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Thinking ahead before you buy a multimeter

Even before purchasing a multimeter, you need to understand and sketch out your expectations as realistically as possible. Some models are better than others, but that’s a golden rule with any other product you might ever want to purchase. So, what makes a difference between quality multimers that you should consider and those devices that you could just as well live without?

We have put together a short list of some of the essential factors that you should keep in mind whenever you are in the market for a brand new multimeter. These tips will help you make a smart decision and correlate the features of the unit with your own needs. Check them out below.


Decide on a type

While the features of multimeters vary largely from one model to the other, it is essential to start by looking at the kind of device you are in need of. The most common alternative and that which you are likely to come across nowadays is the digital multimeter. Don’t be fooled by its name. In fact, the unit relies heavily on analog activity, in that all the measurements are performed in this way.

The core difference between digital and analog options is that the first display the results on an electronic screen while the second can be somewhat more difficult to read. Analog models rely on needles to point the right figure on a scale, and so there could be errors you might be faced with, either human errors or those pertaining to the device and the way it is calibrated.

In short, if you want to make sure that are able to read the results properly, it would be a good idea opting for a digital alternative.



Focus on safety

Meters are rated as Categories I through Iv depending on their safety features. Category I devices are recommended for testing electronics while Category IV can be utilized to test power lines or use under various commercial and residential circumstances. One of the golden rules to safely employing a multimeter is always to avoid connecting it to a voltage or battery directly.


Essential features you should keep an eye out for

Multimeters are called multimeters mainly because they are capable of performing several types of measurements. Believe it or not, there are variations in this respect from one model to the next, which is why you need to start out by understanding what you primarily want to measure and then looking for that specific feature on the device you might be eyeing. So? What will it be? Do you need to measure AC or DC voltage, current, resistance, or maybe try out features like removable data storage, adjustable sample rating, data acquisitions?


Quality, brands, and pricing

When it comes to brands, most people can be split up into two categories. Some argue that paying more for a product developed by a reputable brand is best, while others believe that it makes little to no difference. When it comes to any electronic devices, the fact is that the manufacturer might actually matter in the long run. If the multimeter is made of cheap materials, it will last for a limited time and might even raise some safety risks when you use it.

As for the price of such a device, it can vary from fifty to well beyond four hundred dollars. Calibrated multimeters aren’t usually cheaper than one hundred.