When looking for a new multimeter, one thing will probably catch your attention more than any other. It is the automatic or manual ranging function. Which one is better and which one you actually need? We will give you the simplest and the most comprehensive answer below.
Auto ranging in multimeters is far from a new thing. It has been with us for a couple of years and it is becoming better and better as we speak. The main advantage of this system is in the simplicity. It is much easier for an average user to use auto ranging than the manual alternative.
The best fluke multimeter will come with sophisticated auto ranging feature. When you are measuring resistance, voltage or anything else, a multimeter will automatically detect what you try to measure and show you the correct value. As a user, you don’t have to adjust anything and the entire process will be completed automatically. In the early days, this system wasn’t especially accurate. However, today is it considered to be accurate in 99% of cases, making it safe and reliable to use.
Another an important advantage is in the accuracy. All multimeters with this feature are capable of providing more accurate data considering the fact they will automatically adjust and choose the correct type of measurement and apply suitable criteria. All you have to do is to measure what you need and you will get the answer within seconds.
Manual ranging is far more common even these days. A multimeter you currently have probably has this feature. It means that you will have to use the rotary switch to choose what you want to measure. After that, you can test the diode, voltage or current.
The biggest issue is the knowledge of a user. If you are a professional electrician, you won’t have any issues with choosing the right measurement protocol. As such, you will always get the most accurate data. But, if you are a beginner, you will likely make a mistake at some point so you will get data which is confusing in the lack of a better word or it is completely inaccurate. Just to add, if you are a beginner, you will need to consult the user manual and also guides which will help you determine the correct option on your multimeter.
The main advantage with this kind of multimeters is in the accuracy. If and when you choose a correct protocol, the multimeter will give you the most accurate data possible. There is no room for errors and the data is bulletproof when it comes to accuracy.
The bottom line is very simple. If you are a professional, manual ranging is more than just possible for you. If you want simplicity or you are a beginner, an auto ranging is more desirable. You will get the most accurate data easier than ever and you don’t have to invest in a huge amount of time on complicated protocols and measurement options.