Anyone who works with electronics should know that multimeters are an important tool for them to have. Depending on the one you buy, these can be used for measuring values like resistance, current, temperature, voltage and more. It is considered an all-in-one tool for circuit building, troubleshooting and testing. For instance, you can use a multimeter if you want to know how to test a phone line without a phone, or for checking your extension cords.If you are in the market for a multimeter, you need to know the basics that can help you in choosing the right one.
First and foremost, you need to figure out why you want a multimeter. Different types of multimeters can be found and they are used for testing different things. Hence, knowing what the device will be used for can make it easier to select the type and size to buy. You can find pocket sized units to large desktop ones, and a number of other variants in between. Next, you need to consider if you need auto-ranging or manual-ranging. The former automatically chooses the range for the test such as amps, microamps and milliamps. The latter requires the user to adjust the range for an accurate reading.
Auto-ranging multimeters do give a more accurate reading, but there are cases where you may want to adjust the reading to decimal points, so a manual-ranging one is needed. Most importantly, you also need to go over the probe options. Some multimeters come with just one set of probes i.e. the test probes, while others have more. These include alligator chips, tweezer leads, grabber/hooks and spade lugs.
As long as you get the right multimeter, it can save you hours of frustration involved in troubleshooting circuits and can also save you money in the long run.