Digital and Analog Multimeters: Who Would Win the Fight?

Many people believe that both digital and analog multimeter performs the same functions when it comes to diagnosing electrical problems. But the fact that they have big differences will change your mind. For you to understand better what these two types are used for, let us consider first what makes their characteristics unusual. Although analog and digital multimeters measure varying units, they display their readings in a very different ways.

Knowing the real distinction of these two is important for you to have great ideas which one would really work best and will help you find the top multimeters you’ve never had before.

What is Digital Multimeter


digital_multimeterA digital multimeter is a tool used to measure two or more electrical charges. Some of them are as follows:

  • Voltage (volts) – It is a pressure from the power source of an electrical circuit that pushes charged electrons or the commonly called current through a conducting loop which enable them to do work like illuminating a light from certain device or equipment.
  • Current (amps) – Current is a flow of electrical charge carriers. The carriers can usually be electrons or electron-deficient atoms. The standard unit used for this is ampere and symbolized as A. When it comes to electric current, it can either be direct or alternating.
  • Resistance (ohms) – The resistance can be calculated from the potential difference across a component and the flowing of current through it. Resistance is considered to be the hindrance to the flow of charge. When electrons travel through the wire, loads of external circuit encounters resistance.

The digital multimeters are the typical diagnostic tool utilized by most technicians in the electrical or electronic industries. These tools often contain a number of added specialized features or advanced options that allow users to get specific needs for specific tasks.

What is Analog Multimeter


The analog multimeter or the AMM is a multi-use electronic tool which can also measure voltage, current, and resistance. Analog multimeters have the functionality to check frequency and signal power at the same time. They usually have a display showed on a microammeter in order to move a physical needle over a calibrated scale. Analog multimeters are also known as multitester.

Although analog multimeters seem to be older than the latest device, they also come with rare distinction. Occasionally, analog multimeters can be very hard to comprehend due to the data display that is just like a needle moving along a scale. It can be tough especially for those users who are new to the level because the present of increased voltage or resistance is tangible. Analog multimeters take energy from the circuit they are testing. Here are some of the measurement types of the analog multimeters.

  • AC and DC Voltage
  • AC and DC Current
  • Frequency range for AC currents
  • Decibel measurement

Typically, analog multimeters are generally benched top or hand-held so they can be portable by use of handles and they are specifically designed to use while holding or can be operated with one hand.

Advantages of Digital Multimeter over Analog Multimeter

Since a digital multimeter is widely used in the market today, let us consider the benefits and good things it can offer to the users. The digital multimeters work independently with circuit energy while the analog multimeters need some energy to enable the testing process. Analog multimeters need a having an elevated level of sensitivity as well to achieve an accurate reading. This is the reason why in order to test for resistance, the analog multimeter greatly relies on battery supply.

The analog meter resistance ought to be ten times the circuit battle to make that the accurate readings can be achieved and the readings can be indicated by the use of continuous scale. On the other hand, most digital multimeters are portable and they are mostly battery-powered units. They even allow you to see the readings more conveniently on the electronic display. The main reasons why analog multimeters have been replaced by the digital multimeters are the following:

  • Accuracy – Digital multimeters offer ten times more accurate reading those analog multimeters. The precise and computer generated readings can easily be seen on the LCD screen.
  • Robustness – Digital multimeters are tough and can able to perform a heavy-duty job in a stress-free and hassle-free way.
  • Less resistance required – Digital multimeters relatively have less input resistance especially when it comes to low voltage ranges
  • Digital display – With the digital output display, it is very easy for the users to see the readings.

If you have used digital multimeters already, you can’t deny the fact they have a lot of pros over analog devices. The author Jason L. Trevino will help you find the best digital multimeter without breaking the bank.

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