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While traditionally multimeters have used analogue displays which involved a needle moving across a scale, they’re generally waning in popularity compared to digital multimeters (DMM).
Digital multimeters offer a number of advantages over their analogue counterparts. They're generally much more varied in the amount of different parameters they can measure, have built-in advanced features and generate numerical value results which are much more accurate than tracking parameter fluctuations on an analogue scale.
The most basic digital multimeters generally are used for measuring voltage, current and resistance levels. Upgraded DMM's often contain additional measurement capabilities, and can be used to test such things as temperature or capacitance. Electrical professionals often find their multimeter is the one tool they turn to the most, simply because of the versatility of the device and its ability to be used in a wide variety of different electrical applications.
Most digital variety multimeters are also encased in incredibly small bodies - many of them are even pocket sized, and can still be used for carrying out measurements of electrical and other properties. They're also generally brimming with advanced features such as autoranging, data hold and MAX/MIN measurements.
Autoranging digital multimeters are much safer than manual ranging devices. Each multimeter - depending on the make and model - will have an integrated range built into the device. This means that the DMM is capable of measuring up to the upper threshold of that range, but once a manual ranging multimeter passes this threshold, it will display 'OL', which means it has exceeded its capabilities. Auto ranging multimeters are made to automatically adjust their range to the targeted application, and even when they move outside a range they will automatically adjust themselves to make sure that the user still gets a numerical reading. It is important to consider exactly whether an autoranging or manual ranging device is applicable to your needs when buying a multimeter - manual ranging multimeters may not have the ability to adjust their range automatically, but they are more efficient at stopping ghost voltage readings.
A common DMM generally consists of an LCD screen encased into a tester which features a rotary dial on the front. Users use this rotary dial to select between different test procedures and features, and the results are relayed automatically to the LCD screen when taken. Using either internal data storage or a data hold mode its possible to either permanently store this data (and download it later to PC using various connections) or hold data on screen temporarily while it is jotted down or shown to someone else. Most digital multimeters also feature ports for test leads, and many also ship as standard which applicable test leads for carrying out the tests that particular digital multimeter can perform.