The 82140 from Craftsman is one of a range of basic multimeters that are geared to DIY enthusiasts. With this unit, you have several ranges and can do both electrical and some electronics testing. DC amperage goes into the milliamp and micro-amp range. There is no AC amperage, but it does ship with a non-contact voltage sensor stick.
- AC/DC voltage to 600V
- DC amperage to 10A
- DC micro-amps
- Includes an AC voltage detector
- Battery tester
- Height: 4.8″ (122mm)
- Weight: 9.2oz (260g)
- 9V battery
- Rubber boot
- Test probes
- Volt stick
- Instructions (82140 manual pdf)
In-depth Review of the Craftsman 82140
First and foremost, this cheap meter is best for basic lower energy tasks. It is rated to CAT-II, which means it is ‘not’ adept at safely testing mains power directly. It is ideal for work on appliances, tools and lower energy circuits, however, and is nicely compact for carrying around in toolboxes or pockets.
It is manual ranging, so you need to select the correct range of a given input in order to achieve a reading. For this reason, it is not really a starter meter; more for those who already know a bit about electrics. Alternatively, the auto-ranging 82007 is easier to use in this respect.
The lack of an AC amperage range means the Craftsman 82140 is not so useful for testing the current drawn by appliances. The inclusion of micro-amps will suit those into electronics and for certain HVAC tasks.
Voltage detector: The included volt stick is used to pre-check voltage in a system or in a wall chase. These are handy for quickly ascertaining the presence of mains, although they should not be relied upon solely. The detector is rated for CAT-III to 120/240V AC and takes x2 AAA batteries.
Battery tester: The 82140 has a dedicated battery check to 1.5V and up to 9V. The meter loads the batteries up to better gauge their actual charge
|DC voltage||200mV / 600V||±(0.5%+2)||0.1mV-1V|
|AC voltage (50-60Hz)||200V / 600V||±(1.2%+10)||0.1V-1V|
|DC current||2000µA / 10A||±(1.0%+2) @ 2000µA-20mA||1µA-10mA|
|Resistance||200Ω / 2000kΩ||±(0.8%+2) @ 200Ω-200kΩ||0.1Ω-1kΩ|
|Battery tester||1.5V / 9V||±(1.0%+2)||10mV|
Build and Interface
The latest Craftsman multimeters, to include the 82140 model, are probably not as tough as the old Craftsmans. Nowadays, they are put together in China where there is a bit less attention to detail to keep costs down. Nevertheless, this is still a good build quality for the money and it comes in a rubber boot.
On the rear of the unit is a pull-out kickstand, which lets you go hands-free with the meter set down on a bench. There are also separate battery and fuse compartments, though the battery compartment is a bit tight.
Screen: The display is quite standard and not as good as some of the similarly priced Mastech and Etekcity meters. It is 3 1/2 digit – a resolution of 2000 counts – with an update (refresh) rate of around twice per second. This is nothing to write home about, but is fine for general work. The display is not backlit.
Labels: Despite it being manual ranging, the labels are clear around the dial, while the selector switch has a nice click. The Current, Common, and Voltage jack inputs are all well labeled.
Simply turn the dial to the correct range of an input criterion in order to get your reading. There are no extra functions, such as Max/Min or Relative modes, but this is a basic device after all. There is a low battery indicator, which pops up on the display when the 9V battery runs low.
At category II, the level of protection on the Craftsman 82140 multimeter is not high. It is built for indoor use on appliances and equipment and is rated to 4kV at 600V-to-ground. The fuses for the jack inputs are rated to 200mA and 10A and are of the glass type. This is another indicator of a lower level of protection – higher quality meters typically have durable sand-filled, HRC fuses.
Pros and Cons
- Easy to use and compact
- Voltage detector
- Battery check
- Thick rubber holster
- Accuracy okay
- Cheap price
Not So Good
- Manual ranging only
- No backlight
- Can only accommodate lower energies
In short, we have a basic meter in the Craftsman 82140 review able to measure voltage and DC current. Good for the home and workshop on appliances and lower voltage systems, to include basic electronics work. You also get a handy AC volt detector stick thrown in. The main difference over the similar 82141 Craftsman model is that the 82140 has micro-amps and is without an AC amperage scale.
Alternative: The Etekcity MSR-R500 is very similar to this meter, yet is backlit.