11 Best Multimeter Reviews 2018-2019: Buyer’s Guide and Comparison

best multimeter

Today I will be reviewing what I believe are the 10 best multimeters on the consumer market in 2018.

A multimeter is a diagnostic measurement device used to gather a variety of useful data about electrical systems. As it tells us right there in the name, the multimeter measures two or more electrical values for the user.

Typically the average multimeter will measure electrical power (voltage or volts), resistance (ohms), and current (amperage or amps). However, some come with additional diagnostic tools, such as temperature sensors for use in HVAC repair. The Fluker 116/323 is the best multimeter for HVAC (click here to view on Amazon)

Best multimeters are vitally necessary in any significant electrical project. They are standard issue for electricians and many other technicians, but there are also dozens of options out there for folks who embrace the DIY and electrical hobbyist mindsets.

Multimeter Terms

Before we dive into the best multimeters review, I would like to clarify the meaning of a few terms I’ll be using. This is to make things a little easier on those beginning to venture into the world of multimeters.

1. Analog

Analog Multimeters have fixed display against which a needle moves, like speedometers in older cars.

2. Digital

Digital multimeters have a display that changes to present the data, usually in some form of LCD screen.

3. Autoranging

Autoranging multimeters will analyze the test conditions and determine what you’re testing for with minimal input. This is sometimes at the expense of precision and accuracy, but makes them easy to use.

4. Manual

Manual input multimeters require the user to set the specific functions being analyzed. This takes a bit more effort and know-how, but also makes them very accurate and precise for the tests they’re used for.

Comparison Table of the 10 Best Multimeters

I have selected the top 10 multimeters that represent the best options available to those looking for a multimeter for personal, hobbyist, or home improvement use. I will take a look at several factors, including cost, core functions, and additional features that make these the Best Multimeters in 2018.

top rated multimeter

  • Fluke 87-V

  • Voltage: 1000V
  • Current AC/DC: 10A
  • Warranty: Life Time
  • Shipping Weight: 2.7 lbs

  • Fluke 88V

  • Voltage: 1000V
  • Current AC/DC: 20A
  • Warranty: Life Time
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 lbs

  • Fluke 279FC Wireless

  • Voltage: 1000V
  • Current AC/DC: -
  • Warranty: 3 years
  • Shipping Weight: 1.75 lbs

  • Extech EX330

  • Voltage: 600V
  • Current AC/DC: 10A
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 lbs
  • Shipping Weight: 2.7 lbs

  • Klein Tools MM500

  • Voltage: 600V
  • Current AC/DC: -
  • Warranty: -
  • Shipping Weight: 0.3 lbs

Disclaimer*: The star rating shown above is our own.

Best Multimeter Reviews 2018 – 2019: Our Top Picks

The best multimeters category are the real “star” performers. These are the machines with extensive features and functions, rugged design, and outstanding reputations in the multimeter world.

These will definitely cost more than other choices on the list, because they’re designed first with function in mind. These get the job done, and users will need to pay for that capability.

However, these multimeters are well worth the price and offer outstanding power for their price point.

1. Best Digital Multimeter Overall: Fluke 87-V

When it comes to the best digital multimeter overall, the market is clear that the Fluke 87-V is the big standout.

In many ways the 87-V is designed for dedicated electrician applications. It is absolutely packed with features and functionality.

For example, the Fluke 87-V has both an autoranging setting and a manual setting, allowing users to switch back and forth as needed. It has a thermometer, and a very generous display area.

However, the multimeter also has features not directly related to its core use that make it very easy to use. One is the optional magnetic hanger, allowing the user to mount it to any iron or steel surface that’s handy. The other is that it has very clearly spaced and decently sized buttons, making it easy to use even when wearing protective gloves. Professionals prefer Fluke 87-V, which makes it the best multimeter for electricians.

It’s these bits of attention to detail and additional touches that lead me to consider the Fluke 87-V the best multimeter overall.

It does come with a more substantial price tag than other choices on our best multimeters list, however. It is also the price for the base unit and some simple accessories. Additional accessories for additional tasks will, of course, cost additional money.

If you are an electronics technician and looking for the best possible option, then check out Fluke 287 here which is the best multimeter for electronics technician.

Click here to see the price of the Fluke 87-V on Amazon.

2. Best Automotive Multimeter: Fluke 88V

The best automotive multimeter I examined was the Fluke 88V 1000V Automotive Multimeter.

There is no coincidence that Fluke has popped up multiple time in the best multimeter list. The Fluke family of multimeters have been an industry standard for years, with many reviewers commenting that they always seem to come back to Fluke in the end. Without doubt, the 88V is the best multimeter for automotive work and repair in 2018.

The Fluke 88V is a very rugged, sturdy multimeter. In addition to the usual array of Fluke features, such as switching between manual and auto-ranging states and the magnetic hanger, it has been purpose made to withstand a high-power environment.

For example, this meter is rated to resist surges of up to 8000 volts without taking damage. It can measure 10 amp currents for extended periods, and measures higher currents for 30 seconds at a time.

These automotive multimeter features make Fluke 88V useful in a world where electric and hybrid gas-electric cars are becoming more common. After all, not everyone wants to stop working on awesome vehicles just because the technology is changing.

The Fluke 88V automotive multimeter comes with a lifetime warranty. This makes it one of the best value multimeters a user can buy.

Click here to see the price of the Fluke 88V on Amazon.

3. Best Specialty Multimeter: Fluke 279FC Wireless TRMS

The best, high powered, specialty multimeter is without a doubt the Fluke 297FC Wireless. This multimeter is full of all the standard features: AC voltage, DC voltage, temperature, and 10-foot drop protection. It is the best multimeter for DIY electronics repair.

However, this speciality multimeter has two features I think really make it stand out as worth its incredible price (seriously, this thing will give you sticker shock the first time you see it).

First, the multimeter has an inbuilt thermal imaging display. Remember the Predator’s “infrared” heat vision? The Fluke 279FC puts this capability into your hand. A generous display allows you to see hot and cold spots, demonstrating potential overheating problems in electrical wires quickly and clearly.

Secondly, the screen is “true” digital. Most digital screens are a variation on LCD screens, with the typical “segmented” numbers digital clocks and watches have had for years. Fluke multimeter has a true digital display that shows values and images in clear, crisp detail that is exceptionally easy to read. Further, it can synch with the bluetooth capability of most smartphones to record and transmit data.

These features make the Fluke 279FC quite amazing to behold, but come with a price. This is the best speciality multimeter at this time.

Click here to see the price of the Fluke 279FC Wireless TRMS on Amazon.

Best Multimeters

However, the above multimeters are just the high end toys. Most folks don’t need every bell and whistle. Hobbyists want accuracy and functionality, of course, but they probably don’t need detailed thermal mapping or magnetic hangers on their multimeters.

So for our next bit, I would like to cover a range of best multimeters. This is a reasonable, sensible price point most folks can probably spare or save up for. It makes purchases in this range the best multimeter for the price that many home use and electronic hobbyists will find.

4. Best Multimeter for Home Use: Extech EX330 Autoranging Mini Multimeter

The Extech EX330 is the best multimeter for home use.

The Extech is a simple, utility-oriented home multimeter that makes it a solid general purpose device. It can read resistance, power, current, and temperature, giving the the usual “core 4” functions that were stressed in the higher-end multimeters. The meter comes with an array of probes for these functions, eliminating some of the expense of finding them elsewhere.

The Extech EX330 does lack more precise measurement capability, but it has a very readable digital display and should fit the needs of a variety of DIY projects. If you need a very precise electronics measurement device, this is not best multimeter for you. However, if you need to make sure your new ceiling fan is properly hooked up before you seal the wall back up, this is the best buy multimeter.

The Extech EX330, my choice for best multimeter for home use.

Click here to see the price of the Extech EX330 Autoranging Mini Multimeter on Amazon.

5. Best Multimeter for Electronics Hobbyist: Klein Tools MM500 Auto Ranging Multimeter

The Klein MM500 Auto Ranging Multimeter is my choice for best “overall” multimeter for electronics hobbyists.

The MM500 is true RMS, which is an important feature. In short, this multimeter can accurately measure and display the data of electrical activity without distortions or inaccuracies. This makes the readings far more precise than with non true-RMS units.

An electronics hobbyist is different from the typical home improvement/DIYer, because they’re in it for the specifics of how electronics and their components function. Precise, detailed readings from multimeter give more information. Someone installing a light switch might not need that same level of precision, for example.

There are more expensive multimeter brands offering still greater functionality and capability, but the MM500 Auto Ranging is a good device that will fill a lot of needs without too many compromises. It is the best multimeter for electronics hobbyist.

Klein MM500 is the best multimeter for the money.

Click here to see the price of the Klein Tools MM500 Auto Ranging Multimeter on Amazon.

  • Tacklife DM01M

  • Voltage: 1000V
  • Current AC/DC: 10A
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 lbs

  • Meterk Digital Clamp Meter

  • Voltage: 1000V
  • Current AC/DC: 40A/400A
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Shipping Weight: 1.0 lbs

  • Mastech MS8229

  • Voltage: 1000V
  • Current AC/DC: 10A
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces

  • Cen-Tech 11

  • Voltage: -
  • Current AC/DC: -
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 lbs

  • Innova 3320

  • Voltage: -
  • Current AC/DC: -
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces

Disclaimer*: The star rating shown above is our own.

6. Best Utility Multimeter for Electronics Hobbyists: Tacklife DM01M Advanced Digital Multimeter

Regarding the Tacklife DM01M, I found this one of the best multimeters for electronics hobbyists just because of the additional features it offered.

The display’s intensity changes based on the input the device is receiving, giving a kind of “natural” visual support to the data.

The multimeter also provides beeps for audible cues, and has red indicator lights separate from the display that turn on when warnings are needed.

These additional features, plus the True RMS capability, make this digital multimeter a very handy tool for electronics hobbyists who want an inexpensive but still capable cheap multimeter to sort through a variety of inputs.

The additional audible and visual cues also help for people who have different “processings” styles.

Click here to see the price of the Tacklife DM01M Advanced Digital Multimeter on Amazon.

7. Best Digital Clamp Multimeter: Meterk Digital Clamp Meter 4000 Counts Auto-ranging Multimeter

I found the Merket Digital Clamp Meter to be the best overall multimeter.

The digital multimeter isn’t specifically for electronics, or automotive, or home repair uses. Rather, it has a variety of utility functions that make it valuable in a number of situations, without standing out in any of them.

Well, there is one area it stands out, and that is in ease of use. This is a clamp multimeter, with a large clamp that can be opened and closed around a cord to get a quick reading of the current running through. Probes can be used for more precise readings of course, but this is a handyman multimeter for quickly going over a problem.

This digital clamp multimeter also has a probe on the end of one of the clamps that can be used for “no touch” evaluation of whether a site is active and running current before digging in with your tools. Again, a highly convenient feature.

Click here to see the price of the Merket Digital Clamp Meter on Amazon.

The Best Cheap Multimeters

If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that “cheap” is a relative term. It can mean low cost and low quality, depending on who’s doing the evaluating. In this case, I’m referring to low cost of the multimeter.

I did not choose anything with particularly low quality, although the price point does limit multimeter features and options somewhat.

These cheap multimeters are best for people just beginning to use multimeters as a tool, such as brand new electronics hobbyists or DIY mechanics.

8. Best Digital Multimeter Overall: Mastech MS8229 Auto-Range 5-in-1 Multi-Functional Digital Multimeter

The Mastech MS8229 5 in 1 is what I feel is the best overall multimeter.

The MS8229 really demonstrates the concept that inexpensive doesn’t necessarily mean incapable. It has a variety of standard multimeter functions, and includes a thermometer and even a humidity sensor.

This inexpensive multimeter makes a handy “general purpose” tool for just about anyone’s toolbox.

The screen space is reasonably generous, making it easy to use and adaptable.

It isn’t True RMS, meaning it might not have the precision of other best multimeters, but it will provide good service in most toolboxes.

Click here to see the price of the Mastech MS8229 Multi-Functional Multimeter on Amazon.

9. Best Multimeter for Beginners: Cen-Tech 11 Function Digital Multimeter with Audible Continuity

I found the Cen-Tech a very good “entry” type multimeter for the home hobbyist who’s interested in getting into electronics and electrical measuring.

Again, the beginner multimeter lacks the high-end capabilities of more expensive units, but it also has a number of clever touches that make it quite handy and useful despite its limitations.

In particular, I quite like the tilting/swivelling display screen, allowing for easier viewing.

It is the best multimeter for beginners.

Click here to see the price of the Cen-Tech 11 Function Digital Multimeter on Amazon.

10 & 11. Best Cheap Multimeters: AstroAI Digital Multimeter and Innova 3320 Digital Multimeter

I have combined these two multimeter brands because they are extremely similar, even though offered by different companies.

They both exemplify the “beginner” or entry level inexpensive multimeter. Simple functions, simple design, and low price point.

Each one has been well-reviewed, and the usage of either seems to come down to preference.

I include them because this fact leads into my final points for this best multimeters review.

Get the Innova on Amazon | Get the AstroAI on Amazon

Why do you need a Multimeter?

In short, anyone who intends to work around electricity needs multimeters to be able to measure what it’s doing. Whether you want to work on the wiring in your car or your house, or just tinker around with the electronic components of an old AM/FM radio, a quality multimeter is essential for accuracy and safety.

What to look for when buying Multimeters

There are scores of multimeter buying guides going into the value of the specific functions that multimeters offer, so I’m not going to try to duplicate that. The multimeter review would become much too long!

Instead, I’ll say this. Look for quality multimeter reviews – do people trust this brand? Look for included accessories – what value multimeter are you getting for your money? Does it include common probes for the purpose you’re using it for? And finally, look for a sensible multimeter warranty.

Types of Multimeters

Multimeters are classified in a number of ways, including whether they’re manual or auto-ranging, analog or digital multimeters, and what purpose they fulfill (such as HVAC or Automotive). When trying to determine what type of multimeter you need, consider the job you’re doing and use common multimeter keywords associated with it.

Multimeter Features and Benefits

We’ve discussed an array of the features in this best multimeters review above, such as whether a multimeter is True RMS, has probes included, or has nifty additions such as thermal imaging screens.

The benefits of these features all rest on one question; do these attributes help me do the job I need this multimeter for?

Everything depends on what you need to accomplish, and no multimeter review can give you all of that information. This is a place to begin, and I heartily recommend you also speak to electronics and automotive hobbyists about the top multimeters they use in their machines.

Good luck, and let us know if you purchased one of the best multimeters we reviewed here.

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