A shocking (pun intended) number of multimeters under the $100 price range are “made in China” and of incredibly poor quality. Considering that you will be working with electricity, we here at Santa’s reviews, want to ensure that you get the most bang for your buck…and not a bang from the plug (safety first people)!
As you can see, the quality of the multimeter is vital. The multimeters in this list can all perform the basic tasks. Each can measure resistance, measure capacitance, check for short circuits and measure DC or AC voltage.
These “features” tell you nothing about the quality or accuracy of the unit and determining that isn’t as simple as it appears. There are many components that you should consider.
The fundamental issue that few people realise when searching for a multimeter is that it is extremely difficult to tell the difference between the products on the market. They all look the same, have the same features, and so on.
Luckily for you, we have years of experience with testing all sorts of multimeters and created a shortlist for your buying pleasure.
Hopefully, this will enable you to pick the best multimeter for your budget.
The multimeters in this review are the cheapest which we are willing to endorse. WE DO NOT RECOMMEND going under $50, as the quality takes a nose dive.
Thus, when writing this multimeter review, we decided to cap the price point at $100. While $100 can get you an excellent multimeter, you must also note that this does rule out some of the elite offers from Fluke and co.
So now we give you the best budget multimeters for 2017. There is no enormous distinction between these five units; it’s more about subtle differences.
No matter which multimeter you decide to pick out of our review, rest assured that they come with the Santa’s review’s stamp of approval.
Now, without further ado, we give you the best multimeters under $100.
- Dmm + Lux meter + humidity meter + sound level meter + thermometer
- 20%-95% RH 40-100 dB 40000 Lux -4-1832f 0-200 kHz 0-100 UF
- LED/sound warning shows you where to plug the test leads
- Built-in temperature & humidity sensors show you the environmental temperature and humidity
- Blue LED back-lit LCD display
From the reputable Mastech, the Mastech MS8209 is a “5in1” Multimeter with auto-ranging. It has sound, temperature, light and humidity sensors, hence the 5in1 nametag. These support functions make it the most versatile Multimeter under 100 dollars in testing.
In addition to the above, is the fact that it can be safely used for 14 other known functions, which achieve incredible 39 separate ranges and because it is user-friendly for both the professional as well as the non-professional user.
The Mastech MS8209 can be used for either manual or auto-ranging depending on preference and ability; the auto-ranging functions sets up parameters for the non-professional.
This wide range of use, therefore, means that troubleshooting, in as far as installation of new wiring, measurements of temperatures and checking of continuity are concerned, becomes an easy task.
One of the key features of the Mastech MS8209 is the Data Hold which enables the saving of the latest reading until such a time as one is ready to overwrite them. In the past, a most common frustration was the inability to find a pen to write with or a place to write on, luckily, this has now been taken care of and has therefore proved to be a much-needed addition to our newer models. The True RMS reading is another function which ensures that the data that is displayed is right by improving on accuracy and countering any interference from peculiar signals that are a common constituent of electrical noises. Again, this latter addition was lacking in the older generation of analogue multimeters.
Of notable mention is the 100 dB sound sensor. And the additions of temperature and humidity sensors of up to 1000 degrees Celsius and 30-90% humidity probe (RH) respectively, are a huge bonus which proves further that it made the top 5 multimeters under 100 dollars.
To ensure that the Mastech 8209 has automatic power switch-off after inactivity of 15 minutes. This device is also complemented further by the inbuilt ability to select ranges automatically on the multi-meter circuit bar as opposed to what was the case in the older, manually adjusted Multimeters.
Furthermore, the Overload protection ensures that if the correct mode is not selected, then only a fuse, and not the entire circuit board, is blown; alongside which the low battery indicator acts as a constant reminder of dwindling battery activity in need of attention.
Because of its affordable price individuals who are looking for top quality in this price range will surely find it useful and most importantly, user-friendly, in a wide range of areas. There is absolutely no doubt that it is a much-needed improvement to the older generation Multimeters.
- Safety: CAT III 600V; listed by 3rd party safety labs CSA, ACMA, and has been assessed to meet high safety, health, and environmental protection requirements within the European Economic Area (EEA)
- Verify presence of AC and DC voltage in electrical sockets, extension cords, batteries and other electrical circuits
- Measurements: Voltage up to 600V AC/DC, AC/DC Current and Resistance
- Install, troubleshoot or repair light fixtures, fans or appliances
- Diagnose automotive electrical problems
It may look complex, but the Amprobe AM-530 is a great multimeter for both professionals and amateurs.
By following the rules on handling a multimeter, you will be able to enjoy the many benefits of using the AM-530.
Packed with a ton of useful features, this is a tool you can use to determine voltage for purposes of performing repairs, troubleshooting equipment, and finding blown fuses.
As already stated, this multimeter comes equipped with useful features, which are highlighted below.
The true RMS feature
One of the best things about the Amprobe AM-530 is the true RMS feature. The latter is a feature you will not find in older generations multimeter models.
This feature improves readings accuracy especially in situations where there is electrical noise.Electrical noise is defined as any unwanted electrical signal that interferes with the true signal and corrupts your reading.
While there are people who think that a flashlight is not necessary on a multimeter, it can be of great use. This intuitive feature will come in handy when you lose power in your home. With the flashlight, you will be able to fix a fuse panel without requiring a flashlight or candles to light your way.
Since amateurs can use this tool, it comes with features suited for multimeters newbies One such feature is the auto-sensing feature. This feature recognises input and if the input is incorrect switches to the correct switch to the right mode. Essentially, the auto sensor ensures that you choose the right input mode.
Battery life indicator
So you don’t get caught out on site with empty batteries and an unhappy client
Non-contact voltage detector
Another feature that you are unlikely to find in older Multimeter models is a low voltage detector that does not require any contact.
Fast-acting fuse and- Auto-off feature
for safety protection
The AM-530 also comes with safety features in the form of a fast acting fuse. The latter is instrumental in protecting the meter from irreparable damage.
This feature allows for easy storage of readings for future reference.
- Built-in non-contact AC voltage detector (NCV)
- 4000 count autoranging multimeter measures AC/DC voltage and current, resistance, frequency, duty cycle and temperature
- Cat III - 600V UL listed
- Includes Type K temperature probe
- Rubber holster protects meter
If you’re looking for the best multimeter for under 100 dollars, the Extech EX330 Autoranging Mini Multimeter is one to consider. It offers multiple features to appeal to the budget-conscious consumer. There’s a lot to like about this product, making it a useful addition to the toolbox.
Here are some other features you’re sure to appreciate about the Extech EX330:
Automatic power off – you won’t have to worry about running the batteries down when you forget to shut the device off.
This model shuts down after 15 minutes of non-use so that it’s ready to go next time. This saves you money that doesn’t have to be spent on new batteries because you left the device running when you put it in your tool bag.
Low batter indicator – You’ll know when it’s time to replace the batteries before the device stops working with the low battery indication. You have time to buy new batteries before you’re caught out with a device that doesn’t work.
Data hold – The last reading is stored on the device until you have the opportunity to write it down. The information stays on the device until it’s written over by the next reading. This is a feature professionals will appreciate because it helps save time and effort with getting multiple readings.
Non-contact voltage detector – In some situations, you can get a reading without even making contact. It allows you to hover over the test object when attempting to detect if there is any current. This is a safety feature because it lets you know if there is what is called ghost voltage, which can prevent damage to electronics that are sensitive to higher levels of voltage.
Temperature sensor – An unusual feature in budget multimeters, this gadget will measure the temperature when you switch it into temperature mode. When the device isn’t plugged in, it will show the temperature of the room. Use a special probe to measure the temperature of different items. Just avoid mixing the polarities for safety.
Auto-ranging – If you don’t like to have to set the scale manually, you will appreciate the ability to auto range. It helps you save time, and it gives you almost the same data. Even though there is a downside to auto ranging, it does come with benefits for those who want to expend less effort.
All of these features make the Extech EX330 a fabulous multimeter, it’s lightweight and compact enough to carry with you everywhere. This model proves that size doesn’t matter when it comes to quality. Carry it in your toolbox or pocket to troubleshoot problems with all kinds of devices. With the Extech EX330, you have an affordable device that is easy to use and compact for professional or personal use.
Klein Tools MM-1300
- Auto-ranging voltage measurement
- Measures AC/DC Voltage - 1000V
- Measures AC/DC Current - 10A
- Backlit display
- Includes Klein case, thermocouple, test leads and battery
This neatly designed product has proved to be very useful to both experienced professionals and beginners.
Versatility is its primary strength. With its many features including an analog bar graph and auto range, it is sure to meet your expectations.
It comes in a ribbed rubber casing for a better grip. If you like holding tools vertically, this also comes with a retractable lever on its back for that purpose.
The device measures AC/DC voltage, resistance, capacitance, duty cycle, and frequency.
So if you are planning to buy the best digital multimeter under $100, then you already found one.
Thermocouple – This tool comes with a temperature probe
Auto Ranging Function – With auto ranging, you don’t need to master the range that requires pre-setting before testing some objects.
High Resistance Levels – This tool measures up to 40-Mega Ohm resistance levels.
Data Hold Function – At times you need to record data, but you don’t have somewhere to write
Backlit LCD – This multimeter comes with a backlit display which is particularly useful when you are working in a dark environment.
Rubber Casing- The unit has a ribbed rubber casing which besides offering a better grip
Auto Shut-off – The multimeter will shut-off itself after fifteen minutes of inactivity.
Compared to many similar tools this multimeter is easy to use, more accurate and precise, more affordable, sturdy, and durable, Klein Tools really out did themselves.
The numbers displayed are also large enough for easy reading. However, some users have noticed that the rubber protection can be a little hard to remove when, say, you want to change batteries. Again, the alligator clamps, which are necessary for the test leads are not always included. In case yours doesn’t come with them, you can return the shipment and ask for a new one.
This is one of the best digital multimeters under $100 available on the shelves today. Its many benefits will give you a good user experience. So if you are looking for an affordable and quality tool, then be sure to check it out.
- Basic dc accuracy 0.5%
- CAT III 600 V safety rated
- Diode and continuity test with buzzer, Rugged, durable design.
- Small lightweight design for one-handed use
- Automatic shutdown, Battery is easy to replace
The fluke 101 basic digital multimeters is a pocket-sized multi-meter that is portable, and its size can be compared to that of a smartphone (all be it a large one).
Due to the small size, it is best suited for small electrical projects and quick electrical interventions. The Fluke 101, is the leading multi-meter for DIY electricians.
It also measures a direct and alternating current of up to 600 volts. With a basic direct current accuracy of 0.5%, the Fluke 101, it can also effectively measure; frequency, capacitance, continuity, and resistance.
A little knowledge on the amazing features of the Fluke 101 Basic Digital Multi-Meter will go a long way in helping understand why you need this fantastic multimeter this season.
Features of the Fluke 101 Basic Digital Multi-Meter
Due to the size of the Fluke 101, it might not have many features of a multi-meter, but it comes will all the basic essential features required by all electricians. Let us look at the following features of the Fluke 101.
It is very compact – Due to the lightweight and small size, the Fluke 101, is one of the portable multi-meters, available for you on the market. It does not require a lot of room space to store, and technicians who travel frequently can find this unit very useful.
Auto-ranging – It comes with an auto-range unit for both alternating and direct volts, resistance, duty cycle and frequency. It has a diode checker and can measure the maximum range of direct current and alternating current voltage of 600 volts with a +3.5% accuracy margin and a resistance of 40 ohms with an accuracy margin of + 3.5%.
Auto Shutdown fuction – The fact that it can turn itself off is an important feature that will go a long way in prolonging your battery life.
It has a data hold feature – This is the unique selling point for this digital multi-meter. The data hold feature allows you to your readings and measurements in the multi-meters memory.
It has seven dial positions – Only the resistance and frequency share a range. But the dial of the Fluke 101 has seven positions.
From the above facts about Fluke 101 Basic Digital Multi-Meter; it’s easy to see why we rank the Fluke 101 as one of the best units under $100. It’s affordable, easy to use and portable.