Multimeter Symbols Chart: Explained

What is a Multimeter?

A multimeter is a basic measuring tool that can measure various electrical characteristics such as voltage, resistance, and current. The device is also known as a volt-ohm-millimeter (VOM) because it serves as a voltmeter, ammeter, and ohmmeter.

Types of Multimeters

These measuring devices vary in size, features, and prices, and are designed to be handheld or used on a desk depending on their intended use. Types of multimeters include:

  • Analog Multimeter (Learn how to read here)
  • Digital Multimeter
  • Fluke Multimeter
  • Clamp Multimeter
  • Automatic Multimeter

The Multimeter is one of the most used measuring devices nowadays. However, newcomers often face difficulty identifying the symbols on the multimeter. In this article, we will show you how to recognize the symbols on a multimeter.

Although there are various types of multimeters available on the market, they all use the same symbol system. The symbols can be divided into the following parts:

  • On/Off icon
  • Gate icon
  • Voltage Symbol
  • Amperage Symbol
  • Resistor Symbol

two multimeter with red and black probe

Meaning of Symbols on a Multimeter

Symbols in a multimeter include:

SymbolFunctionality
HOLD buttonIt helps to record and retain the measured data.
On, Off buttonOpen, turn off.
COM portIt stands for Common and is almost always connected to the ground (Ground) or cathode of the circuit. The COM port is usually black and is also usually connected to a black test lead.
10A portThis is a special port usually for measuring large currents (> 200mA).
mA, µALow current measurement port.
mAVΩ portThis is the port where the red test lead is normally plugged in. This port can measure current (up to 200mA), voltage (V), and resistance (Ω).
oCVΩHz portThis is the port connected to the red test lead. Allows measurement of temperature (C), voltage (V), resistance (), frequency (Hz).
True RMS portThis is usually plugged in the red wire. To measure the true r.m.s. value parameter (true RMS).
SELECT buttonIt helps to switch between functions.
BrightnessAdjust the brightness of the display.
AC voltageAlternating current. Some products are simply denoted as A.
DC voltageDirect Current.
HzMeasure frequency.
DUTYMeasure cycle. Measure the capacitance of the current. Check continuity, short circuit (Continuity check).
Waveform buttonDiode test (diode test)
hFETransistor-Transistor Test
NCVNon-contact current induction feature
REL (relative) buttonSet the reference value. Helps to compare and check between different measured values.
RANGE buttonSelect the appropriate measurement area.
MAX/MINStore the maximum and minimum input values; Notification beep when the measured value exceeds the stored value. And then that new value is overwritten.
Hz symbolIndicates the frequency of a circuit or device.

multimeter symbol list

Applications of a Multimeter?

  • Used to measure voltage such as: Measure DC current, AC current.
  • Measure resistance with constant voltage, current and small ohmmeter.
  • Used for a fast time and frequency measurement. (1)
  • Able to diagnose problems related to electrical circuits in cars, check batteries, car generators, etc. (2)

This article gives you all the symbol definitions for reference for recognizing all the symbols shown on a multimeter, if we missed one or you have a suggestion, feel free to drop us a line.






References
(1) frequency measurement – https://www.researchgate.net/publication/
269464380_Frequency_Measurement
(2) diagnose problems – https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/
pii/0305048393900067

About Sam Orlovsky

b1d87d2ee85af3e51479df87928bdc88?s=90&d=mm&r=gI realized early on carpentry was a huge passion for me and I’ve stayed in the industry for over 20 years now. This gives me a unique ability to really be able to tell you what the best tools and recommendations are. I’m not only a carpenter but I also like machinery and anything to do with electrics. One of my career paths starting off was as an apprentice electrician so I also have a lot of experience with electrical products and anything related.