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Old 28th June 2020, 10:16   #1
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Default Digital & analog multimeter recommendations?

This has been indeed touched upon in a few posts in Tools for a DIYer, but I feel this could be further discussed in its dedicated thread.

I am looking for a cheap but reliable DMM and analog multimeter. I don't know if cheap and reliable are synchronous. Of course, a Fluke is the ultimate dream. But, the vast array of cheap Chinese stuff isn't so bad after-all. Besides, online and offline retailers in India charge an arm and leg for these very Chinese stuff, which is a pain point for us hinterlanders; the same stuff in Delhi and Mumbai whole sale markets costs one third of what it costs us here. Not to mention the limited choices that we have.

I would really appreciate if folks out here pitched in with their suggestions and where to source them from.
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Old 28th June 2020, 12:31   #2
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Default re: Digital & analog multimeter recommendations?

I have two multimeters - The one that was bought most recently is a mastech. About 2000/- or so at the local hardware stores bought almost 2-yrs back. It has held up well - the insulations on the probe has not frayed, the reading have been reliable. Over all, it's quite alright.

The other one, can't recall the brand (but is not a fluke), has been with me for almost 10-yrs now. It's certainly much better built with good grip and insulation all around. This was bought in another country.

Performance (accuracy and precision) is equally good for all my domestic use. Structural quality has some differences but nothing too discouraging.

If you were in Bangalore, I would't mind giving away the mastech one!
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Old 28th June 2020, 12:34   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElonSkum View Post



I am looking for a cheap but reliable DMM and analog multimeter..

I cant really help you with where to get them, but out of curiosity, why do you want a digital and an analog multimeter? Do you have specific applications in mind where one would be more suitable than the other?

Thanks,Jeroen

Last edited by SDP : 28th June 2020 at 21:31. Reason: Typo
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Old 28th June 2020, 12:43   #4
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Default re: Digital & analog multimeter recommendations?

A Fluke these days, is a fluke, if it works as it should. Taiwanese brands like GWInstek are good. Like really good. Mastech, Rishabh, Meco are also good. I don't know if Motwane is still around.
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Old 28th June 2020, 12:46   #5
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Default re: Digital & analog multimeter recommendations?

I would recommend a multimeter from the japanese brand Sanwa, I have used these during experiments in the Robotics Lab at my college. They have sturdy build quality, give out reliable continuity checks and the probes are of good quality. Though these are priced slightly higher than the other devices available in India, it shall be a worthwhile long term investment. I found a sweet deal on Amazon as well:-
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Old 28th June 2020, 14:22   #6
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Default re: Digital & analog multimeter recommendations?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miyata View Post
I have two multimeters - The one that was bought most recently is a mastech. About 2000/- or so at the local hardware stores bought almost 2-yrs back.
I had the regular Mastech DMM as well. If am not wrong all the yellow cheap DMMs are a copy of that model. Costed around 600-700. Toasted it while trying to take AC readings, while the dial was turned on DC.

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Originally Posted by Miyata View Post
If you were in Bangalore, I would't mind giving away the mastech one!
That is very generous of you. I appreciate.

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Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
I cant really help you were to get them
I might be mistaken, but in Delhi such stuff is available real cheap in Lala Lajpat Rai market. Of course you need to know what you are buying and the right wholesaler. For eg,a few years back, the cheap DT830D costed me 80, 9V battery included, when it was retailing for around 200 online and in brick&mortar shops here. The price differences are huge in almost everything that I checked out there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
but Out of curiosity, why do you want a digital and an analog multimeter? Do you have specific applications in mind where one would be more suitable than the other?

Thanks,Jeroen
Well, no real use. Just the bug. As a kid, would stare in wonderment as the neighbourhood electronics repair guy would fiddle around with his analog meter taking readings.


Quote:
Originally Posted by lapis_lazuli View Post
A Fluke these days, is a fluke, if it works as it should. Taiwanese brands like GWInstek are good. Like really good. Mastech, Rishabh, Meco are also good. I don't know if Motwane is still around.
I read somewhere in forums, that them have gotten quite adept at making Fluke knockoffs really well. GWiInstek sounds like a good tip. I hope it's easy on the pocket. I did have a Motwane, got it from some guy in the local electricity board here. Served me a few months, and then gave up the ghost.

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Originally Posted by SID2997 View Post
I would recommend a multimeter from the japanese brand Sanwa,
Thanks for the recommendation. Shall look into it.
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Old 28th June 2020, 16:00   #7
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Default re: Digital & analog multimeter recommendations?

I’ve this Metravi digital multimeter almost for a decade now. Good, reliable, and well built. It’s available on Amazon. Going by the price, I think it should be a good product.
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Old 28th June 2020, 19:25   #8
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Default re: Digital & analog multimeter recommendations?

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Originally Posted by saket77 View Post
I’ve this Metravi digital multimeter almost for a decade now. Good, reliable, and well built.
Looks solid, and so many times I have wished I could measure capacitance as well.
Thanks for the suggestion.

Last edited by moralfibre : 28th June 2020 at 19:38. Reason: Fixing quote tag.
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Old 28th June 2020, 21:26   #9
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Default re: Digital & analog multimeter recommendations?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ElonSkum View Post
I am looking for a cheap but reliable DMM and analog multimeter. I don't know if cheap and reliable are synchronous. Of course, a Fluke is the ultimate dream. I would really appreciate if folks out here pitched in with their suggestions and where to source them from.
It all depends on what you want to measure i.e. mains/high voltage circuits or plain DC voltage circuits, capacitance, current in mA etc. This boils down to what you are trying to troubleshoot or fix - whether electrical or electronic items.

If its high voltage I would definitely recommend a Fluke simply because they are built to protect you. The test leads are an equally important component not just for safety but even accuracy if that matters to you. With Chinese stuff all bets are off. There are reasonably priced Fluke meters as well some pocket sized ones starting from Rs 2-3K on Amazon. In other brands Metravi, Mastech, Meco, Extech are very decent to good quality depending on the model you buy. Sanwa still makes both analog and DMMs.
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Old 29th June 2020, 02:28   #10
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Default re: Digital & analog multimeter recommendations?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ElonSkum View Post
Well, no real use. Just the bug. As a kid, would stare in wonderment as the neighbourhood electronics repair guy would fiddle around with his analog meter taking readings.
.
Good enough excuse for me! Go for it. I have a little collection of analog measuring devices!

Digital & analog multimeter recommendations?-p6280016.jpg

Contrary to popular belief, digital multimeter are not necessary more accurate than analog ones. Just because it shows your battery as having 12.484V output in digital numbers does not mean much. It could still be several volts up or down.

The internet is full of difference between pro/cons digital versus analog multimeters. These days, even cheap multimeters tend to be quite good for normal hobby use. But as pointed out, be careful when you are using them, especially on high voltage/Current applications.

The least known difference is about the difference in impedance. Whereas on the DMM it is constant it tends to vary with the scale on an analog MM. There might be the odd measurement where that could be a difference.

Good luck with your DMM/AMM. Enjoy, be safe!

Jeroen
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Old 29th June 2020, 07:03   #11
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Default re: Digital & analog multimeter recommendations?

Quote:
Originally Posted by R2D2 View Post
It all depends on what you want to measure i.e. mains/high voltage circuits or plain DC voltage circuits, capacitance, current in mA etc. This boils down to what you are trying to troubleshoot or fix - whether electrical or electronic items.
I mostly play with low voltages. But, then the need to measure higher voltages does arise once in a while. I am scared of using my cheap Chinese DMM to measure mains supply or take longer high current readings.
I so much regret passing up on amazing deals on good Fluke DMMs in garage sales during my years in US.

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Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
Good enough excuse for me! Go for it. I have a little collection of analog measuring devices!
Your collection is a dream Jeroen! Can't stop drooling over it. They look so retro. Are these still in production?
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Old 29th June 2020, 09:42   #12
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Default re: Digital & analog multimeter recommendations?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ElonSkum View Post
I mostly play with low voltages. But, then the need to measure higher voltages does arise once in a while. I am scared of using my cheap Chinese DMM to measure mains supply or take longer high current readings. I so much regret passing up on amazing deals on good Fluke DMMs in garage sales during my years in US
Well, when you're working with high voltage you get only one chance..if you know what I mean.

Look at it this way - most Fluke products are a lifetime investment and I have read of owners (on the 'net) whose meters work after decades even 20-30 years. You can see reviews on Amazon US too for some models especially the industrial-grade 83/87/88 series.

Looking at your intended use I would recommend a Fluke 115 True RMS which is a technicians DMM and pretty compact in size. And the most basic ones - Fluke 101 or 106 pocket-sized DMMs that are not TRMS. But for now, go in for a true RMS Mastech, Metravi, etc, that are value for money. You could upgrade to a Fluke, Agilent, or Gossen Metrawatt (German) when budget permits.

Whichever brand you go in for please pay close attention to the quality of test leads. The ones packed with Chinese meters are awful and will probably not take the claimed max 10 A current test load.
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Old 29th June 2020, 09:51   #13
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Default re: Digital & analog multimeter recommendations?

I have a fluke 107 - it is tiny but works perfectly. Didn't pay a lot for it either. I'd highly recommend it or the higher end 115 as R2D2 menntioned.
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Old 29th June 2020, 10:46   #14
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Default re: Digital & analog multimeter recommendations?

@ElonSkum : Depending on your use, either a Sanwa / DMM (Chinese yellows) or Fluke. As some members have pointed out , Fluke lasts a lifetime. DMM's are quite ok for continuity checking , volts and amps ( DC). For higher analogs , you are better off with a Sanwa or Fluke. Don't go beyond 230V AC with any Multi unless you know exactly what you are doing.

However, nothings beats the pure thrill of an Osciloscope for signal measurement.
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Old 29th June 2020, 11:27   #15
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Default re: Digital & analog multimeter recommendations?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ElonSkum View Post
They look so retro. Are these still in production?
No. Some of these are probably over 40 years old. I find them on flea markets, brocante market and often on the internet. In all honesty, I donít even know if they all work. I have only tested a few of them. I donít really use them either.

When I ran into some of these I look at the overall state of the meter. Obviously, these tend to be used, so it shows. But I still like them look reasonable smart and make sure all bits are still there. Most came with the original test leads as well and with some I even got the original manual. On some you can see the previous owners notes too! Which I think adds a nice touch.

And they need to be cheap! Some of these sell for ridiculous money on Ebay etc. But I am not interested unless they are cheap. Luckily I keep running into these meters all over the Netherlands and Europe.

Found this one a few weeks ago, whilst out for a day touring in my classic Alfa:

https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/diy-d...ml#post4828093 (My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider)

I also have at least 5-6 DMMs. Those I use for when I am doing actual electrical work. I keep a very simple DMM in the toolbox of each car I have. And I have a few nice ones in my shop for day to day use.

Jeroen
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