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A multimeter is a must-have device for electricians. The device helps measure circuit continuity, temperature, capacitance, inductance, and conductance. Rather than purchasing separate measuring devices, professional electricians consider it convenient to look for a multimeter with different features which suits their needs.
With a multimeter, you can keep an eye on your electronic appliances to ensure they operate perfectly at optimum levels. However, you can only do that if you acquire the best multimeter for electronics technician. Read on to find a quality option for your projects.
- Our Top Multimeter Reviews for Electronics Technicians
- Features and Considerations in Electronic Multimeters
- Wrap Up
Our Top Multimeter Reviews for Electronics Technicians
Best Multimeter For Electronics Technician: Fluke 117
The Fluke-117 is a popular multimeter among electricians because of its accuracy. It comes with an integrated voltage detection that prevents false readings. The device has an easy to use interface, making it ideal for novice DIYers.
This meter measures continuity, capacitance, resistance, and frequency. It also provides Average, Maximum, and Minimum readings. This enables you to move from one job to another with ease. It also saves time while working.
This model is ideal for working on commercial buildings and in other similar settings. With the non-voltage detection technology from VoltAlert, you can easily complete your job faster.
The technology makes this multimeter one of the most advanced devices in the industry. The True RMS is equipped with low input impedance modes that offer faster and more accurate readings on all non-linear loads.
Moreover, the device also has large white backlight for working in low-light places. With a battery life of 400 hours and an operating temperature of -10 degrees Celsius to + 50 degrees Celsius, this is a great device to consider if you are shopping for a quality multimeter.
The Fluke has a CAT III safety rating with 600 voltages. It comes with a 3-year warranty and weighs 1.21 pounds.
The device measures 6.6 x 3.3 x 1.8 inches, and is the best multimeter for electronics technicians and electricians due to its accuracy.
What We Like
- Compact, ergonomic design
- Bright white LED backlight
- True RMS for accurate readings
- Automatic AC/DC voltage selection
- Non-contact voltage detection technology
What We Don’t Like
- VoltAlert technology for non-contact voltage detection
- AutoVolt automatic AC/DC voltage selection. DC millivolts - Range : 600.0 mV, Resolution : 0.1 mV
- Low input impedance: helps prevent false readings due to ghost voltage
- Large white LED backlight to work in poorly lit areas
Best Multimeter for HVAC Technicians: Fluke 87V
The Fluke 87-V multimeter measures up to 1,000 voltages AC and DC. The device also offers the True RMS voltage that is crucial for HVAC technicians. It also includes a built-in thermometer which is another excellent feature.
This thermometer feature is important as it enables you to take temperature measurements without using a separate thermometer, cutting down the number of tools you need to take on-site. It is also equipped with the Automatic Touch Hold feature.
It captures readings without requiring you to press more buttons while taking measurements. You can go back after testing and view the recordings. This specific Fluke records Average, Maximum, and Minimum readings.
The device also has a Maximum/Minimum alert that captures variations automatically. It also comes with a Relative mode that removes test lead interference from low electrical resistance measurements.
Apart from the case and a sturdy holster, the multimeter’s design element has a recessed dial to help protect the screen and the selector. The Fluke multimeter has a CAT III safety rating with up to 1000 voltages and a CAT IV safety rating with up to 600 voltages.
The multimeter is the best premium device on the market. Although the device is a bit costly, it is packed with high-quality features. It comes with a dual display resolution of 20,000 or 6,000 counts.
If you are an HVAC electrician or technician who is shopping for a multimeter with a lifetime warranty, you should consider the Fluke Digital Multimeter. It weighs 2.71 pounds.
What We Like
- Built-in thermometer
- Lifetime warranty
- Accurate voltage
- Easy-to-use design
- Industrial features
What We Don’t Like
- Relatively expensive
- Accurate frequency measurements on adjustable speed drives (ASD) due to Fluke-designed low-pass...
- Built-in thermometer allows temperature measurements without a separate thermometer
- Peak Min/Max allows capture of intermittents as fast 250 µS
- Dual display resolution – 6000 or 20,000 counts – lets you see small changes in displayed...
Best Multimeter for Beginners: Extech EX330
The Extech EX330 Multimeter has easy to use buttons and is intuitive. The easy to use interface makes it a great budget option for beginners. It comes with the Data Hold and Max Hold functions.
The Data Hold function enables you to freeze the readings you are taking. This is useful, especially when you want to hold the current display to review and take notes.
The Max Hold function enables you to capture the meter’s highest reading. This is important when measuring for spikes. It’s important to note that the display will update every time a higher reading is recorded.
With the capacitance feature, you will be able to charge a capacitor and take measurements of the resulting voltage using a known current while performing electrical troubleshooting.
The Extech Multimeter measures frequency between 0.001Hertz to 10 Megahertz for easy and quick diagnostics when testing circuits. These are essential features for electronics hobbyists.
The built-in AC Voltage Detector (non-contact) is very useful for home use. It uses red LED indicator lights and an audible beeper to alert you about the presence of voltage when put near switches and live wires.
The EX330 multimeter has a CAT III safety rating with 600 voltages and a type K temperature probe. It also has a rubber holster for protecting the meter. The multimeter measures temperature, frequency, AC/DC voltage, duty cycle, and resistance.
The device measures 5.7 x 1.6 x 2.9 inches and has a resolution of 4,000 counts. It comes with a 1-year labor and parts warranty and weighs 9.9 pounds.
Overall, the EX330 is an excellent pocket multimeter for beginners.
What We Like
- Auto-ranging functionality
- Easy to use and intuitive
- Type K temperature
- AC voltage detector
- Large one-inch digits
What We Don’t Like
- RMS voltage is not true
- Display could be improved
- Built in non-contact AC voltage detector (NCV)
- Transmitter and Receiver snap together for easy storage
- Cat III 600V UL listed
- Includes Type K temperature probe
Best Multimeter for the Money: Klein Tools MM400
The Klein Tools MM400 comes with all the features you may need in taking measurements and conducting repairs. It also has a multimeter with a rubber holster that prevents it from slipping out of your hands.
The device sets the measurement range automatically instead of having you do it manually. Experienced electricians will appreciate the convenience of this meter while beginners will enjoy using it.
The Klein Multimeter measures voltages up to 600 DC/AV and current up to 10A. It can also carry out the resistance test to 40MΩ and run duty-cycle tests, capacitance, frequency, continuity, and temperature.
It has a big backlit LCD screen for use in low-light or dark areas. The kit includes an adapter, test leads, batteries, and a thermocouple. Klein has made it easy to replace the batteries. You only have to remove one screw.
Durability is also not a problem with the Klein Tools Multimeter. The device is constructed to withstand frequent usage on the project site and drops of up to 3.3 feet. Klein has put the focus on safety with a CAT III 600 voltages safety rating.
The MM400 features a battery compartment that is easy to access and low battery indicator. You can use the multimeter in controlled environments like light-industrial, business, and residential locations.
The device measures 1.8 x 3.1 x 6 inches and weighs 3.52 pounds. It is an ideal option for those people who are on a budget.
What We Like
- Well-built and rugged design
- Easy to use
- Accessories included
- Low battery indicator
What We Don’t Like
- RMS voltage not true
- Reading speed not great
- Measures up to 600V AC/DC voltage, 10A AC/DC current and 40 M resistance
- Measures temperature, capacitance, frequency, duty-cycle, and test diodes and continuity
- CAT III 600V safety rating
- Built to withstand a 3.3-foot (1 m) drop and withstand daily wear and tear on the job site
Best Budget Multimeter: INNOVA 3320
The INNOVA-3320-Multimeter is a favorite choice for first-time users due to its large digital display and value for the money. With the auto-ranging feature, the multimeter is a good option for beginners because there is no need to dial in the range.
It comes with three LEDs that can give you quick measurements on batteries. The red light lets you know when the cells need to be replaced while the green light tells you they are stable.
The small size makes the INNOVA Multimeter perfect for single-handed operation. It features rubberized corners for damage resistance and superior grip.
The device is equipped with a stand and holders to keep your hands free when using it. This is great if you are completing more complex jobs that need multiple tools.
The 3320 Multimeter is a robust and straightforward device. It is precise at low voltages and an excellent option for home use. It measures 2 x 10 x 5 inches and weighs 8 pounds.
What We Like
- Rubberized corners
- Battery check LEDs
- Large display
- Single setting resistance function
What We Don’t Like
- Slower auto-ranging
- Continuity test delay
- UL certified product designed to safely and accurately troubleshoot a variety of automotive and...
- Auto-ranging scales eliminate the need to dial in the correct range when making electronic...
- Features large digital display and color coded LED's for battery quick check
- Single-setting resistance function for AC and DC voltage
Features and Considerations in Electronic Multimeters
When looking at multimeter reviews for electronics technicians, there are some things you should check. Different multimeter features will be more important depending on the types of jobs you will be performing. Here are the most important features to look for that will help you choose the right device for yourself.
Multimeters are assigned different CAT ratings to determine whether you can use the device safely. Voltage spikes are a constant possibility for electronics technicians, especially in circumstances like an electrical storm. If you are in an area with unpredictable weather, be sure to purchase a multimeter that is able to deal with high transient impulses.
Here’s a brief guide:
- CAT I Multimeter: It is best used in 24 voltage circuits and can only be used in circuits if it is not connected to a power supply. It’s usually used for testing in small electronics with a source based on high-voltage and low-energy.
- CAT II Multimeter: You can use this multimeter on plugged-in electronics so long as it is below a 100A circuit. It should be below 22,000 voltages and on circuits between 110 voltages and 240 voltages. It is perfect for appliance testing, home power tools, and household outlets further than 10 meters from the breaker.
- CAT III Multimeter: This is an all-round multimeter you can use for various applications before the main breaker, such as large appliance outlets. Polyphase or switchgear motors can be safely tested. It is often used to test commercial lighting and small industrial light fixtures like single-phase commercial lighting.
- CAT IV Multimeter: This is used to test main feeds in power lines (including pole to building), commercial structures, and residences. You can use this type of multimeter with a direct power source.
Auto or Manual Ranging
A multimeter can determine the range you are testing when it is in auto range mode. Set the meter up, and it will output the desired measurement. The mode saves you time because you do not have to input the range.
That saves you time as you do not need to know the voltage, capacitance, resistance, and other values.
With a manual range, you’ll have to input the values which require a lot of time, and knowledge of the electronics you are testing. However, experienced electricians may prefer these types of multimeters if they’re sure about the measurements.
Poorly constructed multimeters with auto ranging enabled can often be unpredictable, and at worst unsafe. When looking for a budget multimeter, it may be a better idea to look for one that has a manual range option. Auto range, when incorrectly implemented, can cause an incorrect diagnosis or setting.
Digital or Analog
This is the most crucial decision you will have to make. Analog multimeters have lower input impedance compared to digital multimeters. Impedance indicates the sensitivity of the current that is being measured.
The meter can take measurements of any voltage if the input impedance is high. Analog multimeters are also limited to reading voltages, amps, and electrical resistance. Experienced electricians who are looking for a range sometimes find that a needle pointing to the area they are expecting makes their work easier.
On the other hand, digital multimeters go beyond these three measurements. They also come with numerous features and provide numeric readings that appear on an LCD screen. In addition, digital multimeters offer a higher possibility of accuracy since you can read the exact measurement in print.
You should choose a multimeter from a brand that is known to offer quality resolution. The device should also be able to detect a change in the input signals that may trigger changes in the overall output signal.
The resolution, also known as the count, is shown through the numbers that appear on display for digital multimeters. Most of the models available are either 3.5 or 4.5 digits meters with a 1999 to 19999 range.
Whether you need the device for personal or professional use, you need to select a meter that’s reliable when handling more sensitive jobs and provides excellent resolution. Note that the resolution will be good if the range of the multimeter is wide.
This is an important feature to think about when looking for a multimeter. It is responsible for measuring AC voltage. The feature will enable you to evaluate the effectiveness of the AC wave signal.
A device with an average level of response utilizes mathematical formulas when taking accurate measurements on sinusoidal waves. While you may be able to make non-sinusoidal waves, the multimeter may lack accuracy.
However, the most sophisticated meters are capable of providing precise measurements both in sinusoidal and non-sinusoidal waves. Any attempt to measure the distorted waves maybe 10% high or 40% during calculations.
Capacity and voltage range of a multimeter depends on how and where it will be used. For instance, the needs of someone that works in an industrial complex will be different from those of a homeowner.
The good thing is that the majority of meters can work with main power sources, megavolts, and more. A multimeter with a wide voltage range is ideal for an electrician. Each multimeter should have an obvious voltage range displayed.
Depending on the application you are using the multimeter for, a voltage range may not give you adequate information. Check the CAT rating, since impedance spikes might occur that are outside of the voltage rating.
Multimeters come in different designs and sizes. When choosing a meter to suit the type of work you do, it is essential to pick one with the right size to make your work easier. Some multimeters are small in size while others are big.
Ensure you select one that is easy to handle and compact. If your job involves a lot of fieldwork, a compact multimeter with a sturdy design is the most desirable device to have.
There are different multimeters available in the market with various features. Therefore, you should check the functions that you need before buying a multimeter. For instance, ask yourself whether you need a thermometer, AC, or DC voltage.
Additional advanced features that come in handy are a graphic display with real-time data, data logging to keep track of aberrations, and the most important, ohm measurement.
Check the most crucial functions you need then buy a multimeter with those functions. It can also be a good idea to get a multimeter with fewer functions. This will make it easier to use the multimeter.
Construction and Design
This is an essential aspect of a meter. It can fall off during its operation at some stage or fall from the bag. For this reason, selecting a rugged design that may take up all the abuse is very important. Some multimeters are not good at this and may break after falling.
You should choose the most rigid and well-built device that can face up to all the heavy usage. Also, in case of human error, the meter should not become a paperweight. This will ensure you have a long-lasting multimeter.
You should look at price as the deciding factor when shopping for a multimeter. However, the first aspect you should look at is whether the device is good enough for the projects you intend to do.
Basic and easy meters come at a small price while the advanced ones are more costly. Choose a multimeter that is affordable with the features you need.
Accuracy of a multimeter is another crucial function you should check. Not all multimeter devices offer high accuracy. Before you choose one, ensure it gives accurate results. Accuracy will also depend on the type of circuits you usually work on.
This feature is used to determine the temperature and is useful when working on components that are sensitive to temperature. As such, the meter you intend to buy should have this function.
Like the price, warranty is also important. A multimeter that comes with warranty gives some sense of responsibility the manufacturer holds. Sometimes, meters do not function properly or come damaged. In such scenarios, the warranty becomes essential.
Looking for the top multimeter for your personal or professional use can be a daunting task. You have to check and compare different models to find a device that suits your budget and needs.
We hope our multimeter review will help you pick the most efficient electronic meter for your project.