Whether you are an electrician, mechanic, solar power specialist or just a mere hobbyist, a multimeter is one of the tools that you can’t go without. It makes it easy to pinpoint a problem when troubleshooting an electrical appliance, wiring, or power supply.
Multimeters fall in two classes: digital multimeters and analog multimeters. Digital multimeters are the latest arrivals on the market. They are easier to use than their analog counterparts.
However, analog multimeters outshine the latter in several ways. For instance, they are more accurate, faster, and will last for a longer period.
For this reason, most professionals and hobbyists prefer to stick to the former. With this in mind, we dedicated time to do in-depth research with a major aim of sifting out the 11 best analog multimeters.
- Manual range selection includes a zero ohms adjustment dial
Top 11 Analog Multimeters
#1 Simpson 260-8 12388 Black Analog Multimeter
When buying a multimeter, accuracy comes in as the utmost priority. With accurate information, it’s easy to navigate through electrical issues to get solutions. And yes, coming from one of the best manufacturers in the industry, Simpson 260-8 12388Analog multimeter is one of the models you can count on to provide reliable information.
It isn’t one of the newest machines in the market, though, but with the level of accuracy it offers, it has maintained its top spot for several years as one of the most reliable options the market offers. It adopts a portable design that is easy to carry to and from the field.
The large tri-colored scale dial means that it is easy to read while the mirrored scale eliminates parallax error. The reverse recessed safety jacks are an indication that it comes with the safety of the user and that of its own in mind. It offers 36 measurement ranges for DC and AC voltage as well as current.
The Phenolic case ensures that this multimeter is designed to withstand regular use in a rugged environment. However, it isn’t one of the inexpensive models out there. Hence, we see it as one of the units designed for professionals. Nevertheless, if as hobbyist money isn’t a big deal, you can still give it a shot.
#2 Gardner Bender GMT-319 Multimeter Tester
Our second option comes as the exact opposite of our previous suggestion in terms of price. It is one of the most affordable multimeters you will come across in the market. Therefore, if your price is your top priority, then you won’t get it wrong with the Gardner Bender GMT-319.
Of course, with such a price tag, we were not expecting it to be good enough to handle industrial projects. But after examining the features and capabilities, we found that it is engineered for both DIY and professional applications.
The tester handles 7 testing functions with 19 ranges. The fuse overload protection guarantees the safety of the user and that of the unit. Also, we like that it has a large mirrored scale that eliminates the chances of committing an error when reading.
The unit runs on 2 AAA batteries that the user needs to buy separately. Also, it does not come with instructions. Hence, you will have to download the manual from the manufacturer’s website if you are interacting with this kind of machine for the first time.
#3 Gardner Bender GMT-318 Analog Multimeter
Also coming from Gardner Bender, this tester goes at an affordable price that most hobbyists (if not all) can comfortably accommodate in their budgets. And like the previous options, Gardner Bender GMT -318 Analog Multimeter comes pampered with amazing features for handling both home and professional applications.
It can perform 6 different functions which we consider to be a good number for the price. I mean, you can use it for testing AC and DC voltages, current, and resistance. You can also use this unit for testing batteries from 1.5V to 9V.
It adopts a compact design to ensure that it nests neatly in your pocket so that you can easily take with it anywhere you think it will come handy. The 14-range device also features a color-coded dial for easy reading and a mirror scale to minimize the chances of parallax error.
The solid housing protects the internal components for long-lasting performance. I mean, in case you are working in a rugged environment, you may not need to go beyond this premium-grade unit. Could it be your first time using an analog multimeter? No problem- the kit includes a tri-lingual user manual to get you started like a pro.
#4 Tekpower TP8260L Analog Multimeter With Back Light
Although the price may not match that of the models from Gardner Bender, this tester also falls in the category of the inexpensive options in the industry. It is a 20-range analog multimeter that offers exceptional versatility to handle most of your home and industrial electrical troubleshooting projects.
You can use it for testing AC and DC voltages, DC current, continuity, resistance, decibel values and many more. For DC, it measures voltages up to 1000V with 3% accuracy. For AC you can use it for measuring current that is as low as 2.5 mA up to 10A with 4% accuracy.
Now, one of the important factors you need to consider when buying any electrical device is its conformance to the set standards. And yes, Tekpower TP8260L meets the requirements of the strictest standards. For this reason, you can buy with the confidence that it will not disappoint.
Most users like that the gauge is easy to read. However, the most interesting feature of this device is that it has a backlight. With this feature, you will find it easy to read the position of the needle on the scale when using it in the dark or an area with poor lighting.
#5 Hioki 3030-10 Analog Multitester
Hioki 3030-10 is another capable device you can rely on for measuring voltage, current, and resistance. It is designed to provide an easy way of diagnosing problems in electrical appliances, wiring, and power outlets.
The battery tester feature means that you can rely on the multi-tester to check charge in 1.5V batteries. Also, with the use of a thermistor probe, you can use it for measuring temperature. However, you will have to buy the probe separately since it is not included in the package.
The average-sensing meter arrives with a set of detachable leads to get you started minutes after arrival. Also, it comes with two 1.5-V batteries which are already inserted in the device. Hence, you won’t need to buy batteries like in other models when you buy this high-quality multi-tester.
The built-in 0.4-amp/250V fuse is an indication that this device comes with user safety in mind. This is because this feature protects the user from the electric shock caused by transient voltage. The durable case protects it from damage.
#6 Tekpower TP7050 7-Function 20-Range High Accuracy Analog Multimeter
This package includes the analog multimeter, test leads, battery, and user manual. With all these in the same package, expect to use the tester a few minutes after taking it out of the box. It comes as an upgrade of an earlier version- Tekpower TP7040.
The Tekpower TP7050 includes battery tester as the additional functionality over the former release. This property makes it more versatile since boasts more functionality. The tester is specially-designed for measuring AC/DC voltages, DC current, continuity, resistance, and other many tests.
Tekpower TP7050 measures 7 1/2″ X 4 1/4″ X 1 1/2″, we are safe to think of it as one of the best purchases for professionals who are always on the move. Also, the weight of 14.3 ounces makes it easy to carry to and from the site. The protective rubber cover maximizes the durability of the unit. You will also like that the product comes at a very low price that most hobbyists and experts can easily take in their budgets.
However, the gauge also has its downsides. For instance, the user has to remove the cover to access the screws when changing the batteries. Of course, this may not be a big deal for some professionals. However, if you have to remove and reinstall the batteries every time you want to use it, you will find it consuming a few of your minutes.
#7 Sunwa YX360-TRD 7-Function 16-Range Analog Multimeter
Digital multimeters are easier to use than analog versions. However, they take time to measure since values take a little more time to settle at a certain point.
Nonetheless, with the analog multimeters, the needle moves to the corresponding value on the scale and settles immediately. This gives them an advantage over the digital versions, especially if you have to perform multiple tests within a short period.
Now, the Sunwa YX360- TRD is one of the analog multimeters to turn to when you need a combination of accuracy and speed. To ensure even greater accuracy in your projects, it has a delicate needle and a mirrored scale. These two features minimize the chances of making an error when checking the position of the needle on the scale so that you get the correct information every time.
It is a 16-range device that will allow the user to measure AC voltage, DC voltage, current, resistance, and other things. You may find the size to be quite large to fit in the pocket. However, the weight is good and manageable in case you want to carry the unit. Some customers also claim that the leads it comes with aren’t up to par, but with replacement leads readily available in the market, this shouldn’t be a major concern.
#8 Sanwa Em7000 Analog Multimeter
For those that want something that looks unique, the Sanwa Em7000 Analog Multimeter is what they should consider buying. Unlike all our previous options that are black, this unit is grayish.
It has everything that both professionals and hobbyists want in a multimeter. Thus, it is a nice purchase for pros and DIYers alike. I mean, when it comes to reliability, accuracy, and durability, this unit combines all these in a portable size that you can handle for hours. Hence, in case most of your projects require you to use a multimeter for prolonged hours, this device from Sanwa is what works perfectly for you.
The tester is powered by two AA batteries and a 9-volt battery, all of which are readily available in the market the next time you want to replace them. But since the fully-assembled unit comes with some, you can get to work direct away upon arrival.
The maximum resistance of 20 megohms implies that it is designed for performance. Unlike some models, Sanwa Em7000 doesn’t have an auto-shutoff feature and for a reason- it is highly efficient. But with all these features incorporated, we still identified a room for improvement since it does not come with an LED backlight.
#9 Elenco M105 15 Range Compact VOM
Although it only goes at a fraction of the price of some models on the list, we find this product to offer comparable performance to that of most high-end options we have in the market. Therefore, in case you are looking for the best value on the market, you won’t get a better option.
The premium unit offers 15 ranges and will let you carry several troubleshooting tasks on power supplies, wiring, and electrical gadgets. The unit reads Ohms, Volts, and Amps and will hardly disappoint when it comes to accuracy and reliability.
Surprisingly, with all the capability it carries, this unit adopts a compact design to ensure that it does not take much space in the toolbox or on the shelf. The unit also works well for beginners so that nearly everyone gets the best out of it in every project.
Additionally, unlike some multimeters that use specialty batteries that are hard find in the market once the original battery dies, Elenco M105 runs on a single AA battery so there is no point to worry. The maximum resistance of 10 megohms may not be the best in the market, but it’s still a respectable capability for the price.
#10 Sunwa YX360-TRE-B 8-Function 19-Range Analog Multimeter
This unit shares most of the features with the Sunwa YX360- TRD Analog Multimeter. However, since it also has some nice unique attributes, we saw it worth to include it among our top-notch analog multimeters.
For instance, it prevails over its earlier brother with one more function. I mean, unlike the Sunwa YX360- TRD that offers 7 functions, this model will handle 8 functions, making it more useful for your projects.
Also, unlike the brother that offers 16 ranges, Sunwa YX360-TRE is a 19-range unit. Hence, we can think of it as one of the analog multimeters suited for an advanced handyman.
As one would expect from a multimeter with such features, this device will cost you a few more bucks than some options on the list. However, comparing the price to its capabilities, we still find the cost to be below its worth.
#11 Sperry Instruments HSP5 5 Function Analog Multi-Meter
Sperry Instruments isn’t the best analog multimeter in the market. However, it works just fine in all that it is made to do. It has nothing fancy, one of the things that make it ideal for professionals and DIYers that don’t want a unit with lots of bells and whistles.
But that isn’t exactly what denies it the top spot in the industry- the 13-range unit can perform just 5 functions, it may not turn useful in as most of your projects as some of the models we already have on the list.
The analog multimeter from Sperry Instruments adopts a compact and lightweight design. For this reason, it is easy to bring to the point of use. Therefore, in case you are a professional who is always on the move, this pocket-size unit should serve you well.
The seller supplies it with an instruction manual, battery, and leads. Of course, it does meet all the requirements and that’s why there are minimal cases of disappointment. The thermoplastic case is impact-resistant so that it stands up to regular falls at the job site.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)
What is the purpose of a multimeter?
A multimeter, also known as Volt-Ohm-Milliameter (VOM) is an instrument that has different electrical meters for measuring voltage, current, resistance, and continuity.
What is the difference between analog multimeters and digital multimeters?
Analog and digital multimeters serve the same work. However, they are quite different. An analog multimeter uses a needle to point to the corresponding value on the scale. Nevertheless, a digital multimeter will show results in the form of numbers on the display.
Which multimeter is the best analog or digital?
As aforementioned, each of these multimeters is better in its own way. For instance, digital versions are less complex to use and easier to read. However, when checking diode, analog versions are more accurate. They are also more durable as compared to the digital models.
How do I choose a multimeter?
When buying an analog multimeter, pay more attention to what matters most. Check the functions and ranges, construction, readability of the scale, accuracy level, and the maximum resistance.
What is the best multimeter for electricians?
Electricians and other professionals need the most accurate multimeter for their projects. That is why we recommend one of our top-notch options on the list.
Although digital multimeters are increasingly replacing the analog versions, there are still a few reasons why you need to have an analog model.
However, choosing what to pick and what to leave remains one of the daunting encounters. But don’t worry- we have made the work easier! Just go through our review to find the one that works best for your needs.
- Top 11 Analog Multimeters
- #1 Simpson 260-8 12388 Black Analog Multimeter
- #2 Gardner Bender GMT-319 Multimeter Tester
- #3 Gardner Bender GMT-318 Analog Multimeter
- #4 Tekpower TP8260L Analog Multimeter With Back Light
- #5 Hioki 3030-10 Analog Multitester
- #6 Tekpower TP7050 7-Function 20-Range High Accuracy Analog Multimeter
- #7 Sunwa YX360-TRD 7-Function 16-Range Analog Multimeter
- #8 Sanwa Em7000 Analog Multimeter
- #9 Elenco M105 15 Range Compact VOM
- #10 Sunwa YX360-TRE-B 8-Function 19-Range Analog Multimeter
- #11 Sperry Instruments HSP5 5 Function Analog Multi-Meter
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)