Multimeters are electrical instruments that are made use of in order to measure circuit parameters including the resistance, voltage and current. Multimeters come in two different types; analogue and digital. 

Digital multimeters provide the same functions as ammeters, voltmeters and ohmmeters and are common on account of how their compact size and their ease of use and can provide precision value reading. However they are not infallible, so users need to weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of using digital multimeters. 

The advantages of digital multimeters

Automatic output display

The automatic output display provided by digital multimeters is one of their major advantages, making it easy to gauge readings due to the automatic seven-segment number display. Analogue multimeters, on the other hand, require a closer examination of the scales in order to be able to read values, risking human error and taking a lot more time. 

Auto polarity functions

Multimeters are able to read negative values, particularly in regards to voltage. When probes are placed inside the opposite polarity a negative output is received. The advantage of a digital multimeter over an analogue one is that analogue probes are likely to break when placed into the opposite polarity. 

Guaranteed accuracy

Digital multimeters generally offer a much greater degree of accuracy than is the case with analogue types. They are able to offer an output of up to four decimal places that would never be able to be shown by analogue multimeters. Any value within the fluctuation range is usually judged to be valid. 

The disadvantages of digital multimeters

The cost

Because analogue multimeters have been around a lot longer than their digital equivalents, they also tend to be a good deal cheaper. However, because digital multimeters are no longer quite so new the difference in price may no longer be much of a disadvantage for many people. 

Measurement fluctuations cause problems

Digital multimeters are unable to read measurement fluctuations, which is not the case with analogue multimeters. This means that digital multimeters simply cannot represent fluctuations and will either just calculate the one reading or record an error. 

Finding a digital multimeter for your needs 

There is a wide array of digital multimeters on the market today, with a wide range of capabilities and prices. Choosing a meter that is best suited to your particular requirements is obviously the most desirable course of action, but the sheer number of options in the digital market can actually make this a lot more difficult to achieve. 

A low-cost digital multimeter option might be the best idea for those who only intend to make use of it on one or two occasions, but professionals would be well advised to ensure they choose a high-end unit so that they are guaranteed the best results on a consistent basis. On a side by side comparison, digital multimeters are generally regarded as superior to analogue multimeters.