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.
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.
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.
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, 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.
A Fit for Professionals
The Fluke 116 was designed for HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning) systems. This electric multimeter model has a vast arsenal of features, which allow obtaining correct root-mean-square values. That is why the multimeter is perfect for HVAC system maintenance. The device’s forte is the high accuracy and the range of all features required for a complete and accurate maintenance and examination of HVAC systems, including such features as temperature gauges and microamp meter. That is why this Fluke digital multimeter is indispensable for engineers and professionals. On the other hand, the 116 HVAC electronic multimeter makes the testing and maintenance of any electric and heating equipment much more simple and easy even for amateurs.
Optimized for the Most Arduous Tasks
This digital multimeter by Fluke refers to so-called True-RMS measuring instruments as it enables you to perform high-precision measurements in systems and circuits with nonlinear loads and frequency interference, for example, compressor drives. This measuring device is optimized for the use in rough conditions. The high-contrast display with the backlight of this Fluke 116 HVAC multimeter makes the readings easily discernible and readable even in poor lighting. At the same time, the ergonomic design and well-calculated control buttons arrangement this Fluke digital multimeter has, enable its one-handed operation. If required you can position this modern device on a flat horizontal surface using a kickstand on the meter back. The Fluke 116 model has a CAT III 600 V electric safety class. For the note, a device manufactured in conformance with the CAT III requirements is capable of enduring greater voltage surges than a device that conforms to the CAT II. As the specification says, the maximum voltage this multimeter can measure while retaining its operability is 600V. In addition to its user safety-oriented design the digital multimeter by Fluke offers a 3-year warranty that leaves you with no worries about maintenance costs. It is worthwhile noting that Fluke 116 multimeter was introduced into the market in several editions, which differ only in terms of supply package.
It Is Interesting to Know
The Gymnotiformes fishes (South America) determine the dominant male by the electric signal of the highest frequency, which is generated by the male.
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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.
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.
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.
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Your Right Hand In Performing Residential Tasks
We think that all masters of the house who run the house and do home repairs by their own reports will agree on the indispensability of a multimeter . If you encounter a power network failure or a failure of some electric piece of equipment the troubleshooting always starts from locating the failure. It is then this arguably best digital multimeter for the money helps you to quickly locate the network or equipment failure or even find the failure cause. The functionality implemented in this Craftsman digital multimeter encompasses 11 functions allowing for measuring various parameters. The major functions include the measurement of alternating and direct current, impedance, capacitance, temperature and frequency. Which is impressive for such a compact device. Another advanced feature of this 34-82007 digital multimeter is the non-contact voltage detection (NCV). What is more important for many professionals is that the measurement error this multimeter has is comparable to the one of the professional-class multimeters and is capped at 0.5%. The minimum error enables this Craftsman digital voltmeter and ohmmeter to perform electric and temperature measurements with surgical precision and obtain reliable readings.
An Excellent Device for the Money
In addition to the basic features, this Craftsman electronic multimeter offers a lot of advantages at a comparatively small price, which we just could not pass by. On the outside, the Craftsman 34-82007 multimer is very compact, which definitely will be highly appreciated by users as such design provides a firm and convenient grip in a palm of literally any size. Another plus of the device is a long period of operation on one battery charge, which is achieved owing to the multimeter’s high energy efficiency and implementation of the auto shut-off feature that turns the multimeter off after 30 minutes of device nonuse. The LCD display with high brightness and contrast is capable of displaying the readings in 0-4,000 range. The Craftsman company even concerned itself with the issues of device storage and transportation and included a specialized case in the supply package. Not of the least significance is the safety of the multimeter use as the aspect of ensuring safety of use may not be obvious for a consumer not experienced in solving electricity-related issues; not seasoned consumers may also not realize the hazards of repairing any electric equipment by themselves. The Craftsman company has taken care about eliminating these hazards as the 34-82007 digital multimeter was made conformant to the CAT III-600V international standard.
Several Bits of Interesting Information
Many animal species are capable of generating electric current with their bodies. For example, electric eels when resorting to self-defense may produce an electric current of up to 500 V. That is why inhabitants of some areas on the Amazon river when hunting the eels protect themselves from an electric shock by "discharging" the eels with a herd of cows in the water.
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The Multimeter That Suits Non-professional Users Perfectly
Do not get misled by the low price of this digital multimeter because the widespread “low-priced product is a low-quality product” cliché is not relevant to this device. This small multimeter packs a lot of instrumentation features, which really turn it into a necessity for amateur and enthusiast users. The measurement precision this digital multimeter exhibits allows to refer it to medium-precision instruments. The maximum measurement error not exceeding 1.5% justifies this statement. Just like many much more expensive peers this multimeter is capable of measuring electric current, voltage and resistance as well as continuity and is capable of testing transistors and diodes. This model will prove itself indispensable in checking and repair of power outlets, electric wiring, fuses and automotive wiring. To eliminate the electric shock hazard the Etekcity MSR-R500 multimeter was manufactured in a case with double isolation and electric shock protection. To ensure the integrity of the multimeter and its components the casing was made shockproof and conformant to IEC61010 CAT.I 600В, CAT.II 300В standards.
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.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
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