Mastech MS8209 Multimeter Review
Editor Rating: 4.4/5
Mastech MS8209 Multimeter
Reviewed by: Timothy Henderson
Published on: February 8, 2017
Last modified: February 8, 2017
Mastech is a well-known company, and they have been designing top-quality multimeters for the last twenty years. If you’re an electrician or closely related to the business, you’ve probably heard many stories about the quality of Mastech’s multimeters. There are plenty of brands involved in the production of these instruments, and it’s quite hard to choose the suiting one because a lot of factors have an influence on the final decision. We are here to help you solve the issue of choosing the right one, and save you some time and effort. If you don’t feel like this model is the best one for you, feel free to check out our other full reviews, you might find the perfect one for your needs.
Mastech MS8209 – The Basics
This unit has an auto-ranging and several other features. In fact, people call it a “5 in 1” multimeter because of its sensory functions. It can also act as a sound, temperature, light, and humidity sensor. Thanks to these auxiliary functions, you’ll get a better insight into the device you’re testing, troubleshooting, or analyzing.
This product has 14 functions with the ability to achieve 39 separate ranges. It can also be used both for manual and auto ranging, depending on your personal preferences. However, if you’re not a professional, use the auto ranging function, and the device will set up the parameters for you. Because of the versatile functions, you can install new wirings, measure temperatures, check continuity, and more. Troubleshooting a device with the help of this unit is a piece of cake.
Data hold function
This feature is one of the things that make a multimeter good and useful. The concept of this function is pretty simple. It saves your latest readings until you overwrite them with new ones. It’s great for people who are in a hurry or don’t have a piece of paper to write down the data. A lot of professionals had a common problem of not writing the values down and forgetting them instantly until this feature showed up in some of the newer models on the market. Although it might not seem important to some people, it certainly facilitates the use of this instrument.
The True RMS function improves accuracy in environments packed with electrical noise. A lot of older generation meters lack this function, and it’s one of the things that separate modern multimeters from the older ones. The electrical noise is a wave of peculiar signals which can mess up the data and display completely wrong values. Needless to say, the older generation had a lot of problems with inaccurate readings and false data. However, thanks to the True RMS, those days are over.
The sound sensor
This feature is the thing that catches most people off-guard because they’re simply not used to it. The Mastech MS8209 is packed with a sound sensor that can detect and measure sound waves up to 100dB. Although it’s not a common option, it still comes in handy in some situations. The sound sensor is one of the reasons why this multimeter is called a 5-in-1 device.
Humidity and temperature sensors
Just like the sound sensor, these two functions are considered unusual for a basic multimeter, especially if it’s under $100. The use and concept are pretty straightforward. Temperature sensors can withstand the temperatures up to 1000 degrees Celsius. The humidity probe (RH) detection varies from 30% to 90%.
Auto power off
If you’re among a large number of people who forget to turn off their instruments after use, this feature will alleviate the issue. The device shuts itself down after 15 minutes of inactivity. This action prolongs the battery life and saves money in the long run. Although it might not seem like an impressive feature, a few minutes of doing simple math show it’s an incredibly useful thing. If you assume that you’re going to use this instrument for years, the amount of saved money adds up over time.
This option is especially important for people who aren’t experts in the field. Auto range means you’ll get the results fast because you don’t have to adjust the scale manually. The older models weren’t as versatile as the newer ones. In simpler words, if you were to measure at the most sensitive range, the sensors would hit the max value instantly and potentially break the meter if the current is too strong. Nowadays, there are plenty of defense mechanisms such as fuses on the multimeter’s circuit board, auto range settings, and more.
The overload protection and low battery indicator
These two functions are also worth mentioning, even if they don’t seem as important as the previous ones. The overload protection is pretty self-explanatory. If you don’t select the correct mode, you won’t mess up the whole instrument, but instead only blow a fuse on its circuit board. It’s a lot cheaper than having to buy another unit. Also, the fuses are affordable, so you don’t have to worry about damaging your budget by purchasing new fuses.
The low battery indicator acts as a great reminder, because how many times did you plan to start a project just to find out you’ve run out of batteries?
Who can use this multimeter?
Anyone can use this unit because of its versatility. However, don’t forget to take all the precautionary measures and follow the rules before messing with electricity. As we all know, the slightest error can have fatal consequences.
If you’re a professional electrician, you’ll find this product incredibly useful because of its additional features such as humidity sensors, temperature probes, and so on. On the other hand, if you’re an individual who just wants to expand their set of sensitive instruments and use this one occasionally, you’ll get a top-quality multimeter for an affordable price.
Easy to use
A lot of additional features and options
Durable and sturdy
Precise and reliable
The test leads are sometimes hard to set up
It may sometimes display incomprehensive symbols (dots, parenthesis, lines)
The backlight could stay ON longer than 10 seconds
Things we didn’t like about this product
Even though it’s a great product, it still has a few downsides worth mentioning. A few people say it’s not trustworthy enough. In other words, it works exceptionally well sometimes, while it can display a set of unarticulated lines, dots, and symbols in general. We didn’t notice this issue ourselves; however, it deserves to be mentioned.
The other thing is the country of origin. Because it’s made in China, many people see it as another piece of junk. The model we’ve received worked great and performed every action as advertised. If you have something against products from China, don’t buy this unit.
Is this a complicated unit?
Even though it has 14 functions, it’s not hard to use it, as long as you know what you are doing.
Does this product have a data hold function?
Yes, it does. It will store the most recent readings until you overwrite them with new ones.
Are the test leads included?
Yes, the test leads are included with the multimeter as well as batteries.
When measuring the resistance, what voltage does it output?
It outputs approximately 440mV on lowest range up to 200mV on highest range. However, these values may be affected by the impedance of whatever you’re reading.
Does it need frequent battery changing?
It does not need frequent battery changes thanks to the auto power off function. Also, the backlight turns off after a couple of seconds of inactivity.
What do The Users Say?
People who bought this particular model seem pleased with it. In fact, a lot of people are praising its versatility and ease of use. A few professionals we’ve worked with even said that this is one of the best multimeters they have owned. As we said, a few people didn’t like the fact that it’s made in China, but once you see that it performs well and as advertised, the country of origin becomes irrelevant.
As far as the Amazon ratings go, it has a pretty impressive 4.4-star rating which is more than enough to show its quality. It’s also in the top 300 best sellers in the “multimeters” category.
Whether you’re a professional electrician or a DIY enthusiast, you’re probably going to like this product. It has a sufficient number of additional features for almost any project you can imagine. Thanks to the temperature and sound sensors, you’re able to save money because you don’t have to buy separate instruments. While speaking of money, the price is more than acceptable, considering the high quality of the unit.
Remember to think about the safety and always take precautionary measures when dealing with electricity. It is a recommendable investment for anyone, especially for people who handle electricity on a daily basis in different environments.