I've purchased a cheap Aneng SZ08 multimeter recently and I'm learning how to use it.

The one thing I've noticed is that the handles of my probes has two markings on two sides: one of them says: CE (square) MAX, and on the other side there is 1000VCATIIII0A entitling. Could you please explain me what do these mean? (except CE, I know what is this).

As I understand, 1000 V is the maximum voltage these probes can handle. But what does 0 A mean? These probes cannot measure current?

As for CAT4, I saw in the net that there are different measurement categories, and CAT4 is

for measurements performed at the source of the low-voltage installation.

(quote from Wikipedia). But since I'm not an expert in electronics, just enthusiast, I don't really understand what it means. Could you please explain it for me?




1 Answer 1


I'll start with a caveat: those markings are probably not backed by actual tests. A cheap multimeter from a brand you've never heard of is probably not safe to use at the voltages and energies it claims to be rated for.

Now, category 4 is always written as CAT IV, never CAT IIII (which is not correct roman numerals¹). So I think what happened here is the CAT III rating has run into the 10 A rating, and the "10 A MAX" has gotten split across multiple marking locations by someone who doesn't know what they're doing.

It's also possible that they knew exactly what they were doing, and they intentionally made the markings look like actual ratings while being legally meaningless.

The CE marking you already know about, but again: this has probably never been tested to any standards the CE mark is supposed to mean.

The double square marking indicates that it's double-insulated. This one I could almost believe being real.

¹ IIII is sometimes seen on clock faces, supposedly for visual balance with the VIII opposite, but in all other contexts four is written as IV.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Supporting your "CAT III" / "10 A" tokenization -- the "I" and "1" differ slightly, in that the numeral has a half arrowhead at the top... which is present both in the "1000 V" and "10 A", and not in the characters of "III" \$\endgroup\$
    – Ben Voigt
    Nov 1, 2023 at 18:54

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