What to Consider When Buying a Reliable Multimeter
Buying the best multimeter of 2017 is a daunting task, and many customers can get confused about which one they should get. Probably the first question that a user needs to ask him or herself is whether they’re planning to use the device for amateur activities or for their professional tasks.
Multimeters come in various shapes and sizes and have been improved over the years, as they’re now accurate enough to efficiently test the shorts or broken circuits of various electrical devices. We recommend reading as many customer reviews as time allows, since buyers express their opinions directly and can therefore let anyone know what to expect. Check out below some of the things to consider when buying a good multimeter.
One of the most crucial details of using a multimeter is related to the electrical voltage of the device you want to check. A mismatch could result in in the multimeter permanent damage. Moreover, this might just as well be a life-threatening situation for the user. That’s why multimeters are split into four main categories, depending on the electronics they’re best used with.
While the first category is fit for testing small electronics, the second one can be utilized for testing appliances and household loads. Categories III and IV are for measuring the voltage in commercial lighting applications and in residential main feeds respectively, so they generally speak to more advanced users.
Handheld or bench-mounted
Bench-mounted multimeters are usually thought of as being more accurate than their handheld counterparts. However, if you don’t intend on making use of your unit for a variety of complex devices, it sure wouldn’t hurt to have a look at some handheld variants. They’re easy to carry around and are winners when it comes to convenience. Furthermore, they’re often more affordable than the bench-mounted alternatives.
Price and warranty
Carefully estimate your budget before choosing one model over another one. If possible, read product descriptions and pay attention to buyers’ reviews. We recommend picking a model manufactured by a trusted brand over one developed by shady company. Looking for the origin of the device is yet another thing to consider, as multimeters produced in the US and Europe are generally thought of as being safer than their Asian counterparts.
Top Rated Multimeters in 2017
For your consideration, we have selected three of the most acclaimed units we’ve come across. All of the following have gathered the best multimeter reviews coming from American and worldwide customers alike. They’re thought of as being accurate and durable and offer good value for the price.
The Innova 3320 is one of the top rated multimeters of 2017 we’ve stumbled upon during our entire research. This is a Category II unit that should not be used for testing bad circuits in the electrical panel of households. It does great when it comes to testing the current leak in boats or other types of vehicles but has its limitations.
The unit has been certified by UL. The large display combined with the color coded LED’s allow for a quick and effective battery check. AC and DC voltage are performed on account of a single-setting resistance function. The neat thing about this model is its safety feature. If you accidentally drop the multimeter on the floor, nothing out of the ordinary will occur, as the unit has protective rubber corner guards.
Innova has been manufacturing electronics for many years now and this can be seen in the way they developed this product. Users do not even need to dial in the correct range, as this unit comes with auto-ranging scales.
The Innova 3320 has acquired more than 1,000 5-star ratings, which leads us to believe that it has gathered some of the best multimeter reviews out there.
The Fluke 115 is a bit more expensive compared to the Innova model we’ve showcased above. A higher price means a better performance, and this is particularly true with this unit. It is the perfect alternative for checking capacitance, continuity and frequency, and for performing diode tests.
This is a Category III multimeter, which means that it can be utilized for measuring the voltage in a large variety of electronics, including commercial lighting applications, by users who are a tad more advanced. The unit comes with True-RMS, which is known for providing accurate measurements even in the case of non-linear loads.
The LED backlight is powerful enough for it to be used in tight dark places that might be considerably poorly lit.
Operating the device is intuitive and takes the cake in matters of simplicity. The auto-ranging feature prevents errors from ever happening. Users can finally say goodbye to inaccurate readings.
The Fluke 115 has been certified by a variety of associations including UL, CSA, TUV and VDE. This is a safe and accurate multimeter of which the weight is 1.3 pounds. The dimensions are 6.6 inches by 1.8 inches by 3.3 inches, which means it’s one of the most portable products in its line.
This Mastech model is affordable and convenient and is considered to be one of the best in its price range. It comes with a wide variety of interesting features, such as the automatic range and the manual range selection with a simple push of a button. It has a wide set of ranges, which include 400.0 mV and 400.0 uA.
As for the display, the white backlit one lasts for 5 seconds and the display data refresh is three per second. As pointed out by some of the customers, there’s a slight disadvantage to picking this model, as it has a low frequency measurement accuracy, of around 2%.
The manufacturers are offering a 1-year warranty on this item.
The Mastech MS8261 measures 7.7 inches by 1.7 inches by 3.6 inches and weighs 14.1 ounces.
Although it was manufactured in China, it has managed to gather a pretty wide degree of appreciation among American customers, as more than 300 people provided 5-star ratings. Most individuals speak highly of the good value offered for the price and describe it as being an acceptable multimeter for basic needs. Others praise its good quality and capability, considering that it performs wonderfully compared to other units that cost the same.