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Digital Multimeter

We can no longer carry these digital multimeters in our catalog. Check this post for more information.

This is for all those starving students that need to buy their first good, low-cost multimeter. This meter has really impressive overall feel for being so low-cost. We've played with a lot of cheap-o DMMs and found that this unit's function selector has a great, solid, clicking feel to it. This unit has good continuity (rare for low-cost units), and decent probes. We even left a meter on to test the battery life - it lasted more than 170 hours (7 days) before the included 9V gave out!

Note: This meter works well for measuring very small amounts of current. Check here for a tutorial. Replacement fuses can be found below.

This multimeter does all the standard functions of lower cost meters, but here are the main reasons we like this multimeter:

  • Loud continuity sound (many meters do not even have continuity)
  • Current/Voltage sense
  • Battery included
  • Very solid clicking feel to the function selector
  • Decent quality probes (not great, but they'll hold up for years)
  • Strong connection from meter to probe

    Things that this DMM is lacking:

  • No auto-power off

  • No auto-ranging
  • No frequency measurement
  • DC Voltage - 200mV/2V/20V/200V/600V
  • AC Voltage - 200V/600V
  • DC Current - 200uA/20mA/200mA/10A
  • Resistance - 0 to 20M Ohm
  • Continuity Buzzer
  • Diode Test
  • Max display: 1999

Digital Multimeter Product Help and Resources

How to Use a Multimeter

January 9, 2015

Learn the basics of using a multimeter to measure continuity, voltage, resistance and current.

Core Skill: Electrical Prototyping

If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.

2 Electrical Prototyping

Skill Level: Rookie - You may be required to know a bit more about the component, such as orientation, or how to hook it up, in addition to power requirements. You will need to understand polarized components.
See all skill levels


Looking for answers to technical questions?

We welcome your comments and suggestions below. However, if you are looking for solutions to technical questions please see our Technical Assistance page.

  • vincefarq / about 2 years ago * / 1

    Bought mine in 2013 in "Fluke Yellow". It just died this week. I opened it up to look around, and sure enough a ball bearing fell out! Free ball bearing!

    Srsly this was a fine entry-level multimeter and I liked it a lot.

    Update: scratch that, it's one of the test probes! The DMM is fine. What a trooper! Maybe I'll get another 7 years out of it :)

  • baum / about 11 years ago * / 4

    Nice DMM. No problems yet, and, for $15, it has pretty much all you'll need. I blew the 200mA fuse, and it is very easy to replace, just unscrew and pop in a new one. Overall, this is a 5 star product, and I really have no complaints. Would definitely recommend.

    • fungus / about 8 years ago / 1

      I am IMPRESSED by this meter for $15 bucks. I even took it apart after watching the eevblog video on why to avoid cheap multimeters and it holds up well (good input protection, etc.). It also has quite a fast continuity beeper, etc. The only test it really fails is the "can you turn the dial with one hand when it's on a table" test.

      The only big 'fail' is that it's not autoranging.

      It will be a shame if it's discontinued.

      PS: I won't be connecting my "more expensive" meter to mains voltages ever again after watching his video. I took that one apart, too - it's scary inside!

    • Hi Baum,
      Glad to hear that you are happy with you DMM. They are pretty nice little devices. Especially for $15 bucks.

  • Member #511493 / about 8 years ago / 3

    So my SparkFun DMM is a 'limited edition' now eh? I wonder what the ebay resale value is... Just kidding, this is one priceless dmm. 8-)

  • Shankovich / about 8 years ago / 2

    Awesome little meter that does everything I need and also a lot more. Came with a rattle, opened it up to have a small metal ball fall out. But, it works perfectly anyways. Totally worth the money!

    • Member #511493 / about 8 years ago / 1

      I turned the dial a few times after first receiving it, heard a loud click, then a rattle. Opened up and a little ball bearing came out. All good though, love the dmm, works like a charm!

  • Member #506865 / about 9 years ago * / 1

    Can anyone comment on the long-term reliability and accuracy of this meter? Also, what scenario (specifically) will cause the fuse to blow? (What kind of incorrect dial setting will blow the fuse when testing what? I'm a novice to electronics work!) Thanks.

    • Shankovich / about 8 years ago / 1

      Just got it so I can't talk about reliability. Accuracy is fantastic for $15, it fluctuates for about three seconds before stabilising. You'll blow a current fuse if you set it on a setting that is below the current you want to measure. For example, lets say you want to measure the current flow from a battery running a motor and you know that it can't be lower than 500mA, but you set the meter to 200mA; that'll blow the fuse.

  • Member #479024 / about 9 years ago / 1

    Ordered this meter as a starter and it arrived with a bad display. SF was very helpful and shipped out another one. Unfortunately the center segment of the last digit doesn't work on this one. I guess I should have taken advice found everywhere that I shouldn't buy a cheap meter...

  • Bozi / about 9 years ago / 1

    Do standard shrouded banana connectors fit this meter? I have an older set of probes with shrouded connectors from my old meter that do not fit this one. It may just be because the old probes are bad, but I don't want to buy any new probes if they're not going to fit. Thanks in advance!

  • Member #415430 / about 9 years ago / 1

    Has anyone thought of hacking this multi-meter so that an Arduino or other micro-controller can read the output? It digitizes that test results to post them to the LCD, surely they could be picked up and forwarded to a serial port or stored to EEPROM or a SD card. Sure would make a nice way to capture data for long tests when a bench meter can't sit there.

  • Member #433604 / about 9 years ago / 1

    Where can I get the 10A fuse?

  • n0qbh / about 9 years ago / 1

    Noticed mine has quite low input impedance of about a meg ohm when compared to other meters. Measuring DC volts on an unterminated 100k resistor showed 9.04v on power supply side and 8.22v on the open end.

  • Member #445748 / about 9 years ago / 1

    Don't have the knowledge or experience to compare this to anything else other than DMM's in the sub $30 range. However, in that range, this DMM reigns supreme. Everything I need for my hobby.

  • Member #405731 / about 9 years ago / 1

    I have been using the DMM from sparkfun, it is awsome,for $15 it is a super bargain.I just found sparkfun last month, I have made 3 orders already.no way to beat the quality and price of their products.

  • Member #354061 / about 10 years ago / 1

    This same multimeter is available on DealExtreme for $10.21 and free shipping: here.

    The multimeter, however, really is very well put together. I own it (from DealExtreme), and other then the probes (which are terrible, but easily replaced), it's a very nice meter for the price.

  • Member #368633 / about 10 years ago / 1

    Wow I got mine today and it is amazing! It isn't auto ranging but really it helps me think about what I am doing more which is nice. For $15 it is a steal. I have $200 ones at my school and apart from auto ranging they are almost identical. Really great highly recommend!

  • Robotbeat / about 10 years ago / 1

    Some of these cheap DMMs use the same chip as DMMs that support serial-out, so you can often hack your cheap DMM to provide serial-out (even though sometimes the serial data is just the state of the individual LCD elements! still useful.). Do you know what chip this DMM uses?

  • Rasheverak / about 10 years ago / 1

    Best cheap multimeter I've seen. All my friends with more expensive cheap multimeters are jealous of the continuity test. One word of warning: I don't recommend carrying it in a bag with giant bolt cutters, as the screen gets quite interesting when smashed. However that incident did give me an excuse to disassemble it, and then buy an identical one.

  • fungus / about 10 years ago * / 1

    Nice little meter. Feels good in the hands. One niggle: Is it just me or is the fuse too sensitive? I don't think I'm doing anything wrong but I never seem to have a working fuse for measuring current. My other meters don't do it and reading all the other posts about fuse replacement makes me wonder...

  • tristanplaysguitar / about 10 years ago / 1

    Does this measure inductance? What about capacitance?

  • Don't use this with a car if you don't want your wires to melt =)

  • lexxmac / about 11 years ago * / 1

    You know, a decent multimeter is worth its weight in gold. I personally own an Extech 330 (~$50) and an Agilent U1242A (~$250). I'd strongly encourage anyone, even those getting started, to spend at least $50 on a meter -- after doing some research to ensure it is a quality product.

    • kilokahn / about 11 years ago / 1

      Yes, but again, this is an entry-level device. It's here for that exact reason. Sparkfun is a jumping point for many people and for $15 to get your feet wet is much better than some of the other junk floating around.

  • 032koncept / about 11 years ago / 1

    I ordered this and there was no included 9v.
    Sad panda.

  • Conglacious / about 11 years ago / 1

    Mine actually broke after a couple months. It wouldn't turn on, so I replaced the 9v battery, but still nothing. Tested both 9v batteries with my other multimeter and they were fine. The weird thing was that a couple lines and decimals of the lcd would flick on, then nothing.

  • sparkness / about 11 years ago / 1

    Excellent meter, I'm not a fan of auto ranging meters so this is perfect for me. this has all the accuracy and speed of meters that cost much much more. I needed a 20 uA scale that is why I purchased this. The only cons are (not really due to cost)no auto off, no hold, cheap test leads.I prefer to use 48" sharp point leads they cost more than the meter a must have

  • monkeyslayer56 / about 13 years ago / 1

    any idea when a new stock will be in?...

  • The Veg / about 13 years ago / 1

    Can anyone tell me if this meter has an easy to replace battery? I would also like to know the type of battery(ies) and how long I should expect the battery to last.
    A link to a user manual for this product would be even better. I'm basically new to electronics at this level.

    • This meter comes with, and uses a standard 9V battery. I can't say how long it lasts, but it's on the order of months to over a year. That is of course, if you don't leave it on over night like I often do... I found this meter to be a really good mix of price, function, and quality. The ONLY thing lacking in this meter is an auto-off feature.

  • AriElizabeth / about 13 years ago / 1

    This is, in general, a nice little meter for the money. I've had mine for a week.
    Caution: because it's not auto-ranging, it is easy to mistakenly test current on the wrong setting and blow a fuse, and the process of replacing the 200mA fuse is not straightforward. Be prepared to open it up and do some soldering.

    • Hi Ari - indeed, this is a common mistake! I've blown my share of fuses. However, you should not need to do any soldering, both fuses are the replaceable clip type. Please read our tutorial (listed above) to show you how to replace a blown fuse: http://www.sparkfun.com/tutorials/202

    • fungus / about 8 years ago / 1

      Hah! This is why flukes, etc., have a separate connector for current measurement - to save fuses.

      (And Fluke fuses cost $10 each so doing it wrong can be very expensive...)

  • BB / about 13 years ago / 1

    At first glance I thought this was just another crap meter I've seen sold for like $5. However, it appears that this is a pretty nice meter, especially at that price. Most of the ones at that price are those el cheapo varieties (I will not mention any specific brands) with the same crap features, or lack thereof. This one even has a high amperage measurement setting which I was suprised at (usually it maxes out at 200mA).

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