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Multimeter recommendations?
Old 29th May 2015
  #1
Gear Nut
 
Count Dissident's Avatar
 

Multimeter recommendations?

Hi all,
Looking for a relatively inexpensive multimeter for testing cables, 9v (and other) batteries, ect. I am pretty new in the technical aspects of my equipment, so I would like to get something that will have me covered if any situation comes up where it may be needed.

Here are the ones I am currently looking:
1) Innova 3220 Amazon.com: INNOVA 3320 Auto-Ranging Digital Multimeter: Automotive

2) Etekcity UT120C Etekcity UT120C Auto Ranging Digital Multimeter (DMM) Multi Tester Voltmeter Ammeter Ohmmeter - AC / DC Voltage & Current, Resistance, Continuity, Diodes Tester, Relative Measurement - - Amazon.com

3) Mastech MS8261 Amazon.com: Mastech MS8261 30-Range Full Featured Manual Digital Multimeter with Capacitance Measurement, MS8260 Series: Automotive

and a little more expensive:
4) Mastech MS8229 Amazon.com: Mastech MS8229 Auto-Range 5-in-1 Multi-functional Digital Multimeter: Industrial & Scientific

If there is something better out there that these one, please let me know!!

Thanks everyone, looking forward to your responses!!
-Count
Old 29th May 2015
  #2
Gear Head
 

I have the first one. Works well. Doesn't do capacitance, but I have another cheap meter for that.
Old 29th May 2015
  #3
Lives for gear
 
MarkF48's Avatar
Don't know if it's any better. I have this as my cheap DMM.......
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0012VWR20/...3LCMZZCL&psc=1
Probably in a similar price range they'll be about the same. If you have a poor memory be sure to get one with an auto shutoff feature

I just realized I also have that Innova 3220. The only thing I don't care for is the red and green lettering isn't easy to see in dim lighting.
Old 29th May 2015
  #4
Lives for gear
If I may make a couple of points.

I would never buy a meter with permanently attached leads (usually the first thing to fail on cheap meters). My companies have always supplied my meters (always cheap), but I always purchase my own sets of leads because they make my work easier.

Unless you're always at a bench, an audible continuity setting is a must when working solo, make sure it's AUDIBLE. Some are so anemic as to be unusable with background noise.

A magnetic attachment can also be very handy if you're working solo when you need to actually read the measurement from a fixed position other than a bench.

I suppose capacitance could come in handy, I've never used it.

Accuracy requirements depend on what you're measuring.

I know this doesn't help with specific meters. Sorry.
Old 29th May 2015
  #5
Lives for gear
 
BrianVengeance's Avatar
 

I picked up a Fluke 77-4 3 years ago and have never once regretted spending the extra money. Quality tools make any job easier.
Old 29th May 2015
  #6
Lives for gear
 
Space1999's Avatar
 

Hey just do yourself a favor and review ohmmeter, voltmeter and ammeter and know which ones are powered and not and which ones you measure in series and which ones in parralel. Also which ones you disconnect the power in the circuit, and which ones you don't.

I don't know your experience level but I put this up for any other Slutz who might be inclined to start using one. Do your reaserch and RTFM. I could save your life and/or a few digits on your hands.
Be safe!
Old 29th May 2015
  #7
Lives for gear
 

Check out this review, some of these may be in your price range...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZoeUgMFLyAw
Old 29th May 2015
  #8
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianVengeance View Post
I picked up a Fluke 77-4 3 years ago and have never once regretted spending the extra money. Quality tools make any job easier.
I almost mentioned that if I had to supply my own it would be a Fluke but, judging by the links, figured it wasn't in the price range.
Old 29th May 2015
  #9
Lives for gear
 
BrianVengeance's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by onewire View Post
I almost mentioned that if I had to supply my own it would be a Fluke but, judging by the links, figured it wasn't in the price range.
Almost hesitated as well given the price, but I honestly wouldn't be surprised if it lasted another 15-20 years, which starts to make the cost amortization difference ~5-10 bucks a year. The times shutoff alone has probably saved me at least $100 in batteries! :D
Old 29th May 2015
  #10
Lives for gear
 
loopy's Avatar
 

Fluke is my choice. Get a basic model.
Old 29th May 2015
  #11
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianVengeance View Post
The times shutoff alone has probably saved me at least $100 in batteries! :D
True. Unfortunately, the auto-shutoff on the meter I have now can't be adjusted and is short. It can be frustrating if you're behind a piece of equipment, meter out of reach, trying to count pins to check continuity to the front, and you hear that long "I'm shutting down now" beep. Crawl back out, cycle the power, crawl back...

Moral? Make sure the time is adjustable or long enough for situations like this.

BUT. Definitely a necessary feature or I, also, would be replacing batteries a lot.
Old 29th May 2015
  #12
Lives for gear
 

For cable testing, it gives me unspeakable pleasure to be able to recommend unreservedly the Behringer CT100. Cheaper than a Fluke, but much much quicker to use.
Old 29th May 2015
  #13
Lives for gear
 
MarkF48's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by hyper.real View Post
For cable testing, it gives me unspeakable pleasure to be able to recommend unreservedly the Behringer CT100. Cheaper than a Fluke, but much much quicker to use.
Got one and it's a great tool. Having its test tones available really helps troubleshoot signal chains when there's a problem.
Old 29th May 2015
  #14
Lives for gear
 
BrianVengeance's Avatar
 

Everything in the previous two posts is true - the unspeakable pleasure, the Behringer CT100, the ease of use, the test tones...
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