Discussion in 'The Tool Shed' started by Steve's 70-5, Dec 12, 2017.
Need to buy a Ohm and voltage tester. Any recommendations.
For what purpose?
If just general automotive purposes almost anything will do but I'd recommend avoiding the absolutely cheapest ones. A current clamp is nice but I'd stay away from really fancy units with things like temperature, frequency or other features you won't need on a car.
How much do you want to spend? Fluke is the best. If you want to spend more than a few bucks, Extech is good. I have this one - Extech MN16A Compact Autoranging MultiMeter with Advanced Functions - - Amazon.com Works well - you get a lot for ca twenty bucks.
Flukes are much more expensive, but very durable and "true RMS" - when you measure an AC signal, the meter reads a true root-mean-square value despite the waveform shape. A cheaper meter will give you an RMS value for sine waves (your typical mains voltage) but maybe not for other inputs, square wave for example.
For automotive and household work, the Extech will be fine. It's not as rugged as a pro model like a Fluke. This means resistance to physical assault (dropping it usually) or electrical assault (overvoltage, voltage spikes, etc.) Be sure to set it to the right range before you measure. IIRC there is a fuse inside that will blow if you exceed the amp rating for the setting you choose.
Doing wiring on the jeep and will probably need to test things in the future.
Could go $50.00
They do the job for a budget price; Sears Craftsman. They are usually marked down to $10 as stocking stuffers. I've been using a couple of the red ones for about 5 years now.
Can't go wrong for the money.
I've got a bunch of the harbor freight freebies you get when you spend so much and have the coupon. They work fine for what I do, which is not much.
I bought this one. I like it.
Klein Tools Auto-Ranging Digital Multi-Meter-MM400 - The Home Depot
Try to find a used Simpson 260 , the best meter period
The Simpson is an analog meter. A great thing, but either expensive or not widely available.
My advice - get the Extech and spend the rest on probes and extension cables. Learn how to use it. A little bit of electrical insight will help you.
Don’t forget about the power probe it’s an amazing tool if you are doing wiring.
On Ebay $50......
Or step up to a true RMS meter Extech EX430 True RMS Autoranging Multimeter - - Amazon.com - an upgrade, but you'll never use the capability for automotive stuff. Or go a little cheaper with this one Extech MN35 Digital Mini MultiMeter - Multi Testers - Amazon.com and spend the rest of your budget on cables ...
And then there is a $40.00 unit with dwell and tach--I like it fine. It's "branded" Bosch, but Actron and others are identical. Professional Multimeter | Bosch Diagnostics
Previously I had an even cheaper plain jane analog multimeter and it did the job.
For working on cars, no Analog meters, you can't use them at an odd angle or upside down due to the needle swing. Get a digital, preferably auto ranging, for auto's get one that will read DC amps for checking and tracing parasitic amp draw. A temp probe is is nice but not necessary. Other than that, AC/DC volts, ohm reading, continuity tester with buzzer or beeper and DC amps, make sure that it has replaceable leads. I have an Extech, Fluke at work and 2 of the harbor freight cheapy's and an old radio shack analog from the 70's, it gets used the least.
Love my power probe
I use an old radioshack meter that looks like a fluke i got in the early 90's and i cant kill it. Ive been waiting to buy a fluke for work but the radioshack one wont give up
I had a Simpson in the early 70's when I fixed radios and TV's. Analog, it was the best at the time. I woudn't mind owning one now. I do have a an older Radio Shack analog meter that was high end 30 years ago and a digital Craftsman that ran about sixty bucks which is very accurate and has high sensitivity. I kind of question how accurate the $7.95 parts bin ones are but a lot of guys use them. Don't overlook having a sharp pointed test light in your tool box. About 90% of wiring on old cars and trucks I do is accomplished with that stone age tool.
I mentioned cables - more specifically, get a set of clip leads. Very handy. Long cables will help, as will back probes.
WGGE WG-026 10 Pieces and 5 Colors Test Lead Set & Alligator Clips, 20.5 inches - - Amazon.com
TestHelper TH-6-KIT Automotive Test Lead Kit, Test Probes, Flexible Silicon Back Probe pins, Shielded Alligator Clips and Large Crocodile Clips, Multimeter Meter - - Amazon.com
Amazon.com: Lang Tools (1129) Retractable Test Lead: Automotive
Its tempting to go cheap for a digital meter, but I'd recommend spending a few extra bucks for an auto range unit. I bought one of the ubiquitous red Craftsman ones back in the '80s and it just won't die.
My Dad was an electrical engineer. He used company issued Triplett model 631 and 60 NA meters. He retired in 85 so it's been a while. I think I still have one somewhere.
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