Suggestions for a digital multimeter...

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Well-Known Member
Jan 17, 2009
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I just purchased a Sperry Pocket-Pro DM-2A for my range box. Did I waste my money ($29)? Do you have a better suggestion for a compact digital multimeter? Is digital or analog a better choice?
Even as one who generally follows the rule in "you get what you pay for" when it comes to tools, a range box is one place where a cheap digital multimeter is probably more than adequate.

Case in point, I have a high end Fluke DMM. Very nice, totally reliable, - a true professional's tool (and at a previous point in my career, it was a good tool for my profession.) In my kick-around tool box, I also have a DMM that I bought at Harbor Freight for, get this, $3.99. Yes - less than four bucks. It does things like measure voltage and continuity, resistance. I've had the thing for years and it's never failed (though I would neither be dissapointed nor surprised if it did). For rocketry, what type of things are you measuring - nothing that is at all "critical". I.e. is there battery voltage - yes or no? Is there continuity - yes or no? Maybe an occasional resistance measurement, probably only critical to a few tens of percentage points, at best. Conclusion, for these types of tasks the cheapo unit is very suitable, and I don't need to worry about babying a $200 DMM that will get abused in my range box (or get caught by some sticky fingers.)

(BTW, I occasionally compare readings of my HF unit against those of my Fluke and get a big kick at how **** close the readings actually are.)
I agree completely about the Harbor Freight DMM. I got it a couple of weeks ago for $3.99 and it's $9.99 normally. It even has a battery tester function (of course any meter vith DC volts does also :)) If I was doing 'real work' I probably would invest in a better model. But as limd21 sez, it's perfect for the field. Wish I'd bought a second so I don't have to keep movin' it around so much :)
And to think I paid the full $9.99+tax to get mine a few months ago! Curses!

It's sure done well though, and is very welcome out at my launches. Had to buy some better probes for it though, so I could clip them to leads and not just try to hold them steady.

Is this the Cen-Tech/Harbor Freight DMM you are referring to? I saw this after buying the Sperry Pocket-Pro... :mad:

Originally posted by bsexton
Is this the Cen-Tech/Harbor Freight DMM you are referring to? I saw this after buying the Sperry Pocket-Pro... :mad:


I got the exact same meter at Pamida's tool "grab bin" for $8.99.

It works fine for load testing batteries, checking battery volatge, and checking resistance of ematches. In fact, I checked the same battery and ematch once with this cheap meter, and once with a high-dollar Fluke meter we have at work. Got the same readings from both meters. That's good enough for me!
Got the same ting from the same place in my range box too.

Love Harbor Freight.

Yes - that is the exact DMM from HF to which I was originally referring. I just recently bought one as a stocking stuffer for a friend of mine who borrowed mine a few times - I even taped the $3.99 receipt to it just for grins.

HF's normal price is $9.99 (not bad at that price, even) and $3.99 is a typical sales price I've seen on it at least a few times each year.