Choosing which multimeter to buy

Preamble

I was living in Bangkok, and had resurrected my past interest in electronics, most notably through using Arduinos.  After playing about for a few weeks I realised that I sorely needed a digital multimeter (DMM). I already own one, from my days at university, 27 years ago, a M-776 Precision Gold Autorange Digital Multimeter (with transistor tester and display hold) from Maplin. Cost me £20 at the time, which seemed like a lot of money back then (for a pound you could do the week’s shopping, have a night out on the town, entertain some ladies and still have enough money to get the bus home – not any more, eh?), although I seem to remember it being a top of the mid-range model, so it was worth it.

Maplin Precision GOLD M-776 DMM
Maplin Precision GOLD M-776 DMM

I have still got the box it came in!

The Box that the Maplin M-776 DMM came in
The Box that the Maplin M-776 DMM came in

Anyway, I digress… so the M-776 was no good to me back in the UK, when I’m in BKK, so I thought that I might as well splash out and get a new one, for two reasons:

  • It is always handy to have two, so that you can simultaneously measure current and voltage, and;
  • The newer models were bound to have better features than the M-776

Now, which one to buy?

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