We askedChris Johnson, a Ryder technician out of Delta, British Columbia, Canada, to review the multimeter he has used for several years. Johnson, who was named Ryder's "Top Tech" in 2022, shares his thoughts below.
Q: How long have you used the Mac Tools’ Digital Multimeter, No. EM710?
A: I have used it for probably about six to seven years now. I have had to change the test leads a couple times, but the meter itself is still running strong.
Q: What is your favorite feature?
A: I do appreciate that it is an auto-ranging meter, although it has the ability to go into manual mode, which can sometimes be helpful to hold it in a specific range. It doesn’t really do anything different than other meters out there, but the most common feature I use is the resistance setting, closely followed by the voltage setting.
Q: What are some typical reasons you’ll use this multimeter?
A: The most common thing I use it on is for circuit diagnosis, from engine faults and data links to lighting circuits and ABS faults. There is a wide range of situations that I use it in, too. Measuring resistance of a circuit and watching the resistance while wiggling harnesses is one thing. Measuring voltage of circuits or doing voltage drops sometimes, even using in combination with a headlamp bulb to put a circuit under load and using the meter to watch the voltage as I manipulate a harness.
Q: How long does the battery last?
A: It can probably get about six to nine months of use before having to change the battery. I have seen guys with a newer meter with a color display and they seem to chew through batteries.
Q: This tool has been discontinued. If you were to upgrade, do you have another multimeter in mind?
A: Yes, a few of the guys in the shop have the Mac EM721. I think I would look at that or the EM823 if I were to replace/upgrade the meter. I like the idea of the USB connection and/or Bluetooth, and would like to give that a try. The EM823 has a lot more features that will be useful in today’s ever-changing and advancing technology on trucks. Maybe I’ll even look to see if there is one with a lab scope function at a reasonable price. But unfortunately, those are pretty expensive.