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How to Test Power Tools With & Without a Multimeter – DIY Blog
How to Test Power Tools With & Without a Multimeter

How to Test Power Tools With & Without a Multimeter

Your power tools are an essential part of any tool kit, and they require special care. To ensure your power tools are operating correctly, you can take them apart and measure their charge with a multimeter, but this isn’t the only way to test them! We also show an alternative method using a continuity meter, which is a cheaper option than a multimeter. To learn how to test your tools with a multimeter or a continuity meter, check out the video, or written blog, below:

How to Use a Multimeter:

Testing a power tool switch with a multimeter.

To test your tools with a multimeter, start by removing the switch that needs to be tested, and then touch the multimeter’s prongs to either end of the switch. If the switch is functional, your meter should make a sound and display a number indicating the charge. Please note that for many switches, the button must be engaged for power to flow through the switch.

Using alligator clips to connect to a multimeter.

Holding the switch’s button and the multimeter’s prongs all at once can be difficult in many cases. If you are unable to hold them all at once, you can use alligator clips to connect the multimeter to the tool. The alligator clips will prevent a perfect reading, but you will still see the meter change its measurement, indicating a charge.

How to Check for Continuity Without a Multimeter

Testing a power tool switch using a continuity meter

These inexpensive alternatives to multimeters are essentially made up of two batteries, a flashlight, and an alligator clip. To use a continuity meter, simply connect the clip to one end of the switch, and touch the prong of the meter to the other end. If the power is flowing in the device being tested, the light will turn on.

Testing a power tool switch using a clip-free continuity meter.

In addition to this style of continuity meter, there are higher-end styles that allow the power to pass through your body to measure the power flow. To use this style of meter, place your finger on one end of the switch, and press the meter’s probe into the other end. Don’t worry, as long as the tool is not running, this is perfectly safe

That’s it! So if you’re ever in a pinch without a multimeter, don’t hesitate to pick up a continuity meter to save a few dollars! If you end up needing to make some repairs, we have all the manufacturer-approved replacement parts that you need to complete the job! Shop Power Tool Parts Now >
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