Last Update October 6 2016 Welcome to Multimeter HQ! I created MultimeterHQ to help anyone that is interested in joining the construction/home repair field in picking the right product for your needs. Over the past few years, I have spent 15 years in the construction field. During this time I have reviewed and tested quite a few different multimeters, and there are some that I would recommend, and some that I truly wouldn’t. I have tested products from nearly every brand and I have created posts to outline the advantages and disadvantages of each model. When it comes to multimeters, you definitely want a quality product. Because when you are dealing with electricity, you need something that is accurate and can give you a reading that will make your job easier! Any multimeter that makes your job easy and accurate is the best multimeter for you!
Because multimeters have been around for so long, there are quite a few choices on the marketplace now a days. Over the years, I have gone through and tested quite a few different multimeters. The majority of them are decent designs, but there are some that are leagues above the rest.
The Top 3 Best Multimeter Reviews of 2016!
|CAT III||600 V / 20 A||Yes||$$$||5|
|TekPower TP9605BT||CAT II & III||600 V / 10A||Yes||$$||4.4|
|Innova 3320||Cat II||250 V / 15 A||No||$||4|
Brand: This is simply the type of multimeter.
Safety: This is the safety category level that this multimeter is designed and tested for.
Voltage/Current: This is the maximum level of voltages, and currents the multimeter is designed for.
True RMS: This is if the multimeter has a True RMS system implemented or not.
Price: Because the prices of these tools fluctuate quite a lot. I have used $’s to represent money value. $ is the lowest value, and $$$$$ is the most expensive.
Fluke 115 Multimeter Review
Fluke has been around for over fifty years, and they are known for their electronic systems. The 115 model has been extremely popular model because of its overall quality and its durability. It is designed to be a mid level tester which has enough functionality to handle any needs a home tinkerer or even a small electrician will have. Along with this, the design is compact enough to be easily handled, and the accuracy is second to none!
This tester is a little bit higher priced than the others. This is because this is a mid tier product while the others are more aimed for beginners or people that will only use it once or twice a year. The Fluke 115 has the following specifications.
- True RMS
- A Great White LED Background For Low Light Situations
- Can Check Continuity, Frequency, Capacitance, and Can Do Diode Checks
- CAT III Safety Certified
- Measures Up To 600 V
Overall, if you are someone that is going to use their multimeter more than a few times a year, then I definitely suggest the Fluke 115 model. It has a durable design that will take a beating and it will last you years. Along with this, it has the functionality to be able to pretty much be used on any device or electronic.
TekPower TP9605BT Multimeter Review!
Another great option for a multimeter is the TekPower TP9605BT! TekPower has been around for a few years and their parent company Kaito Electronics is known in the radio marketplace. Overall they are known for quality and affordable electronics, and the TP9605BT is no exception! This is generally thought to be a entry level to mid level multimeter simply because although it has a good safety rating, it doesn’t have all the features that the Fluke 115 and other higher level tools have.
I think the TP9605BT is great for anyone that needs a multimeter and will use it a few times a year, and might need a few of the more advanced functions. This tool has the following specifications:
- Can Connect To Android Phones to Share Results
- Can Connect to Windows PC’s to Share Results
- True RMS
- K-Type Thermo Sensor
- CAT III Safety
- 600 V / 10 A
Overall this is a great little multimeter. It has some neat functions like the USB and android phone connections. Along with this, it can handle a good deal safety wise, and it really will last you a good amount of time! I definitely suggest this to people that like to occasionally tinker and fix home electronics.
Innova 3320 Multimeter Review!
My last recommended multimeter is the Innova 3320! This little multimeter is a great little piece of machine. This is definitely an entry level multimeter but that doesn’t mean it can’t pack a punch! This is a great multimeter for students to use to learn about electricity and testing! It features a large LED display which is extremely easy to read. Along with this, it is an auto-ranging digital multimeter so you don’t have to worry about dialing in every time. The Innova 3320 has the following specifications:
- Large LED Screen
- CAT II Safety Rating
- Durable Design To Protect Against Drops
Overall this is a great beginner multimeter. It will definitely help you test some small electronics and circuits, but it shouldn’t be used on bigger projects. This is only a Category II safety rating so it will do the job for low voltages, but for anything potentially dangerous you really should consider a stronger tester. I think this is great for a home tinkerer, and definitely for students as well!
What is The Best Multimeter For Me?
When you are dealing with an electric circuit, you need to be able to get an accurate reading on the voltages being produced. You need this to accurately troubleshoot a circuit, and identify how much energy and where the energy is. If this reading is accurate, it can save you and your firm thousands of dollars and many hours of labor, and that is why it is do important to get accurate readings.
But what features should one look for to find the right multimeter? The following segment is going to concentrate on what exactly you should know when purchasing a multimeter, and what you can do to make sure you select the best one for your needs! After reading the following passage, you will have all the knowledge you need to make an educated purchasing decision.
Analog or Digital Multimeter
In general, when you are dealing with multimeters there are two distinct types you will encounter, analog and digital. Digital multimeters are usually referred to as DMM, and analog multimeters are usually referred to as AMM.
Analog multimeters are the original of the two multimeters types. These are simply multimeters with an analog display. The main advantage of analog over digital is the fact that you can more accurately read changing trends than on a digital multimeter. Although newer digital multimeters are starting to become produced with the ability to feature a graph that will try to show these changing trends a little better.
Overall digital multimeters are all the new craze, and they are actually pretty great! The main advantage of a digital multimeter is that it has a much higher input impedance compared to analog meters. This is important on a multimeter because when you have a higher input impedance you can measure any type of voltage.
Along with this, compared to analog multimeters, digital ones can actually read quite a few more types of energy. Analog meters for the most part can only read ohms, volts and amps, while many nears DMM’s can read quite a few extras. This is an awesome feature to have if you plan on using it for a few different gadgets and circuits as compared to just one.
Overall I think digital multimeters are what you should really look into. There is a lack of supply for analogs and sometimes the price isn’t really worth the lack of features. That being said, there are also quite a few meters that feature both analog and digital, so if you like the features of a digital but you also want the simplicity of an analog then these might be a great option for you!
After you have chosen whether you want analog or digital, you also need to take into consideration the design. Generally speaking, when you are selecting a multimeter you want to select something with a durable design. There are always small mishaps that happen on the job and these mishaps might include dropping a tool. So, if you do drop this tool, you don’t want it to immediately break, now do you?
The purpose of one of these tools is to test, and if it can’t do that accurately, then it isn’t worth your time or your money. If you are working on a job, then accuracy is definitely something that needs to be spot on. If you are just working on repairing your sons video game then you can get away with a little lower quality accuracy. But either way, I suggest you find a multimeter that can be calibrated to be sure that it maintains as high as accuracy as possible.
Although accuracy is extremely important, you also have to be aware of your safety when you are testing anything with electricity. That being said, there are different measurement categories for multimeters. Some are specifically designed for higher amounts of volts than others are. Because of this, you really need to think about your uses for this multimeter, if you are just doing some random home tinkering, then you can definitely get away with a lower voltage level multimeter, but if you are doing construction or doing professional jobs then you will definitely need to consider having a top tier meter. In the end, safety is extremely important, I always safe the best multimeter is the safest one!
Overall, it can be a difficult decision finding the best multimeter. But when you start to think about your specific needs, then it becomes quite a bit easier in deciding which will fit your needs the best. I hope the reviews in the beginning of the post gave you some good suggestions on which tools to take a look at. I have personally used all of these, and there are some great products out there, but it is a lot to choose from. But, I hope I have helped you throughout this process!
Multimeter Questions and Frequently Asked Questions!
What’s The Difference Between Digital and Analog Multimeters?
Analog multimeters require the user to “zero” out the tester. Along with this analog multimeters do not have numbers printed out like digital multimeters. They use a scale type display to show the results of the test.
What Does “OL” Mean On The Multimeter Screen?
If you see an “OL” or a 1 displayed on your display screen, that means the current isn’t detected. Because of this no continuity is detected and it’s an open loop.
What is The Min/Max Function?
The Minimum and Maximum functions on multimeters are used to capture the smallest and largest values that a multimeter picked up in a specific test.
What Are The Category Levels?
There are four safety category levels for multimeters. The lowest is CAT I and the highest is CAT IV. The lower the CAT level, the lower the amount of voltages and electricity the tester can safely handle. If you are dealing with live wires and other powerful voltages, you will definitely need at least a CAT III. This is extremely important because if you are trying to pick the best multimeter then that will depend entirely on what you will actually be using the multimeter for.