Last Updated on September 18, 2023 by Darron Dennis
Buying a the multimeter is a difficult task to take because there are so many many multimeters out there, you wouldn’t know which would give to the best output. However, in this guide, we would be reviewing the best multimeters, if you need to acquire one, you should read through this guide.
WHAT IS A MULTIMETER?
The multimeter is an indispensable device for the measurement of electrical voltage, current, and resistance. It allows you to measure electrical current, voltage level, and continuity according to the operating mode.
The best home multimeter is the equipment that everyone needs for the detection of all electrical problems in your home.
How Well Do Multimeters Work?
A standard multimeter should give valid information about the condition of power sources in your home.
Because multimeters program designed to provide read voltage and current, resistance exposure to excessive power can damage the unit by burning up its parts. Also if plugged in the wrong power source, it can burn up as well.
Different multimeters can tolerate different power strengths. For instance, an HVAC multimeter can withstand more electrical exposure than a basic unit. If you are not sure of how much electrical current is passing through your home electrical lines, do not plug a multimeter into any of your power lines.
MULTIMETERS BUYER’S GUIDE
Of course, in a perfect world, every multimeter would give 100% accurate readings. However, that is far from the case. Whether imperfect manufacturer processes, cheap components, or user error, there’s a lot that can go wrong.
Honestly, if you are working on a professional basis, you are going to want to spend more money to ensure you are getting a product that is going to read accurately.
DIYers and electronic hobbyists probably won’t care about accuracy as much but you still want one that gives you a good ballpark number. An extremely precise multimeter is only required for commercial purposes for those with specialized needs.
If you’re going to be tackling circuits with more than 30-35 V you should consider getting a multimeter with safety in mind. Check out the measurement category rating as well as how the multimeter is designed.
Internal blast shields, shrouded banana plugs on the probes, wide flanges to prevent slippages, isolation slots that prevent arc over, and sufficient input protection is a handful of the things you should be checking on design-wise.
Checking those boxes and spending a bit more money on a model that has those features is always worth avoiding a major accident! If you overload the multimeter, you don’t want the thing blowing up in your face.
Analogue or Digital
The biggest decision you’ll need to make is whether you want an analogue or digital multimeter.
- Digital Multimeters
Some people prefer analogue over digital because they like the readouts better and consider them more visible. They will argue analogue makes it easier to see changing trends than with a digital multimeter.
Much like a speedometer on a car, digital speedometers make acceleration difficult to judge because the number readout will be jumping all over the place (especially with a very fast car that can accelerate quickly).
The same relationship applies when it comes to multimeters and electronics. The best digital multimeters have excellent visual readouts such as bar graphs.
By and far digital multimeters are more popular than analogue at this point, though some electricians still prefer the old school clarity of an analogue readout.
- Analog Multimeters
Analogue multimeters are known for having lower input impedance than digital multimeters. This impedance is responsible for indicating the sensitivity of the current that is being measured.
The higher the input impedance, the better the meter can measure any type of voltage. Another issue with analogue meters is that they are usually limited to reading amps, volts, and ohms.
That is the main benefit of getting a fancy digital multimeter, they go far beyond just these three measurements. The utility of these modern devices can be pretty handy if you are working on multiple electronics at the same time and need to efficient.
Ultimately, analogue multimeters are getting harder to find because of their lack of features and the shift to digital.
Design & Build
Not on the top of everyone’s list, but if you work in a construction typesetting you probably want something that is bright orange or yellow. This will help prevent accidents or someone crushing your new device. High-quality multimeters will usually have a more durable casing and finish.
The brand is a big factor for a lot of folks when they are considering a new tool, as they may have had good or bad experiences with certain brands in the past.
Some of these even have bumper corners for extra protection. The probes within typically are insulated with silicon instead of the cheap PVC found in lower-cost models.
There are two types of electrical current that your multimeter should measure, AC and DC. While most of the multimeters available today will measure both of these, not all of them do.
AC stands for alternating current, and it’s when the electricity is continuously flowing back and forth in both directions. This is the type of current that is present in the electricity powering your home, so electronics that plug-in will all utilize AC.
DC is direct current that flows continuously in only one direction. You’ll find DC in all battery-powered electronics.
Most multimeters are going to measure the basic voltage, current, and resistance. These are measured in volts, amps, and ohms, respectively.
When you start getting into the higher-end multimeters, you’re going to start seeing more options for what can be measured.
These can include temperature, continuity, capacitance, resistance, and frequency. While you may not need all of these functions, it could still be a good idea to prepare for the future by getting a multimeter with more options than you think you need right now.
Auto-range VS Manual-range Multimeters
Do you know the exact range of the current you’re testing? Often, the answer is no. In such cases, an auto-range multimeter can save you a lot of time and headache trying to determine the exact range to get a precise measurement.
With an auto-range meter, you’ll simply select the type of current you’d like to measure, and the device will give you the readout. If using a manual-range meter, you’ll have to go through each one of the individual denominations until you get the most accurate reading.
Unless you know exactly the range you’re looking for, most people will find it easier to use an auto-range multimeter. On top of this, the auto-range meters usually include a function that will allow you to measure manually, so there’s no advantage to skipping this feature.
- Simpson 260-8 12388 Black Analog Multimeter
- Gardner Bender GMT-319 Multimeter Tester
- AstroAI Digital Multimeter
- INNOVA 3320 auto-ranging Digital Multimeter
- TekPower TP9605BT Digital Multimeter
- Tacklife Digital Multimeter TRMS 6000
- Craftsman 34-82141 Digital Multimeter
- Fluke 117 Electricians True RMS Multimeter
- Cen-Tech Digital Multimeter
- Klein Tools MM500 Auto-Ranging Multimeter
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Simpson 260-8 12388 Black Analog Multimeter
Simpson 260-8 is for monitoring fluctuating trends and rates. Portable yet with benchtop accuracy, the 260-8 is ideal for use anywhere — workshop, lab or in the field. These versions come with batteries, manual and full-size test leads with threaded probe tips, and screw-on alligator clips.
- It has a robust construction.
- It is very accurate.
- It comes with safety in mind.
- Not the most affordable analog multimeter.
Gardner Bender GMT-319 Multimeter Tester
Testing equipment can be put to good use ensuring that electrical equipment is properly installed and safe to operate. Faulty installations can be lethal; the condition of electrical installations can be established when contractors use test equipment. Gardner Bender is pleased to offer an innovative full feature line of test equipment designed to make electrical work faster and safer. Includes batteries and a spare fuse. Operates with 7 total functions and a range of 19. The accuracy is within +/- 4%.
- It is very affordable.
- The scale is easy to read.
- It features fuse overload protection.
- You have to download the manual
AstroAI Digital Multimeter
The AstroAI AM33D Multimeter is designed to safely and accurately troubleshoot a variety of automotive and household electrical problems. It’s easy and safe to operate and features many different functions for measuring current, voltage, and resistance, as well as continuity, transistor, and diode testing, which is both for automotive and household uses. Use this multimeter for household outlets, fuses, wiring, general-purpose batteries, vehicle battery, and charging system, automotive circuits, and more.
- ACCURATELY MEASURES
- TROUBLESHOOTS SAFELY
- EASE OF USE
- 1 Year Warranty.
- Detailed and precise in function
- Automatic turn on and shut off
- A good warranty period of 3 years
INNOVA 3320 auto-ranging Digital Multimeter
INNOVA 3320 is a well-known kit for electricians or home mechanics who can diagnose the car batteries or wiring. Innova Company has been designing multimeters for automation industry over the years. Of all the multimeters, 3320 model is the best digital meter for home and is the reason for listing in the top.
This brilliant kit comes with an inductive clamp and temperature measuring probe to check the engine’s condition. To display the measured values (R, V, I), it uses colour-coded LEDs and features the high-end LED display. The brightness of the LEDs intimates you about the battery life of the device. It can even measure resistance to a range of 10MΩ.
- Features large digital display and colour-coded LED’s for battery quick check
- Single-setting resistance function for AC and DC voltage
- Protective rubber corner guards for drop protection
- Reasonably priced.
- Innova 3320 is ideal for accurate measuring and safe diagnosing.
- Digital Multimeter is protected with rubber guards at the corners.
- Not recommended for industrial usage.
- It is very sensible to deal with small electronic components.
TekPower TP9605BT Digital Multimeter
The TekPower TP9605BT is a fully-functional DMM, good for occasional use for both electrical and electronic work. It’s main plus point is its RS232 Bluetooth connectivity ability, which lets it data log and transmits the info to a computer or smartphone. The inclusion of a temperature sensor and thermocouple allows people to monitor and record temperature as well as current, voltage, duty cycles, and so on.
This is a True RMS multimeter, so you can accurately measure AC signals that have a disrupted sine wave. It is also auto-ranging, making it good for beginners who might not know much about electrics to set the correct range, and there are several useful modes to go with the 6000-count backlit display.
- True RMS
- RS232 data logging
- Smartphone compatible
- Measures all current ranges
- Smartphone app
- Measures AC / DC millivolts
- Measures Celsius and Fahrenheit
- The main selling point is a gimmick
Tacklife Digital Multimeter TRMS 6000
With an impressive feature list usually seen on multimeters many times more expensive, we had doubts about the Tacklife DM01M from the start. It lived up to our expectations. That said, you’d be hard-pressed to find more features stuffed into a lower-priced multimeter.
For starters, it has a non-contact voltage tester, a backlit LCD, and a built-in flashlight. It meets safety specifications for 600V CAT-IV and 1,000V CAT-III, which is pretty awesome at this price.
Unfortunately, we couldn’t get ours to give any sort of accurate reading. The main reason being that the leads just don’t connect to the inputs properly. They are too loose, experiencing far more play than is acceptable. This makes it pretty much unusable.
- large range
- perfect measuring tool
- ncv sensitive test
- measure safety:
- CAT-IV 600V and CAT-III 1,000V
- Packed with features
- Leads are too loose when plugged in
- Won’t give a proper reading
Craftsman 34-82141 Digital Multimeter
While the Craftsman 34 82141 Digital Multimeter may not be quite as precise and accurate as a Fluke multimeter or other professional electrical tool, it is an excellent choice for new users thanks to its impressive affordability and wide range of functions.
This offers more than enough usability and functionality for most household DIY users, and is well built and durable, with a rugged outer rubber case to protect from impacts from accidents such as dropping, ensuring that this model of multimeter remains fully functional at all times, even when used heavily in poor conditions for extended periods.
- Measures 5.49 x 2.64 x 1.75 (in.)
- Weighs .5 (lbs.)
- Multimeter type is Lead
- Package contents meter, test leads, and 9V battery
- Audible tone sounds
- Easy to use
- Durable construction
- Stable readout
- 8 functions
Fluke 117 Electricians True RMS Multimeter
Fluke 117 is worth the money. It is a modern auto-ranging system that can be switched to manual operations easily and has the best-LED screen. For its unique design, it is very comfortable to handle and delivers all the features that you wish from a multimeter.
Though it’s a wonderful toolkit for electricians can also work well for other home applications. It can measure AC/DC voltages and currents with an accuracy of 0.5%. It has automatic voltage selection and detection without making contact with other hardware devices.
- Professional quality
- Low input impedance
- Large white LED backlight
- Wide range of operating temperature
- 400-hour battery life
- Digital display unit makes it easy to note down the readings accurately.
- The compact size of fluke-117 multimeter makes it easy to operate with single-handed operations.
- Too expensive.
- It does not come with a holster and you need to buy separately.
Cen-Tech Digital Multimeter
The Cen Tech Digital Multimeter is a compact and accessible portable multimeter that offers a high level of basic functionality, with 7 different main measurement functions. Its large LCD offers bold, clear numbers, making it exceptionally easy to read, while the simple single-dial control system is easy to use in all situations.
The compact body of this multimeter is a significant selling point, as the whole thing is roughly credited card-sized, making it incredibly easy to fit into any toolkit and carry around, ensuring that you always have a multimeter tool to hand for use in any situation in which you might need to measure an electrical current for any reason.
- Features an easy-to-read 3-1/2 digit LCD
- Resolution: 1999
- Data hold retains information after the test
- Automatic zero adjust
- Weight: 1.45 lbs.
- Large LCD display
- Precise readings
- Compact design
- Easy to use
- 7 functions
Klein Tools MM500 Auto-Ranging Multimeter
The Klein Tools 69149 Electrical Test Kit is a flexible electrical testing tool kit comprising the MM300 Manual Ranging Digital Multimeter, the NCVT 1 Non-Contact Voltage Tester, and the RT105 Receptacle Tester. These cover all of the major required electrical testing functions for DIY household or professional electrical measurement situations, with each element offering valuable features for testing.
The NCVT 1 easily detects standard voltage levels for circuit breakers, cords, cables, outlets, wires, switches, and lighting fixtures. The MM300 tests continuity using simple and easy to read visual and audible indicators for simple user experience, while the RT105 plugs easily into most standard electrical receptacles to detect the most common wiring problems found in outlets.
- Clear LED indicator with warning tones
- Non Contact voltage detector included
- Auto power-off feature
- Receptacle tester included
- These Klein tools are loaded with new and time-saving features.
- Provide accurate readings for AC/DC voltages, resistance and DC currents.
- It has a thermocouple that makes the car owners check engines performance.
- Screen brightness is not so good.
A multimeter is an ideal device for any electrician or homeowner should have. If properly selected for specific needs, it is a useful tool for industrial and household applications. With this guide, getting the best multimeters would be a lot easier.