A few months ago, my multimeter was stolen from the house I was remodeling. As much as I miss that old meter (it and a job as an industrial electrician paid for my engineering degree), I like the new Klein MM5000 that I bought to replace it.

The MM5000 is a rugged, well-protected device, designed to stand up to jobsite conditions. It comes with a protective carrying pouch and a set of test leads with removable alligator clips. The pouch provides reasonable protection for the meter, but it does not have a suitable pocket to store the leads, separate alligator clips, or other items electricians tend to keep in meter cases.

A protective orange cover fits snugly around the meter body to protect it from damage. According to the manufacturer, the meter has a 10-foot fall rating. I dropped it several times onto concrete from an electrical panel and test bench, with no visible or functional damage. The protective casing also incorporates a well-constructed stand. An optional magnetic bracket is available to hang the meter on vertical metal surfaces, such as an electrical panel door.

Under the protective orange cover is a sturdy plastic housing. A well-constructed battery compartment is easily accessed by removing a single screw that threads into a metal insert. Removing the back cover reveals a circuit board designed for a rugged environment.

The meter uses two AAA batteries. There are no serviceable fuses in the MM5000; it does not have current-measurement inputs and therefore doesn’t need this short-circuit protection.

The meter leads insert firmly into the meter plugs—although I would prefer them to be farther apart for easier access with gloved hands. The meter-selector switch operates smoothly with positive engagement at each selection and has the added advantage of two “off” positions. I have wondered for years why more manufacturers do not incorporate this feature.

The backlit digital display is large and clear and is easy to read in both dim light and bright sunshine. The viewing angle of the display is good except when the backlight is on and one looks at the display from above. At certain angles, the screen is essentially unreadable, forcing the user to change position or move the meter. Because the meter is often positioned below the user (inside an electrical panel or on a bench), this can be annoying.

The meter has all the key functionality required by an electrician, such as A/C and D/C voltage, ohms, and audible continuity. However, the MM5000 model does not have mA or amp measurement capabilities and therefore may not be suitable for work with control systems. For that, you should consider buying the MM6000.

The meter has true RMS measurement, ensuring that it is suitable for use where there is sine wave distortion (for example, motor VFDs, high-efficiency HVAC, and installations with significant electronic loads).

In use, the response time on voltage measurement and continuity measurements seemed standard. I did not attempt to verify the manufacturer’s accuracy specifications using known calibrated sources.

In summary, the USA-made Klein multimeter MM5000 is well constructed and provides the key measurement functions required by an electrician. The $150 price tag is in line with what you’d pay for similarly equipped models from other reputable brands. If you are looking at this meter, you may want to give some thought to stepping up to the MM6000 (about $175), for the added functionality that comes from having mA and amp measurement.

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