It was an almost impossible task to find a multimeter that costs less than 50 bucks and that was still worthy of the title. Fortunately we were able to find something in the 50 dollars range, albeit slightly over the mark, and it is definitely worth the money. The Mastech MS8229 is by far the best multimeter in its category and it has some incredibly cool features that should make you want it even more.
But before we get into its wonderful features, we need to make one thing clear: the Mastech MS8229 is not an advanced electrician’s tool. For this kind of money we are talking beginner to intermediate electricians who have not yet committed to making a profession out of this.
The reason why we believe the Mastech MS8229 is an excellent choice for beginners is that, even if you decide to give up or keep the work of an electrician as a side hobby, you will still get a lot of use out of this multimeter. You can use it to measure light intensity for taking excellent photos, or you can measure the humidity in your room or in a wine cellar. You can even use it to measure sound levels or measure temperature of anything from an engine block to a human baby. Its accuracy as a thermometer is just as good as that of a medical thermometer so why not use it as such.
As far as its functions as a multimeter the first thing to note is the fact that it is an auto range multimeter, so it’s quite a modern device. Its range is also quite impressive for such an affordable device, up to 10 Amps of continuous monitoring, and up 1000V.
It can further measure resistance, capacitance and frequency, and we were quite impressed with its accuracy. If you are planning to do delicate work on laptop or smartphones motherboards you will need something with a little bit more sensitivity, but for most electrical systems we found the accuracy of the Mastech MS8229 adequate.
The display is back lit so it does well even in daylight, but it will be pretty difficult to read if the sun is shining directly on to it. It comes with its own test leads and thermo probe but you will have to buy the batteries separately. We were actually quite pleased to see that it uses 3 AAA batteries, which will last longer than the regular 9V battery, and, if you are planning to go with rechargeable batteries, they are actually cheaper.
To sum up, the Mastech MS8229 is a fairly reliable device, a lot more accurate than anything else in its price range, but nowhere near what a 100 dollars multimeter would buy you. Still, if you are just now learning how to use one, or a using it for auto repair, the MS8229 can be an outstanding multimeter with an incredibly low price tag of less than 50 dollars, so it is well worth giving it a try.