Buying the right multimeter is no small task. The difference between the right piece of equipment and the wrong one isn’t only accuracy and expediency of your work: safety is also a concern when performing electrical tasks.
This makes finding a good option under $50 tricky. Like most people, you probably want an affordable multimeter that is both safe and accurate, but you just don’t have the time to do the research to make this happen.
Does that sound like you?
If so, we can help. We have done the testing and research that you don’t have time to do and assembled a buying guide filled with our findings. Today we have included a list of the five best options under fifty dollars on the market and we have even included some tips that will help you select the right multimeter for your needs.
All that is left for you to do is sit back, relax and consider these reviews.
|Klein Tools MM400|
|AstroAI 759974998225||3 years||4.6/5|
|Neoteck Pocket NTK017|
|Etekcity MSR-R500||2 years||4.3/5|
At first place, we have the Klein Tools MM400—an affordable option with consistent, high performing results. One of the first things that shoppers will probably notice about this option is that it is versatile, measuring up to 600V AC/DC voltage, 10A AC/DC current as well as temperature, capacitance, frequency, duty-cycle, test diodes, and continuity.
The versatility is going to ensure that you can take care of just about any job around the house that you could have for this tool.
It also has a high safety rating, and is durable, featuring a sturdy exterior that is capable of withstanding job site drops.
It sounds great right? And it is great, but of course, we also aren’t trying to say that the Klein Tools MM400 is perfect.
One of the things that we noticed about this device is that the accuracy of its readings seems to diminish a little bit over many months of extensive use. This is a relatively common defect of units of this price range, but it is still a drag for users that need the most accurate results possible.
This aside, it’s a great option that most shoppers will love.
In second, we have the AstroAI, an affordable and efficient alternative for people that were not completely sold on the Klein Tools option.
Like the last unit that we looked at, this model also benefits from plenty of versatility and can test for voltage, current, resistance, continuity, capacitance, frequency, and temperature. Naturally, the versatility is going to ensure that your work is as comprehensive as possible.
The AstroAI also places a premium on user-friendliness with features like a large backlit LCD screen, data hold, and auto power-off, making the unit as simple to navigate as possible.
So, what is keeping the AstroAI out of our top slot? While there are not any major flaws that we were readily able to detect with this unit, there were a few basic issues that kept it from coming out on top.
We noticed that the blue backlight makes the screen a little bit difficult to read. The unit also chirps with a loud beep anytime the dial is turned which may prove frustrating over time. Finally, like the last unit that we looked at, accuracy does diminish a little bit over time.
If you can look past these problems, the AstroAI is a good alternative for anyone that wasn’t sold on the Klein Tools multimeter.
In third and in our best for the money slot, we have the Neoteck Pocket NTK017—an extremely affordable option that still manages to deliver results.
Price aside, shoppers will also notice that this unit simply embodies many of the characteristics that we appreciated in our last two selections.
The Neoteck has user-friendly features, such as a large, backlit screen, and a polarity display. It also features a durable exterior that is capable of withstanding drops, and a simple battery change system that will make simple maintenance a breeze.
So, what keeps the Neoteck out of our top two? There are a couple of issues that we noticed. The capacitance does not work very well. Resistance testing is limited. In some situations, the unit itself experienced a very short lifespan (though this seems to be a defect more than it is something that you should expect to encounter).
All in all, despite some flaws it remains a good option for shoppers looking for the most value they can get.
In fourth, we have the Etekcity MSR-R500, a flawed unit that will nevertheless work for shoppers on a tight budget.
There are a lot of problems with this unit, but before we get into them, we should at least include the reason that this multimeter is featured on the list in the first place is that it comes at a very low price. This is about as affordable an option as you are ever going to find.
It’s suspiciously affordable, isn’t it? Unfortunately, in this case, your money isn’t buying you a lot. The problems are more or less what you would expect them to be for something in this price range: the readings aren’t super accurate, the exterior is pretty fragile, and it just doesn’t work very well.
The bottom line is if your budget requires that you spend the least amount of money possible, this might be an acceptable option, but otherwise look elsewhere.
Last and least we have the Cen-Tech 69069, a multimeter that is realistically going to leave most users disappointed.
The good news is that this option is priced similarly to the Etekcity. The bad news is that it performs similarly as well.
The Cen-Tech is very cheap and flimsy, inaccurate, and for many users, it simply does not work at all. If you can only afford to spend a few dollars, this might work, but otherwise, you are going to be much better served by one of our other options.
You’ve read all of our reviews to see what is out there, but you still aren’t quite sure which features and attributes you should find valuable in a multimeter. If that sounds like your situation then we should be able to help you out a little bit.
Below, we have assembled a list of buying considerations that are designed to make this decision as easy for you as possible.
One of the things that you might not have thought about is the weight of the unit. The type of multimeters that we have been looking at today are designed to be handheld and used on the go. This being the case, there is some value to having a design that is lightweight enough to be comfortable to hold for long periods.
Realistically, the weight of a multimeter probably is not going to be a make or break consideration, but if you can find an option that you like that also happens to be lightweight, you should consider that a big plus.
Keeping with the fact that this is a handheld, on the go type of tool, users may also benefit from something that is durable.
In the case of the multimeter, durability can refer to several things. The ability to withstand a drop is certainly important, but you may also want to think about getting something that is optimized to stand up against strong electrical currents to combat the possibility of an internal explosion.
Finally, brand. Shopping for brand name equipment is not always necessary, but when considering a product of this nature, it is reasonable to look for a manufacturer that has a history of quality and safety.
While there is no need to buy the most famous or expensive tool on the market, you may benefit from something with a reputation for performing well without dangerous incidents.
There you have it! You have read the reviews, gone over the helpful buying considerations, and now you have a tricky decision on your hands. Which of these options is going to be right for your needs?
Well, we certainly aren’t here to tell you what to buy, but if it helps we actually do have a couple of suggestions that you may find helpful.
Shoppers that are looking for the very best of the best are going to want to think long and hard about our top pick, the Klein Tools MM400.
On the other hand, if saving some money is your top priority, you could certainly do worse than the Neoteck Pocket NTK017 – our best for the money pick.
Of course, these are just our opinions. Thanks to the information in this guide you are now free to make your own informed buying decision.
More buying guides like this:
Hi there! My name is Adam and I write for HealthyHandyman. I have a great passion for writing about everything related to tools, home improvement, and DIY. In my spare time, I'm either fishing, playing the guitar, or spending quality time with my beloved wife. You'll also often find me in my workshop working on some new project!