When measuring the resistance of a resistor using a multimeter does it matter if I turned the resistor around and have the probes at opposite leads?

Should I get the same results?

  • \$\begingroup\$ I recommend you to test it and find out. Especially since the question is part of your experiment :) \$\endgroup\$
    – nidhin
    Oct 21, 2015 at 18:14
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ If the resistor is in circuit, the circuitry around it (including diodes, transistors, ICs) can make a difference when you swap the meter probes around. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 21, 2015 at 18:42

2 Answers 2


A simple resistor has no polarity as far as its resistance is concerned. The resistance is the same regardless of the orientation of the probes across it.


With an ordinary resistor, you should get the same answer both ways round.

If the leads and probes have different surface impurities, or finger-grease, you may set up enough contact voltage to disturb the reading a little.

Lead temperature effects, while possible, should be below the resolution of most meters.

Resistor diode effects should only appear in the most horrible old corroded resistors.


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