Multimeter Buying Guide \/\/TOP\\\\
A multimeter is a must-have gadget for every DIYer, technician, and engineer. When you opt to buy a multimeter, you will have to consider different factors related to its features, quality, safety, and performance to choose the right product.
multimeter buying guide
Before buying a multimeter, the first question you need to ask yourself is: why do you even need one? The considerations will be different based on whether it's for a hobby project, home testing, or professional use.
Thus, defining your requirements will help you narrow down the choices and prevent spending extra money on an expensive device. After deciding on your needs, you need to choose between analog and digital multimeters, the two most common types of multimeters.
The two types of multimeters differ primarily in how they display their output. Analog multimeters measure value on an analog scale using a needle; digital ones show the exact value in digital form on the display.
Analog multimeters are cheaper, while digital ones are relatively expensive, but the latter are more accurate. In terms of usage, digital ones are easier to use, while analog ones can make it a bit difficult for new users.
A multimeter's few essential functions include measuring voltage, current, resistance, and checking continuity. It is rare to find a multimeter without any of these four features, though the accuracy and reliability may vary. Make sure the product you choose has a good measurement range for both voltage and current.
Most advanced digital multimeters can also measure temperature, frequency, capacitance, and inductance. Diode testing is another handy feature to consider. Using these features helps you do more advanced work, such as inspecting home appliances, HVAC testing, and electronic crossovers. They're worth considering if your needs are this advanced.
Moreover, a multimeter with a backlit LCD, which digital multimeters usually have, makes it easy to operate in dark areas. Other than a backlit display, carefully check the resolution of the digital multimeter you are going to buy.
Auto-ranging multimeters are exactly what they sound like. Operating them is as simple as turning on the multimeter, connecting test leads to the device, and letting the multimeter handle the range itself. These are beginner-friendly units.
You should go for an auto-ranging multimeter unless you are a professional with very specific needs requiring high precision. However, there are multimeters in the market that offer both types of flexibility, so if you can find a device like that, it'd be wise to get it.
While making a purchase, you should also carefully determine how much you should spend on a multimeter based on its features and the level of use you anticipate, such as at home or professionally in the workplace. The more professional or advanced a multimeter is, the more expensive it will be.
Price ranges for multimeters can vary from less than $50 up to over $1000, depending on the product. Analyze the specifications of different devices and choose one that meets your needs without spending too much.
The durability of a product is equally important. Therefore, pick a device that can easily withstand shocks, bumps, and accidental falls. To ensure your multimeter lasts a long time, ensure that its outer casing is hard enough to withstand workplace wear and tear.
Additionally, you need to strike the right balance between price and durability. Generally, higher-quality multimeters, which are more durable, are preferred for industrial or professional use, but they tend to be very expensive. Although inexpensive multimeters don't last long in an industrial environment, they may be an excellent choice for home testers and DIYers.
Several safety protocols have been defined by the International Electrotechnical Communication (IEC) for multimeters, so it's best to keep those in mind and go for a multimeter that meets each of them.
For professional use, such as testing the electricity of a household system, buying one with a quality test reduces the risk of electrocution. The safety-designed test leads have shrouded terminals and finger guards to ensure maximum user safety.
A multimeter's CAT category is also essential to check, which is based on the maximum voltage it can measure. For instance, if you need to work with devices with voltage no more than 400V or 500V, opting for CAT III devices, which usually measure from 600V to 1000V, is ideal.
When choosing a multimeter, you should opt for a product that has high-energy fuses to ensure a risk-free working experience. If the fuse is replaceable, it only needs to be replaced with a current surge, without damaging the multimeter.
To make an intelligent purchase, you must clearly define your needs first. This article should help you decide what to consider before buying a multimeter and smartly narrow down your choices. Still unsure? Asking for technical assistance while making your purchase is definitely an option.
Are you planning to purchase a multimeter for the first time? If yes, then know the basics of how it works, what its applications are, and what safety precautions must be taken while using it to avoid catastrophe.
Most multimeters share the same jack for voltage and resistance. Make sure the red lead in the jack labeled ohms for resistance if your meter has a separate jack, and then set the dial to the resistance setting. The resistance setting will look the like Ohm symbol.
Continuity means that there is a good connection between any two points in the circuit. As with voltage and resistance above, most meters use the same voltage/resistance jack for continuity. Place the red lead in the jack for continuity and then select the continuity setting on your multimeter. The continuity symbol will look like a diode symbol.
The best way to test the continuity function is by touching the probes together. This will cause the multimeter to beep, indicating continuity is good. You can use the continuity function to check if for breaks in cables, or breaks in traces on circuit boards. This is a fantastic troubleshooting tool and is probably the most common use of the multimeter by most home hobbyist.
A wide variety of multimeters are available, designed for both basic and advanced circuit testing and geared toward different projects or specialties. While a DIYer can usually get by with a no-frills tool, electricians and HVAC pros will benefit from some of the advanced options found on professional models.
Most multimeters include a set of standard red and black probes for performing basic tests, and others come with additional alligator clips for attaching the probes to wires or battery terminals. A magnetic case or sling is a handy accessory that allows the user to attach the multimeters to something metal, such as a cabinet or the undercarriage of a car, letting you see the readout and still have both hands free for testing. These clips, probes, and cases are also available at hardware and home improvement stores.
That was a lot to digest about the best multimeters, and there might still be some questions lingering. To help, we collected some of the most frequently asked questions about these tools and answered them below. Be sure to check for an answer to your question.
Subsequently, people felt the need for a more potent device that could overcome the drawbacks of the ammeters and voltmeters. Hence, the first revolutionary multimeter was invented by Donald Macadie in the 1900s. He called it AVO (Ampere-ohm-volt) meter as it could measure all three quantities altogether.
Technically a multimeter is a device that can measure various quantities simultaneously. Further modifications included that the analog displays were replaced by LCDs, other quantities (like frequency, capacitance, and temperature) could be measured, and many more innovations were made to the multimeters.
RMS Multimeters can measure the parameters irrespective of their waveform and this was another breakthrough in multimeters. The frequency over which the multimeters usually worked was enhanced and ultimately widened. Today, we have modern multimeters that can store data in their internal memory. Some multimeters also have features like Bluetooth connectivity which enables us to store and manage the data personally on our devices.
As one can notice numerous breakthroughs were done to the multimeters so that they can fulfill current needs. But then what are the types of multimeters? What criteria should you concern before purchasing a multimeter? Let's take a look at both of these questions!
Remember those petite devices with scales and readings on them and a needle pointing to the reading that was being calculated. Well, those are the typical analog multimeters. These voltage meters can measure current, resistance, AC, and DC voltage signals.
Apparently, these days the analog multimeters are replaced by their escort i.e., the digital multimeter. It is because the analog multimeters show less resistance and hence high sensitivity which makes them cumbersome to use.
Also, there might be difficulty in reading the scales to a new person who doesn't have proper knowledge of using them. The advantage of using an analog multimeter is while checking diode readings they show the most accurate results than their counterparts.
As the name suggests these meters have digital methods of display which are LEDs or LCDs. Also called smart multimeters can be used to measure voltage, current, and frequency. As these instruments show automatic display the chances of human error are almost negligible in comparison to the traditional analog ones where one must have good eyesight to take accurate readings.
Nevertheless, these types of devices are expensive, and yet they cant bear fluctuations. If there are any fluctuations while taking measurements then the accuracy of results gets hindered. Also, it is difficult to find a digital multimeter for our particular needs.
Ultimately, in today's modern era where industrialization is at its peak the use of modern devices is a must. Good quality DMMs will not only minimize the efforts but will guarantee accurate results maximum times. If you require a multimeter for household uses then you can choose analog multimeters without any hesitation. These are perfect for domestic uses and can show accuracy as well. 041b061a72