Author Topic: Recommend me a multimeter  (Read 535 times)

Recommend me a multimeter
« on: April 22, 2021, 05:56:26 am »
As above pls.
Simples.
My ancient Polski one is past its best.
Not really for use on mains testing.
Volts, Amps, Ohms and continuity with a beep are a must.
Anything else is a bonus which I'll, most likely, not know what to do with.
Happy to pay for a quality item.
TIA.

Re: Recommend me a multimeter
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2021, 06:46:03 am »
Fluke - probably the best (handheld) and safe for mains but spendy
Brymen - cheaper but still mains safe

After that provided you dont do anything stupid and dont need it as part of you job then tehre are a raft of great cheap mutimeters these days. £25 to £60 will get you a really nice one. Look at this and pick one you like:

Darren Walker's cheapo multimeter reviews:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYZY5UygQFAc4sYJGVzEbzA

If I had to get just one I would probably go for a UNI-T.
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that.

Re: Recommend me a multimeter
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2021, 07:27:47 am »
Something from Fluke is what I had in mind. Any Suggestions?

road-runner

  • Currently in Slovakia
Re: Recommend me a multimeter
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2021, 07:30:29 am »
If I had to get just one I would probably go for a UNI-T.

Mine is a UNI-T UT30B. Crocodile clip are useful to act as a third hand.

Re: Recommend me a multimeter
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2021, 07:31:51 am »
Something like a Fluke is a Fluke. I can't help with current stuff because my 29 Series II has been used and abused for the last 30 years and is still performing as intended. Only thing I will say, the rubber shock casings are worth having, no idea if they are standard.

ETA 114 seems the way to go https://test4less.co.uk/fluke-114-digital-multimeter.html

Re: Recommend me a multimeter
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2021, 08:53:15 am »
Everything you mention can be done with a <£5 meter. The very cheapest of these don't have a continuity buzzer, but otherwise are fine and surprisingly accurate.

Most cheap meters (even the slightly more premium cheap ones) come with crap probes made of a single strand of robot hair that quickly breaks, but these are easily upgradable.

One thing to consider is size. If you're working outdoors or in a spacious lab a big meter might be nice, but smaller meters are much friendlier to cluttered desks.

I see no reason to spend >£100 unless you're a professional or have money to burn.

Re: Recommend me a multimeter
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2021, 09:15:33 am »
I do love Flukes - when I left my first job handing back my trusty 75 was hard.

Nowadays I have a Fluke scopemeter as my big meter - but my everyday go to cost about £20 from Argos a decade ago, I dig out the scopemeter maybe once a year. And in my daily carry bag I have a small one from CPC about the size of a portable 2.5 inch hard drive, where the case it sits in cost more than the meter. For most of my uses, I care about if the voltage is 11 or 14 (is the car charging), is there continuity, is there 240V on something. Occasional measurement of resistance, but for most uses a cheap meter is more than accurate enough. They may not have the overall quality of a Fluke, but good enough and I won't cry if it gets lost or run over.

It's definitely worth spending some money on some good quality additional leads and clips, just so that you can do things like clip a ground lead to a point a reasonable distance from where you are measuring.

You won't regret buying a Fluke, it shouldn't let you down, it just may be overkill.

Re: Recommend me a multimeter
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2021, 12:37:44 pm »
ETA 114 seems the way to go https://test4less.co.uk/fluke-114-digital-multimeter.html
Note that this model doesn't actually include current measurement!

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Recommend me a multimeter
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2021, 01:07:30 pm »
You won't go wrong with Fluke, but I tend to see that as a mains-voltage thing, where going wrong has Consequences.

Some of the UNI-T meters are fantastic value.  I've got one of their clamp meters that can read DC current with reasonable accuracy in the tens of milliamps, which is surprisingly useful.  I woudn't want to poke its weedy little probes into mains stuff.

People seem to rate Brymen.  The BM235 looks like a good all-rounder.

Having followed the design process, I took a punt on the EEVBlog 122GW a couple of years back.  It's a slightly quirky design with some unique features that make it a one-meter-to-rule-them-all for electronics hobbyists (15V diode range and inverse continuity mode are surprisingly useful).  But it's not cheap, and the precision is overkill for most uses.

The important thing is a responsive continuity beeper.  Some meters are too cheap to beep, which is pants.  Some have an annoyingly low sample rate that makes the beeper latch in a way that makes it frustratingly useless when you're wiggling things to find the dodgy connection.  One nifty Brymen feature is lighting the LCD backlight in time with the beep - great for use in noisy environments.

Meanwhile, if you haven't got one, those ubiquitous eBay component testers with the ZIF socket are worth every penny as a quick and easy way of checking/identifying through-hole components.  I use one as a Reasonable Adjustment LCR Meter™ for identifying resistors, as it's less faff than holding multimeter probes against the leads without providing a current path through your fingers.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Recommend me a multimeter
« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2021, 01:22:59 pm »
It's definitely worth spending some money on some good quality additional leads and clips, just so that you can do things like clip a ground lead to a point a reasonable distance from where you are measuring.

Very much this.  Croc clips, test hooks, something that will stay attached to a Dupont connector.  Really long and really short leads can also be useful.

I'll just throw in a mention for the Sensepeek hands-free probes which are expensive and probably overkill for the OP, but worth every penny in reduced fucking around once you're dealing with fiddly circuit board stuff.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Valiant

  • aka Sam
    • Radiance Audio
Re: Recommend me a multimeter
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2021, 03:42:24 am »
That strange aussie bloke is my go to for multimeters, some good videos here: https://www.youtube.com/c/EevblogDave/search?query=multimeter

Brands I like, used and trust: Fluke, Megger, Kewtech, and UniT. My current meters are cheapo ANENG and Extech and I really like them, even EEVbloke likes them, but I'd still prefer the previous brands for mains work.
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Re: Recommend me a multimeter
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2021, 08:29:24 am »
I have some ANENGs and they are pretty good.
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that.