Best HVAC Multimeters For 2018: Reviews, Tips, and Tricks
The Best HVAC Multimeter is a must-have item in the tool bag of all HVAC technicians (regardless of whether you’re a beginner or pro).
They’re specially designed to make it much easier for you to diagnose the different systems. And this helps you quickly identify and solve the underlying issue.
That said, I want to teach you some basic things you need to know about the HVAC multimeter before buying one…like how to buy the right one for your home, how to use it, and so on.
Plus I’ve picked the 10 most popular models for both professionals as well as homeowners.
Ready to learn all this new info?
Great! Let’s go…
What's a HVAC Multimeter?
A HVAC Multimeter is a crucial tool for all HVAC technicians.
It’s a device specially designed to make your work easier. It does this by combining a wide range of measurement functions- such as voltage, current, capacitance, frequency, and so on.
With all these functions, you’ll agree with me that the device will make the task of testing various HVAC applications as well as troubleshooting them much easier.
The multimeter looks and works just like any other multimeter out there. One thing that sets it from the other models, however, is an extended measuring measurement range (which enables it to match the lower and higher range).
The device also features a sturdy construction to enable it to withstand rough conditions, like falling from a height. This is based on the fact that you conduct most of your HVAC work outdoors.
Right now, many brands have come up with different types of HVAC multimeters, with various features and functionalities. Thus, choosing the right device for your job can be a real challenge- especially if you’ve never bought one before.
Thankfully, I’ve picked for you the ten top-best devices that are already enjoying extensive usage among other technicians across the globe.
Let’s discuss these products next…
10 Best HVAC Multimeter Reviews:
1. Fluke FLUKE-116/323 KIT HVAC Multimeter and Clamp Meter Combo Kit Review:
Fluke is one of the top names in the multimeters industry (if not the best). They’ve got a high reputation for producing high-quality, reliable multimeters for both professionals and beginner technicians.
As one of their most popular products, FLUKE-116/323 KIT HVAC Multimeter is characterized by unrivaled durability, accuracy, and a list of premium features.
This package comes as a kit that combines both the HVAC multimeter and a clamp meter. In other words, this model provides you with all the essentials you need to make your work easier.
It lets you measure the continuity, resistance, capacitance, and frequency. What’s more, it comes with a low impedance input that significantly minimizes the errors resulting from ghost voltages.
Because you might sometimes find yourself working in poorly lit areas, you’d really appreciate the large white LED backlight that allows you to take your measurements easily.
Thanks to its ergonomic, one-handed operation, using this device is quite easy. The built-in thermometer makes the meter even better for different HVAC applications.
2. Fieldpiece HS33 Expandable Manual Ranging Stick Multimeter for HVAC/R Review:
Without a single doubt, Fieldpiece has been consistent in providing technicians with top-quality multimeters, and this has earned them a high rank in the industry. Their product, Fieldpiece HS33, stands among the best multimeter for HVAC as it measures different HVAC/R parameters easily and accurately.
The ergonomic design and shape that comes with this device make it naturally fit in your hands to allow you to fully concentrate on carrying out various tests. Even better, the package comes with detachable test leads, alligator clip probe tips, and magnetic hanger which let you perform remote tests as well as other tests hand-free!
You’ll have an easy time taking these measurements with this meter- temperature, resistance, and frequency. Other outstanding features included in the package include data hold, continuity, and high voltage indicator.
Not to forget it also comes with built-in non-contact voltage. Best part- it features super-sturdy rubberized bumpers to enable it to withstand all the tough and rough applications.
3. Fluke 324 40/400A AC, 600V AC/DC True-RMS Clamp Meter Review:
Also from Fluke, we have Fluke 324 40/400A AC, 600V AC/DC True-RMS Clamp Meter. This is the best model for all serious professionals looking for a meter that the much delivers accuracy and reliability in your day to day job. In most cases, you can rest assured that its accuracy will fall within 2%- something not found in most multimeters out there.
Like all the other Fluke meters, you’ll get more than enough measurement functions when you invest in this Fluke model. You can use it to detect AC/DC voltage, current, resistance, temperature, and even true RMS voltage. Apparently, this meter will help you carry out a wide range of tasks as a HVAC technician.
And with the larger, easy to read backlight display, you’ll never have an easy time accessing the test results, even when working in poorly lit areas.
Taking a closer look at this model, you’ll also realize that it comes with a compact, lightweight design which makes it highly portable for you. Besides, it features an ergonomic design (as with all the other Flukes), which allows you to easily operate it with one hand. Don’t forget that it also comes with a carrying case that will enable you to transport it to your work site safely.
4. UEi Test Instruments DL369 Digital Clamp-On Meter Review:
If you’re looking for an extremely affordable digital multimeter for your HVAC work, UEi Test Instruments DL369 Digital won’t disappoint you. The manufacturer (UEi) has 45plus years of experience in the industry, so you shouldn’t doubt the performance of this meter.
This meter features a compact design for comfortable carry. It also comes with a carrying handle and carrying to increase its portability.
One thing that makes this digital clamp-on meter is the wealth of measurements it presents you with. These include resistance, capacitance, frequency, continuity, micro-amps, and duty cycle- all of which makes your job much easier and more convenient.
Professionals also love this device for its dual display which allows you to take simultaneous measurements, making your job even faster than before.
The 100% safe to use meter features a durable construction which enables it to withstand the tough outdoor conditions you’ll be using it in. It also presents you with other convenient features like auto-shutoff, test lead storage, low battery indicator, and test lead holder on the clamp head.
Above all this, the manufacturer gives you a full 3-year warranty as a way of confirming their confidence in the tool’s capabilities.
5. Fieldpiece SC260 Compact Clamp Multimeter with True RMS Review:
Also listed on our list of the best HVAC multimeter reviews is the Fieldpiece SC260 Compact Clamp Multimeter. The main reason technicians love this meter is its True RMS feature that allows them to test variable frequency and temperature (in both Celsius and Fahrenheit) more accurately.
The Fieldpiece SC260 also features a backlit display that facilitates easy reading of measurements in the poorly lit areas- such as basement or crawl places. It also comes with a durable swivel magnet that lets you take hands-free measurements.
The new Auto Select Mode included in this Fieldpiece meter has received lots of praises with its time-saving benefits. You just need to dial, connect your leads and leave the meter to automatically select the correct measurement (of course, depending on what it will detect).
6. Fluke 116 HVAC Multimeter Review:
See, I told you Fluke is a leader in the production of top-of-the-line multimeters for HVAC technicians. And this Fluke 116 HVAC Multimeter is another proof of this fact…coming at a slightly lower cost than the other Flukes on this list, this meter allows you to measure resistance, capacitance, and frequency accurately.
One particular feature that separates it from other HVAC multimeters is the integration of a thermometer. As a skilled HVAC technician, you know that such a feature will go a long way in helping you easily measure the temperature of cooling systems.
Plus, it eliminates the need to carry a thermometer, minimizing your tools luggage. The LED backlight included in this meter allows you to take readings in low lit conditions- like the basement or attic.
On top of it all, Fluke 116 features a compact (7.2inches long) and lightweight (1.4 pounds) design. Thus, holding it in your hands becomes easy and comfortable. It has a durable case that protects it from potential damages in case it falls when working.
7. Fieldpiece LT17A Classic Style Digital Multimeter Review:
For all your HVAC units installation, repair and troubleshooting, you’d want to use the best HVAC multimeter available on the market. Fieldpiece LT17A Classic Style Digital Multimeter is one such multimeter you can trust to make your job easier and faster.
The classic style meter covers nearly all the parameters you require for all your daily HVAC applications. It can measure current, capacitance, voltage, temperature, and continuity. What’s more, it comes with microamps function to allow you to do flame diode tests as well.
Unlike most of the meters you’ve used before, this meter easily works with a wide range of accessory heads- making it one of the highly versatile devices on the market today.
With the included K-type thermocouple as well as the easy-access temperature calibration plot, this meter offers you a whole new level of accuracy.
Fieldpiece LT17A features a rugged ABS plastic body which means that it can withstand the harshest conditions you intend to use it in. It also comes with a bright blue backlit display that helps you take readings in poorly lit work areas.
8. Fieldpiece HS26 Original Stick Digital Multimeter Review:
Fieldpiece HS26 Original Stick Digital Multimeter is another best meter for HVAC technicians on a tight budget. But its low cost doesn’t dictate its performance and quality. It presents you with toughness, portability, and modular expandability you’ll find in the higher-end models out there.
When it comes to portability, the device comes with a slim shaped design that easily fits in your pocket or your tool belt/bag for easy transportation to the test site. What’s more, carrying case comes included in the box to help you safely transport your meter to any place.
The wide range of electrical parameters it offers you makes it an excellent option for many technicians. These parameters include microamps for diode tests, capacitance, continuity, MAX hold, and hi-voltage.
Just like other Fieldpiece products, the Fieldpiece HS26 too comes with a rugged ABS plastic case to enable it to endure rough conditions; plus O-ring seal to help block any contaminants that might interfere with its functionality.
9. Fluke FLK-3000 FC HVAC Wireless HVAC System Review:
If you’re looking for the best wireless HVAC digital multimeter, the Fluke FLK-3000 FC HVAC Wireless HVAC System is your best option. This particular kit is designed to help you work on the electric panels quickly and safely. You just need to connect the included remote modules and access the readings from a distance.
The digital meter acts as a mobile hub- allowing you to simultaneously access up to 3 meter modules from a distance as far as 20 meters! You can even access all these results from your smartphone for easy sharing with your team- anywhere, anytime.
Moreover, you don’t need to write down the obtained data as the kit comes with a logging function that records and saves up to 65,000 readings of various tests.
The items you’ll find in this kit include the Fluke wireless digital multimeter, T3000 thermocouple thermometer, A3000 FC wireless AC clamp module, 80PK-1 K-type bead thermocouple, AC175 alligator clips, TL175 test leads, and even a magnetic hanging strap.
Life just got easier with Fluke FLK-3000 FC, right?
10. Klein Tools MM6000 Electrician's/HVAC TRMS Multimeter Review:
Klein Tools MM6000 Electrician's/HVAC TRMS Multimeter is a 100% user-friendly meter ideal for the beginners as well as expert technicians out there. It’s a truly impressive multimeter that provides you with all the information you need when working with HVAC units. Plus it has a CAT IV safety rating, so you don’t have to worry about your safety when using it.
The Klein Tools MM6000 offers you a great deal of measurements functions to help you get just all the data/statistics you need to install or troubleshoot different HVAC systems correctly.
These functions include temperature, frequency, duty cycle, and capacitance. Furthermore, it comes with convenient features like auto hold, data hold, and auto-ranging.
As for longevity, this multimeter is built to last. It’s made in America with quality materials. It comes designed to survive falls as high as 10 feet. Additionally, it comes with double insulation and raised rubber molding which offers the ultimate protection to the display.
How To Buy A Multimeter For HVAC?
The market is populated with all kinds of multimeters for HVAC right now. And if you don’t know what you’re doing, you might end up picking the wrong device that doesn’t match your needs/expectations.
Use these factors to arrive at the right multimeter for your HVAC work easily:
Durability (construction quality)
The first thing that defines a great HVAC multimeter is a durable construction. Remember that HVAC stands for or involves working with Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. As such, much of your work will be based outdoors, where you might accidentally drop your device from a height.
To ensure your tool doesn’t get damaged whenever such scenarios occur, it’s crucial that you look for a sturdily constructed model, with excellent shock absorption capabilities.
Lightweight, Compact Design
Besides a durable construction, make sure that model you buy also comes with a lightweight and compact design.
Because you’ll be carrying the tool everywhere with you, in your tool bag, buying a lightweight and compact model will increase its portability. Also, it’ll feel comfortable in your hands.
Accuracy and Reliability
With so many HVAC multimeters on the market today, it’s easy to fall for a product that doesn’t generate accurate results. Needless to say, such a model will make your work harder,
By being extremely careful and watchful, however, you can still find a model that displays accurate results.
Besides, ensure that the multimeter you want to buy comes with all the measurements functions you’ll be using in your day to day job- like current, voltage, resistance, and frequency. Any model with more functions has a higher reliability.
Ease of Use
New to multimeters? If yes, I’d advise you to look for an intuitive model that lets you use it without many headaches.
Multiple brands have introduced their multimeters into the market. Unfortunately, some of them are selling poor meters that do not give accurate results, leave along surviving a fall.
The secret here involves buying from a company that guarantees you’re reliability, dependability, and high performance. Some of the best brands that I recommend you to buy from include Fluke, Klein, Fieldpiece, Milwaukee, and UEI.
A product that comes with warranty shows that the manufacturer has total confidence that their product is reliable and dependable, and will walk you through all your HVAC jobs for years to come.
Additionally, an extended warranty acts as your safety net whenever your products have functionality issues, gets damaged or if you receive it in a damaged state.
In my view, a warranty of at least year for a HVAC multimeter will do. The longer the warranty, the better.
The many multimeters on the market can also be advised along the pricing line- there are cheap as well as expensive models.
But that doesn’t mean that the higher priced models are better than the rest. Basing your purchase on the features that come with the device you want to buy will help you get a great product that falls within your range.
If you want to enjoy the advanced features, you’ll have to dig deeper into your pocket.
Though these features aren’t necessary, you’d want to check for them as well to make your meter more convenient to use…
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Digital vs. analog multimeter: which one should I pick?
The digital multimeters tend to output more accurate results and are much easier to read than the analog models. What’s more, most professionals are using the digital models today, so you should also consider a digital multimeter for your HVAC work.
2. Can I use any multimeter for my HVAC work?
NO! A HVAC intended multimeter is always recommended as it comes with a different range (to match the range of HVAC systems) from the standard models, as well as other convenient features to make your work easier.
3. What’s the best multimeter for a new HVAC technician?
The best multimeter for HVAC work for a beginner should be an easy to use and affordable model that doesn’t come with complicated features.
4. What if I want to measure large currents?
In such cases, it’d be useless to use your typical multimeter as it has a limited range and might overheat. The best option involves using a clamp meter, whose spring-loaded clamp lets you easily connect the device to the current carrying cable.
5. What’s the work of auto range feature found in most HVAC multimeters?
As the word suggests, this is a handy feature that automatically selects the meter range to make it easier for you to take different measurements.
Tips For Using A HVAC Multimeter
As I promised you at the beginning of this post, I’ll share with you some expert tips on how to use your multimeter correctly.
These tips include:
Whether you’re a beginner or expert HVAC technician, you must arm yourself with the best HVAC multimeter today. The handy device allows you to easily and accurately troubleshoot the different systems you work with every day. Overall, it makes your work easier and more efficient.
Having shown you how to choose the right HVAC multimeter for your specific needs, I’m confident that you’ll have an easy time buying a multimeter that will make your work easier.
Also, if you’re in a hurry, just grab one of the 10 top-rated multimeters I’ve reviewed for you above; they’re all high-performance products that won’t disappoint you.