Our Rating: 4 out of 5
Reviewed by: Elriegh Bunton
Published on: September 24, 2017
Mastech is a well-known company, has been designing top quality multimeters for the past few decades.
Versatility is prioritized with their products, and the MS8209 makes no exception to this rule. Plenty of options exist and functions to get lots of diagnostic tests ran and completed. 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
Multiple functions and features are prevalent here. An incredible 14 functions are available which can achieve 39 different ranges. Those are great numbers and set this product up in good stead to be one of our best multimeters for under $100.
Other auxiliary features exist as well, with the unit able to detect sound, temperature, light, and humidity. Many have called this a "5-in-1 multimeter" due to these multiple sensory functions. Going back to the range, don't let the numbers overwhelm you if you're not a professional. Thanks to its auto-ranging function, you don't need to know the precise range required for the unit you're testing.
With all of these functions, troubleshooting equipment is a breeze when equipped with this multimeter. More specifications are listed below, to complete the picture.
As we've seen this product has a lot of aspects to it, some that we haven't even seen yet. So you would be forgiven for thinking this must be pushing the envelope of the $100 threshold. Unbelievably, this is not so.
Coming in at $48.37 on Amazon, the price seems almost too good to be true, so let's get into the detail and see what we have on our hands.
To expand further, here are some quick-fire functions to be analyzed.
1. The Sensors
Unique and somewhat unusual to see on a multimeter are the sensors available with this product. Firstly, the sound sensor can measure sound waves up to 100dB. This can be applied in very specific conditions, for example, you may need to test how loud a car exhaust is.
The temperature sensor is a bit more commonplace and straightforward. This particular one can withstand temperatures up to 100 degrees. Finally, the humidity probe can detect from 30% to 90%
2. Overload Protection
A nice safety mechanism that is simple in operation. Essentially, if the incorrect mode is selected, the entire unit won't go up in smoke, but rather a fuse will blow. This is far more cost-effective than buying a whole new unit, as fuses are relatively cheap and easy to get hold of.
3. True RMS
Again a feature associated with higher end multimeters, the RMS function ensures greater accuracy of readings in locations where there is a lot of electrical noise present.
To expand, this is when a wave of signals that are not common can distort the data and display incorrect values. Older multimeters lack this functionality in the main, so inaccurate data was not unheard of, thus a valuable asset. Now with true RMS, this can be completely dispelled.
There are a plethora of features and unexpected additions that make this product stand out as one of the best multimeters for the money.
You would expect a unit with sensors to test sound and humidity to come in for well over $100, but that is somehow not the case. But importantly is the data accurate? We found this to certainly be the case, which was great to see. As for ease of use, in the main, this proved to be true as it is intuitive and easy to set up, except for the leads.
The test leads are sometimes a bit hard to set up, so bear that in mind. Here's how we broke down our pros and cons.
We've explored this product in depth so now it's time to see how other buyers fared when purchasing this product.In the main, users are extremely satisfied with what they have, with reviews such as the following being common," This is an amazing device. It can measure just about anything. The light, humidity, and sound intensity sensors are built-in to the top, and the temperature probe connects to the COM and "°C" ports. It even has a backlight! And for (significantly) under $100, the price cannot be beaten."
This is further expanded with another buyer exclaiming," Excellent product. I was worried about the cost to quality ratio - not anymore. This item was well reviewed and truly stands up to that review. Highly recommend. "
However, no product is faultless, and indeed that was the case here as well, with one user pointing out an unusual flaw, "I particularly wanted it because of the light and sound meters. That's the reason I bought this new instead of a similarly priced multimeter from a more reputable brand. Then I set it on my desk for about three weeks. When I turned it on next, there was something very wrong. It would intermittently go from a blank LCD screen to just crazy random lines on the screen. It didn't matter what I tried, replacing batteries, etc. I turned it off and on and off and on. It was still intermittently crazy or just blank."
It's difficult not to go rambling on about how wonderful this piece of kit is. The fact that it truly is a 5 in 1 multimeter is staggering. Not only does it perform exceptionally well at its tasks, but it's also priced so well.
The sheer volume of features allows for almost anyone to make use of it, be it a professional or in the home setting. A cost-saving exercise also exists here, as due to the fact multiple tasks (such as temperature reading and sound recording) can be carried out, you don't have to spend more money on additional tools to get the jobs done.
Saying that though, this is still not a perfect product. Users discovered that on occasion, the readout would display "random" lines or bits of information that certainly do not belong there. Furthermore, other buyers found it to be a fragile item that would give in after a few weeks of use.
Putting that aside, however, these anomalies can be overlooked in the face of overwhelmingly positive reviews and testimonials that indicate what a remarkable piece of equipment this is.
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 as you will surly find what you need!