Top 5 Digital Multimeters for beginners

Published by MKDas on

Multimeters are the essential tools for electronics works. Here are the Top 5 Digital Multimeters that you can buy or use. This comparison is made by user feedback, market analysis, price analysis, availability, and personal opinion. So I think this article will be helpful to you.

Disclaimer: Electricity is always dangerous. Proper skill is required to work with electricity. Do work at your own risk. The author will not be responsible for any misuse or harmful act or any mistake you make. The contents of this website are unique and copyright protected. Kindly don’t do any nonsensical act copying and claiming it as yours. Most of the articles published here are kept as open-source to help you. Take the knowledge for free and use it, but if you are interested you can buy the ready resources offered here. If you need any help or guide feel free to comment below, the author will try to help you. Thanks.

1: Fluke 87V TRMS Industrial Multimeter:

The top of the list of Top 5 Digital Multimeters goes to Fluke 87V TRMS Industrial Multimeter.

The Fluke 87V TRMS Multimeter provides the resolution and accuracy to efficiently troubleshoot motor drives, plant automation, power distribution, and electromechanical equipment even in loud, high-energy, and high-altitude locations.

This digital multimeter takes the guesswork out of drive system troubleshooting. This electrical multimeter includes a unique function for accurately measuring noise at the VFD and at the motor terminals. Special shielding blocks high frequency, high-energy noise generated by large drive systems.

The Fluke 80 Series V of digital multimeters have improved measurement functions, troubleshooting features, resolution, and accuracy to solve more problems on motor drives, in plant automation, power distribution, and electro-mechanical equipment.

Other useful features:

  • Rugged, high accuracy industrial electrical multimeter to measure current, voltage and frequency on complex variable frequency drive (VFD) signals
  • Offers true-RMS AC voltage and current for measuring non-linear signals
  • Captures intermittents as short as 250 µS
  • Safety rated CAT III 1000 V, CAT IV 600 V
  • Includes a built-in thermometer and temperature probe

Applications:

For Application engineer / Plant engineer / Industrial electricians (Working with VSD’s) / Electrical engineer. In-plant automation, Power distribution, Electro-mechanical equipment, Industrial electronics, Setting up / repairing, adjustable speed motor drives.

Includes:

  • TL75 Test Leads
  • AC175 Alligator Clips
  • Holster
  • 9V Battery (Installed)
  • 80BK Temperature Probe

Pros & Cons:

Pros:

  • Gives you accurate and precise results when testing the likes of fuel injectors and hybrid engines
  • Measurements of up to 1000V AC/DC (alternating current/direct current)
  • Features auto-ranging capabilities
  • Large white LED screen backlight and works well even in low light situations
  • It has everything that testing voltage, current, and resistance
  • Category III safety rating
  • Convenient for professionals who often deal with HVAC
  • Durable and sturdy with lifetime warranty

Cons:

  • Little bit expensive
  • Has no non-voltage detection.

This may be interesting to you: Top 5 handheld oscilloscopes you can try

2: Kaiweets HT118A Digital Multimeter:

If you do not want to expense hundreds of dollars, then KAIWEETS is a good choice. As a beginner or DIY hobbyist, you can buy this digital multimeter with some great features. So, it goes to the second position of our Top 5 Digital Multimeters.

  • WIDE APPLICATIONS – KAIWEETS digital multimeter features 6000 counts auto-ranging for accurate measurement of AC/DC voltage, AC/DC current(DC is the default), resistance, continuity, frequency, capacitance and diode, liquid temperature, wire on-off, Battery checking. This advanced tester can diagnose automotive, industrial and household electrical issue.
  • EASY OPERATION – Switch the dial and the LED lights on the jacks will shine accordingly. To plug in the leads is a real ease. Large 2.9” LCD backlight display. Dual Display with bar graph. Flashlight on the back ensures easy use in dimly lit places. Stable Kickstand, pen slot on the back.
  • MULTI-FUNCTION – Non-contact voltage testing and Live function with sound and light alarm. The Sceen changes to red while detecting live wire. Low battery prompt, Data retention, Max/Min data, Auto Power-Off, Auto-Ranging.
  • SAFETY FIRST – IEC Rated CAT III 1000V, CAT IV 600V, CE, RoHS certified. Anti-Burn with double ceramic fuse and thermistor protection circuit. High Voltage Protection is active on all ranges. Double insulated unit. Silicone protective case prevents it from falling damage
  • AFTERSALES–Combined with Amazon’s excellent delivery service, we provide 36-Month after sale service, lifetime technical support. Please feel free to contact us if you have any concerns.

An advanced multimeter designed to be used safely and accurately by electricians at workplaces or homeowners and DIYer who need more capabilities than the standard measuring tool.

  • Light up the terminals: LED indication light as input terminal guidance
  • CAT III 1000V, CAT 600V safety rating
  • Double insulation, robust outer case
  • Includes test leads, K-Type thermocouple, batteries and user manual

Other useful features:

  • Easy live wire detection with visual and audial alarm
  • Measures DC/AC voltage, AC/DC current and resistance
  • Dual fuse
  • Dual PTC thermistor
  • Intelligient Anti-Burn
  • Overload protection on all ranges
  • Measures capacitance, frequency, duty-cycle and temperature and test diodes

Application:

  • KAIWEETS digital multimeter features 6000 counts auto-ranging for accurate measurement of AC/DC voltage, AC/DC current(DC is the default)
  • Resistance, continuity, frequency, capacitance and diode
  • Liquid temperature, wire on-off, Battery checking.
  • This advanced tester can diagnose automotive, industrial and household electrical issue

Includes:

  • Test leads
  • K-Type thermocouple
  • batteries and user manual

Pros & Cons:

Pros:

  • Low price comparing with Fluke DMMs
  • All standard measuremnt feaures
  • Temperature measurement facilities
  • DC Voltage Accuracy: 0.1%
  • Measures 20 A for 30 seconds momentary, 10 A continuous
  • Accurately measure frequency of VFD, ASD

Cons:

  • The screen backlight will turn off too quickly
  • A few reported that NCV feature is not up to the mark

You may try this: AC voltmeter using a PIC16F76 micro-controller and capacitor power supply

3: AstroAI DM6000AR Digital Multimeter:

With 6000 True RMS counts, this multimeter is taking the 3rd position of our Top 5 Digital Multimeters list. This meter has a wide range of measurement functions from voltage, resistance, current, capacitance, continuity, frequency, and much more. 

Its test slots can hold and help you test the validity of diodes, transistors as well. With its auto-ranging capability, the multimeter, much like most of the units in the list, can measure both the AC current and Voltage as well. 

It has a large backlit LCD and can hold onto data. It has no power button and turns on automatically and turns off when is inactive. The hanging magnet and the kickstand are great storage utilities and make the measurement process hassle-free. 

Built for professional usage, the multimeter is heavy duty and the built-in F 400mA/600 Volts and F10A/600V explosion-proof ceramic fuse tubes offer better protection and more security and overall reliability. 

Specifications:

  • Display: 5 and ¾ inches
  • Sampling Rate: 2 times a second
  • Automatic and Manual range selection
  • Polarity, overload and low battery indication
  • 9 Volts power supply battery (included)
  • Test Ranges: Temperature, Transistor, Diode, Continuity, External current, Capacitance, Frequency
  • 600 mV/6V/60V/600V/1000V DC Voltage ranges
  • 600 mV/6V/60V/600V/750V AC Voltage range
  • -40°C TO 1370 °C Temperature range (-40°F to 2000°F in Fahrenheit)
  • Frequency Range: 0 to 60 MHz

Includes:

  • Multimeter Handset
  • Test pair leads
  • User manual
  • Temperature probe wires
  • Carry storage bag

Pros and Cons:

Pros:

  • Detailed and precise in function
  • Automatic turn on and shut off
  • A good warranty period of 3 years

Cons:

  • None too specific to mention about

This may be helpful too: Top 5 bench power supplies you can buy

4: Mastech MS8268 AC/DC Meter:

The Mastech MS8268 combo kit may not rival most of the high-end digital multimeters in reputable brands such as Fluke, but it is a cool multimeter for its price. With reasonably accurate reading, high input impedance, and durable construction, the MS8268 offers pretty remarkable multimeter features. This voltage detector is used for testing voltage, resistance, diodes, capacitance, frequency, testing circuit board resisters, duty cycle, and temperature. We can keep this DMM in the 4th position of our Top 5 Digital Multimeters.

General Features:

  • AC/DC 1000V/10A 200KHz 200uF 40Mohm relative measurement hFE
  • Diode Check ContinuityLED/sound Warning when incorrect banana jacks are usedAuto and manual ranging with relative measurement
  • Auto power off (could be disabled) and blue LED back-lit LCD display
  • Conform to the IEC1010-1 standard CAT III 600V and CAT II 1000V
  • Sound and light warning for the incorrect inserting the input plug
  • SMT applicationRuns on three (3) “AAA” batteries.

Specifications:

  • Display: 3999 counts
  • DC voltage: 400m/4/40/400V±0.7%, 1000V±0.8%
  • AC voltage: 400mV±3.0%, 4/40/400V±0.8%, 750V±1.0%
  • DC current: 400µ/4000µ/40m/400mA±1.2%, 10A±2.0%
  • AC current: 400µ/4000µ/40m/400mA±1.5%, 10A±3.0%
  • Resistance: 400/4k/40k/400k/4MO±1.2%, 40MO±2.0%
  • Capacitance: 4nF±5.0%, 40n/400n/4µ/40µ/200µF±3.0%
  • Frequency: 10/100/1000/10k/200kHz±2.0%hFE: 1~1000
  • Diode testContinuity testDuty cycle test

Package Includes:

  • Mastech MS8268 AC/DC Auto/Manual Range Digital Multimeter Meter
  • Test LeadsMultifunctional test socket
  • Three (3) “AAA” batteries

Pros & Cons:

Pros:

  • Best for AC/DC and diode measurements
  • Comes with additional alligator clips, a bright LED-illuminated display for easy reading
  • Built-in temperature & humidity sensors
  • It can save readings thanks to the auto hold feature
  • All range fused (resettable) with 1 Year Warranty
  • Auto power off (could be disabled) & Blue LED Back-lit LCD display

Cons:

  • Auto shut down time is short
  • Narrow capacitance frequency  range
  • It has a poorly written manual

5: Sanwa Digital Multimeter Cd-800a:

Here comes the legendary Sanwa CD-800a Digital multimeter. This is the most used digital multimeter from beginners to professionals. Although it comes to get the 5th position in our Top 5 Digital Multimeters list but, it is the world’s most used digital multimeter.


This auto-ranging multimeter will test AC and DC voltage and current as well as capacitance, resistance, frequency. It features a large, easily readable display for use in the field. It has all of the basic functions that you expect from a good digital multimeter including continuity check (with buzzer), diode test, and data hold.

Key Features:

  • 3-3 / 4 digits 4000 count
  • 7% best accuracy
  • Capacitance measurement
  • Not suitable for measurement of condensers with large leak current.
  • Frequency measurement (AC sine wave only)
  • Data hold / Range hold
  • Relative value
  • Auto power off (30min.) (cancelable)
  • Low power ohm (input voltage 0.4V) at continuity range
  • Solid & protective body cover that can also be used as a tilt stand
  • Chip holder behind the body cover

Specification:

FunctionMeasuring RangeResolutionInput Impedance
DC Volt400m/4/40/400/600V0.1mvDC:10M-100MΩAC:10M-11MΩ
AC Volt4/40/400/600V0.001v
DC Ampere40m/400mA0.01mA
AC Ampere40m/400mA0.01mA
Resistance400/4K/40K/400K/4M/40MΩ0.1Ω
Capacitance50n/500n/5μ/50μ/100μF0.01nF
Frequency5HZ-100KHZ
Duty Cycle20%-80%
ContinuityBuzzer sounds at between 10Ω and120Ω. Open Voltage:Approx.0.4V
Diode TestOpen voltage: Approx. 1.5V
Bandwidth40-400HZ (sine)
Size/WeightH176*W104*D46mm/340g

Origin: Japan, Made in China.

Package includes:

  • Sanwa CD800a Digital multimeter with test probes
  • Batteries 2XAA
  • User manual

Pros & Cons:

Pros:

  • The most easy & most reliable digital multimeter so far
  • 0.7% best accuracy
  • Cheap comparing to other similar multimeters

Cons:

  • Current measurement range is low
  • No temperature measurement

*** My personal opinion for hobbyists and DIYers is, this should be your first multimeter.


Multieter Selection guide:

We all know that multimeters are an essential part of our works. But how can we select the right one? To select the right one here are some points you can follow.

Know yourself & your work range:

First of all, ask yourself. What type of work do you do? What is your future plan? What is your work environment? If you are a hobbyist or new to this type of works, you should get the simple one first. Then you can add the advanced ones later. Also, your work environment tells how rough your DMM should be. If you have a long-term future plan to work with electronics, you can get the best one if you afford it.

Your pocket size:

Before buying anyone, check your pocket size. If you can afford it, then you can buy the best ones. But if you can’t afford it then you can get the cheap ones. Once your pocket size becomes suitable to buy the expensive one, then you can get them too.

If you pass the above points then you can check these points:

Resolution:

Resolution refers to how fine a measurement a meter can make. By knowing the resolution of a meter, you can determine if it is possible to see a small change in the measured signal. The terms digits and counts are used to describe a meter’s resolution. DMMs are grouped by the number of counts or digits they display. A 3 ½-digit meter can display three full digits ranging from 0-9 and one-half digit, which displays only a “1” or is left blank. A 3 ½ digit meter will display up to 1,999 counts of resolution and a 4 ½ digit meter can display up to 19,999 counts of resolution. Some DMMs may have enhanced resolution offering higher counts within their digit range.

Accuracy:

Accuracy is the largest allowable error in the readings. It’s an indication of how close the DMM’s displayed measurement is to the actual value of the signal being measured. Accuracy is generally expressed as a percent of the reading. An accuracy of one percent of the reading means that for a display of 100 volts, the actual value of the voltage could be somewhere between 99 and 101 volts.

True RMS or not:

True RMS meters allow non-sinusoidal AC signals to be accurately measured. The typical DMM is not a True RMS meter, and the former will produce misleading voltage readings when used to measure anything other than DC signals or pure sine wave AC signals.

Summary:

Regardless of the above-mentioned points, you must keep in mind that working with electronics need proper safety. Electricity is always dangerous. You must follow the safety rules whenever you are working with electronics. Also before using any device, you should read the manufacturer guide first.

Conclusion:

I’ve presented all the best information you may need to select the right digital multimeter. Now it’s totally your choice which one you will select. But my request is to keep in mind that safety first. Have a nice day. If you still need a multimeter that is not on the list, you can check these too:

Don’t forget to comment below which one you selected and your user feedback. Thanks.

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Check this out: 5 coolest multimeters you can buy


MKDas

I'm Mithun K. Das; B.Sc. in EEE from KUET, Bangladesh. Blog: https://labprojectsbd.com. "First, electronics was my passion, then it was my education, and finally, electronics is now my profession." I run my own electronics lab, M's Lab (https://mlabsbd.com). Where I work with the creation of new products from ideas to something in real life. Besides this is my personal blog where I write for hobbyists and newcomers in the electronics arena. I also have a YouTube channel where I publish other helpful videos, you can find the link inside the articles. I always try to keep it simple so that it becomes easy to understand. I hope these will help them to learn electronics and apply the knowledge in their real life.

2 Comments

  • Everson Nelson Pagone · July 30, 2021 at 3:07 pm

    I am Everson Nelson pagone here in Malawi ,, I just wanted to know ,, where can we get these Multimeters here, cause demand is very high.

    My WhatsApp numbers. +265 995748601/+265 888813130
    You can Answer me on Wap

    Thank you Sir.

      MKDas · July 30, 2021 at 4:55 pm

      You can get those from the link given under each multimeter.

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