I've seen quite a number of opinions on this board regarding test kits, which ones are good, which bad, etc. No, I don't currently have one of the recommended kits.
I'm currently using an HTH 6 way kit (liquid) HTH 6 way test strips, Aqua Check 5 way test strips, and also have another 2 way liquid test kit. I know that this seems to be overkill, but there is a (semi) rational reason behind it. I wound up using multiple test kits trying to make sense of what the pool store test results were. One week they'd have me add one chemical, and the next week they would have me reverse whatever they'd had me do the week before with yet another chemical. They use a computerized color matching system (using test strips) that didn't seem to match any readings I would ever get. This fall, one I picked up both HTH test systems on sale, and decided I'd run the various tests with the various different kits and see what I came up with. The various tests results usually come out fairly close to one another. This raises the question "Why are the people here so adamantly against test strips, since my results are fairly consistent regardless of test kit?"
On a slightly different topic, how does one read a liquid chlorine test? I can read the pH test alright, but I cannot distinguish between the various shades of yellow on the tester. Well, more accurately, I can distinguish the shades on the tester, but I can't tell which most closely matches the water sample. I can typically only eliminate the top and the bottom, but can't tell which of the middle readings is closest. Here, the strips are much more accurate for me, since I can easily tell the difference with them. Is there a trick to reading these? I've tried with various different backgrounds and lighting, but haven't found a combination that works well for me.