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What Are The Different Kinds of PAT Tester?

In order to perform a portable appliance test, you need to actually own a PAT tester. These come in many types and this section gives you an introduction to each type and the benefits/negatives about each form of PAT tester.


These devices are generally the most basic PAT testing devices on the market, as they don’t actually display full results. Instead, PASS / FAIL PAT testers simply tell you if a device has passed or failed the test, and are therefore more ideally suited towards those requiring quick, basic PAT testing checks.

Key Benefits

  • Cheaper price
  • Clear PASS/FAIL readings
  • Usually easy to use


  • Doesn’t display full test result
  • Tests aren’t configurable
  • No internal storage

PASS / FAIL PAT Testers with Results Display

If you want to know the specific results of your test, these devices are generally still quite cheap and provide you with pass/fail values as well as the actual full test result. Notable examples of this form of PAT tester include the Martindale HandyPAT 600 and the Seaward Primetest 100.

Key Benefits

  • Still cheap
  • Displays results
  • Simple interface


  • Don’t always perform all tests
  • Test parameters aren’t usually configurable

Manual PAT Testers

Lying in the middle between basic PAT testers and high-end models, manual PAT testers require the user to have a greater understanding of PAT testing and how to correctly interpret the results gained.

Some manual testers do still display PASS/FAIL values, but is important to also recognise the correct levels of testing and the results you should expect.

Key Benefits

  • Allow you to configure tests
  • Full test value display
  • LCD display


  • No downloadable data
  • Require more in-depth understanding

Downloadable PAT Testers

The most high-end model of PAT tester available, these devices generally have all kind of fancy advanced features such as LCD displays, QWERTY keyboards, internal memory storage and the ability to connect up to PCs for the download of test data into software packages.

Key Benefits

  • Full results display
  • Highly accurate
  • Download test data to PC


  • Expensive

Written by Barry Atkins