There are affordable multimeters that are inferior in performance and then there are affordable multimeters that perform well. But it can be a challenge to choose from among dozens of multimeters and end up with the latter! There are numerous factors that should be considered when choosing the finest multimeter under 50 dollars, from the number of testing ranges to the durability of its construction.
Fortunately, we tested numerous multimeters, compared their great features and performance, and came up with the best so far. We did the work for you so you don’t have to.
10 Best Multimeter Under 50 Dollars
1. Amprobe AM-510- Best Cheap Digital Multimeter
In our opinion, the Amprobe AM-510 is the best 50 dollar multimeter because its features are suitable for automotive diagnostics. It has numerous features, too, which are found on more expensive multimeters including manual and auto ranging, non-contact ac voltage detection, and measurement for micro-amps and milliamps.
2. INNOVA 3320- Best Budget Multimeter
The Innova 3320 is the best digital multimeter under 50 in our books because it combines affordability and functionality. When compared with a similar Fluke multimeter, it’s more affordable yet it make sure nearly the same features, quality and performance. If you’re looking for a Fluke alternative, you should consider this when buying a multimeter.
3. Lomvum Digital Multimeter- Best Multimeter Under 30
Yet another best digital multimeter under 50 dollars is this Lomvum digital multimeter, a practical tool for hobbyists, electricians and technicians. With its nice testing leads, large LDC display and easy-to-read data, it’s so easy to use in most field situations. It has several useful features, such as low battery indicator and overcurrent protection, which gives it extra functionality.
4. AstroAI- Best Homeowner Multimeter
The AstroAI brand is known for the comparatively good quality of its digital best multimeters under 50 and this unit is a prime example of it. While it can’t compete with the industrial multimeters, its performance in residential and commercial, even light industrial, applications is satisfactory. If you want a budget-friendly multimeter with standard functions, then you should consider it.
5. Crenova MS8233D- Best Low Cost Digital Multimeter
We think that this Crenova unit is the best automotive multimeter under 50 dollars for people looking for a reliable and versatile multimeter. It’s lightweight and compact so it can fit in your jeans’ pocket or tool bag, as well as equipped with several functions. It can be used in numerous settings, from repairing household appliances to checking HVAC components.
6. Digital Multimeter Neoteck Pocket- Best Cheap Voltmeter
With this Neoteck Pocket auto ranging digital multimeter, it’s quite convenient to check for testing ranges in cars, appliances and outlets without paying for an expensive high end device. While it doesn’t seem impressive at first sight, it soon proves itself to be up to the task of measuring voltage and current, among others.
7. Thsinde- Best Cheap True RMS Multimeter
The Thsinde multimeter doesn’t seem imposing but it’s a good device for knocking around the house or garage who want an affordable yet functional high end device. It also comes with sturdy test leads and a battery so it can be used out-of-the-box, a convenient feature that makes it among the best multimeters under 50.
But remember that it has its limitations, too. It isn’t a suitable multimeter for industrial applications, perhaps not even for light industrial ones.
8. Mastech MS8229- Best Multimeter for the Money
Keep in mind that the Mastech MS8229 has its limitations, too, but these can be overlooked if you’re using it for residential and commercial applications only. It’s a budget multimeter with many useful features including the measurement of temperature and humidity aside from the standard testing ranges. It has a rugged build combined with relatively consistent readings suitable for light DIY and professional uses.
9. Etekcity MSR-R500- Best DMM for the Money
The Etekcity MSR-R500 may be a mini multimeter but it has the standard testing ranges so it isn’t as mini as you think. Aside from the standard testing ranges, it has several extra inputs, too. It’s then a useful device for testing and diagnosing a wide variety of electrical issues, such as home wirings, circuit board checks and car installations.
But it only has manual ranging function where other budget best multimeters under 50 have auto ranging function, too. As such, it may be unsuitable for use by a complete beginner.
10. Morpilot- Best Mid Range Multimeter
This isn’t an expensive digital multimeter but it does its job well, unless looking for something more sophisticated for industrial applications. It has a large display that gives the relatively correct readings, an intuitive interface common in many budget multimeters and functions for around the house or garage uses. In short, it’s affordable without being an inferior product.
Buyer’s Guide: Answers to Your Questions About the best $50 multimeter
What are some of the common electrical properties that a multimeter can determine?
Modern multimeters can measure numerous values including:
- Voltage for both alternating and direct currents, as expressed in volts
- DC and AC Current bith in amperes
- Resistance in ohms
- Frequency range, such as in microamps and milliamps (Check for the burden voltage)
- Capacitance as expressed in farads (Take note that most general purpose multimeters aren’t designed to measure capacitor status like leakage, dissipation factor and ESR. These are instead typically limited to a few hundred to a few thousand micro farads or, in case of more advanced multimeters, a few pico farads)
- Conductance in siemens
- Inductance in henries
Many multimeters also have extra features but these can add to the price. These features include decibels in circuitry, duty cycle, frequency in hertz, and temperature in Celsius and Fahrenheit.
Many digital multimeters also have continuity tester, which buzzes in case of a low circuit resistance; diodes for the measurement of forward drop; and transistors. There are even battery checkers and other sensors for measuring alkalinity/acidity, relative humidity, sound pressure level, and light level.
How important is design and build quality?
The form, or appearance, of a multimeter is a second concern when choosing the best multimeter. The function is obviously the primary consideration in this regard.
But it cannot also be denied that form can matter as much as function! For one thing, a brightly-colored multimeter will be easier to find when you accidentally misplace it. This is the reason why most multimeters have bright color combinations, such as red and yellow.
For another thing, a quality multimeter should have a large LCD display, an intuitive dial and a user-friendly layout for the buttons and dial. These are part aesthetics, part function but these are the design elements that will grab your attention first.
And then there’s build quality, which should be as top-notch as possible. Multimeters are used in numerous situations, from DIY repairs at home to professional repairs of appliances, circuit boards and HVAC units. For this reason, they have to be strong and sturdy to withstand not just normal wear and tear but the occasional drops on the floor.
The bottom line: Check that the multimeter has your desired measurement functions as well as an attractive, user-friendly and intuitive control panel. The combination of good form and function means better value for your money.
What is a true RMS multimeter?
RMS stands for root mean square and in an RMS device, such as a multimeter, it’s used in measuring alternating current and voltage. Take note that there are three types of measuring devices – a true RMS multimeter; an average responding multimeter; and oscilloscope.
The multimeters are more commonly used than the oscilloscope as these can make accurate measurements of standard sinusoidal waveforms. Between these two types of multimeters, it is preferred because it can make accurate measurements of both sinusoidal and non-sinusoidal AC waveforms.
As such, these multimeters are useful in testing electronic ballasts, computers, HVAC, variable speed motor drives, and solid-state environments.
Do all multimeters test continuity?
No, not all multimeters are designed for continuity testing. Most, nonetheless, should have it.
Continuity testing refers to the checking of resistance between two points. It’s easy enough to know whether there’s continuity – a tone is made in case of continuity. No tone, no continuity, in other words.
In case of ultra-low resistance between the two points, usually less than a few ohms, then the points are electrically connected. If more than a few ohms are displayed on the screen, then there’s an open circuit between the two points.
The continuity test is useful determining the correct connections between two points. It’s also useful in checking of there’s an electrical connection between two points that shouldn’t be there in the first place. For this reason, it’s among the most important functions for professionals doing diagnostic and repair work.
When doing a continuity test, set the multimeter to the correct mode – continuity, of course. Look for the symbol that looks like sound waves being emitted by a speaker or the diode symbol surrounded by propagation waves.
What safety features should I look out for?
While the safety features on digital multimeters vary, the standard safety features that you should be looking for are:
- Inbuilt fuse as protection from disturbances in the power line
- Terminal shutters for preventing incorrect test leads insertion into the current measurement terminals
- High energy fuse for preventing electrical arcs
- Auto discharge capacitors for protecting the multimeter against damage
- Overcurrent protection
Of course, the best safety feature is your knowledge and skill in the safe use of digital multimeters. Always be conscious about the fact that you’re dealing with a powerful natural force – electricity – that can cause serious injuries, even death, when handled incorrectly.