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.

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.

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.