Best Capacitor Tester

Capacitance is the electronic component’s ability to store energy (in the form of an electric charge) that is generated by different voltages. The electronic component that stores energy is called a capacitor. To measure the capacitance of a capacitor, we need an electronic measurement device that is called a capacitor tester or capacitance tester. To do the measurement, the probes must be connected to the legs of the capacitor (capacitor terminal).

Ways to Test A Capacitor

In practice, there are various methods to test a capacitor:

  1. Multimeter (can be digital or analog multimeter) with capacitance measurement
  2. Stand-alone capacitor tester
  3. ESR meter / ESR tester

To test the capacitor outside of a circuit, the multimeter with capacitance measurement and capacitor tester are the right choices.

Prior to doing the test, it is a mandatory step that the capacitor must be discharged completely. Testing the capacitor with a capacitor tester requires and only desoldered/disconnected capacitor and the probes connectivity to it.

The same method applies when using the multimeter with capacitance measurement (capacitance meter). To determine the capacitor quality, make sure to compare the reading is still inside of the tolerance range values. If the reading is outside of it, then it can be considered a bad capacitor.

On the other side, the ESR meter is the best when it comes to testing the capacitor inside of a circuit.

While the previous ways show the unit measurement in Farad, the ESR meter shows the reading in the Ohm unit.

The quality of a capacitor can be identified by comparing the reading to the characteristics table which holds the expected reading value in regard to operating voltage and capacitance value. As long as the reading suits the table and inside of tolerance, then the capacitor is in a good condition.

While there are many capacitor testing applications we can see in daily life, the simplest one is to replace the capacitor during the repairing of electrical appliances.

ProductsPicturesSpecificationApplicationsPrice
1. B&K Precision 830C
[Best Overall]
range:
1000 pF - 200 mF
the best standalone capacitor testerCheck Price!
2. KKMoon M6013range:
0.01 pF - 470 mF
another standalone capacitor tester
3. Honeytek A6013Lrange:
0.1 pF - 20 mF
standalone capacitor tester for budgetCheck Price!
4. Elike DT6013range:
200 pF - 20 mF
the alternative of standalone capacitor testerCheck Price!
5. Supco MFD10range:
10 nF - 9,999 µF
the simplest interface of the standalone modelCheck Price!
6. Fluke-117range:
1000 nF - 9999 µF
multimeter with capacitance measurementCheck Price!
7. Neoteck 8233D PROrange:
1 µF - 2000 µF
inexpensive multimeter with capacitance measurementCheck Price!
8. Signstek MESR-100range:
1 µF - 1 mF
the esr meter to test capacitorCheck Price!
9. Atlas ESR70range:
1 µF - 22 mF
another choice of ESR meterCheck Price!
10. Smart Tweezers ST5-Srange:
0.5 pF - 999 µF
ESR meter for SMD capacitorsCheck Price!

Top 10 Best Capacitor Tester Reviews 2021

If you are looking for the best capacitor tester, we expect this post helps you. We cover the top 10 best capacitor testers here. Actually, they are not entirely all capacitor testers. Some of them are multimeters with capacitance measurement (capacitance measurement function bundled in a multimeter) and some are ESR meters. Surely, they are intended to enrich your options when it comes to buying an instrument to measure and test capacitance.

1. B&K Precision 830C [Best Standalone Capacitor Tester Overall]

B&K Precision 830C best capacitor testerIf you are a professional and trying to find the best capacitor tester for the job, then B&K Precision 830C will be the right choice.

This meter is equipped with rich features and functions by the company. Thus, it becomes the best capacitor tester. It has a wide measuring range from 1000pF to 200mF. It will cover most of the capacitors available in the market. The safety standards it holds are EN61010-1 for pollution degree and EN61326-1 for immunity and emissions. There are dual displays (primary and secondary) and dual power types (9v battery and AC adapter). The display is featured with a backlight too.

Using this meter gives you a brand and new experience of measuring. It supports manual and auto-ranging measurements. There are various modes such as tolerance, relative, compare, and record mode.

  1. Tolerance mode: helpful for sorting and testing a large number of components.
  2. Relative mode: helpful when the user needs to “zero” the meter based on a reference value.
  3. Compare mode: for sorting capacitors and configuring 25 sets of limit ranges.
  4. Record mode: best for a data logger and configured to PC via USB (Virtual COM).

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Pros:

  • Wide range of measurement
  • USB interface
  • Auto-range feature
  • 3-year warranty

Cons:

  • Expensive

Frequently asked questions:

Q: Does it support the auto-range measurement?

A: Yes, it supports fast auto-range for component measurements.

Q: What is the mandatory thing to do prior to measuring?

A: Make sure to disconnect the power and discharge the capacitor to prevent possible damage to the meter.

Q: How to measure the capacitance time-efficiently?

A: The capacitance is measured by the meter charging the capacitor with a known current, resulting in the charging period time, and then calculating the capacitance. The larger the capacitance, the longer it takes to measure. For this meter, you need to select a suitable measurement range to speed up the measurement.

2. KKMoon M6013 [Another Standalone Option]

KKMoon M6013It is always better to have another option to buy. In this case, KKMoon M6013 is the option. It is not going to let you down. As the second-best after BK Precision 830C, this product is suitable for most DIY users and professional engineers out there.

The strongest feature is the measurement range from 0.01pF to 470mF which is wider than BK Precision 830C. Having a simple and minimum interface makes it user-friendly even for beginners. The mode is selectable to set as either auto or manual based on your preference. It supports dual power supplies (2xAA Battery or micro-USB). Its price is almost ten times cheaper than BK Precision 830C. Therefore, it will be worthwhile for you.

Pros:

  • Inexpensive
  • Larger measuring range
  • Simple and user-friendly interface
  • Good for HVAC

Cons:

  • The probe cables are too short

Frequently asked questions

Q: What are the available measurement modes on the meter?

A: There are auto and manual ranging measurement modes featured on it.

Q: How many manual ranges to set?

A: It only has three kinds of manual ranges, thus it makes it simple to use.

Q: What is the best real-life application for this meter?

A: It is best for the DIY users and professional engineer usage such as in HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning)

3. Honeytek A6013L [Best Standalone Capacitor Tester for Budget]

Honeytek A6013L - Best Capacitor Tester for BudgetA budget is sometimes a factor that holds such a heavy reason when it comes to buying a certain meter. It could be limited unsurprisingly.  It is why that choosing Honeytek A6013L as the best capacitor tester for the limited budget will favor you undoubtedly.

The price itself is almost three times cheaper than KKMoon M6013. Even though it is cheap, it still holds the standard and basic capacitance measurement functions. The measurement ranges are divided into 9 positions from 0.1pF to 20mF which are more than enough for a cheap meter. Additional features such as data hold, LCD with backlight, ZERO adjustments, over the range, and low-battery indication are available in this meter. The unique feature is it auto-discharges capacitors below 1000V. It is packaged in a compact structure and pocket-size with a protection holster.

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Pros:

  • Three-times cheaper than KKMoon M6013
  • Auto discharge feature
  • Pocket size

Cons:

  • Short probe cables

Frequently asked questions:

Q: Does it support auto-range?

A: No, it does not.

Q: How many ranges does the meter have?

A: There are nine ranges from 200pF to 20mF.

Q: What is the best feature it has?

A: It has an auto discharge feature for capacitors below 1000V.

4. Elike DT6013 Standalone Capacitor Tester [Best Alternative]

Elike DT6013 [Best Alternative]Having an alternative means that you can gain more advantage by comparing their performances. The Elike DT6013 digital capacitor tester is going to best alternative you have aside from Honeytek A6013L exactly.

The meter comes as inexpensive as Honeytek A6013L. The features provided are mostly the same as Honeytek has. Such as the measurement range, data hold, zero adjustments, and LDC with backlight. Nevertheless, it has the safety standard IEC 61010 and makes it a good choice for troubleshooting household electrical problems. The LCD also has bigger digits which makes it easy to read for the users.

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Pros:

  • Easy to read backlight display
  • As inexpensive as Honeytek A6013L
  • Good for troubleshooting household electrical problems
  • IEC safety standard 61010

Cons:

  • Short probe cables

Frequently asked questions:

Q: Is there an auto-range mode in this model?

A: No, this model does not support the auto-range mode.

Q: Is it decent for such serious usage?

A: It meets the safety standard 61010 about electrical requirements for a laboratory test and measurement equipment.

Q: What is it best for?

A: It is best to troubleshoot household electrical problems.

5. Supco MFD10 Capacitor Tester [The Simplest Interface Standalone Model]

Supco MFD10 [The Simplest Interface]A typical capacitor tester could be quite boring and take a longer time to operate. Moreover, if you have several years of experience. Therefore, it makes sense that a meter with a really simple interface will give a new user experience. Supco MFD10 could be the right choice for its simplicity certainly.

It costs a reasonable price. Even though its measurement range is smaller, it still holds other benefits for the users. The measurement time will be shorter. It is due to its auto-ranging feature and one push-button operation. It means that it is only required to press the button after the capacitor is ready to measure. The meter will show OPEN for open capacitors and SHRT for shorted capacitors on the LED display. Aside from those, it is designed to fulfill industrial and service needs. So, there is no need to worry about its application in the real life.

Manual: https://www.supco.com/web/supco_live/products/MFD10.html

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Pros:

  • The interface is really simple
  • Reasonable price
  • Auto-ranging mode

Cons:

  • The leads are a little too short
  • Smaller measurement range

Frequently asked questions:

Q: What is the measurement mode the meter provides?

A: It provides an auto-ranging mode.

Q: Why is there only one push button?

A: Because it is designed for push-button operation by the company.

Q: What usage is it good at?

A: It is a decent option for industrial and service requirements.

6. Fluke-117 [Best Multimeter with Capacitance Measurement]

Fluke-117 [Best multimeter with capacitance measurement]There is always a demand that the users need a lot of measurement functions in a single meter. It comes in handy; nice to use in an extreme spot or area. Thus it requires such a practical meter for the easy usage of users. In case you are looking for one, then Fluke-117 is the right choice for you.

Fluke-117 is a digital multimeter to measure resistance, voltage, ampere, continuity, frequency, and capacitance. The capacitance measurement ranges are from 1000 nF to 9999 µF. Even though its range is smaller than any typical capacitor tester, it holds more measurement functions. The auto-range mode is supported by this meter too. Other features offered are low input impedance for better reading and “VoltAlert” for no-contact voltage detection. It meets the CAT III 600V standard. It is compatible with hands-free operation using an optional magnetic hanger and best for commercial buildings.

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Pros:

  • VoltAlert
  • True RMS
  • Low input impedance
  • Hands-free operation

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Smaller measurement range

Frequently asked questions:

Q: How to measure capacitance in this meter?

A: Turn the rotary switch to the diode icon, then press the yellow button to switch to the capacitance function and the auto-range will do the job based on the meter specification ranges.

Q: What great features that this meter offers?

A: The company offers “VoltAlert” for non-contact voltage detection and low input impedance to prevent false reading caused by the ghost voltage.

Q: What real-life application is it best for?

A: It is best for commercial buildings, hospitals, and schools.

7. Neoteck 8233D PRO [Best Inexpensive Multimeter with Capacitance Measurement]

Neoteck 8233D PRO [Best Inexpensive Multimeter with Capacitance Measurement]The digital multimeter with capacitance measurement is also available at an affordable price. Neoteck 8233D PRO is available for sale by the company at an inexpensive price for the users out there. However, there should be no need to worry about its performance.

Neoteck 8233D PRO is a compact and handheld digital multimeter. It meets the IEC 61010-1 safety standard. Its capacitance ranges are from 1 µF to 2000 µF. Actually, the ranges are not that bad given the inexpensive price and other functions. It supports auto-ranging mode. Its price is almost ten times cheaper than Fluke-117. To protect it against the drop shock, a rubber case is offered. As for the display, the company designed the LCD with a backlight and data hold indicator. The meter will be packaged alongside the probe leads, alligator clip leads, and the manual.

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Pros:

  • Inexpensive
  • Auto-range mode
  • IEC 61010-1 safety standard

Cons:

  • Smaller capacitance ranges than Fluke-117

Frequently asked questions:

Q: Does it support auto-ranging mode?

A: Yes, the auto-ranging mode is supported by this meter.

Q: Any additional accessories in a package?

A: It comes with the probe leads and alligator clip leads.

8. Signstek MESR-100

Signstek MESR-100It is essential to recognize that there are various methods to test the capacitors. One of them is by using the ESR meter. While the capacitor tester and multimeter show the readings unit in Farad, the ESR shows the reading in Ohm. Both capacitance and ESR (equivalent series resistance) are great indicators to determine the capacitor condition. Signstek MESR-100 could be the first ESR meter you probably want to try.

This meter uses 100KHz to measure the ESR value. The measurement range is pretty wide from 1 µF to 1 mF. Its user interface is suitable for beginners and professionals alike because of its simplicity. You could see directly on the bottom area a printed electrolytic ESR table for a fast check. Another feature is you can switch to auto or manual mode based on your preference. It supports dual power types: 2xAA battery for internal power source and USB port for external power supply.

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Pros:

  • Simple user interface
  • Dual power source types
  • Supports auto and manual-range

Cons:

  • Probe leads are very short

Frequently asked questions:

Q: How to configure auto/manual mode?

A: For the auto mode, press and release the RANGE button till the LCD shows AUTO. It will select the suitable range automatically.

For the manual mode, the LCD will show MANUAL after you press and release the RANGE button. Then you can select the ranges from 1R, 10R, and 100R.

Q: What is the ESR table?

A: It is a table that acts as a reference and defines the relationship between the capacitance and the expected measured resistance.

9. Atlas ESR70

Atlas ESR70It is a good thing to have another ESR meter at a different price level. There is always more benefit with more budget spent surely. Atlas ESR70 will be a decent choice as it has unique features for you.

It has a shape design that is not similar to any other typical meter in the market. So, it really stands out amongst the ESR meters. Its range is wider than MESR-100 which is 1 µF to 22 mF. It can auto-discharge the charged capacitors before measuring them. This feature is called “The Unique Controlled Discharge.” It also has audible alerts to assist the users.

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Pros:

  • Unique meter design
  • Audible alerts
  • Easy to use
  • Wider range than MESR-100

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Only alligator clips provided
  • no printed ESR table attached

Frequently asked questions:

Q: How to determine the capacitor performance?

A: A lower ESR reading is considered better than a bigger ESR reading. A good capacitor ESR reading is usually lower than the reading shown in the ESR table.

Q: What is the unique controlled discharge?

A: It is the feature to automatically discharge the charged capacitor before measuring the capacitance and ESR.

10. Smart Tweezers ST5-S [Best for SMD]

Smart Tweezers ST5-S [Best for SMD]Sometimes the electronic components are in the size of SMD (Surface Mount Devices). It can not be measured by the usual meter. In other words, it needs a specially designed tool to do it. Smart Tweezers ST5-S will be the best choice to execute the measurement of SMD capacitors.

It is presented as the portable LCR meter that can measure resistance, inductance, capacitance, impedance, and ESR accordingly. The capacitance range is from 3pF to 199 µF in AUTO mode and 0.5 pF to 999 µF for maximum ranges. Select the capacitance from the MODE menu to measure capacitance. Auto mode is available to measure inductance, capacitance, and resistance. The battery is planted inside and will need to be recharged by the USB charger as soon as the indicator shows.

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Pros:

  • Rich features
  • Multiplatforms connectivity

Cons:

  • Expensive

Frequently asked questions:

Q: Does it support the auto mode?

A: yes, the meter supports the auto mode by accessing the MODE menu and then select AUTO.

What is Capacitor Tester?

A capacitor tester is a meter that provides stand-alone capacitance measurement. The existence of this kind of meter allows us to perform capacitance measurement more instant than using a multimeter.

In comparison with a capacitor tester, we still require a capacitance meter or multimeter with capacitance measurement to do several more steps than using a stand-alone capacitor tester to do the capacitance measurement. As a matter of fact, the standard multimeter can test the capacitor, but the units to use for the measurements are either resistance or voltage units. It is why a capacitor tester still stays as the first choice for capacitance measurement.

The use of a capacitor tester can be also replaced with another option such as an ESR meter. This option is useful when you need to check the capacitor without desoldering it. However, using ESR does not allow you to measure its capacitance directly. You are only about to measure the (equivalent series) resistance.

Things to Consider Purchasing Capacitor Tester

1. Measurement Range

A typical capacitor tester must have several measurement ranges. This is the first feature that you should consider before buying that will determine the flexibility of how you use it in real life.

2. Integrated Features

It makes sense if some users find it more convenient to have a meter with more features or abilities. However, keep in mind that it’s not weird there is a trade-off between an integrated meter and a standalone capacitor tester.

3. Accuracy

The capacitor tester with higher accuracy is better than the one with lower accuracy. It determines the closeness of a measurement to the actual or standard value.

4. Resolution

The higher resolution will give the users more details than the lower one. If you are in need of many details in measurement, then it is better for you to get a capacitor tester with a higher resolution.

5. Precision

A good precision means that the measurements will repeat the same or nearly the same values in several measurements. On the other hand, a bad precision will provide a significant difference in measurement values.

6. Sensitivity

Sensitivity means the ability of the instrument to detect the smallest change in measurement. Thus, the instrument with good sensitivity is beneficial for those who need to detect a really small change in real-life use.

Conclusion

To sum it up, there are various ways to test the capacitors. Each of them can be executed by a certain type of meters. Even, there is a component tester or transistor tester that is able to measure or test the capacitor as well. Further, using an oscilloscope will obtain more comprehensive information on how your capacitor store the electric charge (charging and discharging).

You must keep in mind that here we are trying to suggest the best based on our own research and knowledge. It is always free for you to make the decision.

In short, the following are the products we highly recommend for you:

  1. BK Precision for the best standalone capacitor tester.
  2. Fluke-117 for the best digital multimeter with capacitance measurement function.
  3. Atlas ESR70 for the best ESR meter.
  4. Smart Tweezer ST5-S for the best for SMD.

Hope this post helps you. Thank you!