A good startup multimeter, the MSR-P600 is ideal for beginners. It is capable of performing most general tasks and is highly portable at about the size of an iPhone, only not quite as heavy. Best for light work, such as testing batteries, lights and electronic circuits, you will find out its full capabilities through this review of the Etekcity MSR-P600.
- CAT II rated to 500V
- CE listed
- Auto ranging
- Overload display
- 3V button cell battery
- Data hold function
- Auto power-off
- Capacitance and frequency
- Size: 4.3″ (109mm) x 2.3″ (58mm) x 0.4″ (10mm)
- Weight: 2.8oz (79g)
- Carrying case
- Leads (hard wired)
Complete Etekcity MSR-P600 Review
This small multimeter – OEM’d from Uni-T – is good for measuring AC / DC voltage and low current, together with continuity, resistance and frequency. It has auto ranging on all test ranges and a large, clear display relative to its overall size. This is a proper portable test meter, being both lightweight and with hard-wired leads to go with its diminutive size. Other points of note are its ability to measure duty cycle and capacitance.
AC readings give an average RMS display. Although not ‘True’ RMS, it nonetheless shows an accurate representation of the value of AC voltage with a true sine wave. For checking transistors, there is a test for measuring PNP and NPN types, as well as a diode checker with PN junction test.
The P600 also features a relative (REL) button for referencing and comparing two readings. This is ideal for testing the changing values of a faulty circuit, or for zeroing the leads out.
Ranges & Accuracy
The MSR-P600 is okay for most tasks around the home or car, as well as for basic electronics and light HVAC work. While results for AC milliamps and capacitance may be a bit ropy, mean accuracy is around ±1% for voltage and resistance.
|DC voltage||5 ranges (400mV / 600V)||±(0.8%+1) @ 400V|
|AC voltage||3 ranges (4V / 600V)||±(1.2%+3) @ 400V|
|DC current||4 ranges (400μA / 400mA)||±(1.0%+3) @ 400mA|
|AC current||4 ranges (400μA / 400mA)||±(2.0%+5) @ 400mA|
|Resistance||6 ranges (400Ω / 40MΩ)||±(1.0%+2) @ 40kΩ|
|Frequency||4 ranges (99.9Hz / 99.9kHz)||±(0.5%+3)|
|Capacitance||6 ranges (4nF / 100µF)||±(4.0%+3) @ 40µF|
– Current range is okay for instrumentation, but it is not equipped to handle mains.
The design of the palm-size Etekcity MSR-P600 Auto-Ranging Multimeter is quite impressive, with nice lines and a smooth interface. Many will know it as the UNI-T UT120C. Though lightweight and tiny, it is quite sturdy and easily fits inside overall top pockets. The test probes are built-in and fairly long, but are not man enough to test mains current. Although a positive to save time and keep things neat, it is a negative if they become damaged.
Display: the four-digit display is quite large on this multimeter, stretching across most of its width. It is easy to read, although does not have a backlight. The display shows all symbols, with AC, DC and low battery clear to see. Default dial inputs are volts, resistance, frequency, and micro-amps and milliamps. These are clearly labeled, as are the four buttons.
Functions and Performance
Although the MSR-P600 is an auto ranging tester, users will have to depress the SELECT button to jump between AC and DC ranges, as well as resistance, continuity and capacitance. It can be a little bit fiddly at first having to manually select the right input range, but the auto range itself works well enough. NOTE: if you’re reading this as a guide to using this multimeter, do not rotate the dial while testing a circuit.
Also of note in the MSR-P600 review, the input impedance of the millivolt range is sensitive to ‘ambient noise’, but will give the correct reading when measuring a circuit.
SELECT: changes the input target in a given input range
Hz / %: measures hertz / duty cycle in a given input range
REL: shows relevance between two readings
HOLD: locks a reading
There is also a beeper on the continuity / resistance / diode check input range. The automatic power-off function turns the multimeter off after 30 minutes of not being used to save the battery. The instruction booklet covers the various functions in plain English.
There is little protection from drops on the unit itself, though it is built using sturdy plastics and is quite solid. It also comes with a tough, polyethylene case that has room for the multimeter and leads and can still fit in a pocket. Range over limits are displayed as OL and the current circuit is protected by a quick-blow 400mA fuse.
Best suited to: anyone can use this meter as it is intuitive and easy enough to be used by non-electricians. Equally, experienced trades-people may also prefer a less bulky alternative for low power jobs. It is great for testing everything from mains power voltage in outlets to lighting circuits, fuses and electronics circuitry.
Etekcity MSR-P600 Pros and Cons
- Very compact (pocket-friendly)
- Good standby multimeter
- Okay accuracy
- Auto ranging
- Hold (lock) screen function
- Suitable for electronics
- Nice case
- Value for money
- Hard-wired leads (hard to replace)
- Display not backlit
- Only measures low current
At about half the size of the MSR-P500 and similar in price, the P600 is a great little multimeter for automotive, electronics and home repair. It is well engineered and has a lot of enticing features, as well as being portable. In the review of the Etekcity MSR-P600, it is quite unusual to find such a handy unit at this price point. A top seller which mostly receives positive feedback.