How to Buy a Multimeter

Are you planning to buy a multimeter and need help? Here are some timps

How to Buy a Multimeter covers what you need to know to select a meter for DIY electronics. It focuses on the needs for audio electronics, but it’s purposely kept general in nature.

Handheld Digital Multimeters are mainly used to measure resistance, as well as DC/AC voltage and current. Common multimeters can be divided into two types, desktop and handheld digital multimeters depending on their sizes. A handheld digital multimeter is basically composed of Analogue Front End (AFE), MCU, Human-machine interface and Power supply. The design of handheld multimeters should focus on the features of low power, high performance and compact size.

Look for these features when buying a multimeter article tells that multimeters can be handy for troubleshooting PC power problems (I would say it is a must have). But the range of features and prices can be confusing when you’re shopping for one. Before you waste time and money, find out which features are essential and which are merely nice to have.

EEVblog #75 – Digital Multimeter Buying Guide for Beginners

EEVblog #91 – $50 Multimeter Shootout – Extech EX330, Amprobe AM220, Elenco, Vichy VC99, GS Pro-50

$50 Multimeter Comparison and Teardown article tells about a very nice video series on multimeters. Here is maybe the most interesting video from it:

$50 Multimeter Shootout – Part 7 – 15 DMMs Compared! – Teardowns – #0074



  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Can a multimeter shock you?
    Shock hazards can occur if the meter and test leads are not properly maintained. Arc flash can occur if the meter is not properly rated for the voltage, the meter is exposed to transient voltages outside of its operating conditions, or because of defective parts or components.

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Best Safety Tips For Using a Multimeter
    Tip 1: Choose the Right Meter.
    Tip 2: Examine The Meter Before Using It.
    Tip 3: Examine The Test Probes.
    Tip 5: Understand The Dangers.
    Tip 6: Know the CAT Ratings.
    Tip 7: Know The Voltage Ratings.

  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Inside a cheap multi-voltage tester (with schematic)

    If I had to have a single test tool for electrical maintenance work it would be a voltage tester (test lamp) as they are the best way to check for the presence of voltage reliably by applying a load to the circuit being tested.
    Normally I’d suggest a Fluke tester for professional work, but for home use by DIYers or trades that might not use them so much, I’d suggest a cheap and simple set like these.

    The cheap sets actually have a big advantage over the higher profile brands in that they often power themselves directly from the circuit, and in doing so load it down enough to shunt stray capacitively coupled leakage current that can cause false readings on some more sophisticated and expensive testers. It also means you don’t have to worry about batteries going flat or leaking and destroying the tester.
    That does also mean that these pass enough current to give a strong shock if you hold the end of a probe while sticking the other into a live connection. Use them with suitable caution.

    The circuitry in this unit is quite sophisticated, but does lack the reassurance of a fuse. As such I’d only recommend its use on lower energy circuits like home circuits beyond the distribution board, and not in high current industrial equipment. Use a Fluke for the industrial stuff to “tick the box”.
    If one of the four rectifier diodes failed in this tester it could cause a high current fault with nothing but the tracks as fuses, and that might not deal with the fault as well as a proper HRC fuse.
    The diodes could also have been spaced a little further apart, as the DC side does have full mains potential across it.
    The tester does come with tip covers (which you will lose) but does not have shrouds around the probes so only the tips are exposed. I’d suggest adding a bit of sleeving if using in areas where you could bridge onto adjacent grounded metal or other connections.


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