A multimeter is a must-have tool in your home’s tool kit. You will need it when troubleshooting faulty electrical systems, fixing simple electrical issues like replacing blown fuses, and enhancing your safety when handling live wires.
Since stores have an array of multimeters, picking the best digital multimeter for home use is often a challenge. If that is the reason you are here, we have suggested essential factors to help you pick the best multimeter from the options in your favorite store.
We have also recommended some great options to buy if you lack the time and energy needed to search around for the most suitable multimeter.
Best Multimeters for Home Use Buying Guide
While all multimeters in your favorite store promise to be the best, only a few can live up to the marketing hype. Many have a flimsy construction that cannot endure regular use for long, and their safety rating might not be ideal for troubleshooting high-voltage systems. Fortunately, you can avoid the substandard multimeters by simply following these tips.
Buy Multimeters made by Respectable Companies
Brand matters a lot when buying a good multimeter for home use. In most cases, the best units are manufactured by well-known companies like Fluke, Klein Tools, KAIWEETS, Extech, INNOVA, Etekcity, and Unitrend. The reputable manufacturers prioritize durability, ergonomics, safety, and accuracy when making their multimeters. They do this to outsmart competitors, increase sales, and enhance their authority in the equipment manufacturing niche.
Invest in a Multimeter with a Thoughtful Design
There are three essential design features to consider when looking for the best multimeter for homeowners. One, the multimeters’ color-coded probes should be insulated to protect you against electrocution. Two, the multimeter should have a generously-sized, backlit display for easy reading in dark or well-lit settings. Finally, a good multimeter should have a kickstand, hook, or magnet to free up your hands when engaged in the electrical troubleshooting process.
Shop Around for a Multimeter with a Suitable Safety Rating
A multimeter for home use will either have a CAT I, CAT II, CAT III, or CAT IV safety rating. Those rated CAT I are suitable for testing low-power electronics like personal computers and home electronics. Their counterparts with CAT II and III ratings are great for testing medium-power electrical components like lighting systems, sockets, and motor vehicle parts. Multimeters with a safety rating of CAT IV are suitable for testing electrical systems with high voltage energy. Choose a safety rating that would let you accomplish all your projects without worrying about blowing up your multimeter.
Shop Around for a Multimeter with a Well-made Construction
Multimeters are prone to damage. They can shatter when they fall from heights or even blow up when exposed to high electrical transients. For these reasons, it would matter to look around for a rugged unit designed to withstand everyday wear and tear. Durable multimeters are designed from a premium plastic material that can survive everyday wear and tear for a reasonable period. In addition, the rugged multimeters come equipped with a high-rapture fuse to protect internal components from high electrical transients.
Reviews of the Best Multimeters for Home Use
AstroAI TRMS Digital Multimeter
AstroAI TRMS digital multimeter is an all-around unit capable of handling all sorts of electrical projects. You can use it to troubleshoot a voltage of 600 volts, a current of 10 amperes, a temperature of 1370 degrees Celsius, and a frequency of 60 megahertz. You can also use it to test an electrical component’s resistance, frequency, diode, and capacitance.
This multimeter displays values on a large, backlit screen that you can view even when working in dark settings. As an extra, the multimeter features the innovative data hold feature to help you record values on your screen for careful analysis.
A hanging magnet on this best multimeter for homeowners will help you attach it onto metallic surfaces, thereby giving you the convenience you need to play around with test probes.
With a CAT III 600V safety rating, this multimeter will handle high transient power without issue. It has an explosion-proof ceramic fuse that blows up to prevent the high transients from burning up your multimeter’s internal components. AstroAI’s engineers made this unit from heavy-duty plastic to offer you several years of service.
- Safety with high voltage
- Easy to operate
- Free test lead caps
- Hanging magnet does not attach onto surfaces strongly
Fluke 117 True RMS Multimeter
At a quick look, Fluke 117’s price tag can discourage you from buying. However, on a deeper analysis, you will realize that the unit is worth every dollar you spend since it offers first-rate safety, delivers excellent performance, and has a rugged construction coupled with a thoughtful design.
Unlike many multimeters, Fluke 117 features the volt-alert technology, an innovative feature that detects voltage without contact. This best digital multimeter for home use also features the LoZ function, another innovative feature that increases the accuracy of voltage measurements by eliminating the errors occasioning from ghost voltage.
Fluke 117 can test a voltage of up to 600 volts, a current of 10 amperes, a resistance of 600 amperes, and a temperature of 400 degrees Celsius. You can also use this multimeter to test other critical electrical parameters like capacitance, frequency, diodes, and continuity.
To enhance your convenience, Fluke Corporation’s engineers equipped this multimeter with a kickstand to free up your hands when troubleshooting, a reasonably large backlit display for easy reading, and a data hold function to record values on the display. It is powered by a 9V battery with a better battery life than the AA batteries used on cheaper multimeters. It can last for 400 hours.
- Rugged construction
- Gives accurate values
- Great for testing voltage of inaccessible parts
- Excellent battery power
- Quite costly
KAIWEETS HT118A TRMS Digital Multimeter
If you are a starter looking for an easy-to-use multimeter, KAIWEETS 118A would be an excellent pick for you since it is super easy to use. To operate it, you will need to power on the multimeter, flip the dial to the function you need to test, plug in the probes to the correct ports, and then begin testing components. With its auto-ranging capability, the multimeter will set itself to the suitable corresponding range, thereby saving you the headache of having to master the ranges for every component you wish to test.
The KAIWEETS HT118 has a CAT III 1000V rating, meaning that it can handle a transient power of 1000 volts without shuttering or at worse, electrocuting you. When exposed to higher transient power, the multimeter’s anti-burn, double-ceramic fuse, will blow up to prevent the multimeter’s internal components from burning.
You can use this best auto-ranging multimeter for home use to test a voltage of 1000, a resistance of 60 MOhms, and an AC/DC of 10 amperes. You can also use it to test an electrical component’s duty cycle, temperature, diodes, continuity, and capacitance. It uses a combination of lights, sound, and values to enhance your troubleshooting efficiency.
What is more? KAIWEETS 118A features the non-contact voltage function, which detects voltage without contact, an inbuilt flashlight for use in dark workplaces, and a stable kickstand for hands-free operation. Its backlit screen is large enough to let you read values without straining your eyes.
- Superb safety rating
- Thoughtful design
- AA batteries drain quite quickly
Klein Tools MM600 Autoranging Multimeter
Klein Tools MM600 comes in a classy, compact case designed to help you store and carry your multimeter, its probes, and batteries when you are on the go. The case coupled with the multimeter’s lightweight and compact size makes a great fit for homeowners who want a unit they could use in and out of the home.
This multimeter can measure a voltage of 1000 volts, a current of 10 amperes, and a resistance of 40 MOhms. You can as well use this multimeter to test other important electrical parameters like frequency, duty cycle, continuity, and capacitance
Designed from hard plastic, this best auto-ranging multimeter for home use can withstand the wear and tear occasioning from heavy use for a pretty long period. Its plastic construction can drop from 3 feet high and remain intact.
Its well-lit, sizable display is easy to read, and its inbuilt kickstand will free up your hands when troubleshooting systems. Klein Tools MM600 has CAT IV 600 rating, making it an ideal fit for testing high voltage systems used at home and in industrial settings.
- Safe for troubleshooting high voltage systems
- Rugged construction lasts long
- Easy to use
- Does not measure temperature
Innova 3320 Digital Multimeter
Innova 3320 is an entry-level autoranging multimeter designed for starters. It has a UL safety rating which is excellent for testing low-power electronic systems and components. So, if you are looking for a unit that you could use to troubleshoot high-voltage electric systems, this budget-price digital multimeter would not be an ideal fit for you.
Though classified as entry-level, this best autoranging multimeter for home use will do everything most multimeters do. You can use it to test the resistance of 10 MOhms, 600 volts, and an AC or DC of 200 milliamps. Additionally, you can use Innova 3320 to test continuity, diodes, and capacitance. With its autoranging capability, the multimeter will reset itself to a suitable range.
Design-wise, Innova 3320 digital multimeter has a large display for easy reading, color-coded probes for easy identification, and protective rubber corner guards to minimize chances of your multimeter shuttering whenever it drops accidentally. Its fold-out stand will let you position the multimeter at a proper viewing angle while your hands fidget around with the test leads.
- Easy to use
- Durable construction
- Excellent accuracy
- Autoranging capability
- Low amperage range
- Not backlit
- Lacks data hold function
Etekcity Professional Digital Multimeter
Costing a fraction of what some high-end multimeters like Fluke 117 cost, Etekcity’s professional multimeter stands as the best for homeowners who are on a budget. Though cheap, its performance is similar to that you will find in some mid and high-end multimeters.
Homeowners can use Etekcity professional digital multimeter to test a voltage of up to 1000 volts, a current of 10 amperes, and a temperature of 1000 degrees Celsius. You can also use Etekcity digital multimeter to test capacitance, resistance, diode, and continuity. With a True RMS capability, this multimeter for homeowners will give the most accurate values of components under test.
Besides the excellent performance, this multimeter has a thoughtful design to enhance your convenience when troubleshooting electrical components. It features a reasonably-sized display, color-code probes with caps, and a kickstand for hands-free operation.
This multimeter also has the data hold function that records the most current readings on your screen, a hook clip to let you attach the multimeter of surfaces and an auto-shut of function that powers off the unit automatically when you forget.
- Attractive design
- Easy to use and read values
- Not very sturdy
- It uses a 600 milliamps fuse which is hard to find
Final Thoughts—What is the Best Multimeter for Home Owners?
Picking the best multimeter for home use from the array of units sold in stores can be hard but not impossible. To pick an ideal unit, you will need to shop around for one made from sturdy plastic covered by a rubber sleeve. As well, the multimeter of your choice should have an ingenious design with color-coded probes, a large backlit screen, and a kickstand. If you wish to enjoy full service from your investment, make sure that the multimeter can measure standard electric parameters like voltage, current, resistance, capacitance, and continuity.
If you lack that time to shop around, get any multimeters listed on this roundup. They have all the qualities that make up the best multimeter for home use.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the cost of the best digital multimeter for home use?
Prices differ from one brand to another. Some brands like Fluke cost over $200, while multimeters from other manufacturers like AstroAI cost around $30. So, whatever the budget you have, chances are you will find a multimeter for your use.
However, since price tends to determine the quality of your multimeter, it would make sense to avoid overly cheap units. Why? Cheaper multimeters are less durable and accurate. Their safety rating may not be ideal for troubleshooting appliances with high voltage.
What is the best multimeter for starters?
When shopping around for the best multimeter, there are several things to look at. One, it should be safe enough to handle high transient power. It should have a safety rating of around CAT III 600V.
Two, a good multimeter for amateurs should have properly insulated probes to protect the user from electrocution. Three, a good multimeter for beginners should have a large display to let you take readings with little trouble.
Other great features to consider as a beginner includes the data hold function, auto-ranging capability, backlit screen, Volt-alert function, and True RMS. These features collaborate to give you an easy time troubleshooting various electrical components.
Is an auto-ranging multimeter any good?
Autoranging multimeters are an improvement of the traditional manual ranging multimeters. When measuring voltage, resistance, capacitance, continuity, frequency, and current, they automatically choose the corresponding range. They will save you the hassle of having to master the corresponding range of every electrical component under test.
How long can my multimeter last?
The lifespan of multimeters differs from one brand to another. Low-end units designed from cheap plastic are likely to last for a short period. They can easily break if they fall accidentally during use. On the contrary, high-end multimeters are likely to last for a reasonable period. They are made from premium-grade plastic that can withstand regular wear and tear for long, and they have a high rapture fuse to shield them from high transient power.
How do you care for a multimeter for home use?
Like any equipment, multimeters need special care to last long and function properly. You should keep it in a dry area, replace worn-out batteries, and handle it carefully to minimize the chances of falling.