If you are an electrician or a person who handles all electrical connections and issues in your house, you might know how well you have to be focused and concentrated while working on electricity.
Any normal person who wants to operate electrical and electronic devices needs certain safety kits and measurement tools.
A multimeter (wiki) is one of the essentials that should be packed with the emergency tool kit.
It is a handy tool used to diagnose the electrical circuits and gave information about the current flows.
With the information received from this tool, you can identify what is creating the problem in the device.
This tool designed to perform all kinds of tests and troubleshoots in electrical components and appliances.
Whatever may be the range of circuits or a device, you must test with the multimeter first to know the state of the connections.
What is a digital multimeter?
The multimeters are used in various applications from household to industrial. There are huge designs and styles of multimeters are available on the market.
It is very tough to select the correct model especially if you have not used one yet.
To help beginners like you and who are looking to replace their device, we have reviewed a few models and listed the top 10 best digital multimeters to cut down your time of research and comparison here.
Table: 10 Best Digital Multimeters of 2020 Compared
|AC/DC Measure||Our Rating|
|Up to 10A||5/5|
|Up to 200mA||4.9/5|
|Up to 10A||4.8/5|
|Up to 400mA||4.7/5|
|Up to 10A||4.6/5|
|Up to 20mA||4.5/5|
|Up to 400µA||4.4/5|
|Up to 10A||4.3/5|
|Up to 10A||4.2/5|
|Up to 10A||4.1/5|
Best Digital Multimeters – 10 Meters Reviewed
1. Fluke 115 Compact True-RMS Digital Multimeter
Fluke is the most popular brand in producing electrical and testing equipment. In their list of best releases, multimeters also got a great spot.
Spending money on Fluke will not go wrong as their tools and devices designed with professional-grade features and parts. Only a professional tool can provide a professional result.
Fluke multimeters have a good reputation among users for its professional range testing and troubleshooting capacity.
Fluke 115 is the best digital multimeter that can measure continuity, frequency, and capacitance and does a diode test.
It measures AC and DC up to 10A and it gives the max/min/avg values with the passed time to record signal fluctuations.
This Fluke 115 digital multimeter is an ideal troubleshooting tool for any technician.
It shows True RMS voltage and current measurements with a 6,000 count resolution. It is suitable for all kinds of electrical appliances.
This True RMS multimeter is built with CAT III standard safety features that protect you from electrocution during troubleshooting dangerous system such as the electrical main circuit breaker panels.
In the PCB circuit board, well-made parts used and they connected securely from soldering to the protective case.
The professional electricians and industrial technicians prefer this Fluke 115 multimeter because of its high-quality features and accurate results.
Fluke 115 multimeter comes with various features like auto-range, max-min, manual-range, backlight, hold, continuity test, and fused current port.
It is very portable and easy to use hence this multimeter is a great choice for the beginners. When compared to its rugged construction, design, durability, and precision, only very few numbers of models can replace this.
The large LED backlight gives brightness while you work at night time. Remember, the best always costs.
Buying a low-quality device for its lesser price and replacing it within a short time will be time and money consuming.
Fluke’s functionality, reliability, and accuracy are the reasons why it is ranked first.
- More accurate
- Very compact
- No major issues
2. INNOVA 3320 Auto-Ranging Digital Multimeter
Innova 3320 multimeter is a basic unit with essential features and functions needed by any household electrical items. It has a decent design and offers all the basic functionalities for the money you spend.
If you are a person who uses multimeter occasionally, then you don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on the professional multimeter.
You have various basic and affordable multimeters available with required features; It is one of them.
Innova 3320 Auto-Ranging multimeter is a great choice for repairing and inspecting vehicles and electrical appliances.
It contains a UL certificate that assures the precision and safety of multimeter when checking the electrical components.
It can be used for basic electrical systems and all household appliances. The auto-ranging capability of this multimeter avoids the need to dial the right range while taking measurements. With this, you can troubleshoot home appliances, wires, and fuses.
It has a large and easily readable LED display that makes sure you get a clear view of values. The rubber guards on the corners of multimeter offer grip and ease on handling.
It also acts as a protective cover when you accidentally dropped. This auto-range multimeter measures AC and DC, voltage, and resistance precious and effectively. It also performs a battery test, diode test, and continuity diode.
This 3320 multimeter has a single-setting resistance function for voltage and the 10 Mega Ohm impedance keeps it secure while diagnosing automotive systems including battery and breakers.
When you are working on a 12V breadboard prototype, you don’t require an expensive CAT III multimeter. Where you require is an elementary unit like Innova 3320.
- Most Affordable
- Need training
3. Fluke 117 Electricians True RMS Multimeter
Are you an electrician looking for a tool for your work? Fluke 117 is the best fluke multimeter for electricians and it would be one of the beneficial picks for you. This is another great multimeter model from the Fluke brand which makes the electrical testing (pdf file) easy and clear.
Fluke 117 multimeter has great features that electricians required in their work. So it is an apt choice for them.
Moreover, the accuracy of this testing device makes this one of those highly recommended electrical tools.
This 117 multimeter offers Min/Max/Avg values of capacitance and frequency while measuring.
With its easy-to-use design, the 117 lessen overall working time and it helps you to complete testing of part quickly and move on to another.
Utilize the best fluke multimeter for electrical components in industrial buildings, hospitals, and schools.
It contains built-in non-voltage detection and AutoVolt function that prevents false reading caused by ghost voltage.
This multimeter has a large LED display that helps you to read the values conveniently.
Further, it contains multiple dial-up selections for testing AC and DC voltage, millivolts, and ohms.
Fluke is a reliable testing brand that provides safety for you and your work with their tools that accomplish or surpass the safety standards of your working conditions.
These 117 multimeters are individually tested for secure use in the CAT III 600V environments.
Using its included True-RMS technology, you can able to read the non-linear loads accurately.
Though the size small, this tool works greater than other multimeters in its category. Model 117 from the Fluke is considered as the best multimeter for electricians.
- Workaholic design
- Secure usage
- Excellent features
- Expensive for occasional users
4. INNOVA 3340 Automotive Digital Multimeter
If you are an experienced automotive electrician, you should have known about the high-quality Innova auto multimeters. It always offers the simple, basic, essential featured multimeters for household mechanics. Those who like simple functional devices will surely love this model.
A digital automotive tester performs the same as usual multimeter but with several new functions and options.
The one great advantage of using an automotive multimeter is that it helps you find the exact problem in your car’s electrical and electronic systems.
This multimeter can measure your vehicle’s solenoid or actuator’s duty cycle and pulse width. Also, it measures RPM temperature and clamps current which is absent in usual multimeters.
Innova 3340 tests AC and DC, voltage, diode voltage, frequency, resistance, and continuity.
It offers the Min/Max/Avg feature to record, hold, and review the measurements so you don’t waste your time on re-testing the components during the interruption.
If you are a beginner to electrical testing, you can try the Innova products without any doubt. Innova 3340 multimeter can trace the information and helps to store that data for future reference.
This Innova 3340 alerts you for the reverse polarity which means it minimizes the feasibility of causing shocked while on the vehicle or electrical systems.
It has all the testing functions and features added with auto-shutdown and overload protection.
By these features, Innova 3340 said as a great digital multimeter. The auto-ranging capability of this multimeter avoids the need for handling the preset ranges in the regular multimeter.
- Valuable price
- Various functions
- Dull screen
5. Extech EX330 Autoranging Mini Multimeter
Extech EX330 multimeter is a great choice for beginners, home DIY enthusiasts, auto engineers, and electricians. Extech is a quality brand name that is expensive yet has great features such as non-contact voltage detection, capacitance, and temperature measurement.
Extech EX330 multimeter comes with excellent features that can be great for multi-use. It has a large display with a 4000 count that is convenient to read the values.
Gratitude to its versatility and the additional functions, using this you can repair the electrical parts in computers, cameras, and radios.
This EX330 model multimeter contains 12 functions such as AC, DC, voltage, resistance, frequency, capacitance, temperature and pulse ratio.
It includes a built-in thermometer to measure the temperature accurately. Furthermore, it has a rubber holster to protect the system from electrical damage.
The non-contact voltage feature helps to measure the voltage of components without having contact with the device you analyze. This feature is fundamentally taken as a safety measure that alerts you about the ghost voltage.
Though the power of the current is not destructive, when it comes in contact with the ghost voltage may cause the short circuit which will damage the sensitive electronics.
The comfortable auto-ranging feature helps you to pick the correct reading when operating on a variety of appliances from small to large.
The Max hold feature permits you to hold the maximum reading in the multimeter. The display will update when you reach the highest reading.
Moreover, the data hold operation helps you to hold the display so you can able to review and record current measurements. The auto-shutdown function automatically powers off the tool after 15 minutes of inaction to preserve the energy.
- Good functionalities
- No backlight
6. AstroAI Digital Multimeter
AstroAI is another highly effective and affordable multimeter on our list from a well-known power tool manufacturer. This multimeter is designed to troubleshoot different kinds of electrical issues and diagnosing electrical components in the commercial equipment and handling home appliances securely.
AstroAI can accurately measure the DC, AC/DC voltage, resistance, diode and perform continuity test, etc.
It troubleshoots all the electrical devices with a sampling speed of 2 times per second without any danger.
This multimeter used for primary measurements in all the fields where electricity is the source of power.
If you need a simple multimeter with a fair price and excellent features, we recommend this AstroAI.
It is mainly designed to troubleshoot electrical issues or practice with electronics professionally.
But it helps the beginners to learn or do basic operation on electricity by its easy usage and advanced functions.
It comes with various functions to meet your requirements and safety features to protect you and the system.
The dual fuse function increases the reliability and it is designed with overload protection at all ranges.
This multimeter has a large digital display with the LCD backlit for a clear view even in dark circumstances.
The data hold function prevents incorrect reading by holding the display when measuring hence you can note the values without any mistake. When you are using the multimeter for a long time, the battery will go down.
To avoid the unexpected shutdown due to dead battery, there is a low battery indicator that gives you the alerts to replace or recharge the battery.
This AstroAI multimeter is built with the kickstand for the hands-free use and it also contains a protective rubber guard to avoid the breakage while it falls accidentally.
- Safety measures
- Low price
- Not for professionals
7. Mastech MS8268 Digital Multimeter
Mastech is known as Dr. Meter which comes under medium-level Digital Multimeters according to budget and features. This multimeter is not for professional electricians, instead, for occasional use and DIYers. It is designed with solid construction and handy features. This is a great choice for beginners as it has an intuitive interface and input controls.
Added with the resistance (up to 40Mohm), current (up to 10A), and voltage check, this Mastech MS8268 has capacitance (up to 200µF) and frequency inputs (up to 200 kHz).
It also has a transistor gain checker. If you are at a basic level of electronics, this model is ideal.
Though this multimeter offers 600V to 1000V ratings, it is still best to use for home or car appliances and not to use for industrial components where energetic three-phase systems are used.
It has features specially to support the beginners. Auto-ranging is one of those features, which means you don’t want to set the ranging once you have given. Still, the competent values can set by manual and select the range individually.
Functions like data hold and relative mode become more essential in today’s DMMs.
With this, you can hold the display so you can compare the reading and measurements. The relative mode can work with all ranges of barring frequency.
There is an auto-power-off option to shut off the device when not in use and the light/audible warning system alerts when you connect the plugs to wrong inputs.
- Backlit screen
- Separate voltage positions
- No HRC fuse
8. Amprobe AM-530 TRMS Electrical Contractor Multimeter
Amprobe AM-530 multimeter is suitable for both professional and unprofessional. Once you know handling tools like this, it is easy for anyone to use and get the best out of it. There are a lot of useful and required features available in this multimeter. You can use this multimeter to do repairs, troubleshooting components, identify corrupted fuses and more.
Amprobe AM-530 multimeter has a True RMS technology that helps to improve the accuracy in the area where there is electrical noise.
In earlier, this feature is not available on the testing tool but now is seen as an essential factor that a multimeter should have.
The auto-sensing feature in this multimeter specially added for the beginners. This function automatically enables the multimeter to sense the input signal and change it to the correct mode.
The non-contact voltage detector in this multimeter helps to detect the low voltages hovering on components.
You have to set the device in NCV mode and check the wiring. It produces a beep to ensure the connection.
Another safety feature in this multimeter is Quick-acting fuse. It prevents the multimeter from damages that can’t be repaired by blowing up the internal fuse first. It also protects users from electrical shocks.
Added with the above, it also has basic features like Data hold, Auto-Off, battery life indicator, and a flashlight.
- Easy to use
- Professional features
- No casing
9. Klein Tools MM1000 Electrician’s Multimeter
Klein Tools MM1000 is one of the versatile and multi-functioned meters. It is suitable for both beginners and professional electricians. No matter, if you are dealing with electrical components every day or have to check the systems periodically, this multimeter will offer great results and measurements.
This multimeter has a high recommendation, especially for its design. It even has a rubber casing with ribs on any side of the meter to offer a better grip while handling.
There is a retractable lever at the back of the meter for those who feel comfortable to hold the tool in a vertical position.
This multimeter measures AC/DC, voltage, capacitance, frequency, resistance, and duty cycle. It has enough settings to perform a test on any commercial, industrial, and household electrical applianced.
The unique feature found in this multimeter is a thermocouple. Mostly, this function is available in high-end models and expensive only.
Thermocouple in the multimeter offers a temperature probe that can be connected to the unit. After you set the sensor, place this unit on the area where you want to analyze the temperature.
Using this multimeter you can read the high resistance those levels up to 40 ohms. The efficacy of the resistor is checked and measured by this function.
The important thing here is you have to set the unit to zero before you reading the resistance to get the correct values.
Other than these, it has all the basic features such as auto-off, auto-ranging, data hold, durable casing, and backlit.
- Large display with big numbers
- Easy to operate
- Hard to remove the rubber protection
For user's convenience we'd like to inform that, this particular product is unavailable right now, if it comes back to the market intimations will be given shortly for the customers by us.
10. Tacklife DM01M Digital Multimeter
With Tacklife DMM you get an accurate reading and safer testing. This unit is also for both occasional and professional usage. It has the display with 6000 counts that can measure the AC/DC voltage up to 750V and 1000V. It reads resistance up to 60 megaohms and capacitance up to 100 microfarads.
This DMM also features Type K Thermocouple to test continuity and temperature accurately.
You can troubleshoot and diagnose any of the electrical issues and safety problems in automotive and domestic appliances.
It has a safety rating of 600V CAT IV 1000V CAT III. Tacklife multimeter has a ceramic fuse and thermistor protection circuit.
As it has a temperature sensor, you can use it as a thermometer too. Also, the flashlight in the front is built to see the device and screen even in the dark area.
This DMM is made of plastic housing; it has holders to probe leads that make sure the unit highly accessible in the testing.
The next best feature in this meter is, it updates the unit several times in a second so you will get the precise reading.
This DMM makes the live line detection easy as the leads connected to the socket. The multimeter will produce a beep sound and LCD will flash the screen if the measured circuit is a live line.
- Better visibility
- Built-in overload protection
- Folding stand
Symbols, Functions, and Components of a Multimeter
How To Use A Digital Multimeter in Different Methods
There are four different ways to use a digital multimeter. Let see one by one.
Method 1: Voltage Measurement
Step i: Measure AC and DC voltage using the voltage setting.
Step ii: Plug-in the test leads to the VOLTAGE (V) and COMMON (COM)terminals.
The Black lead should be plugged to the ‘COM’ terminal, whereas the red lead to ‘V’ labeled terminal. This process is the same for AC and DC.
Step iii: If you measure AC voltage in electrical systems in the home, use the AC voltage settings and look for the V sign with wave symbol (i.e., V~) next to it and move the dial to that area.
For DC voltage, use DC settings and move the dial to the area where the V symbol with the horizontal line is there (i.e., V⎓).
Step iv: Move the dial to one step up from the current-voltage setting. If you don’t know the voltage of thing you are measuring, set the dial to the highest.
Step v: To measure DC voltage, connect the wire probes to circuit parts (positive and negative).
At the negative part of the battery, the black probe should be connected while the red probe to positive.
Hold the probes using your hands and check if the probe is touching the metal parts of two ends ideally.
Step vi: Next to check the AC voltage, connect the probes into the wall socket.
Put the black probe to bigger and red probe to smaller slots, respectively.
Step vii: Check the multimeter and note down the voltage reading.
With properly connected probes on the wall socket, you will get the readings that say if the voltage of a wall socket is high, average, or low.
For example, the average voltage of a wall socket is 120V, and if your multimeter reads 100V in one of your wall sockets, then know that the voltage of that particular socket is low.
Method 2: Resistance Testing
Step i: To measure the resistors, you have to disconnect it from the board and use resistance settings.
When you start testing resistance, the multimeter sends current in a small amount to the object you are measuring and displays the resistance in ohms.
As a safety measure, make sure the resistor does not connect to any power source.
Step ii: Plug the black and red test leads to COM and Ω (symbol for ohm) terminals, respectively.
You can see this Ω sign in the same place where the V sign is because that one terminal is used to measure both Voltage and Resistance.
Step iii: Move the dial to an area that has Ω symbol to measure the resistance.
Step iv: Set the dial to one number up of resistance of the thing you are measuring.
It is easy if you know the resistance of the thing even roughly. For example, if you measure an object and you know its resistance is 500 ohms, you have to set the dial to 1000 ohms.
Based on the models, the resistance values of multimeter ranged from 200 to 2 million ohms.
If you don’t know the resistance of a thing that you are measuring, set the dial to the highest.
Step v: To test the resistance of the resistor, touch the testing probes at both ends of it. Read the screen multimeter and keep a note of it.
Method 3: Continuity Checking
Step i: You have to use the continuity options to check if the cord or wire is in good condition and working correctly by checking its continuity. This test held on two points in a circuit.
Step ii: Make sure you do not plug the device you are going to test to the power source. If you do so, you can’t check the tool for continuity.
Step iii: Now connect the testing probes to terminals like Black probe to COM and the red probe to Ω terminals.
You should connect the red probe to a terminal that has V, Ω, sound wave (symbol of continuity) signs.
With all done, you are ready to measure continuity.
Step iv: Place the dial to the area where the sound wave symbol is there.
Unline Voltage and Ohms, this continuity area only has a symbol than values. Move the dial to make sure it is pointing the sound wave correctly.
Step v: Place the black and red probes to the ends of the wire you are testing.
Ensure both the probes are touching the wire end to check the continuity properly.
Step vi: If the wire is working, you will get a beep sound.
Once the probes touch the wire, the multimeter sounds if it is in good condition. If not, it means the wire broken internally.
Method 4: Current Calculation
Step i: Now we are going to use a multimeter to check the current flow in a circuit board.
Usually, the electrical current is measured in amps, i.e., ampere. It shows how much electrical current is passing through the circuit being tested.
By measuring the amps of the device, you will know whether the machine is draining more power or not.
Step ii: Connect the black and red probes to COM and Amp terminals. There are two terminals for amp in a multimeter.
1) Measures up to 10 amps (10A)
2) Measured up to 300 milliamps (300mA)
Plug the red probe to amps if you don’t know the amperage of something you are measuring.
The red probe can be plugged to either amp (A) or milliamps (mA). If you want a precise reading, then you can move to milliamps.
The multimeter will work properly as long as you measure a current flow below the maximum amperage, i.e., 10A.
Step iii: Look for the symbol A that is Amps and then move the dial to it. Some of the multimeters come with two A signs such A~ that measures AC current, and the other one is A⎓ that measures DC.
Set the dial at 10A for an accurate reading.
Step iv: To measure current, cut the wire. Now, your multimeter works as ammeter and measures current.
Use a proper wire cutter. For the wires with insulation, strip off it for about 0.5 inches to the end.
Step v: You need to splice in the multimeter to give you an accurate reading.
Splicing in the multimeter is about connecting the meter to the current flow in the wire.
Hold the probes to two ends of split wires. Using the alligator clips to hold wires and probes will be helpful for you.
Step vi: Now, your multimeter tells the current flow in amps only if the black and red probes touching the wire ends. Note down the number.
Here is a video that explains how to use the digital multimeter properly.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is a digital multimeter?
A: A multimeter is a test tool that measures two or more electrical values, which are volt, ohms, and amps.
These digital multimeters replaced needle-based analog meters due to their ability to measure with reliability, accuracy, and increased impedance.
Fluke is the reputable manufacturer of a digital multimeter that was introduced in 1977.
Q. How a digital multimeter works?
A: The working functionality (wikihow) of this multimeter is quite simple and effortless. The best multimeters are designed to work from analog to digital converter, it converts pre-scaled dc voltage into equivalent digital numbers.
The digital numbers are displayed in the digital unit. The multimeter is widely used and the resolution level has 12 bits.
The digital controller is performed with a microprocessor or microcontroller and all block performed in the VLSA circuit while A/D converter and digital-driven, digital-driven will be implemented in the same IC.
Q. Why use a multimeter?
A: A multimeter is a need for any electrical works, so most people use it for like two main reasons, one is for safety purposes; another one is for diagnosis.
The electrical equipment is a very dangerous one, if you’re not aware then it may cause death. The digital multimeters can assure safe work; the multimeter is a large part of the process.
The digital multimeter information does not only help you for normal use, but it also helps you with all the diagnosis of electrical problems, the multimeter tools are used to pinpoint.
Q. What are some of the common electrical properties that a multimeter can determine?
A: Temperature – self-explanatory
Amps – The following amount of current flow through an electrical line at the time of measurement, several devices are needed for various kinds of amperages to make work in the most right cases.
Voltages – The volt is measured by readings out of the potential charge at two various points in electrical line or device, the technical device is known as electromotive force. The voltage act as similar to the process for an electrical line in the waterline.
Ohms – It is used to measure the amount of electrical resistance in the electrical line, the amount of resistance works properly.
Q. Do you have any multimeter safety tips?
- Choose the right multimeter for the measurement place
- The digital multimeter has a suitable overvoltage installation category rating are CAT II, CAT III or CAT IV for the applications
- Watch for symptoms of physical damage
Most of the best multimeter available in the market has the same features and functions. They only differed by one or two unique functions, precise output, design, overall comfort, price and safety measures.
It might be hard for you to choose the best of these choices. So, be clear in your requirements and choose the correct meter according to your work, how often you use, your budget, and brands you believe.