Tube Tester

Thinking of buying a used tube-tester. Can you tell me what to look for? Explain some of the terms, e.g. mutual, conductance, emission, etc. Recommendations (Eico, Sencore, Mercury, etc.), model number and why? All I need is a basic type, but I like to know more. Thanks!
What is your budget?
Buy Hickok if you want a really good tester and size is not a big concern.
I have an extra one I'm not using. It tests 4,5,6,7 pin large, regular and miniature, octal, loctal, 9-pin miniature tubes, nuvistors and pilot lamps. It checks: emission, open or shorted tube elements, Cathode-to-filiment leakage, and a GAS test. It also has a line voltage adj., Illuminated Speed roll chart (Lists over 700 types) also has a supplementary tube chart. $75.
Budget and function are all relative. I like to have basic one and hope below $100 that will work. How would Sencore, Eico, Mercury, or Superior Instruments compare with Hickok? Do I need to get a conductance one?
Darrell, what brand and model number is yours?
you would want a mutual conductance unit. for that price range, look for heath kit, B&K, knight, eico or superior in ebay. The B&K is solid state and do not tube 4 pins like 300B. The hickok 533 is a good unit but u need some luck to find it at $100.
Kara Chaffee sells and services Hickok Tube testers among other things. I can't say enough good things about Kara, one of the really good guys in the business. Check out his webpage at
I found around 5,000 tubes listed in the paper for sale. Included with the tubes was a Hickok 752A tube tester. Final price $190.00 for the works! Keep an eye on the paper!