Best multimeter for electronics technician | Expert Buyer’s Guide
As far as electronics are concerned, a multimeter just so happens to be one of the most important tools when troubleshooting most electrical equipment.
As much as it is always good to have a basic multimeter, it may not be as good as compared to one that’s mainly meant for electronics. The best multimeter for electronics will not be that easy to come by and you’ll definitely have to do a lot of searching to get one of these.
Think of getting a perfect multimeter no different from looking for a needle in a haystack. Yes, many sellers will postulate they have the best only for you to be disappointed when it blows after a while or when you get faulty readings.
To cut to the chase, the reason I’m here today is to let you in on a little secret of mine of how to get the best multimeter. Even much better, I’m going to spice things up by listing 10 of the best multimeters you’ll get for your money in 2018.
Let’s get things started right away, shall we?...
Best 3 multimeter for electronics technician
Prior to having a look at the buying guide, how about you take a quick look at these three that are rated as best of the best?
Extech TL809 Electronic Test Lead Kit with Fluke 117 Electricians True RMS Multimeter
Fluke 179/EDA2 6 Piece Industrial Electronics Multimeter Combo Kit
Klein Tools MM700 Auto-Ranging 1000V Digital Multimeter
Things to consider
At the end of the day, we can all agree that getting a multimeter that is worth it, in the long run, is the best way to go. Before we move on much further, I'd really love to insist that cost should not be a limiting factor for anyone who wants to have the best multimeter for electronics.
Besides cost, there’s plenty more that you need to take into consideration. Here are some essentials you need to look for when shopping for a multimeter that’s exclusively meant for electronics.
How safe is the multimeter?
From my personal point of view, it is always best that you get your hands only on the safest multimeter. This basically depends on how much time and effort the manufacturers put when designing it.
Getting an electrical shock is an experience that neither you nor I would like to go through which is why you should pay close attention to the probes. Ensure your fingers are protected from the tips completely. The quality of the probes should also be above average such that they’ll retain their original design for as long as possible.
Yet another important thing that will cover both you and your multimeter is whether or not you’ll have a fuse within it. The presence of a fuse basically protects the multimeter from current overload; rather than getting the whole multimeter damaged, you’ll only have a blown fuse which should be easy to replace. Coming to think of it, blowing a fuse poses little or no physical damage at all as compared to blowing the whole multimeter.
in a nutshell, the craft of the multimeter should have a heightened level of safety without posing any damage to you or your body.
Durable is always better.
If you want a multimeter exclusively for working with electronics, then you should be working with high energy circuits. You, therefore do not want a multimeter that will easily run into faults when subjected to a high energy circuit.
Safety and durability go hand in hand. If, for example, your multimeter can handle a high electric current, then it is just as safe as it is durable.
From the best multimeter for electronics, you should probably have a rugged rubber surround around it that protects it from shock as well as wear and tear. This saves you a great deal of trouble as far as repairing it is concerned.
Some multimeters will come with a strap at the rear which you can use your wrist or on your hand. This, even though it may seem somewhat unnecessary is quite important since the odds of dropping the multimeter are much less.
What about the display quality?
Now here's something that most people tend to overlook when shopping for an electronics multimeter. My personal opinion is that a multimeter won't be any good if you can't be able to see what's displayed on it clearly.
For the display, I’d recommend the 3-digit display as a minimum. The rule of thumb when it comes to the resolution is normally the higher it is the better off you are.
Backlight vs no backlight
Something else to pay close attention to is whether or not there is a backlight on the multimeter. Considering you’ll most probably be using it indoors, then getting one with a backlit display is something you ought to consider. Even though you may not use it in most cases, there’s totally no harm in having this since it may come in handy quite well in future.
The level of accuracy.
Don’t take any chances on this. There’s always an admissible error limit that each multimeter does observe. The lower it is, the better off you are.
When it comes to electronics, the values you'll be working with need to be as accurate as possible. You should, therefore, ensure that regarding the task you'll be handling, the error limit is as low as possible
What should you spend on the best multimeter for electronics?
Now here's something that raises a lot of eyebrows. The cost of a multimeter has been a major concern for most people. Whereas some may associate the ones that are priced higher as the best multimeter for electronics, others may want to spend less and still get the best.
Well, the truth is that none of the above scenarios is valid but what I’d like to put most emphasis on is that you only go for the multimeter that will be able to satisfy all your electronic needs. In a nutshell, you should only spend as much as you have to; neither too much to get too expensive a multimeter whose usage you won’t optimize and neither too little to compromise on the quality.
Additional features to look out for
Besides the features I’ve mentioned above, there are some extras that you need to look out for. Let’s take a look at some of them, shall we?
Kickstand vs no kickstand
You'll not find this in most multimeters but if the one you're interested in has got this feature, then you should definitely go for it. With the kickstand present, you can be able to use the multimeter handsfree. Besides this, you won't have to lean over your workbench to take the readings.
Some multimeters normally have the max/min button. This simply records or displays the maximum or minimum value you’ve recorded on different electrical units you are working on.
How this feature functions will vary from one multimeter to another but I most cases, all you’ll have to do is simply press the button to see the max/min value displayed. You may need to press it twice to switch between the max or min value if there’s one button for this.
The data hold function
Yet another extra feature that can be quite handy is the data hold function. What this does is that it freezes the current values thus allowing you to record your readings comfortably.
With the data hold feature activated, turning the dial or using the probes will not alter the readings that are displayed on the screen.
Warning: always remember to disable the data hold function after you are done taking your readings since connecting the probes in the wrong way while measuring current/voltage may damage the multimeter.
Auto power off feature
In order to save on battery power, the best multimeter for electronics will always have the auto power off feature. This shouldn’t be hard to come along since most multimeters nowadays have this feature included
Depending on the manufacturer, the auto power off function will be triggered after about 10 minutes. Some multimeters come with a beep alongside the auto power-off in which case you’ll hear a beep before the multimeter switches off automatically.
Whereas the feature may be beneficial, it can, to some, be irritating. In such a case, you should go for the multimeter which allows you to disable this feature.
Best multimeter for electronics technician 2018-10 of the best
Moving on to the second section of our review, it's time to take a look at the top 10 multimeters for electronics. let’s get things started right away, shall we?
Fluke 179/EDA2 6 Piece Industrial Electronics Multimeter Combo Kit
Designed for both the creative and dedicated electricians such as you, the Fluke 179/EDA2 will give you a whole new experience as far as multimeters are concerned.
It’s not in vain that the fluke brand of multimeters stands out from the rest; from the 179/EDA2, you’ll be getting everything from the basic current and voltage measurements to the temperature probes. Whereas the performance when it comes to measuring electronics is mind-blowing, the design is nor left out as well.
It fits perfectly in your palm and as for the test leads, you’ll be getting the TL224 sure grip insulated test leads which keep your fingers from touching the metallic tips. Perhaps you should know that the tips also have an added touch to them too; they are the TL910 electronic test probes with replacement tips. The 179/EDA2 observe the ultimate conformance to the latest safety standards and simultaneously does what it’s designed to do.
On top of being the safest, the 179/EDA2 can be used to troubleshoot most electronic devices and more so does have a large display that is easy to view and does have the backlit feature as well.
From the package, you’ll be getting a carry bag, a magnetic hanger and the probes which makes it easy to carry along with you almost anywhere.
Fluke 287 True-RMS Stand Alone Logging Multimeter
If you’re getting a fluke multimeter, then you definitely know that you’ll be working with one of the best and the same goes for the Fluke 287. The design quality is just as outstanding as the performance when it comes to getting things done accurately, quickly and smoothly. As for the display and the power, well, it simply does have the best of both.
Underneath the small frame, the Fluke 287 has the auto and manual ranging feature, voltage measurement, current measurement, resistance, capacitance, frequency, pulse width, duty cycle, conductance, and temperature.
Possibly one of the most interesting things about this multimeter is the fact that you can be able to record both the maximum and the minimum values. Whereas the max/min may be obtained from almost any multimeter, an on-screen graphing, a real-time clock, the data hold function and data export to your PC
Some of the safety standards include the European Conformity marking, UL, CSA and the IEC safety standard 61010 for the category I installation to 1000 volts and category II installation to 300V. There is also the IEC/EN 61010 for a 1-meter drop protection.
Meant for anyone who’s looking for an above-average level of accuracy, this multimeter has the true-RMS functionality. This makes it ideal for measuring both the linear and the non-linear loads for current and voltage and for both the sinusoidal and the non-sinusoidal waveforms
Klein Tools MM700 Auto-Ranging 1000V Digital Multimeter
Yet another one that qualifies as the best multimeter for electronics is the Klein Tools MM700. Other than the fact that it’s as accurate as an electronic multimeter can get considering it has the True-RMS feature, let’s take a look at what else you’ll be getting from it, shall we?
CAT IV 600V safety rating
For safety protection, it observes the CAT IV 600V safety rating. This simply sets its voltage measurement threshold quite high which gives you the ability to measure voltages as high as 1000V for both AC and DC currents.
Yet another safety feature included is the physical design. Around the Klein Tools MM700 is a protective covering that gives it utmost drop protection of up to 2 meters. This also allows it to withstand wear and tear even if you use it for hours every day.
Need to get everything done and done fast? Well, this is definitely the multimeter for you. considering it’s a True RMS, it does measure AC and DC currents as well at 10A. you can also use it to measure temperature, capacitance, frequency, duty-cycle, diode testing, and continuity.
An additional bonus:
In order to take care of stray voltages, it’s got the low impedance (LoZ) that identifies and eliminates these.
Digital Multimeter, Crenova MS8233D
We’re nearly halfway through with our review. Running with only a single 9V-battery is surprisingly one of the best multimeters for electronics you’ll get on the market- the Crenova MS8233D.
Let’s take a closer look at what it packs underneath…
Designed to meet the IEC61010-1 & CAT II 600V overvoltage category, you’ll be able to troubleshoot higher voltages.
Alongside the CAT III safety rating, it also does have a double insulation which makes it safe for use in almost any scenario. Speaking of applications, let’s see what else you can be able to do with the Crenova MS8233D
You’ll be able to measure both the AC and DC voltages and current. Other than this, you can handle resistance, frequency, continuity, diode and much more. For overload protection, it uses the PCT protection circuit for both resistance and frequency measurement.
From the high resolution 3 ½ - digit display, it won’t be hard to make out the readings. Other than this, the display is also backlit making it suitable for use even in dim light environments.
Some extras that you’ll get from the Crenova MS8233D include the maximum value hold, functioning switch as well as the data hold feature. There is also the auto power-off feature that is triggered if the meter is idle for 15 minutes. Pushing any of the buttons or turning the dial turns the meter on again.
Digital Multimeter, X-DRAGON Electronic Amp Volt Ohm Voltage Meter Multimeter
Let me cut to the chance and state the simple fact here- if you don’t have one such as the X-DRAGON, then you’re definitely missing out on the best. from accuracy to versatility, it does have it all.
The safer what you are working with is, the better off you are, right? Considering there’s an overload protection on all ranges in the X-DRAGON, both you and the multimeter are protected. Around it is also a rubber sleeve which covers drop protection just in case it falls off the edge of your workbench or slips from your hand.
For any electronic enthusiast, the display should definitely be above average which is why this meter has got 2 polarity display modes- the 3 ½ digit (1999) and 4-1/2 (19999).
The digits are also large enough for you to see in low light.
This is probably one of the most striking features on this multimeter. With the capability of handling most household outlets as well as troubleshooting automotive, you can accurately measure DC/AC current and voltages, diode test, temperature measurement, resistance, capacitance, NCV, audio testing and transistor testing- definitely the best multimeter for electronics.
At the back is a kickstand for hands-free usage and the multimeter also does have the auto power off feature which is triggered after 15 minutes of idle time.
Extech EX330 Autoranging Mini Multimeter
It is, as a matter of fact quite surprising that something so small can have so much to offer. As far as taking care for your electronics is concerned, I think the Extech EX330 definitely outperforms all the other multimeters in its class.
Design quality and safety
Measuring only 1.6 x 5.7 x 2.9 this mini multimeter comes with a rubber holster all around it. This plays quite an important role when it comes to providing drop protection as well as wear and tear from daily usage. Other than just this, the multimeter does have the CAT III 600V protection which allows you to handle high voltages without subjecting it to the risk of getting damaged
Featuring a large and bright 4000-count display, it will be easy to make out the readings due to the high resolution. This makes it an ideal choice to use both indoors and outdoors
A built-in AC non-contact voltage detector
Now here’s something that you don’t get in just any multimeter. As much as you can use probes to measure voltage, the multimeter has an audible beeper and an LED indicator that alerts you for the presence of voltage when placed near switches, live wires or power outlets.
The Extech EX330 does have the mas hold function as well as the data hold function and in addition to this, you’ll also be getting the relative function. What the relative function does is making the measurements you are taking relative to the one that’s stored- simply compares one stored value to another.
There is also the auto power off feature that’s triggered after 15 minutes of idle time to help conserve battery power.
Amprobe 30XR-A Prof DMM with Non-Contact Volt Tester
Meant for any electronic enthusiast is one of the best multimeters for electronics- the Amprobe 30XR-A. Let’s see what makes it worth every penny, shall we?
It’s as safe as a multimeter can get.
From something as simple as having an input warning tone to conforming with the IEC and CE safety regulations, it's safety level is unrivaled. When you have the probes connected wrongly, there'll be a beep to alert you of this. It can also be able to measure a maximum of 600V AC/DC voltages.
The Amprobe 30XR-A is also rated for 10 Amps DC/AC and features a full safety fuse. It also does a separate compartment for battery and fuse replacement.
Owing to the fact that it's a true-RM multimeter, you'll conveniently be able to take both the sinusoidal and non-sinusoidal waveforms and at the same time get the most accurate readings.
Easy to read measurements.
The display is a 3-1/2-digit LCD, 1999 counts. The multimeter also features a large screen that is easy to read. Other than having a large and clear display, there is also a blue backlight included which makes it quite easy to use in dim environments.
This is indeed the perfect choice for use both indoors and outdoors.
It does come with the min/max and data hold function, a low battery indicator as well as the auto power off feature to save on battery life. The multimeter also does have the low battery indicator that lets you know when to replace the battery.
Extech EX430 True RMS Autoranging Multimeter
Yet another outstanding multimeter from Extech is the Extech EX430 and trust me, it really is worth every penny. Let’s take a closer look at what it’s got…
Easy to use
To make it suitable for both the experts and the first-time users, the multimeter has been designed with the auto-ranging feature. This saves you the time and hassle of having to set the range yourself when taking electrical measurements.
It can also be able to handle both simple and advanced measurements such as AC/DC current, resistance, diode, continuity, temperance, capacitance, frequency as well as the duty cycle. For temperature, there will be a K Bead wire temperature probe included though there is a K-type thermometer for surface or air temperature measurement.
To give you the best possible readings, there is the True-RMS feature included. This ensures that you get accurate AC voltage and current measurements without any distortion from electronic devices. The basic accuracy of the Extech EX430 is ±0.3%.
The multimeter does have the input fuse protection and miss-connection warnings that also do have audible and visible signals. This way, you’ll easily be made aware just in case you make any errors while troubleshooting your electronic devices.
The best display and build quality
For comfortable use, you’ll be getting a large backlit LCD for easy reading even in low light conditions. For the construction, the multimeter comes with a protective rubber holster that also has test lead holders. There is also a hanging Velcro strap and a multi-tilt position stand which makes it possible for you to work hands-free.
Extech TL809 Electronic Test Lead Kit with Fluke 117 Electricians True RMS Multimeter
Coming up second last is the Extech TL809. From the title alone, you can tell that this is a True RMS multimeter which makes it worth every penny. Let’s have a look at what sets it apart…
Outstanding high-resolution display
Considering this multimeter has got a 6000-count display with a refresh rate of 4 updates per second, it will simplify your electronic work a great deal. Something else to point out about the display is that it’s large enough for easy visibility.
One of the most striking features of this multimeter is that it handles most electronic measurements such as resistance, continuity, diode check, capacitance as well as frequency. You can also be able to measure AC and DC currents up to 10A.
The Extech TL809 also does offer the volt alert function as well as the LoZ voltage measurement for low impedance.
In order to keep both you and the multimeter safe, you’ll be getting the CAT III safety rating with the Extech TL809. This rating has a maximum working voltage of 600 volts which basically allows you to handle high voltages.
Still, at the safety, it is worth pointing out that the design of the multimeter allows it to take quite a beating. It comes with a rubber holster which will feel good in your palm, provide drop protection and also protect it from general wear and tear.
TekPower TP9605BT Auto Ranging Digital True RMS Smart Multimeter
The final multimeter on our review is the TekPower TP9605BT. It does have a lot to offer and is meant for any electronic enthusiast such as you.
Coming with the autoranging functionality, you won’t have to go ahead and set the dial yourself before taking your readings. This saves you the trouble and the risk of getting the wrong values. As for the true RMS feature, you’ll be getting the most accurate values from both AC and DC voltages and current.
Cellphone app connectivity
Now here's something interesting- this multimeter actually allows you to connect it to your android cellphone besides allowing for PC connectivity via a USB cable.
You can seamlessly combine it with the APP and USB to work on your computer or android phone. You'll be able to display the readings from your measurement and share them on Twitter, Facebook or send them as an email.
Handles almost any electronic tasks
Other than giving you the ability to link it up with your mobile phone, you’ll be able to take both AC and DC voltage readings, AC/DC current up to 10A, frequency up to 10Mhz as well as the duty cycle. It can also be able to measure the capacitance of up to 100nF with utmost accuracy, diode test as well as resistance.
An added bonus to the TekPower TP9605BT is the data hold function as well as the Max/Min features. The latter freezes the current readings displayed whereas the former saves the highest or lowest value obtained for a given electronic unit
With respect to our review, we have come up with the top 10 recommended multimeters for electronic technicians. The best thing about the above-listed multimeters is that there is enough for everyone- whether you're on a budget or are willing to do what it takes to get the best, we've got you covered.
The buyer’s guide on the other hand just lets you know exactly what to look into before you go ahead and put your money on the line.
I'd highly recommend that you, first of all, know exactly what electronics you'll be handling then go ahead and buy one that suits you best.