Best Multimeter – Analog, Basic Digital, and Digital Multimeters with Analog Graphs for Testing Electrical Output

Are you a certified technician or amateur household maintenance person? Whatever the situation, the quality of your test instruments, has a big role to play in delivering great results and keeping you in business. The number of multimeters out there from diverse brands is quite staggering and selecting the right one can be intimidating, which is why we are showcasing some of the best multimeter brands.

We have featured a variety of different types of multimeters, hoping that one possesses all the features you are looking for. Keep in mind that each brand has more options if you don’t find what you need. We even added links to those to make your life easier. In addition to our top 5 picks, we need to give a shout out to 3 more brands that are worth considering. Klein multimeters, Southwire multimeters, and Gardner Bender multimeters are all highly rated by users and they have a variety of options. We simply didn't have enough room for eight!

One more thing before we get to our multimeter reviews. Please note that because we live in a technological world, all the featured models are digital multimeters. But don’t worry, we didn’t forget those of you looking for pure analog multimeters. We did our research on those too and have highlighted our top picks below.


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Overview
PROS
CONS
SPECS
Type
Max Voltage
Capacitance
Display
Extras
Our Top Choice
Fluke Industrial Multimeter
Fluke is a world leader in the manufacture, distribution and servicing of quality electronic test tools and software.
It measures up to 1000 VAC and DC, captures transients as fast as 250us, is rugged, and has an analog bar graph for fast changing signals and audible alerts against wrong inputs. Analog bar graph.
It requires a separate amp clamp to measure amperage on unopened circuits.
Digital w/ analog bar graph
1000 V
9,999 µF
LCD
Built-in thermometer
Best Value
Amprobe Electrical Contractor Multimeter
With quality products including clamp meters, digital multimeters and industry-specific tools, Amprobe is a sure bet for both residential and commercial use.
Comes with a Velcro strap to hang meter. It meets professional requirements and has a built-in LED flashlight.
Slow in obtaining steady final readings
Digital w/ analog bar graph
AC/DC voltage up to 600V
Up to 100 µF
LCD
Auto and manual-ranging
Innova Automotive Digital Multimeter
Innova combines the use of state-of-the-art facilities and research to deliver high-quality products to its growing customer base.
It has an overload protection system, and auto power off to save the battery. It doesn’t interfere with electronic components on heavy equipment.
The very tight-fitting holder bag doesn’t allow you to store any other things in it.
Digital
Info not provided
Info not provided
LCD
Auto-ranging, overload protection
Extech Autorange Mini Multimeter
For safety or environmental applications, and even maintenance, Extech delivers world-class products birthed from good research.
It’s portable and delivers accurate measurements. It has a built in non-contact detector, auto power off to conserve energy, data hold capability and a rubber holster for protection.
Meter update can be slow
Digital
Info not provided
0.001nF to 200µF
LCD
Built-in thermometer
Mastech 5-in-1 Digital Multimeter
With the use of technology, innovative ideas, commitment to R&D and a well-trained workforce, Mastech is number one in the production of electronic measurement tools.
It offers a wide range of measurements and has an auto power off to save battery life span. It has fuse protection and an operating altitude up to 2000 meters.
It doesn’t deliver true rms measurement
Digital
1000V DC or RMS AC
40nF/400nF/4µF/40µF/100µF
LCD
Auto and manual range options

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What is the Best Multimeter for Measuring Current? Read our Review to Find Out!

What comes to mind when choosing a multimeter? Do you consider how accurate the measurements are? Do you have in mind the things it can measure, such as sound levels, humidity, AC/DC voltage, and current? Whatever the case, if you have carefully read our buying guide, selecting the multimeter with the right features can be much easier.

If you don't find what you need in our featured brands, here are a few more to consider.




Related: How to Test a Capacitor with a Multimeter or Capacitor Tester

Our Top Choice
The Fluke Industrial Multimeter is battery-powered and delivers accurate and advanced troubleshooting capabilities for enhanced productivity. If you need a multimeter with true-RMS and LED backlight, check out the Fluke 117 Electricians True RMS Multimeter. It's designed for commercial applications.

Fluke 87V Digital Multimeter – Analog Bar Graph, Built-in Thermometer, Also Available in Max True-RMS Accuracy Version


Features

Fluke displays uncommon understanding of technology in the manufacture, distribution and servicing of electronic test tools and software. In industrial installations, commercial applications, maintenance and service, Fluke tools have helped to keep many organizations and professionals in business. It has many manufacturing centers around the United States, with its headquarters in Washington.

The Fluke Industrial Multimeter ($404.33 – Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) is designed to provide accurate voltage and frequency measurements on various speed motor drives and other electrically noisy equipment. It comes with an optional magnetic hanger that holds it up when your hands are busy. It has a large digital display for easy reading. Following are some of its other amazing features:

  • 0.05% DC accuracy
  • Measures up to 1000 VAC and DC
  • Resistance, continuity and diode test
  • Captures transients as fast as 250 us
  • Auto and manual ranging for maximum flexibility
  • Frequency of 200KHz
  • True RMS AC voltage
  • Analog bar graph for fast changing or unstable signals
  • Sleep mode for longer battery life
  • Audible alert to warn against wrong use of input jacks
  • Up to 6000 counts, 3-3/4 digits

It comes with a lifetime warranty.

Best Value
The Amprobe Electrical Contractor Multimeter with analog bargraph is designed for light commercial and advanced residential applications. Need a heavy duty multimeter? Amprobe has you covered there too with several options to choose from.

Amprobe AM-530 Electrical Contractor Digital Multimeter with Analog Bar Graph, Non-Contact Voltage Detector and Temperature Readings


Features

For over 65 years, Amprobe has made rugged measurement tools that have gone through various testing processes and been proven reliable. It received its first patent in 1950. Amprobe now makes over 500 products distributed to customers and resellers all over the world. It also maintains effective channels of communication to enhance customer feedback.

The Amprobe Electrical Contractor Multimeter ($72.73 – Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) delivers non-contact voltage detection. With true RMS technology, it improves accuracy in electrically noisy environments. It is designed with the highest safety consideration. Its other features include the following:

  • Diode tested
  • Has auto power off to save energy
  • Analog bargraph for easy viewing of results
  • Built-in flashlight
  • Comes with a Velcro strap to hang meter
  • Measures AC and DC voltage up to 600V
  • Temperature measure
  • Measures capacitance
  • Measures frequency
  • Low battery indicator
  • Backlit LED display
The Innova Automotive DMM has hold buttons to save retrieved data. It also comes with a 10 MegOhm impendence to prevent damage to the ECU. Need something different? The INNOVA 3320 Auto-Ranging Digital Multimeter is a UL certified multimeter with a large LED display. It's a lower-priced alternative to the featured one.

Innova 3340 Professional Automotive Multimeter - UL Certified Digital Multimeter Designed to Help Pinpoint Engine Problems


Features

Innova is a leading supplier of test equipment and diagnostic reporting tools for the automotive aftermarket. It has state-of- the-art facilities in the U.S and Canada. Innova pays good attention to research, and its technicians are ASE certified. Innova remains committed to customer service via its effective communication channels displayed on its website.

The Innova Automotive DMM ($74.85 – Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) is designed to help pinpoint engine faults. It allows for hands-free testing and also has test lead holders. It comes with good body protection against sudden drops. Other features of this multimeter include:

  • 10 MegOhm impedance to prevent damage to ECU
  • Auto power off to save battery
  • Overload protection system
  • Auto ranging
  • Measures up to 15amps for device testing
  • Good temperature measurement
  • Tests alternator diodes
  • Hold buttons to save retrieved data
  • Measures inductive RPM pickup
  • Comes with a carrying case

This multimeter is U/L listed for safety and quality.

The Extech Autoranging Mini Multimeter is a conveniently sized device that's great for electrical troubleshooting. It also comes with a non-contact voltage detector and a rubber holster for protection. Need a pocket multimeter that you can take easily with you? The Extech Humidity and Temperature Pen Sized Meter with Pocket Clip is available with a variety of options and may be just what you need!

Extech EX330 Autoranging Mini Digital Multimeter with NCV and Type K Temperature – Available in Several Styles


Features

With over 45 years’ experience, Extech is one of the largest manufacturers and suppliers of handheld test, measurement and inspection tools in the world. Its tools are distributed in over 100 countries. Extech believes its success can be attributed to the support and dedication of knowledgeable distributors in the market.

The Extech Autoranging Mini Multimeter ($51.05 – Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) delivers accurate measurements, has a large digit display and measures temperature and duty cycle. This multimeter has other fantastic features, including the following:

  • Built-in non-contact detector
  • 10A max current
  • Auto power off to conserve energy
  • Delivers 0.05% accuracy
  • Data hold capability
  • Rubber holster for protection
  • Measures AC/DC voltage and current

This multimeter is CatIII 600V U/L listed.

The Mastech Digital Multimeter has fuse protection, and auto and manual range options. It conveniently displays up to 3999 counts. Want something more affordable? Check out the Mastech Auto\/Manual Range Digital Multimeter. It delivers very accurate measurements at almost half the price of the featured one.

Mastech Auto-Range 5-in-1 Multi-Functional Digital Multimeter – Blue LED Back-lit LCD Display


Features

Mastech claims to be the world’s largest instrument manufacturer and the world’s leading provider of electronic measuring instruments. Through the adoption of technology, keen R&D, and knowledgeable professionals, Mastech makes quality products that are durable. It also has after-sales service to ensure customers remain satisfied. For inquiries, Mastech can be reached via its contact links.

The Mastech Digital Multimeter ($46.98 – Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) combines a sound level meter, luxmeter and humidity meter. It has a backlit LCD screen. See some of its other features below:

  • Fuse protection
  • Auto and manual range options
  • Displays up to 3999 counts
  • Polarity indication
  • Over range indication
  • Auto power off to save battery life span
  • Operating altitude up to 2000 meters

This multimeter is safety certified.

Best Multimeter Buying Guide - What's Better? Digital Multimeter Vs Analog Multimeter

 

Imagine that you had to measure the voltage, current, and resistance of a circuit to determine if they were accurate and that it actually didn’t require three different meters to do so. Yes, you read that correctly. Imagine that all you needed was just one electronic measuring instrument that could conveniently combine several measurement functions in one unit. Stop imagining because that is exactly what a multimeter does.

There are basically two types of multimeters and they are available in a broad range features. A multimeter, irrespective of its type primarily measures voltage in volts (direct and alternating), current in amperes (direct and alternating) and resistance in ohms. Some higher end models of multimeters are also capable of measuring frequency in hertz, capacitance in farads, and temperature in fahrenheit.

When it comes to testing various electrical appliances for issues, such as short circuiting of your extension cord or broken circuits in your electronics, a multimeter is the device of choice. With the help of different measurement functions, it can be used to check if your AA batteries are dead, if you’ve blown a fuse, check the voltage on your newly purchased power supply, measure the specification of your transistor, and much more.

Whether for commercial or do-it-yourself purposes, the value of a multimeter cannot be overstated. The aim of this review is to help you make the right choice of multimeter that is accurate and sensitive enough to measure basic units and extensive ones. If you are interested in detecting the possible sources of electro pollution in your home and measuring it to know how harmful it can potentially be, check out our review of the top EMF detectors available.

 

Video: Measuring Resistance with a Digital Multimeter

Using a Digital Multimeter to Measure Resistance. | Courtesy of MrChanPhysics
Price

The cost of a multimeter primarily depends on the brand and the features that accompany it. Multimeters come in 2 varieties – bench mounted and handheld. Bench mounted multimeters are usually more expensive and more accurate than their handheld counterpart. Multimeters with advanced functions such as auto ranging, bar graphs, and audible alerts would cost more than those with basic functions.

Getting a good handheld multimeter with sufficient features may cost anywhere between $50 and $400, while those that are bench mounted could cost as much $1000. We decided not to feature cheap multimeters, as their accuracy and life span could not be assured, but within our featured price range, you can get a multimeter that is accurate and comes with the additional features that make them worthwhile.

Features

Once you have decided to purchase a multimeter, there are several factors that must be considered to both prevent you from either getting an inadequate multimeter for your requirements and to make your selection far easier overall. Apart from the cost, the following are some of the factors that you should carefully consider:

  • Type
  • Accuracy
  • Safety features
  • Design and display
  • Ranging
  • Extras
Construction and Design

There are two types of multimeters – digital and analog multimeters. Let’s take a quick look at them:

  • Digital Multimeter - This one makes use of a digital circuit, simply meaning that it is capable of measuring discrete and precise increments in current as opposed to a range of value that is continuous. These are usually more accurate and durable than the analog multimeters and they have a battery powered LCD screen that displays a decimal readout. An average digital multimeter is capable of measuring the voltage, resistance, and current readings while an advanced one would also be capable of calculating frequency, duty cycle, and capacitance.
  • Analog Multimeter This type is usually cheaper than a digital multimeter and it uses the classic dials for measurement of voltage, current and resistance. Many users would argue that the analog multimeter is more sensitive than the digital multimeter, hence making it more preferable. The slightest change in current, voltage or resistance can cause a deflection of the analog multimeter’s needle and if you are going to be handling circuits with very sensitive measurements, an analog multimedia would be more suitable, however, it must be stated that most people find it difficult to read a multimeter that is analog.

There is rarely any multimeter that is 100% accurate but it is necessary, especially for professionals, to get a multimeter that is as accurate as possible. A multimeter’s accuracy is always expressed as a percentage (%) of the reading produced and it signifies how close the measurement displayed is to the standard value of the measured signal. If a digital multimeter with accuracy of ±2% produces a reading of 100.0V, it means that it ranges from 98.0V to 102.0V. Therefore, when choosing a this useful tool, it would be better to select one with an accuracy rating closer to ±0.1 for better and more accurate readings.

Depending on the type, analog multimeters usually have a pointer, dial, or needle, as opposed to a number reading on the screen of digital options. Different values are indicated by the graded measurement which the dial possesses and the value measured on the dial is indicated by the needle. Multimeters also have a selector button that permits you to change its scale and function. You can find a jack or an opening that allows you to test devices by inserting leads. There are two leads that are typically found on a meter – red and black. A fuse and battery compartment may be found at the back or side of the multimeter. The fuse allows the multimeter to perform properly while charged batteries are required to power and continually run tests.

Video: How To Use a Multimeter (For Beginners)

How to Use a Multimeter to Test Volts. | Courtesy of MAGS How To Videos
Performance and Ease of Use

Multimeters with the auto ranging feature are usually digital multimeters and are more expensive but easier to use. The central knobs on this kind of multimeter have fewer positions. To use it, you simply switch to what you need to measure and allow the device produce the required measurement. This has several advantages over the manual ranging as you do not need to know each one of the resistance, voltage, current and capacitance values.

Safety should also be of primary importance, especially when dealing with circuits with voltage greater than 30-35V. Features such as inner blast shields, wide flanges, isolation slots, input protection, and shrouded banana plugs are found in some multimeters to ensure the safety of the user. Wide flanges prevent any form of slipping, while arc-over is prevented by isolation slots. The measurement category of the multimeter is very important and should be noted because mismatching the measured electric voltage with the multimeter can result to serious injury of the user and damage to the meter, or circuit. Please note that if your multimeter has been set to measure current, you should not, for any reason connect it to a voltage or battery source. Fuses are also present to protect the meter from damaging due to overloading of current on the maximum current range, rather leading to only the need of replaced fuses in the event of minor overloading.

There are some extra functions that are characteristic of high model multimeters and they include temperature measurement, rotation per minute measurement (RPM), decibel (dB), and microamps (mA) rating, data logging and acquisitions (DAQ), high input impedance, auto continuity, and graphs. Some multimeters have sleep mode that helps prolong battery life, a flashlight for measurement in poor light regions, carrying pouch for easy portability and transport, and a low battery indicator that notifies you when your battery is low in order to prevent interruption during measurement process.

If you do not want to be seriously injured or worse while using the multimeter, you must ensure that certain safety features are in place. It is of utmost importance to read the instructions carefully and ensure that the selector of the multimeter is at the correct position before you begin to use it. Failure to do so could damage the multimeter as well as the tested circuit.


Get the Best Multimeter of 2020!

You have done well by taking time to read this review. We hope you have found it helpful. You can now go ahead and make a well-informed purchase, if you haven't done so already!

Our Top Choice
Fluke Industrial Multimeter
Best Value
Amprobe Electrical Contractor Multimeter
Innova Automotive Digital Multimeter
Extech Autorange Mini Multimeter
Mastech 5-in-1 Digital Multimeter

Multimeter FAQs

What is a multimeter?
A multimeter is an electronic instrument used to measure current, resistance, and voltage at the same time. It is also known as a Volt-Ohm-Milliameter or multitester. A multimeter may have an analogue or a digital screen. It can help you identify whether the switch or on, the wire is broken, the amount of current flowing through, and the power left in a battery.
How do I use a multimeter?
How you use a multimeter depends on whether you are measuring DC or AC voltage. If DC voltage, then you should set the V to the straight line and if AC voltage, then, move it to the wavy line. Connect the red probe to the port closest to the V and the positive side. Finish by connecting the COM probe to the opposite side and reading the value on the display.
How do I read a multimeter?
Reading a multimeter depends on whether it’s analogue or digital and the units you want. As such, a digital multimeter is easier to read since it displays the right units right there for you to see. If you had set to V, the units would be voltage. On the other hand, an analogue multimeter has several scales so you should read voltage, current, and resistance on the right one.
How do I test a car battery with a multimeter?
Remove surface charge from the battery by turning on the headlights for up to two minutes. After setting the multimeter to between 15 and 20 seconds, turn the headlights off. Connect the multimeter to the battery and read the voltage (it should be around 12.6). Start the car to check for any revised voltage (it should be about 10 volts). Anything below 5 volts indicates a bad battery that requires immediate replacement.
How do I test a capacitor with a multimeter?
You can test a capacitor with a multimeter using the usual probes or special connector pins. You may choose a multimeter that automatically selects the range or manually set the range on an ordinary multimeter. Then connect the multimeter to the capacitor using the probes.