We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post.
Multimeters are relatively simple pieces of equipment that are quite useful. While there are many professional uses, a regular person could use one around the house for things like checking for hot wires and testing batteries. Over the years, they’ve gotten more reliable and affordable so that they can belong in every home.
Does a multimeter have a battery?
Yes, both analog and digital multimeters have batteries. However, analog multimeters can measure voltage without one and only use it to measure resistance. They just use the battery for a test voltage. It takes a few microamps from the current being measured. A digital one has a battery (usually a 9V) that is used to operate.
Don’t believe me? Grab a screwdriver and take it apart. If it’s analog, you’ll see a small battery while with a digital you’ll probably see the square 9V.
If you’re looking for a new multimeter, check out our top picks.
Digital multimeter: more functionality requires electricity
Digital multimeters are more complex pieces of equipment than analog ones. They are more fully-featured and more pricey as well. Handy things like the easy-to-read display, backlighting (so you can use it in a dark room), processors to calculate relative readings, continuity beeper and electronic interlocks that protect it from damage are great – but they also require power.
There’s nothing like electronics that eat battery power like no tomorrow. My cheap portable CD player I had growing up comes to mind. Don’t worry, digital multimeters do not require a lot of electricity. The 9V battery will last usually for over a year unless you are using it constantly.
How do you know when you need a new battery? The display will typically tell you. It will flash “Lo”, a battery icon, or something similar when you need to change it.
Many people today are concerned about the planet. Should you use an analog multimeter because it doesn’t constantly consume batteries? Probably not.
The electricity consumption and the battery are so small it’s not that much of an issue. Additionally, regular batteries like the 9V are non-hazardous and can be disposed of in the regular trash. If you’re concerned, you could just use a rechargeable battery.
Additionally, many cheap analog multimeters are poorly made. While you might save on batteries, you might end up tossing a multimeter in the trash every 6 months and end up creating more trash.
Does a multimeter have a battery? The answer is yes, both analog and digital versions have batteries. Fortunately, they’re not big consumers.