Headquartered: Hong Kong, China
Product Focus: Electrical Measurement Equipment
Target Markets: Low ($20), Mid ($50), Premium ($200+)
Production Facilities: Songshan Lake, Dongguan City, China
Based out of Hong Kong, privately owned Uni-Trend is one of China’s bigger multimeter brands. Along with Mastech, they produce most of the DMMs in Asia, with many of their products also reaching the shores of the West. They often OEM with the likes of Tekpower and Sinometer, so you may see similar devices wearing these badges.
Uni-Trend remains a contentious brand among those in the trade, often being viewed as a gimmicky manufacturer of low-end meters. It is true that they manufacture to budget, since much of their market is in China and Asia, but they are a named brand nonetheless and the quality is acceptable considering the price range.
Products range from handheld DMMs, voltage detectors and clamp meters, to oscilloscopes and waveform generators. The overriding point with picking UNI-T multimeters is quality tends to vary massively between models, and even within a series.
Some examples of their testers:
One of the more popular Uni-Trend meters, the mid-priced 61E is a data logging multimeter with True RMS capability. It has high resolution and can connect with a PC via an optical converter to upload data. Although it doesn’t have a backlight and is sluggish, the UT61E is good value for money. Read more…
Up from the 61E, the 71E is also a data logger, albeit with more features including a power measurement range. It also does temperature, micro-amps, has a current loop function and boasts a 4¾ digit backlit display. Read more…
One of the cheaper Uni-Ts, the 58B is more basic and is best for entry level DIYers. It is manual ranging only, but is sturdy and has a temperature input. Though no backlit screen, it is a decent ‘beater’ meter. Read more…
A similar price again, the 139C is an auto-ranger with most ranges. These include temperature, micro-amps and frequency. It also comes with a non-contact voltage detector and its large screen is backlit. Read more…
The pocket sized UT120C also has its fans.
Uni-Trend Technology was the original test instrument manufacturer in the Dongguan-Hong Kong-Macao triangle and proudly shows off its Lloyd’s quality certification, which it was awarded in 1998.
Today it has a huge manufacturing plant in the Songshan Lake High-tech Industrial Development Zone of Dongguan City in Guangdong Province, south-eastern China. Here are research and development centers and test facilities. Its products are shipped to around 100 countries worldwide.
The lower end of their catalog tends to be a bit hit and miss, ranging from questionable equipment to passable DMMs. They are inconsistent, with quality control being more lax than a typical outfit in the US, where the testing ratio of, say, Extech units coming off the line would be higher.
In addition, while some of their devices look good and have competent ranges and accuracy, they typically fall short on input protection. While they may tout international norms, certifications, accreditations, category ratings, and so on, most of their devices lack the components to ensure safety when testing at higher voltages.
There are more than a dozen types of digital multimeter alone, with often several models in a given series. These are typically denoted with a letter, such as the UT58B, and may have slightly different specs and feature-set between them. One would need to study the manual for specifications before buying.
Series’ range from pen-type testers and pocket multimeters to top of the range, data logging DMMs and scope meters. A list of some of their catalog:
UT33 series: cost-effective, full-function, palm-sized DMMs
UT58: general purpose with large screen and temperature measurement
UT61: one of their more reliable series, with auto ranging and data logging
UT81: bulky, entry level scope meters with oscilloscope capability
UT100: automotive multimeters
UT118: 3000-bit pen-type testers
UT120: small pocket DMMs with data hold and 4000-count displays
UT132: manual ranging palmtop for electronics
UT139: True RMS, auto range with frequency converter
UT151: basic CATII DMMs with manual ranging
UT171: ‘industrially-rated’, True RMS
UT181: data loggers with Trend Capture, low pass filter and 60000-count display
Other Test Equipment
Uni-Trend also produces a wide range of other equipment to complement their handheld range of UNI-T multimeters. In addition are bench meters, amp clamps, socket testers, non-contact voltage detectors and circuit breaker finders. They also produce electrical power tools and DC power supplies, together with spectrum analyzers, thermal imagers and environmental testers.