Digital multimeter

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What should I look for in a digital multimeter for home use? I'd like to spend less than $50, if possible, but would be willing to spend more if it makes a big difference for home use.
Any recommendations?
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On 12/11/2013 8:22 AM, Jennifer Murphy wrote:

Freight, which I use often at home. First, a person has to be familiar with electricity. What scales and ranges do you seek?
The only time I use my "good" meter is for capacitance, and I can get a rough go or no go with a swing meter VOM, about fifteen bucks worth of meter.
Look for meter with ranges that you know.
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Jennifer Murphy wrote:

Radio Shack has several digital and analog multimeters for well under your price range . Tell the guy/gal there what you want to do with it , if you're lucky they might even be knowledgeable enough to help you select one . From my home repair experience I suggest you look for AC voltage ranges from ~20 volts to 600 , DC voltages the same <for the cars and low voltage lighting systems> and resistance ranges that include one that beeps if you have continuity .
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On 12/11/2013 8:56 AM, Snag wrote:

but refused the $40 rebate. Even after I wrote and reminded them several times.
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On 12/11/2013 9:07 AM, Stormin Mormon wrote:

think it was called. I had multiple rebates.. none of them were paid.
I had also used my father in law for some...none of them were paid.
I had to fight with them to get them paid... They tried blaming me, that my address was wrong... but you know, that would not have happened for me and my father in law...
There's something wrong with RS.
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Jeff

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On 12/11/2013 08:56 AM, Snag wrote:

Autoranging is nice if you did not learn to use an old school meter where you'd start at the highest range and work down.
If you don't need autoranging Harbor Freight has an adequate one that is usually $5-6.
nate
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Nate Nagel wrote:

I perused eBay for Wavtek or Fluke for around 50.00. There were quite a few new and used ones for ~50.00. Thought that was pretty good deal for dependaable well built meters with decent accuracy RMS voltage reading ,etc. Good chance it'll last life time.
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Tony Hwang wrote:

Get a Sperry with a capacitor tester for about $60. May save you a couple hundred if your A/C quits.
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On 12/12/2013 01:19 PM, Tony Hwang wrote:

Undoubtedly. Many people don't use a multimeter often enough or require enough accuracy/precision in readings to make it worth buying a Fluke however. I do agree that if willing to spend the money, Fluke, Agilent, etc. are excellent tools.
nate
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On 12/11/2013 8:22 AM, Jennifer Murphy wrote:

Electronic Goldmine and Marlin P. Jones Associates and they are pretty good. But I needed a better unit that I knew was accurate and that would read True RMS for AC voltage. I bought the Triplett 9045 for about $75 on Amazon about a year ago. It also comes with a thermocouple for reading temps and will read frequency and capacitance. It is now $85 on Amazon. The only dislike is that its auto ranging seems a bit slow at times.
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I'd recommend a Fluke 114:
(Amazon.com product link shortened)
Fluke makes the best most reliable meters, ever. You'll be able to pass it on to yer kids.
This one will meet yer price ceiling and generally gets good reviews for a meter in that price range, but is not as sturdy/rugged as a Fluke (nothing is!).
(Amazon.com product link shortened)    
From there on, it's a crap shoot. You can find a usable meter (how long????) on the $10 table at any auto parts/hardware store, but you get what you pay for.
nb
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On Wednesday, December 11, 2013 9:33:02 AM UTC-5, notbob wrote:

IDK about that specific Fluke, but Fluke is the gold standard in that type of meter. I've had mine for 30 years now.

I have one of those that cost about $12 or so. I think it was from Sears, might have been Radio Shack. I kept it on my boat. It was fine for what I used it for and it's still working years later. I bought one of the $8 meters at Harbor Freight and it only lasted a year. It still kind of works, if you consider trying to read 120V it shows 160V......
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True enough. I needed a quick/cheap meter and picked up an Ideal 61-340 for around 30 bucks at Lowes. Thing works great and does have a lot of bells and whistles. The main thing is learning how to use a DMM, safely, and with the understanding that they usually have a bit of delay in contrast to analog meters. Getting one of those "voltage beepers" is also a handy tool. I have a pair of Ideal wire strippers that have one built into the handle.
for the price.
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As gfretwell sez, it's the leads that go first. So, care for yer meter's leads like they're yer own fingers. Never leave 'em plugged into the meter and wrap 'em around the meter and toss all in yer toolbox.
nb
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On 12/11/13 08:22 am, Jennifer Murphy wrote:

The one I use most came from Sears when it was on sale many years back. Has a rubber case with a fold-out stand. I still see similar (if not identical) ones in the Sears fliers from time to time. I'm pretty sure they are less than $50.
Perce
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The Sears insert that came with today's paper shows a combination deal of a digital multimeter and AC voltage probe for $14.99 ("Save $12"); item number is 03482146.
Perce
On 12/11/13 09:36 am, I wrote:

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Jennifer Murphy wrote:

If you are not in a hurry, Look for used GOOD one like Fluke, Wavetek on eBay. It'll work long time without causing trouble like El Cheapo Chinese made one chip toy. At times analog ones like old work horse Simpson 260 is more suitable. I have both and even a old Tek 'scope.
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On Wednesday, December 11, 2013 9:52:12 AM UTC-3:30, Jennifer Murphy wrote:

For home use I picked up a cheap Klein multimeter (MM100?). About $25. Se ems reasonably well built for the price. I can't speak to accuracy except to say that it has served my purposes well (mostly 120/240V AC and low volt age DC).
The one feature that I really appreciate is the probe holster on the back o f the multimeter. This allows easy 2-handed operation in situations where you can't use clip-on terminals (which is the case for most home electrical ). The unit only comes with solid probes, so depending on what you plan on using it for you might look for some clip-on cables as well.
FWIW, I use Fluke multimeters at work. A much better product but definitel y not worth the money for home use.
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On Wed, 11 Dec 2013 05:22:12 -0800, Jennifer Murphy

The biggest problem with really cheap meters is they come with cheap leads. If you are working around line voltage you want leads with good insulation on the wire and clips that are line voltage rated. The covering on most cheap meter lead clips is just rated for comfort, not insulation.
The wires often break and give bad readings too.
The weak point in cheap meters is the switches. Again they get flaky and you can't trust the reading. I agree Fluke and Wavtek make a pretty good meter
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On Wednesday, December 11, 2013 11:01:51 AM UTC-5, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Good point. The cheapo HF one that I bought, one of the probes cracked in half. From my prespective, there are two price points. Either the $10-15 range where you live with what you get, which could be OK. That's what I bought to keep on my boat. Or the $100 range where you can get a Fluke. I don't think I'd screw around in the 25-50 area.
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