Voltmate VOL 880 3 1/2 digit multimeter puts all others to shame.

Thread Starter

Duane P Wetick

Joined Apr 23, 2009
Voltmate VOL880 costs $ 8.80 US, includes test leads and fresh battery and free shipping, even tests transistors (hFE)!

Test of Voltmate 880 on Household power 119.8 VAC
" Duracell 9 V 9.69 VDC

Test of Fluke 87 True RMS multimeter 119.6 VAC
" Duracell 9 V 9.69 VDC


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Joined Feb 8, 2018
Cheap meters invariably have low grade voltage references and hence are not accurate. The same applies to the attenuator resistors. Many of these meters use dual slope integration for analog to digital conversion, which is a decent method, but the cheapies use polyester integrator caps which are inferior and add even more error due to dielectric absorption. If you don't mind a meter with resolution of 1 part in 2000 and accuracy of 1 part in 200, if you are really lucky, they are OK.


Joined Apr 21, 2014
As ebp mentioned, the relative accuracy of the meter is quite good - this is a byproduct of the excellent design of the main IC used by all the cheap 2000-count multimeters: the ICL7106 (a bit of history can be found here)

However, there are other factors to be taken into consideration when comparing it to a Fluke 87V or another higher quality meter:
- One is the reproducibility of results under different environments and among different production batches - I have had a few similar meters over the years (there are clones everywhere) and found them to have a wide variability straight out-of-the-box. Also, when used outside or inside the house (big difference in temperature), they tend to show a great difference in readings.
- Another is the lack of independent verification of their specifications - claims of withstanding very high voltages (1kV is usual) when clearances and creepage are insignificant, as well as when using underrated fuses (250V glass) is a red flag. Another is the practice of having unfused inputs, usually on the 10 or 20A range - one mistake and the damage can be much higher than a meter with a fused input.
- Another is the build quality and control - I have seen loose springs, solder blobs, metal shards and even a rotary switch contact on various meters straight out of the box. In other words, always make sure to open it before you use it. I have also noticed the enclosure quality has degraded over the years, which becomes incapable to resist more violent surges if they happen (the box may open violently if something happens).

All these characteristics are very common among low cost meters.

All in all, if you know what you are doing and is taking the appropriate precautions when making measurements, these are quite decent meters.

Mr. Multimeter

Joined Sep 17, 2018
As ebp and rsjsouza have stated, these Cheap Chinese 8xx Clones are a dime a dozen, hit or miss. Some are quite accurate others are pure shite! You certainly can't compare them to high end big name DMM's. Input protection alone on these Cheapo Meters is rather haphazard and suspect to say the least ( and in most cases nonexistent). For general bench electronics they are fine but for anything more serious they just won't do the job. BTW, do yourself a favour and throw away the leads that came with the meter. Get either a "cheap" pair of good test leads (it is possible!) or splurge on a set of shiny new Probemasters that will last you a lifetime. Either way, they will make even a "cheap" meter perform much better!