Best multimeters under 100$ – Reviews and Buyer’s Guide


In this article, we’ll review 8 best multimeters under 100$ with detailed buyer’s guide.


Our Top Picks


Best Overall

KAIWEETS Multimeter

  • 1.39 pounds
  • Two AA batteries
  • 3-Years

 

Best For Professionals

Extech EX330 Multimeter

  • 9.9 ounces
  • Two AA batteries
  • 1-Year Warranty

 

Best For Budget

Crenova MS8233D Multimeter

  • 11.3 ounces
  • One 9V battery
  • 1-Years

 

Everybody wishes to have the most advanced multimeter units in their hands to play with. But, the more advanced a unit is, the more expensive it’ll get! Everybody wishes to have the most advanced multimeter units in their hands to play with. But, the more advanced a unit is, the more expensive it’ll get!

Most of the time, our limited budget doesn’t let us buy things we desired to have. But that’s not the case with a multimeter. One can get highly advanced multimeter equipped with all necessary features at a very minimal price.

To help you get your dream product, I have compiled a list of 8 best multimeters under 100$. Do note, low price doesn’t mean the product would be faulty. In fact, highly reputable brands sell multimeter having price less than 100$.

But, finding the right product needs a lot of research and consumes a lot of hours that nobody likes to spend on. That’s where our efforts come in to play!

We have done an in-depth analysis of these products and briefly explained their ins and outs to make the choice simpler for you. Lastly, a fully explained buyer’s guide is presented that’ll improve your understating of features to look for in a multimeter.

After going through the article, you’ll have enough knowledge to choose a product on your own. So, let’s start!


1. KAIWEETS HT118A Multimeter

KAIWEETS HT118A

What it has?

What it lacks?

Safe NCV or live line detection.
Cat III, CAT-IV safety rated.
CR and RoHS Certified.
Drop Protection
Overload fused Input protection
True RMS
Built-in flashlight
Built-in kickstand
Large Backlit LCD
Auto/Manual ranging
Data Hold
Auto shutoff

No magnetic holder.
No carrying pouch.


Measurements:

One can measure ac/dc voltage, ac/dc current, temperature, frequency, capacitance and resistance with this digital multimeter. Continuity, diode and transistor check can also be performed using KAIWEETS multimeter but it fails to check current polarity.

Design:

A nicely designed built-in kickstand keeps the multimeter stable while using it on a rough surface. KAIWEETS has integrated a flashlight on the backside of this multimeter that extends its use to dimly lit or dark areas. Thus, no need to take a separate flashlight with you for night work.

Although you won’t get any magnetic holder with this unit, on the back of the multimeter, there is a separate slot to install it. So, you’ll have to flexibility to enjoy this feature by ordering the holder separately. Additionally, KAIWEETS doesn’t come with a carry pouch so you’ll have to adjust the unit in your tool kit in order to move it around different locations on the job site.

However, the readings are easy to read on the 6000 counts, 2.9″ large high-resolution LCD display and with the addition of backlights, KAIWEETS lightens up the screen while operating the unit in areas with no light. Lastly, there is a bar graph at the bottom of the LCD to give the user an analogue touch.

Functions:

This unit can operate on both auto and manual ranging mode. So select the one that best suits your requirements and experience. There is a Data hold button on the front side that can be used to save any displayed value that can be noted later.

Being a true RMS multimeter, you can analyze the non-linear signals using this unit like the ones of speed drives. To better analyze the fluctuating signals, there is a min/max function. Using this, you can determine the minimum and maximum voltage that a given signal has to better interpret the fluctuations.

Lastly, the built-in auto-off function will put the unit on sleep mode after staying functionless for few minutes!

Safety:

With the integration of anti-burn, PTC thermistor and dual ceramic fuses that provide input protection on both circuits, the unit won’t burn out in case of overloading.  

Thanks to the sturdy, silicone protective outer casing, this unit can bear all kinds of wear and tear and absorbs the impact as a result of accidental fall.

“SAFETY FIRST” is the slogan of KAIWEETS and it has got IEC CAT III up to 1000V, CAT IV up to 600V safety ratings. Additionally, it is certified by the CE and RoHS. So, it is safe enough to use in any area irrespective of how high or low the power is. The high-end safety is one of the areas where it beats other best multimeters under 100$.

By placing the NCV detector probe near the sockets and terminals, the multimeter will notify you about the presence of voltage. Most of the highly advanced multimeters also lack this feature.

Live line testing is also possible with this unit. Whenever the unit detects a live wire, the screen changes to red and alarm light starts blinking with a sound of the buzzer!

Uses:

KAIWEETS has a wide range of applications including car repair, home circuit fault diagnosis, industrial wiring inspection, electrician work and home appliances repairing.


Pros
  • High measurement accuracy.
  • Excellent quality.
  • Suitable for beginners.
  • Extremely cheap.
  • Impressive performance.
  • Simple to use.
Cons
  • Difficult fuse replacement process.
  • Leads aren’t of high quality.

2. Extech EX330 Multimeter


What it has?

What it lacks?

NCV detection or live line testing
CAT II and CAT III safety rated.
Drop Protection
Overload fused input protection
REL Mode
Built-in kickstand
Large Backlit LCD
Data Hold
Auto shutoff
Auto/Manual ranging

Not True RMS
No magnetic hanger.
No flashlight.


Measurements:

Extech Ex330 is another unit that comes in pretty low price without compromising on the measurement features. It is capable of measuring AC/DC voltage, AC/DC current, frequency, capacitance, resistance and temperature.

Additionally, one can also perform continuity and diode check using this multimeter. However, two areas where this unit fails to prove its reliability include the transistor check and polarity identification.

Design:

The tilting bail located on the backside of the multimeter allows the user to work on bench single-handedly. But like other units, it also isn’t equipped with any magnetic hanger or mounting strap. So you won’t be able to hang the magnet for hands-free operation. There is no built-in flashlight so take a headlamp or separate flashlight while working in dark places.

Extech EX330 has an intuitive display with 4000 counts screen resolution. Its wide display makes the digits visible even from a distance. But, it doesn’t incorporate any backlight so you’ll have difficulty in taking measurements in dimly lit areas.

Functions:

Extech EX 330 can operate on both auto and manual ranging mode so you can use any mode that best suits your requirements. Moreover, by freezing any value using hold function, you can review and note it later. This feature will be helpful when you aren’t in an appropriate position to see the readings, especially in dark places, including the attic and roof space!

Using the REL button, you can set a certain value as reference and meter will measure the rest of the data, and the difference will be displayed as a + or – of the relative value. This feature is missing in most of the best multimeters under 100$ in our list.

This isn’t a true RMS multimeter, and neither can you analyze the min/max value of a non-linear signal. So, if you wanna play with speed drives, this isn’t the multimeter you should go for. However, for better preservation of battery, the auto power-off feature will turn off the unit after 15 minutes of inactivity.

Safety:

Both 10A and milliamp circuits of Ex330 have fuses that protect the unit in case of overloading. But bear in mind, and these aren’t HRC fuses hence less reliable. Additional blast protection is provided by the deep grooving inside the casing that also prevents ingress of moisture to a degree.

It uses tough plastic in its construction that makes it strong to provide good impact resistance in case of an accidental drop. The rubber holster of Ex330 absorbs any kind of shock and abuse at the workplace. So, it isn’t the type of unit that deteriorates in a short time!

Ex330 is safety rated to CATIII up to 600V and CATII up to 1000V. So, you can use the unit in high power areas of residential buildings but not for three-phase systems.

It’s the NCV detector that standouts Extech EX330 in comparison with other multimeters. While detecting the voltage in a source, it lights up the LED and makes a loud buzzer. This unit also supports live line testing. By inserting the test lead into the slots, one can easily measure the voltage.

Uses:

Extech Ex330 is designed to be used for faults diagnosis in cars, computers, household wiring and appliances. Additionally, it will also fulfil the requirements of Weekend DIY enthusiasts and electrician.


Pros
  • Compact size.
  • Excellent build quality.
  • Voltage detection capability.
  • High-end probes.
  • Nicely written instructions.
  • Reasonable price.
Cons
  • Not highly accurate.
  • Slow response time.
  • Not for night use.

3. Crenova MS8233D Multimeter

Crenova MS8233D

What it has?

What it lacks?

Built-in kickstand
Carrying pouch availability
Clear Backlit LCD
Auto/Manual-ranging
Data Hold
Ture RMS
Auto Shut off
Overload fused input protection
Drop Protection
IEC61010-1 and CATII Safety Rated

No Hanging magnet
No Magnetic straps
No Built-in flashlight
No NCV or live line testing


Measurements:

Crenova MS8233D is a beginners friendly multimeter that is capable of measuring AC/DC voltage, AC/DC current, frequency and resistance. Additionally, one can also perform a continuity check, diode check and transistor check using this multimeter unit. However, neither can you measure capacitance and temperature using MS8233D multimeter nor can you perform polarity check or identification.

Design:

With the built-in foldable stand, you can easily prop up the multimeter stably for hand-free use. Crenova provides a small carrying pouch to hold the multimeter and other accessories. It improves the handling of the multimeter unit. 

With 2000 display counts, this unit doesn’t have a very high-resolution LCD but a standard one that has a fair display.  But, it is equipped with backlight that helps in showing the clear results in dark areas making the multimeter useable during night time.

However, Three things that you’ll miss with this unit include the hanging magnet, mounting strap and flashlight. So, neither can you hang the unit on the metal surface to do your job singlehandedly, nor can you use the unit at night time without having a separate flashlight in your hand.

Functions:

Having both auto and manual ranging mode, you can set the unit as desired. If you are just starting out and don’t have experience using a multimeter, always operate it on auto-ranging mode for better accuracy. Only professionals are advised to use a manual ranging for quick analysis.

You can lock any reading on the screen by pressing the ‘Hold’ button. The recorded value can be retrieved later for future use. This feature is handy in scenarios where the worker isn’t in a position to note down an important measurement!

You can play with the speed drives and other non-linear signals with the help of this true RMS multimeter. But, you won’t be able to analyze the upper and lower limits of a fluctuating signal. Thus is due to unit’s limitaton in storing the maximum value of the function. However, there are few best multimeters under 100$ in the list that offer this feature of filtering out both highs and lows of a signal.

For better battery conservation, this unit equips an auto-off functionality that puts the unit on sleep mode after sitting idle for a few minutes.

Safety:

The built-in double fuses present in the circuit for input protection can effectively save the multimeter in case of measured parameter exceeding the maximum limit. This not only protects the unit from burning out but enhances its life as well.

With an elegant design and robust outer casing, this unit won’t deteriorate due to the wear and tear at the workplace. Additionally, its durable rubber hostler will not only absorb the impact of accidental drop but save the user from electric shock as well. Thus, just like other best multimeters under 100$ in the list, it also provides security for both user and unit itself.

Crenova MS8233D is backed by the IEC 61010-1 and CAT II up to 600V safety ratings. This rating acts as a seal that multimeter is safe to use and won’t explode in your hand. However, without having a non-contact voltage detector, neither can you use this unit for voltage detection in any socket nor will you able to do live line testing using MS8233D.  

Uses:

Talking about its application, you can use crenova MS8233D for troubleshooting in school wiring, instrument testing in the laboratory, wiring testing in offices, weekend experiments at homes and for professional electrician work at your shop. But, we won’t recommend using it for testing three-phase systems and high power areas.


Pros
  • Responsive customer support.
  • Straightforward operation.
  • Understandable user manual.
  • Easy to carry around.
  • Great value with low price.
  • Sturdy and long-lasting.
  • High-end safety.
Cons
  • Limited warranty.
  • Small testing leads.

4. Proster VC99 Multimeter

Proster VC99

What it has?

What it lacks?

Kickstand availability
Carrying pouch Availability
Overload fused input protection
CATII and CATIII certified.
Drop Protection
Auto Shutoff
Data Hold
Auto/Manual Ranging

No NCV detection or live line testing.
Not True RMS
No magnetic hanger
No LCD backlights or flashlight


Measurements:

Proster VC99 is highly loved by the beginners due to its wide range of measurement capability, that too, at pretty low price. With proster multimeter, you can measure AC/DC voltage, AC/DC current, temperature, frequency, capacitance and resistance.

Additionally one can also perform continuity, diode and transistor check, and it can detect current polarity as well. Thus, there is nothing this mulitmeter can’t measure.

Design:

Proster multimeter equips a built-in stand that supports the unit for hands-free operation. Moreover, In its packaging, you’ll see a nice looking carry bag comes to easily handle this portable multimeter unit so you won’t have to adjust it in your tool kit.

Definitely, you’ll praise its high-end resolution with 6000 counts display LCD having a wide display. But unfortunately, the screen lacks backlights. So, it’ll be of nearly no use for night time testing. Moreover, there is a responsive analogue bar graph that gives analogue feel by showing the value being measured.

One thing to keep in mind is that there is no magnetic hanger or mounting strap with this unit so you’ll have to hold the unit in hand and it’ll be difficult to take readings single-handedly.

Functions:

For quick analysis, professionals can use the multimeter on manual ranging mode. However, beginners must always use auto-ranging mode for more accurate results. As one can easily swap between these two modes with a single button press. So, it’ll be fun using it.

With its data hold feature, you’ll have the flexibility to save any reading, which is difficult to memorize or note. But not being a true RMS multimeter, one can’t analyze the non-linear signals with great accuracy. Still, its Max/Min function will help you in checking how much the value fluctuates with time.

Additionally, by setting the unit on relative mode, the multimeter will display the exact difference between the already stored measurement and the measured value. Lastly, after 15 minutes of sitting idle, the unit will be automatically turned off.

Safety:

There are two glass fuses that protects the current input circuits of 10A and 600mA. But they aren’t as efficient as HRC type fuses, so replace them with new ones for better protection.

Thanks to the protective rubber sleeve that protects the unit from heavy knocks and bumps, its sturdy casing has the ability to absorb the drop impact from a small height. So, expect the unit to remain your testing partner for years to come!

CV99 has got the safety ratings of CAT-II upto 1000V and CAT-III up to 600V which guarantees that the product is safe to use in indoor industrial and residential purposes. 

But, there is no non-contact voltage detector in this unit, and neither can you do live line testing. Thus, this might not be the right product for home testing.

Uses:

This is a low budget product, and in spite of having CAT-III rating, we would advise you to use the unit for low energy work including circuit designing, batteries testing, and home appliances troubleshooting. Thus, proster VC99 is ideal for beginners, students, electronics technicians and DIYers.  


Pros
  • Excellent safety security.
  • Robust and long-lasting structure.
  • Good quality test leads.
  • Less expensive.
  • Wide range of features.
  • Portable and easy to move.
Cons
  • Not suitable for night operation.
  • Can’t detect voltage.

5. Klein MM400 Multimeter

Klein MM400

What it has?

What it lacks?

Built-in Kickstand.
Auto/Manual Ranging
CAT-III safety rated.
Built-in Kickstand
ANSI Drop Protection
Overload fused input protection.
Bright Backlit LCD
Auto shutoff
Data Hold

No NCV detector or live line testing.
No True RMS
No magnetic hanger
No Built-in flashlight


Measurements:

Klein MM400 has the capability to analyze AC/DC voltage, AC/DC current, frequency, capacitance, resistance and temperature. One can also perform continuity and diode check using this multimeter. However, neither can we check transistors nor can we detect current polarity using Klein MM400 multimeter. So, do take

Design:

The dial of MM400  is meaty and yet easy to turn with one-handed operation. The buttons are large, simple and also rubbery. One can change the batteries easily from a separate compartment. Lead wires are of the supple kind. Alongwith that, this unit has a sturdy kickstand that keeps the multimeter in an upright position while working on a flat surface or bench.

Although Klein doesn’t ship the carrying case with the unit, you can buy it separately at a very low price. It’ll be handy in moving the multimeter in different locations at work.

The display of its LCD isn’t of high resolution but fairly standard having 4000 counts. One can easily read it in broad daylight, and its backlight helps in lightning up the display in dimly lit areas. However, you won’t see any magnetic hanger or flashlight with MM400 so neither can you mount the unit for hands-free operation nor can you operate it during the night.

Functions:

By pressing the “Range” button, you can easily switch between auto and manual ranging mode. Klein MM400 allows the users to hold the value when one don’t have a pen and paper in hand. You can retrieve and write down the value later.

This is an average RMS multimeter that can’t analyze the non-linear signal properly. But with the addition of Max/Min function, you can see the discrepancies in the fluctuating signal by reading its high and low values.

Just like other units in the list, Klein MM400 also went off after a few minutes of inactivity. This feature not only preserves battery but increase its life span. So, if you also forget to shut off the multimeter, this feature would be very handy for you!

Safety:

To protect the circuit in case of overloading, its circuit integrates two high-quality HRC fuses. One is for the high 10A circuit and other for 500mA. This added input protection prolongs the life span of AM400. 

Being made up of high strength plastic material, MM400 multimeter has rubber holster on its outer casing that has got ANSI certification to absorb the impact of 1m drop. Additionally, the sturdy and durable casing handles all kinds of abuse at the workplace. So, expect the unit to last longer!

This multimeter unit is backed by the CAT-III safety rating up to 600V that guarantees the high strength and quality circuit board of the unit. So, it won’t explode in your hands. However, unlike Ex330 multimeter, this unit isn’t equipped with an NCV detector, and you won’t be able to do live line testing with it.

Uses:

With high category safety ratings, you can use this multimeter in residential, commercial and light industrial locations. But stay it away from high power areas, especially three-phase systems.


Pros
  • Trusted brand.
  • Good visibility.
  • Affordable price.
  • Easy to operate interface.
  • Reliable testing leads.
  • Highly secure.
Cons
  • Can’t perform nonlinear analysis.
  • Short battery life.

6. Tekpower Mastech MS8268 Multimeter

Tekpower Mastech MS8268

What it has?

What it lacks?

Jacks’ input warning
Drop Protection
Overload fused input protection
Built-in Kickstand
Blue and White Backlit LCD
Auto Shutoff
Data Hold
Auto/Manual Ranging

No safety ratings.
No carrying pouch,
No built-in flashlight
No Magnetic hanger.
No True RMS


Measurements:

This multimeter unit can measure the AC/DC voltage, AC/DC current, frequency, capacitance, and resistance. One can also check current polarity and perform continuity, diode and transistor check using MS8268 multimeter. However, you won’t be able to measure temperature with this multimeter unit.

Design:

The built-in kickstand will give you the flexibility to take readings quickly by placing the multimeter in an upright position. But there is a list of design elements that are missing in this unit.

Tekpower doesn’t ship carrying pouch or flashlight with this unit, so you’ll have to place the unit in your toolbox, and separate flashlight will be needed for using the multimeter at night. Additionally, you won’t enjoy hands-free operation with this unit due to lack of magnetic strap or hanging magnet.

There is an addition of blue and white backlight that’ll be handy in brightening up the screen while operating the multimeter in dark areas. And thanks to the 4000 display counts and refresh rate of 3 times per second, readings will be clearly visible.

Functions:

You can operate the unit on both auto and manual ranging mode, and you can shift between these two modes easily. The auto-ranging will be very user-friendly for beginners with no experience as it automatically adjusts the range for measuring value while for quick experiments, professionals can use it for manual ranging mode!

While analyzing circuits in different locations, it is not possible for us to note down or memorize any useful reading. To overcome this problem, there is a data hold feature in this unit that’ll save the measurement for you, which can be noted later. Additionally, you’ll love the relative mode of MS8268. In this mode, you can set one value as a reference and shows the rest of measured data + or – to that value.

This is an additional feature that you won’t see in nearly all multimeter by which when user put the jack in the wrong socket, the unit notifies the right socket to insert the jack by lightening up an LED and making a loud buzzer.

For people who forget to turn off the unit after completing their job, Mastech’s auto shut off feature will put the unit on sleep mode after sitting idle for 15 minutes.

However, keep in mind that it isn’t a true RMS multimeter, so analyzing the non-linear circuits won’t be possible with this unit. Additionally, having no min/max values, you can’t identify the trend of fluctuating signals.

Safety:

A protective input ceramic fuse is integrated on the 10A main current circuit, while a resettable temperature coefficient PTC fuse protects MS8268’s milliamps circuit. So, your multimeter won’t burn out in case of overloading.

Thanks to the sturdy outer casing and rubber boot, MS8368 can bear any kind of abuse at Jobsite. The additional rubber holster will provide additional protection against accidental drop impact. So, this isn’t a type of product that breaks into pieces with one fall!

Unfortunately, there is no protection on the main terminal jack input that nullifies the Mastech claims of having good safety ratings. So, our recommendation is to limit the use of MS8268 to only low energy circuits.

Lastly, if you intend to use it for non-contact voltage detection or live line testing then, unfortunately, you won’t have this flexibility in MS8268.

Uses:

Due to its low budget, Mastech MS8268 comes in our list of best multimeters under 100$. But that doesn’t limit its use too few areas only. Despite being cheap, it fulfils all basic requirements of electricians, hobbyists, DIY enthusiasts and household troubleshooting. Last, but not least, you can also test your computer power supplies and HVAC troubleshooting using MS8268.


Pros
  • Inexpensive.
  • High-quality testing leads.
  • Battery runtime is good.
  • High visibility with backlights.
  • Rugged casing.
  • Easy to hold in hand.
Cons
  • No clear instructions.
  • No HRC fuses.
  • Small capacitance measurement range.

7. Triplett 1101-B Multimeter

Triplett 1101-B

What it has?

What it lacks?

Built-in kickstand
Bright Backlit LCD
Data Hold
Auto shutoff
Drop Protection
CATII Safety Rated
NCV or live line Testing

No Hanging Magnet
No Carrying pouch
No Built-in Flashlight
No True RMS
No auto-ranging
No overload fused input protection


Measurements:

Triplett multimeter isn’t a high end multimeter and can only measure AC/DC voltage, DC current and temperature. Additionally, you can do diode, transistor and continuity check using Triplett digital multimeter. Few backsides of this unit is that you can neither measure capacitance and frequency, nor can you identify polarity using this multimeter unit.

Design:

This unit is equipped with a back stand to place the multimeter in an upright position while using it on the front surface. However, few users have complained that it isn’t that much sturdy and keep on falling every now and then.

With exactly the same display counts as Crenova, Triplett multimeter also has a standard resolution. Although its display is fair but being equipped with backlight extends its use in dark rooms. That give this unit an edge over high-resolution multimeters with no LCD backlights.

This unit doesn’t come with a hanging magnet, carrying pouch or flashlight. So, you’ll have to hold it in your hand while taking readings, store it in your tool kit and take a flashlight with you while going for troubleshooting in dark places.

Functions:

With 19 different ranges for multiple parameters, you can measure readings with great accuracy. But this multimeter doesn’t have an auto-ranging feature. So, you’ll have select the range for every different reading.

By pressing the ‘Hold’ key that locks the value shown on the LCD and you’ll see a ‘DH’ sign that verifies that multimeter is currently storing a value. You can note down the value later. By pressing the hold button twice, you can go back to normal display updating mode.

With the addition of an auto power-off feature that shuts off the multimeter after few minutes of inactivity, will help in maximizing the battery life.

But, this isn’t a true RMS multimeter so if you often have to play with non-linear signals, and this isn’t the type of unit you should go for. Additionally, with no option to check the min/max value of fluctuating signals, you can’t analyze them using Triplett digital multimeter.

Safety:

Triplett doesn’t give any specs of its fuses, but the multimeter equips the fuses that protect it from damage in case of overloading. This is a very user-friendly multimeter – thanks to its ergonomics design. Its rubberized boot provides a good impact resistant to protect the unit after slipping from your hand and hitting the ground.

Triplett multimeter is certified to have industry-standard CAT II safety ratings that provide strong resistance to any kind of circuit damage in case of transient overvoltages.

Triplett multimeter is equipped with a non-contact voltage detector that can sense the voltage from a distance that’ll be handy while working with fault diagnosis in high power wires.

Uses:

Triplett multimeter can be used for a broad range of applications including the fault diagnosis in the security, home theatre and household appliances, HVAC installations, electronics lab work and weekend experiments. Thus, it is best suited for any kind of commercial and residential applications.


Pros
  • Double Insulation.
  • Good shock absorption.
  • Excellent warranty.
  • Good customer support.
  • Compact and user-friendly.
  • Very inexpensive.
  • Fits well in a pocket.
Cons
  • Slow response.
  • Not suitable for professional use.

8. Etekcity MSR-C600 Multimeter

Etekcity MSR-C600

What it has?

What it lacks?

Carrying pouch availability
Auto/manual-ranging
Data Hold
Auto shut off
Drop protection
CATII and CATIII Safety Rated

No Backlit LCD
No Built-in Kickstand
No Built-in Flashlight
No Hanging Magnet
No Mounting straps
No True RMS
No NCV or live line testing
No overload fused input protection


Measurements:

Etekcity digital multimeter can measure AC/DC voltage, resistance and AC current with a clamp jaw capacity of 28mm. Additionally, you can also perform continuity and diode check and identify polarity with this clamp meter.

There are many basic features that this unit can’t measure including the DC current, temperature, frequency, and capacitance. You can’t test transistors as well using Etekcity clamp meter. But, one can’t expect a below 50$ multimeter to have all advanced functions.

Design:

Just like the most of the clamp meters, there is no kickstand, hanging magnet, mounting strap and flashlight with this unit. So you’ll have to hold it in your hand every time you take the reading. Also, take headlamp with you to do troubleshooting in dimly lit areas.

For those who have to check circuits at multiple places, Etekcity ships a nicely designed carrying pouch to move it around the house easily. With only 2000 display counts, etekcity clamp meter doesn’t have very high resolution.

Additionally, there are no backlights, so you’ll find difficulty while noting readings in the dark.  

Functions:

This unit operates at both auto and manual ranging mode so you can choose the one that best matches your requirements. By pressing the data hold function, you can instantly store any desired reading in the multimeter’s memory which can be retrieved and used later

Too many fluctuating signals can’t be analyzed with etekcity clamp meter as it isn’t a true RMS device, and one can only get accurate results while measuring standard AC signals like of main supply.

You’ll also have the flexibility to store the maximum value from the measured set of data that is pretty handy in analyzing abrupt spikes of values.

Etekcity has also integrated an auto on/off feature in this unit that shut off the unit when not in use for better utilization of battery power.

Safety:

Etekcity clamp meter is pretty tough to handle all kind of wear and tear. But, don’t use the MSR-C600 in a very harsh environment. It may not withstand regular impacts, so don’t drop it quite often.

This clamp meter has got CATII and CATIII safety ratings which guarantee it to be safe to use. That builds user’s trust over it. However, with no non-contact voltage detector, you can’t check the presence of voltage in a wire without connecting probes with it.

Uses:

Etekcity MSR-C600 is best suited for low power appliances including the sockets, fuses, switches and batteries. But you can’t use it to measure the current draw of car battery or any other DC system as it can’t measure the DC current. You can also use the Etekcity’s safe and sound digital clamp multimeter for household and residential buildings electricity maintenance.


Pros
  • Professional look.
  • Good jaw size.
  • Wide display.
  • Excellent run-time battery.
  • Lifetime warranty.
  • Lightweight and flexible.
  • Extremely low price.
Cons
  • Very limited functions.
  • Low resolution with less visibility.
  • Can’t be used singlehandedly.
  • Can’t measure DC current.

What to look for before buying the best multimeters Under $100

Nearly every company manufactures cost-effective multimeters for people with a very tight budget. But the lower cost doesn’t mean low quality.

Their performance is as good as of any high priced meter, but they lack in many advanced functions. So, before finalizing one of the best multimeters under 100$, you should keep into consideration certain factors that serve as the basis for differentiating good low price multimeters from the bad ones.

Every multimeter unit should be analyzed from five different areas, including the design, measurements, functions, safety and area of applications. In this buyers guide, we’ll also deep dive into these factors that’ll help you in filtering out the best product in the market.

Let’s go into their detail one by one:

Measurements:

Without any doubt, low price multimeters will definitely be very limited in their functions. But they should be capable enough to measure the basic parameters including the AC/DC current, AC/DC voltage, temperature, resistance, capacitance and frequency. Additionally, testing diodes and verifying the continuity should also be there in them..

Design:

One can’t expect a low price multimeter to have all the advanced design elements that allow technicians to do their job easily. But, the more elements that a unit incorporates, more user-friendly it’ll be. So, always go for a unit that provides greater flexibility.

How these elements help in making our job easy is briefly explained below:

  1. The kickstand is a very handy element for electricians in their lab work. By flipping it out on any desk or surface, you can place the unit in an upright position. That’ll greatly cut down the time you spend in taking and noting the measurements. So, a 20 minutes job can be done in 10 minutes.
  2. Magnetic hanger and strap are another two major design elements that act as a third hand for technicians. That is pretty handy while operating the unit in a standing position. By connecting the magnetic hanger with metal surface or hanging the unit alongside belt, one can get the job done singlehandedly.
  3. LCD resolution shouldn’t be low enough that readings are barely visible. Additionally, the selected unit must also have LCD backlights that’ll brighten up the screen during the night time or dark area operations. Missing out these features will limit the unit to day use only.
  4. Last but not least, having a built-in flashlight will be a big plus point as it omits the need of holding a separate flashlight in your hand throughout the operation.

Functions:

Of course, a 100$ meter can’t be compared with highly advanced and expensive Fluke meters having the data logging, infrared and remote viewing capability. But the selected unit should at least be able to perform basic functions. That includes, auto/manual ranging mode, TRMS analysis, min/max data recording, on-screen data hold and shutoff functionality.

If you aren’t aware of how these functions work, we’ve briefly explained them below:

  1. Operating the unit on auto/manual ranging has their own perks and drawbacks. So, one can’t comment on which one is perfect. Still, for beginners who are just getting started should always take measurements on the auto-ranging mode. The experienced professional who wants to get their job completed, quickly, can work with manual ranging mode as it’s a bit fast.
  2. For folks like me who have to play with the variable speed drives at their workplace must go with TRMS multimeter. Additionally, to filter out the highs and lows of specific current signal over a certain time period, the multimeter must have min/max recording capability. Both of these features will lead to achieving highly accurate results.  
  3. In most cases, technicians want to note the measurements after dismantling the circuit when their hands are completely free. Data hold functionality gives them this flexibility. By pressing a single button, you can freeze the measured data on the screen.
  4. Lastly, if you don’t want your battery to drain out then go for a unit having auto-shutoff functionality. In case, you forget to turn off the unit,

Safety:

Without any doubt, “Safety comes first”. So, make sure your selected unit honours this slogan. Being backed by international certifications acts as a guarantee that the product is pretty safe to use. So, choosing a certified product should be the right decision.

Additionally, the low price must not come at the expense of low-quality design and structure. So, make sure the product, you are going to spend money on, provides the basic safety features, including the good overload protection, drop protection, non-contact voltage detection and live line testing functionality as you are spending a 100 bucks on a unit that give users shock or tore into the piece in less than a month won’t be justifiable.

Let’s discuss each function briefly.

  1. Every circuit can withstand a rated value of current after which it turns out that is riskier both for the multimeter and user who is operating it. To overcome this risk, fuses are installed as input protection that protects the unit from damage in case of overloading.
  2. Jobsite blows and abuse deteriorates the multimeter unit after a certain time period. Additionally, frequent drops lead to breakage of multimeter’s outer casing. This exposes the technicians to an internal circuit that can lead to shock. So, do make sure your selected unit can withstand the workplace harshness and should be strong enough to bear the high altitude drops.
  3. Every multimeter is given one or more safety ratings, starting from CAT I to CAT IV, according to its resistance to higher energy transients. So, choose a unit according to your job needs. Having more than one category ratings would be a plus point!

Uses:

A less reputable unit that is backed by a good warranty is more reliable than one of the highly reputable brands giving no warranty. So, must choose a unit from the list of best multimeters under 100$ that is backed by a good warranty. Moreover, it must also be equipped with a long-lasting battery having an excellent run time. 

Lastly, do keep in mind your purpose for which you are buying the multimeter, and even with a low budget, you’ll be able to find the right product.


FAQs:

Can I buy a multimeter under 100$?

Yes, almost every brand starting from local to high-end like Fluke has manufactured budget multimeters for people who can’t afford to spend hefty among in buying high priced multimeters.

Are cheap multimeters accurate?

Most of the cheap multimeters in the market are as accurate as any expensive advanced multimeter. The only difference is that cheap multimeters lack a lot of advanced features which may contribute a little in getting highly accurate results within expensive multimeter. But, that difference isn’t big so you can go for this unit.

Are cheap multimeter safe to use?

If the unit you are going to buy provides good input protection to avoid overloading and is backed by the safety ratings of any category starting from I to IV, then it’ll be safe to use. If it lacks any of this functionality, go for some other unit.

Does 100$ multimeter lasts long?

As long as you use the multimeter with great care and by following all guidelines, you can expect 100$ multimeter to last long. Just regularly check its battery’s life and fuse condition and replace them if needed.

What is the best multimeter under 100$?

Both in terms of price and features, KAIWEETS HT118A Multimeter is the best multimeter under 100$ in our list and it would be your one of the best investments.


Final Verdict

Here is the detailed review of 8 best multimeters under 100$. All of the selected products serve a different purpose with few, being multipurpose, can be used for more than one application.

The ins and outs of these products have been explained in-depth for you. Moreover, our buyer’s guide will help in making the multimeter selection process easier for you.

You are free to choose any product that you think would best meet your criteria. Still, my recommendation would be to go with the KAIWEETS HT118A Multimeter. Despite being low in price, it is capable of performing nearly all advanced functions. In fact, this single product would serve you for years to come.

Still, going through our buyer’s guide section, if you haven’t gone through already, would clear all your doubts about which things to consider before finalizing any product.

Getting your dream product is just one click away!

Happy Testing!


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