What Do Multimeters Measure?

Your eyes cannot see into what´s happening in a circuit. However, a meter can do that.

Your multimeter is a highly efficient device that lets you detect and troubleshoot any problem with your electrical device.

In a nutshell, a multimeter can be described as an electronic measuring device that features numerous measurement functions in one unit. Multimeters are equally effective for detecting faults in home, commercial, and industrial electrical devices.

There are many types of multimeters available on the market. Due to this, choosing the right multi-meter is often perplexing. Since most multi-meters are big and bulky, they are less mobile and are difficult to carry in the pocket. 

There are basically two types of multimeters—analog multimeters and digital multimeters. While analog multimeters provide readings through the use of a microammeter with a moving pointer, digital multimeters showcase a numeric display.

Some digital multimeters even boast of graphical bars that represent the measured value.

measuring voltage

As we mentioned earlier, a multimeter boast of numerous meter examining and measuring features.

So, the question arises...

What do multimeters measure?

  • You can measure current with a multimeter

The electric charge that flows through the conductor is identified as current. Current is measured in units known as amperes. And, the meter that measures amperage is known as ammeter.

Fortunately, a multimeter boasts of the meter, ammeter. A millimeter usually measures current in milliampere. It is worth knowing that one milliampere is one-thousandth of an ampere.

It also helps that multimeters allow you to measure current and voltage in two different modes—direct current and alternating current. Not all countries have the same standards when it comes to AC voltage.

That´s largely the main reason all electronic devices don´t work in different parts of the world. If you are not certain of the voltage, it is possible for you to use the AC voltmeter function of your multimeter to figure out.

  • You can measure voltage with a multimeter

It is also possible for you to measure voltage with a multimeter, for example, Innova 3340 (read more on Amazon.com). In a nutshell, voltage is a term that is used to describe the difference in electric charge between two points.

Current can only pass through the conductor when those two points are connected to a conductor. Therefore, voltage can be described as the instigator of current. A voltmeter is a device that is used to measure voltage. Fortunately, a multimeter has the functions of the voltmeter integrated into it.

  • You can measure resistance with a multimeter

A resistor is essentially a material that resists the flow of current. Now, how much the current is restricted is a function of the amount of resistance in the resistor, which is measured in units called ohms. And, the device that is used to measure resistance is known as ohmmeter.

You´ve guessed it—a multimeter also boasts of the features of the ohmmeter, allowing you to measure resistance. In order to measure the resistance of a circuit, a multimeter provides a fixed amount of voltage across the circuit. It then uses an ammeter to measure the current that passes through the circuit.

After that, the multimeter uses the amount of voltage provided by the meter and the amount of current read by the meter to calculate the resistance.

  • What else can a multimeter measure?

In addition to measuring current, resistance, and voltage, a multimeter can perform other different types of measurements too. For instance, there are meters that can measure the capacitance of capacitors as well.

What are the types of measurements a multimeter can measure you ask? Well, a multimeter can also measure conductance in Siemens, decibels in circuity, inductance in Henries, and temperature in degrees Celsius or Fahrenheit etc.

Several different manufacturing companies have also started attaching and integrating sensors into multimeters to take measurements such as sound pressure level, wind speed, relative humidity, light level, and acidity/alkalinity etc.

  • Facilitates continuity testing

A multimeter can also be expertly used for continuity testing. In the simplest of terms, continuity testing is the act of testing the resistance between two points.

Many digital multimeters boast of a continuity test mode which allows you to test and examine fuses, switches, electrical connections, and conductors etc. A good fuse, for instance, should have continuity.

A continuity test basically tells us if two things are connected electrically, making it a useful test for electronics repair. If there is no continuity, it means that there is a problem somewhere in the circuit. It could mean that there is a blown fuse, an incorrectly wired circuit, or a bad solder etc.


It wouldn’t be far-fetched to state that a multimeter is an indispensable tool.

After all, in addition to helping measure voltage, current, and resistance, the device helps you diagnose circuits, learn about electronic designs, and even test a battery.

It works as an excellent device that helps you perform basic sanity checks and troubleshooting.

A multimedia can be expertly used to troubleshoot electrical problems in a wide range of industrial and household devices such as electronic equipment, power supplies, motor controls, wiring systems, and domestic appliances etc.

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