A multimeter is a handy tool which any homeowner will benefit from having in the house. For professionals who deal with electricity on a regular basis – think mechanics, engineers, and, of course, electricians – this product is not just convenient, but an absolute necessity. Without a multimeter, there isn’t a whole lot anybody in one of the aforementioned professions can do.
Multimeters come in a variety of different subcategories, but each one falls into one of two blanket classes: digital or analog. In 2016 & 2017, we are lead to believe that anything digital is inherently better than the alternatives (you can check the best multimeters here). While a digital multimeter has a lot of advantages, there are many situations in which an analog will be more useful.
Although most hobbyists and multimeter novices will be just fine with a digital model, professionals tend to gravitate towards analogue ones as they allow for greater accuracy and a wider range of measurement. Because analog models are monitored by a needle, they are perfect for anybody who needs to measure rapidly fluctuating electrical currents.
Because so much attention is given to digital multimeters, it can be pretty difficult to find useful information about analog multimeters online. In order to make your search a little bit easier, we have tapped into a wealth of experience and knowledge and composed this list of the seven best analogue models for purists and professionals. Now, let’s get started.
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1. Simpson 260-8
Widely considered to be the top manufacturer of multimeters in the world, Simpson has produced some of the finest analog models ever seen, so it only seems right to start of this list of the best analogue multimeters with a product from them.
The 260-8 analog model offers 20 measurement ranges for both DC and AC voltage and current, as well as resistance. In order to make navigating through the multiple ranges as easy as possible, this product is fitted with only two knobs, from which all ranges and functions can be accessed.
It also offers multiple safety features to ensure the well-being of both the operator and the device itself, such as reversed recessed safety jacks. A phenolic case surrounds the 260-8 to ensure it can survive knocks, drops, and bangs intact.
2. Tekpower TP7244L
The TP7244L from Tekpower is a 7-function 20-range model which has proven immensely popular with multimeter enthusiasts all over the internet. Its high performance and low cost have helped to sway many users of expensive digital models to the analogue team.
The Tekpower has released in the past are well-known for their stunning accuracy when measuring voltage, current, continuity, resistance and decibel values, along with their ability to carry out diode tests. The TP7244L is no different and offers near unparalleled accuracy when checking AC and DC voltage at a low range.
This product has earned a CAT II rating, making it the perfect analog multimeter for use in the home. However, if you are looking for one which can be used in a professional capacity, it is advisable that you choose a model with a CAT III rating.
3. Elenco M105
Given that Elenco is one of the leading manufacturers of educational children’s toys, it may come as a bit of a surprise to see them appearing on this list. However, Elenco’s M105 is one of the best choices for anybody who is new to analog multimeters.
While it is one of the least expensive analogue products on the market, the M105 is quite capable of carrying out many of the same tasks as the more expensive items on this list. It offers 15 ranges and can read Volts, Ohms, and Amps. While surprisingly powerful, it is pretty compact and can be stored away on a shelf or in your toolbox with ease.
Owing to Elenco’s reputation as a master of educational toys, many of the people who have purchased the M105 have utilized it to explain multimeters and electricity to their children and grand-children. So even if this doesn’t exactly perform all the tasks you would like it to, you can at least be sure that it will provide you with some priceless family memories.
4. Tekpower TP7040
Seeing as Tekpower is one of the most popular brands among analogue multimeter users, it seems only right that they appear twice on this list. Next up from Tekpower, the TP7040.
The TP7040 is a 20-range model which is perfect for general use around the home. It provides timely and accurate measurements of voltage, current, and resistance, and is fitted with a hyper-sensitive needle in order to give you the most reliable reading possible.
Although multiple steps were taken during the design process to make this product as sturdy as possible, Tekpower recognizes that accidents can happen and so offer a 90-day money back guarantee and a limited one year warranty.
5. Mastech Sunwa YX360-TRD
The Mastech Sunwa YX360-TRD is a great product for those who don’t want anything fancy. It performs to a high standard and gives you accurate and reliable readings in no time at all, eliminating any need for maneuvering or compromising when you want to get an accurate measurement.
This is a 7-function 16-range analog multimeter and can be used to measure voltage, resistant, current, among other things. It can carry out diode tests and offers single touch capacitance estimation.
The Sunwa YX360-TRD is designed to give you as accurate a reading as possible every time, utilizing a delicate needle and a mirrored scale. Some who have purchased this multimeter have reported complications with the accompanying leads, but replacement leads can be easily found online, so you don’t have anything to worry about.
6. Mastech Sunwa YX360-TRE-B
If the barely noticeable differences in the name didn’t give it away, the Mastech Sunwa YX360-TRE-B is quite similar to the Mastech Sunwa YX360-TRD. However, we decided to include it as an individual entry on this list as it has a couple of unique features and is arguably one of the best analogue product on the market today.
This is an 8-function model with 19-ranges, making it better suited for the advanced handyman than the previous Mastech Sunwa. It can complete a plethora of tasks around the house, providing on the ball measurements of voltage, current, resistance, and more.
Although this is a relatively inexpensive item, it is successful in doing what it is supposed to do and can last for several years when used correctly. Reports of issues with this product are few and far between, so you can be confident that you are getting a tried and trusted product.
7. Triplett 3030
The Triplett 3030 is considered by many in the know to be one of the most trustworthy and powerful analog multimeters ever produced. It is a throwback to the classic products, offering a simple and compact design with an abundance of useful features.
It features 25 functions and ranges, including a decibel audio function, making it one of the most versatile analogue models around. In order to ensure the greatest degree of accuracy possible, this model is equipped with a single range switch, which minimizes the chance of error on the part of the operator. It is also fitted with two input jacks, which also decrease the chance of something going wrong.
This is a high-performance multimeter and is ideal for use in the workplace. In fact, one online reviewer reports using the Triplett 3030 for his daily work at a power plant, where a single mistake could lead to disaster.