Best auto-range multimeter? Same brand but manual-range more expensive than auto-range?

I am looking for a decent quality multimeter (Digital Multimeter DMM), but do not want to extend my budget to get a Fluke.

I also would prefer an auto-range multimeter/DMM.

Some auto-range multimeters I’m considering:

$19.53 UNI-T UT136B

$18.90 UNI-T UT136A

$25.85 Vichy VC97

$32.98 Vichy VC99

$42.64 YH-113

The brand UNI-T has manual-range multimeter on sale and it’s more expensive. I wonder if manual range has any advantage over auto-range?

$26.45 UNI-T UT39C (Manual Range)

Please advice if auto-ranging is good/useful, or should I get a manual-range one?

And which ones are you all using? And should I buy any of those above that I researched?

VC99 is quite decent and has no competition in that price range, not to mention feature/cost value…

ill recommend you to have a look at a MS8268. Its a good one and have what you are after.

Try to avoid unfused meters for measuring current if you can.

Edit: added some links for you.

I was doing the exact same research last night as my current manual range DMM was confusing the heck out of me (I was getting very different numbers switching between the 10A and mA). I ended up going with the Extech EX330. Seemed to be very well reviewed, especially from Adafruit (they are electronic wizards in my eyes). I'll let you know what I think of it when it arrives on Tuesday.

Widely regarded by many hobbyists is the Equus 3320 Auto-Ranging Digital Multimeter. Best bang for the price. Just google the model and you’ll find literally hundreds of positive reviews. Several BLF’rs have them as well. Among many other things, it also has a function to load-test batteries.

+1 I just received this meter. Must admit I was put off initialy by a few negative reviews over at Amazon…but it turns out it’s a great meter thus far. Spot on.

As for the negative reviews, I guess there’s lemons in all manufactured goods and you hear them the loudest. I know I’d bitch if mine came DOA.

I was looking at the Equus, but I could not find out the current resolution. It seemed like it would only read in the 10's of milli-amps. I want to be able to measure in the micro-amps, such as the power being used by a microprocessor.

EDIT: Just found the datasheet, looks like it can read down to 10µA. Not a super accurate reading (1% + 5 digits), but not bad. Hmm, maybe I should have given that a shot.

Here’s an entertaining review of sub $50 multimeters:

I took a look at this, and realise that the first picture and second picture doesn’t match!

In the Product Descriptions, the pictures also do not match…

Do write your review on Tuesday!

Yeah, they are just showing different ones from the EX300 series. This datasheet explains the features of the 330 vs the others though -

I have the 3320 but I never get very high readings, even with better leads. I’ve thought of getting another just to see. One that can measure pwm cheap would be cool.

Looks as though the Extech has a huge frequency range, so I'll give PWM measurement a shot.

For the money, this one is really tough to beat…

It’s a tad expensve right now, but it goes on sale COMMONLY for about 25-30 bucks.

Here was a video of it in action that I made a while back…


I knew I should have waited for you to chime in PPtk! Oh well, I'm still getting a decent one.

I don’t necessarily think that you made a poor choice with the ExTech. I’ve never used one, but I’ve heard good things about their value. Just offering up another suggestion for future browsers of this thread…


This is crazy! But thanks for sharing this informative video.

That dude from EVBlog gives me such a headache. Over Dramatic doesn’t even begin to describe him. His reviews usually aren’t terrible though if you turn the volume WAY down…

Seems more like the type that hangs out on CPF…

When does this goes on sale?

This is super great for less than $30 bucks if it can really measure sound level, luminance, humidity and temperature, apart from the usual DMM / multimeter functions. Really makes it a MULTI-meter!

Can’t seem to find any other site selling it?!

It goes on sale commonly… Perhaps every month or two I notice it at the sale price.

The reason you can’t find anyone else selling it is because Harbor Freight re-badges and re-model-numbers it. It’s made by Mastech and it’s real part number is MS8229. It’s also available as the Protek 6300 and probably several other makes/models.