The 7 Best Multimeters for Every Trade Professional in 2022

There’s no question that multimeters are a necessary tool for anyone working as a professional tradesman. But like all tools, there are different multimeters for different applications. So, if you’re not sure which is the best multimeter for you, don’t worry – I’m here to help!

After over a decade in HVAC, electrical, and industrial maintenance, I’ve used just about every type of multimeter out there. Each one has its quirks, but some perform better than others in specific situations. That’s why I’ve ranked them each for a specific job to help make your decision a little bit easier.

So, let’s dive in to figure out which is the best multimeter for you.

Disclaimer: This site contains affiliate links and I may receive compensation at no cost to you if you purchase through these links. Learn more in our Privacy Policy. As always, make sure to read the instructions for use in any tool you purchase as improper use can result in dangerous situations, including death.

What is the Best Multimeter?

There are a ton of great multimeters on the market, but some of them stand out among the rest. If you’re in a hurry and don’t have the time to read every independent review, you can’t go wrong with one of my top 3 picks for the best digital multimeter.

Jake’s Choice

Fluke 87V
  • Tests pretty much any function you’ll need
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Expensive

Excellent Choice

Fluke 381 Clamp Meter
  • Great for when you need a clamp multimeter
  • Removable Display
  • Expensive

Honorable Choice

Klein mm400
  • User-friendly interface that’s easy to use.
  • Affordable
  • Limited functions

Even though there are only three mentioned above, there are still plenty of other great multimeters depending on your trade and use.

Top Multimeters for 2022

Fluke 87V Industrial Multimeter

Best Digital Multimeter for Electricians

The Fluke 87v is an industrial multimeter that is packed with features and functions. It has a large backlit display, True-RMS AC voltage and current measurements, temperature measurements, microamps to test diodes, etc. This multimeter is perfect for those who need to troubleshoot electrical problems in industrial environments.

If you’re a professional Journeyman or beginner, this multimeter is the perfect multimeter for testing electronic equipment.

The Specifications

The Fluke 87V is packed with TONS of options. Here’s a quick preview of the main specification features.

FeatureSpecifications
Voltage AC/DCMax: 1000 V
Current AC/DCMax: 10A (20A for 30 seconds)
ResistanceMax: 50MΩ
CapacitanceMax: 9,999 µF
FrequencyMax: 200 kHz
Duty CycleMax: 99.9%, Accuracy: ±(0.2% per kHz + 0.1%)
DiodeRange: 3V
ConductanceMax: 60.00 nS
CategoryEN 61010–1 to 1000 V CAT III, 600V CAT IV

Pro’s

  • This meter is for the pro’s in industry who are going to be working on anything from lighting to PLC’s.
  • This meter has everything you could ever want or need in a multimeter, including a two-level backlight, a sturdy design, and is meant to withstand the harshest elements.
  • This multimeter has a long battery life, around 400 hours depending on if you are using the backlight or not.
  • Also included is a lifetime warranty, meaning you only need to make one purchase for the rest of your life. This is hard to pass up.

Con’s

  • As a more expensive option around $480 bucks, this may be overkill if you don’t need all the bells and whistles.

Jake’s Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for a reliable and precise multimeter to use on a variety of electrical equipment, this is a great option.

Fieldpiece HS36 True RMS

Best Digital Multimeter for Residential HVAC Professionals

If you’re just getting into the HVAC game or you’re in the market for a new multimeter, then the Fieldpiece HS36 is a popular choice if you’re working on residential HVAC.

It has everything you could possibly need for HVAC, without all the features you would never use. They’ve even come up with great ideas such as making it small enough to fit in your pocket, a magnetic hanger to hang it up, and a backlight for those times you’re not in well-lit conditions. There’s also a wide range of accessories that can increase your job productivity.

The Specifications

The Fieldpiece HS36 has everything you need for residential HVAC measurements.

FeatureSpecifications
Voltage AC/DCMax: 600V
Current DCRanges: 400μA, 4000μA
ResistanceRanges: 400Ω, 4kΩ, 40kΩ, 400kΩ, 4MΩ, 40MΩ
CapacitanceRanges: 400 microfarads
FrequencyRanges: 4k, 40k, 400k, 4M, 40MHz
CategoryUL,CE,Cat III 600V, UL61010-1, IEC/EN61010-1

Pro’s

  • It measures everything you need for residential HVAC measurements including voltage, current, resistance, and capacitance.
  • The accessories available are really great and turns this meter into a really versatile tool.
  • The backlight lasts 60 seconds and comes in handy when you’re in low-light conditions if you’re working early morning.
  • About 300 hours of battery life, so it should last you quite a while before making any changes .

Con’s

  • It can become cumbersome to have to detach the meter leads to attach the amp clamp and vice versa.

Jake’s Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for a multimeter specially made for residential HVAC users, this is an industry standard.

Klein’s Digital Multimeter, Auto-Ranging, MM400, 600V

Best Digital Multimeter for Basic, General Use

This Model Discontinued. Check Klein for Photo.

The Klein MM400 is another great digital multimeter that is the perfect, affordable option if you’re a beginner or just doing some basic testing. It measures all the basic functions such as current, resistance, and voltage.

If you’re working on light home improvement projects such as testing light switches, this meter should do the trick. Make sure to read the instruction manual on it’s limitations. For only around $50-$60 bucks, this meter really is an affordable option if you’re not a Journeyman needing a high-end precision meter.

The Specifications

The Klein MM400 hits all the basic functions you may need as a homeowner or DIYer.

FeatureSpecifications
Voltage AC/DCMax: 600V AC & DC
Current AC/DCMax: 10 A AC & DC
Resistance40MO
Capacitance200µF
Continuity TestAudible signal <50Ω
Duty Cycle0.1% to 99.9%, Accuracy: ±(1.2% + 2 digits)
Diode1.5 mA max, open circuit voltage 3.0V DC
CategoryCAT III 600V; CE Certified, : IEC EN 61326-1

Pro’s

  • This meter is best for basic functions such as light residential use (light switches, ceiling fans, etc) and very light business locations.
  • It can withstand a 1 meter drop, so has decent durability for the cost.
  • Super affordable.

Con’s

  • Has limited functions and maximum readings, I would not recommend this for a professional tradesmen.

Jake’s Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for a practical, affordable multimeter that can be used to get basic jobs done, then the Klein MM400 is perfect for you. This is not one designed for pro’s doing extensive electrical, auto, or other complex functions.

Fluke 381 TRMS Clamp Meter

Best Clamp Multimeter

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If you’re looking specifically for a clamp multimeter, you can’t go wrong with the Fluke 381 TRMS Clamp meter. It’s made for the professional electrician who needs to measure a current in a safe and efficient way.

This clamp multimeter has quite a few features on it. The display on the bottom actually detaches and can be carried away up to 30 feet and is magnetic, so you can attach somewhere for easy reading. As a Fluke, you know it’s a reputable piece of equipment with a three-year warranty on this one.

The Specifications

The Fluke 381 TRMS Clamp Multimeter has quite a few special features.

FeatureSpecifications
Voltage AC & DC600 V /1000 V
AC CurrentJaw: 999.9 A, Probe:
999.9 A / 2500 A (45 Hz – 500 Hz)
DC Current999.9 A
FrequencyJaw: 5.0 – 500.0 Hz, Probe: 5.0 to 500.0 Hz
Resistance Range600 Ω/6 kΩ/60 kΩ
CategoryCAT IV 600 V, CAT III 1000 V

Pro’s

  • The detachable display makes your job a breeze, and once you have it, it’s hard to live without.
  • It boasts unique, fantastic technology that allows you to use this meter in a noisy environment without having to worry about the interference messing with your readings.
  • There’s a nice backlight display with large numbers make this meter really user-friendly.

Con’s

  • Not much I can say that’s bad about this meter.

Jake’s Final Thoughts

If you’re needing a clamp multimeter to replace an extra pair of hands, than you don’t need to look any further than the Fluke.

Fluke 289 True-RMS Industrial Data Logging Multimeter

Best Digital Multimeter for Industry

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So I’ve already hit on some great meters for industrial use like the Fluke 87v, but the Fluke 289 Industrial Logging Multimeter version deserves recognition all on its own for its logging capabilities. Using “TrendCapture” graphing capabilities, the information collected with this meter can be shared with your peers or coworkers. You can download the Fluke app and find the information with a few clicks, making this a meter worthy of the 2020’s.

In a time where industries have taken a preventative maintenance approach by detecting minor problems before they become major ones, this is a multimeter for any major industrial business.

The Specifications

Now, as always, the Fluke 289 is a pioneer in measuring anything your systems could need.

FeatureSpecifications
Voltage AC & DC50.000 mV, 500.00 mV, 5.0000 V, 50.000 V, 500.00 V, 1000.0 V
Current AC & DC500.00 μA, 5000.0 μA, 50.000 mA, 400.00 mA, 5.0000 A, 10.000 A
Resistance50.000 Ω, 500.00 Ω, 5.0000 kΩ, 50.000 kΩ, 500.00 kΩ, 5.0000 MΩ, 50.00 MΩ, 500.0 MΩ
Capicitance1.000 nF,10.00 nF 100.0 nF, 1.000 μF, 10.00 μF, 100.0 μF, 1000 μF, 10.00 mF, 100 mF
Frequency
99.999 Hz, 999.99 Hz, 9.9999 kHz, 99.999 kHz, 999.99 kHz
CategoryCategory III, 1000V, Category IV, 600 V

Pro’s

  • Capture all of the data you need to detect anomalies with their TrendCapture, share on video with ShareLive calls, and use with the Fluke mobile app.
  • Industrial features you can rely on, like low pass filter for readings you can trust despite being near high noises from industrial equipment.
  • Great safety ratings as you would expect from a Fluke device.
  • Precise measurements with multiple range selections make this a must-have for major commercial industrial plants.

Con’s

  • You have to purchase the kit to gain access to the ShareLive and and video tools, which can be pretty costly.

Jake’s Final Thoughts

This is a great logging multimeter to look at the continuous performance of industrial equipment and a necessity for preventative maintenance in industrial settings.

Megger AVO 835 High-End Multimeter

Best Digital Multimeter for Versatility

The Megger brand may not be as well known as a Fluke, but it definitely deserves its spot on the list. It’s a great multimeter that performs a myriad of functions which makes it great for whatever equipment you’re testing.

Whether you’re a hobbyist, electrician, or field tech, many people can find this meter versatile enough to meet their needs with the safety standards they’ve come to expect.

The Specifications

Now, here’s all the features you’ll get with the Megger AVO 835 Multimeter.

FeatureSpecifications
Max Voltage AC/DCMax: 1000V
Current AC/DCMax: 10 A
ResistanceMax: 50 MΩ
CapicitanceMax: 20 mF
DiodeMax: 2.8 V
CategoryEN 61010-11000 V CAT III / 600 V CAT IV

Pro’s

  • Allows you to phase test on three phase motor applications.
  • It has a non-contact voltage detection feature, which is great to see in a multimeter.
  • Reputable brand
  • Really affordable for everything you get in this meter, it’s truly a great bang for the buck.

Con’s

  • The three year warranty is nice, but not as long as some of the lifetime warranties offered by other meters.

Jake’s Final Thoughts

The Megger is a quality, affordable meter that performs a variety of functions. It really is a versatile meter that can meet the needs of various tradesmen.

Kaiweets HT118A Digital AC/DC Multimeter

Best Digital Multimeter for Automotive.

Now, when you’re looking at automotive multimeters, the Kaiweet HT118A is hard to beat for the value. For only $37, you get pretty much everything you need for automotive measurements. If your pro, you can definitely go with a Fluke 115, but for the novice, a Kaiweets is likely all you need.

The Specifications

Here are the features you’ll find in a Kaiweet HT118A.

FeatureSpecifications
DC Voltage600mV/6V/60V/600V±(0.5%+3), 1000V ±(0.5%+3)
AC Voltage600mV/6V/60V/600V/750V±(0.8%+5)
Resistance600Ω/6KΩ/60KΩ/600KΩ/±(1.0%+3),6MΩ/60MΩ ±(1.5%+3)
Capicitance10nf/100nf/1000nf/10uf/100uf/1000uf ±(4.0%+5), 10MF/100MF±(5.0%+5)
Category IEC Rated CAT III 1000V, CAT IV 600V

Pro’s

  • The best thing about this meter is just how user-friendly this thing is. It has auto-ranging, large display, and audio sounds to make your measuring easier.
  • It’s hard to find a quality multimeter under $50, but this one does it.
  • There are a lot of safety mechanisms built-in with high voltage protection and double insulation. Not to mention, it’s rated for Category III and IV’s usage.

Con’s

  • There’s only a three year warranty, but for the price that’s more than expected.

Jake’s Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for an affordable automotive multimeter, this is a great option.

What Is a Multimeter?

A multimeter is an electronic measuring instrument that combines multiple measurement features into one single unit. All meters are equipped with test leads and typically an option for different types of accessories. As the name implies, a multimeter has expanded to have multiple uses. What started as a way to measure voltage, current, and resistance for electricians, has now expanded to temperature, humidity, diodes, and more.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Multimeter

There are tons of different multimeters on the market, so how do you choose which one is best for you? Digital meters differ from each other in the functions that they provide. Some have more than others, but you’ll pay heavily for them. Others simply offer the basics, but if that’s all you need then they’re perfect for you at a much more affordable option.

Here is a list of all the factors you can consider when deciding between different digital multimeters:

1. What You Need to Measure

The most important factor is what you need the multimeter to measure. Digital multimeters measure a multitude of different functions depending on what they’re marketed for. Are you going to be working with electrical circuits? Or maybe you’re in the market for an HVAC multimeter. Each trade

2. Voltage

There are two types of electrical categories for multimeters: AC and DC Voltage.

AC voltage: This stands for alternating current and it’s the common voltage you’ll find. This is anything you’ll find in residential, buildings, motors, light fixtures, practically everything.

DC voltage: This stands for direct current and it’s used in automotive and controls like circuit boards or industrial equipment.

Most multimeters can measure both, but some only measure one or the other, so be sure to check before making your purchase. Typically, many meters measure up to 600V, but some meters go as high as 1000V or more.

3. Current

This is the amount of current flowing through a conductor. This is measured in units of amperes or amps. Many meters measure up to 10A, and it also depends on the type of meter you’re using. For instance, a claw meter may measure differently with a probe vs. the jaw.

4. Resistance

Resistance, which is measured in ohms, is the opposition of the electrical current.

5. Capacitance

The ability of a capacitor to store an electric charge. This is measured in farads or microfarads. HVAC will use this often.

6. Humidity

Some meters can measure the moisture in walls or wood.

7. Electrical Category

The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) created safety requirements for electrical equipment to keep the user safe.

Three different categories define the level of protection against electric shock:

  • CAT I– this is for measuring voltages in circuits not connected to the mains.
  • CAT II– this is for measuring voltages in circuits connected to the mains.
  • CAT III– this is for measuring voltages in circuits with high voltage and current, such as those found in industrial environments.
  • CAT IV– this is for measuring voltages in circuits with extra-high voltage and current, such as those found in the distribution network.

It’s important to know what category of equipment you’re going to be working on so that you purchase the appropriate multimeter for an accurate reading.

8. True RMS (or TRMS)

This is a feature that you’ll want if you’re going to be working with AC voltage. It stands for true root mean square and it means that the multimeter can take into account the changing nature of AC voltage.

9. Analog Multimeter vs. Digital Multimeter

This is a matter of preference, but digital multimeters tend to be more accurate than an analog multimeter. They also have the ability to store data, which can be helpful if you’re working on a long project or want to keep track of measurements over time.

10. Auto-Ranging Capabilities

This can help increase your efficiency with it populating automatically.

11. Backlight Display

Are you going to be working in low-light conditions? If that’s a significant possibility, you will want a backlight.

12. Safety Features

Different multimeters can withstand different voltages spikes, and some are even equipped with different alert systems when things are attached properly.

13. Warranty

You know that your tools take a beating if you’re a professional. Consider getting a multimeter with a longer warranty to get the most bang for your buck.

14. Price

Unless you have an unlimited budget, you’ll need to consider the price. Some can get pretty pricey when you start adding in all the bells and whistles, so take inventory of what you need.

15. Durability

As any tradesman knows, things are bound to get bumped, hit, and dropped when you’re on the job. Or maybe you’re working in some horrible weather conditions, but whatever is happening, you’re going to want your multimeter to handle the punches.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What do I look for in an electrician multimeter?

When looking for the best multimeter for an electrician, it’s essential to find a multimeter that measures the basics of voltage and resistance. But some other noteworthy things are going to be safety features (the category).

What features should I look for in an HVAC multimeter?

HVAC professionals look for unique measurements when testing out air conditioning units. If you’re in HVAC, be sure to make sure your multimeter can measure capacitance (microfarads), voltage, and amperage.

What do I look for in an automotive multimeter?

If you’re using a multimeter for automotive purposes, you’ll want to look for one that can measure amperage, voltage, and has an auto-ranging feature.

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