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For today’s “Toolsday” we’ll be looking at the EX210 multimeter by Extech. It’s a mid-range meter that’ll take all your standard hobby readings like resistance, continuity, voltage, and current, but it also boasts an infrared thermometer and a backlit display.

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It came in handy while working on my TV-B-Gone Jacket. I used it to test the power lines and zipper switch, pictured above.

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The Extech website shows off the IR thermometer in a home repair scenario, pointed at a ventilation grate. The built-in laser pointer indicates the target, and the controls are fairly intuitive. After scanning everything around my desk and out the window, I settled on showing you how hot my iMac’s bezel gets. It could also be handy in stovetop candymaking since the thermometer is contact-free, so there’s no probe to get all sticky.

Extech’s got a great track record for producing quality tools. My only complaint about this model is the size. Even though they call it “Mini,” (which at Extech distinguishes it from some of the more industrial-level equipment they make), it’s still too big to stuff in my purse for a trip to the fabric store (if it’s shiny it might be conductive!). For that I have a teeny meter that’s a little more portable, pictured up top. Every electronics workbench needs a multimeter, and the EX210 is a solid choice. It sells for about $70 on Amazon, Grainger, etc., but if you can’t think of anything practical to do with the IR thermometer, I might recommend the EX320 for $20 cheaper.

Becky Stern

Becky Stern is head of wearable electronics at Adafruit Industries. Her personal site: sternlab.org


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Comments

  1. Andre Rebelo says:

    Becky, Thanks for the review of the EX210. We’re thrilled to see some quality hands-on time with the meter. You put it to great use with the TV-B-Gone jacket. (I need one of those btw, to turn off the “quality programming” at the checkout line at the supermarket.)

    The EX210 and 230 have had a great response from makers, hackers, and home/DIY users. (The NYT mentioned it as great for home science labs — a DMM in the NYT?? — and more recently Popular Mechanics recommended it for DIY.)

    I agree it’s a bit on the bigger side for a small meter (though some people prefer a solid, brick-ish meter) — the EX320 is a great alternative recommendation. (You’ll be glad to know we recently donated pen-style DMMs to NECA’s women’s networking group summit–we were specifically asked for a purse-friendly, electrician gift!)

    Keep the great reviews coming and Thanks again from Extech!
    –andre

  2. Andre Rebelo says:

    Becky, Thanks for the review of the EX210. We’re thrilled to see some quality hands-on time with the meter. You put it to great use with the TV-B-Gone jacket. (I need one of those btw, to turn off the “quality programming” at the checkout line at the supermarket.)

    The EX210 and 230 have had a great response from makers, hackers, and home/DIY users. (The NYT mentioned it as great for home science labs — a DMM in the NYT?? — and more recently Popular Mechanics recommended it for DIY.)

    I agree it’s a bit on the bigger side for a small meter (though some people prefer a solid, brick-ish meter) — the EX320 is a great alternative recommendation. (You’ll be glad to know we recently donated pen-style DMMs to NECA’s women’s networking group summit–we were specifically asked for a purse-friendly, electrician gift!)

    Keep the great reviews coming and Thanks again from Extech!
    –andre

  3. Andre Rebelo says:

    Becky, Thanks for the review of the EX210. We’re thrilled to see some quality hands-on time with the meter. You put it to great use with the TV-B-Gone jacket. (I need one of those btw, to turn off the “quality programming” at the checkout line at the supermarket.)

    The EX210 and 230 have had a great response from makers, hackers, and home/DIY users. (The NYT mentioned it as great for home science labs — a DMM in the NYT?? — and more recently Popular Mechanics recommended it for DIY.)

    I agree it’s a bit on the bigger side for a small meter (though some people prefer a solid, brick-ish meter) — the EX320 is a great alternative recommendation. (You’ll be glad to know we recently donated pen-style DMMs to NECA’s women’s networking group summit–we were specifically asked for a purse-friendly, electrician gift!)

    Keep the great reviews coming and Thanks again from Extech!
    –andre

    1. Becky Stern says:

      Sweet, glad you guys dig the review!

  4. Andre Rebelo says:

    Becky, Thanks for the review of the EX210. We’re thrilled to see some quality hands-on time with the meter. You put it to great use with the TV-B-Gone jacket. (I need one of those btw, to turn off the “quality programming” at the checkout line at the supermarket.)

    The EX210 and 230 have had a great response from makers, hackers, and home/DIY users. (The NYT mentioned it as great for home science labs — a DMM in the NYT?? — and more recently Popular Mechanics recommended it for DIY.)

    I agree it’s a bit on the bigger side for a small meter (though some people prefer a solid, brick-ish meter) — the EX320 is a great alternative recommendation. (You’ll be glad to know we recently donated pen-style DMMs to NECA’s women’s networking group summit–we were specifically asked for a purse-friendly, electrician gift!)

    Keep the great reviews coming and Thanks again from Extech!
    –andre

  5. Billy says:

    Sorry, but i just do not trust this meter. If you’re willing to spend this much on a meter, then spend just a little bit more and get a fluke. Fluke, Simpson, and Tektronix are the only brands I consider reliable.

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