Even the lowest quality multimeter still functions as an instrument that can read a wide-range of measurements, from currents resistance to circuit continuity and more. With so much diversity in the industry, the type of multimeter that fits each person largely depends on that person’s needs and their overall expertise level when it comes to electronics. Essentially, finding the right multimeter is almost like trying to find the right shoe. While there are many options—sometimes too many to even keep track of—each individual has a specific shoe size and therefore can narrow down their choices to a particular group of products. That said, we managed to put together a list of the five best multimeters on the market in 2016 based on the various needs of professionals and hobbyists who frequently use the instruments in their day-to-day work either on the job or around their home.
It is worth mentioning that the five multimeters reviewed here have been chosen based on the wide-ranging needs of professionals in the industry. As a result, they each have their pros and cons and fit better with some individuals more than others. For more information, scroll down to the in-depth reviews of each product available below.
Etekcity MSR-R500 Digital Multimeter
Etekcity’s latest offering to the multimeter market may seem like a mouthful, but it’s easy to see where the “multi-“ applies in this particular multimeter. Standing at a super-light 10.2 ounces, the MSR-R500 packs enough features in its tiny frame to satisfy everybody from the local electrician on the job to the homeowner testing out the house wiring. The MSR-R500 is best used as a comprehensive tool that can measure everything from current and voltage to resistance. The backlit LCD display features large numerical digits, allowing the user to read the screen from afar or while working in a dark area. With a compact size and long-lasting battery life (uses a 9-volt battery), the MSR-R500 runs at a rapid pace, displaying test results quickly with up to three updates per second. You can also take advantage of the convenient structure by using the built-in stand without having to worry about a potentially disastrous drop due to the protective rubber sleeve surrounding the device. Overall, we recommend the MSR-R500 for professionals, but the cheap price, overall ease-of-use and multiple features make this a great product for the hobbyist as well.
INNOVA 3320 Auto-Ranging Digital Multimeter
Designed specifically for home and auto electrical problems, the INNOVA 3320 enters the list as arguably one of the current most popular multimeters in the industry. Holding the INNOVA product gives you a clear reason why too: great craftsmanship and an easy-to-use interface make this a great product for both professional and amateur electricians. Technical features of the UL-certified INNOVA 3320 include the ability to auto-range scales, bypassing the need to enter the range during measurements. Additionally, a 10 MegOhm input provides a measure of safety whether you are using the INNOVA 3320 with a car or in your house. Visually, the INNOVA 3320 features LED lights that are color-coded to provide easy reference and let you know whether or not it’s time to change that battery in your favorite device. With protective rubber guards on the corners to safeguard against drops and a stand for hands-free use, the INNOVA 3320 combines both ease of use and comfort to stand as one of the best multimeters on this list. At a relatively affordable price when matched up against other comparable products, the INNOVA 3320 is great for amateurs and professionals alike.
Fluke 323 True-RMS Clamp Meters
This list would not be complete without a Fluke product, since Fluke currently stands as one of the most well-known brands in the industry. Their latest product, the Fluke 323 True-RMS Clamp Meter is no exception to the company’s continuing efforts to provide quality multimeters. Though the price for the Fluke 323 is a bit steep, it is well worth the purchase for professionals in the industry who want to get results as quickly and efficiently as possible. The Fluke 323 is designed to take a variety of measurements, including the load current, AC voltage and circuit continuity. The Fluke 323 has a limit of 400 amps when measuring AC current, and a limit of 600 volts when measuring DC voltage. One of the best features though is the jaw of the Fluke 323, which can measure current in a conductor while actually touching (and thereby interrupting) the circuit. Running off of two AAA batteries, the Fluke 323 is guaranteed to last, and is perfect for any professional electrician’s arsenal.
Extech EX330 Autoranging Mini Multimeter
One of the first things you will notice about the Extech EX330 is the LED display, because it is huge. Coupled with the backlight, and this feature comes in handy when you are rooting around in the dark. But multimeters are more than just backlit LED screens, and when it comes to multimeter features the Extech EX330 does not disappoint. The AC voltage detector accurately reads a current without making contact or interrupting. Additionally, the EX330 can be used to take a wide range of measurements including AC/DC current, resistance, duty cycle and frequency. A built-in thermometer also reads the temperature as well, which can be detrimental to novices who find themselves in potentially hazardous areas. The EX330 also comes with a protected case, surrounded by a rubber holster to protect against drops. Perfect for use by any hobbyist on everything from home to house to even your computer.
Uni-Trend Uni-t UT202A Voltmeter
There aren’t many multimeters that pack as many features and are as affordable as the Uni-Trend UT202A. With a dependably low-expenditure AC clamp meter, the UT202A features measures to display a variety of readings from AC/DC voltage to AC current to circuit continuity. The device itself also carries functions which ensure it will last a while, such as a programmable Sleep mode and a carrying pouch to keep the multimeter safe from drops. The feature that is most enticing in this compact multimeter though is the elevated read speed, with the clamp registering updated measurements three times per second. Coming in as one of the lightest and most reasonably priced multimeters on our list, the Uni-Trend UT202A will be a welcome addition to any tool belt, regardless of your expertise level.