What to look for in a multimeter? which multimeter should I buy?

which multimeter should I buy? It is not a question of beginners but also professionals. When looking for a multimeter, there are a few factors you should consider. The first is what type of measurements you need the multimeter to make. There are digital and analog multimeters. Digital multimeters are more common and can measure voltage, current, and resistance. They also have a built-in thermometer. Analog multimeters are less common and can measure voltage, current, and resistance. But if you're curious about what to look for in a multimeter then there are multiple factors involved.

Analog multimeter and Digital multimeter what to choose?

When looking for a multimeter I always prefer a digital multimeter over an analog multimeter due to the following reasons.

  • Digital multimeters are much easier to read than analog ones because they have a digital display that makes them too easy to read even in dim light.
  • You can analyze electronics circuits with digital multimeters more precisely.
  • Analog multimeters are not as accurate as digital multimeters.
  • Analog multimeters are not as accurate as digital multimeters.
  • Analog multimeters are not as fast as digital multimeters.
  • Digital multimeters usually have more advanced options than analog multimeters.
  • Good battery timings due to auto shut off feature

Things to look for in a multimeter-A complete multimeter buying guide

When you are looking for a multimeter, there are multiple factors that you should consider to grab the best multimeter.

Display

The display is one of the most important factors to look for in a multimeter. The display should be large, have a backlight, and be easy to read, especially in low light. In DMM the display resolution is very important never buy a multimeter with a display count under 2000.

Accuracy

The accuracy of a multimeter is all about how accurate readings you can get with it. A reliable multimeter had an ac/dc voltage accuracy of 1%. If you're going to be taking measurements that require a higher degree of precision, then consider getting a multimeter with True RMS reading and low impedance mode.

Auto-ranging

If you're a beginner then Multimeter with a manual range can cause many issues. Because you have to be conscious all the time to set the right range. So it's better to get a multimeter with auto-range instead of manual ranging. When looking for a multimeter, you should get one that has an auto-ranging function to save time. Auto-ranging is the ability of a multimeter to automatically select the range that is most appropriate for the measurement being taken.

AC/DC Voltage range

The voltage range is the maximum voltage that the multimeter can measure. If you're going to be measuring high voltages, you'll need a multimeter that can measure up to 1000 volts.

AC/DC Current range

The current range is the maximum amount of amperage the multimeter can measure. A multimeter with a range of 10 amps is ideal for measuring electronics circuits because most circuits use up to 10 amps. To measure current above 10amps you should use clamp meters. I have also made a list of the best camp meters to measure electrical current in all ac dc circuits.

Safety Rating

The safety rating is the maximum voltage that the multimeter can withstand without being damaged. Most multimeters have a cat-iii safety rating of 600 volts.

Digital multimeters input Protection

The internal protection of a multimeter is the amount of current that the multimeter can withstand without being damaged. Most multimeters have internal protection with ceramic fuses at the input side.

External Protection

The external protection of a multimeter is how well it's shielded from physical damage. A multimeter with good external protection will have a hard case and be tested to IEC 61010-2-031 safety standards.

Temperature Measurement

Most digital multimeters have this feature but if you need a multimeter with extreme temperature measurement, then consider getting a multimeter with a thermocouple input. Moreover, for HVAC technicians temperature probe is a must t get more accurate readings. You can also read reviews of the best multimeters for HVC technicians on my blog.

what multimeter should I buy?

Every job has different measuring requirements. So you always need a different multimeter. There are also multi-purpose multimeters available in the market. So, here I will some best multimeters for electrical and electronics concerns.

Top 3 Picks

1. Fluke 117 best fluke multimeter for Electricians

If you're an electrician the first thing you need to test any electrical circuit is a digital meter. Fluke 117 is a decent multimeter equipped with all advanced functions including Non-contact voltage detection. So, it means you don't have to open wires or physically touch any live connections. Therefore, whether you have to test diodes or want a continuity test you can do everything with it.

best multimeter for electricians

5/5 stars with 3,059 reviews

Features

  • A true RMS meter
  • 6000 Counts digital display
  • VoltAlert voltage detection.
  • Current measuring range: 10A
  • Voltage measure range: 600V
  • An Auto range meter
  • Backlit display
  • Accurate reading up to millivolts
  • It can measure resistance, capacitance, and frequency
Pros
  • Automatically selects the proper range
  • Requires only one 9v AAA battery cell.
  • Ergonomic design
  • A good meter for circuit fault analysis
Cons
  • An expensive meter for beginners

2. Klein Tools MM700 DMM for Electronics Hobbyists

In industry, you have to check alternating current and voltages from lowest ranges to high ranges. So, there are two basic reasons to consider it as an industrial electronics multimeter. This multimeter measures mV & mA and secondly due to its robust quality. It is a 2m drop test certified meter so you use it in any condition you can troubleshoot all kinds of iac valves and home electronics appliances with it. Moreover, It is the first multimeter of Klein tools that is fit for all industrial applications. Let's jump into its features.

best multimeter for electronics

4.5/5 stars with 443 reviews

Features

  • Auto-ranging meter
  • True RMS function
  • Measure voltages up to 1000V.
  • current measurement up to 20A.
  • mA and mV measurement range.
  • Backlit display with 6000counts resolution.
  • Beeps on wrong jack insertion.
  • Low impedance LoZ mode 
  • Resistance, frequency, and capacitance measurement
  • Temperature measurements up to 1832 Fahrenheit.
  • you can test diodes and continuity.
  • Alligator clips also come with it.
  • Low battery indicator
Pros
  • you can use the same tester on different projects.
  • Two AAA batteries are required to power it up.
  • you can test almost every electronics circuit with it.
  • Rare probe holders for test lead safety.
  • Measuring current with this meter is a bit tricky.
Cons
  • Battery drains faster than other DMM.

3. Fluke 233 Remote Display Multimeter for automotive use

If you want to test a relay or spark plug of your car you must need a multimeter that can measure ac and dc voltage. You can also use a clamp meter but that is not necessary due to low current ranges. The major benefit of fluke 233 is that it has a detachable display. So, the thing which makes it perfect for automotive use is that you can use it in any confined space of your car. Whether you have to check your IAC valve or Fuel tank relay you can measure all electrical or electronics circuits with it. 

best multimeter for electronics

4.5/5 stars with 202 reviews

Features

  • An auto-ranging meter
  • True RMS value function
  • Min/max ranges 
  • Data hold.
  • Wireless Remote display
  • Backlit display with 6000counts resolution.
  • 6000 counts display Resolution
  • Ac voltage measurement up to 1000V
  • DC voltage measurement up to 750V
  • Current measurement up to 10A.
  • Dual ceramic fuses for overload protection
  • You can measure capacitance resistance and all electrical measurements with it.
Pros
  • Perfect for confined places
  • You can measure high voltages with it
  • No ghost voltages
  • Drop test certified multimeter
Cons
  • You can not measure mA with it.

Conclusion

When choosing a multimeter, you should consider the features that are most important to you. If you need a meter for general use, then an auto-ranging meter is a good choice. If you need to measure high voltages or currents, then you should look for a meter with a high voltage or current range. Also, if you need to use the meter in a tight space, then consider buying one with a detachable display.

However, the most important thing to keep in mind, however, is a multimeter's accuracy. Be sure that whatever meter you buy has a voltage or current range that is at least slightly more than the voltage you need to measure. Hopefully, you have made your mind so grab the one which suits you the most and let us know about your experience. 

You can also visit my blogs;

Best multimeters for Electronics Technicians

Best fluke multimeters for Electricians

Frequently asked questions-FAQs

Why measuring voltage with a digital multimeter is better than an analog multimeter?

The answer is simple, digital multimeters are more accurate than analog multimeters. This is because the readings on an analog multimeter are based on a needle and if the needle is not calibrated right or even defective then you will get a wrong reading. On the other hand, digital multimeters have a digital reading and are hence more accurate.

What is the difference between True RMS and non-True RMS multimeters?

Multimeters can be classified as True RMS or non-True RMS depending on the way they measure voltage and current. Non-True RMS multimeters work on a simple average of the AC signal. This is why they display "half" of the True RMS values when measuring sine waveforms. Moreover, true RMS multimeters, on the other hand, take the square root of the average value of the AC signal. This is why they display the "true" RMS value for all waveforms.

Measuring ac and dc values with all fluke digital models possible?

Almost all Fluke digital multimeters are capable of measuring both ac and dc values. The only exception is Fluke 101, which is a non-contact tester.

Leave a Comment