Capacimeter: How to choose the best in 2021?
If you work with electrical, whether amateur or professional, you have certainly encountered the need to use a capacimeter, a device that measures capacitance.
But as there are several types of capacitors, with different technical specifications, you need to know how to choose the best one. Therefore, in today’s article, we will show you what are the main characteristics of a capacitor and what factors you must analyze to buy the ideal one.
First, the most important
- The capacimeter is a measuring instrument that indicates the capacitance values of a capacitor, a component present in electronic products and household appliances.
- This measuring instrument can have several uses, being very useful even in the repair of air conditioners, TV and refrigerators.
- But to invest in a high-precision capacimeter, it is necessary to take into account some aspects that differentiate one model from another, such as the presence of a multimeter, inductimeter and scale.
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Best Capacimeters: Our Recommendations
Choosing the best capacimeter is never so simple. After all, manufacturers have invested in varied models, with specifications and features to suit all needs and objectives. To facilitate your choice when buying the ideal capacitor, we have listed below the best ones on the market. Check out:
- The best capacimeter as a whole
- The best multimeter capacitor
- The most modern option of all
Whoever works with children or repairs to household appliances and electronic products, at some point will need to measure the capacitance values of the capacitor of these devices. For that, it will be necessary to have the capacimeter, or some measuring device that has this function.
For you to better understand the need and functionality of the capacimeter, we created this Buying Guide. Next, you will be able to increase your knowledge about this measuring instrument and then buy the best capacitor on the market.
What is the capacitor?
The capacimeter is an instrument widely used by those who repair electronic and computer devices.
And, as the name says, the capacitor is an instrument used to measure capacitance, which is a quantity related to the amount of charge in a capacitor.
Capacitor is a device capable of accumulating electrical charges when a potential difference is established between its terminals.
This device can be used in circuits powered by alternating electric currents, when the formation of a continuous electric current is desired.
Some examples of devices that depend on capacitors are home appliances, such as refrigerators, blenders, washing machines, as well as electronics such as computers and even cell phone chargers. ( 1 )
The capacimeter works through the principle of capacitive reactance. That is, it measures a current that passes through the capacitor, after an alternating voltage has been applied without its terminals.
Thus, the greater the capacitance, the lower the reactance and the greater the current that circulates.
The market offers many capacitor options. For example, it is possible to find digital capacitors, by time measurement and by reactance measurement.
The storage capacity of a capacitor or its capacitance is measured in Farads (F). Its submultiples, microfarad (uF), nanofarad (nF) and picofarad (pF) can also be used.
But be careful: Many devices of dubious origin can offer erroneous readings or with low accuracy.
As a result, the quality and safety of your work will be impaired. So it is important to know how to choose a good quality capacitor.
What is the capacimeter for?
The fact is that capacitors are usually the components that most cause problems to electronic circuits. This is because the capacitors open, short and have defects.
When any of these problems occur, electronic devices may stop working or malfunction. And to reach that conclusion it is necessary to have a capacimeter.
For example, the capacitor in your refrigerator is responsible for making the appliance work properly. If the capacitor is not working properly, the refrigerator may stop cooling properly, which may end up spoiling the food stored in it.
nother example is in the case of air conditioning that is not working efficiently. In this case, it is important to test the capacitor, even before testing the compressor.
In both cases, the most suitable instrument for determining the capacitance of the capacitor more accurately is, in fact, the capacimeter.
So, whether you are a professional who does maintenance on electronic circuits and devices, or even an amateur who likes to work with it, the capacimeter is an essential device.
How to use a capacitor?
While there may be some differences between using one capacitor for another, it is possible that you have a general sense of how it works.
For example, whenever you use a capacitor, it is essential that the capacitor is discharged before being tested. Otherwise, you risk burning the measuring instrument.
Also, check out a simple walkthrough on how to use most capacitor models below:
- Step 1: Make sure the capacitor is de-energized;
- Step 2: Check the data that indicates the capacitor’s capacity. In general, this information is located on a sticker attached to the capacitor;
- Step 3: Perform manual zero adjustment on the capacimeter. This serves to reduce the capacitance of the probes that will be fitted to the capacimeter;
- Step 4: Select the measurement scale on the capacimeter using the selector. The scale selected on the capacitor must be equal to or greater than the capacity of the capacitor in question;
- Step 5: Connect the capacitor’s alligator terminals to the capacitor poles;
- Step 6: Analyze whether the result measured by the capacitor corresponds to the capacity indicated on the capacitor label.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of a capacitor?
As we have seen so far, there are many advantages to be considered when dealing with the usefulness of a capacimeter.
With this instrument it is possible to accurately measure the capacitance of a capacitor. The capacitor is a device present in countless electronic products and is responsible for its correct functioning.
And, precisely because of this, the capacitor ends up presenting numerous problems and failures throughout its useful life. To detect these problems, and to know under what circumstances the capacitor is working or not, it is necessary to use a capacitor.
After all, the capacimeter is in fact the measuring instrument that speeds up the discovery of defects in capacitors.
Another advantage of having a capacimeter is that this measuring instrument has a wide range of options in its measurement range.
On the other hand, it is also possible to point out some disadvantages when dealing with the capacimeter.
Among them is the fact that the digital capacitor can be damaged if you make an operating error, such as when trying to measure a charged capacitor or that is in a live circuit.
In addition, a capacimeter ends up limiting its usefulness. So much so that, not infrequently, professionals can choose to have, for example, a multimeter that, in addition to the function of the capacimeter, includes other measurements.
To summarize, check below the table we created with the main advantages and disadvantages of a capacitor:
Where to buy and how much does a capacitor cost?
The price of a capacitor is usually quite affordable. In general, the value of this measuring instrument will vary according to the manufacturer’s brand and technical specifications.
The capacimeter itself costs between R $ 100 and R $ 1,000.
The cheapest models are actually multimeters, which come with a capacimeter function, among others. These can cost from R $ 35. However, the capacimeter itself costs between R $ 100 and R $ 1,000.
To buy this measuring instrument, you can choose stores specializing in electronics products or department stores.
Still, if you want to have a larger catalog to choose from among different models and brands of capacitors, we recommend that you make your purchase at online stores Amazon. With that, you still get your capacimeter without leaving your home.
Purchasing Criteria: How to Compare Capacitor Types
Now the time has come to take action and buy the best capacitor. But how do you know which model is ideal amid so many options for sale?
To do this, you need to know how to identify the factors that differentiate one model from another. To help you, we have listed the main ones. Are they:
- Digital or analog
- With or without Multimeter
- With or without Inductimeter
From here, you will discover how to analyze and take into account each of these criteria when buying your capacitor.
Digital or analog
The first factor that you should take into account when buying the best capacitor is in relation to its operation. In this regard, you will be able to choose between analog and digital capacitors.
The analog capacimeter works with a display that demonstrates the data collected through a pointer.
The digital capacimeter is more modern and offers the measurement results through a liquid crystal display.
With or without Multimeter
Another criterion that must be taken into account when buying the capacimeter is that this measuring instrument, as we have seen, can be one of the functions of other devices, such as the multimeter.
The multimeter is an electronic device used to measure electrical quantities and incorporates several measuring instruments, such as: Voltmeter, Ammeter, Ohmmeter and, in more advanced configurations, it can also count on the function of the capacimeter, frequency meter, thermometer, among others .
With or without Inductimeter
Another option that you will also find on sale in the market is the capacimeter that has the inductimeter as well.
In this case, the device will have on the scale the measured values for the capacitance in F (Faraday) and the measurement for the inductance in H (Henry).
This can be a good option since the inductimeter measures the inductance, or the value of an inductor, and is widely used in the areas of Physics and Engineering.
Finally, be sure to also analyze the scales and measurement values of the capacimeter.
Note that capacitor models can contain from three scales. But, in general, the capacimeters allow measurements to be made on scales ranging from 1pf to 100uF, in the case of the simplest instruments.
If we consider the most advanced and complete capacimeter models, they can count on a scale range that varies from 200pf to 2000uf.
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