Voltmeter Vs. Multimeter – Which Is The Best Tool For Your Needs?

Voltmeters and multimeters are tools that can be used to measure various electrical and electronic systems. Such tools are used not only by electrical and electronic engineers but physicists and car owners or mechanics.

There are some differences between these two meters:

A voltmeter can measure the difference between two parts of an electrical current. As for a multimeter, it cannot only measure current but also frequency, resistance, and capacity.

As a result, you can use a multimeter instead of a voltmeter, but you cannot use a voltmeter instead of a multimeter.

But which of these two meters should you consider buying? Below we take a look at the voltmeter vs. the multimeter.

Klein MM700 Digital Multimeter

Voltmeter Vs. Multimeter – Are They The Same?

When it comes to using a voltmeter or a multimeter, deciding which best suits your needs can prove challenging.

But as you will see below, there are quite a few differences between these two pieces of equipment.

Function

A voltmeter can only measure the DC and AC voltage on electronic equipment and a car battery. If you want to determine an electrical circuit’s resistance, you will need to get yourself an ammeter.

Whereas a multimeter can measure not only voltage but also an electrical device’s current and resistance. This means that you can use this equipment in place of a voltmeter.

See Fluke T6-1000 PRO, Fluke 117 here:

Fluke T6-1000 PRO

Fluke T6-1000 PRO

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Epsoak Epsom Salt

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Price

As the multimeter has more functions than the voltmeter, of course, it will be more expensive to buy. The prices vary; for example, you could buy an analog or digital voltmeter for around $10.

As for a multimeter, the analog version will cost about $10, but a digital model will cost $12 or more.

Scope Of Use

Most people tend to use a voltmeter to test electrical appliances in the home and, of course, for car batteries. But when it comes to a multimeter, this is something that most professional electricians use. It is also a tool that many factories and laboratories use as well.

Buy Klein Tools MM400, Etekcity MSR-A2000 here:

Klein Tools MM400

Klein Tools MM400

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Etekcity MSR-A2000

Etekcity MSR-A2000

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Difference In Ease Of Use

The voltmeter is a lot easier to use as it only measures voltage. The only choice you need to make is whether you want to test an item’s AC or DC voltage. As for the multimeter, you can use it to carry out several different tests, so of course, you will need to set it to the function you require.

As the multimeter can carry several different functions, you must learn to use it correctly. This will help to ensure that you understand precisely the readings being provided.

See Fluke T6-1000 Pro, Etekcity MSR-A2000 here:

Fluke T6-1000 PRO

Fluke T6-1000 PRO

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Etekcity MSR-A2000

Etekcity MSR-A2000

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Voltmeter Vs. Multimeter – Which Is Suitable For Your Needs?

To decide which of these two pieces of equipment is best for your requirements, you first need to consider why you need them.

Should You Buy A Voltmeter? 

This piece of equipment is ideal for anyone who only wants to measure voltage and nothing else. It is also suitable for those who don’t want to spend a lot of money on such equipment.

Not only is it safe to use, but you don’t need a lot of training beforehand to understand how to use it. You will find that both the analog and digital voltmeter models cost about the same price.

If you are interested in buying a voltmeter, you may want to consider the Fluke T6-1000-Pro- Electrical Tester.

Fluke T6-1000 PRO
Fluke T6-1000 PRO
4.8
The Fluke T6-1000 PRO detects alternating current voltage, current, and frequency without touching a live wire.

Or Should You Buy A Multimeter?

You should only think about buying this piece of equipment if you look for something that does more than just measure voltage. You will need to spend time learning how each function on this piece of equipment works to understand the results it provides you with.

Just like a voltmeter, it is safe to use as long as you follow the instructions provided. So crucial that with both types, you read through the manual provided.

As you will soon discover, these types of meters are more expensive because of the additional functions. The prices between the analog and digital models do vary quite a bit.

If you consider investing in a multimeter, you might want to consider one of the following three models. The models we recommend you consider getting are the Fluke 117 Electricians True RMS Multimeter, The Klein MM400 Multimeter, or the Etekcity MSR-A2000 Digital Multimeter. 

ImageProductFeaturesPrice
Fluke 117 RMSFluke 117 RMS
  • AC/DC Voltage: 600V
  • AC/DC Current: 10 A
Check Price
Klein Tools MM400Klein Tools MM400
  • AC/DC Voltage: 600V
  • AC/DC Current: 10 A
Check Price
Etekcity Digital MultimeterEtekcity Digital Multimeter
  • AC/DC Voltage: 600V
  • DC Current: 600mA
  • Cannot measure AC current
Check Price

RELATED: Fluke 117 vs. Klein MM700 – Which Multimeter Should You Buy?

How To Use A Multimeter Or Voltmeter?

5 steps to use a multimeter as a voltmeter

When it comes to using either of these tools, there are specific steps you need to follow.

Step 1: The first is that you need to determine the kind of circuit you will be testing. You then set the meter to either AC or DC voltage. For homes, it will be AC, but for your car, it would be DC.

Step 2: Next, set the voltage range to higher than what you expect. You won’t get an accurate reading if you set it too low. 

For example, if you will be using one of these meters to test your car’s battery and it has a range of 2 volts to 20 volts, then set it at 20 volts.

However, you often find that the range is usually set automatically with digital multimeters.

Step 3: Now plug the test leads into the COM and V terminals on the meter. The black lead is the one that goes into the COM (common) terminal, and the red lead goes into the V (voltage) terminal.

Step 4: Simply connect the probe to the circuit that you wish to measure. Place the tip of the black probe on the car battery’s negative terminal and the tip of the red probe on the positive one.

Step 5: Then you simply read the voltage on the meter’s screen.

Conclusion

As you can see above both these meters provide you with a safe way of measuring electrical values. But remember it is important you understand the risks involved so read through the manual. Plus follow all instructions about how to use them correctly.

We would like to finish by saying that the differences between these two are apparent. If you only wish to measure voltage, then you only need a voltmeter, but of course, if you want to carry out other tests, you’ll need to get a multimeter.

See Fluke T6-1000 PRO, Fluke 117 here:

Fluke T6-1000 PRO

Fluke T6-1000 PRO

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Fluke 117

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But at the end of the day, it does come down to your particular needs and budget which of these you buy.

RELATED: Fluke 117 Vs. 115 Vs. 116: Which is the best for electricians/ hobbyists/ HVAC engineers?

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