Updated on: May 14, 2018
The best products are not always expensive – and that’s a fact! We all want to be able to get the good stuff for less, right? While some of us would expect a mediocre quality along with a low price tag, some are still hoping for good to high-quality to get the best out of every hard-earned cent. We’re happy to say, we have them right here in the form of multimeters! Multimeters are handy tools used to measure electrical properties such as current, resistance, and voltage. This means one can’t sacrifice quality when dealing with electricity because of the risk that it entails on your task, your livelihood if you’re a professional, and on your health. A multimeter has to be accurate, built to last, and will not cost you so much than it really should. If you’re a DIY worker, a highly sought after electrician, or someone who’s constantly working on electronics as a hobby, this is a device that should be a staple in your toolbox.
We’ve created a buying guide consisting of the best-priced multimeters today – all under $50! For such an important device, you can still get something good out of that price range. From experienced professionals to regular joes who need to get a project done, multimeter brand models came highly recommended through reviews. So whether you’re new or have been using one for long, there’s something for both here among our top 5 selections.
|Craftsman multimeter 34-82141||200Ω ˜ 1kΩ ±(0.8% + 2 digits)||400mV - 600V||200mA - 100 μA|
|Klein Tools MM400||40MO||600V AC; 600 V DC||10A AC; 10A DC|
|Amprobe PK-110||200.0 Ω 2.000 / 20.00 / 200.0 kΩ 2.000 MΩ||200.0 / 250 V||200.0 μA 2.000 / 20.00 / 200.0 mA|
|Extech MN35 Digital Mini Multimeter||20MΩ (0.1µΩ)||600V (0.1mV)||10A (0.1mA)|
200k/2MΩ±0.8%, 20MΩ±1.0%, 200MΩ±5.0%
|20mA±0.8%, 200mA±1.5%, 10A±2.0%|
Buying Guide for the Best Multimeters Under $50
The multimeter options available in the market are staggering. Unless they’re already bought, you won’t be able to actually test its full capabilities. That’s why if you’re new to multimeters, research for more information about a certain model before buying it. The ranges of multimeters come in variations and there are some features in one brand model that others don’t.
What should you look for in a multimeter?
All multimeters have basic functions that every model should have. Other than that, they all have standards each component must adhere to. Here are the features you should be looking out for.
- Manual or auto ranging?
This feature is very useful to beginners as it detects what range the device is under. Auto- ranging gathers the most relevant number values needed and there are two types. Auto ranging, as it is called, should be able to tell the range automatically for you and multimeters with this feature don’t need to have to be inputted. Manuals have ranges that are already preset. Either way, multimeters have the ability to tell the range for you.
- Digital or Analog?
Multimeters come in two different types: analog and digital. Analog multimeters are usually dated in design but they are still preferred by some professionals such as engineers. Multimeters were designed with the kind of sensitivity that continuously catches the changes of electrical values in the circuits. Digital types automatically record and display the measurements in digit form, making it easier to read for those who don’t have the kind of training to do so. It’s up to you which one will best suit your needs.
- Is it accurate?
Both types of multimeters were made with the best accuracy as possible although people will argue whether an analog or digital can give you the accurate readings that you want. Devices such as this still require calibration after serving its purpose in a long time. Skipping on calibration could affect the accuracy of the multimeter. Those that have been stuck on shelves for a long time might also have their accuracies affected as well so make sure that you’re not buying something that has stayed too long in a shop if you’re the kind of person who’s particular with such things.
- Construction and safety
Multimeters that are to be used over and over for your job must be solidly built with a metal casing and one that won’t break right away. Some exteriors have been incorporated with rubber to cushion it when it suddenly falls. Also, never fail to apply safety measures when using this device. Multimeters with extra added features for safety are always worth every penny. If you’re going to be using your multimeter professionally, it is best to not skimp on what could be useful and what will also protect you.
Craftsman multimeter 34-82141
Making its way to our list is the Craftsman 34-82141 with a set of 8 functions capable of detecting 20 ranges. If there are multimeters for more serious jobs, this one is definitely for those do-it-yourselfers who occasionally make tests and measurements on their own. Powered up by 9-volt batteries, it tests resistance, current, voltage and continuity with a feature that also tests 1.5 volts. It doesn’t include auto ranging but it does shut off power automatically when not in use for 15 minutes. This device also comes with its own case to protect from wear.
- Good value for money and reads steadily
- The case has a good, rugged feel and has decent leads
- It’s a good tester for alkaline batteries
- Capacitance testing is not as stable as well as the basic functions
Klein Tools MM400
Anyone who wants a multimeter that can both serve hobbyists and professionals may find Klein Tools MM400 to their liking. This device measures AC-DC up to 600 volts along with a 40 MOhm resistance and current in 10 A. This device is notably durable that it can withstand a drop of 1 meter. For those who are newbies to using multimeters, it comes with auto ranging. Expect to see indicators that emit a clear sound for low battery, data hold for saving last reading’s data, and an automatic power shut off.
- Has a crisp and clear readout and the backlight works wonderfully
- Has a K-type thermocouple and adapter
- Has consistent readings
- Chance of slight electric shocks
Amprobe PK-110 (kit)
If you occasionally deal with electricity, the Amprobe PK-110 is for DIY people who need a device with the type of sensitivity to analyze light fixtures, extension cords, switches and more. It has a voltage probe that’s non-contact type, a socket tester in ST-102B, and a multimeter in AM420. This multimeter measures 250 volts in AC-DC. It’s also featured with a loud audio warning when performing continuity checks. This models also measures resistance up to 2 Ohms.
- Has the characteristics of an Avometer; no-mess connection
- Simple to use and has a large display
- Clear and audible alarm for continuity testing
- Accessories are not as good
Extech MN35 Digital Mini Multimeter
Mastech is a trusted brand that always offers the best deal, combining quality product with affordability. The Mastech MS8268 measures continuity and capacitance that’s also capable of reading up to 1000 volts. It can also detect up to 40 MOhm, and a current of 10A. This multimeter has a backlit LCD display when one needs to work in the dark. It’s powered with three AAA batteries and comes with a holster for proper storage. Useful features includes a data hold for storing information taken during the last reading. It also has light indicators for when probes are not attached correctly when taking measurements.
- Very durable for the price
- Has in-test holders at the back
- It measures everything that it needs and has the best 10 functions
- It’s slow and the hold is manual
Neotek came up with a device that is the perfect “steal” for a good calibre multimeter. It gathers data on capacitance, voltage, frequency, current, and also includes testing on diode. It is powered up by a 9-volt battery that comes with the kit. Neotek 8233D is also equipped with an auto ranging for those who are beginners. Basic functions include auto power shut down, light indicator for low battery, and data hold. For those who had to work in dark surroundings, the LCD display also comes with a backlight. With a plastic case for protection and alligator clips and leads, you got a kit that’s ready to be taken to action!
- Accurate AC/DC functions
- Auto ranging works quickly and the alligator clips are a nice touch
- Intuitive and easy to manage
- Manual has a lot of errors
The right multimeter for your task is just out there waiting to be discovered. Multimeters have been serving their purpose for decades and one thing that has not changed is the need for something that will immediately cover the job at any given time. If you have repairs, maintenance, and testings that had to be done as soon as possible, you need to be able to grab and pay for something that has the good features and components at a price that you can afford to spend in a snap. This is why we there’s an impending need for products that don’t have to be expensive anymore. It will also serve you to make your own research if you have more questions about the type of multimeter that you should get. A job well done on your livelihood, an invention you spent hours tinkering on, or simply fixing lighting fixtures at home are important causes to get the best device that you can pull from your toolbox.