Best HVAC Multimeters For Maintenance – Top Brands of 2019

Best HVAC Multimeters For Maintenance – Top Brands of 2019

If you are familiar with any kind of electrical works, you should know about multimeters. It’s an essential piece of equipment for any technician, whether he/she is a pro or someone who is just starting out.

One thing that matters the most when it comes to multimeters is quality. Cheap and unreliable multimeters will show biased results that will hamper the lifetime of the electronic equipment.

As for HVAC technicians, a multimeter is a must-have. Multimeters show whether there is enough voltage or not. Modern multimeters provide a lot more than just voltage readings like amperage, frequency, etc. Hence, it’s called a multimeter.

We’ve compiled a list of the best HVAC multimeters currently available on the market. The goal is to make the electronic works smooth for you. If you are a pro, you do need a good quality multimeter to conduct your business properly.

If you are just starting out, it’s still important for you to have a good multimeter so you can understand the metrics better. Read on below to know about the best HVAC multimeters on the market.

But first, there are some essential things you need to look for first. 

The Types of Multimeters

Before clicking the buy now button on Amazon, you need to understand the types of available multimeters on the market and what purposes they serve. Generally, there are two types of multimeters.

  • Analog multimeters
  • Digital multimeters

Analog Multimeters: Analog multimeters are the oldest kind. They rely on a scale and a needle to show the results. They are often hard to operate as all functions must be manually dialed and the results must be multiplied often to get the accurate results.

Digital Multimeters: Digital multimeters, on the other hand, are the modern kind of multimeters. They don’t come with complex manuals. All functions are often automatically adjusted according to the situation. Some of them even feature overload protection and auto-ranging.

Things to Look for in a Multimeter 

If you are a pro at your HVAC work, you don’t need this section. This section intended for the beginners who are just starting out with the amazing world of HVAC electronics. Multimeters, often known as volt-ohm meters or VOM, can be intimidating to interpret.

However, you need to look for certain qualities in a multimeter before you decide to buy it. Let’s look at the evaluating criteria of an HVAC multimeter.

  • Build: Whenever you are looking for a multimeter, it’s important that you go for a solid build. Multimeters with good build quality will last you a long time and it makes the job easier as well. Good casing and absorbing power are recommended. 
  • Accuracy: The most important parameter. As an HVAC technician, you need your readings as accurate as possible to conclude the test successfully. Look for true RMS multimeters as they tend to be the most accurate. Also, look for low impedance as well. 
  • Weight: Weight is an essential metric when it comes to multimeters. If you buy a bulky HVAC multimeter, you will face strain on your hand on long-time operations. Opt for a lightweight and compact design. 
  • Ease of Use: If you can’t use the multimeter you just bought, what was the point? It’s important to understand all the markings and labels on a multimeter. All icons should be easily understandable and the display should have backlit support for maximum convenience. 
  • Functions: Most modern multimeters feature a large array of functions. Other than voltage and current, you can measure temperatures, continuity, frequency, and capacitance and so on. Look for the features that you might actually need to buy the right one. 
  • Warranty: A lot of HVAC technicians, especially the beginners tend to skip on this parameter. You should never overlook the warrant. Warranty show credibility on the manufacturer’s end. Look for multimeters with a decent warranty period. The industry standard is 3-5 years.

Commonly Used Terms While Using a Multimeter

  • AC: In simple terms, your regular household electronics run on AC or Alternating Current. It’s the kind of current that changes direction on an interval. 
  • DC: DC stands for direct current. Batteries run DC current. It runs in a single direction. 
  • Ohm: The unit to measure resistance. 
  • Resistance: The less the resistance, the easier the current flow. Resistance is exactly what it sounds like. 
  • Open Circuit: Open circuits mean there is no current flowing through. It’s a very high resistance circuit. 
  • Closed Circuit: Closed circuits have very little resistance and current flows easily through closed circuits. 

The Best HVAC Multimeter Reviews

Now that you know the basic terminologies of HVAC electronic works, we can jump right into the reviews. Let’s look at the best HVAC multimeters available on Amazon for you to buy.

1. Fluke 116/323 KIT HVAC Multimeter

This is one of the most reliable multimeters you can get your hands on. It’s a very durable and accurate unit. Combined with the clamp meter kit, this device can measure 400 amperes AC and 600 volts of AC and DC voltage.

It’s very lightweight and easy to carry around. The design is very durable to use in rugged and harsh conditions. It comes with a built-in thermometer for HVAC works. All features are visible and very easy to use.

It features a large display with white backlight for the convenience of the user. The Fluke 116/323 multimeter comes with a low input impedance to prevent inaccurate readings due to ghost voltage.

This multimeter can measure current down to 0.1 microamps. Also, it measures continuity, frequency, capacitance, and resistance. 

What We Like:

  • Very durable design for long time use
  • Very accurate measurements
  • Soft carrying case with shoulder strap for easier operations
  • Current measurement up to 400 amperes and voltage measurement up to 600 volts
  • Large backlit display for added convenience in the dark
  • Affordable pricing
  • Long battery life

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Measurements don’t go down to milliamps.

2. Amprobe AM-510

One of the best digital multimeters available right now. It’s intended for both residential and commercial HVAC use.

The AM-510 is a very compact design but very durable at the same time. Amprobe is one of the oldest equipment makers that has been serving the technicians for over 65 years. The Amprobe AM-510 is one of their best products to date.

It packs a lot of features. It can measure both AC and DC current. It measures up to 40 ohms of resistance. The current measurements go down to 4000 microamps. It weighs only 2 pounds for easy carrying options.

It comes with safety features like non-contact voltage detection systems. It has a 9V battery for long time operations. It can measure voltage up to 600 volts on both AC and DC electricity. Capacitance, duty cycle, frequency, resistance, etc. measurements are also included in this versatile multimeter.

The display comes with a backlit feature for easier usability in dark areas. It also has a built-in flashlight.

It’s mainly intended to use on home appliances troubleshooting, electrical sockets, and panels. The Amprobe is also suitable for use in the automotive industry to measure alternator output and battery voltage. 

What We Like:

  • Automatic shutdown after inactivity
  • Non-contact voltage detection for maximum safety 
  • Accurate readings
  • Built-in LED flashlight
  • Large, illuminated display
  • CAT III 600V safety rating

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Limited voltage detection range
  • Cannot take very high loads
  • Backlit LED drains the battery fast

3. Crenova MS8233D Auto-Ranging Multimeter

One of the best budget multimeter to date. It comes with all necessary features that any HVAC technician will need. It’s very efficient and fits a tight budget very nicely. It has auto-ranging functionality which is very impressive considering its price.

A black body with clear markings and labeling for maximum readability. The display is backlit so you don’t need to worry about working in the dark.

One unique feature is the hold option in this multimeter. You can lock your current results. Hence, you won’t lose the results before you can note them down for future use. Also, there is a foldable stand so you can place it anywhere you want. 

You get the test leads, carry bag, alligator clips and a 9V battery. All in the box. It has a built-in double fuse and overload protection for safety during work.

This Crenovamultimeter measure AC and DC voltage accurately. Resistance, frequency, continuity, etc. fall inside the domain of this multimeter. It powers off automatically when not in use. 

What We Like:

  • Carry bag included
  • Attractive design
  • Foldable stand for portability 
  • LED-backlit display
  • Built-in double fuse for maximum protection
  • Wide range of measurements with high accuracy

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Not suitable for commercial use

4. Fieldpiece HS36 Expandable Multimeter

A true RMS multimeter in our list. If you don’t know what a true RMS multimeter is, it’s a multimeter that shows measurements considering the power dissipated due to resistance. True RMS HVAC multimeters are often as accurate as they come.

With only 1.35 pounds of weight, this Fieldpiece HVAC multimeter is very compact and easy to handle. It has a magnetic hanger included so you don’t have to hold it with your hand while testing an electronic device.

It’s a vibrant yellow multimeter with a large LED-backlit display. The entire multimeter is protected with ABS case. It fits any hand nicely without causing any strains. This ergonomic shape makes it ideal for both commercial and home use.

As for the measurements, they are very accurate given the fact that it’s a true RMS multimeter. It has non-contact voltage detection as well for added security. It powers off automatically when not in use to achieve the highest possible efficiency.

There is an included lead storage and thermometer. The thermometer can measure up to 1000 degrees. Silicone leads, user manual, 9V batteries, and the meter case everything is included in the box.

It’s mostly designed with commercial usage in mind. As it features a lot of options, it might be a little overkill for household use. 

What We Like:

  • Magnetic hanger for ease of use
  • Ergonomic design for maximum comfort
  • Backlit display with a bar graph
  • Maximum and minimum feature to get preferred signals

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Tilting bail not included

5. Extech EX330 Mini Multimeter

It’s a mini multimeter with only 1.1 pounds of weight, just as the name suggests. This can be the answer to all your electronic questions. It’s very efficient, effective and good looking at the same time.

Non-contact voltage detection system for security and performance. A large display with large digits for maximum readability. You have the option to quickly select the right measurements with the auto measurement feature.

It also features a hold down button to hold the values on the screen for you to note them for future use. It powers off automatically when it’s inactive to save the battery life better. It will turn itself off after 15 minutes of inactivity.

It has a type K temperature probe to measure the temperature of the appliances. You can set the temperatures in either Fahrenheit or Celsius.
Its CAT III 600V UL listed to security purposes and there is a rubber holster that protects the meter.

It has all the necessary measurements like the voltage, electricity, frequency, etc. 

What We Like:

  • Durable and strong build
  • Low battery indicator 
  • Vibrant and large LED-backlit display
  • 2 AA batteries included
  • User manual included
  • Auto range detection for ease of use
  • Portable and easy to carry

What We Didn’t Like:

  • The auto-range function is not up to the mark

6. Amprobe AM-560 Advanced HVAC Multimeter

Yet another HVAC multimeter from Amprobe. Amprobe is well known for their products and this AM-560 is a very popular and very efficient model from them. It comes with a dual thermocouple so you can take readings from either the high or the low side of an HVAC.

It features a very sturdy build and comes with a very high accuracy level. It’s a cheaper Amprobe model than the other ones but it does the job fine.

It’s a great unit for DIY enthusiasts or beginners.

You can test the resistance, capacitance, frequency, micro amps and continuity with this amazing multimeter from Amprobe. It’s certified by theIEC safety regulations and latest CE. A temperature adaptor, carrying case, test leads, 9V battery, and two K type probes are included in the package.

The readings are very easy to detect with the large LED display and digits. The best part is that it can read milliamps and amperage together with the microamps.

It has a low pass filter to comply with variable frequency drives. There is non-contact voltage detection for security purposes. A built-in flashlight is also included so you can work conveniently in the dark.

What We Like:

  • Celsius and Fahrenheit support for temperature probes
  • Various measurements like current, frequency, continuity, duty cycle, resistance, capacitance etc. 
  • Easy to read values with a large display
  • Readings down to milliamps
  • ICE and CE certified
  • Non-contact voltage detection

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Absence of true RMS value
  • Loud continuity checker

7. Fluke 3000 HAVC Multimeter

Fluke is another multimeter provider that technicians can rely on. They make state of the art equipment for the general people as well as enthusiasts. Fluke 3000 is a great addition to their inventory and it’s a great product for HVAC technicians as well.

The Fluke 3000 is mainly targeted towards the professionals. It comes with a wide range of features. For starters, it is wireless. It’s a set of devices that allows you to work on any appliance quickly and safely.

All you have to do is connect the necessary modules to their respective places and you can take the readings from about 20 meters away. The great thing is that Fluke 3000 is compatible with smartphones. So, you can get all your readings directly into your smartphone.

The Fluke Connect app is all you need to access the data from a remote distance.

It can measure AC and DC voltages up to 1000V which is perfect for industrial use.

It’s not the end of the features. Fluke 3000 can record data up to 65K for future use. Moreover, it’s a true RMS clamp meter so you get the most accurate results possible. Other than voltage and current, you can measure continuity, diode test, resistance, frequency, etc. as well.

What We Like:

  • Versatile measurements perfect for HVAC professionals
  • Easy and simple operations with DMM, clamp meter and thermometer
  • Can take readings from up to 20 meters distance
  • Smartphone app support 
  • 65K storage to save data for future use
  • True RMS value for accurate readings
  • The very high voltage threshold 

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Overkill for beginners and household users
  • Doesn’t support windows devices

8. Tacklife CM02A Auto Ranging Multimeter

If you are looking for a multimeter than can help you with household, commercial and automotive workloads, this Tacklifemultimeter is the perfect choice for you. It's reliable, it's accurate and most importantly, it works great with HVAC systems.

It measures basically everything you can think of. Temperatures, voltage, current, frequency, resistance, etc. are the most common ones. It comes with a large display so you can view the results easily. The display has backlight as well for added convenience in darker conditions.

It’s suitable for any type of workload. Hence, it can be used by professionals, DIY enthusiasts, and beginners equally. It’s very easy to use.It’s a true RMS multimeter so you get the most accurate results every time.

It comes with plastic gripping and insulated test probes for maximum safety while working. It has an auto-shutdown feature so you don’t have to worry about accidentally draining the battery.

It’s a very compact design that fits nicely inside the palm. The measurements feature auto-ranging functionality for ease of use. It’s equipped with low impedance test for even higher accuracy level. This feature complements the true RMS feature very nicely.

The Tacklife CM02A has integrated data retention mode so you hold on to your test results for longer before you can note them down. The package comes with the device itself, a K type thermocouple, a pair of test leads, two 1.5v AAA batteries, a user manual, and a warranty card. 

What We Like:

  • True RMS value for highest possible accuracy 
  • Low impedance for extra mile accuracy
  • Auto shutdown to save battery life
  • Complete package 
  • Plug and play
  • Safety ensured with plastic gripping and insulated probes
  • Large backlit LED 

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Batteries don’t last very long

9. Triplett Compact CAT II Digital Multimeter

This multimeter from Triplett is an amazing and affordable device for any HVAC enthusiast. It can measure 19 ranges including voltage, diode test, resistance, capacitance, current, and temperature.

It’s a very compact design with a very high accuracy level. It has a stand so you can put it wherever you want. It comes with backlit large display so you don’t have to face any difficulties while taking readings.

Triplett compact comes with an auto-shutdown feature which has become quite the industry standard for multimeters. The outer design is protected with rubber boots for impact protection. It can also take all the harshness you can offer while using it.

It comes with all the necessary accessories. Test leads with alligator clips, a 9V battery and K type beads for temperature measurements to be precise.

Its CAT II 600V rated for safety purposes. It also has 1999 count display so you don’t run out of digits while measuring. It’s a slightly older model but it does the job fine. It cheap and it works great. What more do you need from a multimeter?

What We Like:

  • Solid build quality with shock-absorbing case
  • Low battery indicator included
  • Overload protection
  • 19 range measurements
  • Auto power-off feature for longer battery life
  • 3-year warranty

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Not ultra-durable
  • There is a lag between the actual test and the display of results

Conclusion 

A multimeter can be used in a multitude of situations. Especially for HVAC people, having a multimeter is a must. A good multimeter can help you with troubleshooting. You can identify any problems and inconsistencies effectively with a good multimeter. 

Our goal is to guide you in the right direction. It doesn’t matter if you are a pro or just a beginner. Everyone is liable to error. We don’t want you to make the error. So, the next time you need a multimeter, go through this comprehensive review that we created just for you. 

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