The good looking, compact Extech EX363 is an ideal meter for the HVAC technician. It boasts all the test ranges, including temperature and micro-amps, so you can check flame rods etc. This is a True RMS digital multimeter that features accurate AC measurements, along with non-contact voltage detection, low impedance mode and an excellent backlit display.
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- Tailored for HVAC tasks
- True RMS accuracy
- 3 5/6 digit backlit display
- Non-contact voltage detector
- Measures AC/DC voltage and micro-current
- Measures resistance, frequency and capacitance
- Performs diode and continuity tests
- Temperature input
- Low impedance option
- Peak hold
- Auto power-off
- Dimensions: 6.5″ (164mm) x 3.2″ (82mm) x 1.7″ (44mm)
- Weight: 1lb (450g)
- Meter and 9V battery
- Test leads
- Holster with magnetic attachment
- Temperature probe
Complete Review of the Extech EX363
You can measure AC and DC voltage up to 1000V with the EX363, although dedicated millivolts is DC only. There are AC and DC micro-amps ranges, with resolution down to 0.1µA, enabling the testing of flame sensors in HVAC systems.
You can also test to 1000V AC with the in-built non-contact volt tester. And, along with a generous resistance range (600Ω / 40MΩ), are capacitance and frequency ranges. Diode testing output is a little low at 1.5V, however, so most LEDs will not give a lighted test result.
This is a True RMS multimeter, meaning more accurate AC measurements, including on variable drive outputs. The low impedance (LoZ) mode, meanwhile, dissipates any ghost voltages that show up from a neighboring system.
Other features include ‘smart’ data hold, peak hold (for picking up fast spikes), and relative, zero mode. The addition of a temperature input on the EX363 sets it apart from the others in this series and it comes with a type K thermocouple as standard.
Best of all, the EX363 has a slick interface and is easy to operate with a straightforward dial switch, four function buttons, two jack inputs, and a clear screen. It is light and easy to hold in one hand.
|AC voltage||600mV / 1000V||±(1.0%+3)||0.1mV-1V|
|DC voltage||6V / 1000V||±(0.5%+2)||0.001V-1V|
|Resistance||600Ω / 40MΩ||±(0.9%+2) @ 6kΩ-6MΩ||0.1Ω-0.1MΩ|
|Low Impedance||600V / 1000V||±(2.0%+3)||0.1V-1V|
|Capacitance||1000µF / 10mF||±(1.9%+2)||0.001µF-0.01mF|
|Frequency||100Hz / 100kHz||±(0.1%+2)||0.01Hz-0.01kHz|
|Temperature °F||-40°F / 752°F||±(1.0%+36)||0.1°F|
|Temperature °C||-40°C / 400°C||±(1.0%+20)||0.1°C|
Display and Functions
With the 3 5/6-digit display, you get 6000-count resolution, which is about standard for a meter of this cost. It is not as fast updating as a typical Fluke, but is quick nonetheless. The screen also has a fast analog-style bar graph built in, which lets you monitor fast-changing signals in real time. As with all meters in this series, the EX363 is backlit.
Newbies will find this tool easy enough to use as it has a simple interface and just the two jack sockets. It is also an auto-ranger, so no selecting of individual, stepped ranges unless you prefer to use the manual range option.
Puritans might baulk at the usage of a 9V battery as they are not as efficient as AA or AAA batteries and are more expensive to replace. You also have to open up the case to replace it; i.e. there is no simple lid on the rear. Battery life is around 200 hours, which is ideal scenario figures, but is likely nearer 150 hours with nominal backlight usage.
Design and Build
The best thing about the Extech EX363 is that you can grab it with one hand as it is compact and neatly contoured. It has a tough case that has been drop-tested and wrapped in a rubber boot. A kickstand with magnet tucks away on the rear.
The dial switch is grippy and is one of the best in the business, although the off position is not at the end of the turn. Along with the overall impressive build quality of the EX363 is a decent set of test probes, of the silicone insulated type.
This is a serious device that has the required input protection to handle testing environments and installations to CAT-IV 600V. You can also test to 1000V on CAT-III installations. The circuit board employs a power resistor, PTC and MOVs and while there is an absence of a fuse, this unit does not have a high current input.
Pros and Cons
- Voltage detection sensitivity could be better
- Low output on diode tester – not ideal for checking LEDS
- Sluggish auto ranging
- Battery changing is a pain
- Extech brand
- Great build quality and design
- Sharp backlit display, with bar graph
- Micro-amps range (AC and DC)
- Voltage detector
- Good category ratings
In the Extech EX363 review we have a good quality meter tailored to the heating, ventilation and air-con industry. It is one of the tougher builds out there and sports interesting features such as voltage detection, temperature and low impedance. It can auto and manual range and can also register peak signals.
Alternatives: Others in the series include the EX360 and EX365. There is no micro-amps on the EX360, while the EX365 measures full amperage but is without temperature.