight is worth further research.
This device is in a different league from the portables I have reviewed above. The price tag is several thousand dollars for a start.
However, with this unit, you are getting projection viewfinder technology that will highlight veins and blood capillaries with exceptional detail.
It is actually difficult to find a more accurate vein finder on the market right now.
The system works as a non-invasive electronic visual aid. In practice, this means that it actually projects the image of subcutaneous vascular structures onto the surface of the skin, (unlike many vein finders this can safely be used on the neck and face).
This safe vein visualization method is conducted using innovative NIR technology.
The tool features several different modes of operation: a basic mode for general use, a depth detection mode for a more detailed examination, a green light mode and a pediatric mode.
The depth detection allows you various grades of examination depth. One green light will provide you with a vein depth of 0 to mm. Two green lights will allow for depths between 2 and 4mm, while 3 green lights will highlight veins 4 to 8mm deep.
This kind of versatility is just impossible on lower grade vein finder devices.
The tool is FDA approved of course and is extremely elegantly designed throughout.
For ease of use, it comes with a strong floor stand. It also features adjustable brightness so you can alter the light in relation to your current working environment.
The VIVO500S is an excellent option for clinics and hospitals that require sophisticated vein imaging devices.
With the various modes of operation, and vein depth finding capabilities the versatility and accuracy of the unit is second to none. You are paying a price for the technology however, is it doesn’t come cheap.
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