How To Test A Tesistor With A Multimeter? A Step-By-Step Guide

Resistors are essential components in electronic circuits that help regulate the flow of electrical current. If a resistor fails, it can cause significant damage to the circuit, so it’s essential to test them regularly. Fortunately, testing resistors is relatively easy and can be done using a multimeter. In this step-by-step guide, we’ll show you how to test a resistor with a multimeter.

Materials Needed

Before we get started, let’s go over the materials needed for testing:

  • A digital multimeter
  • The resistor being tested
  • A pair of small alligator clips (optional)

Setting Up the Multimeter

Firstly, you need to set up your multimeter for resistance testing. To do this:

  1. Turn on your multimeter and select the resistance measurement mode. This is often denoted by an ohm symbol (Ω).
  2. Adjust any necessary dials or switches according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Note: Make sure that your multimeter has an appropriate range for measuring the resistance of your resistor. For example, if you’re testing a 100kΩ resistor, make sure that your meter has a range of at least 100kΩ.

How to test a resistor with a multimeter?

Now that your multimeter is set up correctly let’s move on to testing the resistor itself.

  1. First, disconnect power from any source connected to the circuit containing the resistor.
  2. Remove the resistor from its place in the circuit and ensure it is clean and free from any debris or contaminants.
  3. Place one probe of your multimeter on one end of the resistor and another probe on its other end.

Note: If you have trouble keeping both probes in place while taking readings, consider using small alligator clips to hold them in place.

  1. Readings will appear on your multimeter display after a few seconds once both probes are touching each end of the resistor.
  2. Record this value to compare it with expected values or use it as a reference later.

If you want more precise readings:

  1. Repeat Steps 3 and 4 above but instead touch only one probe onto one end of the resistor.
  2. Touching only one end will give you an idea about what level of resistance can be expected from that side alone.
  3. Record these readings as well.

Troubleshooting Tips

If you’re having issues getting accurate readings when testing resistors with a multimeter, here are some troubleshooting tips:

  • Check that both probes are making good contact with each end of the resistor
  • Ensure there are no stray wires touching either probe or interfering with measurements
  • Double-check that your meter is set up correctly for resistance measurements
  • Try switching probes around if initial results seem off or unexpected

Interpreting Results

Once you have taken readings using your multimeter when testing resistors, it’s time to interpret those results:

  • Compare measured values against expected values or use data sheets provided by manufacturers as references.
  • If measured values match expected values within acceptable tolerances then consider passing tests successful.
  • If measured values don’t match expected values within acceptable tolerance then consider failing tests unsuccessful.

It’s important to know what level of resistance can be expected from different types of resistors so always check datasheets before concluding whether tests failed or passed.


Testing resistors regularly helps ensure they function correctly and prevent damage caused by failures in electronic circuits they’re part of.. By following this step-by-step guide on how to test a resistor with a multimeter properly, you can rest assured knowing that all resistors within circuits have been checked thoroughly and working appropriately!


How do you check resistors with a multimeter?

To check a resistor with a multimeter, set the meter to resistance mode and connect the probes to each end of the resistor. The meter will display the resistance value of the resistor, allowing you to determine if it’s within tolerance.

How do you know if resistor is bad?

One way to know if a resistor is bad is by measuring its resistance using a multimeter. If the measured value significantly differs from its expected value or falls outside acceptable tolerances, then it may be faulty. Other signs include discoloration, cracks, or burnt marks on the resistor.

What is the best way to test a resistor?

The best way to test a resistor is by using a digital multimeter in resistance mode. By measuring its resistance value against its expected value or data sheet specifications, you can determine if it’s functioning correctly.

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