Which Multi-meter Do I Want?

As the wires are about to fall out of my current DMM probes, it seems that maybe Santa needs to bring me a new one.

As there is a baffling range available, ranging (auto-ranging?) from £3 to £500+, I’m not really sure where to begin.

As a starting-off point, the Tenma 3.75 Digital Handheld Multimeter seems like a good bet for under £30.

This fully function multimeter offers a variety of ranges for every service application, plus provides an optically isolated RS-232 interface. Rugged over moulded housing stands up to the daily rigors of field service use, and large LCD display is easily read from several feet away. Measures AC/DC voltage, AC/DC current, resistance, capacitance, frequency and duty cycle. 3-3/4 digit, 3999 count display features 3/4" digits and numerous on-screen icons, for easy at-a-glance reading.

  • Switchable auto/manual range
  • Diode check
  • Continuity buzzer
  • Data hold
  • Relative mode
  • Low battery display
  • 4’ opto-coupled RS-232 cable with female DB9 connector
  • Datalogging software
  • Meets 600V CATIII, and 1000V CATII standards
  • Capacitance Measuring Range: 40nF to 100µF
  • Current Measure DC Max: 10A
  • Current Measuring Range DC: 400µA to 10A
  • DMM Functions: Current, Voltage, Capacitance, Frequency, Resistance
  • DMM Response Type: Mean Value
  • Display Count: 3999
  • Ranging: Auto, Manual
  • Resistance Measure Max: 40Mohm
  • Voltage Measure DC Max: 1kV
  • Voltage Measuring Range DC: 400mV to 1kV

Are the connectors for these things standard? I’d like to have some spring-clip type probes if that’s easily done.

Comments and recommendations?

If you find yourself in the position of looking at the high end of the market; I got my U1252B for £160 2nd hand from eBay in pristine condition so might be worth adding a saved search.

DMM connectors are standard, clip probes are available (Pomona is good; a few of the higher quality manufacturers are sometimes rebranded Pomona).

That’s probably out of the budget-range I was looking for. Under £50 really, or under £100 with a really compelling reason.

Its worth checking out David Jone’s EEV Blog Multimeter shoot-outs, he did a $100 and a $50 range :


Ah yes, good shout. Dave’s always entertaining too.

Think I might go one up from this one, and get the Tenma 72-7745 instead. It’s about £10 more expensive, but that gains:

  • accuracy improvement in the mA range from 2%+5 to 1.2%+3
  • temperature measurement
  • true RMS readings
  • omg it’s 4.2mm thinner

Looks good to me and quite logically designed. I might have to get one as my travel meter when I’ve seen yours!