The 5 Best Multimeter Test Leads Reviewed
If you’ve invested money in a quality multimeter, otherwise known as a volt-ohm meter, you’re going to want to make sure you do the same for your cables. A typical multimeter is used for measuring voltage, current and resistance, so you’ll need suitable accessories for each.
Why bother breaking the bank by purchasing a superior system if you’re just going to use sub-par or shoddy test leads with it? That defeats the object of ensuring your multimeter works well as it can’t perform any tests without the corresponding cables.
It might seem like it shouldn’t matter what kind of wires you use, as long as the multimeter itself works well, but cheap leads can range from shoddily crafted and poorly-working to actively dangerous for usage and harmful for you and others.
Every electrician should carry a set of test leads as part of their kit, ensuring they are prepared for any potential circuit tests that might be required on the job. We have collated a list of highly-rated leads from various manufacturers for you to pick from, the best of the bunch.
Our buyer’s guide explains what you should be looking out for to help make your choice an easier one, and a thoroughly researched list of frequently asked questions offer context and clarity for any queries you might have.
Need a set of leads to take some measurements ASAP? Here’s our top pick:
Best Best Multimeter Test Leads
If you need to get your hands on a test leads kit without spending time working out which is the best available, we recommend opting for this twenty four piece collection available to purchase from Proster.
Each lead is made from oxygen-free copper wiring to ensure high levels of electrical conductivity that should be suitable for all multimeters, as well as ensuring a quick reading you can rely on. A variety of plug adaptors mean you can perform a range of tests without a need to switch products.
All wires have been coated in silicon as opposed to PVC, to prevent stiffness and promote flexibility. Rubber overmolded surfaces on each piece allows for a comfortable, no-slip grip for a foolproof measurement every time.
Further protected with an injected layer of ABS and PA thermoplastic, as well as being doubly insulated, this is a temperature resistant kit that will provide accurate measurements whatever the weather.
Eight test probes are included – all are constructed from copper, with four plated in nickel and four plated in gold. As well as being resistant to corrosion, the interchangeable probe tip are small enough to accommodate and test even the tightest, hardest to reach equipment.
A pair of threaded jaw-opening alligator clips can be used to hold your wires in place and grip the conductor tightly, allowing for a secure and hands-free connection when performing circuit tests.
If you’re looking for a versatile testing kit that offers a variety of quality attachments, HANDSKIT are the way to go. With more than ten years’ experience in manufacturing accessories for multimeters, you can be assured they know what they are doing.
Perfect for any handy electrician on the go, included are forty-two pure copper core wires, each internally wrapped with nylon to withstand thousands of uses, no matter how many times you twist, bend and wrap them.
Jacketed in flexible, environmentally friendly PVC/PA and silicon, every piece included is double-layered and insulated thoroughly for precise measurements regardless of temperature exposure, as well as being stretch-resistant.
Each test probe has an overmolded rubber surface, easy to hold and difficult to drop, for stability when performing a reading. The tips are made from copper and plated with nickel to guarantee a valid, timely reading, protected from corrosion, oxidation and dust exposure.
Also included are a pair of tweezers that also function as a testing lead, which helps this kit stand out against its competitors. Reaching those narrowest of electrical components is easier than ever, and the grip provided by the tweezers means you’ll still get a faultless reading.
AstroAI’s testing kit promises to be universally compatible, so it would be ideal for electricians who perform a multitude of tests or have a multimeter that is tricky to find an appropriate set of leads for.
Eight different leads are included, and each comes with three different connective tips to allow for the performance of various tests, as well as two forty two inch lead extensions for those trickier jobs in hard-to-reach places.
Specifically redesigned after customer feedback, this kit has been created for easy use, from shrouded banana plugs with exterior coatings to alligator clips with removable PVC insulation.
Thin, sharp testing probes are easy to use and rated against a CAT III, 1000V 10A standard, and have increased in length as the kit has been redeveloped. The banana plug design is compatible with the majority of multimeters on the market.
Also included are a set of two alligator clips and two plunger mini-hooks, which can be used to hold wires firmly in place and ensure readings that you can rely on. This kit contains everything you need to get the job done, and do it well.
Having been manufacturing and supplying tools for over two decades, Bionso are a company you can certainly trust to provide you with a high quality, professional test leads kit whatever your needs may be.
0.1 milimeter tin-plated copper wiring is used for low resistance, more than adequate electrical conductivity and protection from both oxidation and corrosion, ensuring a long lifespan and a product you can depend on.
Every wire has been doubly insulated with internal and external silicon insulation, which simultaneously increases their durability and ensures they will always be safe to use by preventing any potential wire exposure.
Meterk have assembled everything an electrician could possibly need for their multimeter in this twenty one piece testing leads accessories kit, and every piece of equipment included is crafted to ensure the conduction of safe, secure and valid tests.
As a result, each part of the kit can withstand temperatures of up to three hundred degrees fahrenheit, only slightly damaged when exposed to fire as part of their rigorous testing procedures. Likewise, the wires are also safe from lower temperatures, resisting the cold up to minus sixty degrees fahrenheit.
Gold plated alloy copper test probes are sensitive, offer quick and accurate readings, and are easily replaceable. The use of four milimeter banana plugs means the wires are compatible with almost every multimeter on the market right now and should be suitable for confident use by any electrician.
Two test pens, safe for use at ten amps in accordance with CAT II 1000V, feature a specially designed and removable spindle head tip to create a strong directivity of current, ideal for measuring precision circuits and easily replaced if necessary.
All test probes in-box are protected with temperature resistant silicon insulation, which allows for comfortable usage whilst ensuring your reading will not be affected by exposure to hot and cold weather.
Each wire’s connector is a four milimeter banana-style plug suitable for use with most multimeters available to buy, protected with a rubber sleeve with grooves for adequate grip and stable test performance.
Fully insulated alligator clips and PVC coated test lead extensions with plugs either end further increase this collection’s versatility, making a stable and accurate test even easier to perform.
Meterk offer a reassuring twenty four month warranty, so if you encounter any issues or something isn’t quite right, they’ll replace your kit and fix the problem for free in the first two years of ownership.
Multimeter Test Leads Buying Guide
When you first buy a multimeter, it might include test leads or additional attachments as part of the package, but that doesn’t automatically mean they’ll work as well as test leads that you can purchase separately.
It could be that the test leads you’ve already got are flimsy, difficult to use or produce poor results, or perhaps you’re looking for a replacement set and want to branch out to a new manufacturer?
Whatever the reason, if you’re struggling to decide which leads kit is for you, then never fear: we’ve done all of the difficult decision-making for you and outlined the key characteristics that make a quality product.
Considering the possibilities of construction material, insulation, durability, and included extras, this guide establishes exactly what you’re looking for in a good set of multimeter test leads, as well as explaining what characteristics to avoid.
Ideally, your test kit wires should be made from copper of the highest possible purity, as this will allow for low resistance and prevent connection loss during measurements, as well as offering the highest possible electrical conduction.
If the probe tips have been plated with gold, this is usually also a sign of a high quality kit, as it protects your equipment from corrosion, oxidation and damage from external factors, which could cause mis-readings and, in the worst cases, even electrical shocks and injury for the user.
A copper wire with gold plated tips that has been insulated with silicon will provide the most accurate measurement and does so as safely as possible, so always check the leads are constructed from quality materials internally and externally.
Your ideal multimeter leads kit should be suitable for use with all commonly manufactured multimeters, clamp meters and other test instruments an electrician might use. Most require a banana plug connection input measuring four milimeters.
If the product you opt for provides a versatile range of wires and tips that can be used for measuring multiple circuits, this means it’s likely you won’t have to purchase additional leads or accessories for other jobs.
Wires jacketed in PVC are usually moderately durable, pliable, and affordable to purchase. However, the lower price point is reflected in its inferiority to wires that are protected by silicone instead.
If a wire is wrapped in silicone, it is likely to be considerably more flexible, resistant to temperature, solvents, and chemicals and defended from its environment. As well as this, it is also more likely to protect the user from potential burn injuries during electrical tests.
A wire must be properly insulated if it is to be sufficiently resistant to temperature extremes in order to perform accurate readings. It should also be waterproofed to protect the electrical implements from damage.
Checks before your first use
When using your multimeter test leads for the first time, it is important to perform several safety tests to ensure the wires will work correctly to take measurements and do so safely without causing a hazard.
Confirm that both the multimeter and test leads have been rated according to the category and voltage level suitable for their intended use. The category ratings for electrical measuring are determined by the safety standard, IEC51010, and are seperated into four ratings: CAT I, CAT II, CAT III, and CAT IV.
Perform a visual inspection of the leads, ensuring they will work accurately and are safe to use: they should be insulated adequately with no exposed wires or visible cracks. The connectors either end should be clean of dust and dirt.
REMEMBER: never, ever attempt to use a wire with your multimeter if you can see it has been damaged in any way, as you are exposing yourself to potential injury and electrocution, which can sometimes prove fatal.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are multimeter test leads universal?
The majority of multimeters will accommodate test leads with four milimeter banana plug connectors, which is the design used for most test leads. It is possible that the wire’s covering or safety shroud could be too long or abnormally fitting depending on the multimeter, but you could always trim it down if this is the case.
How do you store test leads?
In an ideal world, your multimeter or test leads kit will come with a pouch that you can safely store your leads and their accessories in to protect them from damage. Simply wrapping them around your multimeter and throwing that into your kit bag is a sure way to damage your leads and impact upon their durability and integrity.
Taking care of your leads means they are guaranteed to last longer and perform better, so try not to leave them plugged in any longer than they need to be, as this can cause stretching of the input and compression of the plugs, leading to false measurements.
The tests you perform with your multimeter ensure the safety of your clients, so a set of leads in perfect working order is a must, and it is up to you to keep the connecting wires in good condition by storing them properly and with care.
What does a meter reading of zero ohms mean?
When using your multimeter, you are measuring for the resistance of a component or circuit – this measurement is measured in ohms.
If a reading of zero is achieved, this indicates there is no resistance between the two test points, demonstrating a consistent and continuous current flow in a closed circuit.
Is using a multimeter dangerous?
Provided that your multimeter and testing leads have been constructed to a high standard, are rated according to the CAT safety guidelines and you are trained in using them correctly, there is no reason why the measuring process should be dangerous in general.
When used properly by a trained electrician, a multimeter is an efficient tool for performing safety checks, but should someone use it incorrectly, it has the potential to become a source of danger when connected to a live circuit.
For instance, an electrician would know that when multiple test leads are plugged into the multimeter, it is essential not to let their probes touch whilst connected to the circuit, as this can form a short-circuit and lead to a spark or even a fire depending on the current of the voltage source.
Likewise, the meter must always be connected firmly to both measurement points, with both probes being gripped by the user and held against the contact points, which could expose you to potential electrical shock if any of the wire’s insulation is worn away.
In the hands of someone capable, who has been trained to avoid these scenarios and always perform a thorough check of the multimeter and its connective wires before usage, the element of danger is limited.
If an inexperienced user was to pick up the multimeter and try to use it without the correct knowledge and safety warnings, it could cause serious injury and in some cases lead to death, so it is imperative that only those who understand its function should use it.