Best Multimeters

Review & Comparison, Last Update August 24, 2018
When dealing with electric equipment in any way we consider a multimeter, which is a tool capable of measuring various electric and thermal parameters an indispensable device. We offer you to check a helpful buying guide that contains the comparison of 5 best multimeter models available. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2018
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Measurement Type
Limits of Measurement
Accuracy
Range Selection
Display
Functionality
Safety
Casing
Convenience Features
Warranty
 
PROS

The probes are pretty durable and feature high-voltage insulation that gives you plenty of testing options. In addition, these probes are quite long, which adds to the convenience of the use.

CONS

The battery could retain the charge longer. 

OUR VERDICT

The AstroAl multimeter is a professional device for use at home and in a small workshop. So if you are searching for the instrument that will help you monitor your household appliances as well as allow you to accomplish more serious projects this DMM is a sound choice.

detailed parameters
Measurement Type

Contact 

Limits of Measurement

DC Voltage: up to 1000V, AC Voltage: up to 750V, Temperature: -40°F~2000°F, DC Current: up to 10A, Resistance: up to 60MΩ, Capacitance: up to 60mF, Frequency: 0~60MHz

Accuracy

From 0.8% to 1.5%, average accuracy 

Range Selection

Auto and manual ranging

Display

Digital: 6000 counts

Functionality

Voltage, Current, Resistance, Continuity, Capacitance, Frequency; Testing Diodes, Transistors, Temperature

Safety

CAT III 600V, CAT II 1000V

Casing

Durable, rubber overmolded enclosure

Convenience Features

Data hold mode, Backlit LCD display, Auto shut-off, Hanging magnet, Kickstand

Warranty

3 years 

PROS
Being one of the best digital multimeters for the money this multimeter offers a fast measurement and small response time together with rugged design. In addition, the multimeter is equipped with a flashlight for working in dimly lit areas.
CONS
With the overall ergonomics of multimeter design, the input leads are not long enough.
OUR VERDICT
The wide range of different parameters measurement and sufficient accuracy make it possible to use this multimeter not only for residential but for light commercial applications too.
detailed parameters
Measurement Type
Non-contact
Limits of Measurement

AC: 600 V, DC: 600 V, Resistance: 40.00 MΩ, AC Current: 10.00 A, DC Current: 10.00 A, Capacitance: 4000 μF, Temperature: -40°F to 1832°F, Frequency: 10 MHz

Accuracy
From 0.8% to 1.2%, average accuracy
Range Selection
Auto and manual ranging
Display
Digital: 6000 counts
Functionality

Built-in flashlight, Built-in thermometer, Audible continuity test

Safety

CAT III 600V

Casing
Durable, rubber overmolded enclosure
Convenience Features
Data hold and relative zero mode, Backlit LCD display
Warranty

1 year 

PROS
This Etekcity multimeter model is supplied with an excellent manual that provides a profound description of the device application and features and comes in an ergonomic case for a firm grip.
CONS
The ergonomic case design makes you put a lot of effort when performing the battery replacement.
OUR VERDICT
For those who decided to run their houses on their own this multimeter will prove a critical tool for solving the electricity issues. The accuracy and measurement ranges supported by the device will fit for laying and repairing wires both in your house and vehicles.
detailed parameters
Measurement Type
Contact
Limits of Measurement

DC Voltage: 200V, AC Voltage: 500V, DC Current: 10A, Resistance: 200MΩ

Accuracy
From 1% to 2%, average accuracy
Range Selection
Manual ranging
Display
Maximum readings: 4000 (frequency 9999)
Functionality
Diode Test, Continuity Test, Low battery indicator, Continuity buzzer, Overload protection
Safety

IEC61010 CAT III 1000V, CAT IV 600V overvoltage and double insulation standard

Casing
Protective rubber sleeve for drop protection
Convenience Features

Built-in support stand for hand-free use, Data hold mode, Backlit LCD

Warranty

1 year

PROS

The LCD display on this multimeter is large and easy to read making it convenient to use it in different conditions. The presence of kickstand is another handy feature that rids you of the need to hold the device in hands while making measurements.

CONS

It doesn't correspond to the CAT III safety standard. 

OUR VERDICT

The Innova multimeter is an accurate and reliable instrument designed to measure the electrical circuit both inside the house and in a car. It's affordable and it's very easy to use thanks to the Auto-Ranging™ scales.

detailed parameters
Measurement Type

Contact 

Limits of Measurement

DC Voltage: up to 600V, AC Voltage: up to 600V, DC Current: up to 10A, Resistance: up to 20MΩ

Accuracy

From 0.8 to 2%, average accuracy 

Range Selection

Auto and manual ranging

Display

Digital: 2000 counts

Functionality

Voltage, Current, Resistance, Testing Diodes, Transistors, Battery Test

Safety

CAT II 600V

Casing

Protective rubber corner guards

Convenience Features

Backlit LCD display, Auto shut-off, Kickstand, Holders for leads

Warranty

1 year 

PROS
The main advantages of this multimeter are the price and the combination of a compact size with convenient controls arrangements.
CONS
The device is not suitable for RMS measurements.
OUR VERDICT
This model packs all the basic features and functions required for a residential use. While the accuracy this digital multimeter provides is not of the highest rate it is very good from the pricing point of view.
detailed parameters
Measurement Type
Contact (probes) and non-contact (jaw opening clamp)
Limits of Measurement

AC Current: 400A, AC Voltage: 600V, DC Voltage: 600V, Resistance: 2-20MΩ

Accuracy
From 0.8% to 1.5%, average accuracy
Range Selection
Auto ranging
Display
Maximum readings: 1999
Functionality

Diode test, Continuity test, Resistance test

Safety

IEC61010 CAT II 600V, CAT III 300V overvoltage and double insulation

Casing
Plastic compact case for one-handed operation
Convenience Features
Safely insulated test probes with plastic gripping
Warranty

1 year

AstroAI WH5000A

DMM for Any Occasion

Would you like to take the electronics in your home and car under control but have no intention to invest in a bulky and expensive equipment? Well, if your answer is "yes", this portable digital multimeter may rightly become your inspired choice.

Despite a relatively low cost of the instrument, the AstroAI WH5000A provides quite a number of test options. The tool can measure AC/DC voltage and current, resistance, continuity, capacitance, frequency; run tests on diodes and transistors, determine the temperature of liquids within seconds and then showcase the results on a large and well-lit LCD screen. The display on the AstroAI WH5000A is quite big and all data is easy to read.

Although the accuracy range of this multimeter is nothing to write home about, we like the fact that it comes already calibrated to match laboratory specifications. This is a common practice for all DMMs but it's nice to know that there's no need to bother with adjustments and the device is ready to use out of the box. The WH5000A includes test leads, K-type thermocouple, and a multi-function socket so you don't need to buy any extras and can use it for testing capacitors and transistors once you unpack the tool.

Review of AstroAI WH5000A Digital Multimeter

Double Protection

The AstroAI WH5000A meets EN61010-1 CAT III 600V and CAT II 1000V safety standards. This means it can test both local-level electrical distribution such as standard wall outlets and hard-wired equipment such as bus bars, socket outlets, etc. This model also features built-in explosion-proof ceramic fuse tubes that provide the multimeter with overload protection.

The WH5000A is simple to use. To test it for continuity, for example, you only need to set the switch to Ohm position and connect test leads to each other while the circuit is being tested. In a couple seconds the results will come up on the screen. If everything's done properly, you should see the mark 0 Ohm. 

AstroAI WH5000A Digital Multimeter in the use

Simple and Durable

When it comes to a digital multimeter one of the essential parameters customers usually pay attention to is the tool's ergonomics, which is quite understandable given that this tool is small in size and can cause more discomfort than comfort if poorly built or too tiny. With regards to the AstroAl 6000 you can rest assured. The instrument is of the optimal size, has a rubber padding on each side of the housing and is shockproof to withstand abuse use. There is also a kickstand and a magnet on the back of the housing. You can use them to put the tool either upright on some flat surface when checking the battery in your car, for example, or hang on a wall when testing a socket. The magnet is strong and will hold the tool firmly.

All these characteristics make this multimeter a solid choice for anyone in need of a reliable device to use both at home and in a small workshop. It has a great many convenience features, provides extensive functionality, and corresponds to all safety standards. It doesn't cost as much as many other electric multimeters yet it can perfectly detect any kinds of electrical problems.  

Detailed review of AstroAI WH5000A Digital Multimeter

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

Amprobe AM-510

Designed for Light Commercial and Advanced Residential Operations

If you experienced a need to replace or repair the electric wiring in your house, decided to install an underfloor heating system or to repair some electric equipment, then we highly recommend using the Amprobe electronic multimeter. Consider: the VolTect™ technology, which found its implementation in this multimeter model allows for non-contact voltage detection in electric wires. The auxiliary features, which the Amprobe AM-510 offers and which may be useful for both commercial and residential use include audible continuity and diode testing and a very important feature of automatic and manual measurement range setting for a better performance and ease of use. The AM-510 as contrasted to many analogue multimeters provides a maximum error within the 1.5% range, which is quite acceptable.

Review of Amprobe AM-510 With Non-Contact Voltage Detection

No Useless Features and Details

Aside from measuring various parameters in a wide range the AM-510 multimeter boasts a set of additional but not insignificant features, which ensure high convenience of its use. For example, the multimeter design makes provision for the built-in flashlight, using which you can illuminate the wires and units that you are working with. The casing of this digital ohmmeter&voltmeter by Amprobe has a special compartment, in which you can store all the multimeter probes supplied. The design of this current and voltage multimeter provides the kickstand on the back, which enables you to free your hands for working with wiring and circuitry by laying the device on any flat horizontal surface. We also evaluated AM-510’s convenience of use, in addition to case ergonomics, and found out that the manufacturer ensured conservative power consumption for this device. For the cases of turning this measuring instrument on and leaving it not in operation, the manufacturer provided the auto shut-off feature, while the coming battery depletion is very unlikely to take you by surprise as the device provides a corresponding notification.

Amprobe AM-510 With Non-Contact Voltage Detection in the use

A Few Interesting Facts

At the dawn of the era of electrical phenomena study, due to the lack of specialized tools, scientists were forced to sacrifice their health for the sake of the science. Vasily Petrov, who provided the first scientific description of an electric arc phenomenon had to cut the top layer of the skin on his fingers to be able to feel weak electric currents better.

Detailed review of Amprobe AM-510 With Non-Contact Voltage Detection

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


VIDEO
Evaluating low cost DVMs Part 8 CAT I The AMPROBE AM-510

What customers say about this product

Key Specs

True RMS readings -- more accurate AC V measurements

Features

Auto shutoff is 15 min. My last meter annoyed me to no end with the auto shutoff around 2 minutes.

Measurements

It also has non contact voltage detection, a 1000V max ceiling for AC & DC, peak hold for crest, a good safety rating (Cat IV is 600V, Cat II is 1000V) and a really decent case that actually holds everything including the thermal adapter
 

Etekcity MSR-R500

The Multimeter That Suits Non-professional Users Perfectly

Do not let the low price of this digital multimeter mislead you as this is the case when the widespread “low-priced product is a low-quality product” cliché is not applicable. This small multimeter packs in a lot of instrumentation features which make it an essential tool suitable both for DIYers and for professional users. The Etekcity MSR-R500 belongs to medium-precision instruments. The margin of the maximum measurement error in this tool doesn't exceed 1.5%. Turning to the readings, the tool can measure electric current, voltage, resistance, and continuity, and is capable of testing transistors and diodes.

The Etekcity MSR-R500 will prove itself indispensable in jobs that require repairing power outlets, electric wiring, fuses and automotive wiring. It has a shockproof case with double isolation which prevents electric shock hazards. Furthermore, the tool corresponds to all safety standards including IEC61010 CAT.I 600В, CAT.II 300В. All of this brings it on a par with more expensive devices.

Review of Etekcity MSR-R500 Electronic Amp Volt Ohm Voltage Meter Multimeter with Diode and Continuity Test Tester

Nothing Is as Complicated as it May Seem

Owing to intuitive controls and ergonomic design combined with usage safety this multimeter becomes a good choice for inexperienced users. To perform a measurement with this digital multimeter all you need is to set the measurement type with the switch and use the device. With that, the MSR-R500 digital multimeter was designed compact and suitable for one-handed operation. The Data Hold feature permits saving the readings to compare them afterward with the newly obtained ones and evaluate the efficiency of the measures taken. With the overall minimalistic controls arrangement approach, the manufacturer designed this multimeter with two buttons beside the dial. The first button activates the Data Hold function mentioned above the other button is a display backlight switch. The backlight comes in handy when you have to perform measurements in dimly lit areas. To facilitate the multimeter use even further, the MSR-R500 is equipped with a kickstand on its back side, which helps keep the device in place when put on any horizontal surface and freeing your both arms to manipulate the probes.

Etekcity MSR-R500 Electronic Amp Volt Ohm Voltage Meter Multimeter with Diode and Continuity Test Tester in the use

Things You May Not Know

In the late 1800s, a real war broke out between the inventors of AC and DC current: Thomas Edison and Nicola Tesla. Edison's camp made an attempt to eliminate the possibility of alternating current transmission by means of power lines by legislative action. However, as it is well known, the preference was given to Tesla's AC current transmission scheme.

Detailed review of Etekcity MSR-R500 Electronic Amp Volt Ohm Voltage Meter Multimeter with Diode and Continuity Test Tester

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


VIDEO
Etekcity Digital Multimeter Review

What customers say about this product

Key Specs

This digital multimeter is a must buy for anyone looking for an excellent meter to measure resistance, voltage and ac/dc current.

Measurements

The instructions included do give settings for many of the uses (like AC Volts, DC Volts, DC Current, Resistance, etc) which is very helpful.

Features

The little stand in the back is handy, the backlight is effective. Haven't gotten bad readings either.
 

INNOVA 3320

For Professional and Home Use

Are you looking for a versatile device to add to your toolkit? If so, the Innova multimeter is definitely worth your attention. This reliable instrument can perform just about any type of testing - from regular battery checks to more serious projects - and measure any parameter you may need including frequency, AC/DC voltage, resistance, current, continuity, test diodes, batteries, and more. The peculiar feature of the Innova multimeter is that in addition to testing car battery voltage this tool can also examine battery condition and tell you how much battery's left by turning green, yellow or red. The results are easy to read due to the clear marks and intuitive colors. That's one of the things we wanted to bring up. Another one is the wide range of measurements the Innova 3320 provides. This tool can measure up to 200 MA of AC and 10 amps of DC. Not many DMMs in the price range can offer that much. Such a wide range of measures speaks not only of the versatility of the tool but also of its consistency and reliability.

The LCD screen of the tool is not huge but is easy to read due to the large numbers and marks and the backlighting option. Thanks to the latter, you can use it even in poor light conditions.

Safety features aren't the last thing to check out when selecting such a tool as a DMM. And the Innova 3320 has you covered. This multimeter is UL certified and corresponds to all standards so if you use it cautiously it won't pose any electric hazard.

Review of INNOVA 3320 Auto-Ranging Digital Multimeter

The Final Touch

Now let's say a few words about the tool's ergonomics. The INNOVA 3320 looks good. It's neither too big nor too small. On each corner of the housing, there are pads made of rubber to ensure the tool is protected from damage in case you accidentally drop it. Also, it features molded holders for test leads.  However, what we like most about it is that it has a wrist strap on the back of the case which allows you to free your hands when making measurements. All of these features are handy and add to the convenience of use of the tool greatly.

INNOVA 3320 Auto-Ranging Digital Multimeter in the use

Helpful Features

We've already mentioned quite a few of convenience features, yet, the list doesn't stop there. To further facilitate the tool's use, the manufacturer has added an auto-shut off function and a battery indicator. These features are optional and certainly helpful especially if you're the kind of person who often forgets to shut down your electronics. With the Innova meter, you can be sure that in 15 minutes of inactivity, the tool will switch off automatically. Not like the tool would explode if you left it active, of course, but if you don't fancy replacing batteries regularly this feature will come in handy.

Overall, the Innova 3320 digital multimeter is a very decent entry-level tool that can be used by both enthusiastic DIYers and professional repairmen. It is easy to use due to its straightforward and intuitive controls yet it can help you troubleshoot just about any kind of automatic or household electrical problem.

Detailed review of INNOVA 3320 Auto-Ranging Digital Multimeter

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


What customers say about this product

Features

Works great. I really like the auto ranging ability to save time from adjusting.

Measurements

I have used this meter for ac voltage and to test battery's and I am pleased with the readings and the big display. easy to operate and handle.

Key Specs

I use this mainly for testing voltage with AC power and it works fine for me.
 

Etekcity MSR-C600

An Aladdin’s Lamp

Seemingly minimalistic design of the MSR-C600 holds a package of capabilities, which will enable you to easily reveal defects and failures of electric wiring and circuitry and to eliminate them on your own. Providing the 1.5% maximum error, which is considered an average value the MSR-C600 is a reliable assistant in household use. The Etekcity MSR-C600 С versatile digital voltmeter and ohmmeter allows for measuring such electric parameters as AC / DC voltage, resistance, resistance and perform diode testing. Worth mentioning is the jaw opening that permits to measure AC current without needing to strip a cord and coming into direct contact with live wires. Needless to say, it is very convenient for detecting faults in complex circuitry or wiring as you don’t need to disassemble anything. Which is also important the use of jaw opening of this Etekcity multimeter reduces the time spent on detection and location of faults in circuitry and power networks. All the front face control elements of the device are arranged in such a way to be easily accessible with a right hand thumb. The one-handed operation that this digital multimeter provides helps eliminate distractions and promotes focusing on a measurement procedure.

Review of Etekcity MSR-C600 With Clamp Meter & AC / DC Voltage Test

Reliable All Over

Owing to its unpretentious and simple design, the MSR-C600 digital multimeter stands a good chance of serving you for many years. This versatile electric multimeter is equipped with a high-contrast LCD display that is easy and comfortable to read measurements from. Not the least in significance is the Data Hold feature that becomes essential in case you need to compare several readings. As the Etekcity company cares not only about user safety but also about the convenience of products use the MSR-C600 multimeter supply package includes a handy carrying pouch. The device casing has a double isolation, which dramatically improves the device electric safety for a user. However, the double-isolated device case is only one measure the manufacturer has taken to ensure the safety of the multimeter use. The MSR-C600 is also manufactured conformant to the IEC61010 CAT.II 600V, CAT.III 300V international standards.

Etekcity MSR-C600 With Clamp Meter & AC / DC Voltage Test in the use

Interesting facts

The first electric circuit was constructed in the times of Ludovicus XV. For the experiment, they used 180 soldiers who had to take in the current, created with the help of the Leiden jar, through their bodies. 

Detailed review of Etekcity MSR-C600 With Clamp Meter & AC / DC Voltage Test

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


What customers say about this product

Key Specs

This is the perfect meter for a person who doesn't have much experience with a DMM. Easily sets a to AC or D.C. without the worry of needing to know if it should be set to 600, 200, 20, or 2 volts.

Features

Easy to read the display as well. Even comes in a nice organized carrying case.

Measurements

I bought it for just AC current measures but it has become an excellent general purpose meter.It warns you with a beep that it is going to shut down and then also beeps when it does.I am pleased that it has autoshutoff
 

Infographics

Comparison of Multimeters

What Is a Multimeter?

A multimeter is a multi-purpose measuring instrument, which functionality encompasses those of multirange ammeter, ohmmeter, and voltmeter. This small device allows detecting faults and faulty connections in a power network, checking coils inductance, measuring line voltage, DC and AC current. These are only the basic tasks which multimeters are designed to perform. Though to be able to access all those possibilities and features you need to approach the choosing of a multimeter correctly. Our today’s review aims at explaining the parameters you should focus on when choosing an electronic multimeter and helping you decide on a specific model.

Another indispensable item the car owners should have at hand is a car battery tester, the peculiarities and capabilities of which you can learn from our reviews.

Best Multimeters

What Features to Compare

Measurements and Accuracy

When choosing an analog or digital multimeter first you need to determine the multimeter operation method and types of parameter measurements you plan to perform with the device. For clarifying the required multimeter features you should figure out the electric parameters you need to measure. Thus, specialized DMM (digital multimeter) devices for professionals are capable of measuring not only basic parameters (AC and DC voltage, current, resistance) but also capacitance, inductance, temperature, frequency as well as pulse width and interpulse periods. Some multimeters can perform a continuity/loop check.

The second important pair of parameters for you to pay attention to includes measurement accuracy and range. Relative accuracy, which is often specified in multimeter datasheets and ranges from 0.025% to 3%, is the error of a multimeter measurement compared to the value obtained with the device used to calibrate the multimeter. With that, a multimeter with a 1.5-3% relative accuracy will meet the basic household demands, while a multimeter with better accuracy is optimal for laboratory testing or engineering work.

The measurement range defines the smallest and the largest values measured for a given parameter. The bigger the range is the better multimeter suits industrial and engineering purposes.

Conveniences

The third aspect we suggest you consider is the instrument convenience, including ergonomics, readouts displaying and general controls arrangement. You need to evaluate the device’s ergonomics in terms of a good grip; thus, a device with better ergonomics will provide a better grip. The multimeter convenience also influences the measurement precision. However, such useful features as a built-in flashlight, continuance check, auto shut-off, and the Hold feature for retaining your measurements are also beneficial for the measurement precision. Another convenience-related design element is the multimeter display. The display size is crucial: the bigger the display is the more numbers it can show and the higher is the multimeter resolution. The multimeter resolution in the vast majority of cases is specified as a number of decimal digits displayed. If the most significant of these digits cannot take all values from 0 to 9 it is often termed a fractional digit. For example, a multimeter, which can display up to 19999 (plus an embedded decimal point) is said to display 4.5 digits (99999 for a full 5 digit device), while the 3.5 digits device shows measurements up to 1999. The display backlight will enable you to see the readings even in the dark.

In terms of a measurement method, multimeters can be divided into contact and non-contact. There are also combined electronic multimeters, which are capable of obtaining readings with both contact tools (probes) and non-contact (jaw opening clamp) tools.

Usability

The last but not the least multimeter parameters to keep in mind are safety and usability. It’s all about choosing a measuring device that conforms to anticipated operating conditions and has an adequate protection (moisture and splash protection, shockproof plastic, protective case). The next noteworthy feature is the electrical protection of multimeter inputs along with the electric safety class (protection from an electric shock in case of high voltage current occurrence on multimeter inputs). In most cases, the electric class or IEC protection class is clearly specified on a device label and manual. According to the requirements of the IEC1010-10 standard all multimeters are referred to one of the four electric safety classes: CAT I — for the operation with low-voltage devices circuitry, CAT II — for local power supply circuits, CAT III — for distribution power supply chains installed indoors, and CAT IV — for analogous distribution chains laid outdoors.

The electric protection of multimeter inputs is very important too as in most cases multimeters get damaged due to nonobservance of maximum voltage or current measured, the occurrence of electrical fast transients and when connecting multimeter probe tips to a live wire with the multimeter switched to resistance measurement mode. To avoid a multimeter failure in the mentioned cases, manufacturers implement multimeter inputs protection of different types: electronic and electromechanical (thermal protection), with a conventional fuse or a combined protection. Electronic protection means are most effective as they provide protection for a widest current value range, offer the best versatility, rate of response and reset time.

Sources:

1. How to Use (and Choose) a Multimeter!, Instructables.

2. Ken DePue How to pick the right meter, Fluke.

3. Multimeters Buying Guide, eBay. March 19, 2014.

4. How to Use a Digital Multimeter or DMM: choosing a DMM, control settings on the DMM, and DMM features, InspectAPedia. Jan 14, 2015.

5. What to look for in a multimeter? Stack Exchange Inc.

6. Multimeter, Wikipedia. October 7, 2016.

7. How to Use a Multimeter, SparkFun.

8. Juan Rodriguez What is a Multimeter? Where to Use It and When, The Balance. June 21, 2016.

9. How to Use a Multimeter, Science Buddies.

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