Digital Multimeter Buying Guide
When you plan to purchase a Multimeter, there are a few things you need to take into consideration. Obtaining the proper information will allow you to have the correct knowledge to get the proper multimeter that you are paying for. Some examples of things you should know would be the cost, what brand would be your best option, how to use it, and what you should look for when purchasing one. Figuring out want you want and need in a multimeter before you buy one will make actually getting one much easier.
First of all, the pricing on a Multimeter varies on the brand and what features you want to go with it. You could spend anywhere between $50.00 and $450.00. If you buy one that is not calibrated you can get it cheaper, but to keep it at a factory’s accuracy you have to get it calibrated at least once a year and that’s going to cost you around $50.00 or so.
You will probably not find one that is calibrated under 100 dollars. If you can live without it and go with a cheaper model, that’s fine but you will have to replace it once it becomes inaccurate. Also you can have a hand held model, which would be the inexpensive route to go, or if you would prefer a bench top model, that could bring you up to a $1,000. Bench top multimeters tend to be extremely expensive.
Secondly, you will need to know a little bit about what the device has to offer. All digital multimeters have an LCD screen that will display a decimal readout. Digital variants tend to be alot more accurate by at least 5% compared to an analog. It lets you measure things like AC or DC voltage, resistance and current. Many of the more common features that come along with a digital multimeter would be dB ratings, auto ranging, Adjustable sample rating, Removable data storage, Triggering and Data Acquisitions. You can also get added features such as transistor test, Auto continuity and the capability of measuring temperature.
Also, there are many different ways that you can use it. The word multi implies that you can get more than one measurement. Some examples of what you can use your multimeter on, depending on the type of features your multimeter has, would be Batteries, motors, components, power sources and switches. To find out the complete list of what all you can use your multimeter on both indoors and out would be to check your service manual that you receive when you buy it.
On another note, you need to be sure to know if the unit you plan to buy has auto ranging. Having a multimeter with auto range gives you a device that is very flexible and allows you to be able to select a wide range of voltages. It works wonders on detecting computer malfunctions as well as wiring systems and so many more things.
Brands and Quality
Also, There are many different brands that you can choose from that provide high quality digital multimeters. Different brands carry different prices so you will have to shop and compare to find the proper multimeter that you need that in is the budget that you can afford. A few examples of brands of multimeters are Fluke, Aligent, Wavetek/Metermen, B+K Precision, Beckman and HP and Extech. These are all very reputable brands of multimeters. They provide you with high quality products that offer you the best possible results. It is advised for you to research each brand and they’re manufactures before hand to gain a better knowledge base, as well as look at some reviews from previous customers of theirs. There are many other multimeter brands available out there as well.
In summary, There are many different options out there available to you, with a little bit of research and a set budget before you jump in to buy, will save you major amounts of money. With a digital multimeter you will be able to do some of the handy work yourself, which in return will save you money by not having to get a electrician, technician or mechanic coming in and doing it for you.