Buying a cheap multimeter might be tempting because of the lower price tag, but there are a number of reasons why you might want to save your money and invest in a higher-quality multimeter instead:
Accuracy and Reliability:
Cheap multimeters often sacrifice accuracy and reliability. This can lead to incorrect measurements, which can be particularly problematic when working on sensitive or critical projects. Accurate measurements are crucial for diagnosing electrical issues safely and effectively.
Low-quality multimeters might not meet safety standards, potentially exposing you to dangerous situations. A malfunctioning multimeter could provide inaccurate readings, leading you to believe a circuit is safe when it's not. This can result in electrical shocks, fires or other hazardous outcomes.
Cheap multimeters often are constructed using lower-grade materials, making them less durable. If you plan to use the multimeter frequently or in challenging environments, it's important to have a tool that can withstand the wear and tear.
Cheap multimeters often lack advanced features that can be very useful, such as true RMS measurements, temperature measurements, capacitance measurements, and more. Investing in a higher-quality multimeter gives you access to a wider range of capabilities.
Due to the lower quality of components, cheap multimeters tend to have a shorter lifespan. This means you might need to replace the multimeter more often, which can end up costing you more in the long run.
Calibration and Maintenance:
Some cheaper multimeters might not have calibration options or might lose calibration quickly. Proper calibration ensures accurate readings over time. Quality multimeters usually have better calibration features and maintain accuracy longer.
Cheap multimeters might have confusing interfaces, difficult-to-read displays, and limited user guides. Investing in a higher-quality multimeter can provide a smoother and more intuitive user experience.
If you're a professional electrician, engineer, or technician, relying on accurate measurements is essential for your work. Using a cheap multimeter in such scenarios could lead to mistakes, increased troubleshooting time, and compromised safety.
Support and Warranty:
Reputable brands like Sanwa often offer better customer support and warranties for their products. If you encounter any issues or need assistance, a reliable company is more likely to provide the help you need. What good is a warranty if there's no one standing behind it?
While cheap multimeters might save you money upfront, they can end up costing you more in the long run due to replacements, repairs, and potential mistakes caused by inaccurate measurements.
Ultimately, when it comes to tools like multimeters where safety and reliability is a priority, you’ll want to strike the right balance between price and quality.
Investing in a high-quality analog or digital multimeter from an established, reputable brand like Sanwa will provide you with more accurate measurements, better safety, longer durability and a better overall user experience.
While a cheap, no-name brand multimeter may seem like a good buy now, in the long run you will be better served by investing in a high quality meter from Sanwa-America.