Craftsman Auto-Ranging Multimeter

A great tool for electrical troubleshoothing.

A compact, easy-to-use and accurate multimeter can be a Godsend when you're trying to troubleshoot a problem in your motorcycle's electronics. A decent meter should incorporate a variety of functions, be able to withstand some rough treatment, and also be affordable.

This Craftsman Digital/LCD Auto Ranging Multimeter meets all of the above parameters and then some. The meter includes all of the standard functions -- AC/DC voltage and current checks and resistance up to 40M ohms, which is more than you'll ever need to check most electrical problems. As a bonus the meter also includes a thermocouple socket with a scale that ranges from 0 to 1400 degrees F, a nice feature for troubleshooting engine problems or checking tire temperatures should you decide to partake of a track day or two. (Although if you read the fine print, which I didn't, you'll see that the thermocouple needed to use the temperature gauge is sold separately.)

There is also a frequency function, just the thing for troubleshooting fuel-injection or ABS problems, and an audible continuity tester. If you really like to dig into the electrical innards, you can use the meter's capacitance, duty-cycle and diode test functions. On the bells-and-whistles side, the meter is auto-ranging, meaning that it automatically selects the best range for accurate measurement. The LCD screen is large and easy to read -- a real blessing for my tired old orbs. There is also a data-hold feature, which freezes the screen, and an auto power-off to save the batteries.

Adding icing to the cake, the whole shebang comes with an impact-resistant, spiffy red holster. It amazes me that I shelled out only $40 for this thing, roughly what I paid for an analog meter back in 1970. More recently, it was listed on the Craftsman website for $30. All in all a stellar deal!

Mark Zimmerman

Sears Auto Ranging Multimeter (model #3482139) Available at any Sears store or at