People may recognize the Tekpower TP8268 as the similarly entitled, OEM’d Mastech MS8268. It is basically the same meter, albeit upgraded with a different look, plus a few other additions. Good for DIYers, radio enthusiasts and electrical students, this easy-to-operate, auto-ranging multimeter performs most tasks and has a voltage detector on-board.
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- Measures DC volts to 1000V
- Accommodates amperage to 20A
- Resistance up to 40MΩ
- Frequency to 10MHz
- Relative mode
- Voltage detection
- Measures transistor gain
- Display is backlit
- Dimensions: 7.2″ (188mm) x 3.5″ (92mm) x 2″ (50mm)
- Weight: 1lb (453g)
- Test Leads
- Adapter for testing transistors/capacitors
- 9V battery
- Basic instruction booklet (Mastech manual for pointers)
Complete Review of the TP8268
Tekpower has its badge on some okay meters; with the TP8268 a significant upgrade from the much liked Mastech MS8268. They do make their own products too, along with these OEM’d ones.
If you want to test voltage, current, capacitance and resistance in non-heavy industrial setting without paying through the nose, this is a good option. The TP8268 has some fairly advanced features and functions and its specifications suggest a meter with the accuracy of more expensive devices.
Voltage detector: This is the main extra over the previous version. It allows you to detect voltage remotely, albeit at an inch or so from source. Tests could be anything from a socket outlet, cord or light switch, for example. Ideal for finding hidden wires or determining whether an item is switched on, it features a beeper and flashing light on detection. Note that it only works on voltages 110V AC and up.
You also get a duty cycle setting along with transistor tests. In addition, you can compare readings with the Relative mode, hold a reading on screen and switch between auto and manual ranging modes.
There are a few downsides; the main being that auto-ranging and continuity checks are quite slow. The lead probes could also be better. The TP8268 also tends to beep a bit too often, such as before it powers down, and the included instruction manual leaves a lot to be desired.
|DC voltage||400mV / 1000V||±(0.5%+2) @ 400mV-400V||0.1mV-1V|
|AC voltage||400mV / 750V||±(0.8%+2) @ 4-400V||0.1mV-1V|
|DC current||400µA / 20A||±(0.8%+2) @ 400µA-400mA||0.1µA-0.01A|
|AC current||400µA / 20A||±(2.0%+2) @ 4-10A||0.1µA-0.01A|
|Resistance||400Ω / 40MΩ||±(0.8%+1) @ 4kΩ-4MΩ||0.1Ω-10kΩ|
|Frequency||10Hz / 10MHz||±(0.5%+2)||0.001Hz-0.001MHz|
|Capacitance||4nF / 200µF||±(4.0%+15)||0.001nF-100nF|
|Duty cycle||1.0% / 99%||±(2.0%+2)|
*20A current test: limited time
Compared with the MS8268 on specifications, the TP8268 is generally more accurate and has better frequency and current ranges.
In the Tekpower TP8268 review, this unit is a nice size and is sturdy, with a rubbery holster that helps protect from drops. There’s no nasty flex or squeaking noises that you’d typically have with a super-cheap meter. The leads are of the stiff cable type and the probe ends are not very sharp, though they ship with protective covers.
Display: The screen is, like the original, nothing to write home about, but is decent enough and comes with a bright backlight. Unfortunately, it turns itself of after just a few seconds, which might annoy seasoned users working the night shift.
Function and Performance
Although the continuity and auto range operation of the Tekpower TP8268 are a bit labored, the performance in general is okay and comparable to pricier meters. There is an automatic power down mode, which will save battery power should you inadvertently leave it on (happens all the time). This can be disabled.
Tekpower / Mastech are not especially noted for their safety-conscious test meters, often erring on the side of look-good-with-minimal-input-protection. The TP8268 touts a CAT-IV rating / 600V, which puts it in the realm of handling 8kV transient over-voltage. With this kind of genuine level of protection, you typically need to spend $100 and up, so bear this in mind if you work in an environment that requires testing with these kinds of energies.
Pros and Cons
- Tests just about everything
- Quite sturdy
- Can detect voltage
- Backlit screen
- Great price
- Continuity a bit slow & scratchy
- More accurate than predecessor
- Category ratings spurious
- Manual poorly written
- Short backlight on-time
If you enjoy accurate readings, only need a meter for lightweight work and tend to destroy/lose them with aplomb, the Tekpower TP8268 is probably for you as it doesn’t cost the earth to replace and does okay on specs. It’s not bulky, is quite well built and boasts nice touches, like a non-contact voltage defector. Here’s the MS8268 review for reference.