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Thread: Recommend me a multi-meter please?

  1. #1

    Default Recommend me a multi-meter please?

    What's the best multimeter to purchase?
    A Fluke 289 with time & data capability, a Fluke 87V without the time and data memory etc, or a Fluke 115 & 117 with no milliamp capability, or a Fluke 116 HVAC with milliamp capability????

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* tobrien's Avatar
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    Default Re: Recommend me a multi-meter please?

    what do you intend to do? if you get the best Fluke of all those, while you'll definitely have room to grow into, you'll be doing yourself a big overkill in a DMM purchase.

    if you just need resistance, voltage, and current capabilities, I think a 115 will do fine. I have the now-discontinued Fluke 111 and it's everything I need and a lot of stuff I don't even use (yet?).

    so if you don't truly need logging stuff like time and data then you'll be fine with a 'basic' Fluke.

    Fluke instruments are rock solid so you'll like whatever you get
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Recommend me a multi-meter please?

    Is it true that the Fluke 111 cannot measure current at all?
    While the Fluke 115 can measure current, but not milliamperage?
    While the 87V and 289 with timing can both measure micro-amps, eg to measure standby microamperage?

  4. #4

    Default Re: Recommend me a multi-meter please?

    +1 on the Fluke. I've used several multimeters over the years and the Fluke is easy to use and appears *very* accurate. I have the automotive version, but they are all good. They have a wide selection of accessories that makes them even more useful.

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    Flashaholic* Russel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Recommend me a multi-meter please?

    Quote Originally Posted by peterharvey73 View Post
    Is it true that the Fluke 111 cannot measure current at all?
    The Fluke 111 can measure AC and DC current up to 10A.


    Quote Originally Posted by peterharvey73 View Post
    While the Fluke 115 can measure current, but not milliamperage?
    When set to the 6A scale, the Fluke 115 measures to a resolution of 0.001A

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* jasonck08's Avatar
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    Default Re: Recommend me a multi-meter please?

    Fluke is definitely makes a good DMM. I own a Fluke 179, and an Agilent U1253A (which has datalogging). I really like them both.

    Also UNI-T has some darn cheap sub $100 datalogging DMM's out, which are pretty solid from what I hear.
    Last edited by jasonck08; 05-20-2012 at 01:23 AM.

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* Wrend's Avatar
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    Default Re: Recommend me a multi-meter please?

    In my opinion Fluke is only worth it if you specifically need their reliability and/or their high accuracy & resolution.

    If it's about having "the best" you can get (well, within reason) then you'll probably want a Fluke with all the features you think you might ever use.

    If it's about having a cost effective solution, then there are often better options.

    Bottom line is that it depends what you specifically want/need out of a MM.
    Last edited by Wrend; 05-19-2012 at 11:31 PM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Recommend me a multi-meter please?

    I would recommend the 175 as a good compromise. It has AC/DC Volts, DC mV, AC/DC A & mA ranges. It also measures resistance, capacitance, frequency and diode test. You get more accuracy with the 177 and temperature measurement with the 179.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Recommend me a multi-meter please?

    You have to decide if you need logging, for logging the only Fluke is the 289. It is a very good DMM, but it has a few annoying details, like slow turn on and low contrast on the display, the menu system with F1 to F4 gives access to a lot of settings, but is not as easy to use as dedicated buttoms on other DMM's.

    For a cheaper logging DMM, take a look at Agilent, they are also high end, but cheaper (One possibility is U1272A).

    For a cheap logging DMM, look at UNI-T. I have tested the UT61E, it has good precision, but the mA and uA range is not very useful.

    Without logging I would look at the Fluke 179.

    Edit (Added picture):
    Last edited by HKJ; 05-20-2012 at 05:53 AM.
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    Default Re: Recommend me a multi-meter please?

    I've been very pleased with the Amprobe I bought at Lowe's a few years ago. Seems I recall it was much cheaper than a Fluke. It does anything I've needed including current readings up to 10a.
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  11. #11
    Flashaholic* Russel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Recommend me a multi-meter please?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wrend View Post
    In my opinion Fluke is only worth it if you specifically need their reliability and/or their high accuracy & resolution.[...]
    I would add safety as well, Fluke meters are much safer to use when measuring mains or other high voltage sources compared to cheap $10 meters.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Recommend me a multi-meter please?

    Yup to all the above plus one advantage the Flukes have is beeping if the leads are placed incorrectly, nothing makes you jump more than measuring AC line voltage with the leads still plugged in to measure current.

  13. #13
    Flashaholic* Wrend's Avatar
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    Default Re: Recommend me a multi-meter please?

    I would add safety as well, Fluke meters are much safer to use when measuring mains or other high voltage sources compared to cheap $10 meters.
    Yeah. I'm not necessarily recommending the very inexpensive options either, unless they'll do well enough for what they're being used for.

    There are decent good quality MMs you can find for reasonable prices too though, say around $50 or so. It just depends what someone needs.

    Fluke is of course the gold standard.

    Yup to all the above plus one advantage the Flukes have is beeping if the leads are placed incorrectly, nothing makes you jump more than measuring AC line voltage with the leads still plugged in to measure current.
    I very rarely measure higher voltage AC stuff, but having that feature on a couple of my MMs would have saved me the trouble of getting replacement fuses for them a couple of times.
    Last edited by Wrend; 05-20-2012 at 08:57 PM.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Recommend me a multi-meter please?

    Quote Originally Posted by qwertyydude View Post
    Yup to all the above plus one advantage the Flukes have is beeping if the leads are placed incorrectly, nothing makes you jump more than measuring AC line voltage with the leads still plugged in to measure current.
    Yep! Been there done that, although I have never blown the fuse. I now have a set of spare fuses just in case

  15. #15
    Enlightened
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    Default Re: Recommend me a multi-meter please?

    also have a look at this site .. it has very good comparison on accuracy of various simple multimeters .
    http://www.robotroom.com/Multimeter-Reviews.html

  16. #16
    Flashaholic* Russel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Recommend me a multi-meter please?

    Here is a something that you might find interesting when considering what multimeter to buy.

    http://www.eevblog.com/2010/04/14/ee...-buying-guide/

  17. #17

    Default Re: Recommend me a multi-meter please?

    I have an old fluke somewhere that's always been awesome and easy to use., HOWEVER, I can't find it (it's around here somewhere) so I finally
    caved in and bought another one but I thought I'd look at something different and I bought a Uni-T UT50B for around 50 bucks shipped.

    It's very cool, has a buttload of features and has HUGE readout.

    The Uni-T's are hard to find accurate info about and I finally did a 4 meter comparison with pics and specs that I can post here if you want it.

    I chose the model I got because it had the most features/options that I wanted.

    By the way, if all you need is a fairly simple meter, you can buy cheap Flukes online on ebay if an older model is ok.
    Just look around

    George

  18. #18
    HKJ's Avatar
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    Default Re: Recommend me a multi-meter please?

    Quote Originally Posted by guiri View Post
    The Uni-T's are hard to find accurate info about and I finally did a 4 meter comparison with pics and specs that I can post here if you want it.
    It is easy enough to find the specifications for UNI-T meters, just check their website.
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  19. #19

    Default Re: Recommend me a multi-meter please?

    Yeah, kinda. I did find their site some time ago but had a hard time navigating it. I finally DID find the info but considering they have so many similar models, it got confusing as
    hell which is why I did that comparison thing I mentioned.

    Also, the sites that SELL (NOT saying the Uni-T site isn't accurate since they make the stuff) them have different specs for the same meter.

    HKJ is right though and I forgot that I DID find it on their site.

  20. #20
    Flashaholic* HighlanderNorth's Avatar
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    Default Re: Recommend me a multi-meter please?

    [QUOTE=HKJ;3947299]You have to decide if you need logging, for logging the only Fluke is the 289. It is a very good DMM, but it has a few annoying details, like slow turn on and low contrast on the display, the menu system with F1 to F4 gives access to a lot of settings, but is not as easy to use as dedicated buttoms on other DMM's.

    For a cheaper logging DMM, take a look at Agilent, they are also high end, but cheaper (One possibility is U1272A).


    For a cheap logging DMM, look at UNI-T. I have tested the UT61E, it has good precision, but the mA and uA range is not very useful.

    Without logging I would look at the Fluke 179.

    Edit (Added picture):
    [/QUOTE


    Would something like this Klein multi meter be adequate for $31, or do you have to spend $100 or more to get something reliable?

    http://www.google.com/products/catal...d=0CKMBEPMCMAE
    Last edited by HighlanderNorth; 05-31-2012 at 11:28 AM.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Recommend me a multi-meter please?

    Quote Originally Posted by HighlanderNorth View Post
    Would something like this Klein multi meter be adequate for $31, or do you have to spend $100 or more to get something reliable?

    http://www.google.com/products/catal...d=0CKMBEPMCMAE
    There are a few thinks about it I do not like:
    1) Combined terminal for mA/uA and Volt
    2) The precision is a bit low for LiIon batteries, when it shows 4.20 the actual voltage can be between 4.15 and 4.25 volt.
    3) No burden voltage specified for current range, i.e. the mA/uA range might not even be usable for flashlights.
    4) The diode test is only 1.5 volt and cannot be used for leds.

    I do like that it has auto range, includes a temperature probe and has back light.
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  22. #22

    Default Re: Recommend me a multi-meter please?

    I wish I had asked this question before I purchased my 87V.
    According to the research I did, the 111-114's could not measure amperage at all.
    Only the 115 onwards could measure amperage.
    And only the 116 could measure milliamperage.
    None of these 110 Series could measure micro-amperage.
    So I purchased the 87V.
    Boy the 87V is huge!
    It's an overkill for me too.
    Wish I had of bought the smaller 115/117 only, or the 116 with microamps. Nevermind.
    I had to buy the C25 case separately.
    I wish I had of bought the 87V Special Kit with the case, magnetic belt and special clips for only $50 more.

    Thank God HKJ says the 289 is too slow to turn on, the F1-F4 buttons clumsy to use, and the screen less contrast.
    Others also say that the 289 too big, and uses the 6x AA's up fast.
    I was almost gonna buy the 289.

    Now that I look back, I kinda have a Canon EOS-5D/60D of digital multimeters, when I'm not that interested in photography.
    A Canon EOS-600D equivalent would really have been good enough for me.
    Meanwhile, a Canon EOS-1100D wouldn't be good enough.
    Just the confusion with amperage, milliamperage, and microamperage caused...




    Last edited by peterharvey73; 06-01-2012 at 02:48 AM.

  23. #23
    HKJ's Avatar
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    Default Re: Recommend me a multi-meter please?

    Quote Originally Posted by peterharvey73 View Post
    It's an overkill for me too.
    You got a very good DMM with that 87 with enough digits to always get a precise reading on a LiIon battery.


    Quote Originally Posted by peterharvey73 View Post
    Thank God HKJ says the 289 is too slow to turn on, the F1-F4 buttons clumsy to use, and the screen less contrast.
    Others also say that the 289 too big, and uses the 6x AA's up fast.
    I was almost gonna buy the 289.
    I did not say it was too slow, just slow (About 9 second to first reading).
    It does use the batteries faster than my other Fluke meters, but they do still last a long time.
    As long as I uses it on my workbench, the size does not matter, but if I have to travel, I usually pick another DMM (Fluke 179).
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    Default New to this. Questions about multimeter/volt meter

    Hi everyone. Goodness, I have read the horror stories about using CR123As. Sheesh! Now I'am in need of.......I think it's a voltage meter? A multi-meter? Anyways, whatever is used to check the batteries to keep safe; that's what I need! Any product suggestions and how to use it will be appreciated. By the way my Streamlights came with Streamlight CR123As: Safe? My 4Sevens came with 4Sevens CR123As but were shrink-wrapped together: Still safe?

  25. #25
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    Default Re: New to this. Questions about multimeter/volt meter

    G'day rocketsurgeon01.

    If you're looking for a good intro on how to use a multimeter, then here it is!

    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...r-measurements

    Tons and tons of great info. Might even want to get a similar multimeter to the one in the tute to make it easier to follow.
    Either way, just don't go for one of the cheap and nasty ones you can find on ebay/DX and so on. Spend a little more and get a reasonable/good one.

    What do I use you ask? I have two; one is a Digitech QM1323 and it's pretty good for what I need. I also have a pocket sized one called Amprobe DM78C and it's a great little unit.

    All the folks on this fine forum will no doubt give you other great suggestions and it's all good info.

    Good luck with it.
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  26. #26
    Enlightened rocketsurgeon01's Avatar
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    Default Re: New to this. Questions about multimeter/volt meter

    Quote Originally Posted by bedazzLED View Post
    G'day rocketsurgeon01.

    If you're looking for a good intro on how to use a multimeter, then here it is!

    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...r-measurements

    Tons and tons of great info. Might even want to get a similar multimeter to the one in the tute to make it easier to follow.
    Either way, just don't go for one of the cheap and nasty ones you can find on ebay/DX and so on. Spend a little more and get a reasonable/good one.

    What do I use you ask? I have two; one is a Digitech QM1323 and it's pretty good for what I need. I also have a pocket sized one called Amprobe DM78C and it's a great little unit.

    All the folks on this fine forum will no doubt give you other great suggestions and it's all good info.

    Good luck with it.
    Thanks. I'll invest in a high-end one later; but for now I'll pick one up from a local auto parts store. The posts about CR123A fails made me a little paranoid.

  27. #27
    Flashaholic naiter's Avatar
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    Default Re: New to this. Questions about multimeter/volt meter

    i have a fluke knock off for work that was pricey, but for testing batteries i got one from the junk/cheapo tools store (harbor freight) for like $6 bucks and it had work great for years. when you find yourself modding lights and testing drives and map etc, then step up to a costly one, but volts are simple.

  28. #28

    Default Good cheap volt meter?

    I see alot of people recommending volt meters. Are volt meters different than multimeters? Whats the best budget volt meter for testing 18650's?

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Good cheap volt meter?

    The one I most use is the tiny one made by Cottonpickers over in the market place... http://www.cpfmarketplace.com/mp/sho...2-panels-added

    It takes up no space, is reliable and easy to use as it has two magnets on either wire that holds tight to the battery while you read the display. Plus they cost $7!!

    In fact I will be ordering a few more as I recently gave mine away to a nephew who is getting into lithium battery lights.

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  30. #30
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    Default Re: Good cheap volt meter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy13186 View Post
    I see alot of people recommending volt meters. Are volt meters different than multimeters? Whats the best budget volt meter for testing 18650's?
    They are a subset of a multimeter, i.e. with a multimeter (DMM) you got a voltmeter and a lot more.
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