As an electrician, a multimeter is as important to you as a speedometer is to a car driver. While driving a car, you can’t tell how fast you are going without having a glance at the speedometer. Similarly, working on electronics without one of the best multimeter for electricians would leave you clueless.
Why? Because without a multimeter, you wouldn’t be able to know about the fundamental electrical characteristics of a circuit. We are talking about current, resistance, and voltage. Without these basic readings, you would not be able to plot your next course of action as an electrician.
Therefore, a multimeter is more of a necessity for an electrician rather than a luxury. Considering the indispensability of the instrument, we have gone through countless reviews online to handpick the top 7 best multimeters for electricians. If you need to do electrical work regularly, have a look at the multimeters we highlighted here and see if any of these suits you.
You landed this page in a hurry and need one definitive answer? In that case, our ultimate pick would be the Fluke 117. Longevity, affordability, and accuracy: the Fluke 117 posts sky-high numbers on each of these fields. Fluke 117 lets you take a voltage reading without even touching the surface, which makes it safe to use in any possible scenario.
Now, without further ado, let’s get started with the reviews!
Best Multimeters For Electricians: Our Top 5 Shortlist
Etekcity Digital Multimeter
This digital multimeter is all about user-friendliness and saving energy. If you want a digital multimeter with excellent battery run-time, the Etekcity MSR-C600 would be an ideal buy. The display shuts down automatically after 15 seconds of idleness, which extends its battery life significantly. But, being power efficient is not the only thing the MSR-C600 has in store.
The practicality and ease of use of this unit also deserve a shout out. It comes with a pair of AAA 1.5V batteries, which would save you the cost of purchasing additional batteries right away. The primary task of a multimeter is to show ampere, volt, and ohm readings. The readings are easily visible due to the generous screen size.
- Auto ranging: The auto ranging feature eliminates the need for precisely knowing the range value of the electrical properties you are trying to determine. The meter would adjust its internal range to that of the resistance, voltage, or capacitance it wants to measure.
- Easy To Read Display: The multimeter has a big LCD display, where you can see the readings clearly. You wouldn’t have trouble deciphering the readings even if the lighting is scarce. The display is positioned halfway through the body of the unit, instead of the customary “on the top” design.
- Sleep Mode: How many times did your multimeter run out of juice, because you forgot to switch it off. It is a very common thing to happen, and leaves you helpless when you would need to use the meter later. The sleep mode in the MSR-C600 shuts off the display after 15 seconds of last use.
- Auto sleep mode.
- Big LCD display.
- Auto ranging.
- Capable of storing previous readings.
- Case quality is not impressive. In fact, it’s quite fragile and is likely to sustain damage upon falling to the ground.
AstroAI Digital Clamp 6000 Counts Multimeter
The next entrant in our best multimeter for electricians list ranks low in the list of expensive multimeters, but it sure packs a strong punch of performance. AstroAI TRMS 6000 is something out of the ordinary, contemplating the combination of utility and cost-effectiveness it puts on the table.
If you have never used a multimeter before, then you won’t find one easier to use than the AstroAI TRMS 6000. Other than first-timers, more experienced electricians and DIY enthusiasts would also enjoy the functionality of this model. It has premium features such as TRUE RMS readings and auto screen shout down.
- True RMS Readings: True RMS (Root Mean Square) reading enabled multimeters exhibit their ability to capture the heat responsiveness of a voltage change. In doing so, they can give out more accurate readings than conventional multimeters, which account for heat sensitivity on a limited scale
- Durable Exterior: Unlike the Etekcity MSR-C600, the outer body of the AstroAI TRMS 6000 is incredibly sturdy. Therefore, it is more suitable to be used in a more professional setting. It is capable of taking a fall, thanks to its high-quality plastic build. An excellent pick for industrial applications.
- Data Retention: Sometimes you wouldn’t have pen and paper around to jot down important readings. Maybe your phone is out of charge as well, and you can’t access its notepad. The data retention of the multimeter allows to store a certain number of previous readings, which can prove to be a lifesaver.
- Diverse functionality.
- Heavy-duty design.
- LED backlit display.
- Holding magnet.
- A bit difficult to maneuver for beginners.
Klein Tools CL800 Digital Clamp Auto-Ranging Multimeter
A clamp multimeter comes with a host of functionality, and the Klein Tools CL800 is no exception. Need to check the voltage? The CL800 is one of the most meters in the market for the job. It gives you an extra layer of security since there would be no direct contact with active circuitry.
Officially, the meter boasts CAT IV 600V, CAT III 1000V, Class 2, double insulation safety rating. If safety tops the list of your priorities, Klein CL800 could be one of the best you can buy for yourself. The CAT IV clearance means the meter can be used in a fuse box as well. Moreover, the meter is compatible with DC besides AC, which is a rarity for clamp meters.
- Auto ranging TRMS: The Klein CL800 has auto ranging, so it can change its range internally to match the requirement of the task at hand. It also provides TRMS (True Root Mean Square) readings that profoundly takes into account the heat sensitivity of current.
- Thermocouple Probe: Besides the normal functionalities of measuring AC and DC voltage, frequency, continuity, capacitance, and testing diodes, you can also measure temperature using the CL800. It comes with a thermocouple probe, which can give you temperature reading in Fahrenheit or Celsius
- Low Impedance (LoZ): The meter has a low impedance mode. Upon entering this mode, the resistance range becomes limited within 4 to 16 ohms. The purpose of this low impedance state is to test the circuit for false readings and emit them from the final count. It improves the accuracy of the measurements significantly.
- High safety rating and capable of undertaking many measurement challenges.
- Auto ranging.
- TRMS reading.
- Low impedance mode for disregarding ghost voltage.
- The thermocouple reading is not as accurate as the meter’s other measurement functions.
Fluke - 323 True-RMS Clamp Meter
Fluke is one of the biggest names, if not the biggest, in the world of electronic testing equipment. The American company has more than half a decade of experience in the field, so it would have been impossible to leave out a Fluke multimeter in our best multimeter for electricians debate. In fact, this is not the only Fluke item we would be reviewing.
The Fluke 323 is not one of the fanciest multimeters that Fluke has to offer, but the simplified unit is a perfect item for those who are looking for a budget option to work on basic DIY projects. The clamp design is nothing short of pragmatic, as it enables the user to take readings without any risk.
- Audible Continuity Sensors: The Fluke 323 has nifty continuity sensors that generate a subtle “beep” once it identifies a closed circuit. Continuity test is essential for isolating the non-functional components in a circuit. It can also let us know whether the resistance is too high or not, or whether the soldering is good enough.
- Slim and Ergonomic Design: The Fluke 323 is compact in shape, which makes it convenient to carry around. The build quality is satisfactory, to say the least, and should hold up well for years to come. The slim design grants the multimeter access to narrow, hard-to-reach spots.
- High Safety Standards: This multimeter comes with CAT III and CAT IV ratings. It is cleared for 600 volts of transient voltage in CAT III, whereas it can tolerate as much as 300 volts in CAT IV. Since the meter incorporates a clamp design, it has no risk of blowing fuses, because it never comes in contact with the circuit.
- Ergonomic design.
- True RMS.
- CAT-III and CAT-IV rating.
- Not compatible with DC.
Ideal Industries INC. 61-746 Clamp Meter
The Ideal 61-746 is the ultimate budget pick in our best multimeter for electricians discussion. It is even lower priced than Fluke 323, which we had reviewed earlier. Of course, it had to make some compromises in functionality to cut down the price to such economical levels, but it still has enough to appeal to a rookie electrician.
Despite the inexpensive price tag, the Ideal 61-746 gives you TRMS reading and auto ranging. Therefore, it would very easy for an aspiring electrician to get hold of the device. The readings appearing on its LCD display is easy to read. Moreover, the clamp on top of the device keeps you safe from electrocution as you take a reading.
- Measures Up To 600 AC: The Ideal 61-746 is not oriented towards professional users, so the 600 ampere measuring threshold seems quite justifiable. It is definitely not the most powerful unit out there, but it is enough to take care of the basic electrical checks you would need to do around the house.
- Non-Contact Voltage Indicator: The jaw-like clamp on the meter enables the user to measure voltage in a circuit without the surprise of an electric shock. The ability to detect live current without having to get exposed to a hot wire is an essential safety measure for amateurs.
- Auto Power Off: You might not have expected auto power off at this price point, but guess what? The Ideal 61-746 continues to blows our mind! It has a useful auto shut off feature that powers off the unit automatically after a certain period of inactivity. In doing so, it extends the battery life of the meter.
- Budget friendly.
- Auto ranging.
- Auto power off.
- Non-contact voltage detector.
- Not DC compatible.
How To Buy The Best Multimeter For Electricians?
You should keep an eye on the following factors while shopping for the best multimeter for electricians:
Even though all the multimeters we have mentioned have digital displays, you can also find many analog counterparts in the market. Digital multimeters are more accurate, resourceful, and easy to use than analog multimeters. So, it should not come as much of a surprise that a digital multimeter is unambiguously superior to an analog one.
The range of current a multimeter is compatible with, is a very important factor to take into consideration. Some multimeters have a modest range, which might not be suitable for more heavy-duty projects. Pick a current range that you feel reflects your need the best. Otherwise, you would be regretting your purchase decision.
Using a meter without auto-ranging means, you would need to be extra cautious while using your meter. To manually find the ideal range, you would have to begin your trials at the maximum range. Then, you would have to work your way down as long as you don’t reach the ideal point. Auto-ranging gives you the chance to skip this step altogether.
Current, voltage, and resistance: these are the primary measurements offered by any multimeter. If you have the budget, you should look for some extra features like testing frequencies, and diodes. Some multimeters also come with a thermocouple, so that you can use those to measure temperature.
Some multimeters strictly correspond to AC, while more advanced models allow for AC/DC interchangeability. Of course, being more AC and DC compatible will make the meter more expensive. If you mostly work on home-based projects, then you might not find many uses for DC. But, for working on automobiles, DC mode is a must.
Have a look at the display as well, when you are buying a multimeter for electricians. It might not seem to bear much significance at first, but the truth is, the display size of a multimeter is a crucial factor to take note of. If it’s smaller than ideal, you would have a hard time understanding the readings. You can also choose display backlight for better visibility.
You need to have a DC compatible multimeter to measure DC voltages with your multimeter. If you need to work frequently on batteries, this is a must-have multimeter functionality for you. Found some batteries lying around? Wondering whether or not your car battery is gone for good? Your multimeter needs to have DC compatibility to be useful in these scenarios.
Measuring capacitance is one of the common challenges an electrician faces in his/her profession. But, not all multimeters are equipped to deal with it. Capacitance is the amount of electrical charge stored in a capacitor. Capacitors are prevalent in electronics, so a multimeter without capacitance measuring ability could be limiting.
As we have detailed earlier, the ability to switch between AC and DC could be very useful to an electrician. This is not only true for measuring current, you can also find yourself in a similar situation while measuring voltage. If you see this happening, then buy a multimeter that can measure both AC and DC voltage.
Non-Contact Voltage Detection
A non-contact voltage indicator is a neat piece of equipment that every electrician should have in his/her toolbox. It is a tool that can detect the existence of electricity in a wire via induction. The no-touch principle of these devices makes them the safest way to check for voltage. Therefore, it would be a useful feature to have in your multimeter.
True RMS Digital Multimeter
RMS stands for Root Mean Square. A true RMS multimeter can measure AC voltage accurately. But, what makes it better than an average responding digital multimeter? Average responding multimeters can also measure AC voltage, but only when it comes in the form of sinusoidal waves. RMS can do so for both sinusoidal and non-sinusoidal AC voltage waves.
Check for appropriate security ratings before buying a multimeter. CAT I and CAT III rated multimeters are only good for small circuits and home appliances. For distribution circuits, you would have to buy a CAT III cleared multimeter. CAT IV multimeters are more sophisticated and made for working on primary power sources.
What Is The Best Multimeter For Electricians?
Fluke 117 is our choice as the best of the best multimeter for electricians. It is a multimeter that is truly balanced. It would be as useful to a professional electrician as it would be to a non-professional one. It offers a level of accuracy that almost no other model can top. The price is also not offsetting, notwithstanding the unmatched utility of the unit.
Fluke 117 has different input systems in place to bolster its safety feature. It can evaluate relentless 10A or 20A overload for half a minute. The low impedance feature lets the user account for ghost voltage errors. The Volt Alert non-contact voltage indicator can identify live electricity without any physical contact with the wire.
Which Is The Best Brand Multimeter ?
Our analysis leads us to believe that Fluke is the best multimeter brand there is. Ever since the company started its journey in 1948, it has maintained the quality of its products. Therefore, it managed to build a reputation for reliability among electricians over the years. The durability and precision of Fluke multimeters also made it unmatched.
Fluke’s use of True RMS technology makes its multimeters incredibly accurate. The readings would be as precise as they were since day one, despite years of use. This retention of accuracy is not commonly seen in other brands. Multimeters tend to get faulty after use, but Fluke multimeters excel in this regard.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Get Shocked Using A Multimeter?
Yes, it is possible to sustain electrical shocks while using a multimeter. Without proper maintenance, the lead and meter might cause shock. You could also get shocked if you use the meter to measure voltage beyond its capacity. Refrain from using old, faulty multimeters and know about the voltage and safety ratings before picking up a multimeter.
What Is The Easiest Multimeter To Use?
The Fluke 323 is the most user-friendly multimeter we have come across while researching for this article. It has simplistic features, which makes it a great beginner’s model.
Which Is Better-Clamp Meter Or Multimeter?
Clamp meters have a clamp, as the name implies, which you can put on the wire to avoid direct contact with it and determine the voltage. This makes it particularly suitable for dealing with heavy-duty projects. Conventional multimeters, on the other hand, offer more preciseness, but they are not as safe as clamp models.
So, the choice comes down to personal preference. If you want more security and need to work with higher voltages regularly, then a clamp model would be fine for you. But, if you work with moderate voltage and prioritize accuracy over safety-then a multimeter would be a sensible pick. Most professionals carry both of these with themselves.
What Is A Good Cheap Multimeter?
The Ideal 61-746 is a very good multimeter to select if you are extremely tight on the budget. It has auto-ranging, TMRS, and even a built-in non-contact voltage indicator. The LCD display is excellent too. Overall, it is a very enticing package for anyone who is in the market for a meter that goes very easy on the pocket.
What Should You Not Do While Using A Multimeter?
Never take voltage readings when your test probes are still attached to the current terminals. It would shock you, but the fuse should offer some sort of protection. However, the fuse is not a 100% effective safeguard measure.
How Do You Check If A Multimeter Is Working?
Measure a known value to see if your multimeter gives out the same reading. For instance, take a 9V battery and take its reading. If the multimeter does not read 9V, then it is flawed. You can switch between multiple batteries, to confirm that it is the multimeter that is faulty, not the battery.
How Do You Check 240V With A Multimeter?
A 240V wall socket has two power slots and an earthing slot. The power slots carry 120V each, while the other one only connects to the ground. Set your multimeter range to 240 volts, insert leads, and then attach them to the outlet power slots. The reading should show 240V, if not, the circuits or, one of the circuits is/are malfunctioning.
Which Is The BEST Clamp Amp For HVAC?
Klein Tools CL800 is the most appropriate clamp meter to choose for HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning). It is not oversized, so the clamp can go into tricky places. The reverse contrast LCD display makes the display readings perceivable despite low lights, which is also a plus side or HVAC application.
The 7 multimeters that we have focused on in our article are worthy of the crown of the best multimeter for electricians. We hope, reading this has helped you learn more about multimeters and made you capable of making the right decision while choosing a multimeter from countless offerings in the market.