When accuracy is of the utmost importance, the best multimeter is critical for professional electricians, technicians, and even DIYers working on home projects. Multimeters allow you to work safely and soundly around electrical appliances and wires. Working on electrical components without the use of a multimeter could result in electrical shock, even when you’re careful.
Multimeters are small, handheld devices that determine whether or not something has live electricity running to it. Multimeters can also measure electrical current and flow and several other electrical values. Measuring these values accurately will help protect you and be a better electrician or homeowner.
Our Top Picks for Best Multimeter
When choosing the best multimeter, it’s important to remember several things. Simply having a multimeter will put you above the rest of the competition, but choosing the right one is essential. This article will explain exactly how to do that and what to remember when making your choice. We’ll also suggest some of the top multimeters on the market!
Fluke 117 Digital Multimeter, Non-Contact AC Voltage Detection
If you’re looking for the best electrical multimeter on the market, look no further than the Fluke 117 Digital Multimeter. Fluke is one of the top names for electrical devices and inspection equipment, and its multimeters are no exception. You’ll see many Fluke multimeter devices on this list, so get familiar with the name.
As the name implies, you can accurately measure voltage without direct contact with the multimeter’s test leads. This device can measure and detect the amount of voltage that a device has running to it. The Fluke 117 can also measure resistance, continuity, frequency, and capacitance, and you can measure each of these things in AC voltage or DC voltage.
Aside from all these device capabilities, the Fluke 117 is also very lightweight, handheld, and the perfect size for a working electrician. It even includes a flashlight for working in the dark, which can be quite often if you’re an electrician. This device is highly accurate, battery-operated, and works well in extremely high or low temperatures.
Pound for pound, you won’t be able to do better than the Fluke 117 if you need an excellent multimeter. Given the high price tag, it might be overkill for homeowners or maintenance workers who don’t work with electricity daily. For electricians who rely on multimeters every day, however, the Fluke 117 is a necessity.
Fluke 115 Digital Compact True RMS Multimeter
If you want most of the quality that the Fluke 117 offers without paying the hefty price tag, you should consider the Fluke 115. It’s the best true RMS multimeter that can do almost everything that the 117 does except for non-contact electrical detection. With the 115, you’ll have to make direct contact between the probes and the device or wire you’re testing.
Aside from not having non-contact abilities, the 115 is similar to the 117. It can measure and detect the amount of voltage that a device has running to it in both DC and AC current. The Fluke 115 can also measure resistance, continuity, frequency, and capacitance, and you can measure each of these things in AC or DC.
The only other downside of the 115 is that it requires the use of an electrical cord to operate. The fact that it has to get plugged in to perform can be restrictive sometimes, especially if you don’t have electricity wherever you’re working. However, as long as you have electricity, the Fluke 115 is the best multimeter.
It’s handy for maintenance workers who do most of their work in areas with easily accessible electrical outlets. They aren’t ideal, however, for electricians who frequently work around power outages unless you adapt your multimeter to work with batteries.
Fluke 116 HVAC Multimeter
Electricians and maintenance workers aren’t the only professionals who need multimeters. Heating and cooling technicians and service workers often work on air conditioners, furnaces, and other heating and cooling appliances that operate with electricity. HVAC technicians never have everything they need until they have a multimeter in their tool belts.
Because HVAC technicians often work around electrical appliances but don’t always need a multimeter daily, the Fluke 116 HVAC multimeter is ideal. The Fluke 116 is specifically designed to meet the needs of heating and cooling professionals. This device can do all the necessary things of other multimeters, such as detecting and measuring voltage, resistance, continuity, frequency, and capacitance.
In addition to these bare electrical essentials, the Fluke 116 HVAC multimeter can do a few things that the 115 and 117 can’t. It features a built-in thermometer so that you can check the temperature, a flashlight so that you can work in the dark, and a microamp feature so you can test heat sensors on furnaces and heaters.
Additionally, the Fluke 116 has an improved ability to detect ghost voltage, which can be extremely inconvenient for HVAC workers. At a shade over $200, it’s not as expensive as the Fluke 115 or 117 and will make the perfect addition to your heating and cooling tool kit. Whether you’re testing circuit boards, electronic circuits, or anything else, you’ll be a better technician with the Fluke 116.
Fluke 107 AC/DC Current Handheld Digital Multimeter
You don’t have to be an HVAC or electrical professional to enjoy the benefits of the best digital multimeters. If you’re a homeowner who enjoys doing their own electrical work, the top pick is the Fluke 107. This bad boy has AC and DC voltage reading capabilities and can measure resistance, continuity, and capacitance. It even has the coveted LCD display that’s typical of Fluke devices!
The Fluke 107 is battery-powered and much more affordable than any options we’ve looked at. The reason it’s highly affordable is that the 107 doesn’t have quite all the bells and whistles that the other Fluke options do, but it’s certainly enough to get the job done for a homeowner. You won’t need a multimeter with advanced capabilities and additional features as a homeowner. You’re good to go if it gives you accurate measurements and readings.
Another thing that makes the Fluke 107 ideal for inexperienced homeowners is its ease of use. You’re sure to have accurate readings if you read the directions and touch the correct prong to the right area. This multimeter will allow you to do much of your own electrical work around the house, and it will help keep you safe from electrical shock thanks to the built-in safety features.
Fluke 101 Basic Digital Multimeter Pocket Portable Meter
If you’re looking for the best multimeter for the money or the best multimeter for beginners, the Fluke 101 Basic Digital Multimeter is our best budget option. The Fluke 101 is one of the best analog multimeters.
This handy little device is the best multimeter for home use. It’s incredibly lightweight and easy to use and serves as the perfect backup if you don’t have access to or feel like getting your main multimeter out for a job.
Despite being small in size, the Fluke 101 gives surprisingly accurate readings. It can measure the amount of and presence of voltage in both AC and DC current. It can also check for resistance, continuity, and frequency. Although it only comes with the bare basics and essentials, the Fluke 101 gives accurate results and is excellent for work or home use.
No matter who you ask or where you check, Fluke 101 gets outstanding ratings. It comes with the quality and reliability of the Fluke name without the high price tag that often gets attached to their products. At a highly affordable price, it still has an LCD screen for easy readouts and use.
KAIWEETS Digital Multimeter Voltmeter Smart Electrical Tester
So far, each of the multimeters we’ve looked at is made by Fluke. While they’re the top brand in the business, they aren’t the only ones who make suitable multimeters. For example, the KAIWEETS Digital Smart Multimeter is a great option that doesn’t have the Fluke name but has the same quality.
This option is also highly affordable, making it a favorite among those looking for a budget-friendly voltmeter. Many consider this the best multimeter for electronics hobbyists.
As the name implies, the KAIWEETS is a smart voltmeter that automatically checks the voltage, resistance, and continuity of electrical circuits, circuit breakers, and wires without adjusting them. It can also measure continuity duty cycle capacitance and includes temperature probes for checking how hot or cold something is.
This nifty little multimeter comes with its carrying case and includes everything you need to get started with electricity. It can also accurately measure active and direct current voltage, resistance, continuity, AC/DC current, capacitance, frequency, test diodes, duty cycle, temperature, NCV, and live wire. You can also use it as an automotive multimeter when necessary.
So, if you’re looking for one of the best and most affordable smart multimeters on the market, look no further than the KAIWEETS Digital Multimeter Smart Electrical Tester.
What to Look for When Buying a Multimeter?
If you’re considering purchasing one of the multimeters we’ve listed above, keeping a few things in mind when selecting is essential. To help make things easier, let’s look over the x things to look for when buying your multimeter.
One of the main things to consider when buying a multimeter is what you plan on using it for. The list above shows that many different multimeters are meant for various purposes. Some multimeters are meant explicitly for HVAC use or maintenance work. Other multimeters that don’t have as many unique or advanced features are better for household use by homeowners.
However, if you’re a professional electrician, you’ll want to choose a more expensive multimeter with all the bells and whistles. While this type of multimeter will inevitably cost more, it’s necessary to ensure that you stay safe on the job and take accurate electrical readings.
No matter what type of multimeter you purchase or how much you want to spend on it, it’s crucial that your multimeter takes accurate readings. Accuracy is especially important if you’re a pro, but it’s crucial no matter how often you plan to use your multimeter.
The last thing you want to do is replace your multimeter every couple of years. As you can see, multimeters are fairly expensive, so constantly replacing them will wreak havoc on your budget. As such, you should ensure that your multimeter is tough and durable and won’t give out the first time you drop it or splash water on it.
Durability is one of the great things about Fluke multimeters. They’re designed to get used by professional electricians and heating and cooling technicians, which means they’re built tough. As such, you can be sure that when you purchase a Fluke product, you get a quality and durable multimeter.
The way that your multimeter receives power isn’t quite as important as it once was. Batteries power nearly all handheld multimeters, and very few require a power cord to operate. However, some multimeters use a power cord to charge via a USB port, while others use AA or AAA batteries. Opting for a multimeter that uses batteries as its power source might be a good idea if you don’t have ready access to USB ports while on the job.
One of the reasons that multimeters have such a wide price range is that some devices are capable of more than others. The Fluke 117, for example, can do just about anything you need to get done. On the other hand, cheaper options such as the Fluke 101 are much more limited in their capabilities.
Furthermore, the Fluke 116 HVAC multimeter has certain capabilities explicitly meant for heating and cooling technicians, including temperature probes and thermal probes. Some multimeters are better suited for use with automobiles, RVs, boats, and other vehicles. You should ensure that the multimeter you’re thinking about buying can do everything you need.
Another thing to keep in mind is the large screen display of your multimeter. Most Fluke products and any multimeter worth its weight should have a digital display that’s easy to read and understand. Older multimeters and cheaper options may have a needle display similar to an old-school scale.
Why is Fluke the Best Multimeter?
Fluke makes the best multimeters because they don’t hedge on quality components in their products. Whether you pay $300 or $40 for a Fluke multimeter, you’re guaranteed to get the same quality and durability. Fluke also has a wide variety of products ranging from those for professional electricians to homeowners on a tight budget.
Fluke vs. Brymen vs. Kaiweets Multimeter Comparison
Pound for pound, Fluke is at the top of the list of which company makes the best digital multimeters. Fluke uses top-notch materials and components and produces durable and long-lasting multimeters.
Brymen, while making some professional grade multimeters, is better known for producing more affordable personal multimeters. They have quality products, but their brand isn’t as renowned as Fluke’s, and their multimeters aren’t as durable.
Kaiweets is more of an off-brand name when it comes to multimeters. We included one of their products on our list because it’s an excellent, affordable, smart multimeter. In general, however, if you’re a professional electrician, you should opt for Fluke since they’re the top brand for multimeters.
The Best Multimeter FAQs
What Does a Multimeter Do?
Digital multimeters measure the amount of electricity flowing to a device, appliance, electrical wire, or anything else being powered by electricity. Its two main jobs are to measure voltage and amperage as accurately as possible so that electricians can detect electrical flow problems and the presence of electricity. Multimeters can also measure ohms, resistance, and capacitance.
Are Cheap Multimeters Worth It?
It all comes down to what you’re planning to use your multimeter for. If you’re a homeowner who only plans to use your multimeter occasionally or sparingly, there’s no need to invest in a $200 to $300 multimeter. However, buying a cheap multimeter could result in inaccurate readings and mishaps if you’re a professional electrician.
Should You Invest in a Professional Grade Multimeter?
If you’re a professional electrician, you should invest in a professional-grade multimeter. Purchasing a professional-grade multimeter will ensure that you’ll be able to do the best job possible because you have the best tools.
Which Brand Multimeter is Best?
While many great multimeter brands are available, Fluke stands above the fold. Many of the best multimeters have many advanced features, ultimately, accuracy is the most important quality. For decades now, Fluke has stood as the benchmark that all other multimeters are measured to, and many use Fluke testing equipment to calibrate their meters before they are sold.
What is a Good Multimeter for Beginners?
For beginners and inexperienced homeowners looking for the best multimeter for their home toolbox, we recommend the Fluke 107 AC/DC Current Handheld Digital Multimeter. This multimeter by Fluke has all the basic functions that professional electricians rely on, is easy to use, and has an LCD screen.
What Multimeter Do Electricians Use?
Most electricians use a digital multimeter. A digital multimeter is more accurate than an analog multimeter and can measure AC and DC voltage, amperage, and resistance.
Whether you’re a professional electrician, an HVAC technician, a hands-on homeowner, or a maintenance worker, having the best multimeter is necessary. A multimeter will ensure that you take accurate electrical readings and stay safe on the job.
If you’re in the market for a new multimeter, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better option than one of the products on this list. If you decide to deviate from this list, you should use the buying guide we provided above. As long as you stick to the list or use our buying guide, you’re sure to purchase the best all around multimeter for your needs.