The multimeter is probably the most essential tool for the electrician or mechanic. Previously it was used to measure voltage current and resistance. But the latest models are equipped with many other functions such as temperature capacity inductance and battery testing transistors and diodes. it is a powerful and essential tool in the electrical industry.
Between the two typed that exist the digital multimeter is the most popular on the market. But given the multitude of models that pulverizes on both sides on the market, it is difficult to make a choice when buying. It is therefore important to be well informed of the selection criteria to make a wise choice. in addition to this multimeter buying guide, we offer an up-to-date comparison so you can find the best deal for this particular device.
If you only need a device that helps you understand measurements in home failures or to take in the car, if necessary, you can opt for a simple pen multimeter, but if you are a professional, the safest thing is that you must resort to more complex devices with more advanced functions.
What is the best digital multimeter?
If you want to get a multimeter, a good way to do it is knowing the characteristics of the devices that are on the market and selecting the one that best suits your requirements and your budget.
To facilitate the selection we have made a brief guide with the suggestions of what you could take into account when selecting the best digital multimeter for the purchase
Fluke 115 RMS Multimeter
The one with the backlit screen
If you need to buy a device for professional electronics, this equipment is the ideal one for you. Its most outstanding feature is its backlit LCD screen that facilitates work in areas where lighting conditions are poor.
When putting it on the market, the manufacturers thought of facilitating the work of the professionals with a light, multifunctional and good quality equipment, however, if you are a beginner it also suits you because it is simple to use and has a system that will issue an alert if the amperage or the voltage meter is not configured correctly, instead of giving you a false or zero reading as it happens with other equipment of this nature.
The Fluke brand device also has protection against 6 kV peak overloads, according to the IEC61010 – 1 600V CAT standard with pollution grade 2. It has a self-selection system capable of changing from manual to true MRS system to read accurately the systems of non-linear loads and, among other benefits, exhibits a record of minimum and maximum average values to detect fluctuations of the signal; a range of voltage DC – 6000 – 0.001V and its measurement range of amperes in alternating current is from 0.1A to 10A and indirect current from 0.001A to 10A.
In the opinion of those who have already used it, it is a reliable, safe and precise device, it measures voltage and resistance very accurately. It is able to check in a very short time all the diodes of a board with the emission of a sound that, to the most expert, makes them dispense with the need to observe the values on the screen.
Poster Vc99 Auto-Ranging Multimeter
It also measures the temperature
When choosing a versatile multimeter with a wide variety of useful functions, without a doubt the Poster Vc99 is one of the most attractive, if you add that it is the most economical on the market, which provides added value.
Like other similar devices, this multimeter consists of an LCD screen with a maximum reading of 5999 and up to 2000 uF. It is an automatic range that measures AC / DC current, voltage, resistance, frequency and duty cycle, however, one of its most striking features is that it also measures the temperature.
It is a compact, lightweight and made with good quality materials if a comparison of the price – value is made. It is also able to provide special functions, including analogue bars, symbol display unit, relative value measurement, among other qualities of great value for the work of electronics and electricity.
Regarding its technical specifications, for direct current measurement, it has a range of 600mV to 6000V with an accuracy of 0.5%, a similar scale estimated for alternating current varying the accuracy up to 0.8% and an intensity that reaches 600 mA with 1.2% accuracy
This multimeter has protection against overload in all its functions and, a point of special attention is that it is able to store the recorded data to take notes. It also has a low battery voltage indicator, support for hands-free use and automatic shut-off function that goes into action if after 15 minutes no further use of the device is made.
HoldPeak HP-570C-APP DC Clamp Meter
The one with the ampullary clamp
One of the most striking qualities of this clamp multimeter is that it comes with a clamp meter to measure voltage and direct and alternating current. In addition, it is capable of measuring other load ranges such as resistance, capacitance, frequency, diode, continuity and even temperature test. It also has a low battery indicator and overload.
It is a device that is less expensive if a comparison is made with others available in the market and is highly accurate because it offers accurate readings when measuring linear or non-linear loads even without taking into account the waveform.
Another of its great advantages is that it is an auto-range device, light and portable and it is not necessary to have very advanced knowledge to use it properly. In the opinion of those who have already acquired an equal one, its characteristics make it ideal for the electricity enthusiast and even to have it at home.
However, the fact that it is a simple device to use does not imply that it does not have advanced functions. The HoldPeak is so good and versatile that they also recommend it for factories and, in schools, where it is used to teach the basics of electricity. No doubt its quality is foolproof.
The digital multimeter of this clamp multimeter has another great point in favour and is that its meter complies with GB / T 13978-92, which establishes the general conditions of technology in this type of devices. This instrument is also adapted to the IEC 61010-1, IEC 61010-2-032 standard that meets the electronic safety measurement requirements of the device, which is why it can be used without any concern.
Among other elements included in this tester are the backlight and headlight clamp used for special situations. Like other similar devices, this also contains an automatic shut-off function to save electricity if, after 15 minutes, no use has been made. Experts consider it the most appropriate to test electrical and maintenance equipment.
Tacklife CM01A Multimeter
Simplicity and practicality
This device of the Tacklife brand is one of the most versatile of our selection. It is small and light equipment with a robust design and a series of multifunctions that make it truly attractive for professionals and beginners.
The CM01A model is available at a low price in the market and consists of a clamp or clamp system that opens to measure alternating and continuous current in a conductor up to 26mm without touching or interrupting the circuit.
According to the experts, one of the great advantages of this equipment is the opening of the clamp, whose versatility allows to measure the load ranges in a comfortable and simple way, even in the most complex circuits and installations due to the number of cables that they make them up.
It is an easy-to-use auto ranging device with a wide capacity for several types of measurements and options, including a range and accuracy of DC voltage between 400mV and 400V, in the case of alternating current the range is 4V at 600V. On the accuracy of the current, the range is from 40A to 400A in DC and AC.
It has a digital LCD screen, it can be placed in standby mode and in zero modes, it has a flashlight, backlight and automatic shutdown. Another of the benefits of this device is that it has live line test and NCV test, for which it emits an alert sound and turns on a light. No doubt functions that should be taken into account when buying.
Among other specifications it can do work cycle, diode tests, negative polarity and continuity and frequency tests, it also works in environmental conditions of operation on the 600V CAT.III in two degrees of contamination; All this is complemented by a sampling rate function of approximately three times per second. Those who have already used it emphasize the quality of their materials as an added value
Amprobe Pocket Digital Multimeter PM55A
Ideal for beginners
If you need a pocket multimeter that does not have the complicated functions of a device for the very professional then this device is ideal for you.
It is small, light, easy to store and is available in the market at an affordable price, coated with a particular red colour.
The tester of the Amprobe brand is capable of measuring the capacitance in a measuring range of 100nF to 2 MF, the alternating current in a class of 400μa to 2 mA and the DC in a category ranging from 400μa to 2 mA
This device also has an interesting function of Electric Field Measurement that allows to approach an electrical panel and know if it is powered, before touching through the emission of a warning sound.
The connoisseurs of this area, are of the opinion that this multimeter is the right one to have at home for the check of appliances and simple DIY jobs. If you want to buy a good quality device but that is not overly complicated then you have already got what you need in this.
Multimeter Fluke 117 6000 counts CAT III 600V
What is a multimeter?
It is a test tool, almost always pocket, also known as a multimeter, which serves for the appropriate measurement of two or more electrical values mainly voltage, current and resistance. Commercially it is also known by the name of the tester.
It is a standard diagnostic device generally for the use of technicians in the electricity or electronics industry, which allows the measurement of current in continuous or alternating following several margins of measurement in each of the cases.
Initially, these devices were created in an analogical way and, with the arrival of technology, the manufacturers started to market their digital versions, both have the same functions, however, the latter is the most common nowadays and, according to the Expert opinion and knowledgeable, also tend to be a little more accurate, reliable and are available in variable prices.
Although there are some more sophisticated than others, making comparisons we can see that these teams usually have several parts or components in common. First, there is the screen where you can see the result of the measurement, the buttons to select various functions, the selector or rotation dial to select the primary value of measurement and the input sockets where the terminals of the tips are connected test.
The digital multimeters have a fairly simple operating system that consists of turning the rotation knob of the device to select the parameter to be measured; then the cables or test leads are connected to the input sockets of the device and these are then brought to touch the device whose load magnitude is to be known. On contacting the multimeter, the data of the measurement result is displayed on the front screen.
The multimeter’s selector is usually one of the most important parts of the device since its rotating system allows to select different elements that can be measured, including different selections for the same parameter.
Usually, the function of the rotary switch or selector is complemented by a series of buttons that allow a more specific selection of the characteristics of the values to be measured, even some of the most detailed and sophisticated equipment come with small transistor measurement sockets.
How the multimeter works
About the operation of this equipment is essential to know some details that allow its correct use. To measure resistors of a circuit with a digital multimeter it is necessary to do it without there being current flowing through them, that is to say, that one of the pins of the circuit must be removed to carry out the measurement correctly.
If you want to measure the voltage, it is best to first know what type of current is being measured, that is, we must know if it is a direct current like the batteries usually have; or alternating, equal to what is usually in the wiring of homes and offices.
In the case of continuity measurement, it is necessary to verify the characteristics of the track or circuit to be measured, for example, if they are cut or have a problem. In most cases the measurements of these elements do not cause problems, however, it is necessary to be careful when measuring a diode because they let the current flow in only one direction, so it is essential to place the batteries correctly to do the measurement.
What can you do with a digital multimeter?
Digital multimeters combine the testing capabilities of single-task meters: They are capable, for example, of working as a voltmeter, measuring the difference in potential in volts; like an ammeter when it throws measurements in amperes product of the calculation of the intensity of the current and like an ohmmeter in those cases in which it is adjusted so that it measures the ohms of an electrical resistance.
In short, with these devices, you can measure resistance, diodes, transistors, capacitance, frequency, continuity in audible form, direct current voltage, alternating current voltage and amperage, values that are used to check the correct functioning of the device components and electronic circuits. Some even incorporate functions to perform temperature measurements, characteristics that make this device an indispensable device for those who are dedicated to electrical repairs or have an interest in that area.
A digital or analogue multimeter?
It is, basically, the predecessor of the digital multimeter, it is a more complex artefact with scales of values that are understandable, in most cases, by those who have knowledge of electricity or electronics.
This type of equipment is also composed of a rotation knob and outputs the results on a scale of values of different load magnitudes, indicating the value measured with the movement of a needle.
Normally, modern analogue multimeters are equipped with a mobile coil measurement system. The first generation, however, was equipped with a mobile iron measurement system.
The analogue multimeter measures the current by moving the coil counter with the appropriate internal resistances, which are inside the circuit, based on the selection of the range switch. It is used to measure the direct and alternating current, as well as the voltage. It is also used to measure the resistance and there are some that also serve to measure transistors and capacitors. The actual resistance of the analogue multimeter depends on the chosen range, as well as the sensitivity.
Despite digital technology, some manufacturers are still betting on this market because these teams are still used for academics in schools, training companies, laboratories, universities and in the research sector. However, in the opinion of some users, this equipment does not stand out in the accuracy that digital devices do.
How to use a multimeter?
Here is the complete guide, how to use a multimeter? I suggest you to watch the video tutorial
How to choose your multimeter?
Before buying a multimeter, you have to take into consideration the good quality of the product, its brand as well as the opinion of some users.
In addition, you must define the nature of your use; will the material be used for professional or personal purposes?
However, in both cases, it is always better to have a device with full functionality. So don’t just consider the cheapest device; think in terms of ergonomics and reliability. So here are the main selection criteria to know in a few points.
The measuring range of the multimeter
The measurement range of a multimeter corresponds to the limitation of possible measurements on the device. If you take a multimeter with a small measurement range, you may not be able to do much with the device. So, whenever possible, always choose a Category III multimeter.
This type of device is suitable for larger jobs. Indeed, category three will allow you to do DIY work on the electrical installations of the house as on cars. However, the choice of the measurement range can be made according to the use of the device.
Indeed, it is not compulsory to have a large measurement range for occasional small jobs.
The accuracy of the device
The most accurate multimeter will remain the one in automatic mode and not the one in manual mode. However, the multimeter always indicates the value found with the + – sign.
In other words, a multimeter gives you within a few points the value you are looking for. Of course, the small difference observed is never fatal to the device diagnosed. However, if you want as much accuracy as possible, take a digital type multimeter.
Some resellers also offer more competent devices than others which logically give better results. This type of multimeter is recommended for professionals.
When working with a multimeter, you should pay attention to electrical hazards. So before choosing your gadget, make sure it has the following security features:
- Internal protective screens;
- Banana plugs wrapped on the probes;
- Wide flanges;
- Isolation slots;
- Adequate entry protection.
If these elements are present on the product, you can have a clear conscience on your purchase. Indeed, you should never rush when you want to have a good quality multimeter.
Even if the best choice forces you to pay a few more pounds, tell yourself that the choice will be for your safety and for the safety of your equipment.
You don’t need a giant multimeter if you only want to do small jobs. So, if you are looking for a good multimeter, first define your needs.
If you need a multimeter to carry out occasional tinkering (ie for simple fault diagnosis, checking batteries, electrical connection work), take a device with basic functions. So you would only need a voltmeter and an ohmmeter.
The voltage measurement range required for this will range from 200 mV to 200 V for direct current and from 0 to 600 V for alternating current. In addition, a choice of limited size is preferable in this case in order to minimize calculation errors.
Those who work on larger fields including various electrical installation, wiring and equipment will need a more competent multimeter.
In this case, it is preferable to take a multimeter equipped with a voltmeter, an ohmmeter and an ammeter. Also, opt for a digital device. In addition, take a multimeter with fork or clamp to facilitate your checks before dismantling faulty devices. In terms of ratings, you will need 10 A continuous and 200 A alternating.
The professional electronics specialist will need a multimeter that can calculate the capacitance (F), the impedance (Ω), the power (W), the voltage (V) and the intensity (A). Of course, this type of device is always equipped with an ohmmeter which will allow you to calculate the resistance.
To work with more ergonomics, it is better to take a digital multimeter and clamp. In addition, a device can measure up to 200 V continuous and 1000 V alternating. So you will need a multifunctional and very powerful multimeter. Please make sure that the protective measures are included in the device during your purchase.