How To Measure Resistance

Resistance is one of the few electrical values that can be measured by a multimeter. Check a resistor’s accuracy and its functioning status for many applications. The resistance of conductors you are not familiar with can still be checked much like with open or exposed circuits. A multimeter is the best measuring tool when working with electricity. Here, you’ll learn how to measure resistance using a digital and analogue multimeter. Both types of multimeters make use of the same principle. Lead probes are attached to the resistor or circuit, and the current, in turn, travels to the lead probes where the multimeter converts the energy into measurement in figures when using a digital multimeter. Regarding the analogue kind, a meter pinpoints the analysis once it detects the resistance.


How to measure resistance using a digital multimeter

Before starting a reading, switch the circuit off as well as the capacitor if the circuit has this. Point the dial to the ohms or resistance symbol (Ω). The dial will have more functions other than the resistance for testing other properties.

  • Pick the black test probe and attach to the jack that says COM. Then insert the red test probe to the port with the V Ω symbols. After the reading, remove the probes in reverse order. Detach the red test probe first then the black next.
  • Attach the test probes next to the circuit while making sure that they’re properly connected. Use the REL If the measuring for low resistance value. Depending on the multimeter, it’s may also be referred to as a triangle or Delta. It deducts test resistance from 0.2 Ω – 0.5 Ω. It should read 0 if the probes touch.
  • Other factors can affect resistance measurements such as residue like dirt, grease, or flux, electrical noise, and even other circuits. Avoid touching the test probes to get accurate readings.
  • Take the reading from the LCD and turn the multimeter off.

For multimeters with advanced options:

  • Some multimeters come with auto-ranging. To use, switch the RANGE to select the measurements range. Be sure to specify if the annunciator is M or K.
  • Look for the HOLD button to record the measurement and view later.
  • Look for the MIN/MAX button. Record both the high and low measurements.

How to measure resistance using an analogue multimeter

  • Prepare the item to be measured such as any resistor or circuit.
  • Attach the probes to their designated ports. Multimeters sometimes have different ports for the test leads. Make sure to test if the lead probes connect to their rightful place. Look for the COM, or the ohm symbols are.
  • Manually set the range needed for the reading. The field should be the best to be able to get the best reading. The maximum measure for the resistance will usually appear at the function switch. Pick the resistance value close to the highest ranged. You can achieve accurate resistance readings this way.
  • Touch the lead probes together so that the display will be 0. It happens because the probes produce a short circuit. Repeat the procedure when the range needs to change.
  • When you’re ready to do a reading, connect the probes to the circuit and adjust the range if needed.
  • It is s good time to turn off the multimeter after you set the dial to a high voltage range. It is for the next opportunity of using the multimeter once more to save it from damage. The digital multimeter is faster and easier to use, and it does not need to set to zero every time. It measures resistance and other electrical values accurately.


Measuring the resistance using either type of multimeters depend on the user. For those who are more experienced, sometimes they find analogue multimeters to be more accurate. Beginners and those who work with electricity as a hobby see the use of digital multimeters more to their advantage because of the ease of use unlike with analogue that may require some skill. Before using it, always adhere to safety precautions to be safe while using this device on live circuits to avoid any possible dangers such as electrical shock. You’ll find that using such as device will benefit you in the long run.