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Offline GlasgowTiger

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Multimeter Recommendations
« on: March 05, 2021, 10:03:12 AM »
I'm trying to learn more about electrical testing/fault finding since electrics are something I have normally tried to avoid, though as we all know the tigers are quite heavy on the electrics so I might as well prepare myself for any future issues. I could find lots of topics about using them, but no recommendations.

What do you use? Which multimeters for under 100 would you recommend?

I would prefer one which will be able to do as much as possible rather than requiring different tools for different jobs. I did buy a 30 amazon one which was broken coming out of the packet so I would prefer to buy from a store or a reputable brand.


Offline JMc

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Re: Multimeter Recommendations
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2021, 10:07:52 AM »
If you go into any big brand electrical wholesaler near you, you will be able to pick one up off the shelf and be safe in the knowledge that if there is a problem with it you can take it back.
for example:
Rexel (used to be Wilts, Newey&Erye, Denmans)
Edmondson's
City Electrical Factors (CEF)

others in your region may differ.

Offline GlasgowTiger

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Re: Multimeter Recommendations
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2021, 10:44:35 AM »
*Originally Posted by JMc [+]
If you go into any big brand electrical wholesaler near you, you will be able to pick one up off the shelf and be safe in the knowledge that if there is a problem with it you can take it back.
for example:
Rexel (used to be Wilts, Newey&Erye, Denmans)
Edmondson's
City Electrical Factors (CEF)

others in your region may differ.

Thanks for your recommendations JMc, CEF and Rexel are located near me. I hadn't even thought of them, I'll have a look just now!


Offline D6864

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Re: Multimeter Recommendations
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2021, 10:50:44 AM »
We use Fluke meters at work (automotive electronics) but I don't think it's necessary to spend 100. My 9.99 Aldi meter works fine and was accurate when cross-checked against a calibrated meter.

Make sure it has a continuity test buzzer - some of the cheapest ones don't and it's very useful, second only to DC volts measurement. Auto-ranging, min/max detect and frequency functions are nice to have but not essential.

Offline GlasgowTiger

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Re: Multimeter Recommendations
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2021, 10:58:00 AM »
*Originally Posted by D6864 [+]
We use Fluke meters at work (automotive electronics) but I don't think it's necessary to spend 100. My 9.99 Aldi meter works fine and was accurate when cross-checked against a calibrated meter.

Make sure it has a continuity test buzzer - some of the cheapest ones don't and it's very useful, second only to DC volts measurement. Auto-ranging, min/max detect and frequency functions are nice to have but not essential.

Thanks D6864. I have seen that fluke seem to be the most recommended brand for everyday use at work/home/vehicles etc and its really good to hear that the cheaper ones perform just as well.

Great, I'll look at ensuring I have most, if not all of those functions you have mentioned - nothing worse than finding out the tool you have doesn't do what you need it to when you need it to!

Offline Shergar

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Re: Multimeter Recommendations
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2021, 11:00:40 AM »
Screwfix and Toolstation also worth a look- as D6864 says you don't need to spend a fortune.
I now use a Megger that I acquired FOC a few years ago but prior to that I also just had a basic meter that cost me about 15 and the only thing it was missing was the continuity buzzer - you could still check for continuity but you had to look at the readings to do so, a buzzer is much easier.

Offline GlasgowTiger

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Re: Multimeter Recommendations
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2021, 11:26:46 AM »
*Originally Posted by Shergar [+]
Screwfix and Toolstation also worth a look- as D6864 says you don't need to spend a fortune.
I now use a Megger that I acquired FOC a few years ago but prior to that I also just had a basic meter that cost me about 15 and the only thing it was missing was the continuity buzzer - you could still check for continuity but you had to look at the readings to do so, a buzzer is much easier.

Thanks Shergar. My Mrs always says that Screwfix is my favourite shop so this might be another chance for her to make her jokes again. I like how most things comes with some sort of guarantee/no questions asked returns policy so its quite likely i'll end up in Screwfix/Toolstation or CEF as JMc mentioned as they have a good selection of options.

Online healdem

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Re: Multimeter Recommendations
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2021, 11:52:36 AM »
Although I gracefully bow to a professional sparky such as JMc

I agree you do not need to spend anywhere near 100

a cheapo multimeter will be accurate enough for basic fault diagnosis
Fluke has a great name, but a great price.

Without pushing a particular model a probe type meter may be a good call, especially if one of the leads has a clip option so you can connect say to a known good ground. something like
https://www.machinemart.co.uk/p/clarke-cdm80c-pen-probe-digital-multimeter/

but in reality anything will do.

I had several MM's over the years. invariably when I come to use the blasted thing the batteries a goosed becuase I left the mm on, so an auto off is a good call also one with a commonly available battery type, as invariably when the effin battery is found to be goosed you don't have the right battery to hand to replace it with at daft o'clock in the morning.

auto ranging/autodetect can be a good call if you use the thing irregularly or are new to MM's
auto detect means the device will detect the type of electrical signal being measured (EG AC or DC)
auto ranging means the device will detect the electrical signal and display the appropriate value
Id argue continuity buzzer is almost a must have, although continuity display is 'good enough'
continuity check to see if there is a common connection on the two probes so if you want to trace why, say a light isn't working you can work your way down he wiring harness, checking for voltage or check for continuity with the electrics off
continuity buzzer, a buzzer that sounds when there is a common connection between both probes/leads. buzzer id faster and more intuitive, you don't have to look at the meter to see if there is continuity.

I don;'t think you need the precision and accuracy of a more professional (ie expensive) tool, just something that is 'good enough and gives a repeatable reading.

Offline GlasgowTiger

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Re: Multimeter Recommendations
« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2021, 12:15:43 PM »
*Originally Posted by healdem [+]
Although I gracefully bow to a professional sparky such as JMc

I agree you do not need to spend anywhere near 100

a cheapo multimeter will be accurate enough for basic fault diagnosis
Fluke has a great name, but a great price.

Without pushing a particular model a probe type meter may be a good call, especially if one of the leads has a clip option so you can connect say to a known good ground. something like
https://www.machinemart.co.uk/p/clarke-cdm80c-pen-probe-digital-multimeter/

but in reality anything will do.

I had several MM's over the years. invariably when I come to use the blasted thing the batteries a goosed becuase I left the mm on, so an auto off is a good call also one with a commonly available battery type, as invariably when the effin battery is found to be goosed you don't have the right battery to hand to replace it with at daft o'clock in the morning.

auto ranging/autodetect can be a good call if you use the thing irregularly or are new to MM's
auto detect means the device will detect the type of electrical signal being measured (EG AC or DC)
auto ranging means the device will detect the electrical signal and display the appropriate value
Id argue continuity buzzer is almost a must have, although continuity display is 'good enough'
continuity check to see if there is a common connection on the two probes so if you want to trace why, say a light isn't working you can work your way down he wiring harness, checking for voltage or check for continuity with the electrics off
continuity buzzer, a buzzer that sounds when there is a common connection between both probes/leads. buzzer id faster and more intuitive, you don't have to look at the meter to see if there is continuity.

I don;'t think you need the precision and accuracy of a more professional (ie expensive) tool, just something that is 'good enough and gives a repeatable reading.


Thanks healdem for you detailed reply. I'm glad to hear its pretty much across the board that the cheaper ones work well, I'm much more comfortable around the 30 mark.  I do agree with you, something 'good enough' is all I need, it will probably take a while to get more confident with the electrics and something which makes it easier to use, like the auto ranging/auto detecting and audible continuity checker is right up my street.

The battery type was something I hadn't even considered so that's also on my list of things to check now and most I have seen have a auto-shutdown function which is good.

I'll also take a look at the multimeter you gave a link to, I haven't been onto machine marts website yet to see what options are available with them.  Thanks!

Online Stevie.P

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Re: Multimeter Recommendations
« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2021, 01:47:07 PM »
*Originally Posted by GlasgowTiger [+]
... I'm glad to hear its pretty much across the board that the cheaper ones work well, I'm much more comfortable around the 30 mark.

The expensive stuff like Fluke is really for professional use, it's what I've used in work for 45yrs. However at home I've had a cheap meter for probably 15-20yrs that has always been more than adequate and reliable. It was bought from B&Q for about 20 at the time and has the B&Q orange case and knob. However on the shelf next to it at 30 was clearly the exact same meter under its brand name but with a different coloured protection case and knob for 30.

For probably 99.9% of use all you will require is the correct voltage range .... in my pic <20v to cover the 12v bike system to check for supply and opposite position (and down a bit) the continuity sounder setting to check circuits for breaks. I do also use it to check 240v mains circuits are live then off before any household work, other than that everything else is pretty much excess.

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