Amprobe PK-110 Multimeter Review
Amprobe PK-110 Multimeter
Reviewed by: Timothy Henderson
Published on: February 12, 2017
The only thing you need to do is determine your budget. Once you know how much are you ready to spend, the rest is easy. Take a moment and check out our other reviews if you don’t find this one interesting enough, you’ll certainly find something suitable for your needs and demands.
Amprobe PK-110 – The Basics
The first thing you’ll notice about this particular product is that it’s not a multimeter but rather a pack with three different components inside. The pack includes an AM-420 digital multimeter, ST102-B socket tester, and VP1000B non-contact voltage detector. All these components perform well and as advertised. The AM-420 can measure voltage, capacitance, resistance, current, and test batteries. The other two components can check for the presence of voltage in sockets, switches, extension cords, and more.
One of the useful things about the ST102-B is the fact that it can check for GFCI wiring. It’s important and crucial because if the CFGI wiring is faulty in your household, it’s just an accident waiting to happen. And we all know that electricity-related accidents usually end up with fatal consequences. Needless to say, despite the fact that it’s a kit and not an individual model, all three components work excellent.
VP1000B non-contact detector
This component is great for quick checks and diagnosis. It’s a simple pen-shaped tool that has a LED integrated which turns on whenever voltage is present. Using this tool is pretty easy. All you have to do is put it near the source, and if it lights up, you’ll know there’s some voltage present. However, if the detector doesn’t react at all, that particular spot is current-free. Make sure to check the probe on a known power source before you conduct any further tests. Also, when it detects voltage, you’ll get an audible notification.
ST102-B socket tester
The socket tester is another component from this kit. It looks like a typical socket jack, with a button in the middle and a few LEDs. You don’t have to be an expert to use this tool. In fact, it’s quite easy. When you want to check if a socket is “live,” plug the ST102-B tester in, and if the LEDs turn on – the outlet is working properly.
There are three LED lights located on this component. If you see the first and the second one turn on it means that the receptacle is wired correctly. If you see any other pattern, it means something is not right.
Data hold function
The AM-420 has a data hold function which is quite impressive because it’s included in a product that costs less than 50 dollars. This feature is great for people who don’t have a piece of paper or can’t write down the values for whatever reason. If you press the “hold” button while you’re conducting a test, the unit will store your last measurement until you overwrite it with a new one. It’s especially useful in rushed and urgent situations.
Auto shut off
Although it seems like it’s not a big deal, you would be surprised how many people greatly appreciate this particular feature. A lot of users simply forget to turn off their instrument after use, and it leads to dead batteries pretty quickly. However, if your unit has the auto shut off feature, there’s no need to worry. It will turn itself off after 15 minutes of inactivity.
As far as the design goes, it’s OK but not impressive. While it’s sturdy and durable, it’s not quite ergonomic. It will fit in your hand, but some people aren’t comfortable with it. It’s usually a minor downside overall, but it’s worth mentioning. Other than that, the design seems satisfactory. The unit is lightweight, compact, and it doesn’t take up much space in your toolbox.
Who Can Use This Multimeter?
If you’re a professional, you might want to keep searching, because this one isn’t advised for people who make a living by dealing with electricity on a daily basis. While it has a CAT security certificate, the lack of additional features makes it inadequate for electricians.
However, hobbyists and DIY’ers love its simplicity, ease of use, and most importantly – the price. This multimeter has a basic set of features which is more than enough for household use. The other two components also come in handy for beginners. Everything is straightforward, and you can get most of the things done with a single push of a button.
The kit comes with a user manual, so if you aren’t sure about something, take a look at the manual and search for a solution. In fact, you should read the manual regardless of the level of your expertise.
Things We Didn’t Like About This Unit
There are a few things we didn’t like about this multimeter, but if you take the affordable price into consideration, it’s not unusual that it lacks a couple of features.
First of all, there is no True RMS technology. Although many people don’t expect it to be integrated into the products from this category, it would come in handy, for sure. The lack of True RMS leads to a lack of precision. While it’s not a major shortcoming, the Amprobe PK-110 would be much better with True RMS.
The other thing most people notice right away are the test leads. There are no jacks on the multimeter, so you cannot plug in or out the test leads. They are soldered to the PCB. As you can assume, if something happens to the leads, the whole unit becomes useless.
The display isn’t impressive whatsoever. It could be larger and supported with a backlight. While the size may not seem relevant, the lack of display backlight is a pretty serious disadvantage. Also, the screen tends to lose contrast under certain angles and when the battery is weak. Either way, it’s pretty annoying, to say the least.
Is this unit suitable for professionals?
What is included in the kit?
Does the multimeter have a backlit screen?
Is it a complicated device?
Can I measure temperature with it?
What do The Users Say?
Despite the fact that it’s not adequate for hardcore professionals, people seem to like its simplicity and ease of use. As we said, if you’re looking for a sensitive instrument with high accuracy and resolution, you might look for something else. However, if you’re looking to check your household items occasionally with a decent multimeter, this kit might be the thing for you.
It has a 4.3-star rating on Amazon, which is quite impressive, to say the least. Also, most of the negative reviews are about the shipping companies and not about the product itself. While it could be a lot better, this product certainly meets the expectations of many DIY’ers.
The Amprobe PK-110 kit is a great product for a great price. Although it lacks quite a lot of auxiliary functions, the ones it does have are sufficient enough for basic tasks such as measuring capacitance, voltage, and more. Everyone needs an electrical test kit in their household, if you don’t want to spend a significant amount of money on high-end units, this one will do the job. It’s compact, easy to use, and accessible.
If you didn’t find this product interesting, don’t hesitate to read our other reviews, we’ve covered a lot of useful and affordable multimeters. It’s up to you to choose the best suiting one for your needs.