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Voltmeters are defined as galvanometers modified to measure voltage or the electric potential difference between two points in a circuit. Note that different circuits require different voltage to keep the flow of current.
Interestingly, in 1820, the Danish scientist Hans Christian Oersted played a crucial role in laying the basic principles of measuring voltage and electricity with his discovery that electricity creates magnetic fields.
Today’s voltmeters have evolved significantly and are highly resistant; some are able to measure the voltage of up to 20,000 V. Note that voltmeters need to be attached in parallel. Voltmeters can be used to check power generators, batteries, home wiring, electrical appliances, heavy-duty equipment, and different tools.
Choosing a Voltmeter: All You Need To Know
Given the wide variety of electrical meters available on the market, it’s no surprise that buying a voltmeter can be a daunting endeavor, especially for inexperienced users and do-it-yourself enthusiasts. Prospective buyers should consider three leading factors:
Requirements: First of all, users should decide if they want an analog or digital voltmeter. Analog meters consist of a pointer across a scale, while digital models provide clear numerical values on a display but may take some time to stabilize. Depending on the measurement goals, units should be easy to carry and handle. For example, an electrified fence meter should be durable and easy to read in daylight, while plug-in meters should be small and easy to store.
Specifications: Accuracy and measuring range are the two main parameters to consider when buying a voltmeter (in both control panel and plug-in meters). However, if users are looking for a unit that can measure different parameters, such as current, voltage, and resistance, digital multimeters should be considered.
Total costs: Accuracy, design, and features affect costs. Naturally, digital voltmeters with advanced functions are more costly than standard models. Note that some models are compatible with smartphones to facilitate readability and improve user experience. Additional accessories, such as probe leads and alligator clips, should be considered.
Best Voltmeters for Sale
From peak responding voltmeters to RMS responding units, there are different models for sale suitable for different applications. Based on different specifications and user reviews, we present the best voltmeters for sale.
- DROK Plug-in Voltage Monitor
DROK Plug-in Voltage Monitor is a convenient unit with a measuring range of 80-300 V of AC (110V, 220V). With its large LCD display and blue backlight, this meter allows users to see data even in dim light and even use it as a night light at no extra energy cost. Note that this voltage monitor has a low energy consumption of less than 1 W. Furthermore, the unit has an adjustable potentiometer for accuracy adjustments. We should mention that its accuracy is of +/- 1.5% with a +/- 2 effective reading. Last but not least, given the fact the unit is designed conveniently as a flat plug, this meter is ideal for different applications, such as common uses, mining enterprises, and office systems.
- Bayite Digital Meter
Bayite Digital Meter is a powerful digital meter with a test range of 6.5 to 100 V of DC. The unit has a large display that shows four parameters in one: voltage, active power, current, and energy. Note that it has an accuracy of 1% and runs on 0.2 W. Additionally, there’s an alarm to indicate when the active power is larger than the threshold and data storage functions that allow users to store data when the power is off. Although the unit should not be used outside to prevent damage, this meter is ideal for busy working conditions and do-it-yourself enthusiasts.
- DT830B LCD Digital Voltmeter Ammeter Ohm Multimeter
DT830B LCD Digital Voltmeter Ammeter Ohm Multimeter is a versatile digital meter with a wide range of applications. The unit provides accurate AC and DC readings with diode and transistor test functions; it also has an automatic low battery and overload indication. With its big screen, light design, and different features, this meter is highly convenient. Note that the meter comes with a manual to help beginners, which makes it ideal for home use and garages.
- AstroAI Digital Multimeter
AstroAI Digital Multimeter is a powerful unit that can be used to test different parameters, such as AC/DC voltage, AC/DC current, resistance, continuity, capacitance, frequency, temperature, and diodes. It also has auto-ranging, and true RMS capabilities, as well as data hold functions and a low battery indicator. Note that the operating environment for this unit is 32°F~104°F (0°C~40°C), while its storage temperatures are 14°F~122°F (-10°C~50°C). With its large screen and two integrated fuses for maximum security, this meter is ideal for heavy-duty applications, commercial settings, automotive applications, and household use.
- Extech EX330 12-Function Mini Multimeter Plus Non-Contact Voltage Detector
Extech EX330 12-Function Mini Multimeter Plus Non-Contact Voltage Detector is a precise unit with an accuracy of 0.5%. The meter can be used to measure AC/DC voltage, current, resistance, capacitance, frequency, temperature, duty cycle, and continuity. It also has a built-in non-contact AC voltage detector with a red LED indicator and an audible beeper. Furthermore, this multimeter comes with a large display, a stand, test leads, a protective holster, a general-purpose bead wire temperature probe, and batteries.
Voltmeters: Safety Tips
Voltmeters are invaluable electrical tools. That being said, prospective buyers should keep in mind that working with voltmeters and electrical systems require safety measurements to prevent damage to both personnel and equipment.
- Familiarize yourself with the new unit.
- Observe the general safety precautions in the owner’s manual.
- Always connect voltmeters in parallel.
- Do not use DC voltmeters to measure AC voltage and vice versa.
- Start with the highest range of the voltmeter.
- Discharge the circuit before using or disconnecting a unit.
- Use gloves and avoid working alone when dealing with electrical systems.
Voltmeters are invaluable instruments used to measure voltage or the electric potential difference between two points in a circuit. Before buying a voltmeter, users should consider three major factors: requirements, specifications, and total costs. Note that there are different analog and digital models to choose from, with accuracy, features, design, brand, and connectivity being fundamental aspects to consider. Both professionals and do-it-yourself enthusiasts should remember that safety precautions should always come first when working with electrical instruments and circuits.
Given the importance of measuring the voltage on electrical circuits, there’s no surprise that voltmeters are invaluable tools in different commercial, industrial, and home settings.