Our Rating: 4 out of 5
Reviewed by: Elriegh Bunton
Published on: September 24, 2017
The AM530 is the latest product from the company that has been hard at work since 1948 and offers to provide a solution to your budget multimeter needs.
In this category, being user-friendly is key. That is what the AM530 looks to achieve, but this doesn't mean it's held back by constraints that make it unappealing to professionals. Instead, many additional functions will appeal to veteran users.
To get a complete understanding, we will firstly begin with an overview, detailing what the item is. This will be followed by the key features, before moving on to our pros and cons. We'll also take a look at what other users found when buying the product before giving our final verdict.
The AM530 boasts plentiful features that may look daunting at first, but are easily grasped when close attention is paid and adhered to. Amprobe themselves believe it is a tool that is suitable for professionals as well as novice DIY enthusiasts.
As you would expect, detachable test leads are present to test the values of AC/DC currents, resistance, and frequency. Troubleshooting equipment is made as simple as possible with the plethora of components within this device, which allows for quick and efficient repairs to be undertaken.
To fully understand the scope of this multimeter, we will explore the various specifics in more detail below.
The picture is beginning to be painted here, and further clues can be uncovered. The price of the unit is $84.39, which makes it our most expensive product so far, yet still under $100. Let's take a look at what we have.
To expand further, here are some quick-fire functions to be analyzed.
1. Quick Acting Fuse
The first thing to mention as it's so far an unseen feature is the quick acting fuse. Completely put in place as a safety precaution, it's a great way to help protect the multimeter from irreversible damage. The inner fuse will get blown first which protects not only the meter, but also you as the user, by preventing electric shocks.
2. Non-Contact Voltage Detection (NCV)
We've seen this before for our previous model, but again it's worth bringing up as it is still relatively new to the market. To recap, the NCV allows you to detect the presence of low voltage within the unit you're testing by hovering your multimeter near it.
The difference with the NCV on this product though, is that an audible "beep" is made on detection, which is another good cue to have.
3. The Flashlight
This might not be the feature that makes you run out and buy the product, but we think it's certainly worth a mention. In today's world, good lighting conditions are often taken for granted but should all the power fail in your house, then having this multimeter with the flashlight on will allow you to troubleshoot the problem and potentially resolve it. A simple press of a button grants you access to a bright LED light beam.
A multimeter looks to achieve many things from the outset namely efficiency, durability and ease of use. These boxes are all ticked with the AM530 and then some. The functions are easily understood, and there's no overly complicated menus or buttons to press, everything is intuitive and performs the task you would expect it to.
This allows professional users to take full advantage of all the tools this unit has, but for home use, you can bypass things such as NCV or data hold as you don't have them turned on from the outset. The result is that the features never get in the way of each other or overly complicate matters, they are accessible if you need it and not intrusive.There are a few disadvantages to point out for this product. The probe ends come up short. If you're testing something bulky, these short ends will not serve you well, and long ends would be far better suited to the task. This can be circumvented however by purchasing longer compatible leads that are plentiful in stock. Another note is that a case is not included with the unit. Misleading information on Amazon suggests a case is included, but this is not true in most instances.
In the main, most buyers are very pleased with this product, and it's easy to see why.
With multiple features and a good build quality, here's what one buyer had to say, " This multimeter is fantastic! The response of the auto-ranging is snappy, and the LCD has a well-optimized viewing angle."
Further positives were noted with another buyer stating, "The strap feature and built-in work light have come in handy - boats are always rocking and often wiring is in dark locations, so these features swayed my purchase. As an MM the unit is accurate, has all the modes and responds fast enough to my needs."
However, there are of course negatives to explore. One such review was as follows, "The non-contact voltage sensor did not work 75% of the time which makes the NCV useless as it can't be trusted. I saw other reviews say the NCV does not work "
This was further echoed with another buyer issuing " The non-contact voltage detector is OK, but not sensitive enough to detect AC voltage at a standard household socket."
Despite the pitfalls of an NCV which seems to be slightly untrustworthy, the overall rating of the product is extremely high. In all other areas, the readings are precise and consistent, which is the key point for the best multimeter for electronics.
One note to mention is that this product doesn't come with a magnetic strap, which is commonly seen, but a kickstand instead. The only real downside we found was the leads, which as we examined earlier had far too short metal tips. The alternative is to purchase new leads with a longer tip, which would go a long way to making this product near flawless.
In conclusion, anyone who needs this product for home diagnostics should seriously consider purchasing, and that's not all, anyone who is also a seasoned professional using these tools daily can also get a lot of benefit from it, it does deliver in multiple ways.
Should you be looking for something a little different, be it more specialized or more in your budget range, be sure to check out our multiple other reviews on our review hub, as you will surly find what you need!