A digital multimeter is a key tool for the calibration of electrical devices. Digital multimeters ensure electrical equipment perform precise measurements, especially equipment that relies on both accurate and dependable results. ATEC carries digital multimeters from various leading manufacturers including Fluke, Keysight, and Keithley.
What is a Digital Multimeter?
The multimeter is a staple of the test equipment industry which measures the voltage, resistance, and current of electrical devices. Multimeters are versatile testing devices that collect key measurements for troubleshooting and product maintenance. The devices can determine simple measurements like battery voltage and an array of other functions like analyzing circuits or current flow.
There are currently two types of multimeters available: analog and digital. While analog multimeters can offer some benefits, digital multimeters are the preferred option today and offer many more features and testing capabilities.
Digital multimeters collect the same electrical measurements as analog models but use modern technology for improved accuracy and functionality. The digital multimeter replaces the needle-and-scale design of analog versions with a modern interface and user-friendly LCD screen. Digital models also boast improved accuracy that also benefits from the digital screen to display more digits in test results.
Certain measurement ranges also improve when using a digital multimeter. Many digital models feature a higher resistance, useful for tests on a wider range of electrical items. Although these wider measurements ranges could pose a problem for manual-ranging multimeters, many digital models adjust the range automatically. An auto-ranging digital multimeter finds the measurement range for the user, saving time and any possible user error.
Choosing the Right Digital Multimeter Rental
Improvements in multimeter technology have made the devices much easier to use, but it's still critical to start with the right model. The following options should make it a bit easier when choosing a multimeter rental:
Manual or Auto-Ranging Digital Multimeter
As we mentioned earlier, many modern multimeters automatically adjust the measurement ranges. But even manual models can still offer some key benefits:
- A manual-ranging multimeter may be ideal for experienced users, as it offers improved user control.
- Manual-ranging multimeters consistently cost less than other models.
- An auto-ranging digital multimeter can save both time and effort when adjusting the measurements.
- The auto-ranging feature is ideal for beginners and users who want the most efficient usage.
To guarantee the best accuracy and overall performance, benchtop multimeters are often the best option in a lab setting.
- Test results are the easiest to read on large, graphical screens.
- Benchtop multimeters feature the widest measurement ranges and speed compared to smaller models.
Not every electrical measurement can be done in a lab, making handheld multimeters a necessity for many engineers.
- All handheld models will feature a rugged build that's ready for any environment.
- Although somewhat limited using battery power, the handheld devices pose no risk for power-line noise that may affect results.
When prioritizing ease of use on simple measurements, a clamp multimeter is often the best option.
- Clamp multimeters save the time and hassle of cutting into a wire to access a conductor.
- While sacrificing some high-resolution benefits, the clamp models still produce reliable results on nearly every key metric.
How to Use a Multimeter
The steps to use a multimeter vary slightly depending on what you measure. While many of the primary steps remain, the following is a guide for using a digital multimeter to measure resistance:
- Disconnect the equipment under test (EUT) from all circuitry and power sources
- Turn the digital multimeter to measure for ohms or resistance
- Starting with the black test lead, plug the probes into the jacks. The black probe should go into the common jack and the red lead should VΩ or DC voltage jack.
- For a manual-measuring device, set the measurement range before testing.
- Connect the two probes to the EUT.
- Read the displayed measurement. If using a manual-measuring multimeter, the results may not display. This likely means the results were not within the set measurement range. Adjust the measurement range and test again.
Multimeter Rentals from ATEC
Do you still have questions about renting a digital multimeter? ATEC can help. Our experienced rental agents can help you find the right device at a wide range of affordable rental rates. Contact ATEC today for more information on multimeters, or any of our other calibrators and testing devices.