The Fluke 115 Compact Digital Multimeter has appeal as a circuit tester, especially given that I’m a little hesitant to take on jobs of an electrical nature. Maybe it’s my inexperience with it or maybe it’s from being the gullible type who too often has freaked out over a fake electrocution prank (just so you know, it is not funny to be working at an outlet and pretend to thrive from the volts of electricity supposedly coursing through your body. It will especially not be funny to you when your wife unexpectedly wacks you hard with a broom in an attempt to free you from the circuit).
Before you work with anything electrical, you should cut the power supply using your circuit breaker. This may be easier said than done if your circuit breaker panel is poorly or incorrectly labelled (and if that’s the case, consider getting a circuit breaker finder).
Before getting started on basic electrical work like replacing an outlet, we suggest that along with switching off the power, you use a circuit tester, multimeter, or voltage sensor to make doubley sure the area you’re working on won’t possibly zap you. If the previous sentence, or any of this article confuses you, please hire a reputable electrician using a service like Angie’s List. A very highly regarded, high quality circuit tester is the Fluke 115 Compact Multimeter. It currently has about a dozen reviews on Amazon, and gets a five star rating. Fluke makes good quality stuff.
Along with testing circuits and AC and DC currents, you can also test batteries with it. As you guessed, the circuit tester is very compact – easily fits in the pocket (but make sure you tuck the prongs away carefully – they’re actually fairly sharp (the risk stabbing yourself with them presents its own safety hazard which we’re just not going to go into detail about here).
Amazon currently has the Fluke 115 Compact True-RMS Digital Multimeter for a reasonable $129.99, not bad from one of the best names in electrical test equipment, Fluke.