Last updated: August 17, 2021

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Adding an additional tool to your toolbox will allow you to optimise your performance. We are referring to the digital multimeter, an instrument created to measure the magnitude of electrical current. Do you want to know more? Today on ReviewBox you will get quality content about this device.

Generally speaking, this device unifies the functions of three different units: ammeter, ohmmeter and voltmeter. Thanks to this, it facilitates electrical analysis in various fields. Therefore, students, academics and professionals use the multimeter for work in schools, business and industry.

Regardless of your speciality, having a digital device like this will help you to work efficiently and, above all, safely. So in this new issue of ReviewBox we share with you information about the best multimeters on the market, so that you have the one you need at hand.




Summary

  • It is a device that has a few years of history. Also known as a tester or multimeter, it was invented by Donald MacAdie to measure the electrical magnitude of three types of constants: voltage, current and resistance.
  • Distinguishing between multimeters is a simple task. This is because since their creation, only two variables have been marketed that fulfil the same functions, but have different characteristics. All you have to do is decide whether you want a traditional or a digital device.
  • In this issue you will find four purchasing criteria. Analysing them will be indispensable in order to choose the most appropriate item for your requirements. Find them in the final section of the text under the following headings: indicators, accessories, applications and automation.

The Best Digital Multimeter: Our Picks

Buying guide: everything you need to know about the best Digital multimeter

Now is your chance to put your doubts aside. In this section you will get all the information you need to know before buying a digital multimeter. From now on, finding out about its relevant qualities, costs and sales outlets is very easy, because we have compiled everything in our buying guide.

Indicates the measurement of various types of current in a simple way. (Photo: Vadim Guzhva/123rf.com)

What is a multimeter and what are its advantages?

A multimeter is a device used to measure the electrical quantity of a certain object or machine. It is also known as a tester or multimeter and is designed to measure voltage in volts, current in amperes and resistance in ohms. In other words, it combines three actions in one tool.

In 1923, the first digital multimeter created by Donal MacAdie went on sale. It is important to note that, despite technological advances, some of the most important features remain unchanged today. For example, the measurement of alternating current, capacitance and power, based on analogue fundamentals.

What else is a multimeter good for? The truth is that its benefits include data logging, signal analysis, energy troubleshooting, and voltage elimination. These are just some of the advantages it offers for amateurs or those working in the electrical industry.

Advantages
  • Battery operated
  • Protected with non-slip lining
  • Ideal for students and professionals
  • Measures different types of currents
  • Provides accurate results
  • Quantifies DC and AC voltage
Disadvantages
  • Does not work when discharged
  • Sometimes heavy
  • Older models with dark display
  • Can cause serious injury
  • Not suitable for those unfamiliar with its use

Traditional or digital multimeter - what should you pay attention to?

When it comes to multimeters there are only two variables that deserve analysis. Why? Well, since their invention they have not undergone significant technological changes and to this day both types are still on the market. Without further ado, take a look at the specifications of each below.

Traditional. This is a portable device of analogue origin that displays measurements by means of a needle. This, in turn, moves on a scale which is used to display the final value. It has two screws that allow the indicator to be adjusted to the rest position identified by the zero.

It sometimes leads to accuracy errors because the user is obliged to interpret the needle position himself. You can distinguish it from the digital multimeter because this device has a sturdy body structure, is wider and usually comes in black. However, it is listed as an alternative for beginners.

Digital. This is more accurate. Why? Because it works with a frequency of numbers that indicate the measuring range automatically. This means that errors caused by an incorrect reading are reduced. It works with three calculation units: volt, ampere and ohm.

With this, the person will verify the energy consumption in machines or equipment and will also be able to know what the electrical resistance of certain units is. In any case, the manufacture of current elements seeks to detect problems that require immediate solutions in certain environments.

Traditional Digital
Design Analogue Numerical
Accuracy Medium High
Price Competitive High
Battery No Yes
Structure Large Compact

How much does a digital multimeter cost?

You will get analogue multimeters for amounts ranging from 10 Pounds to 300 Pounds. In these cases the value is defined according to the age of the product and the amount of practical functions. Ironically the early invention models are more expensive compared to the newer ones.

Buying criteria: factors that allow you to buy and rate different models of digital multimeters

We invite you to learn about the buying factors that distinguish multimeters. Take a closer look at each one and take a second to answer your questions. Doing this comparative analysis exercise will be essential before adding one tool to your shopping cart over another.

  • Indicators
  • Accessories
  • Applications
  • Automation

Indicators

Deciding on a type of indicator goes beyond practical notions. Sometimes it is a matter of taste, variables, usual working style or applications to everyday life. Here we will explain what qualities are useful for you at any given moment.

Needle with numerical value. Give a multimeter with these features as a gift to a family member who is just starting out in electricity. We specifically recommend choosing a recent model of this tool in its analogue version. It is perfect for the academic and research sector due to its visible needle.

Numerical. If you are the one who will use this instrument to make measurements at home or during professional work that requires accuracy, let us suggest that you purchase a device with numerical values. This will be essential to avoid reading errors.

Accessories

There are two accessories without which a multimeter cannot work. We have considered this purchase factor to inform you about those indispensable elements that you must have at hand when using it. Remember that without them it will be impossible to carry out an accurate current analysis.

Batteries: Have you purchased a state-of-the-art tool? Consider that it is only activated with a 9V battery. Without it, it will be impossible for it to take readings. The same applies when it is discharged. In any case, you should keep an extra battery in your tool kit for emergencies.

Cables. A pair of cables is also essential. If they are not included in the product offer, we recommend buying them separately. The kit with this accessory comes with a black and a red one, please check that they both have a pointed connector that is compatible with your equipment.

Applications

We know that this power tool is used in a variety of areas. However, before making a definitive purchase, it is essential to know which are the most common ones. Depending on the tasks you have in mind, it is recommended to choose a specific one.

Academic: Are you a teacher or trainer? If you meet some of these profiles, we suggest you take the two multimeter variables: analogue and digital. The first one will be useful to teach you how to interact with the device, while the second option will be essential for students who are finishing their degree.

Professionals. For those who are somehow related to the electrical sector, such as engineers, electronics and mechanics, it is best to acquire a digital multimeter whose functions guarantee accurate data. In addition, it will help you to detect problems linked to the performance of industrial machines, for example.

Domestic. Usually those who buy one for their home only have the basic knowledge to operate it. Therefore, these people are better off buying a digital tool with a numerical designation on the display, whose results do not require interpretation.

This item is indispensable for any electronic laboratory. (Photo: Ratmaner/123rf.com)

Automation

Thanks to technology, there are certain automatic settings that have been installed in multimeters. Depending on the tasks you have to perform in conjunction with this device and, of course, the professional profile of the user. Take a look at the following to understand what we are talking about.

Saving energy. The first digital tools did not have automatic battery saving. Are you considering taking home a state-of-the-art instrument? You should check the product description to see if it has this feature. It will be essential to prevent the battery from running out in case you forget to turn it off.

Autorango: Do you have a professional career related to electricity? You'll want to identify this feature on a digital multimeter, as it will allow you to make simple measurements by simply placing the knob in a specific location. Not all models offer this option, ask for advice to choose the right one.

(Featured image photo: MaFree/pixabay.com)

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