Choosing a multimeter is not as easy as people imagine it to be. With all the multiple models that exist on the market, you would think that to choose a good multimeter all you have to do is to walk into a store and pick the first multimeter that you come across but is that really the case? Definitely not!
Choosing a multimeter is a rigorous process that demands you be informed of the qualities that make a good multimeter. The stakes are higher if you are an electronics technician and you need the multimeter for your professional duties.
To help you make the best purchase decision as an electrician, we have developed this guide that takes a look at some of the things that you should look at when buying multimeters for professional use. We have also shared our top picks in this category so as to make your selection process a lot easier.
|Fluke 117 Electricians|
|INNOVA 3340||1 lb||4.8/5|
(Best for the Money)
|Electrical Test Kit Klein Tools 69149||1 lb||4.3/5|
|Electronic Specialties 485||1 lb||4.0/5|
Our top pick for multimeters for electronics technicians is the Fluke 117 Electricians. With its unique VoltAlert technology, the Fluke 117 Electricians is able to detect voltage without making contact and this is as impressive as a multimeter can get. It has a resolution of 0.1mV and this makes it able to detect even the slightest changes in voltage.
Low input impedance is another feature of this amazing multimeter that you will appreciate as it prevents the multimeter from making false readings as a result of ghost voltage. It also has a backlight in the background that makes it easy to make readings even in poorly lit areas.
This true RMS multimeter is able to accurately measure non-linear loads and this was another feature that we liked with this multimeter. The only flaw that we noticed with the Fluke 117 Electricians was that the display was not very clear but nonetheless, this a great multimeter that we would highly recommend to electronics technicians.
The INNOVA 3340 is another fine multimeter that will help you with your professional duties as an electronics technician. You can use this bad boy to accurately troubleshoot problems with diodes, solenoids, breakpoints, wiring and switches.
It also features a temperature probe that will allow you to accurately determine the temperature of the items that you are working on. Moving around with this multimeter will not be difficult when you are transitioning from one job to the next as it comes with a carry bag for easy transportation.
We would not have included a multimeter that is not easy to use in our top 2 and we are glad to confirm that that is not the case with the INNOVA 3340. The screen is large enough to display readings and choosing the desired tests is easy as well.
The reason the INNOVA 3340 was not our top pick was that could sometimes make ghost readings when nothing was connected to it and this way it was unable to dethrone the majestic Fluke 117 Electricians.
Our budget pick for multimeters that are ideal for electricians is the Fluke 101. When it comes to electrical tools, the price is an indicator of quality but if you search properly, you can still unearth efficient multimeters that are not expensive and the Fluke 101 is one of them.
It has a buzzer that goes off to help you check for continuity in the electronics that you are trying to test. The exterior is rugged and this gives the tool adequate protection from falls and knocks and this greatly enhances the durability of the multimeter.
It is small and light in weight and this makes moving around with it very easy. Its compact design also makes it easy to use and you can even do so with one hand.
The Fluke 101, however, is not flawless and the poor customer service offered by the manufacturers is one of them. Some models also lacked leads and their users were not able to use them straight away and this major flaw was enough for us not to include the Fluke 101 in our top 2.
Ease of use and the ability to make accurate readings were some of the things that we looked at when ranking multimeters for electronics technicians and the Electrical Test Kit Klein Tools 69149 did not impress us in this regard. The voltage sensor is designed poorly and you will need several attempts to get it to work. It also goes off all by itself when it is being used and this can be quite frustrating if it keeps happening over and over again.
The non-contact voltage tester actually does not work and it is a wonder why the manufacturers advertised this feature in the first place. The Electrical Test Kit Klein Tools 69149 also gave wrong readings when making measurements and this made it quite inconsistent.
It has a rugged exterior that protects it from falls but this was not enough for us to rank it as one of our top picks.
If the Electrical Test Kit Klein Tools 69149 performed poorly when it comes to ease of use and giving accurate readings, then the Electronic Specialties 485 was absolutely terrible. The leads were either missing or faulty and this affected the ability of the multimeter to give accurate readings.
As an electrician, the nature of your job demands that you make accurate readings so as to properly troubleshoot problems with your client’s electronics and this demands a reliable multimeter but unfortunately, the Electronic Specialties 485 is not one of them.
It was also a little bit bulky than other multimeters on the market and this made it a great liability especially if you are a mobile electronics technician.
As mentioned earlier, choosing a good multimeter is a complicated affair and you will be doing yourself a huge injustice if you walk into a store and pick the first multimeter that you come across. There are a few things that you have to consider especially if you are an electronics technician for you to pick the multimeter for your professional needs and we will mention some of them in this guide.
Here are some of the things that you have to consider when buying a multimeter for professional use if you want to make an informed buying decision.
A multimeter can either be analog or digital and we recommend that you choose a digital if you plan to use the multimeter for your professional assignments. A digital multimeter has an LCD screen that displays the readings from your measurements immediately and more accurately.
Analog multimeters, on the other hand, use a bar that moves on a scale and as such, making accurate readings can be a challenge.
A multimeter can either use auto ranging or manual ranging scaling for your electrical measurements. An auto ranging multimeter is able to detect the component that you are trying to measure and this saves you a lot of time and effort when troubleshooting electronics. With a manual ranging multimeter, you will have to enter what you are trying to measure and this can be quite frustrating and time-consuming especially if you are measuring different components.
The multimeter will fall often and it may get damaged when it takes hard falls. This calls for proper external covering to protect the multimeter when it falls.
Our search for the best multimeters for electronics technicians yielded the Fluke 117 Electricians as our top pick. The INNOVA 3340 followed closely with the reliability of these two multimeters the main reason why they were our top picks. The Fluke 101 was our budget purchase with the Electrical Test Kit Klein Tools 69149 and Electronic Specialties 485 our least favorite multimeters.
The search for the best multimeter for your professional use can be quite hectic as you will have to go through several models. We have done all the hard work for you and unearthed a few models that will help you with your professional assignments.