How Long Do Multimeters Last? – A Complete Walkthrough

When choosing a multimeter to buy, you will certainly ask, “How long do multimeters last?” This concern is understandable because different types of multimeters have different lifespans.

The article below will further analyze this issue, along with the way to use and handle a meter properly.

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How Long Do Multimeters Last?

Unfortunately, there’s no definite answer to this question. Each multimeter has a different lifespan depending on its material, function, type of rechargeable battery, resistance value, settings, and the way it is used daily.

Even though the exact number is not available, most famous manufacturers state that digital multimeters need to have a yearly calibration to last longer.

The majority of reputable multimeter providers allow customers to return the product for calibration, thus consolidating its measurement accuracy. After the calibration procedure, both analog meters and digital meters will continue to display accurate readings.

Despite the high calibration fee and complicated calibration equipment, it is an essential step to make sure that your multimeter functions decently with zero resistance. For example, Fluke meters can last for more than a decade because they have taken care of them very carefully with periodic calibration.

And it is important to note that a cheap device might not last that long. Using a low-price multimeter to handle high-energy voltage circuits is also not recommended since it threatens your safety.

In this case, a high-quality meter with input protection, stable leads, and high-energy fuses would be a perfect alternative to ensure a safe resistance value.

Therefore, if you expect your multimeter to last long, choose a decent one above $100. The way you protect your 9v battery power, handle, and store the meter is also crucial in keeping a sustainable lifespan.

How to Use and Store a Multimeter

Using multimeters in the right way helps increase their lifespan.

A technician’s accuracy is just as good as the measuring instruments he or she is using. The calculations would be misleading if the cheap multimeter is used improperly or is defective.

In case an accurate measurement is not guaranteed, you’re likely to reach incorrect conclusions. You must correctly use, control, and store meters to avoid having incorrect voltage readings. To save battery energy, remember to switch off the multimeter when you’re finished using it.

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Precaution Guide in Using a Multimeter

Here are some important precautions to keep in mind when handling an analog multimeter and a digital multimeter.

  • Do not let any meters fall.
  • Replace the 9v battery regularly with a rechargeable battery.
  • Make sure that the resistance reading is zero.
  • Meters shouldn’t be overloaded. If you’re not sure, apply a high range to avoid overloading and turn to a lower range if needed.
  • Do not fix precision devices by yourself. Call a professional to repair your multimeter when an issue happens.
  • Set the range switch to the right location before connecting it to a circuit.
  • Double-check the circuit connections prior to the power supply connection.
  • Watch out for electrical components in the cheap multimeter.
  • Make sure the probe tips stay separate when attached to a foreign component.
  • Do not change the settings when the circuit and the probes are in connection.

Managing a Multimeter

When working with a cheap multimeter, it’s important to keep the meter in a safe position. Dropping an analog meter, or any multimeter in general, even from a short distance might result in a negative impact on potential readings and the multimeter’s measurement accuracy.

If you want to ensure absolute accuracy while taking readings or changing the rechargeable battery, using both hands is a must.

For that reason, remember to install the meter in a protected location where users can read without changing their position. If there isn’t a suitable location, you might ask someone to help carry the device while you’re reading the energy voltage value and the resistance value.

Storage

It is essential that you keep the digital multimeter in a dry location with an average temperature to avoid physical harm to the 9v battery life. And most multimeters will come with a case to keep them in.

Not only does this case hold all of the electronic components together (including leads, magnetic strap, batteries, and leads), but it also shields fragile parts from possible damages.

When holding a high-quality multimeter for an extended time, you should consider getting rid of the batteries to prevent corrosion.

Conclusion

The article above has pointed out the most important things to keep in mind when handling a multimeter. Even so, “how long do multimeters last?” is a difficult question to answer because it depends on several different factors.

If you use, handle, and store them carefully, they can last for an extended time.

Further reading:

Do multimeters need batteries?