10 Best Multimeters in the UK in 2023 – Reviews & Top Picks
A multimeter makes identifying and fixing issues with electrical equipment possible. A good multimeter can measure voltage, current, and resistance. They can be analog or digital, and the cost can range from a few pounds for a simple pocket device to hundreds of pounds for a multipurpose and accurate, professional device.
There is a very large selection of devices available, which is why we’ve put together a list of 10 of the best multimeters in the UK, as well as a guide on how to choose the one that best suits your needs and preferences, below.
A Glance at Our Top Picks (2023 Update)
|Best Overall||AstroAI Digital Multimeter DM6000AR||
|Best Value||DyNamic XL830L LCD Digital Volt Meter||
|Premium Choice||Fluke Industrial 115 True RMS Multimeter||
|Draper 52320 Electrician Digital Multimeter||
|Proster Auto-Ranging Multimeter VC99||
The 10 Best Multimeters in the UK
1. AstroAI Digital Multimeter DM6000AR – Best Overall
|Dimensions:||22 cm x 5.8 cm x 17 cm|
The AstroAI Digital Multimeter DM6000AR is a battery-powered digital multimeter that can measure voltage, current, resistance, capacitance, continuity, and frequency in diodes and transistors. It uses True Root Mean Square (RMS) measurements to provide accurate readings and has auto-ranging features, which aren’t always found on multimeters in this price range.
The AstroAI DM6000AR is a durable machine that is rugged enough for outside use and small enough that it is easily stored in the garage or toolbox. It has an LCD backlit screen so it can be used in darker environments and a data-hold function so that you can retain the reading after you remove the test leads. A kickstand and hanging magnet enable its use in a variety of settings and mean that you are free to use both hands to hold the leads in place.
The device is very reasonably priced and has decent features, including some that you only normally see on more expensive premium multimeters. This makes it the best overall multimeter in the UK, especially for home and hobby use. However, the test leads aren’t great, and the magnetic holder is ineffective in most cases.
2. DyNamic XL830L LCD Digital Volt Meter – Best Value
|Dimensions:||13.8 cm x 6.9 cm x 3.1 cm|
The DyNamic XL830L LCD Digital Volt Meter is a budget, battery-powered multimeter that measures voltage, current, resistance, and continuity. It is the cheapest multimeter on our list, despite having a rubber housing to protect it from knocks and bangs, overload protection to protect it from surges, and a low battery warning light to prevent you from running out of power during use. It also has a kickstand to leave your hands free to work.
The set does include probes, although you will want more reliable leads if you’re using it for anything more than occasional testing. However, it doesn’t come with a battery, so you will need to provide these yourself.
The device doesn’t have an auto-power function, so you will need to remember to turn it off. The leads do break quite easily, and you have to take the whole thing apart to replace the battery. Still, its incredibly low cost, decent backlit screen, and reasonable features make it the choice of the best multimeter in the UK for the money.
3. Fluke Industrial 115 True RMS Multimeter – Premium Choice
|Dimensions:||16.7 cm x 4.6 cm x 8.4 cm|
While cheaper devices are designed for home and hobby use, premium devices like the Flue Industrial 115 True RMS Multimeter are clearly geared towards the commercial or professional user. The biggest advantage of the Fluke 115 is that it offers more accurate and reliable voltage, current, continuity, and resistance readings. It has minimum, maximum, and average readings, which give you a better idea of power fluctuations.
The device itself has a sturdier feel than the less expensive models, but it doesn’t include a protective case, so you may want to buy one yourself to ensure it doesn’t get damaged. The LCD backlit screen is nice, although this is a feature on a lot of models. The dial is easy to operate with one open side that can be operated with one hand. If you need a professional multimeter with accurate readings, the Fluke Industrial 115 is a good option.
4. Draper 52320 Electrician Digital Multimeter
|Dimensions:||3.2 cm x 11.4 cm x 13.4 cm|
The Draper 52320 Electrician Digital Multimeter is a reasonably priced multimeter that runs on a battery and is designed for simplicity. Although the manufacturer claims it has 16 functions, it really has five functions with multiple settings for each. It does come with testing leads and also has a protective rubber case. It is designed as a pocket-sized multimeter. The LCD backlit screen is also quite small, but if you need something portable that slips into your pocket, it is a functional multimeter at a reasonable price.
While the Draper 52320 is battery powered, it uses a non-standard battery that is more expensive and difficult to get hold of compared to a standard 9V battery. The leads are also very thin, so you may want some better-quality leads.
5. Proster Auto-Ranging Multimeter VC99
|Dimensions:||14.1 cm x 7.1 cm x 2.7 cm|
The Proster Auto-Ranging Multimeter VC99 is a reasonably priced multimeter suitable for hobbyists and home DIY users. Its main benefit is that it is auto-ranging, which means that you can test readings like voltage without having to know roughly what range it falls in.
It also has a data hold function, comes in a protective rubber sleeve, and can measure voltage, current, resistance, and frequency. It also comes with temperature probes used to measure temperature as well. The LCD backlit screen is easy to see and there is a kickstand to enable hands-free use. It is also one of the few multimeters to come with its own carry bag, making it easy to transport.
Although the auto-ranging feature is useful, the Proster VC99 is somewhat inaccurate, especially when measuring temperature but also for voltage and current. Changing the leads for better quality ones does give more reliable measurements. Unfortunately, it can get warm during use.
6. UNI-T UT61E Digital Multimeter
|Dimensions:||20 cm x 9.1 cm x 4.7 cm|
The UNI-T UT61E Digital Multimeter has auto-ranging, which makes testing quicker and more convenient because you don’t have to determine an initial range before you start. It also has an auto-hold feature that enables you to choose whether to hold maximum or minimum values of a reading. It can measure voltage, current, resistance, capacitance, and frequency. This model does not include temperature reading, but it does have a 22,000 display count, which is higher than the other similar models in the same range.
Although the digital multimeter does have a screen, it isn’t backlit, which means it can be difficult to read. The device lacks automatic power-off and will quickly eat through batteries if you forget to turn it off when you store it.
7. Multimeter PEAKMETER PM18C
|Dimensions:||18.5 cm x 9 cm x 7 cm|
The Multimeter Peakmeter PM18C is a handheld, battery-operated digital multimeter that, as well as measuring voltage, current, and resistance can also measure capacitance, frequency, and even temperature and frequency. It can be used to test diodes. It is in the mid-price range and has a 6,000-count function. It doesn’t auto-range, so you will need to choose the range yourself.
The Peakmeter has a stand to support single-handed operation and it comes with a plastic sleeve that prevents it from slipping and also provides some protection from bangs and knocks during use. It has a low battery indicator and auto-off function and the screen is backlit so it can be easily read in poor light. The Multimeter Peakmeter PM18C is a decent multimeter for home and electronics work, although the dial can look a bit confusing.
8. Draper 37317 Pocket Analogue Multimeter
|Dimensions:||6.4 cm x 10 cm x 3.9 cm|
The Draper 37317 Pocket Analogue Multimeter is an analog multimeter used to measure voltage and resistance. Analog devices are usually preferred when checking diodes because they offer greater accuracy in these instances. Some people also find it easier to read the analog dial than they do a digital readout. Whatever your reasons for wanting an analog multimeter display, the Draper 37317 has one.
It is a small device, which means that it will fit easily in your pocket. The device is mid-priced and comes with a set of leads, although they can be tricky to fit them snugly into the sockets, and the sockets don’t seem to be a standard size.
Analog multimeters are difficult to come by, with most professionals preferring a digital display and the features offered. As such, there are slim pickings. If you do want an analog display, the Draper 37317 is a reasonably priced option.
9. Draper 41821 Automotive Digital Multimeter
|Dimensions:||17.4 cm x 17.4 cm x 5.8 cm|
The Draper 41821 Automotive Digital Multimeter is another battery-powered digital multimeter with a backlit LCD screen and the capability to measure voltage, current, resistance, diode, and continuity. It also comes with a temperature probe, so it can be used to measure temperatures.
It has an auto-off feature and it won’t drain batteries, even if you forget to turn the device off when you’re finished. The data hold function means that the device can display the reading until you’re able to see it properly or until you’ve noted the reading down. It is an automotive multimeter, which means that it can be used to measure things like dwell time, therefore enabling a quicker and more reliable diagnostic of car problems. And, as well as coming with the required test leads, it also has a carry case.
10. Mastech MS8229 5-In-1 Digital Multimeter
|Dimensions:||19.5 cm x 9.2 cm x 5.5 cm|
The Mastech MS8229 5-In-1 Digital Multimeter is an advanced digital multimeter that can measure currency, voltage, resistance, capacitance, frequency, humidity, noise, and brightness. Although it is a handheld device, it is quite large compared to other digital multimeters, because of the enhanced functions it offers. It does have a kickstand that enables the meter to be stood up at a 45-degree angle. It has a backlit screen for easy reading, an auto-off feature that prevents unnecessary battery wastage, and data hold that retains readings on screen.
As well as being large, this is a more expensive device. All the extra functions mean that the front of the device is a bit messy and can be difficult to understand when you first start using it, especially considering very few people will need all of the features that it offers.
Buyer’s Guide: How to Select the Best Multimeters in the UK
A multimeter is a measuring instrument that can be used to measure voltage, currency, and resistance, although most devices can measure additional factors like capacitance and temperature. Specialist devices can even measure brightness and humidity. When buying a multimeter, whether it is for professional or personal use, there are some features to consider when choosing the best device for you.
Depending on the model of the device, a multimeter can read two or more of the following:
It is unlikely that you will need to measure all of these factors, so ensure that the multimeter you choose can measure the most important for your needs.
Analog vs. Digital
The vast majority of multimeters on the market today are digital. They display a reading on a screen in digital format. These have largely replaced the analog meters of old, which had a needle that swung around a dial.
Digital meters will usually display the first reading they take, although some do offer maximum, minimum, and even average readings so that you can get an idea of fluctuations in measurements. However, if you really want to see fluctuations, an analog meter is more accurate because the needle constantly moves according to the current reading. While this does give a greater understanding of the fluctuation in readings, it can make it more difficult to get an accurate or consistent measurement.
Whatever your preference, digital multimeters are prevalent, which makes it difficult to get a good quality analog meter nowadays.
To get the most accurate measurement from a multimeter, you need to choose an appropriate range. This means choosing one that falls above the likely value that you’re measuring. However, this is only useful if you have an idea of what resistance or other measurements you are expecting. Otherwise, it will take a lot of fiddling to first find an approximate range.
An auto-ranging feature means that the multimeter will detect the approximate measurement and then choose the most appropriate range for you. It can save time and is beneficial when there is a huge variance in possible measurements. However, this does mean that there will usually be a slight delay in applying the probe to get your measurement.
Some devices offer both manual and auto-ranging so that you can decide according to the circumstances.
Multimeters typically run on battery power and, while they might have a power function, it is very easy to forget to turn the device off. This means that it can be sitting in a cupboard or a drawer for weeks or months still powered on. This will drain the battery.
An auto-off feature automatically turns the device off if it sits idle for a certain amount of time, preserving the battery and ensuring that your device is still working the next time you need it.
Data hold is another common feature on multimeters and one that can be very beneficial. When a reading is taken, some devices will display the reading until the probes are removed. Some may even update the reading every second or multiple times a second. This can make it difficult to get a reliable reading, for example, when you turn a switch on or perform some other function in a circuit.
A data hold feature lets you take a snapshot of a reading when you choose and keeps this reading on the screen while you remove the probes. This is ideal if you need to take note of the measurement or get the multimeter into a position where it is easier to read.
When it comes to reading a multimeter, most are digital so have a screen on which the reading is displayed. These screens are usually LCD. Even though they are easy to read in normal lighting conditions, they can be difficult to quickly read in low-lighting conditions.
A backlit display ensures that you can read the measurements when needed, regardless of whether there is a lot or too little of light.
In most cases, you will need to apply two probes to either end of a circuit or wire to get an accurate measurement. Because this requires two hands, it can be difficult to keep hold of the multimeter at the same time. This is especially true if you’re working in a tight or confined space, which is where a kickstand can be especially useful.
A kickstand allows you to stand the device on a flat or nearly flat surface, leaving you with both hands free to apply probes, note down results, or for any other purpose.
You may also find some devices have a catch on the back that can be used to clip or fasten the device for similar benefits.
Multimeters need some kind of probe to work. In most cases, this means two probe leads. The probe leads plug into sockets on the device and is then touched or connected to whatever you’re measuring. Most, but not all, devices include testing leads. Very few include crocodile clips, but these can make the whole process much simpler.
In order to read temperature and other values like brightness, you will need different probes, so if the device you buy does read these measurements, ensure that it includes the probes or that you know which probes are necessary for the task at hand.
A multimeter is a handy piece of kit to have in the home and is essential in some professional and commercial work. They can measure anything from voltage to temperature to brightness. There are many on the market, with the majority of modern devices being digital, and they can fulfill different needs and meet different requirements.
We found the best overall multimeter to be the AstroAI Digital Multimeter because it is competitively priced and has a decent backlit display and a good kickstand. For occasional use or if you’re on a tight budget, the Excel XL830L is a very low-priced device that is easy to use and has a protective rubber case to keep it safe from damage.
Featured Image Credit: Vladislav Bulatov, Unsplash