Our Rating: 4 out of 5
Reviewed by: Elriegh Bunton
Published on: September 24, 2017
KleinTools have been around for quite a while now, and as such, you would expect a certain level of quality to be associated with their products.
Multimeters need to be versatile, accurate and durable and the Klein MM1300 aims to tick those boxes and more. We'll be exploring more about this shortly, and to get a complete picture of this product, 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 MM1300 looks to be versatile and appeal to both demographics of the new user and seasoned professional This means that if you deal with electricity on a daily basis, or you simply want to have a unit to check the voltages in your household, this is something to tick those boxes.
There are plenty of unique features such as the auto range, analog bar graph, and more, which come in handy when you’re dealing with sensitive electronics. The design includes a rubber casing which has ribs on either side of the unit to ensure a better grip.
It also has a retractable lever on the back of the casing for people who like holding their tool in a vertical position. It measures AC/DC voltage, duty cycle, capacitance, resistance, and frequency. This sets it up well to be in a position to tackle most scenarios you encounter, so let's move on and examine the specifics in closer detail.
Being priced around $79, you would expect multiple features to be presented as this is hovering near our $100 limit. The below list indicates how things stand.
To expand further, here are some quick-fire functions to be analyzed.
1. The Thermocouple
A rare addition in this category level, a temperature probe can be embedded into the unit to measure the temperature of a surface or area. Once configured, simply leave at the desired location and record the findings.
2. Auto Ranging
This provides a hassle-free and simple solution to testing certain units. Saving the trouble of having to know the precise range you need to pre-set, an auto ranging feature saves time as you don't have to fine-tune these details as this is done for you. However, this has its downfall, mainly that precision and speed are lost.
3. Back-lit Display
Perhaps not a feature that would be considered high on the agenda, it is one that is often overlooked and neglected altogether. A professional will often be working in conditions that have far less than ideal lighting conditions and sometimes even pitch black darkness.
Therefore, having a multimeter with a backlit display is essential in times like these. Another key point is that a display needs to be read and understood from multiple angles. Distortion and contrast loss is common with many multimeters, not just those under the $100 value so to have this feature is quite uncommon and valued.
4. Data Hold FunctionThere is a “hold” button located below the display, but it can often be misconstrued and even missed completely.
The idea here is that in the absence of pen and paper, or you don't think you'll remember the data, you can press the hold button down for a few seconds, and the data will remain on the screen. This stays that way until new data is entered, whereby the held data will be overwritten. A useful feature that saves on forgotten or lost data in a hurry.
There are lots of good points about this unit that would make it worthy of inclusion on our list. Features such as the thermometer and the backlight display are great to have and go a long way to earning points for this unit.
However, despite the numerous and varied features, there is a distinct lack of quality around the product. Consistent readings are hard to obtain, which causes severe doubt in the integrity of the results that you do manage to achieve.
This is attributed to loose terminal connections, which need to be held in place to see an accurate reading which points to poor construction. Another downside is that despite stating it's made in the USA, it is usually constructed in Asia, specifically China.
Mixed reviews dominate this product, and it's clear to see why.
While we have acknowledged that the multiple functions are indeed positive, there are simply too many pitfalls and warning signs to ignore. One review to this point explained, "
The amp settings all read “LE.AD” even with the wires inserted. I also tried to use it anyway, and it just reads “0.000” every time. I looked at the fuse, and it's in working order, so that’s not the problem. The 4 pin nodes are low quality so that may have played a part. "
Further negative remarks are found with another buyer saying, " Low quality. On my second use, I could not get consistent resistance readings. Finally figured out that the positive terminal was loose and required constant pressure to get consistent low resistance readings."
However, despite this, there are some positive comments to be seen, such as " It’s compact, lightweight, and easy to use. It’s also affordable and suitable for any DIY enthusiast’s budget. "
After starting off positively with some great features that looked promising on the surface, a little scratching unearthed the bitter truth; this is not a well-made product. Low-quality parts make up the unit which has several knock-on effects.
Firstly, the readings will not be at all accurate and thus there can't be any confidence at all in the results you see. Secondly, if one part (such as the pin nodes) are low quality, then what stops the rest of the unit is poorly made?
This can extend to the battery, the screen and even the buttons, which all add up to create a product that does not deliver as promised. The advice is simple, seek an alternative.