by Joshua Thomas
Multimeters have become an indispensable part of electricians lives and practically anyone else that has to work with electricity or electrical parts.
You'll be thankful, for instance, if you've got a multimeter for measurements when you're installing a new part in your car or making repairs.
Multimeters come in a wide range and feature varying levels of components and complication. Making a choice can, therefore, prove burdensome for newcomers.
In this multimeters review, however, you'll learn all that you need to know to make the right choice, plus, you get a list of the top multimeter offers in the market to help make your choice correct.
1. AstroAI ASIMT33D (Best Overall)
2. Etekcity MSR-C600
3. Innova 3320
4. Fluke 117
5. Fluke 87-V
6. Mastech M8268
7. Innova 3340
If you just want a top-rated multimeter that is great for working on cars and that you can always rely on, then AstroAI's offer could definitely be something for you.
It's a simple and compact digital multimeter which weighs just 9.6 ounces but comes with important basic features like a HOLD button, a backlit LCD, and a built-in kickstand for those times that you need to work with both hands.
You can use it to test for Voltage, DC current, resistance, and further tests like continuity and diodes. This meter also features overload protection and a low battery alert.
Downsides include manual range selection, 2 samples per second speed, and only two test leads in the package. AstroAI backs it with a 1-year warranty anyway.
For a more feature-rich digital multimeter, though at a slightly higher price, this offer from Etekcity is worth taking a closer look at.
It comes with a clamp that makes it possible to measure AC current in conductors up to 26mm in diameter, without distorting the electricity flow.
You can use it to measure a range of tests, including AC and DC voltages and currents, resistance, diode, and continuity tests. In addition, it offers an auto-ranging feature to make it one of the best digital multimeters on offer.
Further features include a 15-minute auto-off function to save battery power and a Hold button to freeze the display while to take measurements. The package includes a handy carrying pouch plus a 1-year warranty to back it all up.
Innova offers its 3320 model multimeter for those who want a good multimeter at a good price. It's UL certified, makes accurate readings, and comes with lots of features.
There's an auto-ranging function, a large LCD motor, and color-coded LEDs for quick battery checks. The multimeter itself comes inside a rubber case for drop protection and to easily hold its test leads in place.
Although it's a rather small meter with its 5 by 2-inch dimensions, the package includes a stand for hands-free use when you need it.
What it lacks, however, is a backlit display and this makes it difficult to use in dimly lit situations. Its interface also looks crowded, but the package comes with a 1-year warranty anyway and is one of the best multimeters for automotive use.
All the previous multimeter offers have been for the general user. If you, however, happen to have more interest in electricity or you are an electrician, then this one might work for you.
It comes with many professional features like being a true-RMS meter, which makes it able to deliver readings with higher accuracy, plus Fluke's VoltAlert technology that makes it possible to detect a voltage without physical contact.
Another impressive feature is its elapsed time recording function with Minimum, Maximum, and Average data functions.
In addition to these features, it comes with a white LED back-light, a stand for hands-free work, an easy to use interface, and an ergonomic design for convenient, one-handed use.
The downside is that it comes at a relatively higher price, but it's definitely worth it if you want the best. Fluke also backs it with the longest warranty so far in this review and it's 3 years long.
Here comes an impressive tool that's designed for those that want only the best. If you're on the search for the best Fluke multimeter, then take a look at this Fluke 87-V offer.
It comes with everything you want from a top-grade multimeter and that includes high accuracy and high-resolution with a dual display resolution of either 3.75 or 4.5 digits.
There's an integrated thermometer for taking temperature readings and you can measure both DC and AC voltages up to 1,000 and current up to 10 Amps.
Although it's a costly multimeter, the 87-V is a serious tool and so Fluke backs it with a lifetime warranty to support its high quality. The package includes test leads, alligator clips, a holster, a temperature probe, and an installed 9V battery.
You could also want a more affordable multimeter that comes with many of the impressive options that you'll normally find in an expensive meter and that's exactly what this Mastech MS8268 offers.
It offers AC and DC measurements up to 1,000 Volts, plus continuity and diode checks. Then there is a choice between auto and manual ranging, plus a stand for working hands-free.
You also get a backlit display with an auto-off function to maximize the lifespan of the included batteries. In addition, there is a Data Hold button for taking measurements and a sound and light warnings combination.
This multimeter is great for occasional users in the home and for automotive work. It's however not suitable for professional electricians and engineers.
If it's your first time getting a multimeter and you need something with all the right features just like the pros use, then Innova has this 3340 digital meter for you.
It comes with an auto-ranging feature for your convenience, auto-off to save battery power, a temperature probe, an inductive RPM clamp, and it also includes overload protection.
All these features make it easy to test your vehicle's wiring, breaker points, switches, alternator diodes, and so on. Designed with automotive users in mind, this is probably the best multimeter for electronic tests on your car's electrical systems.
One downside is that it's a relatively costly multimeter, but considering its extra features like the Hold and Min/Max buttons, corner guards, reverse polarity protection, and a carrying case, it then seems worth its price.
A multimeter is a complex device that needs detailed understanding if you want to use it correctly. You also need some of this understanding to buy the right meter.
Following is a listing of the most important aspects and features of a multimeter that you need to understand and keep in mind when making your choice.
The first major difference between multimeters is their fundamental working system and this creates two groups, namely: Analog and digital multimeters.
Analog Multimeters. This type of multimeters uses classic analog dials to display measurement readings. They also use a traditional (analog) electronic circuit to calculate the measurements and complete other tasks.
Multimeters were originally analog before digital systems came around, but many users still prefer analog multimeters because they often have very high sensitivities and reaction time to the slightest changes in their measurement.
Digital Multimeters. A digital multimeter uses both a digital circuit and an LCD display, setting it apart from analog multimeters. In addition to being easier to produce, digital multimeters offer much more functions and possibilities than analog meters.
Some of these functions include Auto-range adjustments for convenience, oscilloscope function to record readings over time, a Hold function to keep the display from changing when taking readings, and large-digit displays with back-light for ease of use.
Ranging is the process of pre-selecting a result range for either the capacitance, resistance, or voltage that you're measuring. This developed as a result of limitations in electronic components, but with digital multimeters, you can get done automatically.
With analog meters, you'll always have to select the correct range before measuring. This way, you'll know if you're calculating your capacitance results in nano- or micro-farads, for instance. If you've got a digital multimeter, however, and it offers auto-ranging, then the system does the choosing for you automatically.
Keep in mind, however, that auto-ranging is only limited to the range of your multimeter. So if your meter's voltage range is 600 Volts, for instance, auto-range can get you past that 600-Volt limit.
If you want accuracy, then a good quality digital multimeter will be your best option. Be mindful though, that most cheap digital multimeters are less precise than the costlier ones, so, you'll need to pay a little more for higher accuracy.
With resolution, the number of digits that a digital multimeter can display comes into play. You'll mostly see meters with either a 3.5 resolution which has a top value of 1999 or a 4.5 resolution with a 19999 top value.
Another method of showing a multimeter's accuracy is with counts, where you can see 2000 counts and higher. Here, the counts refer to how many figures the meter can display before it reaches the next range level.
A better-built multimeter using better materials will serve you better and last longer. So, it's often worth the extra price you pay for it, but you need to make sure that it comes with an appropriate warranty.
The terms and duration of a warranty often show how much faith a manufacturer has in its products, which in turn reflects how many quality materials and engineering that it invested in it. On average, however, products with longer warranties come at a higher price.
A good multimeter should be easy to understand and to work with. You should easily figure out how to select your variables and where to plug what in by simply looking at it.
Its batteries and changing or recharging options are also worth considering, as well as a back-light if you'll be working in the night or in dimly lit areas.
Further ease of use features for digital multimeters includes an auto-ranging function and an auto-off feature to help maximize battery life.
Multimeters cost anywhere from $10 to well over a thousand dollars and these costlier models obviously come with more advanced modules and features than the cheaper varieties.
How much you finally choose to invest is up to you, just make sure that you keep an eye on the warranty terms, especially when going for costlier models.
Read More: 5 Best Compression Testers
Fluke 117 Electricians True RMS Multimeter - Walmart Link
Fluke 87-V Digital Multimeter - Walmart Link
Klein Tools MM400 Multimeter, Digital Auto Ranging, AC/DC Voltage, Current, Capacitance, - Walmart Link
Greenlee - Dmm, 600V Ac/Dc, 10A, Cap,Temp, Elec Test Instruments (DM-45) - Walmart Link
Tekpower Mastech MS8268 Digital AC/DC Auto/Manual Range Digital Multimeter Meter - Walmart Link
Extech EX330 Autoranging Mini Multimeter with NCV and Type K Temperature, orange and green - Walmart Link
AstroAI Digital Multimeter TRMS 6000 Counts Volt Meter Ohmmeter Auto-Ranging Tester; - Walmart Link
INNOVA 3320 Auto-Ranging Digital Multimeter - Walmart Link
Amprobe AM-510 Commercial/Residential Multimeter with Non-Contact Voltage Detection - Walmart Link
BSIDE ZT100 Pocket Digital Multimeter Auto-Ranging Trms 4000 Counts AC/DC Current Voltage - Walmart Link
Klein Tools MM500 Auto Ranging Multimeter - Walmart Link
TekPower TP9605BT Auto Ranging Digital True RMS Smart Multimeter with Bluetooth & USB - Walmart Link
Fluke FLUKE-179-2/IMSK Industrial Multimeter Service Kit, 185 mm x 43 mm x 90 mm - Walmart Link
Fluke 117 Electricians True RMS Multimeter - eBay Link
Fluke 87-V Digital Multimeter - eBay Link
Klein Tools MM400 Multimeter, Digital Auto Ranging, AC/DC Voltage, Current, Capacitance, - eBay Link
Greenlee - Dmm, 600V Ac/Dc, 10A, Cap,Temp, Elec Test Instruments (DM-45) - eBay Link
Tekpower Mastech MS8268 Digital AC/DC Auto/Manual Range Digital Multimeter Meter - eBay Link
Extech EX330 Autoranging Mini Multimeter with NCV and Type K Temperature, orange and green - eBay Link
AstroAI Digital Multimeter TRMS 6000 Counts Volt Meter Ohmmeter Auto-Ranging Tester; - eBay Link
INNOVA 3320 Auto-Ranging Digital Multimeter - eBay Link
Amprobe AM-510 Commercial/Residential Multimeter with Non-Contact Voltage Detection - eBay Link
BSIDE ZT100 Pocket Digital Multimeter Auto-Ranging Trms 4000 Counts AC/DC Current Voltage - eBay Link
Klein Tools MM500 Auto Ranging Multimeter - eBay Link
TekPower TP9605BT Auto Ranging Digital True RMS Smart Multimeter with Bluetooth & USB - eBay Link
Fluke FLUKE-179-2/IMSK Industrial Multimeter Service Kit, 185 mm x 43 mm x 90 mm - eBay Link
We have reached the end of this multimeters review and you've seen all the different meters from different manufacturers, including the affordable and the top of the line, expensive ones.
As you can see, there's a wide range to choose from and this depends on your needs and on how much you're willing to spend.
The final decision, therefore, is yours alone to make. Choose a multimeter that meets your needs and fits into your lifestyle.
About Joshua Thomas
Joshua Thomas just simply loves cars and willing to work on them whenever there's chance... sometimes for free.
He started CarCareTotal back in 2017 from the advices of total strangers who witnessed his amazing skills in car repairs here and there.
His goal with this creation is to help car owners better learn how to maintain and repair their cars; as such, the site would cover alot of areas: troubleshooting, product recommendations, tips & tricks.
Joshua received Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering at San Diego State University.
Just Car Care