Ultimate Multimeter Guide of 2023 – Top 11 and Tips

With a more accessible price point than traditional analog multimeters, digital multimeters are the perfect tool for various electronic diagnostic or fault-finding work.

Also known as multitesters or volt-ohm meters, these versatile tools can typically measure voltage, current, and resistance. Indispensable tools for finding basic faults, running tests, or even conducting field service or other jobs, multimeters are available in a wide range of features and prices.

Here I’ll break down the best multimeter from more basic and economic models to the top-line digital models perfect for more complex diagnostics. From looking at basic functions like the voltage, current, and resistance measurement to frequency range and burden voltage to more specific readings such as displaying farads and decibels and looking at specialized circuits for testing continuity or battery checking,

After hours of comparing and discussing the best multimeter, we chose the Fluke 117 Electricians True RMS Multimeter as our #1 Top Pick.

Quick Summary: Best 11 Digital Multimeters

Our editors go through and research, test, and qualify our recommended products. We receive commissions on purchases from certain links.

1. Fluke 117 Electricians True RMS Multimeter

Best Overall

Rating: CAT III 600V
Voltage AC/DC: 
1 CR123A battery (included) 600V
Current AC/DC: 10A
Additional Functions: Frequency, Continuity/diode test, Low input impedance, Volt Alert, Analog Bargraph.
Warranty: 3 years

Easy to use design, accurate readings, and a wide range of functions make this the best multimeter ready for the most demanding commercial work settings.

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With over 70 years of experience in manufacturing electrical metering equipment, Fluke provides some of the safest and most trusted metering tools available on the market.

The Fluke 117 is the best multimeter that balances having an accessible price point and providing the functions and design quality required by professionals in most commercial settings. The 117 is compact and ergonomic, and I found it particularly apt for one-handed operation. It also easily manages standard work applications such as measuring AC and DC voltage (true RMS) up to 600V and other standard functions such as resistance, continuity, diode check, capacitance, frequency, and current measurements (up to 10A).

Several design features have also been implemented to get the user faster and more accurate readings. VoltAlert technology detects non-contact voltage, and the AutoVolt feature automatically selects AC/DC voltage. The AutoV/LoZ function is particularly useful, which prevents false readings caused by ghost voltage. The Fluke 117 also has more advanced reading functionality, such as measuring in microamps.

With its durable design (tested for drops, shock, and humidity) and long battery life (typically 400 hours, without a backlight and in operating temperatures of -10°C to +50°C), this meter is the perfect companion for most electricians working in standard commercial settings that want a reliable meter at an accessible price point. 

PROS

  • Durable build and ergonomic design
  • Time-saving functions that allow more accurate readings
  • LED backlight for working in poorly lit areas
  • Accessible price-point for a commercial meter
  • “Volt Alert” non-contact voltage detector is useful for testing walls for live electrical lines before nailing or drilling.

CONS

  • The display backlight does not evenly illuminate in certain conditions, and the LCD is not as crisp as other Fluke multimeters.

2. Klein Tools MM400 Multimeter

Best Multimeter for Auto-Ranging

Rating: CAT III 600V 
Voltage AC/DC: 600V
Current AC/DC: 10A
Additional Functions: Temperature, capacitance, frequency, duty-cycle, test diodes, and continuity.
Warranty: 2-year limited warranty.

Excellent auto-ranging multimeter functionality with a CAT III 600V safety rating at an affordable price.

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The readout is clear and crisp, and the backlight works well to illuminate readings in poor light. The rubber case that surrounds most of the unit provides a good grip and durable grip in work circumstances. The meter also has a well-designed stand that expands from the back and has rubber feet that effectively hold the meter in a good viewing position on most semi-level work surfaces.

A versatile multimeter with various functions suited for most residential, business, and light-industrial applications, the MM400 delivers standard AC/DC voltage, current, and resistance measurement. Temperature, capacitance, frequency, duty cycle, test diodes, and continuity measurements are also available with the MM400. For an upgraded model, you can also check out the Klein MM600.

PROS

  • Auto-ranging
  • Exceptional backlight and LCD quality
  • Included K-type thermocouple with adapter
  • Designed to resist drops up to 1 meter
  • Excellent economic price for standard home use functions

CONS

  • Does not have some of the more advanced functions necessary for industrial or professional work.
  • Does not have some of the more advanced functions necessary for industrial or professional work.

3. Klein Tools ET600 Multimeter

Best Multimeter for Complete Testing

Rating: CAT III 600V safety rating.
Voltage AC/DC: 
600V
Additional Functions: Continuity testing with visual and audible continuity indicators, including NCTV-1 tester pen and receptacle tester, to detect wiring configurations and faults.
Warranty: 2-year limited warranty.

An excellent complete testing kit that includes various accessories for versatile and accurate reading applications.

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If you’re looking for an affordable multimeter test kit, the Klein Tools et600 is your one-stop solution for the most common electrical tests. With an affordable price point and packaged with easy-to-use and read accessories, the et600 is a must-have for most everyday electrical meter tests.

Klein Tool’s updated Electrical Test Kit contains the MM300 (manual-ranging digital multimeter), the NCTV-1 (non-contact voltage tester), and the RT105 (receptacle tester). The accessories stand out about this test kit: the NCTV-1 is perfect for automatically detecting standard voltage in cables, cords, circuit breakers, lighting fixtures, switches, outlets, wires, and many other areas.  The RT105 adds further functionality to the multimeter kit by allowing users to detect the most common wiring problems in standard receptacles, such as open ground, open hot, and open neutral, hot/ground reversals.

Given the economical price point and useful selection of accessories for checking basic faults around the house, the Klein Tools et600 is a great choice for an all-in-one multimeter kit to conduct standard electrical tests around the house.

PROS

  • It is a very easy-to-see display with crisp, dark contrasts.
  • Affordable price-point for nondemanding commercial applications.
  • Included NCTV-1 is very useful for detecting standard voltage, bright LRD indicator, and warning tones, making it easy to use and read.
  • RT105 receptacle tester is excellent for checking common wiring problems in standard receptacles
  • High-quality construction

CONS

  • While the RT105 adds lots of functionality in detecting receptacle faults, it does not indicate the quality of ground, multiple hot wires, or complex defect combinations.

4. Fluke 115 Digital Multimeter

Best Multimeter for Entry Level

Rating: CAT III 600V
Voltage AC/DC: 600V
Current AC/DC: 10A
Additional Functions: Resistance, capacitance, continuity, and diode testing.
Warranty: 
3 years

A rugged, reliable, compact, and high-quality meter perfect for field service technicians or other professional field applications.

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There is so much to like about this meter: with classic, compact, functional styling and covering all general-purpose electrical requirements with the quality expected from Fluke, this meter is the top choice for general-purpose field requirements – uncomplicated and built to last.

The Fluke 115 is a go-to choice for technicians or hobbyists who require precision and ease of use in maintenance troubleshooting, such as eliminating false or ghost voltages or performing continuity, connection, or basic wiring checks. With the capability to troubleshoot various parameters from capacitance to frequency and display results on its crisp, backlit LCD, the 115 is ready for various field applications.

The 6,000-count digital display ensures large digits for quick and easy readings. The Fluke 115’s design with straightforward labeling on all buttons, dials, and jacks, combined with the True RMS meter and auto ranging function that guards against most common errors that could lead to inaccurate readings, make this one of the most user-friendly professional multimeters on the market today.

For an all-around, durable, quality field-ready multimeter, look no further than the Fluke 115.

PROS

  • Silicone test leads are easy to use and flexible to get readings quickly.
  • Affordable price-point for non-demanding commercial applications.
  • Included NCTV-1 is very useful for detecting standard voltage, bright LRD indicator, and warning tones, making it easy to use and read.
  • RT105 receptacle tester is excellent for checking common wiring problems in standard receptacles.

CONS

  • A lack of mili or microamp measuring ability may deter some professionals who require advanced functionality for specialized readings.

5. Klein Tools CL110 Kit Electrical Tester/Maintenance Kit

Best Multimeter for Advanced Functionality

Rating: CAT III 600V, Class 2 double insulation safety rating
Voltage AC/DC:  600V
Current AC/DC: 10A
Additional Functions: AC (via clamp). RT210 GFCI receptacle tester and 69409 line splitter allow for easy live circuit testing and measuring current and voltage.
Warranty: 2 years limited warranty

If you’re looking for a complete accessory package and maintenance kit with a clamp meter for testing in tricky locations, the CL110 Kit is the most comprehensive kit you can find.

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One of the most comprehensive test kits with various accessories to make electrical measuring work easy and accessible, the Klein Tools CL110 electrical tester/maintenance kit includes the CL 110 400A auto-ranging digital clamp meter, the  RT210 GFCI Receptacle Tester and 69409 Line Splitter 10x. The kit allows for easy testing of live circuits and measuring of current and voltage and is ready for field work from the get-go: the kit includes a carrying pouch, test leads, and batteries.

Like the et600 Klein Tools digital multimeters test kits, the Cl110 test kit detects the most common wiring problems in standard and GFCI receptacles, including open ground, reverse polarity, hot hot, neutral, and hot/ground reversed. Added functionality comes in the clamp meter, as the line splitter allows the measuring of current draw up to 15A without splitting the load’s power cord. By amplifying the splitter signal x10, it is easy to get clear and accurate readings from low amperage lines.

By providing one of the most comprehensive selections of accessories in one convenient package, the Klein Tools CL110 provides ample ways to conduct electrical monitoring work around the house or at work.

PROS

  • The line splitter x10 provides easy readings on low amperage lines.
  • Handy clamp meter with added functionality over traditional handheld meters.
  • Included accessories are great for checking various basic electrical faults, such as receptacle faults.
  • Handy and stylish carrying kit.

CONS

  • It may be difficult to fit all the accessories in the carrying case simultaneously.

6. Fluke 101 Basic Digital Multimeter

Best Multimeter for Beginners – Fluke

Rating: CAT III 600V
Voltage AC/DC: 600V
Current AC/DC: None
Additional Functions: Resistance, capacitance, and continuity testing.
Warranty: 1 year

A basic and compact multimeter with design quality and accuracy is synonymous with Fluke products.

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One of the smallest and most economical digital multimeters from the Fluke line-up, the 101 is a great pocket meter for small jobs around the house or business. Although it has more basic functionality than the other more advanced Fluke meters, 1010 is good for standard measurements. However, it cannot be measured in amps or milliamps.

Small and lightweight, the 101 is still a Fluke meter and is designed to be a professional-grade tool that can stand up to the rigors of daily work. It is the lightest and most compact Fluke meter on the market and is by far the best choice for a quick, accurate, and compact Fluke meter.

PROS

  • It has a good test range for being a compact and basic meter.
  • The compact size allows the meter to be stored on most tool belts or pouches without taking up too much space.
  • Simple design that maintains excellent Fluke quality.
  • Basic but good test leads.

CONS

  • A lack of a backlit display can make readings difficult in low-light conditions.

7. Extech EX330 Autoranging Mini Multimeter

Best Multimeter in a Small Size

Rating: CAT III 600V UL
Voltage AC/DC:  600V
Current AC/DC:  10A
Additional Functions: Resistance, capacitance, continuity, and diode testing.
Warranty: 3 years

A rugged, reliable, compact, and high-quality meter perfect for field service technicians or other professional field applications.

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For a mid-level multimeter with the most popular measuring functions, the Extech EX330 is an excellent option for most users. Featuring a combined digital multimeter and a non-contact voltage (NCV) detector in a compact design, measuring DC/AC voltage up to 600 volts with a 0.5 percent basic accuracy ensures accurate readings for most measuring needs.

This feature-rich digital multimeter measures resistance performs diode and continuity testing, has an easy-read LED display, an audible beeper, and red LED indicator, and a low battery indicator. Further functions include auto-ranging, frequency, duty cycle, capacitance, and temperature. A built-in thermometer with a Type K probe can switch between Fahrenheit and Celsius readings, and the big digit 4000-count display ensures easy readability in almost all work environments.

PROS

  • Compact and ergonomic design.
  • Excellent balance of accessible price and functionality.
  • A practical choice for homework or hobby work.
  • The included rubber holster protects the meter from bumps and falls.

CONS

  • The meter holster must be removed to change the battery, which can be inconvenient in some situations.

8. Etekcity MSR-R500

Best Multimeter for Small Budgets

Rating: CAT I 600V and CAT II 300V, double insulation
Voltage AC/DC: 500V
Current AC/DC: DC only 10A
Additional Functions: Resistance, transistor, continuity, and diode testing.
Warranty: 1-year buyer assurance with a free option to extend 1 more year.

At the low end of the price scale, the Etekcity MSR-R500 is pretty barebones and not the strongest build quality-wise, but for a cheap and quick meter good for household spot-checks, the MSR-R500 is the best choice.

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For the most basic, lightweight multimeter option at a very affordable price, the Etekcity MSR-R500 is the best choice: with all the necessary functionality for basic metering work as well as extra options such as a resistor, transistor, continuity, and diode testing in a small package, the MSR-R500 can easily handle light household or hobby work.

These digital multimeters show accuracy on all scales and ranges compared to higher price point digital multimeters. The ergonomic case with rubber coating helps avoid serious damage with drops and knocks. The display is nice and crisp with good contrast, and the backlight can be toggled on and off, saving battery and providing vision in low light conditions. The test tone is also a nice addition to testing simple audio circuits.

For a low price, a basic meter than can compare functionality to some of the more advanced meters on the list, the Etekcity MSR-R500 is the bargain choice.

PROS

  • A budget price point with basic functionality means no overspending on unnecessary extra functions.
  • Compact, lightweight, and ergonomic, easy to handle and use around the house or workshop.
  • Crisp and easy-to-see display for a budget multimeter.
  • Excellent beeper test tone.

CONS

  • A low CAT safety rating means this meter is only recommended for light house or hobby duty.

9. INNOVA 3340 Automotive Digital Multimeter

Best Multimeter for Automotive Digital

Rating: CAT II
Voltage AC/DC: 600V
Current AC/DC: 400mA
Additional Functions: In addition to standard multimeter functions: alternator output, RPM checks, and tacho checks. Battery check ability and temperature probe.
Warranty: Limited 1-year warranty

A well-built, sturdy UL-certified multimeter designed for automotive work and to help pinpoint engine problems.

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Specifically designed to conduct automotive electrical tests in combination with standard multimeter functions, the INNOVA 3340 is one of our best multimeters for autos and is loaded with the extra functionality any garage mechanic needs. Good for standard voltage, amps, and resistance testing as well as automotive-specific RPM, dwell angle, and alternator checks, the 3340 is a good investment for those looking to do both standard multimeter work and automotive electrical diagnosis.

The unit provides hands-free testing and includes test lead holders. Auto-ranging, auto shut-off, overload protection, reverse polarity protection, and automatic zero adjustments are additional features that will make metering work easier in the garage and out. Design-wise, the color LEDs allow for quick condition checks on car batteries, while the color-coded case is reinforced with thick rubber guards that protect the meter from accidental bumps or drops.

PROS

CONS

  • The magnet on the back of the meter also tends to pick up metallic items in the work area, which may be inconvenient in workshops with small objects such as screws or nails.

10. AstroAI TRMS 6000 Digital Multimeter

Best Multimeter for Basic Light Duty

Rating: CAT III 600V, CATII 1000V
Voltage AC/DC: 600V
Current AC/DC:  DC only, 10A
Additional Functions: Resistance, capacitance, frequency, and continuity.
Warranty: 1 year

A simple multimeter at an economical price point with added functionality is an excellent choice for hobbyists or light commercial needs.

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The AstroAI  Digital Multimeter is designed to be safely and accurately used by professionals in a commercial setting or weekend DIYer’s that need a little more power utility from their standard digital multimeter yet are still looking for a more budget-friendly model.

It’s easy and safe to operate with advanced features built for measuring seemingly everything: run tests on diodes and transistors while being able to measure voltage, current, resistance, continuity, capacitance, and frequency. The TRMS 6000’s auto-ranging capability and True RMS measuring for AC and voltage ensure this meter can stand up to any needed testing work around the house or at work.

PROS

  • Plastic coated magnet on the back of the meter is handy for sticking to the surface of metallic work areas.
  • The large, crisp, easy-to-read display is viewable clearly from any angle.
  • Good reading accuracy for being a budget meter.
  • The fast test beeper gives quick results.

CONS

  • The magnet on the back of the meter also tends to pick up metallic items in the work area, which may be inconvenient in workshops with small objects such as screws or nails.

11. Hioki 3244-60 Card HiTEster and Digital Multimeter

Best Multimeter for Pocket Use

Rating: N/A
Voltage AC/DC: 500V
Current AC/DC: None
Additional Functions: Resistance and continuity
Warranty: 3 years

When space is limited, this compact, high-quality meter can be tucked away in a pocket or small work pouch and still manage most basic metering functions.

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While not as well known as Fluke or Klein Tools, Hioki instruments provide some of Japan’s highest-quality measurement tools. The 3244-60 is no exception: well designed, with a quality build, and measuring only 9.5mm (0.37 in) thickness and 60g (2.1 oz) in weight, the Hioki 3244-60 is a great pocket meter option.  In terms of functionality, the meter can do basic voltage, resistance, and continuity checks with a full auto-ranging function, and the automatic power-saving function help to extend battery life.

PROS

  • High-quality gold-plated 15mm pin length test leads.
  • Full auto-ranging function and automatic power-saving function.
  • Very compact and easy to handle: less than 1cm thick.
  • Crisp, compact digital LCD shows results quickly and in an easy-to-read manner.
  • A hard plastic carrying case neatly holds leads and cables and protects the meter from scratches or bumps.

CONS

  • The continuity beeper is not very loud and may not be easily heard in a noisy environment.

What to Look for Choosing the Best Multimeter

You don’t need to be a professional electrician to choose a digital multimeter best suited to your needs. You only need to know some of the most important factors to ensure that the money you spend on your multimeter is worth it.

1 multimeter

Price, Durability, and Safety

With digital multimeters, you do get what you pay for. Fluke multimeters, priced above many other competing digital multimeter models, tend to incorporate more robust construction and quality components to withstand field wear and tear while providing superior safety mechanisms and the most accurate readings.

When working with higher voltages or industrial settings, choosing the correct multimeter with corresponding CAT ratings and voltage ranges is imperative. Top-line multimeter options, such as the Fluke 87-V, are built in the U.S.A. to the highest electrical specifications and are independently tested to comply with the latest editions of ANSI/ISA ratings. (12)

Most multimeter options are durable enough for small bumps and drops that may occur around the house or in most indoor work spaces. In higher price ranges, the concept of you pay for what you get rings true: top-line multimeter models tend to have sturdier cases and construction and quality components that can stand up to the rigors of outdoor use.

Category Ratings

Every digital multimeter is categorized with a safety rating, from I to IV, with a higher number equaling a higher rating. While only one meter on this list is rated at CAT IV – the Fluke 87-V – most measurement jobs will be fine with a CAT III. Also, it’s important to remember you get what you pay for – cheaper meters advertising higher CAT ratings may not always be up to perfect standards. Poor quality components may compromise the safety rating when operating at its designated maximums.

Design and Size

How big do you need your digital multimeter? Is ease of use, compactness, or read quality and durability a priority? This list contains options for both types, and it’s important to know beforehand the environment in which the meter will be used and the types of jobs it will be used for.

If you’re working on construction sites or areas exposed to the elements, drops on hard surfaces may be possible. It’s a good idea to go with a quality constructed meter with a rugged case and components that can stand up to falls and knocks. On the other hand, home users or hobbyists will likely use their meters indoors or in controlled environments where design robustness is not a priority. Knowing the difference can help you pick a better meter for your needs, saving money and trouble!

Additional Functions

In some cases considered a key function for a digital multimeter, the ability of a meter to the auto range can save a lot of time and frustration in electrical testing. It takes most of the guesswork out of testing and means that the meter will choose the correct range value for what you are testing and display the values as such.

Cheaper meters, or those without this function, may require the user to pre-select a certain range, which can be time-consuming and require additional preparation and guesswork before testing. Another important function in more basic meters that can be considered additional is the ability to measure current. If that is a requirement for your work, check that the function is available for your meter.

Another thing to remember is the input impedance, true RMS multimeter features, and safety features. Some features may be different for an automotive multimeter.

Extra functions include min/max measurements, resistance, capacitance, continuity, and diode testing (to mention a few), while the standard is that most mid-level meters may not be available in more budget or compact models. The ability to conduct extra diagnostics and tests or display information in certain ways can vary between price ranges and manufacturers, so it is worth investigating and comparing different models.

Price and Type

While this list contains only digital multimeters, there is a great deal of variety in type and price. Budget meters ranging from $20 to $50 are good for home use or light-hobby work. Generally, they don’t have the quality or safety requirements for more heavy industrial or commercial work. These meters will do the job but are not recommended for professionals.

In the $100 range, you will find the most decent meters with a good combination of construction quality, reading precision, and durability. These meters are good for most electricians. Most are robust enough for commercial work but might still lack the advanced functionality and highest safety ratings for heavy industrial work.

At $200 and up are the higher-end, top-of-the-line models from some of the best brands. Multimeters in this price range will generally have the highest safety ratings, are designed for industry work, can conduct various tests, and are made with impact-resistant materials.

Final Words

Measuring electricity requires safety and precision. While not every user will require the most expensive CAT IV industrial digital multimeter, it pays to research and compare meters to find which levels of quality, precision, and functionality are important to you.

Since your meter will give you feedback and insight into whatever electric issue you are testing, ensuring you have the correct tool and safety rating for the job is important. Thankfully, multimeter technology does not change as fast as other electronic gadgets. Investing in a good meter today will give you a good measuring tool that will still be relevant and useful for many years.

This is why it is good to make sure you are getting the right meter for the job, and this list will help you sort out the more specific differences between the best multimeters available today.

Resources

(1) – CAT ratings – https://www.digikey.com/en/blog/what-are-multimeter-cat-safety-ratings
(2) – ANSI/ISA ratings – https://www.ansi.org/

About Sam Orlovsky

AvatarCertifications: B.E.E.
Education: University Of Denver - Electric Engineering
Lives In: Denver Colorado

Electrical engineering is my passion, and I’ve been in the industry for over 20 years. This gives me a unique ability to give you expert home improvement and DIY recommendations. I’m not only an electrician, but I also like machinery and anything to do with carpentry. One of my career paths started as a general handyman, so I also have a lot of experience with home improvement I love to share.

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