Decent multimeter for first time user?

In summary, the conversation discusses the purchase of a digital multimeter for a second year Electrical Engineering student with a budget of $20. Three options are considered, with the last one being smaller but with fewer functions. The student plans to get heavily involved in electronics and is wondering if they should scrap the last option. A Physics Forums thread and a kit project for building a multimeter are also mentioned.
  • #1
I'm a second year Electrical Engineering student and I figured it's about time I purchase my own digital multimeter and build some stuff :)

So I'm just wondering which type would be best suitable for someone in my position?
Keep in mind that my budget is somewhere around the $20 mark, plus ebay has some good prices anyway.

I was particularly looking at these:

And even though this one obviously has fewer functions than the above two, I do like it's compact size:

I plan to get heavily involved in electronics (we have an electronics project next semester), so I'm guessing I'd need a decent one with a good range of functionality that will last me well into the future? In that case, should I just scrap the last one?

Thanks in advance.
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  • #3
I built my first multimeter. Someone gave me a small meter movement and I just put the required multiplier resistors in. It wasn't a super accurate meter but it was good enough for what I was doing.
  • #4
^^There's a store in my city that has a kit project where you build you own multimeter, might look into it.

Thanks for the link berkeman.

Related to Decent multimeter for first time user?

1. What is a multimeter?

A multimeter is a measuring instrument used to measure electrical quantities such as voltage, current, and resistance. It typically has a digital or analog display and various probes to make contact with electrical components.

2. Why do I need a multimeter?

A multimeter is a useful tool for anyone working with electrical systems or troubleshooting electrical issues. It allows you to accurately measure voltage, current, and resistance, which are essential for diagnosing problems and ensuring safe and efficient operation of electrical devices.

3. What features should I look for in a multimeter?

For a first-time user, it is recommended to look for a multimeter with basic features such as voltage, current, and resistance measurement, as well as a continuity test function. Other features to consider include a backlit display, auto-ranging, and a hold function.

4. How much should I spend on a decent multimeter?

The price of a multimeter can vary greatly depending on the brand, features, and quality. For a decent multimeter for a first-time user, you can expect to spend anywhere from $20 to $100. It is important to choose a reputable brand and not go for the cheapest option, as it may not be accurate or durable.

5. Are there any safety precautions I should take when using a multimeter?

Yes, there are a few safety precautions to keep in mind when using a multimeter. These include using proper personal protective equipment, such as gloves and goggles, when working with electricity; always ensuring the multimeter is set to the correct range before use; and avoiding contact with live circuits or components.

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