Craftsman Multimeter 34-82141 Review
Craftsman Multimeter 34-82141
Reviewed by: Timothy Henderson
Published on: March 13, 2017
The most important thing when it comes to digital multimeters is the price-to-quality ratio. Many of them have a ridiculously high price while they offer basic options. To prevent our readers from overpaying a product, we conducted a research and came up with the list of units that are worth checking out. The Craftsman 34-82141 is on that list, and if you’re not sure which multimeter to buy, have a look at the features of this meter, you might find them useful and interesting.
Craftsman 34-82141 – The Basics
This particular multimeter is great for hobbyists and DIY enthusiasts. Although it’s not advised for professional use, some electricians found it quite useful even in some challenging tasks. It measures up to 600V AC and DC. One of the neat features is the audible tone when an object is under 30 Ohms of resistance. It warns you to check the wiring and installations and prevent further damage.
Another notable factor of this unit is its portability. It’s quite compact and small which means you can put it in your pocket and forget about it while you’re working on other stuff. It’s also lightweight, so you won’t even notice it in your pocket most of the time. As far as the price-to-quality ratio goes, the Craftsman 34-82141 is among the best. It has most of the necessary functions for electricity-related tests while remaining affordable. One thing is certain – it’s a multimeter worth checking out.
The first thing you need to know about this unit is that it doesn’t have an auto ranging feature. While it’s not a big deal for most people, the absolute beginners could have an issue with manual ranging. However, if you know a thing or two about digital multimeters, you won’t have an issue with manual ranging. All you need to know is the sheer concept on which multimeters work; the rest is easy.
The protective rubber holster
While it may seem irrelevant, the protective holster comes in handy, especially for people who tend to drop their tools often. However, it’s not an absolute protection by any means, so don’t think it will withstand a drop for high altitudes. On the other hand, it can endure slight bumps and hits without a problem. You can also remove the rubber holster if you don’t like the feel of it.
Many people have a common misconception about the accuracy of these units. In simpler words, a lot of people think it cannot be precise if it’s somewhat cheap. However, that’s a completely wrong assumption. In fact, the Craftsman 34-82141 does not round up the value to the nearest number, like some other units do. For example, it displays both 2.97 and 3.01 values, instead of showing a value of 3 in both cases.
It is especially important for people who want to measure amperes to two decimals with high precision. Although the resolution isn’t its greatest feature, accuracy is certainly on an enviable level for such an affordable gadget.
Two spare fuses are included in the package. These are necessary if you accidentally overload the unit and blow a fuse. However, a lot of people don’t know how to change the fuse, and it can be a nuisance sometimes. To change these components, you need to take off the rubber holster and open the unit by unscrewing a few small screws. Once you take off the upper part of the casing, you’ll see a fuse. Take it out, put the new one in, and you’re done. The process of changing the battery is the same.
As far as the screen goes, it’s good. We can’t say it’s impressive, but it’s not horrible either. It offers distinguishable symbols, big numbers, and people usually have good impressions about it. However, one major downside is the lack of backlight. It may sound ridiculous, but a vast majority of people appreciate a backlit screen. One other frequent thing about displays is the loss of contrast under certain angles. While it’s not perfect, this multimeter’s display doesn’t lose contrast under peculiar angles, which is always a plus.
Who Can Use This Unit?
Anyone can use this multimeter as long as it’s used within its limits. However, because of the somewhat basic features, professionals won’t benefit much from it. On the other hand, this multimeter is great for DIY’ers and people who occasionally conduct electricity-related analysis and tests.
The main things about this meter are affordability and ease of use. As we can see, not many resources are invested in other features such as auto shut off, hold options, and more, and that’s why you shouldn’t expect a high-end unit. Even though it’s not a supreme quality product, it serves its purpose and performs as advertised.
What We Didn’t Like
There are a few things we didn’t like about this product. Although we know, it isn’t designed for hardcore professionals, but it still lacks some basic functions.
First of all, it doesn’t have an auto shut down feature. We think it’s a major downside for any multimeter. Many people forget to turn the instrument off after use, and most other meters have an auto shut down function to save battery. However, this one stays on until the battery dies. It’s quite annoying when you have to do a test quickly just to find out you’ve run out of battery because you forgot to turn it off the last time you’ve used it.
Another downside is the absence of backlight. A vast majority of users depend on the backlight, and it’s quite a disappointment when you figure out this one doesn’t have a backlit screen. Even if you’re not working in a dark environment, the lack of a backlight is a burden.
The last thing is the audible warnings. While it does feature audible signals, they’re too quiet and very hard to hear.
Can professionals use this multimeter?
Does it come with test leads included?
Does it run on batteries?
Does it come with a carrying bag?
Is the display backlit?
What do The Users Say?
The opinions are divided. Some people love its simplicity and compactness, others complain about the lack of basic features. As we said, if you’re a professional, you should probably skip this product and opt for something more serious. However, if you need a multimeter for occasional testing and troubleshooting, you shouldn’t have an issue with the Craftsman 34-82141.
On the other hand, it has a pretty impressive 4.3-star rating on Amazon, which means it’s certainly worth checking it out. The negative reviews on Amazon are mostly about the negligence of shipping companies and battery issues. Since very few people complain about its performance, it’s safe to say that it’s a quality product for an affordable price.
If you think about it, you won’t get much more for this price in any other similar unit. If you don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on high-end multimeters, this one serves its purpose and works as advertised. Although it has a few major shortcomings, they are easily solvable. The only thing you cannot solve is the backlight issue.
You shouldn’t expect a versatile and top-notch multimeter by any means because it’s made in Asia. The quality of production is bearable, but not impressive. As far as the design goes – they’ve nailed it. It’s small, compact, and lightweight, which is all that you need if you’re a hobbyist. In fact, the lack of auxiliary functions can be a good thing because they tend to confuse the beginners. While it’s not a grade-A product, it’s incredibly useful in certain situations.