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What Sort Of Multimeter Should You Buy?

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#1 KernowCooper



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Posted 05 April 2013 - 12:33 AM

A question I'm asked a lot here and in my daily conversations is "What Sort Of Multimeter Should I Buy"

Well if we all had Flukes then that would be nice but costing several hundred pounds a throw there not necessary for the average Mini owner.

Anything which is Digital and has a DC range of 20v and does Resistance will do, and you can pick one up for les than £25-£30, whilst not a professional quality meter will be accurate enough to diagnoise day to day faults on your Mini.

Machine Mart have the Clark at £23.99 which is about the botom end of where a DIY Meter Starts
I would use. http://www.machinema...=SRC-multimeter

Obviously there are cheaper but I have tested some against my calibrated Fluke, and they are as much as 0.5v out and anologue meters are really not much good other than to say approximate voltage is present.

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Edited by KernowCooper, 05 April 2013 - 12:37 AM.

#2 Simont


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Posted 05 April 2013 - 01:02 AM

is the maplin range any good? they have one up for 19.99 at the moment http://www.maplin.co...cy-counter-4407

#3 Bungle


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Posted 05 April 2013 - 06:27 AM


it doesn't have RPM or the dwel angle like automotive ones but will be good for electrical fault finding

#4 JonnyBMX


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Posted 05 April 2013 - 06:43 AM

As an electrical engineer i use fluke meter's on a daily basis and altough they are very nice as allready stated they are pricey (for a reason of accuracy etc)

But this said at home i use a sealey multimeter which i have found to be an excellent bit of kit i think it was about £45 ish so is a good mid point if you are looking for something along those lines then i would recommend this

#5 joakwin


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Posted 05 April 2013 - 07:21 AM

at home i use a fluke meter, at work i was trying to order a fluke muilt meter and fluke amp meter and my overall boss didn't want to spend the money, so they got me a clarke muilt/amp meter in one unit, the thing came in broken, had to send it back, 2 weeks later i get a replacement, it came in broken also, sent it back and then 2 weeks later again got another replacement, and this time had my boss open it up in front of me, guess what, came in broken again, 3times now, and now my boss said forget this brand and got me the two fluke meters that i wanted in the 1st place

#6 Tamworthbay


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Posted 05 April 2013 - 08:06 AM

I agree with the above generally art from the bit about analogue meters. Chinese rubbish is as OP said, but quality ones are as accurate as digital bit take a tiny bit more skill to read (a good one will have a small mirror band behind the needle to allow you to read accurately). I don't have a fluke so get by on an RS components one that is years old. For really accurate reading I get out my old mans AVO meter which is still incredibly accurate but is enormous.

#7 Old Bob

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 08:10 AM

I use an Archer which I built from a kit many years ago. Accurate? I really can't tell having nothing to calibrate it against, but I still like the big analogue scale and a needle which kicks across the face!

Digital displays are too positive - they sort of say "This is the truth - no arguement" which you have no way of checking, where as analogue is more of a "It's about this........" approach.

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#8 holmesy


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Posted 05 April 2013 - 08:31 AM

I tested a few cheaper range ones from the likes on maplin, sealey, J&B , and R&M top of the range meter all against a couple of my flukes. to be honest the £25 area is good enough for basic home and motoring use.

I must have at least 15-20 fluke multimeters from all different series. fluke vibration meters, fluke wireless and wired heat measures etc the degree of accuracy with these is much needed in my line of work when dealing with lives and millions of pounds worth of oil and machinery at stake.

had a whole system shutdown the other day just because a meter decided to have a funny turn for a couple of seconds, cost over $600, 000 due to the down time

Edited by holmesy, 05 April 2013 - 08:33 AM.

#9 iwatkins


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Posted 05 April 2013 - 09:28 AM

I seem to collect multimeters for some reason.

The one I like right now is this one from Maplins for £24.99: http://www.maplin.co...9#specification It'll do everything I need for the mini including dwell, revs etc and has an inductive pickup.



#10 998dave


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Posted 05 April 2013 - 12:44 PM

I have a Snap-on PDM meter like this;


It's amazing, but actually a bit too much in most jobs.

I've also got a cheapo £10 multimeter which is rubbish, so looking at the machinemart one as recommended above.

#11 DannyTip


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Posted 05 April 2013 - 03:01 PM

I have one of these cheap things:


I may not be super accurate but its good enough for most mini problems (checking continuity, voltage, etc).

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