General Digital Multimeter Review

By Michael Hopp on Electrical

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Tool Smart Digital Multimeter TS04

General Tool has come out with a new line called ToolSmart Connected Precision.  We had the chance to take a look at the new Digital Multimeter (TS04) and use it on our job site.

This General Digital Multimeter Review has plenty of features and with the ToolSmart app saved us time, ability to use your mobile phone as a second screen, record measurements and improved documentation.

TS04 Multimeter Key Features

  • Easily save your readings to the free ToolSmart app on your mobile phone.
  • Large yellow turn dial for easy read AC/DC voltage, AC/DC current, temperature & more.
  • The ability to use your mobile phone as a second screen or in areas where the project has low lighting and to assist with two person jobs.
  • Organize each project to increase your productivity.
  • Integrated non-contact voltage detector.
  • ETL certified safe for CAT III 600V use.
  • True RMS measurements.
  • Low battery indication.
  • 10 functions & 26 ranges.

TS04 Specifications

  • AC Voltage Measurement Ranges: 0 to 4V/40V/400V/600V
  • AC Voltage Measurement Ranges: 0 to 4V/40V/400V/600V
  • AC Voltage Measurement Accuracy/Resolution: ±(1% of reading + 10 digits)/1mV
  • DC Voltage Measurement Ranges: 0 to 400mV/4V/40V/400V/600V
  • DC Voltage Measurement Accuracy/Resolution: ±(0.8% of reading + 5 digits) in 600V range; ±(0.5% of reading + 2 digits) in other ranges/0.1mV
  • AC/DC Current Measurement Ranges: 0 to 400uA/4mA/40mA/400mA/10A
  • AC/DC Current Measurement Accuracy/Resolution: ±(2% of reading + 3 digits) in 10A range; ±(1.2% of reading + 6 digits) or better in other ranges/0.1μA
  • Resistance Measurement Ranges: 0 to 400Ω/4kΩ/40kΩ/400Ω/4MΩ/40MΩ
  • Resistance Measurement Accuracy/Resolution: ±(0.8% of reading + 3 digits), typical)/0.1Ω
  • Temperature Measurement Range: -4º to 1832ºF (-20º to 1000ºC)
  • Temperature Measurement Accuracy: ±(2.0% of reading + 2 digits)
  • Measurement Range of Included Thermocouple Probe: -4° to 500°F (-20° to 260°C)
  • Measurement Accuracy of Included Thermocouple Probe: ±(2% + 2 digits)
  • Continuity Threshold:<50Ω Diode Integrity Range/Resolution: 0 to 2.7V/1mV Battery Voltage Measurement Ranges: 0 to 9V, 0 to 1.5V Battery Voltage Measurement Accuracy/Resolution: ±(0.8% of reading + 7 digits) in 9V position; ±(3% of reading + 5 digits) in 1.5V position/1mV NCV Detection Voltage & Distance:>110VACRMS@ <1/4 in. (6mm)
  • Bluetooth Range: 33 ft. , max (unobstructed)
  • Maximum Input Voltage: 600VDC/ACRMS
  • Fuse Protection: 400mV/600V fuse for multi-function jack; 10A/600V fuse for 10A jack
  • Sampling Time: 3X/sec
  • Display: 3-3/4 digits, w/maximum count of 4000
  • Operating Temperature: 32° to 104°F (0° to 40°C) @<80%RH
  • Power Source: (1) “9V” battery
  • Weight (including battery): 8.2 oz. & Dimensions: 2” x 2.9” x 5.8”

Includes

  • One pair of double insulated test leads
  • Bead thermocouple probe and plug adapter
  • 9v battery
  • User’s manual

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Testing/Comparing/Measuring with Multimeter TS04

On one job site I teamed up with my electrician to compare multimeters.  We tested them together and both meters as standalones.

The General TS04 held its own and gave out the same readings with some only being 0.1 off from a multimeter that was 4x its price.  This electrician was impressed with the General Digital Multimeter features, especially the temperature probe.  He stated “it’s a keeper” and that this is a great multimeter for this price point.

Thermocouple Probe

The thermocouple probe allowed us to measure the temperature at each vent of the central air to compare.  Once again, the wire jack terminal fit snug on the multimeter.  The TS04 gave quick accurate readings and let us move from project to project on site faster because everything was being recorded for us on the ToolSmart app.

Testing Battery Power

You can use the Digital Multimeter to test battery power.  With the spin of a dial you can confirm if  your 1.5 to 9V batteries need replacing or not.  The large yellow dial spins easily, beeps and clicks into each mode as you spin it around.  The multi color lettering stands out making it easy to read the meter and select the desired mode.  The leads plug into their jacks nice and snug with a 360 degree rotation.  The lead tips have a boot on them and can be easily removed to improve your measuring.

Power Saving Feature and Kickstand

TS04 has an auto shut off feature on the front panel that allows for 15 minutes of inactivity.

Another feature that I found useful was the kickstand at the rear base.  Placing the meter upright improved viewing the screen tremendously.  When the multimeter was laying down on a flat surface I had to hover over the screen because it was difficult to see.

ToolSmart App

The ToolSmart app is a free download from the app store that you can use on your mobile phone.  ToolSmart can assist you on your daily job sites or when you are going to estimate a new potential project.

With this app, your phone can connect to the tool wireless using Bluetooth technology.  This will allow you to use your mobile phone to take photos, add measurements, and/or crunch numbers with the built in calculator.  This app stores the info in your phone which can be used to share specs with other contractors.

Clients could find it helpful to shop for material using your stored project information.  This app is pencil free and lets you leave the note pad in the truck and be a little more green.

Improvements

After using the General Digital Multimeter, I feel the improvement is needed on the screen lighting. I found that at certain angles I was unable to read the meter.

While this tool can be paired with a mobile phone to avoid this issue, it should be brighter. Another thing that would have been helpful is a Lead tip holder on the back of the General Digital Multimeter.

It would be nice it the leads could be stored on board instead of keeping them in your pocket which could result in losing them or getting left behind.

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Final Thoughts on General Digital Multimeter

This General Digital Multimeter is loaded with features. We found it to be accurate, comparing it to a high-end, more expensive multimeters.

The free ToolSmart app gives you organization and record keeping for the client, electrical inspector, and for your own documentation.  The kick stand was a nice touch to assist in reading the screen when a flat surface is available.  The blue tooth capability paired easily to my mobile phone.

Overall, this Digital Multimeter preformed well and has an attractive price of $42.40 on Amazon.com.

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About the author

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Michael Hopp

Writer / Carpenter / Remodeler

Michael Hopp is a registered contractor in the State of Rhode Island. He has been registered for the last 13 years specializing in interior and exterior remodeling, doors and windows. Mike began practicing his trade 20 years ago at William M. Davies Career and Technical High School in carpentry shop. This gave him the opportunity to become an apprentice at Brodeur Window Distributors. Mike continued working at the company for 10 years. During this time he was in charge of the specialty door shop and assisted on service calls. For the last 13 years, Mike has been work as a general contractor in Rhode Island with his company MJH Construction LLC. Even though his background is in doors and windows, his passion is for remodel work.

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