Best multimeters for HVAC – Reviews and Buyer’s Guide

In this article, we’ll review top 8 best multimeters for HVAC applications.

Best multimeters for HVAC

Our Top Picks


Best Overall

Fieldpiece HS33 Multimeter

  • 1.66 pounds
  • 1-9V battery
  • 1-Year warranty

 

Best for Industrial Use

Extech EX530 Multimeter

  • 12.3oz (349g)
  • 9V battery
  • 3-Years Warranty

 

Best For Budget

Fluke 116 Multimeter

  • 1.40 pounds
  • One 9V battery
  • 3-Year Warranty

 

HVAC multimeter is what every HVAC technician always has in his pocket that is more like his friend than a tool!

Finding the best HVAC multimeter wasn’t an easy task a few years back when we have to buy and use the product to check its capability, which was both expensive and annoying!

Of course, when one miscalculation of yours can significantly decrease the performance of HVAC appliances, no one can risk using a faulty multimeter unit.

But, where the resources of getting authentic information are increased, the saturation has also skyrocketed, and filtered out the best multimeter for HVAC applications isn’t less than a hustle.

But worry not! We are here to save you from that hustle!

If you are also looking for the best HVAC multimeter, then this article will guide you to choose a unit that is best in every aspect starting from highly advanced features until high-end safety provision.

So, stick with this article, and after reading the buyer’s guide section, you’ll be knowledgeable enough to select a unit on your own!

So, without further due, let’s dive deep into it!


List of top 8 best HVAC multimeters

1. Fieldpiece HS33 Multimeter

Fieldpiece HS33 Multimeter

What it has?

What it lacks?

Detachable Multipurpose head
Magnetic hanger availability
Carrying Pouch available
True RMS
Auto shutoff
Data Hold
Drop Protection
UL and CE Listed and CATIII Safety Rated
NCV or live line testing

No Flashlight
No backlit LCD
No built-in stand
No Auto-ranging
No Overload Protection


Measurements:

Fieldpiece HS33 multimeter has the functionality to measure AC/DC voltage, temperature, velocity, capacitance, and resistance.

One can also perform a flame rectifier diode test, and continuity check with a green LED confirming the electrical connection between two points.

Where you have access to measure a lot of different features, you can neither test transistor, nor can you identify polarity using Fieldpiece HS33. Additionally, you won’t be able to measure AC/DC current and frequency!

Design:

The multimeter head, being detachable, is adjustable with multiple accessories to measure different parameters.

Just an example, you can mount a dual-head manometer on its base to measure the pressure easily. Thus, omitting the need to bring whole instruments with you for each individual function

Although there is no built-in flip stand to support the unit on a flat surface, its magnetic hanger will be pretty handy in providing the flexibility to do the hands-free operation. Just connect it with anything magnetic and do your job comfortably.

Thanks to its big carrying pouch, you can not only put the meter in it but related accessories as well. However, the absence of a flashlight limits its use to daylight areas only.

One major downside to this multimeter is its poor resolution LCD with 1999 display counts only making the measurements hard to read for old technicians having eyesight problems. This is one of the areas where most of the best HVAC multimeters in the list beat this unit.

Additionally, with no backlights and flashlights, operating the unit in the crawlspace and dimly lit areas is not possible!

Functions:

Fieldpiece HS33 lies in the category of true RMS multimeters, and it can effectively deal with the nonlinear signals, and with its min/max function, one can easily record the highs and lows of being measured signal to estimate the overall fluctuations.

Two additional handy features are its auto-shutoff that helps batteries last longer and hold value feature by which it freezes the value for the technicians when he isn’t in the position to note it down. The latter simply makes your life easier!

Another major concern would be the absence of the auto-ranging mode. So, you’ll have to set the range for every measurement. It can give you a hard time if you are just getting started.

Safety:

Although, the Fieldpiece HS33 weighs a bit more than an average multimeter, its sturdy design and robust casing help it to last long.

Standing the tough conditions at the Jobsite isn’t difficult for this beast and its rugged rubberized bumpers will help the unit absorb the high drop impact after slipping from the hands!

Fieldpiece HS33 is listed by the UL and CE along with the Cat III safety ratings that act as a guarantee that it is safe to use. !

It’s the non-contact voltage detector that allows the technicians to remotely check the voltage presence in the HVAC appliances omitting the need to join its probes with the wires!

In order to filter out the live wires from a set of wires, simply hold down NVC while touching the probe tip with the wire, a loud beep will act as a confirmation of voltage flow through the live wire. Thus, using a combination of NVC and probe tip, live wire detection is also possible.


Whether you are just a beginner apprentice or a professional technician, Fieldpiece HS33 would do all the jobs. Additionally, you can use it for your home troubleshooting!


Pros
  • Detachable head.nWide range of applications.nRugged bumpers.nGood customer support.nConvenient lead storage.nSafe testing.nInstant voltage detection.
Cons
  • Can’t measure microamps.nBulky size.nStrap a bit short.n

2. Extech EX530 Multimeter

Extech EX530 HVAC Multimeter

What it has?

What it lacks?

Magnetic hanger availability
Carrying pouch availability
Bright Backlit LCD
Auto/Manual Ranging
True RMS
Data Hold
Auto shutoff
Overload fused input protection
Drop protection
Waterproof
CATIII and CATIV safety rated

No built-in flashligh
No built-in kickstand
No NCV or live line testing


Measurements:

Extech EX530 multimeter can be used in measuring AC/DC voltage, AC/DC current, temperature, frequency, capacitance, and resistance. It also has the functionality to perform a continuity check and diode testing.

Polarity identification and transistor check can’t be made using Extech EX530 as well.

Design:

Although Extech EX530 isn’t equipped with a backside flip stand, this deficiency would be fulfilled by the magnetic hanger that you’ll get with this unit. Just, attach it with a magnetic surface and enjoy your freehand operation.

The carrying case that you’ll get with the product will hold the Extech EX530 as well as related wires, thermocouple, and other HVAC testing equipment. However, you should also add a separate flashlight in this pouch for troubleshooting during the night time or in dark places!

On its wide high-resolution LCD having 40,000 counts display, the measurements would be clear enough to read, and backlight addition makes the readings visible in dimly lit areas. It offers the highest resolution in our list of best HVAC multimeters.

Just like a few other units, a bar graph feature is there in Extech EX530 to help you better analyze the disturbing signals. 

Functions:

Extech EX530 is a true RMS multimeter capable of operating in both manual and auto-ranging mode. Thus, it’ll be equally beneficial for both beginners and professional HVAC technicians for analyzing nonlinear or disturbing signals.

By pressing the relative button, one can add a referenced value and the multimeter will take measurements in the form of difference from the set reference. Additionally, the min/max function will do the job of storing the highest and lowest value that a measured signal has!

Data freezing and automatic shutoff feature are there in Extech EX530 as well.

Safety:

This unit incorporates overload protection in the form of fuses. So, you’ll be safe from electric shock in case of current exceeding its limit.

The double molded housing and strong, robust casing make Extech EX530 strong enough to bear not only the workplace roughness but to absorb the high impact energy as a result of sudden drops from high altitude.

While working with wet evaporators or dripping air conditioners, most meters blown off due to water entering the circuit. That’s not the case with Extech EX530 as its waterproof design makes it best suitable for HVAC and marine operations.

When it comes to over-voltage protection, Extech EX530 is a CAT III up to 1000V and CAT IV up to 600 volts safety rated multimeter unit making it eligible to be used for high power HVAC applications.

Additionally, with its non-contact infrared thermometer with a laser pointer, it’s pretty easy to check the surface temperature of any component. This distinguishing feature gives Extech EX530 an edge over other best HVAC multimeters.

With no option to do non-contact voltage detection or live line testing, Extech EX530 lacks a great deal in this department.


Extech EX530 has a wide range of applications including The Extech EX530 is specifically designed for industrial, MRO, electrical, and other professionals who need a heavy-duty, feature-rich multimeter. 


Pros
  • Good range of functions.nResponsive bar graph display.nIt extended 3 years warranty.nHighly reputable brand.nContactless temperature measurement.nWaterproof casing.nEasy to use.n
Cons
  • Not suitable for high voltages.nNo, contact with less voltage detection.n

3. Fluke 116 Multimeter

Fluke 116 HVAC Multimeter

What it has?

What it lacks?

High-resolution Backlit LCD
Auto shut off
Data Hold
True RMS
Overload fused input protection
Drop protection
CATIII Safety Rated
Auto V LoZ mode

No Magnetic hanger
No kickstand
No carrying pouch availability
No built-in flashlight
No Auto-ranging
No NCV or live line testing


Measurements:

Fluke 116 is designed to measure AC/DC voltage, AC/DC current, capacitance, and resistance just like any other multimeter in the market. Two features that make it the best multimeter for HVAC include the temperature and frequency measurement.

For those who intend to use it in the lab, one can also test the diode and check circuit continuity instantly. However, you can’t perform a transistor check using Fluke 116, but that’s not a major concern for HVAC troubleshooting.

Design:

To enjoy the hands-free operation, order the magnetic hanger separately with this unit as you won’t get it with the multimeter itself. The absence of a kickstand makes a magnetic hanger the most needed accessory to make life easier!

Unfortunately, Fluke 116 doesn’t include a carrying pouch in related accessories, and neither is there any built-in flashlight.

So, before buying the unit for HVAC applications, make sure you have ample space in your tool kit. As you’ll be adjusting the unit and separate flashlight or headlamp for working in the dark areas. Readings will be clearly visible on its high-resolution LCD with 6000 display counts.

To give users an analog touch, Fluke 116 incorporates a responsive bar graph. But bear in mind, it won’t appear on capacitance and temperature ranges!

One of the major concerns is its lack of LCD visibility when viewed from an angle. The look seems very faded and lacks contrast!

However, you won’t find any problem while using it during the night shift or in dark ducts as its screen starts glowing when turning on the bright backlights. 

Functions:

Where the auto shut-off feature helps the battery to last longer, its hold function will make the troubleshooting easier. That make the operation easy in compact spaces like ducts as with a single press you can freeze any value on its screen that can be noted later!

Being a true RMS multimeter, Fluke 116 beats other average RMS multimeters with its ability to accurately measure the varying signals regardless of the waveform. Thanks to its min/max function, one can easily filter out the highs and lows of any signal from a set of data.

By putting the unit on Auto-v Loz mode, you won’t have to switch between ac and dc measuring modes manually. Thus, this multimeter will do the task on its own.

Additionally, low input impedance filter out the ghost and unwanted voltages to get more accurate results!

Safety:

What I like the most about Fluke 116 is its high-level fused input protection. It protects both the users and the multimeter in case of current exceeding the maximum limit. So, don’t worry about overloading!

Fluke 116, having a sturdy casing, can withstand the job site wear and absorbs high drop impact. However, the more you take its care, the more long-lasting it’ll be!

Being backed by the IP 42 ratings guarantees its dustproof nature. According to the standard, dust particles even up to the size of 1mm can’t go into the unit!  

One more interesting addition is its CAT IV silicone leads that protect you from shock in case of overvoltage. Moreover, thanks to the dedicated slots on the multimeter’s back, you can easily fit the lead into them. In this way, you can enjoy single-handed operation. 

Safety factor comes first in HVAC troubleshooting and having a Fluke 116 multimeter that is CAT III safety rated. Thus, you can do your job without any risk of overvoltage shocks!

Still, limit this HVAC tester to single and three-phase installations and don’t use it for high-end industrial applications.

One area where Fluke 116 lacks is its inability to perform non-contact voltage detection.  Thus, in order to verify the voltage presence, you’ll have to connect leads with the voltage source. Additionally, you can’t do live line testing using Fluke 116.


Using Fluke 116, you can do testing of motors, compressors, heat pumps and flame sensors. Thus, you can easily validate if these appliances are working properly or not.


Although, it is the best HVAC multimeter and specially designed to test HVAC appliances. But, it’ll be equally handy for homes, offices, and especially for small electrician shops. Due to its wide range of functions, we’ve considered it a best unit for electrician jobs!


Pros
  • Compact design.nEasy battery replacement.nGhost voltage filtration.nSturdy and strong casing.nGood warranty.nLong life span.
Cons
  • Display can’t justify the price.nSlow auto-ranging mode.nExpensive.nDigits not viewable from an angle.

4. Amprobe AM-560 HVAC Multimeter

Amprobe AM-560 multimeter

What it has?

What it lacks?

Magnetic Hanger Availability
Velcro straps Availability
Carrying pouch Availability
Built-in Flashlight
High-resolution Backlit LCD
Auto/Manual-Ranging
Average True RMS
Data Hold
Auto Shutoff
Overload Fused input Protection
Drop protection
CATIII and CATIV Safety Rated
NCV or live line testing

No Built-in stand


Measurements:

AM560 multimeter has the capability to measure AC/DC voltage, AC/DC current, temperature, frequency, capacitance and resistance. One can also perform diode and audible continuity checks in no time.

Although you can’t check transistor or make polarity identification, you won’t often need them in HVAC troubleshooting.

Design:

Amprobe supplies a magnetic hanger to make the job of HVAC technicians easy. Connect it with any magnetic material and take readings single-handedly.  However, it doesn’t equip any flip stand!

Additionally, there is a Velcro strap to hang the meter alongside belt or any other solid surface for easy movement!

Its carrying pouch would have enough space to hold the multimeter and its related accessories. Thus, if you misplace things quite often, then it’ll act as your helping hand in keeping things together.

No need to bring an additional flashlight or headlamp, its built-in flashlight would be enough to lighten up the dark area!

I can bet that you’ll also praise the clarity and sharpness of its high-resolution LCD. With 6000 display counts, dual-function display and backlights for night use, the readings would be very easy to note regardless of what time of the day it is. You won’t have such high resolution in any other best HVAC multimeters!

One additional feature that most units lack is its responsive bar graph. It not only gives an analog touch but is handy while dealing with noisy signals.

Functions:

Amprobe AM-560 can operate on both auto and manual ranging mode. Thus, equally beneficial for beginners and experts but being an average RMS; results won’t be accurate in a noisy environment. 

Few other handy functions include the data hold for freezing the value, min/max for determining highs and lows of any signal. Lastly, the auto-shutoff feature will shut down the multimeter to save the battery from draining.

One distinguishing feature that this unit has is its relative mode. At this mode, the multimeter shows value after taking the difference between the measured value and reference value set by the user to see the fluctuations.

Safety:

For both the milliamp and high current circuits, there are dedicated HRC fuses rated to 0.5 A and 11A respectively. In case of overloading, these fuses will be tripped off, and both you and your multimeter’s circuit will remain protected.

Thanks to the strong integral rubber holster and robust casing, AM560 provides strong resistance to splashes. Thus, it can absorb the high altitude drop impact to remain intact. It isn’t like a cheap unit that breaks into pieces with one fall.

AM560 is backed by the CAT III up to 1000V and CAT IV up to 600V safety ratings that make this hvac test equipment eligible to test low energy sockets and switches to high voltage terminals.

NCV detection feature is present in the AM 560 multimeter that makes the voltage detection process quicker and safer. As, there is no requirement to make a physical connection between the multimeter and voltage source.


AM560 is the perfect device for all level HVAC professionals starting from beginners apprentice as being equipped with all advanced features, buying this unit will be your lifetime investment.


Pros
  • Sharp Display.nLow pass filter ensures accuracy.nGood shock prevention.nWithstand Jobsite abuse easily.nAllows hands-free operation.nMost suitable for night use. nQuality wire leads.
Cons
  • Quite Sluggish.nNo nonlinear analysis.nThe short-range of voltage detection.n

5. Fieldpiece LT17A Multimeter

Fieldpiece LT17A Multimeter

What it has?

What it lacks?

Built-in kickstand
Hanging magnet availability
Carrying pouch Provided
Clear Backlit LCD
Data Hold
Auto shutoff
Overload fused input protection
Drop Protection
CE, IEC and C-tick certified.
CAT III ratings.

No Built-in Flashlight
No auto-Ranging
No True RMS
No NCV or live line testing


Measurements:

Fieldpiece LT17A multimeter is capable of measuring AC/DC voltage, AC/DC current, temperature, frequency, capacitance and resistance. Within only 5 seconds, you can perform and diode check using Fieldpiece LT17A.

No transistor check or polarity identification option but that won’t be the necessary requirement in any HVAC work

Design:

Fieldpiece LT17A equips with both kickstand and hanging magnet allowing the hands-free operation. This is a handy feature while working on any flat surface by putting the unit in an upright position. Moreover, while working in the standup position, one can connect it with anything magnetic respectively.

Put each and everything in its soft nylon carrying pouch and move it anywhere you go. Thus, no headache of losing any accessory.

However, always keep an additional headlamp or flashlight with you as there is no built-in light source in the Fieldpiece LT17A.

We won’t say that it has the best screen resolution in comparison with other best HVAC multimeters. But, it would be clear enough to be read easily. Additionally, with bright blue light turned on, you won’t find any issue while operating it low light areas.

Functions:

Fieldpiece LT17A can only operate on the manual ranging mode that is a bit time taking. Moreover, with no true RMS feature, you can’t get accuracy while taking measurements in a noisy environment.

However, it can filter out the highs and lows of being measured signal for you from a wide range of input data.

Additionally, instantly hold any desired value with an intention to note later by pressing the hold button. The auto-shutoff feature will help the multimeter battery to run for a longer time by shutting the unit off when not in use. 

Safety:   

Built-in fuses protect the HVAC test instruments in case of current overload. Moreover, thanks to the robust ABS casing that can easily withstand Jobsite harshness, you can expect this unit to last long.

However, it may not bear the high altitude frequent drops, so don’t let it slip through your hands quite often. 

Fieldpiece LT17A is designed to meet the IEC 61010-1, pollution degree 2, and CE standard. This unit is certified by C-tick and is CATIII up to 600V safety rated as well. Hence, dustproof, highly safe. multimeter!

However, with no NCV detection and live line testing, you won’t have much flexibility in voltage detection in electrical wires. But for HVAC appliances, its absence won’t make much difference. 


Fieldpiece LT17A can perform any kind of troubleshooting you can name of, and it’ll be the best multimeter for HVAC technicians who are just getting started!


Pros
  • It is suited for flame diodes test.nEasy to hold in hand.nGood battery conservation.nPerforms all HVAC operation.nHigh-level temperature measurement.nPerfectly handles overloading.n
Cons
  • Slow auto-ranging mode.nWe have limited 1 year of warranty.nCan’t withstand high drop impacts.n

6. Tacklife CM06 HVAC Clamp Meter

Tacklife CM06 Clamp Meter

What it has?

What it lacks?

Carrying pouch availability
Hanging Magnet Availability
Built-in kickstand
High Definition Backlit LCD
Auto-Ranging
Data Hold
Auto shutoff
Drop Protection
CATIII Safety Rated
NCV or live line testing

No Built-in flashlight
No true RMS
No Overload fused input protection


Measurements:

Tacklife CM06 and UEi DL389B are the two clamp meters in our list of HVAC clamp meters that is capable of measuring AC/DC voltage, frequency, capacitance, resistance, and AC current with the clamp size of 26mm. 

One can also perform polarity identification, diode test and continuity check using Tacklife CM06

Where Tacklife CM06 is capable of analyzing many parameters, one can do a transistor check, and it also fails to measure the temperature and DC current.

Design:

Tacklife CM06 comes with a carrying pouch to hold the unit while moving it around. It ‘ll also have a hanging magnet to mount it with anything magnetic to take readings singlehandedly.

Moreover, there is a backside kickstand in its design as well. But lack of flashlight limits its use to daylight or lighted areas only.

The LCD where readings are displayed is of high definition having 6000 display counts. The addition of backlight makes the reading visible in dark areas as well.

Always press the Zero button before taking any readings to nullify the chances of error. This is to avoid the earth’s magnetic field influence to achieve better accuracy in results!

Functions:

Tacklife CM06 falls in the category of auto-ranging multimeters. But not being a true RMS multimeter, and you won’t be able to analyze the disturbing signals. Absence of this feature limits the use of any best HVAC multimeter.

This hvac clamp meter doesn’t have min/max function to store the highs and lows of the signal thus, it isn’t the right choice to deal with fluctuating measurements.

Tacklife CM06 went on a sleep mode after few minutes of inactivity to conserve the battery life. Moreover, its hold function will freeze the value for the technician to note down later even after disconnecting probes from the source.

Safety: 

With no direct contact requirement for amperage measurement, there is no chance of overloading resulting in no need of any fused overload protection. However, its outer surface is double insulated; thus, you’ll be safe from any external shock!

Its outer casing is strong enough to bear any blow without deteriorating at tough Jobsite environment. So, you can expect it to last long. But avoid dropping it from high altitude sites as it won’t withstand the frequency drop impacts!

Tacklife CM06 is a CAT III safety rated up to 600V that acts as a guarantee of its safety. Thus, this unit falls in the list of highly safe multimeter units for residential and commercial use.

The presence of non-contact voltage detection gives Tacklife CM06 an edge over other. If the voltage induction area of NCV is close to 90-1000V AC voltage, the multimeter unit will make a loud beeper, and the light will start glowing. You can also do live line testing using Tacklife CM06.


The ergonomic design of Tacklife CM06 makes it the best multimeter for HVAC with straightforward troubleshooting as it’s pretty easy to be held in hand. However, one can also use it for car inspection, electronics repairs, home appliances, and automotive repairs.


Pros
  • The nice grip of test leads. nErgonomic and portable design.nHigh definition digital display.nMulti-layered overload protection.nQuick current measurement.nFilters out ghost voltages.n
Cons
  • Poorly written instruction manual. nJaws can’t handle high load.

7. Triplett 1101-B Multimeter 

Triplett 1101-B HVAC Multimeter

What it has?

What it lacks?

Back stand is available
Data Hold
Auto shutoff
Overload fused  input protection
Drop protection
CATII Safety rated
NCV or live line testing

No carrying pouch available
No Hanging magnet
No built-in flashlight
Low Resolution
Backlit LCD
No Auto-ranging
No True RMS


Measurements:

Triplett 1101-B can accurately measure the AC/DC voltage, DC current and temperature, making it capable of doing any kind of HVAC troubleshooting.

Additionally, one can also test transistors, check diodes, and perform continuity testing of any HVAC appliances.

With no allowance to measure capacitance and frequency and incapability to perform polarity identification limits its use. Still, you won’t find any problem during HVAC testing!

Design:

Although it is equipped with a back stand to give support to the multimeter when placed in an upright position. But, it isn’t sturdy and falls down with a slight disturbance. So, it won’t make much difference.

Don’t expect a very high-resolution LCD with only 1999 display counts. Still, it’ll be clear enough to view the readings regardless of the light intensity you have in the surroundings. Moreover, its backlights make the readings visible in dark areas. 

Having no hanging magnet, carrying pouch, Triplett 1101-B can give you a hard time when operating single-handedly. Additionally, if you intend to buy this unit to operate it in dark areas, bring a separate flashlight with you!

Functions:

Although, there are 19 different ranges for quick and accurate measurements of different parameters. But, the absence of auto-ranging feature limits Triplett 1101-B to experienced technicians only!

Pressing the hold button shows ‘HD’ symbol on the screen. It freezes the value which remains stored even if you disconnect the test lead from the source. To go out of hold mode, press the button twice!

Additionally, in order to maximize the battery life, Triplett 1101-B also incorporates the auto-shutoff feature. It gets activated after a few minutes of inactivity.

Triplett 1101-B falls in the list of average RMS multimeters with no exceptional capability to analyze the varying signals. Thus, it is only suitable for single linear analysis only, and you won’t be able to use it for variable speed drives and related applications!

Estimating fluctuations of the signal by knowing its highs and lows isn’t available in Triplett 1101-B. So, if you often play with nonlinear signals, go for some other unit

Safety:

Another amazing feature of Triplett 1101-B  is its fused input protection. That acts as a resistance to overloads. Thus, even if the current exceeds its maximum limit, both you and your multimeter will be safe!

The tough casing and rubberized boot of Triplett 1101-B makes a perfect combination to provide good impact resistance in case of an accidental drop. With a robust structure, you can expect it to last long!

Triplett 1101-B is a CAT II safety rated multimeter which makes it safe to use in the medium level power applications. It’ll protect the user against instant shocks as a result of transient over voltages.

Triplett 1101-B shares the contactless voltage detection feature. It makes this best HVAC multimeter most suitable for technicians to verify the voltage flow in any source without making any direct connection.


Triplett multimeter is the perfect partner of HVAC technicians and will be very handy in any kind of HVAC troubleshooting.


The best part is that it’s not limited to HVAC troubleshooting only. In fact, one can use it for fault diagnosis in the security, home theatre, circuit breaker, and household appliances. So, one product covering multiple tasks at a time


Pros
  • Quite Inexpensive.nNice and large readout. nSturdy and long-lasting.nExcellent warranty.nEasy to operate.nLightweight.n
Cons
  • Low-resolution LCD.nBad Customer Support.nPoor quality leads. nThe kickstand isn’t sturdy.n

8. UEI DL389B Clamp Meter

UEI DL389B Hvac Clamp Meter

What it has?

What it laks?

Magnetic hanger availability
Carrying pouch availability
Fair resolution Backlit LCD
Auto/Manual-Ranging
True RMS
Data Hold
Auto shutoff
CATIII Safety Rated
NCV or live line testing

No Flashlight Provided
No Built-in stand
No Overload fused input protection
No High Drop Protection


Measurements:

UEi DL389B clamp meter is capable of measuring both AC/DC voltages, AC current, temperature, frequency, capacitance and resistance with the jaw allowance of 28 mm. It also allows for instant continuity or diode check.

Three things that you can’t do with the UEi DL389B includes transistor check, polarity identification and dc current measurement.

Design:

It’s true this unit doesn’t equip with the flip stand. However, having a backside hanging magnet will overcome this deficiency. You can connect the UEi DL389B multimeter with anything magnetic to enjoy hands-free operation. 

A UEi labelled carrying case will be shipped with the multimeter in the same packaging. It handles the unit effectively while troubleshooting at multiple places. This feature gives DL389B an edge over other best HVAC multimeters that don’t come with a pouch.

Having a 4000 counts wide dual-display LCD makes it easy for the technicians to note the reading from every angle or position. Additionally, its backlight makes the unit usable during the night time or in dark spaces. Still, you’ll need a separate headlamp or light source as this unit don’t incorporate any built-in flashlight.

Functions:

With easy switching between auto and manual ranging modes, you can use this true RMS multimeter to analyze any signal. That, too, without any limitations of how much variation it has.

Additionally, thanks to its min/max function, estimating the signal fluctuations by recording its highs and lows won’t be a difficult task.

Just like any other unit, the hold button will freeze the value for later use. Moreover, the auto-shutoff will turn off the unit after sitting idle for a few minutes.

Safety:

As the current is being measured by induction, there is no chance of overloading. Hence, no input current protection requirements. But don’t drop it from high altitude as it might not withstand the high drop impact.

Being backed by the CAT III ratings, this unit is safe enough to use in high power areas as well.

UEi DL389B is capable of doing non-contact voltage detection. Hence you won’t have to connect the probes with the voltage source, the multimeter will detect on its own. Additional live line testing makes the live wire identification process simpler!


Talking about its application, apart from being the best multimeter for HVAC used for troubleshooting various appliances. That includes the condensers, compressors evaporators, duct wiring, and other related applications, one can use it for home, office, and school as well.


Pros
  • Wide dual display.nGood warranty.nElegant design.nAffordable.nSingle-handed operation.nQuick current measurement.nOnboard test lead holder.
Cons
  • Test leads are short.nConsumes too much power.

What to look for before buying the best HVAC multimeter

Before finalizing the best HVAC multimeter, you should compare various products from five different perspectives. These factors include the design, function, parameters measurements, safety, and last but not least the area of applications.

Let’s discuss each one of them step by step in detail:

Measurements:

Measurements refer to how many parameters any multimeter unit is capable of measuring. Few important readings includes, AC/DC current, AC/DC voltage, temperature, frequency, resistance, and capacitance.

Additionally, the selected HVAC meter must also have the functionality to check diodes and transistors with additional functionality to verify continuity between any two points in a circuit. 

Design

The more advance the design of the multimeter unit, the easier it’ll be to use the unit to take measurements. That, too, with more flexibility. Few common design elements include a kickstand, hanging magnet, hanging strap, flashlight, high-resolution LCD, and backlights.

Let’s shed some light on each feature independently!

  1. Having a kickstand on the backside of the multimeter allow users to put the unit in an upright position. This helps in taking the readings quickly and more comfortably.
  2. With a magnetic hanger, you can attach the unit with any magnetic surface to enjoy single-handed operation. Similarly, by mounting the strap alongside your belt of any wall support, you can enjoy the flexibility of hands-free operation.
  3. Its built-in flashlight omits the need of taking an additional headlamp or another light source during dark areas.
  4. Lastly, the LCD of the multimeter should be wide with high resolution such that readings are clearly visible. Even when viewed from an angle. It also equips backlights will help in brightening up the LCD when used in dimly lit areas.

Functions:

Another important aspect to keep in mind is how many advanced functions can be performed using the selected best HVAC multimeter. Few very handy features include auto/manual ranging mode, True RMS measurement capability, min/max measurements allowance. Additionally, the data hold feature and auto-shutoff feature would also be very handy.

Let’s discuss all functions a little bit to clear all ambiguities.

  1. Having both auto and manual ranging mode makes the multimeter unit equally beneficial for beginners as well as professional HVAC technicians as auto mode being auto adjustable to all ranges is suitable for beginners but being a bit slow, most of the experienced professionals prefer to operate the unit on manual ranging mode to get quicker results!
  2. True RMS feature allows users to analyze the nonlinear signals with great accuracy by filtering out the surrounding disturbances. Moreover, the min/max function helps in estimating the fluctuations of any signal by recording the highs and lows of being a measured signal.
  3. Two more advanced buttons include the data hold and auto-shutoff feature. Where the first one helps in freezing the value being displayed on the screen to note it later. The later one shuts off the multimeter unit to preserve battery. That happens after a few minutes of inactivity especially when users forget to turn off the unit.  

Safety:

Nothing matters more than the safety of users operating the multimeter unit, so make sure the unit you are going to select meets the international safety standards and is certified b international organizations as well.

Apart from certifications, few other safety elements include the overload protection, drop protection, non-contact voltage detection, and live line testing.

Let’s discuss each factor individually to develop a better understanding.

  1. Every multimeter has some limitations to measure a limited value of current. If the current exceeds its maximum limit, it can not only burn the multimeter unit but gives an electric shock to the user. So, to prevent that fused input protection is added in the multimeter units by which the fuses trip off in case of overloading. So, make sure the selected unit has this functionality.
  2. Multimeter must be strong enough to withstand wear and tear at job site along with the absorption of high altitude drop impacts without breaking down. The more sturdy the multimeter’s casing is, long-lasting it’ll be.
  3. Every multimeter unit goes through different stages before the final approval and launch in the market. If the unit you’re going to buy has got more than one safety ratings that’ll be a plus point.

Others:

A good warranty and a long-lasting low-cost battery are two important factors that every multimeter must be backed by. They will act as a guarantee that your money is well spent!

Last but, not least, check the specifications of the multimeter carefully to see the wide areas of applications. If a single unit is capable of performing HVAC testing, engine repair, electronics work, circuit analysis, residential and commercial troubleshooting, then without a single thought, go for it!

For HVAC applications, your selected multimeter unit must be waterproof in nature; otherwise, one water seepage into the multimeter unit will result in multimeter failure, which you won’t want of course!


FAQs:

Can we use HVAC multimeter to test HVAC appliances?

With an HVAC multimeter, you can test air conditioners, evaporators, heaters, compressors, and all other HVAC appliances.

Do HVAC multimeter needs to be waterproof?

It’s not necessary but having a waterproof HVAC multimeter makes the testing process safer as you won’t have to worry about water tripping out of any appliance entering the multimeter and burning it out!

Which HVAC multimeter would be best, analogue or digital?

Although the analog multimeter comes at a very less price in comparison with the digital one, it misses out on a lot of more advanced features and troubleshooting would be very slow with it. So, my recommendation would be to go with a digital HVAC multimeter.

Which HVAC multimeter is best for beginner level HVAC technicians?

My advice would be not to settle for the less expensive unit with very limited features. Instead, buy an advanced HVAC multimeter that’ll help you during your beginning days, and you’ll get used to it during your process to become an advanced HVAC technician.

Which operating range of multimeter is best for HVAC testing?

Although, multimeter response is a bit slow on auto-ranging mode while troubleshooting in HVAC ducts, setting the range manually won’t be less than a hustle. So, use the unit on the auto-ranging mode in all HVAC testing.


Final Verdict

Here is the list of our selected 8 best hvac multimeters. Without any doubt, each unit will perform the best and would be perfect partner of any hvac technician.

If you are working in this industry for a while, choosing the product would be pretty easy for you. So, you can filer out any unit that best meets your criteria.

However, if you are just getting started as an HVAC apprentice then we would suggest you to make a one-time investment by buying the Extech EX 530. This single unit would serve you for years to come. But, if you are looking for a cheaper option then going with Fieldpiece HS33 would be the right decision.

Still, you are free to choose any product on your own. I hope, the buyer’s guide section would definitely help you a lot in making the right decision.

Happy Testing!


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