Best Multimeters

Review & Comparison, Last Update February 13, 2019
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 2019
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Measurement Type
Limits of Measurement
Accuracy
Range Selection
Display
Functionality
Safety
Casing
Convenience Features
Warranty
 
PROS

This multimeter has a memory function and can record minimal and maximal measurements you get. A handy feature when you have no opportunity to write down the test results or need to compare your measurements.

CONS

The probe ends could be longer. 

OUR VERDICT

This is a heavy-duty multimeter from Amprobe. With its auto-ranging and non-contact voltage detector, it can be useful for beginners and professionals alike. Electricians will definitely benefit from the analog bar graph.

detailed parameters
Measurement Type

Contact, non-contact voltage detection

Limits of Measurement

DC Voltage: up to 600V, 

AC Voltage: up to 600V,

Temperature: 212 – 1832°F,

DC Current: up to 10A,

Resistance: up to 40MΩ,

Capacitance: up to 4000μF,

Frequency: 10 Hz to 10 MHz

Accuracy

From 0.8% to 1.2%, high accuracy

Range Selection

Auto and manual-ranging

Display

Digital: 4000 counts

Functionality

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

Safety

CAT III 600V, CATII 1000V

Casing

Durable, rubber over-molded enclosure

Convenience Features

LCD Display with Backlit, analog bar graph, MIN/MAX recording, Relative zero mode, Auto Shut-off, Kickstand, built-in flashlight, Holders for leads

Warranty

1 year

PROS

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

CONS

The battery life could be longer.

OUR VERDICT

The AstroAl multimeter is a professional device for use at home or in a small workshop. So, if you need the instrument that will help you monitor your household appliances and 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 over-molded enclosure

Convenience Features

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

Warranty

3 years 

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 Craftsman multimeter comes with a protective rubber holster. It fits tightly, is easy to remove, and can save your multimeter from accidental hits or drops.

CONS

It has no auto-ranging function.

OUR VERDICT

The Craftsman multimeter is a simple and precise product great for basic electricity-related tests. Well built and low-priced, this unit can easily become a good addition to the toolkit of any DIYer.

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 2MΩ

Accuracy

From 0.5% to 3 %, below average accuracy

Range Selection

Manual ranging

Display

Digital: 2000 counts

Functionality

Voltage, Current, Resistance, Battery test, Testing diodes, transistors

Safety

CAT II 600V safety rated

Casing

Protective rubber sleeve

Convenience Features

LCD Display, Kickstand

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 

Amprobe AM-530

Affordable and Feature-Rich

The Amprobe multimeter is a well-built tool that has a lot to offer professional electricians and hobbyists alike. At first sight, the unit might seem too complicated and difficult to control, but that's not so. In fact, the AM-530 is a quite user-friendly unit that can help you check voltage, diode, resistance, continuity, capacitance, and temperature. Additionally, it's equipped with a couple of helpful features:

True-RMS is the premium function usually added to the multimeters of this price range. It provides highly accurate testing by blocking undesired electrical signals.

Auto-ranging is especially helpful for novice users because it detects the wrong input and switches it to the correct one. It's nice to have it, just in case.

The non-contact voltage detector is a new and handy option in multimeters. It detects low voltage distantly (at about 8mm) and alarms you about them. That is to say, you don’t have to bare them when you need to check whether it is under power or not.

The data hold will help you when you are unable to write down your measurements. Although the Amprobe tester doesn’t have a lot of built-in memory, it won't be enough for emergencies. Plus, the AM-530 can save maximum and minimum readings so that you can compare the information collected.

A flashlight can hardly be considered as an impressive feature, as well as a battery indicator or an auto shut-off function. Still, it's nice to know that this model features them all. There are many situations when additional light or a pre-charged battery won’t go amiss.

Review of Amprobe AM-530 True RMS Auto-Ranging Multimeter

Made to Last

As we have already mentioned, the Amprobe Am-530 is a user-friendly tool thanks to its feature-loaded construction and ergonomic design. That said, this model has a large LCD display which is well-lit and shows all the data in large figures. The display remains clear and legible even in bright light. Also, it has an analog bar graph that can help you notice changing signals.

The housing is also built to last. It is well-proportioned, quite comfortable in hands, and has a tight-fitting rubber boot. However, there is one thing we didn’t like. The test lead probes themselves are long and convenient to manipulate, but the probe ends are on the short side. They may be a burden while testing something bulky. This inconvenience is easy to solve though. There are many test leads on Amazon that are compatible with this multimeter.

Overall, this is a well-built unit with numerous handy features. It delivers customers two crucial things - precise, dependable measurements and safe operation.

Amprobe AM-530 True RMS Auto-Ranging Multimeter in the use

 

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


 

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

On the bright side, it will read my AC power outlets with only a 1% error, which is very good considering the level of power.

Measurements

All the functions on this multimeter work perfectly. The voltage and resistance readings I've taken are very accurate compared to higher end equipment. I would recommend purchasing.

Features

The audible continuity mode and the built in support stand make it much easier to use than my other meter.
 

Craftsman 82141

Best Pick of a Hobbyist

The Craftsman 34-82141 is a well-made and reasonably-priced digital multimeter. It has almost all basic features required for everyday electricity-related tests, battery or continuity check-ups. This product is designed mostly for DIYers, though some experienced electricians find it helpful for some tests as well.

This model can measure AC and DC up to 600V and has an audible signal that informs you when the resistance of installations, wiring, or any other object you are examining drops under 30 Ohms. This multimeter is very accurate and precise - if the result is 1.01, it won’t round it up or down.

The Craftsman 34-82141 comes equipped with 2 extra fuses just in case you accidentally blow the installed one. And it is very simple to replace the inner details if need be. Just remove the rubber holster, unscrew an upper part of the casing, and change the fuse. The process of battery replacement is the same.

Well, if used within its limits, this multimeter is unlikely to cause any troubles to customers. However, there is one thing that may confuse a novice user - the unit has no auto-ranging function.

Review of Craftsman 82141

Great Product in the Price Range

As far as the design of this multimeter goes, it is quite simple. This model is fairly compact and lightweight, hence you can put it into your pocket while working with no issues. The Craftsman 34-82141 has a protective rubber holster that can save the unit from accidental hits or bumps. The case sits tightly and is simple to remove when you need to change the battery or fuse. Speaking about the display, this model has an LCD screen that shows data in quite large figures. It is also legible at any angle.

The screen doesn’t have a backlight option which is probably its biggest flaw. On the other hand, if you are going to conduct tests in a well-lit environment, you may easily go without this option.

To round everything up, the Craftsman multimeter is a basic model which can be very helpful for hobbyists or DIYers. And despite it lacks backlight option, this model is one of the best products in its price range. That is to say, if you need a multimeter for simple tasks and are not ready to spend a hundred dollars on a fully-featured unit, the Craftsman 34-82141 should be right up your alley.

Craftsman 82141 in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

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

this meter will do fine for most people. very good price. don't worry that the display acts weird when probes are not taking a reading. it is auto-ranging, so it is looking for a voltage at all times.

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

Bought it to help install a water heater and although there are several functions will probably use only the AC line test to see if power to appliances is on or off and the handy battery tester to stop throwing away batteries before they are done.
 

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

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

5. Multimeter, Wikipedia. October 7, 2016.

6. How to Use a Multimeter, SparkFun.

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

8. How to Use a Multimeter, Science Buddies.

Other reviews
Comments
0 Comments

Your comment was successfully sent

Error! Please try again later