How To Use a Multimeter

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A multimeter can be a very powerful tool that offers many benefits to business. Countless organizations will find adding multimeters to their operations will help them enhance the existing scope of their services, while also being able to offer new ones.

If there’s one particular challenge when it comes to multimeters, it’s that using them for the first time can be a confronting task. So let’s now look through everything a first-time buyer of a multimeter should know.

how to use a multimeter

What is a Multimeter Exactly?

A multimeter is a tool for the measurement of electricity. It holds the ‘multi’ title as it combines the ability to measure multiple aspects of electricity in one single device. The first digital version of the multimeter arrived on scene during the 1970s. Generally most businesses today prefer a digital multimeter as they’re usually more reliable and precise than an analogue version, but the latter type of multimeter may be the ideal choice in certain instances.

How to Use a Multimeter

An ability to use a multimeter first requires understanding the specifics measurements multimeters will commonly provide. A standard multimeter will allow you to measure resistance and continuity. It can provide you measurements of DC voltage, AC voltage, DC current, and AC current (although keep in mind not every basic multimeter will offer this particular measurement). Some meters will also have advanced capabilities and be able to provide capacitance measurements, temperature measurements, and other readings.

The precise steps for using a multimeter will depend on a particular task. But as well as the aforementioned components, multimeters will come with a set of black and red wires. Conventionally, the black wire is plugged into the COM port, and the mAVΩ port is where the red cable is conventionally plugged into. The other ends of the wires are used for taking readings with the multimeter.

What Specific Tasks Can Be Done With a Multimeter

The precise use of a multimeter can vary depending on whether they’re intended use is by a professional electrician, or an amateur – aka ‘hobbyist’ – user. The former will typically use multimeters for very complex tasks, which can vary widely depending on the job. For the latter group, a multimeter is often put to work in a number of very simple but very useful tasks. For example, with a multimeter, a hobbyist user may check the charge of AA batteries, and check electrical extension cords are functional.

Always Play it Safe

Multimeters are fantastic tools. In an expert’s hands they can be totally safe to use for a number of tasks. In an amateur’s hands they can be dangerous if a user attempts to do a task they cannot safely do. Amateurs daily use multimeters safely for a number of basic checks, but if a task exceeds a user’s capabilities it’s necessary to call in a professional. That way a task can get done properly and safely.

The Learning Curve Factor

Multimeters can take their time to master. This is the case for all users. For any businesses looking to begin using these devices, it’s prudent to keep this learning curve in mind when looking to buy a multimeter.