Any electronics circuit designer understands the importance of using the appropriate component in the design. That process begins by measuring the ESR values of different electrical components already in the design. That is where an ESR meter comes in.
An Equivalent Series Resistance (ESR) meter is a measuring instrument used for the actual capacitance measurements of electrical components. It is used by electronic engineers and technicians during the design and testing phases. An ESR meter precisely calculates and displays the ESR of capacitors in the network.
ESR meters are primary tools in the regulation of non-inductive and low-value resistances. The testing procedure relies on other components in the circuit. These also affect the results. For example, an inductor may not allow you to measure the capacitance of a network.
Using an ESR meter is beneficial in many ways. This measuring instrument gives an accurate reading and has other functions that make it easy to use. However, buying the appropriate one can be challenging, especially if you are a beginner. That is why we have compiled this list of the best ESR meters to save your time. Read on to buy any products presented here that meet your needs.
Top 8 Best ESR Meters in 2023
Different brands and models of ESR exist in the market. That can make a buying decision a daunting task. Luckily, we have spent hours conducting market research and compiling this list of the best ESR meters. You can buy any of these products depending on your preferences or your budget:
1. DROK ESR Meter [Best Overall]
DROK ESR meter is one of the best ESR meters in the market despite its affordability. This measuring instrument is worth adding to your lab. It is from a famous brand and packed with features that make it versatile.
This meter comes with a multi-colored LCD screen for displaying readings. This feature is complimented by the automatic identification of components. You don’t set it manually to get the parameters from transistors, resistors, diodes, capacitors, and others.
You can use it as an LCR or SCR meter. This ESR meter is a multi-functional measuring instrument that does more than just effective series resistance measurements.
All in all, the DROK ESR meter comes first on our list but is one of the most affordable products here. Apart from giving you the best features, it also comes with a pocket-friendly price tag.
- Multi-color LCD screen
- Automatic identification of electrical components
- Multi-functional measuring instrument
- Auto shutoff function
- Sturdy build
- No warranty from the manufacturer
2. DE-5000 Handheld LCR Meter
DE-5000 Handheld LCR Meter comes second on our list of the best ESR meters for the right reasons. This measuring instrument is easy to use and accurate. Its built-in function only requires connecting components you want to test and choosing ESR on the menu. The result will be clearly displayed on the LCD screen.
DE-5000 Handheld LCR Meter is a multipurpose measuring device for electronic engineers and technicians. Its primary function is LCR measurements, but it can additionally dissipation factor, quality factor, and equivalent series and parallel resistance. The components being measured can be in parallel or series mode. Regardless, DE-5000 Handheld LCR Meter will give you an accurate reading.
DE-5000 Handheld LCR Meter additionally has many test frequency options to choose from.
This ESR meter comes as a set with all accessories you need to use it. The package consists of an English PDF manual, DC9V Battery, Alligator test lead case, and SMD tweezers.
- High resolution, dual-display screen
- Auto-ranging and component detection
- Higher accuracy and performance
- Low battery indication
- Component sorting function
- Relatively expensive
3. Signstek MESR-100 V2 ESR LCR Meter
Signstek MESR-100 V2 ESR LCR Meter is not as versatile as the first two measuring instruments mentioned but is worth adding to your arsenal. This device is very accurate and reliable in measuring ESR. It uses a 100kHz signal to measure the ESR value of a capacitor, the same method that the component manufacturers use. Additionally, the package includes a printed ESR table for faster lookup.
Signstek MESR-100 V2 ESR LCR Meter has many other features. First, it has dual terminals to make it easy to test capacitors or resistors. Secondly, this device supports in-circuit testing. For that reason, you can rely on it for troubleshooting electronics circuit boards.
Lastly, Signstek MESR-100 V2 is an auto-ranging ESR and low ohm meter with a wide measuring range. It also has an accuracy of 1% and a high resolution of 0.001Ohm in the 1 Ohm range.
- High resolution and very accurate
- Long battery life
- Dual terminal – fast and easy testing of components
- Support in-circuit testing
- Wide measurement range
- Relatively poor build quality
4. BSIDE ESR02 PRO ESR Meter
BSIDE ESR02 PRO ESR meter is a multi-functional measuring instrument that is also affordable. It has appealing features and functionality that make it easy to use. You can use it to reliably read effective series resistance in a circuit.
Additionally, the BSIDE ESR02 PRO ESR meter can test different types of diodes, thyristors, MOSFETs, and others. You can use it to seamlessly analyze the output HFE, gate voltage, and PN junctions. Besides, this device automatically identifies any electrical component connected to it.
This advanced ESR meter has an auto-shutoff feature that turns it on when idle. It also features a dual-function LCD screen for displaying measured values.
Lastly, the BSIDE ESR02 PRO ESR meter can measure a wide range of values. Here is the summary of the parameters:
- Resistance: 0 – 50MΩ; Resolution: 0.01Ω
- Capacitance: 25pF – 100mF; Resolution: 1pF
- Inductance: 0.01mH – 20H; Resolution: 0.01mH
- Capacitance ESR: 2uF – 50mF; Resolution: 0.01Ω
- Automatic functions, including component detection.
- Reliable and accurate
- Large and easy-to-read display
- Relatively low build quality
5. Atlas ESR70
Atlas is a famous brand for the reliability of its products, one of which is the Atlas ESR70. Atlas ESR70 meter is designed for measuring the ESR of a capacitor without having to remove it from the circuit board. In other words, it supports in-circuit testing. That feature makes this ESR meter a reliable tool for troubleshooting electronic circuits.
Atlas ESR70 is best for both beginners and electronic technicians. This measuring instrument is easy to use because of its simple design and automatic measurements. It will give you the ESR value of capacitors and also sounds an alarm if the capacitor is faulty. So, there is no need for an ESR lookup chart, which saves time.
Atlas ESR70 has a wide range of measurements with a resolution of 0.01 ohms. You can use it to test different capacitors between 1uF and 2200uF. It is reliable in getting the ESR value of motor capacitors, smoothing capacity, electrolytics, polypropylenes, and any other dielectric capacitor.
- Wide measurement range
- Audible alert for capacitor testing
- Easy to use
- Enhanced dynamic range
- Not versatile – measures capacitance and ESR only.
6. Smart Tweezers ST5-S Professional LCR/ESR Meter
Smart Tweezers ST5-S ESR meter is for professional use by electronic technicians. This highly portable measuring instrument is designed for surface mount devices (SMDs). Its tweezers make it easy to read the ESR of various components.
Additionally, Smart Tweezers ST5-S can act as an LCR meter. It has automatic and manual C, R, L, and Z modes for measuring capacitance, resistance, inductance, and impedance. You can never doubt the versatility of this seemingly simple measuring device.
Smart Tweezers ST5-S features an OLED display, gold-plated test leads, and a built-in lithium-ion battery for reliable operation and accurate measurements. Lastly, it can automatically detect components for fast and ease of use.
- Automatic easement and component detection
- Lightweight and portable
- Versatile – serves as an ESR and LCR meter
- Small display screen
7. AnaTek Instruments Blue ESR Tester [Scientific & Industrial Grade]
AnaTek Instruments Blue ESR tester is coming as the second last on this list of the best ESR meters. However, that doesn’t mean it is inferior compared to what we have mentioned. In fact, this measuring device is classified as a high-end ESR meter.
This blue chase ESR tester is a scientific and industrial grade measuring device. It is hailed for its superb precision and accuracy. Despite some setbacks, this ESR meter can still give you the best ESR readings.
To save power, this tester has an auto shutoff feature. Therefore, it can have a longer runtime although on a single 9V battery.
However, the AnaTek Instruments Blue ESR tester falls short of some features you would expect in most ESR meters. It does not have automatic component detection and only measures ESR.
- For scientific and industrial purposes
- Automatic power shutoff
- One-year warranty from the manufacturer
- Easy to use
- No automatic component detection feature
- Not versatile – only measures ESR
- Tests limited electrical components
8. AITRIP LCR-T7 ESR Meter
The last on the list is AITRIP LCR-T7 ESR Meter. This measuring instrument made it one of the best ESR meters for its versatility and advanced disp0lay system. You can use it to detect different electrical components and measure their equivalent resistance values. It is compatible with transistors, capacitors, resistors, diodes, MOSFET, triac, and many others.
AITRIP LCR-T7 ESR Meter has an in-built high-capacity rechargeable lithium-ion battery. That ensures a long operation time without recharging, making it ideal for use in the field. Like all other ESR meters, this device also has an auto shutoff feature.
This instrument does not offer a warranty on this particular product. However, the build quality is high, and reliability is unquestionable. Buy it without any doubt for testing different electrical components.
- Reliable and high-build quality
- Automatically shuts down to conserve power
- Versatile and supports many electrical components
- In-built battery is not removable
We have unveiled our list of the best ESR meters in each category. The exact product you buy on the list depends on many factors, including your budget and intended use. However, we have recommendations for you.
The most recommended ESR meter is the DROK ESR meter. This measuring device is ruggedly built to last and has high accuracy. Its main features include automatic detection of components, multi-color display, and auto-shutoff. It is also a multi-functional measuring instrument and is affordable.
Another reliable option to consider is DE-5000 Handheld LCR Meter. This has all the features of the first choice but can also do more. You can use it to measure quality factor and dissipation factor, which most ESR meters are incapable of doing. This device is also accurate and reliable compared to other options.
The last consideration is the Signstek MESR-100 V2 ESR LCR Meter. It may not be as versatile as the first two measuring instruments, but it has some great features. It has a wide measuring range, an accuracy of 1%, and a high resolution of 0.001Ohm at 1 Ohm range. You can also choose it for its long battery life and auto-ranging features.
You can also consider other options on this list. Every measuring device here is reliable and will give you the most accurate readings.