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12 Best Multimeter Reviews and Guide

Are you familiar with the saying “where the power dies the problem lies”? If so, chances are you have used a multimeter in your life. If you do any type of electrical work they will certainly be your best friend. Not only because they help you diagnose electrical problems but they also help keep you safe. That is why owning the best multimeter is so important. It’s also why we have provided these multimeter reviews to look at several of the best models.

best multimeter

When you think about it you realize it’s amazing all you can tell about an electric device or electric wiring just by using a multimeter. We consider these devices an essential part of any do-it-yourself or professional toolkit.

At one time or another when doing some type of repair on something that uses electricity you are going to need to test an aspect of the electric flow. That is the very reason why we will take the time to review several of the top multimeter products in this article and give you a little more helpful information about these handy electric measuring devices.

Best Multimeter Comparison Table

ImageDescriptionElectrical Tests PerformedBest FeaturesRatingPrice
Eventek ET820 Auto-ranging Clamp Style Multimeter
** Editor's Choice - Best Multimeter **
AC/DC voltage, AC current, continuity, resistance and diode
NCV testing
• Measures AC amp draw
• Highly rated by users
• Auto-ranging
• Live wire detection alarm
9.7

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TACKLIFE
DM03 Auto Ranging Digital Multimeter
** Best Budget Multimeter **
AC/DC voltage, AC/DC current, frequency, resistance, continuity, and diode testing• Lightweight 12 ounces
• Auto-ranging
• NCV tester
• Low-light backlit LCD display
8.6

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Etekcity MSR-R500 Digital MultimeterDC current, AC/DC voltage, resistance, continuity, transistor and diode testing• Data hold
• Protective rubber sleeve
• Lightweight and compact
• Backlit LCD display
8.8

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AstroAI Digital MultimeterAC/DC voltage, DC current, resistance, continuity and Diode testing• Built-in stand
• Fused overload protection
• 2x/sec sampling
• 1-year warranty
9.2

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INNOVA 3320 Auto-Ranging Digital MultimeterDC current, AC/DC voltage, resistance, continuity, transistor and diode testing• Probe storage
• Auto ranging
• Rubber corner guards
• Weighs only 11.2 oz.
8.7

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Neoteck Pocket Digital Multimeter 8233D PRO 2000AC/DC voltage, DC current, resistance, frequency, capacitance, continuity and diode testing• Auto Power-OFF
• Auto-ranging
• Built-in 45° stand
• Double current fuses
9.2

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Crenova MS8233D Auto-Ranging Digital MultimeterAC/DC voltage, DC current, resistance, continuity, frequency and Diode testing• Easy to read backlit LCD display
• Auto-ranging
• Data hold
• Overload protection
8.9

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Etekcity MSR-C600 Digital Clamp Meter MultimeterAC current, AC/DC voltage, resistance, diode and continuity testing• Measures AC amp draw
• Data hold, max reading hold
• Auto-ranging
• Insulated test probes
9.0

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Klein Tools 69149 Electrical Test KitAC/DC Voltage, DC current, resistance, continuity and Diode testing• Includes outlet tester and hot wire finder
• Data hold button
• In-body probe storage
• Built-in meter stand
9.0

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Thsinde Auto Ranging Digital MultimeterAC/DC voltage, DC current, frequency, resistance, continuity, NCV and diode testing• Alligator clip probes
• Data hold, max, min buttons
• Auto-ranging
• NCV tester
9.1

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Janisa PM18C Digital MultimeterTemp, AC/DC Voltage, AC/DC Current, Resistance, NCV, Diode, Triode, Capacitance and Frequency• Measures temperature
• True RMS results
• Can double as an NCV tester
• Large digit backlit LCD display
9.4

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Fluke 115 Compact True-RMS Digital MultimeterAC/DC voltage, DC current, resistance, frequency, capacitance, continuity and diode testing• True RMS measuring
• Auto-ranging
• CAT III safety rated
• Backlit LCD display
9.4

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Reviews of the Top 12 Multimeter Models

Here are multimeter reviews of what we feel are the 12 best models you will find in the electrical tool marketplace:

1. Eventek ET820 Auto-ranging Clamp Style Multimeter

** Editor’s Choice – Best Multimeter **

Eventek ET820 Auto-ranging Clamp Style MultimeterHere is a really nice multimeter with a clamp from Eventek. Clamp meters are nice because they make it very easy to take an amp draw measurement. This will help you see if an electrical item is working properly. It’s by far one of the highest user rated multimeters are on top 12 review list.

There are other nice features on it too. It’s an auto-ranging multimeter so you do not have to fuss over different settings within test modes. The backlit digital display on it has easy to read large letters and these can be held until you record the measurement you have taken. It even has a nice non-contact live wire detection alarm.

This multimeter is built using very good quality ABS plastic. There is also a 1-year warranty from Eventek that backs this product up too. It features protective rubber sleeves on each corner to help keep it from being damaged if dropped and included in the package is a soft carrying case too.

Pros:

  • Clamp meter – measures amp draw
  • Highly rated by users
  • Auto-ranging
  • Live wire detection alarm
  • Easy to read backlit LCD display
  • Made using high-quality ABS plastic
  • Included soft carrying case

Cons:

  • Backlit display time out is very short
  • Instruction manual could be clearer

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2. TACKLIFE DM03 Auto Ranging Digital Multimeter

** Best Budget Multimeter **

TACKLIFE DM03 Auto Ranging Digital MultimeterHere is a very good multimeter product from Tacklife. It’s one of the best budget multimeter choices considering that it’s an auto-ranging type multimeter. This is the affordable type of multimeter that every hobbyist, do-it-yourself repair person and casual electronic troubleshooter should own.

It has many outstanding features on it that make it very simple to operate. This is also a very accurate multimeter. It features such things as an easy to read digital display that is nicely backlit for convenient low-light use.

Not only can this multimeter double as a non-contact voltage (NCV) tester but it will also help you with data taking. This is due to the fact that it has max reading and data hold settings. This multimeter can be used for long periods of time without becoming a burden to hold thanks to its light 12-ounce weight.

The 9V battery it needs to operate is already included in the package. It also has a 15-minute auto-off feature which will help significantly extend its battery life too. This multimeter is also warrantied for a period of 2-years which is double the industry standard.

Pros:

  • 15-min auto-power off
  • Lightweight 12 ounces
  • Auto-ranging
  • NCV tester
  • Low-light backlit LCD display
  • Data hold, max value hold
  • 2-year warranty

Cons:

  • Small print in instruction manual
  • Backlit display times out a little quick

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3. Etekcity MSR-R500 Digital Multimeter

Etekcity MSR-R500 Digital MultimeterEtekcity is a company that is known for making precision electrical diagnostic equipment. The MSR-R00 multimeter does nothing to hurt that reputation. This versatile electric multimeter does such things as measure current, voltage, resistance, and continuity. You can even do transistor and diode testing with it.

This is a great multimeter for those that are new to electrical testing. It’s also among the best budget multimeters you can buy. That means even hobbyists and do-it-yourselfers can afford to keep a good multimeter right in their toolbox.

The design of this meter itself is good too. It is made of a rugged plastic material with an easy to see LCD digital readout. The readout is nicely backlit too for nighttime or dim light condition viewing. This meter is also shrouded in a protective sleeve so you have some forgiveness when you drop it or bang it on something.

It comes backed up by a 1-year warranty and the 9V battery it requires is included in the package.

Pros:

  • Affordable quality
  • Data hold feature
  • Protective rubber sleeve
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Backlit LC digital display
  • 3x per second sampling speed
  • 1-year warranty

Cons:

  • No amp testing ability
  • Built-in stand is somewhat flimsy

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4. AstroAI Digital Multimeter

AstroAI Digital MultimeterHere is a nice multimeter from AstroAI that works great and is very budget-friendly too. This meter performs such tests as measuring voltage, DC current, resistance, and continuity. It will help you do diode testing also. Please note it will not measure AC current.

This is a meter that is very easy to work too. Its convenient selector dial is clearly marked and it also has an easy to read large digital display. The display is also nicely backlit for low light use. Other convenient features include a built-in stand and a data hold button for recording measurements.

The AstroAI multimeter here is also fully protected against overloads and incorporates fuses into this process too. It’s is made out of tough rigid plastic and backed up by a full 1-year warranty.

Pros:

  • Large digital display, backlit
  • Data hold feature
  • Complete fused overload protection
  • Built-in stand
  • Very good accuracy
  • 2x per second sampling
  • 1-year warranty

Cons:

  • Will not measure AC current
  • Instruction manual could have larger print

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5. INNOVA 3320 Auto-Ranging Digital Multimeter

INNOVA 3320 Auto-Ranging Digital MultimeterInnova has designed a very nice little multimeter with this model. It is great for hobbyists, do-it-yourself work and light professional home or auto use. It has an easy to read oversize display and is super-lightweight at 11.2 ounces.

Its ultra-convenient auto ranging means you never have to fine tune the test selection dial as you are measuring with this multimeter. That will save a lot of time as you are using it. It also helps you to keep a free hand as you are working too.

One of the nicer features you get with this multimeter is its on-body probe storage. That helps prevent damage to the probes when not in use and makes this test meter very easy to store.

It’s made of scratch and dent resistant plastic and the corners have rubber guards on them for extra protection as you use it. This multimeter product comes with a full 1-year warranty from the manufacturer too.

Pros:

  • On body probe storage
  • Super convenient auto ranging
  • Rubber corner guards
  • Lightweight 11.2 ounces
  • Auto-shutoff
  • Built-in hands-free meter stand
  • 1-year warranty

Cons:

  • Only a Cat2 rated multimeter (not recommended for testing high voltage at the panel box)
  • Instructions need improvement

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6. Neoteck Pocket Digital Multimeter 8233D PRO 2000

Neoteck Pocket Digital Multimeter 8233D PRO 2000If you need a handy multimeter that is affordable and works great this may be the perfect fit for you. It does such important electric diagnostic measurements as voltage current, resistance, frequency, capacitance, continuity and diode testing. That will help you troubleshoot many home and auto electrical problems.

This Neoteck product has a wide variety of nice measuring features. It is auto-ranging so you do not have to constantly hand switch between ranges on the testing mode you are using.

In addition, it has a handy auto-off switch after its display sits idle for a period of time. This really helps extend its battery life quite a bit. There is a built-in stand which will enable this product to sit at an easy 45° angle while using it too.

It even has overload protection that uses double fusing to promote safety when measuring electrical currents. The high visibility orange softened plastic body it’s encased in will help protect it somewhat if accidentally dropped too.

Pros:

  • High visibility orange body
  • Large backlit LCD display
  • Made using softened plastic (drop protection)
  • Auto power-off
  • Auto-ranging
  • Built-in 45° stand
  • Double current fuses

Cons:

  • Backlit display times out unexpectedly
  • Capacitance does not read in smaller increments

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7. Crenova MS8233D Auto-Ranging Digital Multimeter

Crenova MS8233D Auto-Ranging Digital MultimeterHere is a really well-designed multimeter from Crenova. It is a great tool for doing home and auto electrical diagnosis. This multimeter will accurately measure voltage, current, frequency, resistance and also allow you to test diodes. The dial-up test select mode is very straightforward for easy selection too.

It’s made of high visibility orange plastic so it’s very easy to locate when searching for it inside your toolkit. The LCD display on it features large sized and easy to read numbers. This LCD display is also backlit for convenient low light use.

This Crenova product is also an auto-ranging type multimeter. That eliminates the hassle of fine tuning test ranges in a mode while using it. There is a battery saving auto-shutoff feature too that will activate after 15 minutes of non-use.

It’s easy to record the readings you take with this multimeter thanks to its data hold button. This uses a 9V battery to power it which is nicely included right in the package.

Pros:

  • Easy to find orange body
  • 9V battery included
  • Auto power-off
  • Easy to read backlit LCD display
  • Auto-ranging
  • Data hold
  • Overload protection

Cons:

  • Backlit display times out unexpectedly
  • Capacitance does not read in smaller increments

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8. Etekcity MSR-C600 Digital Clamp Meter Multimeter

Etekcity MSR-C600 Digital Clamp Meter MultimeterThis is another well-rounded multimeter product that has a clamp for reading amp draw. That gives it a leg up on non-clamped multimeters as far as ease of use goes. It can do a very wide variety of electrical testing to help you troubleshoot wires and devices.

It’s a sturdy plastic unit that has a large and easy to read LCD display. The test mode selection dial on it is very easy to set also. It’s an auto-ranging test meter and that makes it even simpler to use too.  This multimeter will even hold the max number or other test reading until after you have recorded it too.

There is even a built-in auto shutoff feature that kicks in after 15-min of non-use. The auto shutoff feature also helps its included AAA batteries last up to 150 hours of use. This product comes with a protective carrying case and is backed up with a warranty from Etekcity for a full 1-year.

Pros:

  • Clamp meter – measures amp draw
  • Data hold, max reading
  • Auto-ranging
  • Well-insulated test probes
  • Easy to read backlit LCD display
  • 15-min auto-off
  • 1-year warranty

Cons:

  • Continuity beep is not auto-on, has to be turned on
  • No alligator clip testers included

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9. Klein Tools 69149 Electrical Test Kit

Klein Tools 69149 Electrical Test KitWith this electrical test kit, you not only get a good working multimeter but you will get two bonus electrical testing items too. This includes a handy outlet tester that will verify that you wired in correctly or that it’s working properly. There is also a hot wire finder included in this package too which is great for quick wiring safety checks.

Klein Tools is a company that is known for making test tools that are reliable, accurate and hold up well over time. That should give you some peace of mind when buying their products. This looks to be a solidly built unit whose sensitive electronics are shrouded in a heavy ABS plastic frame.

It is a heavy duty Cat III double insulated meter which makes it safe in most instances for high voltage testing. There is a built-in data hold button and this multimeter features a very audible continuity indicator signal also.

The test probes store right inside the meter body. The large LCD display is very easy to read even from a distance.

Pros:

  • Includes outlet tester and hot wire finder
  • Data hold button
  • In-body probe storage
  • Built-in meter stand
  • Good size backlit LCD display
  • Audible continuity signal
  • Double insulated Cat III rated multimeter

Cons:

  • Case sold separately
  • Not auto-ranging

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10. Thsinde Auto Ranging Digital Multimeter

Thsinde Auto Ranging Digital MultimeterHere is a good multimeter that measures such things as AC/DC voltage, DC current, frequency, resistance, continuity and diode testing. It is made by Thsinde and they obviously sought some professional experience when they designed it.

The large variety of electrical tests it can do are easy thanks to the way it’s designed. It is auto-ranging so you do not have to mess with different settings within test modes. It can hold the data it tests for and tells you what the high and low readings are when testing too. It also uses an audible beep to indicate continuity.

This multimeter can also be used non-contact voltage (NCV) tester. It even comes with alligator clamp test probes which is very unusual on most multimeters. The large LCD display on it is nicely backlit. It’s fully short-circuit and overload protected too.

Pros:

  • Convenient alligator clip probes
  • Data hold, max, min buttons
  • Auto-ranging
  • NCV tester
  • Backlit LCD display
  • Audible continuity signal
  • Short-circuit protection

Cons:

  • Alligator clips could be stronger
  • Instructions need improvement

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11. Janisa PM18C Digital Multimeter

Janisa PM18C Digital MultimeterJanisa has a solid multimeter entry on our top-12 list of the best multimeter reviews. It features very accurate readouts that deliver true RMS results. It even doubles as an electrical safety device thanks to its ability to be used as an NCV (non-contact voltage) indicator.

This multimeter can be used as a non-contact voltage (NCV) indicator too. Not to mention that it can also take the temperature of an object too. That comes in very handy when making some types of electrical diagnosis because heat is a byproduct of electric flow when it meets resistance.

It is a very safe multimeter to use also. There is both built-in and fused short circuit and overload protection. Janisa back this product up with an industry standard one-year warranty too.

Pros:

  • Measures temperature
  • True RMS results
  • Can double as an NCV tester
  • Large digit backlit LCD display
  • Data hold, max value hold
  • Overload and short-circuit protection
  • 1-year warranty

Cons:

  • No auto-ranging capability
  • Uses 4AA batteries – this adds weight

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12. Fluke 115 Compact True-RMS Digital Multimeter

Fluke 115 Compact True-RMS Digital MultimeterHere is another multimeter that comes very highly rated by those that have purchased and used it. We agree 100% that this is a very well-built and well-designed electrical troubleshooting meter. Fluke is one of the original multimeter design companies and that longevity always makes them one of the best multimeter buys.

This multimeter is loaded with nice features. It has features that make it very easy to work such as its auto-ranging capability and backlit LCD display. It even has a digit hold feature, max reading feature and minimum figure reading capabilities.

It even includes a rugged and soft protective carrying case. The case opens laterally which allows you to use this multimeter without taking it out of its protective storage case.

This Fluke electrical measuring device is CAT III 600 V safety rated. That means it is safe to use even for most high voltage current measuring situations.

Pros:

  • Includes durable polyester storage case
  • True RMS measurements
  • Auto-ranging
  • CAT III 600 V safety rated
  • Low-light backlit LCD display
  • Data hold, max value hold
  • Built-in 45° stand

Cons:

  • Selector knob is not 100% smooth when turning
  • Display is clearest when looked at from a slight angle

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Should You Get An Auto-Ranging Multimeter?

As you have looked at the reviews on the different model multimeters on our top review list you might have noticed a pro feature on many of them called auto-ranging. You may have noticed that not all the multimeters on our best review list had this feature too. So how important is it that you have an auto-ranging multimeter? The answer lies in how much the ease of which your multimeter works means to you.

multimeter reviews

Most of your non-auto ranging multimeters have the same electrical test modes that auto-ranging multimeters do. They also have different ranges within these test modes. That means you will often have to change the range as you are taking your measurements. This can be quite tedious and time-consuming if you are doing electric diagnostic testing on a regular basis.

That is where auto-ranging comes into play. It makes taking electric measurements with a multimeter much simpler. Auto-ranging does this by eliminating the need to constantly switch between different ranges within a specific testing mode (such as when testing resistance = Ω).

When a multimeter is an auto-ranging model all you have to do is set it to a specific test mode. The meter itself is designed to automatically go to the proper test range of that mode where it can take an accurate electrical measurement. It saves much time and aggravation as you are taking electrical measurements with a multimeter. That makes electric troubleshooting and diagnosis much easier.

How to use a Multimeter for beginners: Part 1 – Voltage measurement / Multimeter tutorial

Auto-ranging multimeters have one other significant benefit too. That is the selection switch choices appear much less cluttered on the face of the multimeter. Instead of seeing several different range choices under each testing mode you will just see the mode symbol itself. So auto-ranging not only makes taking electric diagnostic testing easier, it also makes your multimeter testing mode selection much easier to make.

The bottom line is you absolutely do not need an auto-ranging multimeter to make most electrical diagnostic tests. With that being said, having an auto-ranging multimeter will make your electrical diagnostic test taking with a multimeter much less complicated and time-consuming.

Is It Always Better To Own A Digital Clamp Multimeter?

For certain types of electrical diagnostic testing a clamp style multimeter is an absolute must. That does not mean, however, that everyone needs to own a clamp style multimeter.

best multimeter for hvacWhat does a digital clamp style multimeter measure? It measures what is called amp draw. That is a fancy way of saying how much power certain parts of an electrical device are using at one time. This information can be very handy if you know what the operating amp range is supposed to be on a part of a certain electrical device.

Let us give you an example. You may be a person that is tasked with replacing the heater element in a hot tub. Once that heater element is replaced you want to make sure it’s working properly. The best way to do this is to check its amp draw.

You know that for this particular type of hot tub the amp draw for the heater portion of it is 22.5 amps when working properly. So when you turn on the hot tub you will then hook the clamp portion of your multimeter around the wire that feeds one leg of the heater element. If it reads that the hot tub is drawing near 22.5 amps you know you have successfully replaced the heater element in the hot tub and its working properly.

So basically it’s important to own a clamp style multimeter if you work on many electric powered devices that you know the proper amp ratings of its working parts. If you don’t need to do these types of electrical measuring then a clampless multimeter should work fine for all other types of electrical diagnostic testing.

Why Pay Extra Money For the Best Multimeter Model That Has The Same Test Modes as a Budget Friendly One?

There are some incredibly inexpensive multimeters on our top review list. To be honest, they do all the same measurements for the most part as some of the much more expensive multimeter models on the list. The question is then why would you ever want to spend more money on a higher priced multimeter? The answer to that is because of the way they help your electrical testing go smoother and be more accurate.

best multimeter under 50

Let’s make one thing clear first. More expensive multimeters are like more expensive cars. You usually get more conveniences with them and more useful options. We already mentioned such conveniences as a multimeter that is auto-ranging. You may also get more accuracy which can be important for some type of electrical diagnostic testing (true RMS measurements are among the most accurate forms of electrical testing measurements).

So if you are a model plane flying hobbyist that only occasionally does your own electric troubleshooting, then you can most likely get away buying a very inexpensive multimeter. On the other hand, if you install household surround sound systems you will need a very accurate means of electrical diagnostic testing and in turn, should use a higher end multimeter to accomplish that.

Summing Up Our Final Thoughts on These Multimeter Reviews

You really can’t go wrong by purchasing any of the multimeters that we reviewed on this best multimeter list. They all will greatly enhance your ability to diagnose problems with electrical devices and with electrical wiring. With that being said, there are two multimeter models that we thought really stood out from the rest.

As far as budget model multimeters go we really liked the TACKLIFE DM03 Auto Ranging Digital Multimeter. This multimeter has some outstanding features for an incredibly low price. There is its nice backlit, easy to read display; its data hold ability and there is the fact that it also doubles as a nice non-contact voltage finder. It’s also amazing that you can buy a multimeter that is auto-ranging at the price you can get this one for.

Which multimeter is our overall favorite on out top review list? It would have to be the Eventek ET820 Auto-ranging Clamp Style Multimeter. It can help you do just about any type of diagnostic electrical testing that you need to do. The great features start with its wire clamp that will help you measure the amp draw of products you are testing. It’s also auto-ranging, has a live wire detection alarm and is made using sturdy high-quality ABS plastic. You can never go wrong adding this multimeter to your diagnostic tool inventory.

Resources

[1] sparkfun.com : How to Use a Multimeter
[2] wikipedia.org : Multimeter
[3] fluke.com : What is a digital multimeter?
[4] thebalance.com : What is a Multimeter? Where to Use It and When

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Updated: December 23, 2017 — 11:53 am

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