UNI-T UT61E Multimeter

UNI-T UT61E MultimeterImportant: before reading this review, please read this important safety information.

Overview

The UNI-T UT61E is the most sophisticated meter examined so far in the Budget Multimeter section. It is 22,000-count, true RMS, has a bargraph, and features a PC interface for logging readings. The price varies, but is typically in the £40-45 region. I ordered one from Banggood.com when they were on special offer for just £31.65 delivered.

It's been out for quite a while now, so there's plenty of information available elsewhere out there, but this series gave me the excuse to try one out for myself.

I will say at the outset that some of my previous bad experiences with cheap multimeters came from UNI-T meters (rebadged as Tenma and bought from Farnell). We bought half a dozen, and after about 2-3 years of very light use in our electronics lab, they all started developing faults. The "best" one intermittently locked up, obstinately showing 0.000V, irrespective of any input that you might choose to show it. Now this could have been fatal if you'd trusted that meter to tell you if mains circuit was alive or dead - and reinforced to me the importance of constant vigilence when working with electricity. I always do the 3 step safety test: test a known-live circuit first, test the actual circuit next, and then repeat the first step to ensure your meter is still working and didn't somehow fail between steps 1 and 2. Sounds extreme, but it's easy to do, and might save your life one day!

Needless to say, those meters were put beyond use, while our collection of 30 year old Fluke 75s carried on working with no complaints to this day. They might have been moderately expensive originally, but we certainly got an excellent ROI from those!

Anyway, let's give UNI-T another chance... As soon as it arrives, I'll make a start on the review!