There are hundreds of multimeter models available in the market. Some of them have a high price tag. Others are priced low. Some cover a wide range of testing functions. Others rely on their build quality and reliability to reach the customers.
The presence of all these multimeters can prove to be a hurdle for you who are trying to find your best multimeter for heavy-duty mechanics. You want the available options to be slimmed down to only include the best quality solutions. This way, the choice will become easier for you.
Here are six meters heavy-duty mechanics prefer for their job-related testing. They are sturdy, well-built, and include multiple functions.
AstroAI Multimeter 2000 Counts Digital Multimeter
This product with a 2000 count display shows up to 1999 reading for the different electric components it tests. The display is backlit and you get a continuity buzzer to speed up continuity testing.
The most important feature of this multimeter is its price point. At just a little over twenty bucks, the tester is a bargain, even as a spare unit. Now, you can have a meter that you can take with you without worrying about abuse, thanks to its silicone cover. You can hand over that tester in your toolkit to your apprentice without a second thought.
But don’t let its price point delude you. The meter is reliable and efficient. For starters, you get an intuitive interface with a knob that you can use to select the type of testing you will do. Then, you get a data hold button that will allow you to save your readings for future reference.
Its stand is another reason that makes your life easier as you can prop it on the ground or other surfaces while taking readings to get the right angle. Its low battery indicator is another benefit that allows you to plan a battery change.
Its measuring functions include AC DC voltage, DC amperage, resistance, diode, and continuity. These tests are protected by a double insulation anti-burn fuse that keeps the multimeter from overloading damage.
Its accuracy is just reasonable for most vehicle testing jobs at 1 to 2%. But you want it for the first tests to reach the problem, right? And automobile testing doesn’t need intense accuracy.
Other than on the vehicles on your job, you can also use the gadget to test different appliances at home. Or test electronics on the car or troubleshoot the engine.
Extremely budget friendly
Doesn’t test AC amperage
Etekcity Digital Multimeter, Voltage Tester
Etekcity is one of the well-known brands that manufacture measuring equipment. You can find its multimeters in a reasonable price range. This digital multimeter is a prime example of how cost-effective this brand can be.
You may assume that with this price point, you will get sub-standard quality of the unit. But this assumption can’t be farther from the truth. This DMM offers reliable readings and you can work with it for years to come.
Use the rubber sleeve and be a little considerate while using it, and you wouldn’t worry about getting a new meter in the coming years. The only issue is that the meter is only good for general testing. As a spare meter that will make the first round of testing before you get technical, it’s a great choice.
First of all, the meter is lightweight and easy to carry. You can use it in hand-free mode by using its stand. Use its backlight to view the readings in dim light. Then, use its data hold function to keep track of the readings. The continuity testing is complete with a continuity buzzer.
The electrical components you can test with it include AC and DC voltage, DC amperage, resistance, continuity, and diode. You may not measure AC amperage with this meter but this fact shouldn’t bother you when your only purpose for this tool is testing automobile batteries.
Despite its low price point, the meter is reliable. Its readings are fairly accurate and can compare against the accuracy of some of its high-end competitors. You can be assured about its safety because of its insulation fuse.
Extremely budget friendly
Accurate and reliable readings
Safe and durable
Basic functions only
In the world of multimeters, there is no better brand than Fluke. They are reliable, sturdy, and durable. Plus, the accuracy level of their readings surpasses any standard set by other meters. Fluke 117 is another spare meter that you would use to supplement your testing tasks.
The small and easy-to-hold meter is durable thanks to its rugged design. The interface is easy to use and the auto-ranging mechanism takes most of the effort and hard work away from you. You only have to select the electrical component you will test and the meter is good to work.
This basic level meter raises the bar of ergonomics and efficiency for you. For starters, it’s a TRMS meter, which means it can measure the non-linear voltage as well after calculating and eliminating ghost voltage. Then, comes the low impedance LoZ feature that helps it keep the reading more accurate.
It also includes VoltAlert, a tool that tests voltage without breaking the circuit. To further help you reach the problem, the meter allows an Auto-Volt feature that automatically detects the voltage and switches between AC and DC voltage in response.
Its range of functions includes AC and DC voltage, AC and DC amperage, capacitance, frequency, resistance, and continuity.
Its safety rating is CAT III which makes it suitable not only for automobile testing and troubleshooting but also great for household appliance testing and diagnostics. So, even if you get it as a spare meter for your work toolkit, there is no reason it cannot be doubled as a household meter as well.
Innova 3340 Professional Automotive Digital Multimeter
This multimeter combines a variety of functions that you will need to effectively troubleshoot your vehicle. You get all the features that you will get with Fluke but for a fraction of the price. But you have to make compromises after all because of the lower cost, its build quality is not the best.
So, while the meter gives almost all the features of a high-end Fluke, it isn’t up for harsh and rough use.
The meter is versatile and covers different functions, including AC and DC voltage, AC and DC milliamps, DC amperage, resistance, continuity, temperature, and frequency. The meter also performs specialized tests for the vehicle engine. For example, you can use RPM and Dwell functions to detect fuel usage problems.
Its DC amperage testing is the only area that needs deliberate caution. The maximum you can test this element is fifteen seconds. After that, you have to let the device rest for fifteen minutes before resuming the testing.
All the basic functions that enhance efficiency can be found within it. For example, you get the data hold, low battery indicator, backlight, and auto shut-off features with it. The auto-ranging feature is another highlight of this DMM.
On the design front, the DMM is reliable and sturdy. It comes with rugged corners that make it immune to work-related shocks. You also get a carrying case that increases the portability of this meter. Then, the bright and clear display makes your testing quick and efficient.
In the end, its impedance stands at 10MΩ, making it safe for your engine as well as your meter.
A complete solution
Safe and reliable
Quality could be better
If you want a general-purpose solution for your automobile testing but don’t want to invest extra dollars on a Fluke meter, Amprobe AM-530 model has gotten you covered. The meter offers true value for the money without Fluke’s name and brand trust.
Here is everything you will love about this DMM.
Its ergonomic design is the first thing you will notice. The build quality is reliable and durable. The TRMS function allows you to test even in the presence of ghost voltage. And the auto-ranging feature is a blessing as it allows you to get the readings without checking the range of your circuit.
The non-contact voltage is another feature that eases your work and makes it safe.
The contrast of the display is good enough for you to check the readings even at an angle. To make reading the display even easier, you can use its stand to prop it up at a suitable angle.
Use the backlight in dark areas. This backlight keeps shutting down in small intervals to save the battery. You need to switch it on again and again in a dim-lit ambiance. The data hold functions make keeping records easier.
The meter will test AC voltage up to 750V, DC voltage up to 1000V, and AC and DC amperage up to 10A. You can also measure resistance, capacitance, continuity, and frequency. Use the included K-Type thermocouple probe to test temperature.
It is good for general-purpose testing. But in the end, you will have to supplement it with a DMM that includes all the specialized features that are needed in automobile testing.
Non-contact voltage detection
The backlight keeps turning off
Also read: Best Clamp Meters for HVAC
Fluke FLUKE-88-5 88V
Fluke 88 is the topmost choice for professional, heavy-duty mechanics. This one is made especially for mechanics and includes all the electrical tests you will need to conduct on your job.
If you are looking for a quality product, its high price will not bother you. The first thing you will notice is its quality built. The rugged design holds for many years. Seasoned mechanics report that you need only a couple of these beasts during your whole career as a professional mechanic. In other words, rely on it to help you navigate your job for the coming decade.
All the basic functions that enhance efficiency are present in it. These include auto-ranging, data hold, mini max hold, and backlight. For the backlight, you can choose between two levels of brightness. The display is clear and easy to read. You can stop using the auto-ranging feature at will.
The meter comes with the Fluke TPAK magnetic meter hanger. It allows you to hang the meter for easy reading.
Its readings are as accurate as they can get. You will be looking at a level of up to 1% accuracy for most electrical elements.
The different electrical elements you will measure using this meter include AC and DC voltage, DC amperage, resistance, continuity, frequency, diode, capacitance, and RPM. You will also get thermometer probes that will measure temperatures between -25°C and 55°C.
The meter’s safety rating stands at CAT III 1000V or CAT IV 600V. It is a higher safety rating than what is needed for automobiles. So, you can double its use for industrial settings as well. In short, the tool is best for heavy-duty mechanics that plan to use it every day in their career.
Complete automobile solution
Durable and reliable
As a heavy-duty mechanic, you have to use a multimeter every day. This tool is part of the reason that you excel at your job. You cannot compromise on its quality, reliability, and accuracy. You want the best multimeter for heavy-duty mechanics for all tasks from general troubleshooting to intensive testing.
In this post, we have included our top six choices of professional and reliable multimeters. Fluke 88 is a definite choice for all intensive work. For general works, you can choose any from the other options we have included.