You don’t need to be an electrical engineer to make simple fixes on equipment and electrical appliances at home. As long as you need to make one or two electrical measurements, check the fault your appliance developed, you’d need a multimeter.
You probably know how resourceful a multimeter is already. However, the challenge is that there are so many of them in the market, which means you find it pretty hard to get the best one. In this article, we reviewed the best multimeters you can find in the market.
We considered the specifications, price, unique features, and cons of each product. Top of the list is the AstroAI Digital Multimeter, followed by the Crenova MS8233D Digital Multimeter, and the Fluke 115 Compact Digital Multimeter. Let’s take a look at all eleven, shall we?
11 Best Multimeters On The Market of 2020
1. AstroAI Digital Multimeter (Our Top Pick)
In line with their core philosophy of supporting adventurers, AstroAI’s auto-ranging multimeter is designed especially for professionals and DIYers. It is easy to use, safe to operate and comes with advanced features that enable you to measure nearly everything.
Besides its wide range that also covers transistor, temperature, capacitance, frequency, and diode tests, the Astro AI 6000 also measures true RMS. Its auto-ranging capability means you do not need to pause your test to turn the knob always.
The AstroAI comes armed with double protection and an intelligent anti-burn feature. This is thanks to its built-in F10A/600V and F400mA/600V fuse tubes, which are explosion-proof, guarding against overload, and making the multimeter safe across all ranges.
The multimeter has a comfortably large display with backlit LCD, which offers better visibility even in dimly lit working conditions. As a plus, the display has a Data Hold function that enables you to freeze display until you have noted down the information.
But perhaps, what you may find very cool about the AstroAI 6000 is its kickstand and hanging magnet. This makes it easier to place and secure the multimeter at a comfortable angle while taking measurements.
If you don’t remember much of your electrical symbols, you may find it a little hard using the device. If you dislike noise, the continuity beep may be a little distracting too.
That notwithstanding, the AstroAI 6000 is our top pick out of the best eleven. Its relatively cheap price also makes it very affordable.
2. Crenova Auto-Ranging Digital Multimeter (Budget Pick)
Crenova has been in the industry for decades, and they made sure this wealth of experience was reflected in the MS8233D. The multimeter has just about the same functionality as the AstroAI 6000 and is very affordable too.
It is equipped with a 3.5-digit LCD display with backlight, which improves readability in poorly lit rooms and at night. Just like the AstroAI 6000, it has a data-hold option that enables you to freeze the display at will.
As a plus, the Crenova MS8233D is equipped with a foldable stand at the back for hands-free use. Unlike the AstroAI 6000, it also comes with a pouch that makes it easy to store and carry around.
You will find the multimeter very useful for a range of tests, including frequency, diode, and AC voltage/current tests. Its auto-ranging capability allows you to select the right range over a variety of components.
The multimeter, however, has a slow update time, which may not be a big deal to you, unless you are in a hurry and need to conduct a couple of tests. This device may be a little hard to understand, especially if you have little knowledge of electrical symbols and the general industry language.
The Crenova MS8233D is a very good option if you need to get one of the best basic multimeters in the market without breaking the bank.
3. Fluke Digital Multimeter (Notable Mention)
Professionally known as the Fluke 115 Field-Service True-RMS Technicians Multimeter, this device is built especially for field service use. But its ease of operation, compact design, and great capabilities mean it can be used for a range of electrical and electronics tests anywhere.
Just like other multimeters in our list, it allows for true RMS measurements in AC loads. It can be used for continuity, capacitance, frequency, and diode test.
Fluke 115 has a safety rating of CAT III 600V, which means it’s safe to use for distribution wiring, including branches, feeders, and even mains bus circuits. It has high accuracy and can be trusted with sensitive electrical/electronic components such as lithium-ion batteries.
Just like the AstroAI 6000, it comes with a large LCD display equipped with backlight for poor lighting conditions. However, you may find it hard to see the display through certain angles, especially if your position doesn’t allow flexible movement. The data hold option is also not so wonderful in the same condition too.
Altogether, the Fluke 115 is a great device to use. It may not be our best pick, but it will be hard to find a better digital multimeter in the market for fieldwork as a professional. It is also a little expensive, although you will find it is certainly worth the price.
4. Etekcity Digital Multimeter
The Etekcity MSR-C600 digital multimeter is very remarkable because it has a clamp meter attached to it. It is also designed to be compact and easy to use both in the field and at home too.
The clamp, which is its notable feature, eliminates the need to strip wires, making current measurements easier and safer. All you need to do is isolate the cord, position the clamp properly, and take your reading.
Besides the clamp, the MSR-C600 has an impressive feature that is absent in most digital multimeters – a low battery indicator. Well, maybe not so impressive, but you will definitely appreciate the elimination of unpleasant battery surprises. It also has an energy conservation feature that shuts down the multimeter to save battery.
Of course, it has an auto-ranging capability, just like other digital multimeters on our list. It is suitable for continuity tests, resistance, diode, AC/DC voltage, and AC current. It has a good LCD display, which can be read from a wide range of angles. There is also the data hold function that enables you to save readings temporarily.
The Etekcity MSR-C600 does not measure DC current. The display lacks backlight, so you might find it a bit difficult to use at night. The multimeter also will get permanently damaged for readings above 600V.
Altogether, MSR-C600 is a good device and is also budget-friendly. It is not our top pick, but the clamp is a feature you may find too important to ignore.
5. KAIWEETS Digital Autoranging Multimeter
If you are looking for a low-budget auto-ranging digital multimeter for use at home, the KAIWEETS HT113B is a good option. It is designed for troubleshooting household and automotive electrical problems.
Just like the Etekcity MSR-C600, the KAIWEETS HT113B has a low battery indicator and also has the energy conservation feature which shuts down the device after 15 mins of inactivity.
The multimeter has a large display with backlight, which makes it easy to use even in dimly lit areas. It has a kickstand making it great for hands-free use. The metal test tips also come with rubber cap protective coverings. As a plus, the multimeter has a pen slot which comes in quite handy when properly leveraged.
Besides the functionality, which is about the same as other multimeters, the HT113B was designed with the safety of the instrument in mind. It has a silicone protective case which prevents the device from getting damaged or cracked when it falls down.
While the device has double protection thanks to its double-fuse, it is not suitable for voltage measurements above 600V. The test tips may also get broken if not used properly.
The KAIWEETS HT113B is a good option if you need a cheap digital multimeter for home use. The extra features set it apart from other multimeters within the same category in the market.
6. Tacklife Digital Clamp Meter Multimeter
The Tacklife CM02A is the second clamp meter to make it to our list after the Etekcity MSR-C600. It is built to be very suitable for home use and comes with a carrying case that hangs easily from a tool belt.
The CM02A, as a special feature, has a low impedance test function, which was added to improve measuring accuracy. For the average professional, this makes it easier to measure low-frequency signals with high accuracy.
The multimeter has a large LCD display with backlight, which makes measurement in low light conditions very easy. It also has a data hold function, which means you can freeze readings until you are ready to note them down.
The Tacklife CM02A has flexible clamp jaws which have an opening larger than that of the Etekcity MSR-C600. For safe operation and easy reading, the maximum current and voltage values are marked on the jaws.
Just like the Etekcity MSR-C600 also, the Tacklife CM02A measures DC/AC voltage and just AC current. However, it is more suited for measuring AC current, which means you should not go for it if you hope to measure more of DC parameters.
7. Fluke 87-V Digital Multimeter
The Fluke 87-V, with its advanced troubleshooting capabilities, is designed to handle complex signals. It comes as an answered prayer to a problem most industry multimeter users find hard to get around – taking accurate measurements on adjustable speed drives.
Unlike some of the other Fluke digital multimeters in the market, the 87-V is equipped with a brand-designed low pass filter. This is ultimately responsible for the multimeter’s high precision when measuring ASD frequency and voltage.
Also, unlike most of the digital multimeters in our list, the Fluke 87-V is safe to use in CAT III 1000V and CAT IV 600V working environments. This makes the Fluke 87-V one of the safest multimeters in our list, and also appropriate for use at the origin of the low-voltage installation.
The multimeter comes with an in-built thermometer, which makes it easier to take temperature readings. It also measures true RMS AC current and voltages.
The 87-V has a large display with a two-level bright backlight for use in ultra-low light conditions. The dual display resolution with 6000 counts and 3.75-digit allowance makes it easy to detect tiny changes in displayed readings.
Additionally, the Fluke 87-V comes with a magnetic hanger which makes it very suitable for hands-free operation and uses.
One downside to using the 87-V is that you are restricted to AC measurements. This may not be so bad considering that it is designed for industry use. You may also experience GSM interference with your multimeter.
Fluke 87-V is a high-end product with a premium price, which makes it not so affordable. But it offers great value for your money.
8. Klein Tools Multimeter
Klein Tools is a brand known for its commitment to quality, and the Klein MM400 does not fall far from this. The very first noticeable feature of the MM400 is the sturdy design, which makes it suitable for rough environments and construction sites.
Thanks to that plastic body and sturdy construction, the MM400 can handle fall impacts when dropped accidentally. This keeps the device relatively safe from damage. Its CAT III 600V and CAT IV safety rating means it is also safe for the user.
The multimeter is easy to use with a simple user-friendly design interface and fits perfectly into one hand. It has a large LCD display with backlight, making it good for low-light use too. The low battery level indicator also eliminates battery surprises during use.
When using the Klein MM400, you may find that it doesn’t always give accurate readings for the same test. So, you may have to carry out that same test several times to determine the final reading.
There are definitely better multimeters in the market than the Klein MM400, which is the reason it is number 8 on our list. But its very affordable price and sturdy structure offer a good bargain for compromise.
9. INNOVA Auto-Ranging Digital Multimeter
Of all the basic digital multimeters in its price range, INNOVA 3320 is very remarkable, especially because of its versatility and reliability. You could be using the multimeter this minute for a random DIY home check and still find it very useful the next minute for a serious industry project.
Away from its reliability and great precision, the INNOVA 3320 is equipped with a large display and backlight which makes it easy to use at night. It also has an auto turn-off feature that kicks in when the multimeter is inactive after 15 minutes.
The multimeter is, perhaps, more suitable for a quick battery check. Thanks to the color-coded LED assemble just below the display, you can easily determine if any battery is still good for use.
Because of its wide range, the INNOVA 3320 is one of the most consistent low-end multimeters in the market. It can measure DC current of up to 10A and AC current of up to 200mA, which is quite great for its category.
As a plus, the INNOVA 3320 is fitted with a kickstand and also comes with a wrist strap. This would have been a great advantage, but it also constitutes a slight disadvantage because the two features interfere with each other. The multimeter also makes annoying beeps when the auto turn-off feature kicks in.
Besides the poorly designed kickstand and the limited AC current measurement range, the INNOVA 3320 is a good and affordable multimeter for home use.
10. Thsinde Auto-Ranging Digital Multimeter
This auto-ranging digital multimeter by Thsinde is one of the few DMMs from unpopular brands in the market that delivers just as well as the big names. It packs nearly the same features in functionality, and also comes with some extra in design.
Top of the extra design features of the Thsinde auto-ranging DMM is the alligator battery clips. This provides secure and better contact when conducting battery tests.
In functionality, Thsinde’s auto-ranging DMM has a non-contact voltage alert, which beeps when it detects voltage higher than 700V. This means you don’t need to touch the load to know if it will damage your multimeter.
With its PTC ceramics circuit, it allows for steady and comprehensive testing of up to 20000 µF. The ceramics circuit also shields interference and offers a form of protection.
Thsinde’s TRMS 6000, like most DMMs in the list, comes with a large LCD display, which has a backlight that makes for easy reading in low light conditions.
Even though its backlight is an impressive feature, it turns off after 10 seconds. This makes noting down information in low-light conditions a bit difficult. The DMM also may not last longer than 9 months before readings start flying up.
11. Morpilot Digital Multimeter
The last of the eleven best DMMs in our list is Morpilot’s auto-ranging 6000 counts digital multimeter. Even with its low price, its packs just about the same functionality and design features as some others above.
It has a safety level of CAT IV and allows for mV measurements with a sensitivity of 0.0017%. This gives you a large testing range than most digital multimeters.
Morpilot’s DMM has a remarkable multi-function use that covers frequency, temperature, duty cycle, relative value tests, as well as true RMS AC/DC current measurements. It has an auto-ranging feature that can be easily toggled on and off for manual ranging when needed.
The multimeter is armed with a thermistor protection circuit and a ceramic fuse, which offers good overload protection. It also has an auto turn-off feature that shuts down the device when inactive after 15 minutes.
While the multimeter comes with alligator clips for battery testing, the test lead probes sometimes require extra help to make proper contact with the load.
That notwithstanding, Morpilot’s auto-ranging DMM has negligible cons and great usage. It is also very affordable and deserves to be in any list of best digital multimeters.
Buying Guide – Things To Consider When Buying Multimeter
After reading up to this point, you certainly must have noticed some frequently mentioned features in the reviews. Some of these features are essential in determining good multimeters, and you should check for them before you make any DMM purchase.
Even though we considered these important characteristics of a good multimeter in our reviews, let us look at they actually entail:
You may not understand the importance of display when picking a multimeter until you use one with poor display functions. A basic multimeter should have a sizeable 3-digit display with backlight.
The large display makes the multimeter easy to read from a reasonable distance. The backlight also makes the DMM easy to read in low-light conditions.
Ease of Use
Unlike other reviewers, we paid a lot of attention to ease of use when reviewing the multimeters. A multimeter that does not offer a certain level of comfort will not provide good satisfaction. Go for DMMs that comes with a kickstand, have a hanger, can be carried around easily, and have clearly spelled out functions.
True RMS Measurement
True RMS measurement is a characteristic that the average DIYer may not appreciate so much. It ensures that AC measurements are taken with better precision.
DMMs with true RMS technology offer better accuracy than ones with full-wave rectification. It is mostly found in less affordable multimeters and generally preferred by professionals.
Old multimeters are known to accommodate just manual ranging operation, which means you have to set the appropriate range to get the desired reading without harming the device. This may not be a problem for professional electricians, but it is a huge obstacle for DIYers without proper knowledge of multimeter use.
For this reason, the multimeters we reviewed all have the auto-ranging function, with some being more reliable than the others. This makes them very good for both home and industry use. We recommend you always stick to DMMs with auto-ranging function even as a professional, as this will come in handy one day.
We made sure to mix in products which are high-end like the Fluke 87-V and ones that are very affordable like the Klein MM400. The aim was to provide a balanced review that allows you to make your pick while considering your budget.
For professionals who require very reliable products, it is good to go for the less affordable DMMs with great capabilities. But for the average DIYer who just needs the multimeter for home use, you should consider going for the less expensive products on our list.
From our buying guide, you will understand how we arrived at the review ranking. We placed heavy emphasis on functionality, followed by reliability, safety level, ease of use, and price in that order.
It is easy to see why we chose the AstroAI 6000 as our top pick from all the multimeters in the market. The product has professional-level features, is easy to use, has double protection, and still remains relatively affordable.
The multimeter just manages to beat the Crenova MS8233D and Fluke 115, which are equally great DMMs. If you are looking to purchase a multimeter that offers you great satisfaction in functionality and design without breaking the bank, we recommend going for the AstroAI 6000.