best "cheap" multimeter ???


Nov 29, 2011
I need some advice.
I am a true DIY guy. Tonight I was trying to learn more about Arduino's (built a small circuit that flashed leds) .... yesterday I repaired a mig/tig welder for a neighbor (found a bad ground) ... the week before I rewired and helped install a 3 phase water heater for (amazing it draws 136 Amps! .. had to install a 200 amp feed) ... the week before I was tracing down a short in the neighbors truck ...
You get the idea ... a bit of everything ... even keep some old tube radios going and last week rebuilt a 100 year old phone ... it works!
Unfortunately, none of these jobs pay so my budget is not huge.
I had a Fluke 189. Great meter. Got it for cost about 25 years ago (did a job for the local electronics supplier). It is dying quick. Lead errors .... just goes out once in a while ... battery terminals are broken ....
So I looked at Fluke ... OUCH! Way out of my budget/
I looked at Amazon ... way toooooo many chooses. They all look the same ... same specs (or close).
I really would like an "all in one" meter.
True RMS (I have some 3 phase machines ... I use an old drive as an inverter to run them on single phase).
I do some equipment with 4-20 mA controls.
I check caps and such every so often (motor starters and such).
... I see Klein ... Kaiweets ... Venlab ... Crenova ... Astro ... Greenlee ... Ames ... literally dozens and dozens of "no name" meters ... and dozens of models.
Is any one better than another?
I am thinking $50 - $100 range. ... heck, I see AstrolAI has a true RMS meter for $17.59 and one that looks like a phone for $36.54 (both got 4.6/5 on Amazon).
Just looking to see if anyone has used some of these or can tell me if one is better than the rest.
Just repair the fluke? Fix the battery connectors and buy some cheap leads.

If you’re going cheap there is not best really they’re just all the same. There’s a reason fluke are expensive, besides the name and for hobby electronics you don’t really need those reasons