Intro: Multimeter Buying Guide for Beginners
When it comes to building electronics projects, a Multimeter is an essential tool to have. It can be Very useful for measuring Voltage Current Resistance and even troubleshooting circuits. But which one to buy is the main question, Which I will answer so,
Let’s get started!
Step 1: Watch the Video !
If you don't want to read all the stuff you can watch my video.
Step 2: How Much Should You Spend on a Multimeter?
My recommendation is to spend anywhere around $40~$50 or if you can maximum $80 not more than that. Now don’t get me wrong for some people even $40 is also too much but trust me it will be worth it here is the reason.
Now some Multimeter cost as low as $2 which you can find on Amazon. Now trust these are total crap they don’t last very long. One which cost around $10, these are okayish but these are also crap and they don’t have proper safety and I have used this one in past and it exploded.
I accidentally kept it on Amps and measured the 230V AC and no surprise it shorted the mains and it exploded in my hands. It exploded because if you take a look at it, it uses the same port to measure Voltage and current. Whereas My new meter uses different ports for measuring current and voltage. Which would be much safer for the beginners. Now some high-end meters made by fluke cost a few hundreds of dollars and for beginners don’t even think about it's not worth spending that much on a meter. So get one which cost like 40~50 dollars. I’m using one made my Meco here it is, it cost like 50 bucks.
If you want to buy a good meter here are some,
Mastech - MS8229: https://www.gearbest.com/measurement-analysis/pp_1...
UNI-T UT216A Clamp Style: https://www.gearbest.com/multimeters-fitting/pp_3...
BSIDE ZT302: https://www.gearbest.com/multimeters-fitting/pp_1...
UNI-T UT211B Clamp Style: https://www.gearbest.com/multimeters-fitting/pp_3...
Step 3: Auto Range or Manual Range?
Answer to this question is very simple, get an Auto-range Multimeter because they are much easier to use. Manual has a whole bunch of values written on it and it is painful to set the proper range you want. Whereas if you have an auto range Multimeter just turn it on and start measuring, it will do all the work and give you a proper reading. And if you are spending $50 on a meter you will find most of them are Autorange. And also most of them have a button to change the range so you can use it in a manual mode as well, so spending money on the Auto range Multimeter is defiantly worth it.
Step 4: Parameters to Look for While Buying a Multimeter?
A Multimeter has few basic functions such as Measuring, Voltage Current and Resistance so make sure your meter can do at least these three task and few extra features like a diode, continuity mode and Most importantly it has a backlit available it can be helpful sometimes. And speaking about Measurements make sure your meter can measure at least 50mV and 20mA of current because that is very common & Maximum of 1000V, 20A. For example, a LED consumes 20mA so you can check that. And for resistance, it should be able to measure minimum a few ohms to a few Mega Ohms because that is also very common in Electronics.
Step 5: What Should Be Input Impedance? Does It Matter?
Most people don’t look at the input impedance of the meter while buying it and it can cause some major problems. Let’s say you bought a 10$ meter and it has few 100k ohms impedance if you are measuring a high impedance circuit let’s say 1M ohm then as soon as you connect the probes across it, it will change the entire impedance of circuit as it will be in parallel and effective resistance will decrease.
So get a meter which has at least 10M ohm input impedance