Multimeters have come a long way since their early analog days, when they helped to repair and maintain the radio and telegraph equipment. Today’s advanced digital multimeters can quickly and accurately measure all aspects of electronic circuits, including the measurement of volts, ohms and amps. Now we can also replicate the useful capability of the analog multimeter to record rapidly changing values, as well as offer accurate accuracy through a wide variety of different test modes.
While all multimeters on the market today precisely measure volts, amps and ohms, many advanced models also include the ability to measure farads, siemens, decibels, radio frequencies, henries and even temperature through a thermocouple. These devices are extremely accurate, with many of them capable of measuring increments as small as 0.1 ohms. Used successfully, a multimeter can quickly and accurately identify problems in circuit flow, engineering design and critical components of complex electrical systems.
- 1 Compare: The 10 Best Digital Multimeters 2018
- 1.1 The Best Digital Multimeters 2018
- 1.1.1 What is a digital multimeter?
- 1.1.2 What are the advantages of owning a digital multimeter?
- 1.1.3 What are the different types of digital multimeters?
- 1.1.4 Considerations to choose the best digital multimeter
- 1.1.5 conclusion
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Compare: The 10 Best Digital Multimeters 2018
The INNOVA 3320 is a fantastic entry-level multimeter, which provides DIYers and professional electricians with a compact and accurate tool to quickly identify and repair problems in circuits and electrical systems. Either to solve car problems or to repair appliances, the 3320’s fast-acting auto-selection system quickly adjusts the multimeter for its next precision measurement.
- The automatic range of resistance is very fast, allowing faster measurements between selections
- The measurements taken by the 3320 are comparatively accurate to more expensive models
- The function of the battery test is great, as a colored light quickly identifies the state of the battery
- The leads seem boring and are not as sensitive as other models
- The 3320 is not equipped to measure high AC loads and is limited to a maximum of 200 milliamps
The Mastech is a large handheld digital multimeter that could be said to be the perfect tool to have around the house or in the car for quick repair work or troubleshooting sessions. With its high-quality cables and precision measurement capabilities, the Mastech MS8268 is ready to help professional electricians and DIYers repair and build electrical systems and components.
- It looks great and feels solid in the hand
- The buttons are intuitive and simple to use, and the LED backlight lasts five seconds, a lot of time to see in low light situations
- The probes included with the device are not designed to be attached to crocodile clips
Fluke has been winning over electrical engineers and automatic repair mechanics for years because of its high-quality, rugged multimeters. The 115 Compact is the latest addition to advanced multimeter technology in a solid handheld device that can be operated ergonomically with just one hand. With its signature dark yellow design, the Fluke 115 is the cream of the crop when it comes to portable multimeters, offering professional electricians and home DIYers the ability to measure, refine and solve almost any aspect of an electrical circuit or of a component.
With its powerful fuses and advanced category III safety design, the Fluke 115 has been designed to operate safely for years.
- The ergonomic design fits perfectly in the hand, and the large central switch can be operated with one hand by most users
- Comes with a built-in kicker for hands-free testing
- It is a real RMS meter in a convenient portable device
- The test leads that come with the device are not compatible with other types of adapters sold by Fluke
- To use the Fluke adapters, you will have to buy a new set of test leads
The Best Digital Multimeters 2018
What is a digital multimeter?
A multimeter is sometimes known by industry insiders as a VOM, an acronym meaning Volt Ohm Meter. In general terms, a multimeter is a single device that combines the ability to measure several different aspects of electricity, specifically voltage, current, and resistance. They are usually used to repair or troubleshoot electrical equipment, including appliances, as well as advanced technological equipment such as computers.
Some engineers use multimeters as a test tool when designing new equipment. By having a portable, lightweight and extremely accurate test device, the multimeter allows anyone to repair or build an electrical device to quickly determine where, when and how much current flows in any particular circuit. Multimeters are also vital components of each set of mechanical tools.
Indeed, a multimeter works by using a test probe or probes and measuring an aspect of the current flowing through the multimeter. Sometimes crocodile clips, or test leads, or “clamp” probes are used for smaller jobs. Once the current flowing over the multimeter’s test probe is measured, the results are displayed on the screen. Most handheld multimeters sold today use a battery to generate the test charge, and as such, the battery will have to be changed periodically.
What are the advantages of owning a digital multimeter?
A multimeter allows anyone who can read a screen and hold a pen to perform precision readings on any electrical device or circuit. Depending on your electrical engineering skills, a multimeter can be one of the most important tools to have in your home or vehicle. While advanced designers can use multimeters to test new products or design ideas, even amateur home amateurs can benefit from having a multimeter on hand. Simple DIY repair projects, such as fixing a simple household appliance such as a lamp or a toaster, can be made enormously simplified by the use of a handheld digital multimeter.
It will mainly use the multimeter to check a variety of electrical faults and identify the 12V power supplies of your car. This way you could find out why your car battery is not charging to the right and then take action to rectify the situation. A multimeter is also important because it allows you to measure the resistance when working with switches, fuses, relays, sensors and other components of your car like lighting, stereo, and the ignition coil. For example, if the headlight goes off abruptly, measuring the resistance will help you determine if it is dead or not before you can buy a new one.
The use of a test probe to quickly verify the functionality of the circuits leads to quick fixes or exchange parts, saving car owners and property managers money and frustration. Any electrical thing in the house, from the computer mice to the electric power itself, as well as electrical components in cars and boats, can be measured and analyzed with a multimeter, quickly identifying problem areas or circuits with problems. Sometimes expensive and complicated equipment may stop working due to a single chip or circuit malfunction.
What are the different types of digital multimeters?
While some traditionalists still use analog multimeters, most people today rely on the convenience and simplicity of using a digital multimeter. Many models today come equipped with an auto-range, which limits the range of what is being tested for the multimeter and its screen is not going to be overloaded.
Other models include the ability to perform polarity checks on D / C circuit readings to identify the direction of current flow. Other multimeters are so advanced that they work effectively with a low bandwidth oscilloscope. Some manufacturers offer additional control over the multimeter and include cables and software to connect it to a computer.
Some devices come with available sockets or inputs, including thermocouples, in order to connect external measuring devices and sensors, such as a thermometer, to the multimeter. This gives the multimeter additional measurement functionality without having to buy or use an additional tool. Because multimeters are an integral part of working with electrical currents, all models today include some type of advanced fuse to shut down the unit and protect it from a short circuit or overload.
In the United States, digital meters, including multimeters, that measure electricity contain fuses classified in categories I to IV, and higher numbers indicate greater resistance.
Considerations to choose the best digital multimeter
Like other multimeters, there are a lot of options available. The good thing about this is that you are sure to find a multimeter that works for you. The bad part is that you have to brush through hundreds of options and I hope you make the right choice. Before you throw money into a multimeter that does not suit your needs, make sure that you were done and already took a look at these considerations before buying.
The best multimeter in the world is useless if you can not read its screen. Models with larger screens can show measurements at more digits. Some multimeters come with backlit screens to increase visibility in areas with less light.
Control and Configuration
Each multimeter has a series of compact measurement options in a handheld device, so the understanding and use of the controls requires careful design. Different devices offer a wide variety of optional settings.
Size and Durability
The size and robustness of your tool is a primary consideration, especially for those who work in the field. Anyone who has not had a tool to drop a bag on a ladder or some other mishap involving mishandling or mishandling is either superbly careful or simply has not been in the field long enough for it to happen to them. You will want a robust meter with a large amount of protection for most applications outside of a workbench because sooner or later your multimeter is sure to take a fall or otherwise be abused a bit.
Another important consideration that often goes hand in hand with the durability of a meter is the size. If you find that you are often working in tight spaces, you may want to go with a smaller meter to make sure you can easily fit where you are working. If you have a meter too big to fit in the space you are going, you will discover that you may not have one at all.
Compliance with security
Whenever it comes to electricity, there is the possibility of an accident. It is important that the multimeters are certified as meeting or exceeding industry safety standards. You need to stay protected from over-voltage. The multimeters are classified into different levels of CAT so you can quickly discover if it is safe for the range you are going to use. It is not only the main voltage that you will have to worry about, however, you will find that it is also about transient voltage. These sudden impulses of current can occur in some systems, and you can have your meter damaged if it exceeds the rating of the meter. The secondary part of the CAT category will inform you of the high voltage in which you can handle the transients.
Voltage and Precision
Apart from the safety aspects of your meter, most are classified for a specific range of electrical power. You will want to match this to your needs, especially if you are shopping for a bargain. If you are working with small energy circuits in the home, your needs will be very different from someone working with a main house or a large industrial circuit.
Most high-end meters will be able to cover a wide variety of uses, from measuring mV to working with a power generator. You should also take note of the fact that the range of measurement capacity can vary between the AC and DC power supplies, which means that there are two different specifications that you will want to check. If you are working with particularly accurate measurements, it is important to make sure that your purchase has the highest accuracy available. The accuracy ranges can be incredibly accurate, so be sure to find one that suits your needs, even if you are working with the most delicate circuits.
Multimeters sold today come with a variety of options, including thermocouples and banana sockets for additional probes.
Anyone who is considering doing some repair work or who wants to solve problems and understand the operation of their electrical devices can benefit from having a portable multimeter. Through quick and accurate readings, users can quickly identify problem areas or components and, therefore, do a short repair job. For car mechanics and car owners who wish to make their own repairs and improvements, a multi tool is an invaluable aid in the design, fixing and installation of audio and other electrical systems.
After careful consideration, the Fluke 115 Multimeter was considered the best digital handheld multimeter on the market. With its robust design and a wide range of test functions, the Fluke multimeter can help any electrician or DIYer to make quick and accurate measurements to diagnose, troubleshoot and repair electrical devices and systems. With its advanced ergonomic design and accurate readings, the Fluke 115 True-RMS digital multimeter can provide vital measurements at the touch of a button.