The rebadged Brymen BM235 now includes an endorsement by the EEVBlog brand. This collaboration between the popular Taiwanese multimeter firm and electronics expert Dave Jones has put out a solid little tool for pros and amateurs alike.
A nice size and easy to operate, it does most things electricians, electronics trainees and ham radio folk would need and is also pretty accurate. This EEVBlog Brymen BM235 review details the features and specs of this device.
Some Key Features
- AC/DC 1000V, 10A (20A for 30s)
- Non-contact voltage detection
- AutoV DC/AC voltage check
- Separate micro-amps (check HVAC flame sensors)
- Low impedance mode
- Temperature input (°F, °C)
- Max/Min/Avg recording
- Big, 6000-count backlit screen
- Size: 6.3″ (161mm) x 3.15″ (80mm) x 1.97″ (50mm)
- Weight: 0.74lbs (334g)
- Meter with batteries (AAA x2)
- Type-K thermocouple
- Test leads with protective shrouds
- Screw on banana jacks (for alligator clips)
- Online pdf (brymen bm235 manual)
Optional: magnetic hanger, alligator clips, carry case
In-depth Review of the Brymen BM235
Signified by its stark blue holster and excellent input protection, the BM235 has already established a reputation and comes with a CAT-IV (300V) rating and a good set of test leads. The UL-listed meter boasts fast continuity, a good screen, contactless voltage detection and several other notable features.
It is a mid-range meter with the performance and accuracy levels of higher end devices. It measures from millivolts up to 1000V (AC and DC) and amperage from micro-amps to 10A (20A in bursts). Resistance is up to 60MΩ and there is a fairly fast capacitance range.
Flame sensors: in oil and gas HVAC systems can be measured through the micro-amps function, which has a resolution down to 0.1µA.
EF voltage sensor: can detect live conductors in walls and cables and has low and high sensitivity – detection range is roughly 10V to 500V. You can also test ‘contact EF detection’ via a single probe; the common terminal providing highest sensitivity.
AutoV setting: automatically picks up AC / DC voltage, which is very useful when you don’t know the signal voltage type. It is also low impedance (LoZ), so will dissipate unwanted ghost voltages from nearby ‘hot’ wires when testing a given wire.
Modes: The EEVBlog BM235 is a manual and auto ranging multimeter, defaulting to auto. It also comes with Max/Min/Avg recording mode, which lets you see the high, low and average values of a given signal. With relative mode, you can set a reference to compare values, as well as zero out test lead resistance.
|AC voltage||6V / 1000V||±(0.7%+3) @ 50-60Hz|
|AC millivolts||60mV / 600mV||±(1.0%+3) @ 10-500Hz|
|DC voltage||60V / 1000V||±(0.2%+2) @ 600V|
|DC millivolts||60mV / 600mV||±(0.3%+2)|
|AC current||60mA / 10A||±(1.0%+3) @ 50-400Hz|
|AC micro-amps||600µA / 6000µA||±(1.5%+3) @ 50-400Hz|
|DC current||60mA / 10A||±(0.7%+3)|
|DC micro-amps||600µA / 6000µA||±(1.0%+3)|
|Resistance||600Ω / 60MΩ||±(0.3%+3) @ 600Ω-6kΩ|
|Capacitance||20nF / 10mF||±(1.5%+2) @ 2000nF-2000µF|
|Frequency||10Hz to 50kHz||±(0.3%+2)|
|Temperature °F||-40°F / 752°F||±(1.0%+2°F)|
|Temperature °C||-40°C / 400°C||±(1.0%+1°C)|
Brymen and Dave Jones have seen to it that the EEVBlog Brymen BM235 is a solid tester with great ergonomics to go with its looks. It is said to feel good to the touch and comes with a tilting bail (albeit an unsteady one) built into the rear. The batteries and fuses are accessed via the removal of a single panel with single screw.
Test leads: Many mid-level meters, and even higher end ones, are let down by a poor quality set of test probes. On the BM235, you have a very flexible pair of silicone-insulated conductors, with sharp, gold plated probe ends. These have a threaded shank where banana-type plugs can screw and seat alligator clips.
It has a nice, large display, which is 6000-count (3 5/6-digit). The refresh rate is quite quick and the contrasting and readability at angle are both good. The backlight on the EEVBlog BM235 is excellent, staying on for several minutes, which is practically unheard of in the world of test multimeters.
In addition, the backlight flashes on the continuity setting (when continuity is established). The only thing that lets the screen down is the omission of a bar graph. This is not really a game-changer, however, unless you need to monitor quickly changing signals.
The eight-position dial selector is solid with definite positions, although it strangely does not have its off position at the beginning or end of the turn arc. Mr Jones himself would certainly point out this quirk with vigor if he were reviewing any other multimeter. Again, not a game-changer, but it could be pain in the field. Both the buttons and jack socket inputs are nicely done and well labeled.
There are just the two AAA batteries on this unit, with a touted 240 hours usage time. As the backlight stays on for such a long period, expect these 240 hours to be eaten into if you regularly operate in dim environments. An auto power-down mode kicks in after about 30 minutes. There is also an input warning system should you inadvertently plug the leads into the wrong input per dial position.
Top quality fuses protect the current circuits. The µA/mA input has a 400mA fuse and the 10A input a chunky, 38mm 11A fuse. Both are quality, HRC type. Being a UL-stamped meter, the BM235 has been tested independently and had its safety rating verified, to CAT-III @ 600V and CAT-IV @ 300V.
While this may seem low compared with cheaper multimeters even, bear in mind that – especially regards to some Chinese-made models – they are often marked up indiscriminately and likely do not have the level of input protection to back up their CAT ratings.
BM235 vs BM257 Difference
The well known BM257 has a few advantages over the BM235, including the addition of a bar graph along with peak Min/Max and a frequency range up to 1MHz. The 257 does suffer on its diode tester though, only putting out 1V to the BM235’s 3V.
Pros and Cons of the BM235
- True-RMS – measure variable AC frequency drives
- Solid and accurate
- Nice size and easy to grip
- Sports most ranges
- Features temperature and micro-amps
- AutoV and low impedance
- Sharp display with long-time backlight
- Clearly labeled, user-friendly
- Excellent input protection
- AAA batteries
- Great leads with screw-on banana jack ends
- No bar graph
- On the pricey side
This EEVBlog Brymen BM235 review may seem pricey compared with similar offerings by other multimeter manufacturers, but there is no scrimping on safety and it is UL-tested. It is robust both electrically and mechanically, has the accuracy of Asian-made Flukes and is also shipped with a very good pair of test leads.