Top 15: What is The Best Digital Multimeter for your Diagnostic Needs?
What is a digital multimeter ?
Instead of having separate meters, a multimeter combines an ammeter, an ohmmeter and a voltmeter.
Mechanics and car owners use it on batteries and motors to detect malfunctions and narrow down their cause. In this case we are looking for good multimeter for cars.
A good multimeter could either be digital or analog. The digital one has an LCD display screen that reads out a straight forward decimal, while the analog display moves a bar through a scale of numbers and the user has the responsibility of interpreting the read.
Buying a good multimeter:
When buying a multimeter, you ought to be careful in order to get the right one as they are usually specified depending on their sensitivity range.
Related: Whats the Best Fuel Injector Cleaner
The Best Digital Multimeter (Full List of 17 Digital Multimeter Reviews Below)
Why use a multimeter?
You will mostly use the multimeter to check for a variety of electrical faults and identify 12V power sources of your car. This way you could find out why your car battery is not charging right and then take steps to rectify the situation.
A Multimeter is also important as it allows you measure resistance when working with switches, fuses, relays, sensors and other components of your car like lighting, stereo and ignition coil. For instance, if you headlight goes off abruptly, measuring resistance will help you determine whether it is dead or not before you could buy a new one.
Other multimeters also have the ability to read continuity. This is essential for testing fuses, troubleshooting broken wires and any other parts of your car that pass current. A multimeter also measures current which could help test for a potential; drain in your car battery.
How to use a multimeter
There are two types of multimeters, auto-ranging multimeters, and manual meters. The auto-ranging meters come with a few selections on the dial; the meter guesses what you are using it for based on the information it receives on the probes.
On the other hand, the manual ranging meters demand that you select the input range it is going to use. The only difference between the two is that one puts in the ranges for you while the other does not. On the multimeters, you will find a circular mode dial that allows you choose many of the different measurements.
Related: Why Does My Car Overheat?
The common ones are AC/DC voltage, current and resistance. You will then notice the input jacks with the black one being most common as it never moves from its slot. Other than the black there are two red jacks and you choose the jack to use based on what action you want to perform. A red and black probe connects to the jacks on the multimeter.
The probes are used to collect different measurements. High end multimeters will have more measuring options and jacks. To read your measurement, check on the display screen and consider all information displayed. Some meters will show digits and decimal points while some will also include the unit of measurements.
The best digital multimeter on the market
Hands down, Fluke
1. Fluke 88V 1000V Automotive Multimeter
– Best Digital Multimeter
Being the best multimeter for automotive use, the Fluke 88v 1000v has the ability to carry out diode tests on your vehicle . It measures variables with an accuracy of +/- 1.0 per cent and the maximum conductance that can be measured is 60.00 nS. This was just a snippet of this automotive multimeter review… see more here
Etekcity MSR-C600 Digital Clamp Meter Multimeter – Best Multimeter For The Money
This really is the best multimeter for the money. It comes at a very affordable price point, and the clamp feature is something that you simply aren’t going to get out of a cheap multimeter. The Etekcity performed very well when we compared it to high-end multimeters. If you’re looking for a great, affordable digital multimeter, this Etekcity model is definitely the way to go!
Tacklife DM01M Advanced Digital Multimeter – Best Automotive Multimeter
A few features that we really like about the product that won our best automotive multimeter award is the large range of measurement & the integrated stand. When you are working on your car having a stand to prop up your automotive multimeter is a really nice feature to have. It frees up your hands to work on your vehicle, and really makes any project significantly more convenient.
If you’re looking for the best automotive multimeter, look no further than this Tacklife model. It does a great job at an incredibly affordable price point.
It also has a large display and colored LED screen for quick battery checks. The multimeter uses a single setting resistance function for both AC and DC voltage. It has rubber corners which protect it from damage in case it drops.
Related: Best Tonneau Covers
The Mastech MS8268 Digital AC/DC Auto/Manual Range Multimeter will impress you with its ability to compete with Fluke models in terms of quality but at just a fraction of the cost. The device boasts of features like backlit display panel, auto powering off and audio and visual warnings for the jacks just in case they are not well used. Its is a good cheap multimeter.
It is ergonomically designed to a compact size that allows for easy one-handed operations. The display is backlit and of significant size to allow you make reading easily and it also has true RMS value for AC.
Related: Best Double Din Car Stereo
The device can measure up to 10 Amps and 1000V and has an auto-ranging feature that can be tuned to manual mode if need be. The multimeter also has a temperature probe but it is a K probe so it will only be of use if you need to test your air conditioning system. When measuring the engine temperature it is of little use unless you have just started on it and it not very hot yet.
The Extech Ex 330 comes with its own rubber holster that makes it quite safe and comfortable.
It only goes high up as 10 Amps which makes it okay for amateurs and other inexperienced users. When buying this meter you get a holster and a 9V battery. Also ,it has a very bright backlight which comes handy when working on a car- one of the best multimeters for car battery . It is safe and recommended for beginners because it will notify you if you have not set the correct amperage or voltage meter other than giving you a false reading.
The Fluke 87V stands above other multimeters owing to two features. It can take measures as high as 10A and 20A for 30 seconds at a time. The other function which is more of a downside is that the multimeter always beeps if you get the input jacks wrong.
It can also check for frequency, duty cycle; Test diode and continuity buzzer. The display screen is large and easy to read too. The device automatically goes into sleep mode after 30 minutes of inactivity to help save power.
16. Extech EX430 True RMS Autoranging Multimeter with K Type, Capacitance, Frequency, and Duty Cycle
The display area is also big enough and has a backlit that makes it easy to read the measured values. In addition, the Extech Ex430 possesses the functions of measuring frequency, temperature and duty cycle. The digital multimeter can also test diodes and continuity.
It can measure AC voltage over the range of 0.1mV to 750v and a DC voltage range of 0.1mVto 1000V. It features a built in K-type thermocouple, tilt stand, protective holster and a Velcro hanger.
Occasional users find the Mastech MS8229 to be useful in a number of ways. It also has a lux meter and a thermometer to make it useful for auto users that want to make sure their engine probes are working fine and that the disk brakes are not overheated.
Related: Best Car Battery Tester