An EMF meter (or EMF detector) is a scientific instrument for measuring electromagnetic fields (abbreviated as EMF). Most meters measure the electromagnetic radiationflux density (DC fields) or the change in an electromagnetic field over time (AC fields), essentially the same as a radio antenna, but with quite different detection characteristics.
Types of meters - There are many different types of EMF meters, but the two largest categories are single axis and tri-axis. Single axis meters are cheaper than a tri-axis meters, but take longer to complete a survey because the meter only measures one dimension of the field. Single axis instruments have to be tilted and turned on all three axes to obtain a full measurement. A tri-axis meter measures all three axes simultaneously, but these models tend to be more expensive.
Electromagnetic fields can be generated by AC or DC currents. An EMF meter can measure AC electromagnetic fields, which are usually emitted from man-made sources such as electrical wiring, while Gauss meters or magnetometers measure DC fields, which occur naturally in Earth's geomagnetic field and are emitted from other sources where direct current is present.
Sensitivity - As most electromagnetic fields encountered in everyday situation are those generated by household or industrial appliances, the majority of EMF meters available are calibrated to measure 50 and 60 Hz alternating fields (the frequency of US and European mains electricity). There are other meters which can measure fields alternating at as low as 20 Hz, however these tend to be much more expensive and are only used for specific research purposes.