Understanding the Different Types Of Multimeters


analog vs digital multimeterMost electrical technicians already know the importance and benefits of having a multimeter in their tool cabinet.

Multimeters save a lot of time by accurately detecting electrical faults. DIY enthusiasts or non-technicians, though, may not be able to fully appreciate the benefits of a multimeter.

Find out here about the different types of multimeters and which one will best suit your needs.

Usually, most multimeters can measure a wide range of properties such as frequency, inductance, resistance, and conductance. Some of them can equally be used to measure duty circle and temperature. However, the most advanced models are designed with more features. These can measure microamps, decibels and rotations per minute. Others have graphing capabilities and waterproof castings. Multimeters also come with a wide range of accessories such as leads, clamps and probes. Some multimeters even come with product warranties and extra batteries that help them last for a very long time.

If you are looking to buy a multimeter, there are different types and brands on the market but they are categorized into two basic types. Multimeters can either be digital or analogue.

Digital Multimeters

This is the most common type of multimeter on the market today.

It makes use of digital circuits which means that it measures current in discrete increments. Analogue meters measure in continuous range of value. The digital meter measurements are usually made in analogue form. This means that it converts from analogue to digital form before any measurements can take place. Because of this delay of conversions, a digital multimeter may not be ideal for measuring values that are changing constantly. However, a digital multimeter is usually more accurate than its analogue counterpart. So, if your main concern in a multimeter is accuracy, a digital multimeter will suit you perfectly. The digital multimeter generally comes with a battery which powers the display.

Digital multimeters can be categorized into three basic types: the autoranging, clamp digital, and the fluke digital multimeter.

Fluke Digital Multimeter

This type of digital multimeter is designed with different collaboration functions. It usually has a large display screen and can be used to measure electrical resistance and voltage. Some equally come with different advanced features which measure duty circle, frequency, temperature, humidity, and pressure. It is one of the most popular types of digital multimeters available.

Clamp Digital Multimeter

The basic function of this type of multimeter is for measuring the flow of electricity. The clamp feature of the multimeter measures the amps while the probes measure the volts. The power consumption or watts can be calibrated by multiplying the voltage readings by the amps. Another feature of the clamp multimeter is its different types of settings. When using it, you have to pick the setting that is appropriate for what you are measuring.

Autoranging Multimeter

This multimeter is the easiest multimeter to use although it is equally the most expensive of all types of digital multimeters. The central knob of the multimeter has fewer positions and it doesn’t necessarily need to be switched to what is being measured.

Analog Multimeters

These are the first types of multimeters that were manufactured before the digital multimeter era. They are usually cheaper than their digital counterparts but are also not easy to read.

These multimeters make use of a pointed scale that looks like a needle for their readings. When buying an analog multimeter, make sure that the meter has a high sensitivity because a low sensitivity multimeter may upset the circuit leading to inaccurate readings.

When choosing a product, make sure you select the one with the right features needed for whatever you are measuring.

About the Author Damion

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