Are you looking for a non-contact voltage tester? You are in the right place. This post focuses on the review of the best non-contact voltage tester to help you make an informed decision.
As the name implies, non-contact voltage testers let you check AC voltages without connecting to wires or components. They enhance your safety when working with high voltages and make detecting different voltage levels in the environment easy. But how do non-contact voltage testers work?
A non-contact voltage tester detects AC voltages in a wire or a power outlet. If the voltage is present, the device lights up an LED or sounds a buzzer, but some can display the voltage level measured. An alternating current passing through a conductor creates a magnetic field around the conductor, which penetrates through the conductor. The non-contact voltage testers detect this magnetic field and measure its strength to determine the voltage present in the conductor.
Non-contact voltage testers are essential devices for electrical engineers and technicians. These tools are used in the following area:
- Working on electrical wiring
- Checking circuit breakers
- Installing and testing power outlets
- Changing bulbs
- Troubleshooting electrical systems
So, which is the best non-contact voltage tester to buy? Read on for a detailed review of the best products and a buying guide to make the best buying decision.
Best Non-Contact Voltage Tester Comparison Chart
Top 10 Best Non-Contact Voltage Testers of 2023
Non-contact voltage testers are cost-effective devices for detecting voltages on live electrical lines and power outlets. Different products are available in the market, making it overwhelming to decide. But with this review, you will learn what the best non-contact voltage offers and choose what suits your application and budget.
After extensive market research and testing of various non-contact voltage testers, we compiled a list of the best products in different price ranges. Let’sLet’s dive right in for details!
1. Klein Tools NCVT-2 Non-Contact Voltage Tester [Best Overall]
The first on the list of the best non-contact voltage testers is the Klein Tools NCVT-2. This device took the spot for its quality, features, and design.
Klein Tools NCVT-2 is a dual-range non-contact voltage tester that detects the low and standard voltage and illuminates an LED. Under usual operation, the LED remains green. But suppose the voltage is present in the conductor or power outlet being detected. In that case, it flashes red, and a buzzer sounds. The green LED also has enough luminance to light up dark places.
This voltage tester is a dual-range. It can measure voltages from 12-1,000 V AC or 48-1,000V AC, and the user selects either. Klein Tools NCVT-2 also features an auto power-off function to conserve battery when not used and is rated CAT IV 1,000 volts. Your safety when using this tool is guaranteed.
Klein Tools NCVT-2 is ergonomically designed and pen-shaped with an overall lightweight construction. It also has a convenient pocket clip, which enhances its portability.
- Has dual power settings
- Rated CAT IV 1,000V
- Feature pocket clip for easier holding
- Green alert light when voltage is detected
- High-quality and durable
- Features flashlight for illuminating dark places
- No manufacturer warranties
2. Fluke 1AC-A1-II VoltAlert Non-Contact Voltage Tester
The second on this list is the Fluke 1AC-A1-II VoltAlert voltage tester. Like the first product, this is also one of the best products with great features for safe, non-contact voltage detection. It allows you to quickly test energized electrical circuits at work or home.
Fluke 1AC-A1-II VoltAlert is an easy-to-use voltage detector. A touch of its tip to the terminal strip, power outlet, or electrical wire is enough to tell if the circuit is energized. If voltage is detected, the tip glows red, and a buzzer sounds, but you can disable the beeper if you work in a quiet place where noise is unnecessary. When turned on, Fluke 1AC-A1-II VoltAlert’sVoltAlert’s tip blinks red to let you know it is working correctly.
Fluke 1AC-A1-II VoltAlert can detect voltages within the range of 90V to 1,000V AC or 200V to 1,000V AC, depending on the chosen settings. You can find other versions of this voltage tester for detecting low 20V to 90V used in control circuits. Your safety is guaranteed as Fluke 1AC-A1-II VoltAlert meets the CAT IV 1000 standards.
- Audio-visual alert, but the beeper can be disabled
- Wide voltage detection range
- Ideal for a heavy-duty use
- Meets CAT IV 1000V safety standards
- The beeper could have been louder
3. EOUTIL VT120 Non-Contact Voltage Tester
Non-contact voltage testers are generally affordable. But if you are on a very tight budget, you can choose EOUTIL VT120. This is one of the cheapest products on this list, and it comes third for the right reasons. Besides the lower price tag, EOUTIL VT120 has many features comparable to the previous voltage testers.
When you point the tip of EOUTIL VT120 to the conductor or electrical circuit, an alarm sounds, and a red LED light flashes if the voltage is detected. EOUTIL VT120 can detect voltage within 60V to 1,000V AC in cables, cords, power outlets, and other electrical conductors. It is also safe and reliable, meeting the CAT IV safety standards.
EOUTIL VT120 voltage tester also features a flashlight, which produces white light for illuminating dark places. You activate the flashlight by pressing a button on the tester’s body. This product also features a durable ABS case, portable pencil hook, and convenient pocket clip.
- Safety guaranteed
- ABS casing to offer protection against damage due to occasional drops
- Features flashlight and a convenient pocket clip
- Not ideal for detecting voltages lower than 60V AC
4. KAIWEETS NCVT-2 Voltage Tester
Another cost-effective non-contact voltage tester on this list is the KAIWEETS NCVT-2. This voltage tester should have been the first if not for its slightly lower safety compliance. It is a reliable and safe device to use for detecting voltages.
KAIWEETS NCVT-2 is a dual-range voltage detector with an adjustable sensitivity. The tool detects voltage within 12V to 48V AC if set in low-sensitivity mode. You don’t get any beeps, just a green screen. But if set to detect voltages between 48V and 100V AC, the tip continuously illuminates red, and the screen turns red. There will also be a high-frequency alarm if a voltage is detected. However, this device only has a CAT IV 600V safety compliance.
You can use KAIWEETS NCVT-2 for neutral and live wire testing. A slow alarm goes off for null wire testing, and the LCD screen shows a green light when the tip gets close enough to the object under test. The buzzer sounds a quick warning for live wire testing, and the LCD turns red when voltage is detected.
KAIWEETS NCVT-2 also features an LED flashlight and a convenient pocket clip for portability at the pace of work.
- Dual-range voltage detector
- Visible and audible alarms when voltage is detected
- Ergonomic design and easy to use
- Safety compliance should have been higher
5. Neoteck TL163-US Non-Contact AC Voltage Tester
Neoteck TL163-US is another worthy option if you are looking for a more affordable voltage tester. This product has all features you need in a voltage detector.
Neoteck TL163-US is a non-contact voltage detector that can easily distinguish between live and neutral wire in an electrical circuit. It can detect voltages from 12V to 1000V AC and is safe to use. The product has CAT III 1000V and CAT IV 600V safety compliance.
The buzzer sound is low when testing a neutral wire, and LEDs show yellow. But if detecting voltage in a live wire in an energized electrical circuit, the buzzer sounds fast and the LED glows red. The light also flashes quickly. You can also use Neoteck TL163-US to detect breakpoints in an insulated conductor by observing the changes in light indications.
Neoteck TL163-US non-contact voltage detector also features a flashlight and an auto-off function to conserve battery power.
- Wide voltage detection range
- Portable pen size
- Auto power-off feature
- Neutral and live wire detection
- Study built quality
- Sensitivity could have been better
- Not very safe for heavy-duty use
6. Klein Tools RT250KIT NCVT
As the name suggests, Klein Tools RT250KIT is a complete non-contact voltage detection kit consisting of a receptacle tester and a non-contact voltage tester.
The receptacle tester has a large LCD screen for displaying voltages and wiring. It also shows the time required to trip a dual-function circuit interrupter (DFCI) device. This 3-wire, North American receptacle tester can detect open neutral or ground wiring faults.
The Klein non-contact voltage detector is a dual range. You can set it for 12V to 1,000V AC or 70V to 1,000V AC, whichever suits the application. If voltage is present on the tested conductor, the device sounds an alarm and flashes a light. It also features a flashlight for illuminating dark work areas and can work indecently as a non-contact voltage detector without needing a receptacle tester.
This kit has an overall lightweight and compact construction to enhance portability. It also has pocket clips for convenient storage and fast access when needed.
- Has both a non-contact voltage tester and a receptacle tester
- Wide voltage detection range
- Lightweight and compact
- Pocket clip for convenient storage
- Dual-range voltage detection – suitable for low-voltage and heavy-duty applications
- 2-year manufacturer warranty
- Meets CAT IV 1000V safety standards
- The kit is relatively expensive
7. Sperry Instruments STK001 Non-Contact Voltage Tester
Like Klein Tools RT250KIT, Sperry Instruments STK001 also has a 3-wire North American receptacle tester. It is an ideal tool for verifying whether an electrical circuit is energized before installation, troubleshooting, or repair.
The Sperry Instruments GFCI outlet tester is best for electricians, inspectors, technicians, and DIYers. It features neon lamps that indicate 7 different wiring conditions and has a wiring condition legend printed on the casing for reference. This outlet tester is compact and comfortable to use with a firm grip.
The Sperry Instruments non-contact voltage tester allows you to detect voltage in any electrical circuit. It features a fully insulated probe tip, eliminating the risk of touching live electrical wires accidentally. You can use this device to test a wide range of voltages, from 50V to 1,000V AC, but it may not be ideal for low-voltage applications.
The Sperry Instruments STK001 boasts 360 degrees visual and beeping audio indication and safety rating of CAT Rating III 300V, C-UL US (GFI6302), CAT Rating III 1000V, and IV 600V.
- ABS housing offer protection
- Audible and 360 degrees visual indicators
- Comes as a set of an outlet tester and a non-contact voltage detector
- Easy-to-use controls
- Not the best for low-voltage applications
8. Klein Tools NCVT-4IR Non-Contact Volt Tester
Another reliable tool from Klein Tools is the NCVT-4IR Non-Contact Volt Tester. It can detect AC voltages in cables, cords, circuit breakers, switches, outlets, and other electrical components. This tester has a voltage detection range of 12V to 1,000V AC and features visual and audible indicators for an energized circuit.
NCVT-4IR Non-Contact Volt Tester has a backlit LCD screen with 0.1-degree resolution for showing temperature measurements. This voltage detector features a 4:1 distance-to-spot ratio IR thermometer with user-selectable ranges of -22 to 482 degrees Fahrenheit or -30 to 250 degrees Celsius. This is complemented by a laser pointer to target an area for temperature measurements.
Like most non-contact voltage testers on this list, Klein Tools NCVT-4IR has an auto power-off feature to save battery power.
- Auto power off
- Wide voltage detection range
- Includes temperature measurement
- Audio-visual indicators
- Certified to be CAT IV 1000V
- Suitable for high-voltage systems
- Fragile pocket clip
- Relatively bulky compared to other pen NCVTs
9. Greenlee GT13 Voltage Detector
The Greenlee GT13 Voltage Detector is the best choice if you work in dark places. The built-in flashlight provides enough luminance to light up corners and tight spaces, but this voltage tester offers more than that.
It can detect voltage within the range of 50V to 1,000V AC. The Greenlee GT13 Voltage Detector flashes red when operating without testing any object. If it detects voltage in an energized electrical circuit, the LED flashes more rapidly and sounds a beep.
Greenlee GT13 Voltage Detector also features an auto power off that turns it off after 5 minutes of inactivity. Other features of this device include a rubberized case for grip and a compact design to fit in pockets.
- Rubberized for grip and non-slip use
- Built-in flashlight
- Compact and lightweight
- Auto power off
- Safety Rating of CAT IV 1000V
- Not ideal for low-voltage applications
10. Gardner Bender GVD-3504 Circuit Alert Non-Contact Voltage Tester
Gardner Bender GVD-3504 non-contact voltage tester is the last on the list and the most affordable device. It can detect voltages within the range of 50V and 600V AC with CAT III 600V safety standards. This seems lower than what other voltage detectors offer but is justified by the price of this product.
Gardner Bender GVD-3504 helps you check for live wires before working on any electrical circuit. Its insulated probe tip eliminates the risks of accidentally touching live electrical cables during installation or troubleshooting. It produces a beeping sound and flashes red when it detects voltages in the conductor.
Gardner Bender GVD-3504 is ideal for testing voltages in power outlets, light fixtures, circuit breakers, switches, motors, and other electrical equipment.
- Features both audio and visual indicators
- Convenient pocket clip
- Easy to use
- Limited voltage range
- Safety rating could have been better
Non-Contact Voltage Tester Buying Guide
What do you look for when buying a new non-contact voltage detector? To get the best product, you should consider features and all other factors that suit the intended application. The information provided will help you make the best purchasing decision.
1. Voltage Range and Safety Rating
Non-contact voltage testers are often used in high-voltage applications up to 1,000V AC. There is a high risk of electrocution if the tool cannot protect you from the high electrical currents. Most voltage testers are rated CAT IV 1,000V. This is the ultimate protection or safety standard to look for. Some may have CAT III 600V rating and are only safe for detecting voltages up to 600V AC.
Most non-contact voltage testers can safely handle voltages around your home. If you live in the US, households have 120V AC outlets. It is 230V in EU countries for a single-phase circuit and 400V for a 3-phase circuit. So, the voltage tester you choose for DIY projects should have a maximum voltage range of more than 600V. And if you are working with higher voltages, consider higher limits and safety ratings.
2. Build Quality
The build quality of a non-contact voltage tester determines how long it will last. These tools are often exposed to severe conditions at the work site. So, choose one with water-resistant and dust-proof housing to keep off water and dust that can affect the electronics inside it. Also, consider voltage detectors with ABS casing that can withstand occasional drops. These specifications will ensure your new non-contact voltage detector serves you for a longer time.
3. Dual Range Voltage Detection
This is a primary factor when working with low and high-voltage circuits. Some tools are designed to detect only high voltages in power outlets, lighting fixtures, circuit breaker panels, switches, etc. These are inappropriate if you are looking for a voltage tester for detecting voltages in applications such as doorbells, security equipment, thermostats, etc.
Dual-range testing is a powerful feature of non-contact voltage testers that makes them suitable for many applications.
4. Display and Controls
A non-contact voltage tester should detect voltages in a conductor without touching it and notify you. Different products do this differently, but your best choice is one with audio and visual indicators. That ensures you know if the circuit is energized, whether it is in a dark or noisy place.
Most voltage testers are simple and easy to use. They come with a few buttons to change the range or turn them on or off.
5. Other Features
You can also consider other features such as the presence of a flashlight, rubberized casing, pocket clip, thermometer, and many others. These are not crucial but equally important for portability, grip, and others functions. Also, don’t forget to check the price factor. The cost varies; usually, the most expensive is not necessarily the best.
Are non-contact voltage testers safe?
Yes. These testers should be safe for use within the voltage ranges specified by the manufacturer. But also consider their CAT safety ratings to get a better idea.
Are voltage testers the same as multimeters?
No. These are two different electrical instruments. A voltage tester only detects voltage in an energized electrical circuit. It informs you using a beep or by illuminating an LED. On the other hand, a multimeter gives voltage, current, and resistance values in the tested electrical circuit.
What are the applications for non-contact voltage testers?
A non-contact voltage tester can detect voltage in any application where alternating current flows. You can use it to test power outlets, circuit breaker panels, lighting fixtures, and low-voltage electrical circuits.
How does a non-contact voltage tester work?
A non-contact voltage tester senses the magnetic field that forms around a conductor through which an alternating current flows. The magnetic field can pass through the insulators and other objects, making it possible for the voltage testers to determine whether the conductor has a voltage.
Non-contact voltage testers are an essential tool for anyone working with energized electrical circuits to have. The review and buying guide provided should help you make the best decision when buying one of these tools, but we have recommendations.
The Klein Tools NCVT-2 is the best non-contact voltage on the list. It features a dual-range voltage setting, a wide voltage range, and a CAT IV 1,000V safety rating. The build quality is also second to none and has other added functionalities.
We also recommend Fluke 1AC-A1-II VoltAlert. Like Klein Tools, it also has the same safety standard, a wide voltage detection range, and dual range voltage settings. You can use it on many applications, but it is specifically best for high-voltage circuits.
Lastly, choose the EOUTIL VT120 voltage tester if you have a tight budget. This affordable non-contact voltage detection tool offers many features, including a flashlight and pocket clip. It has a wide voltage range of 60V to 1,000V AC and a CAT IV 1000V safety rating.