# Multimeter Comparison 2018

## Purchase advice on the multimeter comparison or test 2018

• Multimeters are measuring devices that allow the user to determine several electronic values. Often, in addition to the current and voltage, you can also test the resistance of an electrical circuit. Some devices are still able to determine temperature, frequency or capacity.
• Not only professional electricians like to use this measuring technology. Also in model making or hobby-hobbyists, the multiple measuring devices are often used - for example, when soldering or repairing electrical components.
• Nowadays the multimeters are digital. This means that they do not announce their readings via a deflecting pointer, but via a display. This allows very precise results to be communicated and even small differences in current or voltage can be detected.

According to a forecast by the statistical office of the European Union, by 2020 measuring, control and similar instruments will generate around € 30.5 billion in sales. These include, inter alia, multimeters.

It's no surprise that the devices are so popular because they help in many situations: For example, they make it easier to repair your washing machine or make it possible to check the car battery, But regardless of what electronic items the multimeter is used for, it should provide accurate data in any case.

What you should continue to pay attention to when buying a multimeter, see our multimeter comparison 2018. Also, we explain to you in the following purchase advice, what is it with the different classes on it.

### 1. What is a multimeter used for?

##### Ohm's law

The law states that the current I in a conductor and the voltage U between the ends of the conductor are directly proportional. The mathematical language for this situation is reflected in the formula U = R * I low. R denotes the resistance.

This means: The resistance of a circuit can be determined by dividing the applied voltage by the applied current. This allows the multimeter Calculate resistance in a short time.

Whether it's an analog multimeter or a Fluke Digital Multimeter, you can capture multiple sizes in different measurement ranges.

By default, each unit is fitted with an ammeter and a voltage meter (voltmeter), Thus, with the help of Ohm's law for the device and the resistance determination is no longer a problem.

The measuring ranges usually range from 200 mV to 1,000 V (voltage) and from 20 μA to 20 A (current). It does not matter if it is DC or AC. An acoustic continuity tester is also integrated in almost all digital multimeters.

• Voltage is measured in units of volts.
• Current is measured in units of amperes.
• Resistance is measured in units of ohms.

For example, you can use the measuring instruments to check whether removed light bulbs are still working or how high the operating voltage on the car is.

In addition, many multimeters are capable of demonstrating frequencies, capacitances, inductances, and transistor and diode properties, If the products have sensors, they can also be used to measure humidity, sound or temperature. Such multi-blades are quite expensive.

Be multimeter also called multimetersbecause they combine several devices in one. The origin of the term multimeter can be derived from the Latin word "multus" for much and the Greek "metron" for measure or distance.

But as practical as a multimeter may be, it also has some disadvantages. Here we have summarized the advantages and disadvantages of a multimeter:

• Various measuring devices are combined in one device
• Compact design - saves space in the tool box
• difficult handling for laymen
• very sensitive - quickly breaks down in careless handling

### 2. Analog vs. Digital: Multimeter types

First and foremost, multimeter types can be differentiated by the way in which the measurements can be read:

Analog multimeterDigital multimeter

For analog multimeters, the Measured value displayed by pointer deflection, Depending on what is measured, you have to take the value of the corresponding scale - so there is no digital display.

faster measurement

Values ​​are usually less accurate because scales are not very fine
can only determine voltage, current & resistance
does not give an error message if used incorrectly

A digital multimeter determines the signal with the aid of an analog-to-digital converter and outputs the measured value in numerical form in the display.

To measure in any situation, the Displays equipped with a backlight.

Modern devices can continue to detect temperature, frequency and capacity.

very accurate measurement
can measure even more properties

slow measurement

These days are the Digital multimeter far more common as the analog. With them, the values ​​are simply much more accurate and easier to read than with an analog device. Therefore, the latter are not listed in our multimeter comparison.

### 3. Purchase criteria for a multimeter

#### 3.1. metrics

Multiple measuring devices can be equipped with different measuring functions. Basically, each specimen determines only voltage, current and resistance. Which other sizes most testers can still detect, we have put together in the following table:

measurandexplanation
amperageThe devices can measure the current only with direct current. The measuring range should be between 0.2 milliamperes and 10 amps.
tensionThe devices also have a voltmeter installed and can detect both DC and AC voltage. The majority of digital multimeters can handle 0.2 to 1.00 volts DC and 2 to 700 volts AC.
resistanceThe resistance measurement can be between 200 ohms and 200 kilohms.
temperatureThe temperature can not be detected by analog multimeters and only by a few digital multimeters. But, for example, the HP 760 B from HoldPeak has this option.
frequencyThe frequency can only be measured by a few multimeters from Fluke or Voltcraft. Values ​​up to 200 kilohertz are recorded.
capacityCapacity is specified in the Farad unit. The multimeters from Voltcraft, Fluke or Mastech can usually detect 2 to 200 nanofarads.

#### 3.2. measuring classes

The so-called measurement classes specify the permissible fields of application of measuring and testing equipment for electrical equipment, The following categories have been established for the classification of devices and their uses:

CAT I:

• For measuring on battery-operated devices or those with a built-in transformer
• Possible applications: Repair of flashlights or stereos

CAT II:

• For measuring on devices that have a power plug
• Possible areas of application: Repair of electrical tools or household appliances

CAT III:

• For measuring the house installation or permanently installed appliances
• Possible areas of application: Measurement at sockets or sub-distributors

CAT IV:

• For the measurement of low voltage installations
• Possible areas of application: Measurement at main fuse boxes

For normal home use, you do not need a CAT IV digital multimeter.

#### 3.3. domestic equipments

Whether pocket multimeter, table multimeter or USB multimeter: Pay attention to what accessories the seller gives you. Many devices are powered by a 9V block battery, If this is already included, you can start measuring immediately. Manufacturers such as Voltcraft also supply a carrying case. So the device is protected from dust and well packed, if you want to stow it when not in use in the basement.

#### 3.4. Brands and manufacturers

Cheap multimeters are available from many manufacturers. As a leader you can probably look at the multimeter from Fluke, These are however very expensive (100-200 €) and for the layman in the home use not necessarily necessary. We have listed more brands here:

• fluke
• Voltcraft
• Testboy
• PeakTech
• Beha-Amprobe
• Benning

### 4. Tips for handling

Since the digital multimeters are equipped with internal electronics and a display, they must always be powered by a battery or a power supply. Some copies also work with solar cells.

So that even the best multimeter has the longest possible life, you should heed the following points:

• When performing a continuity test, you must interrupt the power supply to the object being measured. Allowing the current to flow during the measurement could damage the multimeter.
• Never connect a multimeter in parallel to power sources such as batteries, rechargeable batteries, or power supplies when the instrument is set to the Amperage Measurement or Amperage Measurement setting. Also in this case, the multimeter can be damaged.

In order to answer further basic questions, the video below contains a multimeter manual and explanation that we would like to recommend to you:

### 5. Multi-knife at Stiftung Warentest

The Stiftung Warentest has not yet carried out a multimeter test and therefore there is no multimeter test winner. Indeed Auditors have already dealt with electricity cost meters, Only one thing was convincing: the Voltcraft Energy Monitor 3000 from Conrad.

The judgment of the Stiftung Warentest is positive, because this model also measures low values ​​in the standby mode of the electrical appliances. Another plus: Voltcraft's Energy Monitor can forecast costs for the next few weeks or months. Laymen should read the instructions for use before using them for the first time since the application is not very intuitive.

If the foundation publishes a separate multimeter test, we will point this out to you in future.

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