Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between DMM and Oscilloscope

DMM vs Oscilloscope

When dealing with electricity, it is essential that you have the right tools in order to get the right information. Two tools that you can use to deal with electricity are the oscilloscope and DMM, which stands for Digital Multimeter. The main difference between the DMM and oscilloscope is what they can do. The DMM is very versatile tool the can measure voltages, currents, resistances, and some can even check if diodes and transistors work. In contrast, an oscilloscope only measures voltage but with a lot more detail.

The thing that the oscilloscope can do that the DMM cannot do is to actually inspect how the voltage changes over time. This is very useful when it comes to electronics when you are inspecting signals. You can easily tell the waveform of the voltage; whether it’s a sine wave, a square wave, sawtooth wave, and the like. The DMM can only show the average voltage level, so you cannot really inspect it in detail. Another feature of the oscilloscope is the ability to plot two voltages together, thus providing the ability to compare. So if you have an input and an output, you can have them both on-screen so that you can see the changes that your circuit has done in real time.

Lastly, there is the matter of cost. The price may vary from place to place, but the price of an oscilloscope would always be a lot more than the price of a DMM. The difference can reach 10 times or even more.

The oscilloscope and the DMM are specialized tools that have their own uses. The DMM is more common as it is used in a lot more areas, like checking for shorts, voltages, measuring currents, and a lot more. The DMM is essentially a basic and necessary tool for any electrician or electronics enthusiast. The oscilloscope is a more advanced tool that should only be used by more experienced practioners.


1.A DMM measures a lot of things while an oscilloscope just measures voltage
2.An oscilloscope is able to show waveforms while a DMM cannot
3.An oscilloscope is used mostly for electronics while a DMM is used for a lot of things
4.An oscilloscope is able to measure to voltages at the same time while a DMM can only show one
5.An oscilloscope costs a lot more than a DMM

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