Portable Appliance Testers (PAT) are available from basic to advanced types. How much you need to spend is dependent on whether you're a DIYer or a professional. We review five of the best ones.
How we decided on the best Portable Appliance Testers?
A PAT tester is an electronic device used to examine electrical appliances. We use this tool to find out if an item is safe to use or not.
A visual review of a broken microwave, for example, won't tell you much if the electrics are kaput. You can't point out if there are any electricity flow defects by examining it. The only way to detect an electrical flow defect is by using a PAT tester.
They will have other features that involve testing other technical aspects. Most of it, let's be honest, is negligible for the DIYer.
That's not to discount the many useful features. There can be more use of it rather than testing the safety measures of an electrical appliance.
So, let's get to know more about electrical PAT testers and why you should consider buying one, and why.
Before you read any further, we should point out that we do not advise our readers to delve into the electrical components of an item unless you can be regarded as a competent person as defined by Napit, NICEIC, or Elecsa.
Our Top 5 Rated Ones
This is a versatile tool that conducts tests quite fast. This is a handheld PAT tester that is battery operated and very portable. That means you can use it on the go without worrying about connecting it with the mainline.
This is an easy to use PAT tester that comes with only three buttons. So, there are no advanced functions to worry about. You need to select the type of equipment that you will be testing, and you push another button to test.
You will get the results of the test that will be on the bright display. It is an entry-level PAT tester which is friendly for beginners who don't conduct PAT tests very often.
This is a portable and easy to use PAT tester that is well suited for light usage. This is capable of testing class I and II appliances that are applicable for light devices.
This is a simple tester so any beginner can use it without getting confused with a variety of functions. It has a pass/fail LED indicator. This is also rechargeable that does not need any more power source to function.
This is a high-end PAT tester from Fluke that can be a great pick for professionals because of it being so powerful. It features downloadable storage that allows you to store the test results and download them into your pc. It includes the premium Fluke DMS PAT software that you need for connecting it with your pc for.
It can conduct tests fast and with one button. It comes with many preset modes, but you can override and program it as you wish. But you need to be an advanced user to control it.
This tester features almost all the essential tests that you will need if you are a professional. So paying a bit extra for it is worth it.
If you are looking for something simple to use yet, the UNI-T UT527 PAT Tester can be a solid pick for you. This is a great PAT tester for light usage like a small business, office. This tester features a simple pass/fail indicator that's on the large built-in display.
It is a simple three-button tester. All you need to do is connect your appliance to it and press the correct button.
The test results will appear in the display, and you need to record it as it does not feature any onboard memory. It can test class I and II appliances, IT equipment, ITC leads and extension leads, and 110V and 415V equipment.
This is a versatile PAT tester for electrical equipment that can provide accurate and consistent results. The Megger 1003-064 PAT150 comes in a rugged body with gorilla glass.
So, it is suitable for heavy usage. It is a professional tool that features a wide variety of tests. It features more tests like SELV, user-configurable Pass limits, and test durations.
It can null bond lead resistance to decrease the chances of measurement errors. It also has many more features than a professional PAT tester will ever ask for.
These are some of the best electrical PAT testers you will get out there. Pick the one that suits you the most considering your budget and how you will use it.
If I get to choose one, I will go for Seaward Primetest eyes closed because of its excellent portable design. Though it is a bit expensive, considering the extra feature, it's worth paying the extra money.
Electrical PAT Tester Buying Guide
If you are looking for buying a decent PAT tester, you need to consider a few things before buying. There are a lot of technical things involved, and now, I am going to explain them as simple as possible.
Eligibility to Perform a PAT test
First things first, to perform a PAT test with a PAT tester, you need to be a competent person, and this is very important. Testing of an electrical appliance must be by a competent person. Yet, there is no precise definition or benchmark of a competent person, or there is no degree for it.
If you have a degree in electrical engineering or studying makes you a competent person. What can make you competent to use it is to know about it, know the technical factors and knowledge of performing the test.
And as getting involved with electricity is here, you need to conform to safety standards as well. There are even options to take training that you can consider if you're interested.
What type of appliance will you be testing?
You should consider this as there are different types that serve a different purpose. Another important factor is how will you be using it. Now I am going to discuss different types of PAT testers for different types of appliances below.
Basic: The basic PAT testers are entry-level that get the job quite done. If you are not likely to use PAT testers often, you should go for basic PAT testers.
Basic PAT testers are very simple, and they don't have built-in memory. So, you will have to record the results by yourself. These testers are suitable for 110v equipment, and they're powered by mains.
These testers allow you to conduct tests like extension leads and class I and II. Basic testers are the least expensive. Basic testers can provide pass/fail indicators with full results.
Mid-Range: For intermediate users who want to conduct PAT tests more like 500 per year. They can perform tests at fast speed and contain more features.
These are usually capable of conducting all types of basic tests and can even feature extra. Some of them might even have downloadable memory.
These can also be battery operated so they can be portable and allow you to test components on the go. Mid-range testers are usually more expensive than basic testers.
High-End: these are well suited for people who will use it on a regular basis. These are full-fledged PAT testers that offer every type of testing.
These testers are fast, and they might even come with printers and scanners. Its memory can store thousands of test results that you can, later on, connect with your PC. You'll need to buy the software but considering these being expensive, most won't mind.
These testers are for advanced users, and one of the features of it is the control that grants full control. Some of the high-end testers even come with risk assessment capabilities that are very useful.
How much do you want to spend?
Your budget should be according to how are you planning to use the PAT tester. It is pointless to spend a lot on a high-end PAT tester when you are not willing to use it on a regular basis. And if you are a professional, you must spend more as the more you spend, the more features you get.
And it's not likely for most of the people for having all the money to spend on a PAT tester, so you need to know how you exactly need to determine your budget. There are a lot of PAT testers that has a wide variety of features, and finding the best one for you can be quite difficult. So, we made a list of top 5 portable electrical PAT testers for you.