Working with electricity can be quite dangerous and choosing a reliable electric tool can prove challenging. A multimeter is an important tool for most electricians, so you must have a machine that won’t explode in your hands and possibly damage yourself.
Since multimeters are plugged onto leads —to test circuits, for example — something can go extremely wrong in case you have a poorly-made or a faulty device. To protect yourself and the property, you must read our reviews of the seven best multimeters that cost than $50 dollars.
What to Look for When Buying a Multimeter
Choosing a multimeter requires some decision-making. First, you need to ask yourself what you will be using it for, and which will be the best-suited multimeter for your work or house renovation. If you choose the right multimeter, your tasks will be easier, more efficient and safer to perform.
Digital or Analog
This is probably the most important decision that you will have to make when buying a new multimeter. A lot of electricians still prefer an analog multimeter over a digital one, because of the visual readout. An analog multimeter will show the voltage increasing and decreasing, allowing you to follow the read changes much better. However, the most recent digital multimeters are even better in that regard, incorporating tools such as bar graphs, which will allow you to read the voltages even more accurately.
Manual Ranging or Auto-Ranging
Such as the name implies, with an auto-ranging multimeter, you don’t have to input your range, since the device will automatically measure it for you. A manual ranging multimeter will not do that work for you and you’ll have to input the values yourself. The auto-ranging is a great feature to have since it will spare you knowing all those details such as the resistance and the voltage numbers.
Most multimeters out there aren’t 100% accurate, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t invest in the most accurate multimeter that you can afford. This is especially important if you are going to use your multimeter for work purposes.
Just like we mentioned at the beginning, you must spend a little bit more time researching the safety features that are present on your possible multimeter options. If you pretend to measure circuits with more than 30 Volts, then you should look for a multimeter with internal blast shields, wide flanges, isolation slots, enough input protection and shrouded banana plugs.
Review of The 7 Best Multimeters Under 50 Dollars
Now that you know about the things you need to look for when buying Multimeters, it’s time for the actual reviews. I hope it will be much easier for you to choose one afterwards.
This Etekcity multimeter is an auto-ranging and digital option that already comes with batteries included and is ready to be used. It also brings test probes, a case, and instructions. For its value price, this is a good quality multimeter, easy to use and to read which made it our top pick.
Its design also feels and looks professional, but it’s most suited for amateur use around the house or if your work doesn’t require to measure high voltages. It accurately measures both AC and DC voltage, it’s resistant and provides a diode and some continuity tests. This multimeter’s clamp will measure the AC in a conductor, up to 26 mm, without interrupting the circuit. This device is ideal to check locked rotors amperages on an HVAC compressor and for intermittent short use. Its reads are also fast and accurate.
Some additional features are the data hold, a max reading and a big LCD that makes it easier to read all the information. This multimeter is so cheap that you can be more careless with it in your workspace. This means that you can throw this device to someone on a roof or the ground without being afraid of it falling and crack, which would be a nightmare to do if it was an expensive multimeter.
This multimeter features both a manual and an automatic mode with high range and precision, which makes it perfect for automotive, industrial and household use. It has a very visible backlit LCD, a kickstand, data hold, an automatic shut-off feature and a hook clip.
This multimeter has a professional caliber. It has precise RMS readings, a voltage range up to 1000 Volts and fully inclusive testing options. The NVC mode, or non-contact voltage, is a safety feature present in this device that will allow you to safely test hot or live wires. Capable of measuring voltage, amps and resistance in both AC and DC currents is also a plus of this multimeter device. It works with AA batteries, which are easy to find, and it has a solid construction, topped with a nice protective rubber edge.
It also has overload protection active on all ranges, thanks to its built-in explosion-proof ceramic fuse tubes, which offer two times more protection when compared to a multimeter that only has one fuse tube. The brand is also known for its 24/7 customer support, in case you ever need any assistance to operate your multimeter.
This multimeter is perfect for commercial, automotive and household electrical settings since it is a compact and portable device. It has features such as tests for AC and DC current, voltage, resistance, frequency, continuity, capacitance, temperature and even test diode transistors.
It also comes with a set of probes, clips and a temperature sensor. The display is big and makes the information easy to read, even in low-light conditions, since it is backlit. Another interesting and welcoming feature is a magnetic strap, that allows it to be attached to a metal surface or hung. It even has a stand; in case you are working on a flat surface. Regarding the design, this multimeter even has an off button on both the left and the right sides, to make it easier to reach.
For such a low price, this device surpasses most expectations and even if you are not familiar with multimeters or electrical works, there is a detailed guide included with this device. This option also has double fuse protection, thanks to its built-in explosion-proof ceramic fuse tubes, giving you a double, more reliable protection. It will also let you know the hFE value and give you a low battery indication.
This is a safe multimeter with high accuracy by using manual range measurement over automatic. Its biggest selling point is its intelligent LED screen capable of telling you which jack to use, avoiding the danger of choosing the incorrect socket. The LED lights will guide you through its usage, being a perfect choice for beginners or people with almost no experience in the electricity field.
Some of this multimeter’s functions include the measurements of AC and DC voltage, current, resistant, frequency, capacitance, diode test, temperature and continuity test. That variety of functions, allied to its intelligent LED screen system, will also entice even the most professional users. Design-wise, this meter has a rubber protective case, helping it in minor drops and the LCD is also backlit, allowing you to use this multimeter even in low-light conditions.
It also has a non-contact option, that allows you to run tests without physical contact. It’s easy to carry around and has low-power consumption, but the best thing about this option is that its readings are accurate and stable. The numbers on the screen are digital and easy to read, and the switch works great and snaps into place every time.
This multimeter can measure up to 600 V of AC or DC voltage, 10 A of AC or DC current and 40 M of resistance. It also measures frequency, temperature, test diodes, continuity, capacitance, and duty-cycle. The readout is clear and crisp, with the backlit working great.
Its body is built to withstand up to a 3.3-foot drop (1 meter) and even withstand the daily wear and tear of the job. It has a rubber case surrounding it making it a durable multimeter. You can also count on a stand that pops out of the back and has rubber feet that can hold the meter in place. It has auto-ranging and some nice leads. It also includes a K-type thermocouple with an adapter.
Even if the most avid electricians find this multimeter to be quite normal, for homeowners, they will discover that this device can answer the most important questions in their home: “Is this outlet working?”, “Is this battery dead?” and “Is this switch not working?”. The size is compact and fits just perfectly in most grips. The display is also large and clear to read, even if off-angle.
This digital multimeter features functions such as auto-ranging, AC and DC voltage, AC and DC current, frequency, resistance, continuity, diode, capacitance, liquid temperature, wire on-off and battery checking measurements. The vast range of wide applications makes this device great for automotive, household and industrial uses.
Plugging in the leads is also easy to accomplish, as the LED lights will shine accordingly. The LCD is also backlit to make sure that you can read the measurements in any light condition. It also has a flashlight on the back, a stable kickstand and a pen slot on the back. The leads and the tester wires on the meter have a nice quality and the multimeter also has a very loud beep, which is great for continuity testing.
The screen is big and easy to read, thanks to its bright lights, and will even give you the frequency in Hz. Its reads are accurate and, even though the multimeter is portable, it feels very durable and sturdy. For the price, this is a great choice that will not disappoint.
The AstroAI is a digital multimeter that comes packed with several functions of tests, such as AC and DC voltage, AC and DC current, resistance, capacitance, continuity, temperature, diodes, and frequency. It has the auto-ranging capability and True RMS for measuring AC voltage and current, being perfect for professionals.
It’s easy to use and has convenient functionality like data hold and even a low-battery indicator. This multimeter is also suited for commercial settings since it’s capable of handling the high demands of a long workday due to its durable exterior and heavy-duty capabilities. You will be pleased with its large, easy-to-read and nice-looking backlight, as well as with its small enough size, allowing it to fit in most tool chests. The probe leads have a good length, the built-in stand is also very useful, and the device feels sturdy enough.
For this price, you are getting a great quality product and you won’t be able to find much better. The brand also has an outstanding customer service that will be able to take care of your issues quickly. Even if the meter requires that you already know something about how to use a multimeter, this is still a perfect tool for homeowners. When it comes to safety, the device has two-integrated fuses, explosion-proof ceramic fuses and overload protection on all ranges. The brand also offers you a three-year warranty for the multimeter.
Now that you have read all our options for the seven best multimeters under fifty bucks, it’s time for you to make a choice. Take your time and don’t rush into your decision. Consider how much you are willing to pay for it, but considering that our options are all considerably cheap, you can just focus on other important features, such as the number of functions they offer and security.