We love to fix and modify our off-road vehicles.  Not only is it satisfying to do the work ourselves, it saves a lot of cash in the long run.  A DIY toolbox would not be complete without a multimeter.  This important tool helps to install and troubleshoot an overlanding vehicle's electrical components. Welcome to our Best Multimeter Reviews.

These electronic measuring devices are capable of performing various measurements including current, resistance, and voltage.  Many hand-held meters are available with a multitude of features for a reasonable price.  The following reviews highlight some of the best entry-level multimeters, and we hope to match one for your needs!

BEST MULTIMETERS

INNOVA 3320

Etekcity MSR-R500

AstroAI Digital Multimeter

Etekcity MSR-C600

Crenova MS8233D

Mastech MS8268 Series

Thsinde 18B+

Neoteck Pocket Digital Multimeter 8233D PRO 2000

Neiko 40508 830B Digital Multimeter

Craftsman 34-82141 Digital Multimeter

Tacklife DM01M Advanced Digital Multimeter

Tacklife DM02A

Best Multimeter Reviews


Review Of The INNOVA 3320

The meter measures 5.50 x 3.50 x 1.25 inches and weighs 6.3 ounces.  Range specifications include: 

AmperesAC 20mA, 200mA  DC 20mA, 200mA, 2A, 10A

Resistance:  200, 2000, 20K, 200K, 2M, 20M Ohms

VoltageAC 2mV, 20mV, 200mV, 600V  DC 200mV, 2000mV, 20V, 200V 600V

INNOVA 3320 has a 10MegOhm input impedance is great for automotive use.  It would offer perfect automotive readings if it offered alternator testing. 

The housing is a black plastic, with a nice set of rubber guards to protect against drops. Oversized readings make the LCD display easy to read.  A notable feature is a three-colored battery quick check LED.  Automatic shut-off, auto ranging, and color-coded markings make this easy for first-time users.

PROS:

  • 10 MegOhm input impedance for safe automotive use
  • Protective rubber corner guards
  • Color-coded labels help prevent confusion

CONS:

  • Lacks alternator testing ability
  • Display jumps when not testing

Review Of The Etekcity MSR-R500

The red plastic housing measures 5.1 x 2.9 x 1.4 inches and weighs 7.2 ounces.  Range specifications include: 

AmperesAC none  DC 2000µA, 20mA, 200mA, 10A

Resistance:  200, 2000, 20K, 200K, 20M, 200M Ohms

VoltageAC 200V, 500V  DC 200mV, 2000mV, 20V, 200V, 500V

While manual ranging is more difficult when working in cramped vehicle spaces, the backlight and data hold function make operations easier.

The square wave output is a nice feature for electronic hobbyists.  The MSR-R500 allows for testing of the battery, vehicle fuses, and wiring.  These features are a bonus for off-road owners who enjoy installing extra electrical components on their overland vehicle.

PROS:

  • A buzzer sounds when checking for continuity
  • The LCD display has a backlight for low light readings
  • The data hold function keeps the reading

CONS:

  • Ranging is done manually
  • It’s capable of measuring AC voltage but not current

Review Of The AstroAI Digital Multimeter

A rubber sleeve protects the housing that measures 5.1 x 2.8 x 1.4 inches with a weight of 8.8 ounces.  Range specifications include: 

AmperesAC none  DC 2000µA, 20mA, 200mA, 10A

Resistance:  200, 2000, 20k, 200k, 20M, 200M Ohms

VoltageAC 200V, 500V  DC 200mV, 2000mV, 200V, 500V

The transistor and diode testing offer some testing when working on automotive electronic circuitry.  Overload protection is available at all ranges and the meter comes with an industry standard one-year warranty.  It offers limited AC readings, which is fine for most automotive applications.  The low battery indicator is nice for those of us who are forgetful.

PROS:

  • Rotary dial markings are clearly marked
  • The rubber sleeve provides complete side protection
  • Well written instructions give a better understanding of readings

CONS:

  • Sampling speed is only twice each second
  • Rounded corners allow the meter to fall over easily

Review Of The Etekcity MSR-C600

The added clamp makes the profile 8.2 x 3 x 1.2 inches and increases weight to 12.8 ounces.  Range specifications include: 

AmperesAC 2A, 20A, 200A, 400A  DC none

Resistance:  200, 2K, 20K, 200K, 2M, 20M Ohms

VoltageAC 2V, 20V, 200V, 600V  DC 200mV, 2V, 20V, 200V, 600V

The ABS plastic offers a stronger outer shell for protection.  While the meter is more suited for industrial measurements, limited DC readings are possible.  This would be a good choice for a DIY owner who works on their home as much as their off-road vehicle.  Two AA batteries supply 150 hours of battery life.  Insulated test leads are an upgrade at this price.

PROS:

  • The max value button makes for faster operation
  • Simple control interface
  • The automatic sleep mode saves energy

CONS:

  • Clamp feature is of little use for vehicle readings
  • Does not measure DC current

Review Of The Crenova MS8233D

The orange colored shell measures 5.5 x 3.5 x 1.6 inches and weighs 11.4 ounces.  Range specifications include: 

Amperes:  AC 200µA, 2000µA, 20mA, 200mA, 10A  DC 200µA, 2000µA, 20mA, 200mA, 10A

Resistance:  200, 2K, 20K, 200K, 2M, 20M Ohms

VoltageAC 2V, 20V, 200V, 600V  DC 200mV, 2V, 20V, 200V, 600V

The three and a half digit display is easy to view.  Multiple buttons make things easy while troubleshooting an automotive issue.  Added safety components that stand out include double fuses and IEC 61010-1, CAT II 600V ratings.  The auto-off feature can be interrupted by activating buttons or the dial.

PROS:

  • The built-in double fuse offers increased protection
  • The additional function button provides a more simple interface
  • The test leads are of a higher rating

CONS:

  • The meter is top heavy when using the stand
  • The lead tip protectors are easily lost

Review Of The Mastech MS8268 Series

A green sleeve partially protects the 7.7 x 1.7 x 3.6-inch body and increases the weight to 14.1 ounces.  Range specifications include:

AmperesAC 400µA, 4000µA, 40mA, 400mA, 10A  DC 400µA, 4000µA, 40mA, 400mA, 10A

Resistance:  400, 4K, 40K, 400K, 4M, 40M Ohms

VoltageAC 400mV, 4V, 40V, 400V, 750V  DC 400mV 4V, 40V, 400V, 1000V

A storage temperature range from 14 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit is acceptable for many vehicles.  It has four jacks that offer audible and visual warnings if the test leads are located in the wrong jack.  The automatic power-off can be disabled, a feature for those less absent-minded.

PROS:

  • Six buttons select multiple features
  • An audible warning sounds when leads are plugged into improper jack
  • The automatic power off can be disabled

CONS:

  • The meter is top heavy due to a rounded bottom
  • The manual is confusing to read

Review Of The Thsinde 18B+

The housing measures 2.76 x 8.27 x 5.51 inches and weighs approximately 13 ounces.  Range specifications include:

AmperesAC 600µA, 6000µA, 60mA, 600mA, 10A  DC 600µA, 6000µA, 60mA, 600mA, 10A

Resistance:  600, 6K, 60K, 600K, 6M, 60M Ohms

VoltageAC 6V, 60V, 600V, 750V  DC 600mV, 6V, 60V, 600V, 1000V

Alligator lead attachments offer a more secure hold when taking readings.  The non-contact alert produces an audible beep when the meter comes close to a detectable source.  This is a nice feature that highlights live components.  The meter is capable of displaying 6000 counts and is auto-ranging.  The relative button allows a comparison between the current and a previous reading on the display.

PROS:

  • Crocodile clip attachments included
  • The non-contact volt alert
  • A tall and easily readable display

CONS:

  • The manual is very spartan with information
  • An unknown brand that is difficult to track down

Review Of The Neoteck Pocket Digital Multimeter 8233D PRO 2000

With the orange protective layer, this meter measures 5.67 x 2.8 x 1.46 inches and weighs in at 6.6 ounces.  Range specifications include:

AmperesAC 200µA, 2000µA, 20mA, 200mA, 10A  DC 200µoA, 2000µA, 20mA, 200mA, 10A

Resistance:  200, 2K, 20K, 200K, 2M, 20M Ohms

VoltageAC 2V, 20V, 200V, 600V  DC 200mV, 2V, 20V, 200V, 600V

The input terminals are fused at a safe rating for use on an automobile.  The audible for the continuity test is loud enough to be heard in most environments.  Capacity, diode, and frequency readings make this meter versatile.  Banana plugs are included to attach alligator clip cables for hand-free measuring.

PROS:

  • Separate banana plugs for alligator clips are included
  • An auto polarity display
  • The jacks are fused independently

CONS:

  • The display is crowded with symbols
  • The compartment screw may strip the case if overused

Review Of The Neiko 40508 830B Digital Multimeter

This compact meter measures only 4.1 x 1.2 x 5.2 inches and weighs 6.1 ounces.  Range specifications include: 

AmperesAC none  DC 200µA, 2000µA, 20mA, 200mA, 10A

Resistance:  200, 2000, 20K, 200K, 2000K Ohms

VoltageAC 200V, 750V  DC 200mV, 2000mV, 20V, 200V, 1000V

The bright yellow body will be hard to lose track of.  To help prevent confusion, we note that the jacks are color coded for proper alignment.  The diode tester emits an audible buzz when it detects a reading of fewer than 50 Ohms.  The basic design makes this a basic field tester and troubleshooter.

PROS:

  • Bright yellow color aids in locating this small meter
  • The Jacks are color coded to prevent confusion
  • Audible buzzer for diode testing minimums

CONS:

  • The basic design limits the ranges on some readings
  • The low price point comes at the expense of durability

Review Of The Craftsman 34-82141 Digital Multimeter

This meter measures approximately 5 x 3 1 inches and weighs 10.4 ounces.  Range specifications include: 

AmperesAC 200mA, 10A  DC 200mA, 10A

Resistance:  200, 2000, 20K, 200K

VoltageAC 200V, 600V  DC 200mV, 2000mV, 20V, 200V, 600V

The protective covering completely covers the sides and the back of the meter for greater protection from accidental falls.  This meter offers a simple interface that reads a minimum of ranges for each setting.  Automotive troubleshooting is enhanced by an audible tone that sounds when readings drop below 30 Ohms.  Manual ranging is done through a recessed dial that does not protrude from the meter.

PROS:

  • The protective sleeve covers all but the front of the meter
  • Simple control interface
  • An audible tone sounds when reading automotive shorts

CONS:

  • There is no backlight for the screen
  • Function ranges are extremely limited compared to similar meters

Review Of The Tacklife DM01M Advanced Digital Multimeter

This all black unit measures 7.5 x 3.5 x 2.1 inches and weighs 15.4 ounces.  Range specifications include:

AmperesAC 60mA, 600mA, 10A  DC 60µoA, 60mA, 600mA, 10A

Resistance:  600, 6K, 60K, 600K, 6M, 60M Ohms

VoltageAC 6V, 60V, 600V, 750V  DC 600mV, 6V, 60V, 600V, 1000V

Added safety features include the security requirements for 600V CAT IV 1000V CAT III, a ceramic fuse, and a Thermistor protection circuit.  Tacklife offers a two-year customer satisfaction guarantee which does show that they are confident about this multi-meter.  The non-contact voltage detection adds a layer of security by eliminating the need for connecting with a circuit.  A 2.7 inch LCD display offers an over-sized readout.

PROS:

  • An over-sized LCD display
  • The NCV sensitive feature
  • A K-Type thermocouple is included

CONS:

  • Sampling speed is under 3 times per second
  • Dial symbols are bunched together

Review Of The Tacklife DM02A

This simpler offering from Tacklife measures 5.6 x 1.3 x 2.7 inches and weighs 11.4 ounces.  Range specifications include:

Amperes:  AC 200µA, 2000µA, 20mA, 200mA, 10A  DC 200µA, 2000µA, 20mA, 200mA, 10A

Resistance:  200, 2K, 20K, 200K, 2M, 20M

Voltage:  AC 2V, 20V, 200V, 600V  DC 200mV, 2V, 20V, 200V, 600V

The black plastic body is ergonomically designed with a mid-section taper, providing a comfortable grip.  A two-year replacement is offered by Tacklife.  This model includes the same non-contact voltage detection found on the DM01M reviewed previously. The test leads metal tips are 5/8 inch in length and are connected to wires measuring 30 inches long.

PROS:

  • The non-contact voltage detection feature
  • The PTC protection circuit will signal if less than 100 Ohms resistance
  • The manufacturer two-year replacement

CONS:

  • Does not include the accessories that accompany the DM01M
  • The flip-out stand isn’t supportive

Our Conclusions And Advice Following Our Best Multimeter Reviews

Each of the multimeters reviewed above is useful for installing, repairing, and troubleshooting electrical components on an overland rig.  However, there are some we would recommend for a variety of reason.

The AstroAI Digital Multimeter is a good choice for first-time users.  It provides an acceptable range of resolutions when measuring amps, resistance, and voltage.  The overload protection can help prevent damage or injury should the meter be used in the wrong setting.  The instructions that are included are more user-friendly when compared to the booklets provided with the other products.

For users that are more familiar with these testing devices, the Neiko 40508 830B offers additional features like the audible buzzer for diode testing.  The range of readings provides plenty of testing versatility.  The bright yellow shell will be harder to miss as well.

Finally, the Mastech MS8268 combines a larger selection of readings, one-touch buttons, and extra safety.


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