Choosing a quality multimeter for home and work

A self-respecting home master must have a device for checking all kinds of electrical parameters. Use it to detect wire break, check for voltage in the outlet or battery, find out the integrity of the lamp, heater, and other electrical and radio components. A digital electronic tester measures such parameters as AC and DC voltage, electrical resistance, AC and DC current, temperature, frequency, inductance, capacitance of capacitors, etc. In this article we will tell you how to choose a multimeter and which is better for home, work and car.

Key selection criteria

Not every master needs in everyday life all of the functions listed above, some will have enough for some. For a builder-electrician, it’s quite enough to choose a simple multimeter that will measure voltage, check resistance, ring the circuit. Therefore, it makes no sense to buy an expensive tester.

It will be useful for an electrical technician who serves electrical equipment to select the “current clamp” function, which allows measuring the load on operating equipment without interfering with the circuit. This in turn will allow you to monitor and prevent accidents.

For masters of instrumentation, other functions related to radio components will be very useful: an ohmmeter, a voltmeter, an ammeter, a capacitance and inductance meter, a frequency meter and more.

Below we will provide the most reliable models for each profession, and now I would like to briefly dwell on the main points that need to be considered when choosing a multimeter in 2017:

  1. Arrow or digital. Of course, digital, because It has a large number of functions and high accuracy.
  2. Functionality We already said this and will talk in detail below when we provide an overview of multimeters.
  3. The presence of a backlight and a hold button, it is much more convenient to carry out measurements with them.
  4. The error of operation can vary from 0.025 to 3%. The smaller the error, the more accurate the tester.
  5. Design. You must choose a multimeter that is convenient for work, focusing on its size, the execution of controls, and other important things.
  6. Degree of protection against moisture, dust and shock loads. The higher the degree, the better the tester and its service life will be longer.
  7. Electrical safety class. An equally important selection criterion, which you definitely need to pay attention to. According to the standards, there are 4 classes: CAT 1 - it is possible to measure in low-voltage networks, CAT 11 - power supply networks, CAT 111 - distribution circuits inside buildings, CAT 1V - distribution circuits outside buildings. Protection can be provided by fuses (electromechanical) or more reliable - electronic. We recommend choosing a digital multimeter with electronic protection.
  8. Firm. An equally important indicator that you need to pay attention to. Good manufacturers of digital testers in 2017 are Mastech and UNI-T.

The specialist briefly talks about all this in the video:

Expert opinion

We consider in the article, in our opinion, the common and popular models of multimeters that you can choose for home, work and car diagnostics.

Review of the best models


The DT-830B should start your acquaintance with it if you have never had a measuring device. An inexpensive device with a set of necessary parameters that beginners and experienced electricians, as well as home masters, may need.


The device is small in size, powered by a 9V crown battery. There is an LCD indicator, a function switch, two probes red and black, three sockets 20A, V A Ω, COM for choosing the type of measurement of parameters. As for the functions, the multimeter can measure:

  • direct current with limits from 20 mA to 200 mA, as well as through a separate socket within 10A;
  • alternating voltage up to 200V and up to 500V;
  • DC voltage within 200 mV to 500V;
  • resistance up to 2000 kOhm;
  • diode test;
  • determination of transistor parameters.

The Achilles heel of this device is the wrong choice of measurement parameters. If you select the dialing function or measure the resistance and measure the mains voltage, the tester will fail. This model is very popular for home and is widely represented in our market. There are modifications of the 830 model, they differ both in appearance and in the presence of certain functions. You can learn more about this on the video:

Comparison of DT-830

Summing up, I would like to note that the choice of this inexpensive multimeter is reasonable if it will be used in electrical installation work at home or at a construction site.

C266 (DT-266)

On the basis of the previous model of the measuring unit, a no less remarkable tester C266 (DT-266) is assembled, which we also recommend that you choose.


Its features are clamp meters and a measurement fixation button. When the check occurs in such places of the equipment that the digital indicator disappears from the field of view or is physically inaccessible, there is a button on the right side of the device that is fixed during measurement and the result does not disappear from the multimeter screen while the button is pressed.

Otherwise, it is not much different from the previous participant in the review. He is often chosen for work by electricians. Structurally, it is more massive than the 830 model. There is an LCD indicator and a switch, three sockets for connecting probes, current clamps, a switch, as well as power from the crown battery. Depending on the manufacturer's company, the multimeter may differ in some functional differences, the placement of controls and measuring ranges.

This device will help to measure:

  • alternating voltage up to 750V;
  • constant 1000V;
  • direct current 20A;
  • alternating current 1000A, measure with "ticks";
  • resistance of 20 megohms;
  • ring integrity 200 ohm circuit;
  • find out the temperature using a remote thermocouple 750 ℃.

There are also models equipped with a tester of transistors and diodes, so if you need these functions to work in the radio workshop, you can choose the appropriate multimeter.


The next participant in our review of the M812. Small and daring, it's about him. Swiss electrician knife, with small size and weight of 90 grams. Such a tester easily fits in your pocket, does not take up much space. This multimeter is deservedly popular among auto electricians for the repair and diagnostics of automotive equipment, so if you need a tester for this, we recommend choosing M812.


Structurally, it is made in a classic case and has a three-digit indicator, a mode switch, three slots for connecting probes, as well as a connector for testing diodes and transistors.

M812 will help to find out such parameters:

  • direct and alternating voltage within 500V;
  • direct current from 10 mA to 10A, through an additional connector;
  • circuit integrity with audible indication;
  • resistance of the measured section to 2 megohms;
  • check electronic semiconductor components;
  • the presence of a signal generator for testing amplifiers and other radio equipment.

If you want to choose a multimeter for car repair or motorcycle diagnostics, this option is definitely worth considering.


The next in our review, an assistant for the home master and electrician tester DT9208A. If you want to choose a multimeter up to 1000, for the price and quality it will be one of the best.

dt9208a photo

This meter looks serious. Large indicator with adjustable tilt. Leaning leg, thanks to which the device can be positioned as conveniently and informatively as possible relative to the user. The case is closed with an additional bright cover that performs protective functions. Large function switch, two buttons: power and memory. This model is equipped with an off timer. Useful function that saves crown capacity and function switch resource.

In relation to the previously described testers, this device has an extended measurement range. The housing has four connectors for connecting probes. The DC voltage measurement range is divided by - 200mV, 2V, 200V, 1000V. For AC 750V, 200V, 20V. The current measurement range is divided into - 20 µA, 20 mA, 200 mA, 20A for constant and 200 mA, 20A variable. In addition, the multimeter allows you to measure resistance and circuit integrity with an audible warning, check the p-n junction of a diode or thyristor. The measuring range is divided into a buzzer, 200 Ohms, 2k, 20k, 200k, 2M, 20M, 200M. There is a function of measuring logical levels to test digital devices. It is also possible to measure the frequency with a range of 2 kHz and 200 kHz.

To test all kinds of converters and generators, the input impedance in the frequency meter mode is 10MΩ, that is, the effect on the measured circuits is minimal. Another plus will be the measurement of capacitors from 2000 p, 20 n, 200 n, 2 uF and 20 uF. In addition, using the DT9208A, you can find out the temperature, as well as check the transistors.DT9208A is better to choose a ham radio, tk. it has everything you need to repair electronics.

MS 8229

The last in our review will be a combine of various measurements MS 8229.

MS 8229

This unit is equipped with a three-line LCD indicator with backlight.In addition to the classical types of measurement, it will help to find out such parameters:

  • light level;
  • sound level;
  • humidity;
  • temperature.

Instruction manual


  1. The multimeter is equipped with a light and sound warning about the incorrect connection of the test leads.
  2. Manual or automatic range selection is possible.
  3. Overload protection is provided over all measuring ranges.
  4. Maximum allowable voltage between input sockets and ground: variable (effective value) or constant 1000V.
  5. Maximum working height: 2000 m (7000 ft).
  6. Display: liquid crystal, allows the display of three readings simultaneously. Maximum displayed value: 3999.
  7. Polarity indication: automatic, “-” indicates negative polarity.
  8. Overload indication: “0L” or “-0L”.
  9. Sampling time: about 0.4 seconds.
  10. Dimension Indication: Unit and measurement mode are displayed.
  11. Multimeter auto-off time: 30 minutes.
  12. Resettable fuse (F1) specifications: 500mA / 250V.
  13. Fuse (F2): 10A / 250V (High Speed).
  14. Power Source: Three 1.5V, AAA batteries.
  15. Low battery indication: »» icon on the display.
  16. Temperature coefficient: <0.1 × accuracy / ° C.
  17. Operating temperature: 0 ° C to 40 ° C (32 ° F to 104 ° F).
  18. Storage Temperature: -10 ° C to 50 ° C (10 ° F to 122 ° F).
  19. Overall dimensions: 195 x 92 x 55 mm.
  20. Weight: about 400g (including battery).

We recommend choosing this device for professional masters of services for repairing electronic devices (household appliances, laptops, etc.), as well as inspectors for measuring indicators such as the illumination of the workplace, the noise level in the workshop, etc.

In addition, we recommend watching a video on which a comparison of popular models is provided:

Testers Overview

That's all I wanted to tell you about how to choose a multimeter and which is better for home, work and car diagnostics. We hope our selection tips have been helpful to you. Remember that you are dealing with an electrical meter and when measuring network and other parameters, keep in mind that the elements of the tester can also be under active voltage, therefore they can be deadly. Keep your instrument clean, do not operate with probes with damaged insulation. Observe safety precautions.

It will be interesting to read:

Testers Overview

Comparison of DT-830

Expert opinion

(27 votes)


  • Mike

    Oh yeah! How long did I burn the DT830B before I finally learned how to use the multimeter correctly. The whole store laughed at me when I ordered the fourth multimeter in 3 weeks))). Then I started to read books, money like no extra. Here I can advise for beginners - The book is such a "circuitry", there you can read in detail about everything. Also now a bunch of vidos on YouTube. Therefore, this is exactly the device where you need to read the instructions)) And the rating is class, I did not advance beyond 830)

    To answer
  • Andpo

    The motherboard of the antediluvian laptop is lying around at home, not working, I decided to fix it, it is INTERESTING to me, I read books about the rules of operation of the multimeter, I think too, so as not to burn a bunch of the multimeter ... Let's go! To the knowledge of the world.

    To answer
  • Alexashka

    And I use Ts4342. Yes, he is afraid of blows, but in accuracy is no worse than the same Masteks, and in terms of reliability, an order of magnitude better!

    To answer

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