Features of the best types of multimeters

Extech EX330 Autoranging Mini MultimeterThe best thing about technology is that it eases our lives so much and allows us to use all sorts of appliances that work with the simple push of a button. The downside is that they can break at any time. We all own a large number of appliances and we have to admit that we know too little about them. So, when they stop working, we have no idea what is wrong.
In most cases, when a device cannot be turned on or it works only partially, there is something wrong with its electrical system. In cases like that, owning a multimeter can save you the trouble of calling an electrician for simple tasks.

If you have been thinking to buy a multimeter for a while now, but you aren’t sure which
type is best for your needs and how much you should invest in one, this article will help you
figure that out.

What are the multimeter types?

There are two main categories of multimeters: analog and digital. As their names suggest, the first category includes old-school, non-digital devices that are thought to be accurate and very easy to use, while the second category includes modern, electrical multimeters that most electricians use.

Analog multimeters are preferred by users who feel comfortable using basic technologies. It is said that these devices are more sensitive and can measure several values with higher accuracy. Giving their basic functions, their construction and design, they are obviously cheaper, too.

Digital multimeters are split into several categories. Fluke devices are known for their large displays and their ability to measure resistance and voltage, as well as duty cycle, frequency, temperature, humidity or pressure. There are auto-ranging multimeters that are easier to use than those with manual ranging for obvious reasons. These devices detect the measurement type without having to set them and their knobs have fewer options. The third important category of digital multimeters includes clamp devices that can measure voltage without touching the appliance that you are testing.

What to look for in an analog multimeter?

Are you the old-school type of consumer who likes basic designs and devices that require a bit more technical knowledge? Then you should buy an analog multimeter. But before you choose a model, make sure that you know the following:

  •  They can measure DC and AC voltage, DC and AC current, frequency ranges, decibels
  •  Some models can have overload protection, mirrored scale, a range switch
  •  They can perform diode test and battery test
  •  They can be operated without a power source
  •  They are prone to errors
  •  They have to be calibrated manually
  •  They are bigger in size
  •  They don’t suffer as much from electric noise

What to look for in a digital multimeter?

If you decide to go for a digital multimeter, you should know that their main features are:

  •  They are pricier than analog multimeters
  • They measure with higher accuracy
  •  They are automatically calibrated
  •  Some models have auto-ranging feature
  •  They mainly measure current, voltage, resistance, capacitance and inductance
  •  They have LCD displays
  •  They have a more complicated construction
  •  They are smaller in size
  •  They suffer more from electric noise
  •  It can only work using electricity

Having known these features, it should be easier for you to decide which type of multimeter
is better for your needs. Budget-wise, although analog multimeters are often cheaper, there
are digital ones that are inexpensive, yet high-quality, too, so don’t let this aspect influence
you.