Best Multimeter Reviews – Your Complete Guide
Multimeter is an important implement in any electrician’s or car mechanic’s toolbox. It is basically used for testing the electrical properties such as voltage (AC or DC), current and resistance of an electronic item. Apart from these, there’s a lot you can do when you’ve a good multimeter at your disposal. If you’re new to the world of multimeters, choosing the right one for your specific requirements can be a daunting task.
Without enriching your store of knowledge on these amazing tools, it’s almost impossible to decide which one offers the best features for the money. For my part, I’ve already done the hard yard of collecting the necessary information on multimeters for you. Give it a thorough read and I’m sure you won’t find yourself deep neck in dilemma anymore. Let’s begin.
Best Multimeter - Our Top Picks
Mobile users note: scroll the table horizontally to get the full view.
Our Top Multimeter Reviews
In this segment, I will provide concise reviews on the best digital as well as analog multimeters for every pocket. My personal experience says that a digital multimeter is way more qualified as the best multimeter for home use as well as for commercial use. Hence, I'll begin with reviews of the best digital multimeter models.
Fantastic Digital Multimeters that You Can Buy
Fluke 88V 1000V Automotive Multimeter
Fluke 88V 1000V is undisputedly one of the best Fluke multimeters of all time. It is mainly used for testing the condition of the injector and measuring the signal pulse width of a car and other electronic implements. This neatly designed compact tool performs way faster than any other standard digital model in the market.
Folks who want something better than an entry-level product will find 88V a great asset as it can also be used for accurately measuring duty and frequency cycle.
That’s not all, this high performance tool permits you to run diode tests on your vehicle as well. The maximum conductance this unit is capable of measuring is 60.00 nS. Among the other valuable specs, it measures 1000 AC and DC current, maximum resistance of 50 M, variables with an accuracy of +/- 1.0% along with preventing accidents at a precarious 8000 volt spikes.
Klein Tools MM200 Multimeter
For those having a false notion that budget multimeters are not anywhere in competition with top-grade branded models, it’s my honour to present to you Klein Tools MM200 Multimeter which is here to debunk this myth. This high quality multimeter, loaded with a plethora of features, not only looks like an expensive model but also works like one. It feels almost incredible to achieve almost 98% accurate output from an economical model like this but it actually has erased the line between dream and reality.
Being a quite affordable multimeter, MM200 gives products priced twice as high a run for their money.
The speed with which it detects a fault will save you a considerable amount of time as well which you can utilize in other important works. One important thing to note when you’re strictly looking for a budget multimeter is the quality of reading, specially if it’s a digital model. Things you can do with an MM200 multimeter include measuring consistency, frequency, AC DC voltage, continuity and conduct diode tests. The unit works equally well on both general household electronics as well as advanced industry-grade machines, allowing an amazing versatility and flexibility with its applications.
Fluke 115 Compact Multimeter
This is another instance of superior craftsmanship from internationally renowned manufacturer Fluke. The closely-packaged design of the multimeter renders it as a humble fit for your tool-kit. The primary target of this product is towards the amateur users and home owners who might find it difficult to operate a complicated UI. So, basically it’s an entry level product equipped with essential features of a decent multimeter.
It’s ergonomically sound and the level of accuracy has very few matches in the market. This multimeter can measure up to 10 amps which is a rare in standard entry-level models.
Coming to the safety part, this Fluke model doesn't compromise on this vital aspect. The unit comes with a 9V battery and a holster as well. The price is more on the expensive side of the cost spectrum which might raise some eyebrows since not many people will feel confident enough to spend a fortune on a beginner’s model. But let me assure you one thing, after testing this product personally, I won’t mind saying even the fussiest professionals are ought to be impressed by the features it offers.
TekPower TP9605BT Wireless Multimeter
After trying and testing a bunch of popular models, the nearest contender of Fluke regarding quality and precision is TekPower according to me. The brand has received rave reviews from critics and general customers alike for its ideal balance of design, ergonomics and functionality.
It is a delightful treat for customers willing to get the best of both worlds (a combination of analog and digital measuring systems) in one machine.
There’s another factor that compels me to consider TekPower as a more feasible option than Fluke. TP9605BT Wireless Multimeter has a Smartphone app of its own which allows you to amplify its performance by connecting it to a Smartphone or computer. The use of such path-breaking technology has set a benchmark for the other companies and forces them to also innovate to stay in the competition.
Best Analog Multimeter Picks
Simpson Analog Multimeter 260-8 VOM
In case you’re keen to go all traditional, Simpson Analog Multimeter 260-8 VOM is a tool you can count on. Simpson has been one the most trusted brands ever since its launch and the reputation is continuing to grow stronger This kind of multimeters are best suitable for individuals looking for a no-frills multimeter for small-scale jobs for their personal car and electronic gadgets.
The 260-8 VOM unit serves you well in calibration, troubleshooting and getting accurate readings. The solid design and clear visual output will come handy in detecting malfunction in an electronic item easily and come up with an effective solution in a real quick time. With that, it's the best analog multimeter for most people in my opinion.
TekPower TP7244L 7-Function Analog Multimeter
I assume you already figured out my inclination towards TekPower products from their digital multimeter review. Just when I thought digital multimeters are the only department this company excels at, I came across TekPower TP7244L 7-Function Analog Multimeter and this time too, I was left astonished. This 20 range analog multimeter has the strongest accuracy in its class.
It allows you to perform a wide range of tasks, varying from the basic AC/DC voltage test to a complicated diode test. But, what really makes this product stand out from others is the fact that it lets you measure current at even micro amps with 3% accuracy. Other noteworthy features include back lighting, decibel value measurement, zero adjustment and a lot more.
Why Do You Need a Multimeter in the First Place?
Multimeter, whether analog or digital, also known as VOM (Volt-Ohm Meter) is an electronic measuring instrument used for measuring current, resistance and voltage of battery operated appliances and motors. The “multi” part originates from the fact that the instrument has several meters, such as an ohmmeter, a voltmeter and an ammeter implanted in a single unit. Professional electricians and car mechanics use it for detecting faults and causes of it. While analog meters devise a micro-ammeter with a moving pointer to get the reading, digital machines (DMM) use an LCD display that provides the accurate reading in numerical form.
Suppose, your car’s battery isn’t receiving the charge properly. By using a multimeter, you can navigate through the root cause of it and take adequate steps to solve the problem. Measuring resistance is extremely vital while dealing with car components such as lighting and other electronic devices like sensors, fuses, switches that pass the current. If the light bulbs of your house go off abruptly, the electrician will use this machine to test whether it is dead or not.
Features to Look for in a Dependable Multimeter
Analog or Digital - Which One Is the Best?
The decision depends on what purposes are you intending to perform with your multimeter. Although digital multimeters are far more competent and user friendly on board, it will be an exaggeration to comment that they are absolutely accurate all the time. The main advantage of analog or manual multimeters over digital meters is that with the latter one, monitoring the changing trend is easier and the readout is clearly visible. On the downside, analog meters offer a very low impedance which makes it difficult to calibrate the voltage accurately at times due to lower sensitivity. Plus, analog meters are designed for measuring only ohms, volts and amp readings. This limitation of functionality turns out to be a huge barrier while dealing with advanced electronic gadgets.
Digital multimeters or speedometers might not be as efficient as their analog counterparts in giving clear visual read-outs and permitting you to judge the accelerations but the benefits can easily overshadow these minor cons. The best digital multimeter for the buck offers a high input impedance, leading to lightning fast indication of the changing current. It helps you measure any type of voltage with ease. Secondly, digital meters are packed with a bundle of important features for faster and flawless measurements. No wonder why and how digital meters easily gain a more critical advantage over an analog multimeter. Apart from the obvious positive sides, digital meters excel over its opponent in terms of availability and designs as well.
Getting the Most Accurate Read out
The accuracy of whichever type of multimeter you’re buying is another feature to take into account before finalizing the purchase. If you’re a professional serious about your job, it is absolutely imperative that you invest on a product that provides flawless output otherwise you won’t be able to identify the exact cause of the fault in a machine. A highly accurate digital multimeter will aid you solving the issues faster which will eventually prove to be a big boost to your business.
The quality of ergonomics or the science behind the design of a multimeter plays a pivotal role in determining the effectiveness of the tool. The probe of the best voltmeter is generally insulated with silicon whereas standard models tend to use poor quality, lesser durable PVC. The probes have a better fit, thanks to their pointed tips. Another major difference lies in their design of the dials. In upscale products, the dials are quite easy to turn.
Working with electricity always involves a certain amount of risk. If you’re working in a commercial setting where your job demands you to test circuits of high voltage, make sure check the safety features of the multimeter carefully. Consider factors such as input protection, presence of isolation slots in the unit’s PCB to protect against arc-over along with add-on features such as internal blast shield. These are the very basic safety requirements you should expect from the best automotive multimeter. High end models have gone a step ahead by adding a couple of more advanced safety features to ensure you don’t need to put your life at stake while performing your duties as a professional.
What about the Cost?
When it comes to multimeters, it’s not necessary that only the most expensive models will give you the best value for money. Instead of emphasizing too much on the cost, focus on the features and customers reactions on the product. But even before that, make up your mind about your requirements from the machine. Do you want it for DIY purposes at home or industrial-level tasks? If the first one is valid for you, there’s no need for buying a high voltage, feature-rich multimeter since you’ll not use even half of its utilities.
The Final Words
The best multimeter for the money consists of all the essential features you need to accomplish your tasks without being an overkill. There are hundreds of options, each with its own set of uniqueness, benefits and drawbacks. The product specs provided by the manufacturer are likely to seem akin to an Egyptian hieroglyphic unless you learn what they actually mean. If you’ve taken the pains to read this entire write-up carefully, it is going to be a way less challenging for you to compare different items in terms of their practical application and cost. Wish you all the luck for your venture to find out the best multimeter for electronics within your budget.