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RichardZ 07-14-2013 04:03 PM

Multimeter Recommendations
 
I thought I'd pick up multimeter. Hah! The brief look I took showed so many out there, my head started spinning.

Does anyone have any guidelines on what I should be looking for, or heck, specific recommendations?

Here's some background info if it will help.

o I'm a homeowner, so this would be for stuff around the house.

o I'm fairly handy. I pull new electrical circuits, install new lights/outlets, etc,


o Mainly would be for troubleshooting electrical circuits (both regular and low voltage) and appliances.

o Any features that would protect me from myself would be nice to know about (perhaps "auto-ranging", whatever that is?)

o I understand that multimeters break out into digital vs. analog. I'm comfortable going with either one, but would be interested in knowing the advantages of one vs. the other.

o Being a homeowner, I don't need every feature under the sun, yet I don't want something so basic that I quickly exceed its capabilities. What features should I look for? One thing I'd like to know, is a fork-style useful? And since I already have a battery tester, that's one feature I don't need.

o This would be for very occasional use -- hey, I've gotten by without one so far -- so I don't want to spend a whole lot ($10 sounds mighty good). On the other hand, I've found going cheap can have its own pitfalls. So, I'd be willing to spend more (upwards of $30 or so), if I'd get a much better value (quality/feature set). If $30 still isn't enough, please let me know a reasonable range for a good multimeter.


o Store-wise, Home Depot and Sears are close by. WalMart and Lowes are in the area, but a bit farther away. And, of course, one can get virtually anything online.

o Is there any other tool I should consider (either as a substitute, or as a complement to a multimeter)?

o Any other things to consider?

Your thoughts and manufacturer/model recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

Richard

gregzoll 07-14-2013 04:41 PM

Wow. A simple of "What is the best choice by all that have Digital Volt meters", not that long Thesis.

I have a Sperry, some use Flukes. It is really up to how much you are willing to spend on the device, and how much you will be using.

vsheetz 07-14-2013 04:45 PM

http://www.sears.com/craftsman-digit...3&blockType=G3

or

http://www.lowes.com/pd_205783-72068...1&"cagpspn=pla"

Oso954 07-14-2013 05:57 PM

The Greenlee set is a great starter set for a homeowner. Many people never need anything more. If they do, the DVM is a good backup or spare to whatever they get in the future.

ToolSeeker 07-14-2013 08:13 PM

Although not a fan of Craftsman I have that meter and have had it for years and have found it to be as good as some of the more costly models.

vsheetz 07-14-2013 08:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Oso954 (Post 1215876)
The Greenlee set is a great starter set for a homeowner. Many people never need anything more. If they do, the DVM is a good backup or spare to whatever they get in the future.

Agree. :thumbsup:

vsheetz 07-14-2013 08:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ToolSeeker (Post 1215935)
Although not a fan of Craftsman I have that meter and have had it for years and have found it to be as good as some of the more costly models.

Agree, I have two (maybe three) and they work very well. Bought when on 1/2 price sale or as gifts. The rubber bumper all around makes a good grip and drop protection.

Bigplanz 07-15-2013 12:14 AM

I get a free one whenever i go to harborfreight with a coupon. It works fine. I used it on my car and it works fine.

raylo32 07-15-2013 06:27 PM

You might want to get one that includes a type K thermocouple input. These accept temp probes/clamp-ons of various types that can be used for many purposes, including HVAC diagnoses. There are plenty of these out there... I have an Extech 430 that seems to work well.

RichardZ 07-16-2013 02:38 PM

Thanks everyone! I appreciate all the guidance, comments, and most importantly, specific recommendations and their links!

Richard

Kissfan4 08-20-2013 04:01 PM

i know i am late responding to this but if you are looking for a fairly cheep one with some pretty cool options chaeck out this one from harbor freight http://www.harborfreight.com/5-in-1-...ter-98674.html not to bad if you google harbor freight coupons and get yourself a 25% off coupon.

halfamp 09-23-2013 09:43 PM

you probably wouldn't be able to go wrong with a fluke 322 based on your essay above :laughing:

http://media.digikey.com/photos/Fluk.../Fluke-322.jpg

clamp on to read current. will read AC voltage up to anything you'd have in your house. continuity tester to help identify shorted wires. everything you described, this one will suit you well

Maintenance 6 09-24-2013 02:44 PM

I love my Fluke T5. Have had it for years. But it's not in the $10-$30 bracket either. For one in that range , I'd hit Radio Shack.

JasperST 09-30-2013 09:11 AM

I have a Fluke 87v, Craftsman and a Greenlee. I like the Craftsman a bit better in the $50 range but the Greenlee has temperature, which is handy for checking refrigerator operation or stove accuracy.

One important point to consider though is how well they are built. The cheapo meters are tempting but it won't be much fun if it blows up in your hand. This guy does some very thorough reviews. http://www.eevblog.com/


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