Best Budget Multimeter

Hello Forum,

I've to buy a multimeter but I have a limited budget. I'm new to this. I found this multimeter review at Tool Box Nerd about Best Budget Multimeter. I'm wondering what else should I consider while doing my search in selecting the best multimeter which is inexpensive and works precisely.

Looking forward to your recommendations


How precise do you need the multimeter to be ?

What type of electronics will you be working with ?

High precision == high cost.

But a basic multimeter will be precise enough for a beginner, and precise enough for an expert in most situations.

I can recommend Uni-T, had one of theirs for 25+ years. Still works well but showing its age now in places.

When I replace it, one thing I will be looking for is type of battery. I would want to use rechargeable AA or AAA as opposed to PP3 (9V). Rechargeable PP3 are only around 8.2V and don't last long, I have not found any low-self -discharge NiMh PP3. Perhaps a Li-ion PP3 could be a good option, they contain boost converter circuit to give full 9V and li-ion has a slow self-discharge rate.

Remember that this is a site for home-DIY-ers, automotive-DIY-ers. The criteria they are judging on is a little different. For use in hobby electronics, you will probably not be measuring voltages over 120/240VAC, but you will want to measure down to milli-volts (mV) and currents down to micro-amps (uA), which are irrelevant for home DIY use, so if the meter it lacking those ranges, the reviewers will probably not notice or care.

What is your budget?
For most applications I think any new DMM is precise enough.
Removable leads are a great advantage because you may have leads with different connectors (crocodile, Dupont male or female).
And I think 2 DMMs are much better than single DMM.

I want a multimeter which is under 30$

I'm a beginner but I want one which can work when I'll work in more expert situations. Thanks for your recommendation

When you are experienced enough to work in more expert situations, you will know what features and precision are needed, and it will probably cost much more than $30. Until then, buy a cheap basic multimeter.

1 Like

I use this style:

Otherwise visually identical DMMs seem to be sold under several model numbers, as is the wont of the Chinese manufacturers of this sort of product.

At the time I was buying them, they sold on eBay for around $3 with free shipping. That's cheap enough to buy a few.

Surely not a good multimeter, but I have been using them for years without any problems at all.

The one thing I'll warn about is that there are two versions of this. One has a buzzer for the continuity check, and the other no buzzer. I have found that buzzer to be an essential feature. The one I have without buzzer is actually a better brand purchased from Radio Shack back when that was a thing, with with the identical case design, and that is the multimeter I never use.

That is a good point. The situation with rechargeable PP3 is really not good, both in the battery availability/cost as well as the availability of chargers for them. That said, I don't find myself replacing/recharging the batteries on mine often enough for it to be a significant annoyance.


Hi @mattew123

What part of the world do you occupy mate?

Tom... :smiley: :+1: :coffee: :australia:

I forgot to explain that you can tell one from the other because the one with buzzer have the little sound wave symbol next to the diode symbol, and the ones without a buzzer only have the diode symbol.

The picture I shared is the one with the buzzer.


Rechargeables tend to have lower capacity (than alkaline) and - you have to recharge them! :astonished:

I got one at a flea market, like @pert #9 only international yellow.

Just 'cause it's small and cheap. Throw it in the field tool box.

Can't be sure that black one above doesn't, but mine has a feature I didn't think would be so handy: a frequency meter, which works so well that a Universal Counter dedicated instrument I got at another flea market gathers more dust than it might otherwise.

Many cheap meters seem to include one, consider if you might soon or eventually want one youself.

TBH I purchased another (red!) at a Florida flea market, it is a piece of junk goodbye $8.00.


Half of my collection are yellow, the other half black.

the ones I own don't have that, but I think the one in the picture I shared does. I think it's that square wave selector. I just grabbed the first picture I found with the continuity buzzer from a search for "DT-830D" on eBay and didn't check it carefully to see if it was the exact same as mine.

What mine has instead of the frequency counter is a "200u" setting.

Is it the same style as the "DT-830D"? What is wrong with it?

Reuse > Recycle

You can reuse them 2000+ times (well, according to the manufacturers).

I thought the square wave setting might be a frequency meter, mine has Hz, not a little picture.

As for the red one.

Cheap plastic, bad bearings/mechanism on the selector dial, a few crummy slide switches, poor contrast unadjustable, already leaky LCD panel…

Feels more like a toy you'd get for a kid, with a stethoscope, mirror, bottle of pills and syringe so s/he can play Doctor.

All of which I could have discovered if it hadn't been in a blister pack.

I knew I was taking a flyer. The test leads were OK enough, so not a total loss.

I've googled for exactly the meter I have, nope. A flash in the pan.


The stethoscope may or may not be functional, the syringe is of course blunt, but- a bottle of pills? Sounds particularly dubious!

Here is the manual for the DT380 series.
Dt830_en.pdf (282.5 KB)

Tom... :smiley: :+1: :coffee: :australia:

It's been awhile. Sugar pills? These days, no small parts choking hazard.


IIRC I have seen unopenable bottle of toy pills.


Another important consideration is size of the DMM. If you are space limited or travel frequently smaller is better. OTOH people with weak eyes and large fingers prefer large DMMs.

From small, autoranging DMMs I consider Aneng M11, AN8009 or AN8002.

The DT-830 is also a good option. I don't have it but for the price you can buy it, find what features you like and what should be better and buy another one which will cover everything. This way you will have 2 DMMs.