The 5 Best Budget Multimeters: Ultimate Guide

The 5 Best Budget Multimeters: Ultimate Guide

A multimeter is an instrument used to measure electric current, voltage, and resistance.

Etekcity MSR-R500 Digital Multimeter Innova 3320 Auto-Ranging Multimeter
Klein Tools MM400
Etekcity MSR-R500 Digital Multimeter Innova 3320 Auto-Ranging Multimeter Klein Tools MM400

  • Double Protection

  • LCD Backlit

  • Data Hold


  • UL Certified

  • Single-Setting Resistance Function

  • 10 MegOhm Input Impedance


  • CAT III 600V Safety Rating

  • Low Battery Indicator

  • User Manual Included

The best budget multimeter should be able to measure AC/DC voltage and current, as well as resistances. The accuracy of the readings should be within 1% of the true value. The multimeter should also have a wide range of features and functions.

Multimeters are widely used in the electronics industry for troubleshooting and repairing electronic circuits. It is also used in various other fields such as automotive engineering, home appliances, construction, etc. In this guide, we will review and help you choose a good low-priced multimeter.

Etekcity MSR-R500 Digital Multimeter – The Editor’s Choice

Etekcity MSR-R500 Digital MultimeterThe Etekcity MSR-R500 is a true multifunctional digital multimeter that can measure voltage, current, resistance, and diode. It also provides data storage and printing. Thanks to adopting high-quality design and advanced technology, this digital multimeter ensures accuracy and reliability. It has a large LCD with a backlight for clear viewing in dim or dark conditions.

Etekcity MSR-R500 has overload protection on all ranges and is anti-burn with double insulation. The multimeter can be used for a wide variety of applications, such as testing for voltage in the wiring of your home or office, checking for leaks in your car’s radiator, or testing whether or not your circuit. The rubber sleeve protects the multimeter from more wear/damage while in your work environment.

Pros
  • Good LCD backlit
  • Probes are correctly sheathed
  • Protective sleeve included
  • Double protection feature
Cons
  • Only one fuse
  • No automatic power-off feature
  • No True RMS feature

Innova 3320 Auto-Ranging Multimeter – The Best for Display

Innova 3320 Auto-Ranging MultimeterTired of the same old multimeters? Get the Innova 3320 and go pro. This UL-certified product is safe for electrical use and has automatic-ranging scales and a single-setting resistance function. It also has 10 MegOhm input impedance, perfect for your home, office, or garage. So what are you waiting for?

The Innova 3320 is one of the best budget multimeters on the market because it has automatic-ranging scales and a single-setting resistance function. It is a powerful yet affordable meter with a modern, user-friendly design. This multimeter is perfect for any electrical project. Protective rubber corner guards make this multimeter challenging and ensure that it can handle an accidental fall to the ground.

Pros
  • Auto-range function
  • Short pause before ringing the tone
  • Large display
  • Safe for electrical use
Cons
  • Plastic tabs on the case
  • Leads are low-quality

Klein Tools MM400 – The Safest Budget Multimeter

Klein Tools MM400Klein Tools MM400 is a simple multimeter that can measure up to 600V AC/DC voltage. It has a 10A AC/DC current and 40 MOhms resistance. The low battery indicator ensures you never lose power while testing. It also has test leads, a thermocouple with adapter, and batteries.

This multimeter can measure voltage, current, resistance, capacitance, frequency, duty-cycle, test diodes, and continuity. This device is ideal for anyone who needs to troubleshoot or diagnose a circuit board.

Pros
  • Two slow-blow ceramic fuses
  • Auto-ranging included
  • LCD backlight
  • Compact size
  • CAT III 600V safety rating
Cons
  • User interface isn’t friendly
  • Electrical accuracy specifications aren’t good

HILTEX 40508 – The Cheapest Budget Multimeter

HILTEX 40508The HILTEX 40508 is a multimeter with an overload indicator and a low battery indicator. The overload indicator will light up when its power is exceeded, while the low battery indicator will light up when the power drops below a certain level. The HILTEX 40508 has a liquid crystal display that is easy to read and can display measurements on both AC and DC voltage and resistance.

This multimeter can help you identify whether a transformer is working correctly and measure the output of a light bulb. It also has many other features that can be used for any electrical work, such as finding the transistor hFE.

Pros
  • Continuity audio function included
  • Large display
  • Good choice for beginners
Cons
  • Leads are low-quality

Extech EX330 – The Smallest Budget Multimeter

Extech EX330The Extech EX330 multimeter is a complete electrical test tool, ready to be plugged in to measure and troubleshoot any circuit or power supply. Helpful features include a built-in non-contact AC voltage detector, a transmitter and receiver that snap together for easy storage, and a rubber holster that protects it. The EX330 is perfect for all your electrical testing needs with the Type K temperature probe.

This digital multimeter feature called auto-ranging can accurately read information from different components. It can be used on small electronic devices or even large power sources. Besides, the Extech Max Hold function is great because it can store the multimeter’s highest reading, so you don’t have to stop measuring and start over.

Pros
  • Continuity is audible and visual for loud surroundings.
  • REL key feature included
  • Backlight works for a long duration
  • Perfect viewing angles of LCD
Cons
  • Slow autorange, especially in ohms
  • The HOLD feature is very basic

Budget Multimeter Buying Considerations

Choosing the best budget multimeter is not a straightforward task. There are many things to consider when purchasing a budget multimeter. The most important considerations that you should keep in mind are accuracy, durability, and whether or not it has built-in protection.

Budget Multimeter Buying Considerations

You need to decide what features you need from your multimeter and then find one with those features. For example, the multimeter must have this capability if you want to measure AC and voltage.

Safety

One of the most important aspects to think about is safety. You should always buy one with a protection rating of at least CAT III 600V. This will protect you from electrical shocks and other dangers if you accidentally touch two terminals on the device or if there is some short circuit in your circuit.

Accuracy

Budget multimeters are not as accurate as of the more expensive ones. They are, however, a lot cheaper and easier to use. The accuracy of a budget multimeter is usually in the range of 1% to 5%.

Durability

Durability is a key factor to consider when buying a multimeter. A durable budget multimeter will withstand the wear and tear of everyday use. If you are not careful, you may end up spending more money in the long run on a new one.

Multimeter Types

There are two main types of multimeters. The first one is called a digital multimeter, and the second is an analog multimeter. The digital multimeter uses a computer chip to convert the readings of current, voltage, or resistance into numbers displayed on a screen. An analog multimeter measures these values using a dial or needle which moves around a scale.

Display

If you are looking for a multimeter that has an easy-to-read display, then it might be worth spending more on one with a better screen resolution and contrast ratio.

Manufacturer

There are a lot of different manufacturers out there, and they each have their strengths when it comes to certain features. Some manufacturers specialize in just one feature type, while others are more well-rounded in their offerings.

Diode Testing Feature

Some multimeters are designed for specific tasks, such as testing diodes or measuring frequency. Others are more general-purpose and can measure any number of things.

True RMS

One of the most important aspects is accuracy which is measured in true RMS.

The true RMS measurement provides more accurate readings than the average DC voltage measurements, which are not always accurate enough for electrical work.

Temperature Measurement Feature

A budget multimeter with a temperature measurement feature is a great tool for any electrician or hobbyist to have.

This is because it can be used to take the temperature of various types of components. For example, it can measure the voltage and current from an AC circuit. It also has an alarm that will sound if the voltage exceeds your set limit so you can avoid electrical hazards.

Auto-Ranging Feature

One important feature to look for is an auto-ranging feature. This feature allows the meter to automatically detect the range of the electricity being measured and adjust accordingly, instead of manually adjusting the dial.

Testing Probes

Many different types of testing probes can be used with a multimeter. The most common probe type is the alligator clip, which is perfect for beginners because it can be used with any material or wire. Other probes include needle probes and crocodile clips which are more suited for advanced users.

Ease of Use

In a world where everything is going digital, it’s hard to find an analog device that is easy to use and budget-friendly.

A multimeter is a tool that can measure voltage, current, resistance, and frequency. It can be used for various purposes, like checking the electric current in your house or measuring the voltage on your car battery.

However, most multimeters are not very easy to use and require some knowledge about electronics and electricity. This makes it hard for people who are not trained in these fields to find one that suits their needs.

You can check related tutorial: How to Use a Multimeter: Beginner’s Guide.

Price

The price of the budget multimeters ranges from $5 to $75. Some models come with features like auto-ranging, which simplifies reading the measurements.

FAQ

Is a cheap multimeter any good?

Many factors can affect the price of a multimeter. The cheapest ones are usually not reliable and can give false readings. If you want to get something decent, you should be prepared to spend around $30-$50.

Is the Fluke multimeter worth the money?

Fluke multimeters are top-rated multimeters, but they aren’t budget. They are designed for use in the home, office, or industrial environment.

Is the Fluke multimeter worth the money

What kind of multimeter do I need for home use?

A general-purpose multimeter will work for most home uses. It is important to note that you should only buy a digital multimeter and not an analog one. This is because analog meters can be challenging to read, and they are not as accurate as digital multimeters.

Do I need a true RMS multimeter?

You need to know the difference between true RMS and average reading multimeters. Average reading multimeters are cheaper and may not be as accurate as a true RMS meter.

Is Aneng a good brand?

Aneng is a Chinese electrical and electronics manufacturer that has been in business since 2000. They produce a variety of products, including multimeters.

Aneng manufactures digital multimeters popular among technicians, electricians, and engineers. The company offers various models to choose from, with varying prices to suit every budget.

Is Sanwa a good multimeter?

Sanwa is a good multimeter if you are looking for an affordable meter with many features. It’s not as accurate as other models, but it is a good investment if you start and need to get the basics down.

Are Innova multimeters any good?

Innova is a well-known brand of multimeters. They are the most popular and cost-efficient devices for measuring voltage, current, and resistance. Innova has a wide range of high-quality devices that come in different price ranges to suit everyone’s budget.

Are Klein multimeters any good?

Klein is a reputable company that has been in the business of making multimeters for over 160 years. The company has created a range of digital multimeters best suited for home use and DIY projects.

Are Southwire multimeters any good?

Southwire is a well-known manufacturer of high-quality electrical equipment. They have been in business for many years and have always been committed to top-quality manufacturing products at an affordable price.

The Southwire digital multimeters have a wide range of features that make it one of the best budget digital multimeters on the market today.

Which is better: a budget clamp meter or a multimeter?

Budget clamp meters and multimeters are two different types of tools that measure electrical current in a circuit, but they are often confused as the same. Budget clamp meters are more commonly used than multimeters because they have fewer features and are easier to use.

Check related comparison: Clamp Meter vs. Multimeter.

Which is better: a capacitor tester or a budget multimeter?

A budget multimeter is better than a capacitor tester because it provides more information, such as voltage, current and resistance.

Is a budget multimeter a good gift for a ham radio hobbyist?

A budget multimeter is a good gift for a ham radio hobbyist because it can help them measure voltage, current, and resistance. This is important for troubleshooting and repairing radios.

Video Guide: How to Use a Multimeter for Beginners – How to Measure Voltage, Resistance, Continuity and Amps

Final Words

A multimeter is an electronic instrument that measures voltage, current, and resistance. It is an essential tool in the world of electronics. You can use it to troubleshoot a circuit or find out what’s wrong with your equipment.

The best budget multimeter should be easy to use and have a variety of functions. It should also come with a warranty for peace of mind.

In conclusion, it is essential to buy a multimeter that suits your needs and has the right features for what you need to do with it.


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