Multimeter vs Ohmmeter: Difference and Comparison

Key Takeaways

  1. Multimeter: A multimeter is a versatile electrical measuring instrument that combines various functions, including voltage, current, and resistance measurements. It offers various measurement options and can measure capacitance, frequency, temperature, etc.
  2. Ohmmeter: An ohmmeter is a specialized instrument used specifically for measuring resistance. It applies a known voltage to the component or circuit under test and measures the resulting current to calculate the resistance value. Ohmmeters have a narrower range dedicated to resistance measurements.
  3. Differences: While both instruments measure electrical properties, the key differences lie in their functionality and focus. A multimeter is more versatile, offering multiple measurement options, while an ohmmeter is dedicated to measuring resistance. Multimeters have internal circuitry to handle different measurement modes, whereas ohmmeters have their power source for generating the necessary voltage.

What is a Multimeter?

A multimeter, a multitester, is an electronic measuring instrument. It is also known as a volt-ohm-milliammeter or VOM. As its name implies, you can use this to measure multiple electrical properties.


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Resistance, voltage, and current can be measured with a multimeter, frequency, and temperature. Electricians, technicians, and engineers use this device to analyze and troubleshoot electricity-related problems. Calculating both AC and DC along with voltage is possible with a multimeter.

Multimeters can be analog as well as digital. Analog multimeters have a needle to display results, whereas digital multimeters come with a digital screen to display the outcomes. Digital multimeters are more common nowadays and are easier to read, but analog multimeters are more reliable for accuracy.

People who work in electrical circuits and devices use this versatile tool as a necessity. It can perform continuity and diode testing to detect and eliminate electrical problems.

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What is Ohmmeter?

An ohmmeter is also an electronic measuring tool. It can calculate the electrical resistance of a component or electronic circuit. Electricians, technicians, and engineers make use of it. Any resistance-related problems can be solved using it.

Ohmmeters measure resistance by a bit of current to the circuit or component. This tool is known as the ohmmeter because it uses Ohm’s law. According to this law, the resistance of a circuit is equivalent to the voltage diverged by the current.

Ohmmeters can only measure direct current or DC and can not tell about AC. The typical function of this device is to measure resistance; therefore, it is a simple, easy-to-use tool. The tool has both analog and digital versions. Digital ohmmeters are more common to use.

Industries like automotive repair or industrial manufacturing use this more. People with limited electrical knowledge can also use and read this device.

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Difference Between Multimeter and Ohmmeter

  1. A multimeter can measure many electrical properties, such as resistance, voltage, and current. On the contrary, an ohmmeter can only measure resistance.
  2. A multimeter is capable of troubleshooting electrical problems. In contrast, the ohmmeter is used for testing resistance only.
  3. Apart from measuring, it also has additional features like diode testing and continuity testing. In comparison, the ohmmeter does not come with any added features.
  4. Measuring AC and DC voltage is possible with a multimeter, but measuring only DC resistance is possible with an ohmmeter.
  5. A multimeter can replace an ohmmeter and perform its functions. However, an ohmmeter can not act like a multimeter under any circumstances.
  6. Anyone is unsuitable to use a multimeter as it demands specific skills and expertise. While on the contrary, ohmmeter is easy for anyone to use.
  7. Being a multipurpose device, the cost of a multimeter is much more than an ohmmeter.

Comparison Between Multimeter and Ohmmeter

Parameter of ComparisonMultimeterOhmmeter
Measuring capabilitiesIt can measure many electrical properties, for example, resistance, voltage, and current.It is capable of measuring resistance only.
AC and DCIt can measure AC and DC currents.It is unable to measure current.
Measuring temperatureIt can measure temperature.It is incapable of providing this service.
Measuring frequencyIt is capable of measuring frequency.It can not measure any frequency.
ExpenseIt is more expensive comparatively.Compared to an ohmmeter, it has a low cost.
User configurationOne requires specific knowledge and skill to use it.It is user-friendly and effortless to use.
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