In this article we’ll review top 10 best multimeters with detailed buyer’s guide.
Whether you are an engineer, electrician, or DIY enthusiast, having the best multimeter in your tool kit is necessary. A few years back, when I was in high school, I developed the habit of doing small circuit experiments in my dorm room.
A pile of wires surrounded me all the time, and my roommate was never happy with this. I still remember his loud laughter when, one day, my faulty multimeter gave me a substantial electrical shock, and I jumped 1 ft away from my table!
Since then, I am very selective in choosing the right electrical instruments, and I carefully go through every detail to find the best product at a reasonable price.
To help other people like me, I have compiled a list of 10 best multimeters in the market and briefly done the multimeter comparison to make the selection process easier for you so that, you may not have to suffer the way I have suffered a few years back!
If you are also tired of your faulty multimeter or you want to buy a new one, then our multimeter reviews with a detailed multimeter buying guide will make you knowledgeable enough to make a well-informed decision.
So, without wasting any more time, let’s dive deep into it!
Our Top Picks
Amprobe AM-530 Multimeter
- 12.5 ounces
- 9V 6F22 battery
- 1-Year Warranty
Best for budget
TACKLIFE DM01 Multimeter
- 1.28 pounds
- 2 CR123A batteries
- 12-months Warranty
Best For Industrial Use
Fluke 287 Multimeter
- 870.9 g (28 oz)
- 6 AA alkaline batteries
- Lifetime Warranty
Our Top 10 Best Multimeters Reviews
Amprobe AM530 has the functionality to measure AC/DC voltage, AC/DC current, temperature, frequency, capacitance, and resistance. One can also check diodes and circuit continuity, but there is no allowance to test transistors in this multimeter unit.
When using the multimeter in the lab or home, its built-in rubber tilt stand and probe holder will acts as a ‘third-hand’ to help the user take measurements comfortably. Moreover, after completing the job, you can put multimeter and related accessories inside its carry bag to keep them at one place.
Although AM530 doesn’t come with a hanging magnetic or mounting strap, there is a slot on its top for easy mounting. So, if you can buy any of these items separately, it’ll simply make it easy for you to handle the unit in a standing position.
Amprobe has a wide backlit LCD with a fair resolution, and digits on its screen are thick enough to be easily read by old electricians with eyesight weakness. Additionally, thanks to its built-in flashlight, there is no need to keep a separate headlamp with you while testing wires and fuses.
Where auto and manual ranging mode gives maximum flexibility, its TRMS analysis features greatly improves the accuracy of signals in electrically noisy surroundings.
Additionally, by pressing its min/max button, you can set the unit to measure the maximum and minimum values of a signal over a certain time that can be used as a basis to check voltage fluctuations.
Just like other units in our list of best multimeters, you can also freeze any value, and the unit’s internal shutoff feature will put the unit on rest after a few minutes of staying idle.
High-end fuses provides input protection against overloading. Thus, both the main amperage and milliamps circuits are safe even if the voltage exceeds its maximum limit. Additionally, once the fuses blow out, you can easily replace them with new ones at a very minimal cost.
Where AM530 equips most of the advanced features. But, unfortunately, its casing isn’t strong enough to withstand the drop impact. So, it may tear apart after a few falls. Moreover, it can’t bear the wear and tear at the job site. Thus, if you are planning to buy a unit for a harsh working environment, then go for some other multimeter unit.
Amprobe AM530 is also listed by the UL, ICE, CE, and CSA, where all Amprobe electronic components go through a tough testing phase to ensure the quality and full compliance with the latest safety regulations. Additionally, the CAT III rating also ensures its safe use.
To check the flow of voltage in high power lines, its non-contact voltage detector will be pretty handy as it senses AC voltage without any need to connect it with the voltage line that ensures the safety of workers and live line testing feature makes the life of electricians easier.
AM530 is the most suitable unit for the home maintenance of electrical wiring, motors, transformers, heating, and light systems. Where professional electricians can also go with this product, beginners can equally take full advantage out of the features of this one of the most accurate multimeters.
What it has?
What it lacks?
Large display Backlit screen
Overload fused input protection
CATIII and CATIV Safety Rated
NCV or live line testing
No hanging magnet
Tacklife DM01 can measure any parameter that you can name, including the AC/DC current, AC/DC voltage, temperature, frequency, capacitance, and resistance. It can also perform continuity and diode check, but it fails to check transistors.
The convenient bracket on its back allows the user to cut down the measurement time by putting the unit in an upright position.
However, the absence of a magnetic hanger limits the user to hold the unit in hand in a standing position. However, with a mere weight of 1.3 lbs, you won’t find any problem using this handheld multimeter.
You won’t see any carrying pouch in its packaging, so empty some space from your tools bag before this beast reaches your home and worry not; its elegant design will improve the look of your tool kit. Just make sure it has enough space to hold the multimeter tool.
Being equipped with a flashlight and backlight, tacklife multimeter can be used anywhere irrespective of light intensity or time. Moreover, thanks to its 2.7-inch high resolution, wide LCD, you won’t find any problem in reading the measurements.
The only drawback with DM01 is its inability to operate on the auto-ranging mode; thus, you’ll be adjusting the range by turning its knob for every reading. However, min/max measurement and TRMS analysis help in the estimation of fluctuations and nonlinear signal analysis, respectively.
The other two handy functions that are available in every multimeter includes the data hold function to freeze value before noting it down and auto-shutoff that takes the responsibility of conserving the multimeter’s battery for us.
Dual built-in fuses provide protection against overloading on all input ranges. Additionally, a PTC thermistor and intelligent anti-burn system act as additional security. So, Tacklife DM01 isn’t like cheap multimeter units that burn out in their first week.
The rubber cover on its side will protect it from all kinds of workplace abuse, and its drop-proof shell provides a reasonable degree of impact protection. So, expect this unit to stay with you for years to come.
Tacklife DM01 has got CAT III (1000V) and CAT IV(600V) that makes it guaranteed safe to use a multimeter. It is also famous for its NCV detection and live line wiring.
As soon as you bring it to any voltage source, it’ll turn on multiple LEDs and makes a loud “BEEP” sound to notify users about its presence. Additionally, the live line wiring feature will be handy in dealing with high power wires.
Tacklife DM01 is the best multimeter for everyday jobs around the home, workplaces, and yard. So, homeowners, DIYer enthusiasts can go for this unit. But despite being CAT IV rated, it is not meant for high amperage factory work.
What it has?
What it lacks?
Magnetic Hanger availability
No carrying case
Fluke 287 multimeter is designed to be used for measurement of AC/DC current, AC/DC voltage, temperature, frequency, capacitance, and resistance with the flexibility to test diodes and perform continuity checks of any circuit. However, it fails to test the transistor.
It’s true that having no kickstand makes it difficult to quickly note readings while working in the lab. But its magnetic hanger will be very handy in testing HVAC appliances. As you can stick it with any metal surface to do your job single-handedly.
You won’t get any carrying case in the same packaging with this electrical multimeter. Still, you can buy it separately but do bear in mind that it’s very expensive. Having no built-in flashlight requires users to arrange an additional flashlight or headlamp while working in dark places.
With 50,000 display counts and ¼ VGA dot matrix display, this digital multi meter results shown on its wide LCD are sharp enough to be easily viewable by people irrespective of how good or week their eyesight is. The addition of backlight extends its use to night time. But, do note that the battery consumption will be very high at high brightness.
Thanks to its TrendCapture functionality, you can graphically view nearly 10,000 recorded events or logged readings and. Additionally, one can graph, save, and share the recorded data with teammates with ir3000FC, but it’s also sold separately.
For high resolution and better view, one can zoom in on the graphs as much as 14 times. You can also export it through Fluke Connect or share it live via ShareLive video. But there is downsides with this advanced functionality as well as you’ll have to pay extra for the adapter to transfer the data and also for the software.
After measuring the thermal, electrical, and vibrational data, you can securely share it with your coworkers. THat, too, without even leaving the testing site using its Fluke Connect system. This feature not only shortens the measurement time, but one can make decisions quickly. Do note that the above-mentioned features are missing in the rest of the best multimeters.
With both auto and manual ranging mode, this data logging digital multimeter tester gives very accurate results while measuring the nonlinear loads involving varying waveforms. Moreover, how many fluctuations are there in the signal can also be estimated by recording the minimum and maximum value of the measured signal by pressing the min/max button.
You’ll see four different options on the Fluke 287 screen, namely, menu, save, offset, and setup, that has a separate function. These are controlled by four keys arranged in a row starting from F1 to F4.
With one press of a button, you can freeze any important measurement that you can note later even after dismantling the connection. Moreover, the built-in auto-shutoff feature will take responsibility for shutting off the unit after a few minutes of staying idle.
Fluke is highly reputable for its high-end input overload protection with two fuses rated at 440mA and 11A fuses. They protect both of its milliamps and high amperage current circuit, respectively. This multi meter unit has also got certification by the Bonafide associations for its great input protection.
Fluke 287 comes at a very hefty price. So, without a doubt, it’s toughly built with a robust structure that nullifies the chances of any kind of wear and tear. Additionally, the integrated holster on its sides and back provides drop-protection to this unit. So, you can expect it to last for years.
For overvoltage protection, this meter also has CAT III (1000V) and CAT IV (600V) safety ratings. They act as a guarantee that this unit is safe to use. Being listed by UL further proves its reliability.
Last but not least, live line testing would allow you to check the voltage in the lines and electrical panel from a safer distance. Thus, omitting the need to wear Personal Protective Equipment.
Fluke 287 is a pricy meter that is the best professional multimeter for professional high-end industrial applications involving high power testing, making it the most suitable for commercial and residential operations. If you are an electrician, this is a good quality multimeter for you!
What it has?
What it lacks?
No Hanging magnet
Klein MM600 is another top rated multimeter produced by a highly reputable brand that is making multimeters for the past two decades. So, you can easily rely on its products. Its MM600 version can measure AC/DC voltage, AC/DC current, temperature, capacitance, resistance, and frequency.
It also notifies the user about circuit continuity by making a beep sound. But unfortunately, it fails to perform transistor check and polarity identification.
By flipping out the stand from its back, you can quicken up the measurement process by placing the unit in an upright position. To enjoy hands-free operation while working in a standing position, buy a magnetic hanger that they sellseparately with the Klein multimeter.
Klein has made a spacious carrying case that holds all multimeter accessories and the unit itself. But it is sold separately, so do keep it in your mind while buying the multimeter.
With no built-in flashlight, keep a separate headlamp with you before going for troubleshooting in total darkness. However, MM600 equips a wide, normal resolution backlit LCD that shows measurements clearly even in dimly lit areas. So you won’t find any problem in reading the screen.
Klein MM600 can operate on both auto and manual ranging mode just like most of the best multimeters. But if you often have to deal with nonlinear signals, then go for its MM700 version. As this one doesn’t have the TRMS function for nonlinear analysis.
Moreover, with its min/max function, highs and lows of being measured signal are filtered out that can be used as a basis to estimate the fluctuations.
Last but not least, while doing HVAC troubleshooting, press the hold button to freeze any value to note it later after disconnecting the connection. Moreover, leave the meter shut down responsibility on Klein, and it’ll turn off the unit after a few minutes of inactivity.
Klein MM600 ANSI is a 2m drop tested. It gives the unit an edge over other multimeters reviewed best. So, it can endure a 2 m drop without breaking down but don’t drop it quite often. Moreover, its robust outer casing will protect it from early wear out due to the harsh environment at the job site.
Klein MM600 got the CAT IV (600V) and CAT III (1000V) safety ratings that make it eligible to be used in high power HVAC troubleshooting.
Bear in mind that this unit can’t perform NCV detection and live line testing. So, checking the voltage in home sockets, wires, and switches will be time very time-consuming.
Apart from automotive, Klein MM600 can be used for any application, including the basic and controlled electromagnetic environments such as residential, business light industries till high power industries. For professional electricians with high power, applications consider buying an auto ranging Fluke multimeter.
What it has?
What it lacks?
No Magnetic hanger
Extech EX330 is designed to check the circuit’s AC/DC voltage, AC/DC current, frequency, capacitance, and resistance. One can also verify the circuit continuity check, but Extech Ex330 fails to perform transistor check and polarity identification.
There is no built-in hanging magnet or mounting strap that limits its hands-free use. But by flipping out its tilt stand and putting the unit on any flat surface, you can quicken your work that makes it most suitable for lab use.
Extech has built a dedicated carrying case for this unit. But unfortunately, they sell it separately. So, buy it at minimal cost if you don’t want to accommodate the unit in your tool kit.
Having a fair resolution with 4000 display counts, digits shown on the LCD are thick enough to be easily readable. But the absence of the backlights limits its use to dimly lit areas as well. Additionally, you’ll also have to bring a separate light source while going for work in dark places, as just like most of the best multimeters, it also doesn’t incorporate a flashlight.
Ex330 is equally beneficial for both experienced and non-experienced electricians with its auto/manual ranging capability. So, one can consider it a good electric multimeter. But, having no TRMS analysis mode limits its use to linear signals analysis only.
It’s true that the absence of min/max function nullifies its ability to record the signal’s highs and low. But, by putting the unit on relative mode, you can also compare all data sets with a reference value set by you.
Just like most units, Ex330 also comes with a data freeze feature that makes reading notable even when probe connection is disconnected. Its auto-shutoff feature acts as a helping hand in turning off the multimeter when not in use.
With no exact specifications, this unit is fused for both its high amperage and milliamp circuit. So, it won’t burn out in its first week. Additionally, the rubber holster on its side provides high-end drop impact protection saving the unit from deteriorating. So, without a doubt, Ex330 will last long.
CATIII safety ratings and UL listing are two guarantees making Ex330 safe to use the best multi meter. So, don’t worry, it won’t explode in your hands. However, this isn’t a high voltage multimeter so don’t use it for testing high voltage industrial units.
Moreover, its capability to do non-contact voltage detection and live line testing will shorten the troubleshooting process, and you’ll be notified with a beeper, and the LED light will turn on as soon as you take the unit close to the voltage source.
Ex330 is best suited to be used for testing AC wall outlet and normal household appliances, including the ovens, dryers, and furnaces. However, HVAC and electronics technicians can also perform all of their duties well using this multitester.
What it has?
What it lacks?
No carrying case
Another one on our list is the AstroAI DM6000AR trms digital multimeter. This product can effectively measure AC/DC voltage, temperature, frequency, AC/DC current, capacitance, and resistance.
In addition to the above parameters, one can also check the circuit’s continuity, and perform, diode check, transistor check, and polarity identification.
For DIYer enthusiasts who like doing indoor experiments, its kickstand will speed up your experiments, and professionals will find its magnetic hanger to be pretty handy for singlehanded operation.
Two things that you’ll miss with this unit include a carrying bag and flashlight. So, buy these things separately for easily moving the multimeter and night work respectively.
Thanks to the bright 6000 counts display, the readings will be easy to note even for people with weak eyesight. Moreover, its backlit LCD will increase visibility during night time.
AstroAI DM6000AR is one of those best multi testers that can operate at both auto/manual ranging mode. Moreover, its TRMS type analysis makes it popular among electricians as they can play with variable speed drives to perform nonlinear signal analysis.
Additionally, the min/max function keeps on updating the highs and lows of the signal and gives us the highest/lowest value to estimate the fluctuations easily.
Where auto-shutoff will help in conserving the battery by putting the unit on sleep mode, its hold button is handy while working in inaccessible or tough places where readings are difficult to note.
Two ceramic type fuses rated at 400mA and 10A provides high-end protection to low current and high current circuits, respectively. Additionally, double outer protection makes the AstroAI DM6000AR more secure and reliable for users as well.
Most of the best multimeters often slip through the hands while working. But you won’t have to worry about this factor with AstroAI DM6000AR. With its side rubber sleeves, it can effectively absorb the accidental drop impact. Moreover, this rugged multimeter will work fine regardless of how tough the working environment is.
AstroAI DM6000AR is backed by CAT III (600V) and CAT II (1000V) that guarantees its safe nature. However, with no NCV detection and live line testing capability, its usage will be slightly limited.
The AstroAI DM6000AR will do the best for DIYer enthusiasts and hobbyists. While one can also include it in the list of beginner electricians multimeter but limit its use to low amperage works. So professional electricians may look for some other multimeter unit.
What it has?
What it lacks?
No Hanging magnet
Esynic VC17B can measure AC/DC voltage, AC/DC current, temperature, frequency, capacitance, resistance. One can also test the circuit’s continuity and diode check. But do note that it can’t test the transistors.
Being light in weight, you can single-handedly take readings while holding this mini multimeter in your one hand that overcomes the absence of a magnetic hanger or strap.
However, its kickstand will be very handy in indoor applications, especially if you have to take plenty of readings. Just flip it out and put it in an upright position to complete your job in the least possible time.
Unfortunately, Esynic VC17B doesn’t come with a carrying pouch or built-in flashlight. So, you’ll have to separately arrange these accessories for night time use.
Still, with 6000 display counts, Esynic VC17B has a bright, high-resolution LCD with a large backlight. These features give electricians the flexibility to perform troubleshooting with this unit, even in no light areas.
Esynic VC17B is included in a list of those best multimeters that can be operated at dual ranging modes that makes it equally suitable for beginners and professionals, and thanks to its TRMS measurements functionality, it’ll filter out the electrical noise to achieve better accuracy in measurements.
To analyze how much voltage fluctuates in one cycle over a certain period of time, you can turn on its min/max mode before taking measurements, and it’ll store the minimum and maximum value that the given signal reaches out of the measured set of data.
Holding any value instantly and the auto-shutoff feature will be very handy for busy workers working in a hard environment.
ESynic has integrated a double restorable fuse to protect the multimeter unit in case of overloading. Moreover, the shockproof and short circuit provides additional protection. So, there are no chances of multimeter burnout as a result of the current exceeding its limit.
With no dedicated drop protection, you’ll have to take great care of this unit as it won’t bear a high drop impact. Save the unit from splashes and worksite abuse if you want Esynic VC17B to stay with you for years!
Esynic VC17B is also CAT III and CAT IV rated just like most of the multimeter units. But, it lack of NCV and live line testing functionality make it less efficient than other units having these features.
Esynic VC17B is a good product for beginners who don’t want to spend a hefty amount and just have to play with basic features. Thus, if you are a hobbyist or just getting started with electronics then you can go with this unit.
What it has?
What it lacks?
No Hanging magnet.
Innova 3340 can be used to measure AC/DC voltage, AC/DC current, temperature, frequency, and RPM. Circuit’s continuity and diode testing can also be done instantly.
However, few things that you can’t measure using the Innova 3340 include capacitance measurement, transistor check, and polarity identification.
Thanks to its support stand, you can easily place this multimeter on your lap to take the readings with great ease; however, the absence of a magnetic hanger and mounting strap can give you a hard time while operating the unit singlehandedly in an upright position.
With 3999 display counts, Innova has a fair display that is enough for measurements to be easily readable. However, no addition of backlights and flashlights limits its use to areas with visible light only that makes it less reliable than other best multimeters in the list.
Although it misses out on a lot of handy features, one should praise its spacious carrying case that can not only hold the unit but related accessories that helps in keeping all multimeter accessories in one place.
By using the unit on the manual ranging mode, you can speed up your process. But, if you are just getting started, stick to its auto-ranging mode. You’ll also love its TRMS analysis while dealing with nonlinear or disturbing signals in testing alternator diodes, analyzing breaker points and solenoids checking.
Additionally, the min/max function will do its job of capturing high and low values for you for a quick estimation of fluctuations. Use the hold function for the most important readings to note them with great care. Moreover, the auto-shutoff feature will conserve the Innova mustimeter’s battery to help it last longer.
While testing your car in the garage, the dwell angle and rpm measurement mode will be activated by pressing the CYL button on the multimeter, and the SYL button will change between different parameters.
The main amperage circuit of Innova 3340 is protected by the 10MΩ input impedance. It provides safety to car engine parts and other tested circuits during the automotive testing. 500mA fuse protects its other milliamp circuit from burning in case of overloading.
The rugged extended corner guards are handy in protecting the multimeter from deteriorating in case of accidental drop and thanks to its tough casing that’ll provide strong resistance to job site wear and tear. Thus, you can expect Innova 3340 to stay with you for years to come!
UL certification proves its safe nature. But with only a CAT II rating behind its back, Innova 3340 fails to be in the list of top rated multimeters that can be used for high power areas.
Innova 3340 isn’t suitable for non-contact voltage detection or live line testing, so choose some other product if you want quick voltage testing of wires and sockets.
With its ability to test rpm, engine solenoids, and alternators, it would be most suitable for automotive troubleshooting. Beginner level electricians can also use this basic multimeter for basic level testing. However, professional electricians should go for some other option.
What it has?
What it lacks?
White Backlit LCD
No hanging magnet
With crenova MS8233D, you can measure many parameters, including the AC/DC voltage, AC/DC current, frequency, and resistance. Things that you can’t measure include temperature and capacitance.
Additionally, where you can check transistors, diode, and circuit continuity, It restricts the perform polarity identification with this unit.
Prop up the multimeter unit on your lab table by taking out its flip stand from the backside. But it doesn’t equip with a magnetic hanger or mounting strap. So you won’t have the flexibility of hanging it around your belt or metal surface to do your job singlehandedly.
Crenova ships a carry pouch to manage the multimeter and related accessories just like Innova and Klein multimeter. So, things won’t get misplaced every other week. But having no flashlight limits its use to day time only unless you have a separate flashlight to operate it at night.
The resolution of its LCD isn’t high, just as they have shown in advertised images. So, don’t expect it to be that bright. The resolution would be less than what they show in the advertisement for nearly all the best multimeters on the list. Still, for young folks with no eyesight problem, reading the measurements won’t be a problem. Just turn on its white backlight while operating it in the dark.
Crenova MS8233D falls in the list of auto-ranging true RMS multimeters that are very handy for quick analysis of both linear and disturbing signals. However, you can only record the maximum value that a signal reaches that helps in filtering out the peak current, not the minimum one.
The dual fuses of Crenova MS8233D protect it’s both circuits from burning out, rated at 250 mA and 10A. So, you won’t have to worry about your safety and the safety of your multimeter.
Thanks to its durable rubber holster around its outer casing that not only protects the unit from Jobsite splashes and wear but prevents electric shocks as well. So, without any doubt, Crenova MS8233D will last long.
Just like most of the best multimeters to buy on the list, Crenova has also designed it to meet the IEC61010-1 & CAT II 600Vsafety ratings that make it risk-free to use at homes and small industrial level. But, no NCV detector and live line testing make the voltage verification process more time-consuming.
This multifunction multimeter can be used in a variety of places, including homes, schools, factories, and laboratories, and even in the social field.
What it has?
What It lacks?
Carrying pouch availability
No Built-in stand
The Etekcity multimeter is capable of measuring AC/DC voltage, AC current, and resistance. In addition to that, diode check, continuity testing, and polarity identification can also be performed using this multimeter unit.
However, it can’t measure temperature, frequency, and capacitance and perform a transistor check. So keep this in mind before buying the multimeter.
With no availability of a built-in kickstand and hanging magnet, the Etekcity multimeter is very limited in its hands-free use. My suggestion would be to buy a separate strap to hang the unit alongside your belt to carry it easily.
Etekcity ships a carrying pouch in the related accessories along with the clamp meter that makes it more portable, and it became easy for users to keep things in place.
The overall display of this clamp meter is average but bright enough to be easily viewable in daylight. However, with no built-in backlight or flashlight, restrictions would be there to use it during the night time. For night use, go for some other best multimeter unit.
Etekcity clamp meter can only be operated at auto-ranging mode with no capability of doing TRMS analysis involving nonlinear signals.
Additionally, one can only record the peak value of the signal with no function to store the signal’s lows. So, estimating the fluctuations won’t be possible with this clamp meter.
Moreover, the clamp meter directly went on sleep mode after 15 minutes of inactivity, and its hold function will do the job of freezing a certain value that remains as it is on the screen even when the circuit is disconnected; just let the reading to stabilize to get accurate results.
No overload input protection is there in Etekcity C600 as being a clamp meter; it measures amperage by induction, not by making any physical connection. So, there is no chance that circuits would be overloaded.
It’s true that its tough outer casing helps it to bear the drop impact without breaking. But, if you are planning to operate it at high altitude, better take care of it as it may not withstand high altitude drops and stop working.
Etekcity MSR-C600 has got a category rating of 600V CAT-II and 300V CAT-III. It makes it safe to use in voltage measurement directly at the outlet of socket or circuit breakers. To know more about these safety ratings, check this article.
This unit has a CE certification that makes it more trustable than other high end multimeters. But this standard doesn’t hold any value in the US due to a lack of ongoing factory surveillance of products.
Additionally, no capability to perform non-contact voltage detection and live line testing further limits its use and make it less suitable for electricians.
Talking about its applications, Etekcity is most suitable for hobbyists and DIYers. Also for those who are either just getting started or planning to tinker with house electrics. But, don’t try to use this unit in light to heavy industries or residential troubleshooting.
What to look for before buying a best multimeter
In this buyer’s guide, I’ll briefly explain necessary features that must be there in a unit to be considered as the best multimeter. After going through this buyer’s guide, you’ll get your answer on how to choose a multimeter.
Accuracy – One of the major factors you should consider while buying a multimeter is how much accuracy it measures the voltage, current, and resistance. Better the accuracy, the more trusted the multimeter would be. Everything else is gravy. But the question is, what kind of gravy do you want your multimeter meal!
Micro-amps: You’ll agree with me when I’ll say that one wrong reading can be very risky in circuit designing. So, make sure the unit you have selected can measure readings as low as microamps. Make sure the selected unit has micro-amps or not!
Capacitance: Apart from the main parameter like the voltage, current, and resistance, your multimeter tester must also be capable of measuring capacitance as you’ll need this value during circuit designing.
Diodes/Continuity: We often need to check whether there is an electrical connection between two points in a circuit or not during fault analysis.
For that purpose, there is a continuity feature in the multimeter by which, when you connect the two probes at those points where you wanna check the connection, the multimeter makes a “BEEP” sound. It is generally represented by the diode or sound symbol. So, filter out the best multimeter by keeping this factor in mind!
Resolution: How much quantifiable a parameter is on the multimeter represents its resolution. For a layperson, one can define the resolution as up to how many digits can a multimeter show a reading. The higher the display digits, the higher will be the resolution. If you wanna know more about the digits, accuracy, and resolution of a digital multimeter, check one of our other articles.
Humidity: If you are an HVAC technician, then you often need to measure the humidity. So, go for a unit that has that capability.
Temperature: Make sure the selected multimeter is capable of measuring the temperature as you may need this feature in HVAC troubleshooting.
Sound: It may sound ridiculous, but most of the multimeter can even measure the sound level. So, if you have such a unit, that would be a plus point!
Flash Light: Having a flashlight on a multimeter will allow you to use it in dark places as well, especially in HVAC ducts or in basements with no lights.
TRMS Analysis: Not every multimeter has the ability to analyze all kinds of signals. If any multimeter lacks TRMS analysis capability, one can’t use it for measuring disturbed signals with varying waveforms suffered from electrical noise. So, before finalizing your multimeter, make sure it includes in the list of rms multimeters!
Auto-Ranging Feature/ Manual Ranging feature:
Check whether the selected multimeter unit is auto-ranging or manual ranging. Both of these terms are explained below:
- In multimeters, while checking any parameter, we have to select a range by turning the knob; if the expected voltage value in kilovolts, we turn the knob to KV before measuring the actual value. Such units are categorized as a manual ranging multimeter.
- In Autoranging multimeters, you just have to turn the knob to set the multimeter to a certain parameter that needs to be measured. It will automatically measure the value irrespective of how low or high the parameter is.
Data Hold Feature: Some digital multitesters have data hold feature by which they can store the single measured value with a single click, which will be pretty handy when you don’t have a pen and paper to write the measured value. But, do let the reading to stabilize before pressing the button. Otherwise, it may store any random value from fluctuating data, which can be wrong.
Warranty: If a multimeter has a peace-of-mind warranty, it increases the trust of the user in the trustable brand.
Explosion-proof ceramic fuse tubes: In case of over-loading, the explosion-proof ceramic fuse tubes will protect your multimeter from burning. So, do check your selected multimeter has this functionality.
Drop Protection: Having drop protection on the multimeter will protect the unit from failure due to accidental drop while doing your experiments.
Backlit LCD Display: Backlit LCD uses LED Backlighting instead of traditional fluorescent backlighting. Although both are based on the same technology Backlit has the upper hand over the other. It’ll help in brightening up the screen while working at night.
Ergonomic Design: The better the design of the multimeter is, the more user-friendly multimeter will be to use, and you can perform your experiments more comfortably.
The kickstand and hanging magnet features are very handy in taking reading and recording measurements!
Commercial Jobs: Do keep in mind your desired purpose for which you are buying the multimeter as each unit is suitable for a specific task.
Whether you are an HVAC technician, school going kid, Weekend DIYers who like doing small experiments, each multimeter for sale will be best for a different application!
Auto Shutoff: Having an auto-shutoff feature will help the multimeter battery to last long, especially for people who forget to turn off the unit after getting their job done. This feature there are all the best multimeters on the list.
Types of Multimeter
Different Types of Multimeters
Generally speaking, all multimeter units can be categorized in two categories, which are explained below:
Analog Multimeter: Analog multimeters measure nearly the same parameters as digital meters, the other type of multimeters. However, analog shows results by continuous deflection of pointer one an analog bar and shows the value of the parameter being measured. They are still widely used due to the low multimeter price and quick response.
Digital Multimeter: Digital multimeter is the other type of multimeters that shows results in the form of digits on an LCD that are easy to read and more accurate. These are more advanced and widely used multimeters in comparison with analog meters. However, they are a bit more expensive than multimeter units.
You’ll find only digital multimeters reviews in this article as they are more reliable and advanced than analog ones. If you want to go into details of the difference between analog and digital multimeter, see this article.
For beginners who are just getting started should not go for the high-priced, most advanced multimeters as the more features a unit has, the more difficult it is to operate as one can confuse multiple functions. So, in our list, the easiest to use multimeters is Klein MM600.
True RMS functionality measures the heating potential of the applied voltage by determining the power dissipated in a resistor. As power is directly proportional to the square of true RMS voltage, it nullifies the factor of the waveform from the readings. Thus, it measures data irrespective of waveshape. However, an average responding meter measures accurate data for sinewave but shows substantial errors while measuring data comparing to other waveforms.
A negative resistance value is a direct indication that the circuit being analyzed isn’t passive and is holding some voltage in it. Thus, either the circuit is connected to a power supply, or there exists a capacitor that was previously powered and is now discharging slowly.
If the multimeter displays 1 or ‘OL,’ it indicates that the unit is overloaded. If you are operating the unit on the manual range, you need to turn the knob to a higher range, and in the case of auto-ranging, the value being measured is out of range for the multimeter unit.
In our list of best multimeters, Fluke 287 is the most expensive multimeter, but it justifies its price with all the advanced features it is equipped with. So, if you can afford, buy this multimeter.
Although it totally depends on the nature of the job and the user’s requirement Amprobe AM-530 can be considered as a general-purpose best multimeter.
So, here is the list of our best multimeters, each suitable for different applications giving you the choice to choose the one according to your requirements and budget. We have explained the ins and outs of these devices. It will definitely help you in identifying the right product that’ll save you from wasting a lot of your money and time.
You can choose any product that you like the most but we have something to suggest here. If you can afford, buying the multipurpose Fluke 287 will be the best decision you would make as this single product can be used in home wiring inspection, industrial use, residential area troubleshooting, home appliances troubleshooting, and many other applications.
Apart from that, Amprobe AM-530 and Tacklife DM01 are other best options to go with. They may provide the same flexibility as provided by the Fluke in industrial testing. But they’ll be pretty handy in overall home and electronics testing. Lastly, if you need a decent product under 100$, then going with Klein MM600 would be the best decision.
If you are new to electronics, I would recommend you to go through the buyers guide section, if you haven’t read it already, as it’ll clear your basic concepts of how to review a multimeter based on its specifications. In this way, you’ll be able to choose the unit on your own.
Getting your dream product is just one buy button press away from you!
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