The RAGU 81D is an auto-ranging DMM good for measuring everything from DC and AC voltage and current to resistance, temperature, capacitance and frequency. It is best suited to those new to the industry and for problems around the home or yard. Though not built for heavy industry use, it can measure most criteria well and is sturdily built.
- Speedy, tough and fairly accurate
- Measures AC and DC volts, to 600V
- Measures AC and DC current, to 10A
- Measures capacitance and frequency
- Temperature input (°F and °C)
- Auto and manual ranging
- Display at 4000 counts
- Size: 5.7″ (145mm) × 2.9″ (74mm) × 1.4″ (36mm)
- Weight: 6.7oz (190g), including batteries
- Test leads (3’)
- Temperature probe (standard type K thermocouple)
- X2 AAA batteries
- Basic instruction booklet
You can download the full RAGU manual here
In-depth Review of the RAGU 81D
Although a standard multimeter, the RAGU 81D lets you measure voltage, amperage and resistance and comes in at a steal of a price. You get a lot of bang for your buck in a small package, with features to include auto ranging, temperature measurements, micro-amps and even capacitance and frequency.
Among other things, it lets you switch between manual and auto range modes, so you can either walk through each range manually for better accuracy and speed, or let it run on auto for easy use.
The small size makes it easy to manage and it comes with AA batteries, meaning better efficiency and cheaper running over a single 9V battery. The build quality is also good and it receives excellent reviews online.
Performance/Functionality: It’s not going to break any speed records, but the usefulness of this meter is good enough at this level. There’s an auto-off function on the RAGU 81D which engages after around 15 minutes of not being used. You also have a screen freeze to preserve the present value, along with a select button to change the range, and a relative (REL) mode.
|DC volts||400mV / 600V||±(0.5%+4) @ 400mV-400V||100µV-1V|
|AC volts||4V / 600V||±(0.8%+6) @ 4V-400V||1mV-1V|
|DC amps||400µA / 10A||±(1.0%+10) @ 400µA-400mA||0.1µA-10mA|
|AC amps||400µA / 10A||±(2.5%+15) @ 10A||0.1µA-10mA|
|Resistance||400Ω / 400MΩ||±(0.8%+4) @ 4kΩ-4MΩ||0.1Ω-10kΩ|
|Frequency||1Hz / 30MHz||±(0.5%+10)||0.001Hz-10kHz|
|Capacitance||4nF / 1000µF||±(4.5%+8) @ 40nF-40µF||1pF-1µF|
|Temperature °C||-20 to 1000||±(1.0%+5) @ <400°C||1°C|
|Temperature °F||-4 to 1832||±(0.75%+5) @ <750°F||1°F|
For a sub-$20 meter, the RAGU 81D is said to feel substantial in the hand, and it is well designed with a large screen and robust cover. A small kickstand tucks away on the rear, useful for standing while taking measurements. The leads are standard, with wires around three feet long and sharp, shrouded tips. Both ends have stress relief points.
Display: At 4000 counts, the RAGU is a 3 3/4 digit device which is good resolution for most testing scenarios at this level. Sample rate is around three times a second.
This is a supposed CAT-III rated multimeter @ 600V, which would allow the RAGU to test systems at the consumer board level and below, to include circuit breakers and socket outlets. Surge protection would be up to 6kV at this rating, although in regard to cheaper meters, such ratings should be taken with a pinch of salt. Both current circuits are fuse protected, at 400mA and 10A.
Linemen and service engineers may find the RAGU 81D a little labored and sans fine resolution, but for the money this is a useful, functional tool. It is lightweight, small and sturdy and comes with most test ranges. A temperature input increases its usefulness, though there’s no screen backlight.
Alternative: The Etekcity MSR-R500 is a very popular multimeter today, albeit manual ranging only.