All posts by Elreigh Bunton

Mastech MS8209 Multimeter Review

 Mastech MS8209 Multimeter

Low Price and Does the Job

Our Rating: 4 out of 5

Reviewed by: Elriegh Bunton

Published on: September 24, 2017 

               Top Product

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    Design   7.5/10
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    Funtionality  8/10
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    Price 9/10

Mastech MS8209 Overview

Mastech is a well-known company, has been designing top quality multimeters for the past few decades.

Versatility is prioritized with their products, and the MS8209 makes no exception to this rule. Plenty of options exist and functions to get lots of diagnostic tests ran and completed. We will firstly begin with an overview, detailing what the item is.

This will be followed by the key features, before moving on to our pros and cons. We'll also take a look at what other users found when buying the product before giving our final verdict

Mastech MS8209 Review

Multiple functions and features are prevalent here. An incredible 14 functions are available which can achieve 39 different ranges. Those are great numbers and set this product up in good stead to be one of our best multimeters for under $100.

Other auxiliary features exist as well, with the unit able to detect sound, temperature, light, and humidity. Many have called this a "5-in-1 multimeter" due to these multiple sensory functions. Going back to the range, don't let the numbers overwhelm you if you're not a professional. Thanks to its auto-ranging function, you don't need to know the precise range required for the unit you're testing.

With all of these functions, troubleshooting equipment is a breeze when equipped with this multimeter. More specifications are listed below, to complete the picture.

Specifications

As we've seen this product has a lot of aspects to it, some that we haven't even seen yet. So you would be forgiven for thinking this must be pushing the envelope of the $100 threshold. Unbelievably, this is not so.

Coming in at $48.37 on Amazon, the price seems almost too good to be true, so let's get into the detail and see what we have on our hands.

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  • 14 different functions, 39 ranges
  • Data hold 
  • Auto power off
  • Overload protection
  • Low battery indicator
  • Overrange protection for all ranges
  • Auto and Manual ranging
  • check-circle-o
    DMM features but also 4 major environmental testing measurement functions
  • check-circle-o
    Multiple Sensors
  • check-circle-o
    True RMS

To expand further, here are some quick-fire functions to be analyzed.

1. The Sensors

Unique and somewhat unusual to see on a multimeter are the sensors available with this product. Firstly, the sound sensor can measure sound waves up to 100dB. This can be applied in very specific conditions, for example, you may need to test how loud a car exhaust is.

The temperature sensor is a bit more commonplace and straightforward. This particular one can withstand temperatures up to 100 degrees. Finally, the humidity probe can detect from 30% to 90%


2. Overload Protection

A nice safety mechanism that is simple in operation. Essentially, if the incorrect mode is selected, the entire unit won't go up in smoke, but rather a fuse will blow. This is far more cost-effective than buying a whole new unit, as fuses are relatively cheap and easy to get hold of.


3. True RMS

Again a feature associated with higher end multimeters, the RMS function ensures greater accuracy of readings in locations where there is a lot of electrical noise present.

To expand, this is when a wave of signals that are not common can distort the data and display incorrect values. Older multimeters lack this functionality in the main, so inaccurate data was not unheard of, thus a valuable asset. Now with true RMS, this can be completely dispelled.

Pros & Cons

There are a plethora of features and unexpected additions that make this product stand out as one of the best multimeters for the money.

You would expect a unit with sensors to test sound and humidity to come in for well over $100, but that is somehow not the case. But importantly is the data accurate? We found this to certainly be the case, which was great to see. As for ease of use, in the main, this proved to be true as it is intuitive and easy to set up, except for the leads.

The test leads are sometimes a bit hard to set up, so bear that in mind. Here's how we broke down our pros and cons.

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Pros:
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    Impressive list of functions
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    Very well priced
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    Durable
  • Precise
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Cons:
  • Leads hard to set up
  • Made in China

User Reviews: 

We've explored this product in depth so now it's time to see how other buyers fared when purchasing this product.

 In the main, users are extremely satisfied with what they have, with reviews such as the following being common," This is an amazing device. It can measure just about anything. The light, humidity, and sound intensity sensors are built-in to the top, and the temperature probe connects to the COM and "°C" ports. It even has a backlight! And for (significantly) under $100, the price cannot be beaten." 


This is further expanded with another buyer exclaiming," Excellent product. I was worried about the cost to quality ratio - not anymore. This item was well reviewed and truly stands up to that review. Highly recommend. " 


However, no product is faultless, and indeed that was the case here as well, with one user pointing out an unusual flaw, "I particularly wanted it because of the light and sound meters. That's the reason I bought this new instead of a similarly priced multimeter from a more reputable brand. Then I set it on my desk for about three weeks. When I turned it on next, there was something very wrong. It would intermittently go from a blank LCD screen to just crazy random lines on the screen. It didn't matter what I tried, replacing batteries, etc. I turned it off and on and off and on. It was still intermittently crazy or just blank."

Conclusion

It's difficult not to go rambling on about how wonderful this piece of kit is. The fact that it truly is a 5 in 1 multimeter is staggering. Not only does it perform exceptionally well at its tasks, but it's also priced so well.

The sheer volume of features allows for almost anyone to make use of it, be it a professional or in the home setting. A cost-saving exercise also exists here, as due to the fact multiple tasks (such as temperature reading and sound recording) can be carried out, you don't have to spend more money on additional tools to get the jobs done.

Saying that though, this is still not a perfect product. Users discovered that on occasion, the readout would display "random" lines or bits of information that certainly do not belong there. Furthermore, other buyers found it to be a fragile item that would give in after a few weeks of use.

Putting that aside, however, these anomalies can be overlooked in the face of overwhelmingly positive reviews and testimonials that indicate what a remarkable piece of equipment this is.

Should you be looking for something a little different, be it more specialized or more in your budget range, be sure to check out our multiple other reviews as you will surly find what you need!

how to use a fluke multimeter

KleinTools MM1300 Multimeter Review

 KleinTools MM1300 Multimeter

Low Price and Does the Job

Our Rating: 4 out of 5

Reviewed by: Elriegh Bunton

Published on: September 24, 2017 

               Top Product

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    Design   7.5/10
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    Funtionality  8/10
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    Price 9/10

KleinTools MM1300 Overview

KleinTools have been around for quite a while now, and as such, you would expect a certain level of quality to be associated with their products.

Multimeters need to be versatile, accurate and durable and the Klein MM1300 aims to tick those boxes and more. We'll be exploring more about this shortly, and to get a complete picture of this product, we will firstly begin with an overview, detailing what the item is.

This will be followed by the key features, before moving on to our pros and cons. We'll also take a look at what other users found when buying the product before giving our final verdict.

KleinTools MM1300 Review

The MM1300 looks to be versatile and appeal to both demographics of the new user and seasoned professional This means that if you deal with electricity on a daily basis, or you simply want to have a unit to check the voltages in your household, this is something to tick those boxes.

There are plenty of unique features such as the auto range, analog bar graph, and more, which come in handy when you’re dealing with sensitive electronics. The design includes a rubber casing which has ribs on either side of the unit to ensure a better grip.

It also has a retractable lever on the back of the casing for people who like holding their tool in a vertical position. It measures AC/DC voltage, duty cycle, capacitance, resistance, and frequency.  This sets it up well to be in a position to tackle most scenarios you encounter, so let's move on and examine the specifics in closer detail.

Specifications

Being priced around $79, you would expect multiple features to be presented as this is hovering near our $100 limit. The below list indicates how things stand.

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  • Auto-ranging voltage measurement
  • Measures AC/DC Voltage - 1000V
  • Measures AC/DC Current - 10A
  • Backlit display
  • Includes Klein case
  • Thermocouple
  • Test leads and battery included
  • check-circle-o
    Backlight display
  • check-circle-o
    Auto Shut Off

To expand further, here are some quick-fire functions to be analyzed.

1. The Thermocouple

A rare addition in this category level, a temperature probe can be embedded into the unit to measure the temperature of a surface or area. Once configured, simply leave at the desired location and record the findings.


2. Auto Ranging

This provides a hassle-free and simple solution to testing certain units. Saving the trouble of having to know the precise range you need to pre-set, an auto ranging feature saves time as you don't have to fine-tune these details as this is done for you. However, this has its downfall, mainly that precision and speed are lost. 


3. Back-lit Display

Perhaps not a feature that would be considered high on the agenda, it is one that is often overlooked and neglected altogether. A professional will often be working in conditions that have far less than ideal lighting conditions and sometimes even pitch black darkness.

Therefore, having a multimeter with a backlit display is essential in times like these. Another key point is that a display needs to be read and understood from multiple angles. Distortion and contrast loss is common with many multimeters, not just those under the $100 value so to have this feature is quite uncommon and valued.

4. Data Hold Function

 There is a “hold” button located below the display, but it can often be misconstrued and even missed completely. 


The idea here is that in the absence of pen and paper, or you don't think you'll remember the data, you can press the hold button down for a few seconds, and the data will remain on the screen. This stays that way until new data is entered, whereby the held data will be overwritten. A useful feature that saves on forgotten or lost data in a hurry.

Pros & Cons

There are lots of good points about this unit that would make it worthy of inclusion on our list. Features such as the thermometer and the backlight display are great to have and go a long way to earning points for this unit.

However, despite the numerous and varied features, there is a distinct lack of quality around the product. Consistent readings are hard to obtain, which causes severe doubt in the integrity of the results that you do manage to achieve.

This is attributed to loose terminal connections, which need to be held in place to see an accurate reading which points to poor construction. Another downside is that despite stating it's made in the USA, it is usually constructed in Asia, specifically China.

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Pros:
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    Easy to use
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    Backlight display
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    Plenty of features
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Cons:
  • Feels poorly made
  • Price doesn't reflect the design quality
  • Inaccurate readings

User Reviews: 

Mixed reviews dominate this product, and it's clear to see why.

While we have acknowledged that the multiple functions are indeed positive, there are simply too many pitfalls and warning signs to ignore. One review to this point explained, "

The amp settings all read “LE.AD” even with the wires inserted. I also tried to use it anyway, and it just reads “0.000” every time. I looked at the fuse, and it's in working order, so that’s not the problem. The 4 pin nodes are low quality so that may have played a part. "

Further negative remarks are found with another buyer saying, " Low quality. On my second use, I could not get consistent resistance readings. Finally figured out that the positive terminal was loose and required constant pressure to get consistent low resistance readings."

However, despite this, there are some positive comments to be seen, such as " It’s compact, lightweight, and easy to use. It’s also affordable and suitable for any DIY enthusiast’s budget. "

Conclusion

After starting off positively with some great features that looked promising on the surface, a little scratching unearthed the bitter truth; this is not a well-made product. Low-quality parts make up the unit which has several knock-on effects.

Firstly, the readings will not be at all accurate and thus there can't be any confidence at all in the results you see. Secondly, if one part (such as the pin nodes) are low quality, then what stops the rest of the unit is poorly made?

This can extend to the battery, the screen and even the buttons, which all add up to create a product that does not deliver as promised. The advice is simple, seek an alternative.

how to use a fluke multimeter

Amprobe AM530 Multimeter Review

 Amprobe AM530 Multimeter

Amprobe AM-530
Easy to Use and Well Priced

Our Rating: 4 out of 5

Reviewed by: Elriegh Bunton

Published on: September 24, 2017 

               Top Product

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    Design   8.5/10
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    Funtionality  9/10
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    Price 9/10

Amprobe AM530 Overview

The AM530 is the latest product from the company that has been hard at work since 1948 and offers to provide a solution to your budget multimeter needs.

In this category, being user-friendly is key. That is what the AM530 looks to achieve, but this doesn't mean it's held back by constraints that make it unappealing to professionals. Instead, many additional functions will appeal to veteran users.

To get a complete understanding, we will firstly begin with an overview, detailing what the item is. This will be followed by the key features, before moving on to our pros and cons. We'll also take a look at what other users found when buying the product before giving our final verdict.

Amprobe AM530 Review

The AM530 boasts plentiful features that may look daunting at first, but are easily grasped when close attention is paid and adhered to. Amprobe themselves believe it is a tool that is suitable for professionals as well as novice DIY enthusiasts.

As you would expect, detachable test leads are present to test the values of AC/DC currents, resistance, and frequency. Troubleshooting equipment is made as simple as possible with the plethora of components within this device, which allows for quick and efficient repairs to be undertaken.

To fully understand the scope of this multimeter, we will explore the various specifics in more detail below.

Specifications

The picture is beginning to be painted here, and further clues can be uncovered. The price of the unit is $84.39, which makes it our most expensive product so far, yet still under $100. Let's take a look at what we have.

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  • Voltage up to 600V AC/DC, AC/DC current, resistance, and frequency
  • True-RMS feature to accurately measure voltage and current in all conditions, including noisy environments affected by harmonics
  • Capacitance for start-up and run capacitors
  • Audible continuity, non-contact voltage detection
  • Built-in flashlight
  • Diode test and duty cycle for troubleshooting applications
  • Battery Life Indicator
  • check-circle-o
    Quick Acting Fuse
  • check-circle-o
    Data Hold

To expand further, here are some quick-fire functions to be analyzed.

1. Quick Acting Fuse

The first thing to mention as it's so far an unseen feature is the quick acting fuse. Completely put in place as a safety precaution, it's a great way to help protect the multimeter from irreversible damage. The inner fuse will get blown first which protects not only the meter, but also you as the user, by preventing electric shocks.


2. Non-Contact Voltage Detection (NCV)

We've seen this before for our previous model, but again it's worth bringing up as it is still relatively new to the market. To recap, the NCV allows you to detect the presence of low voltage within the unit you're testing by hovering your multimeter near it.

The difference with the NCV on this product though, is that an audible "beep" is made on detection, which is another good cue to have.


3. The Flashlight

This might not be the feature that makes you run out and buy the product, but we think it's certainly worth a mention. In today's world, good lighting conditions are often taken for granted but should all the power fail in your house, then having this multimeter with the flashlight on will allow you to troubleshoot the problem and potentially resolve it. A simple press of a button grants you access to a bright LED light beam.

Pros & Cons

A multimeter looks to achieve many things from the outset namely efficiency, durability and ease of use. These boxes are all ticked with the AM530 and then some. The functions are easily understood, and there's no overly complicated menus or buttons to press, everything is intuitive and performs the task you would expect it to. 

This allows professional users to take full advantage of all the tools this unit has, but for home use, you can bypass things such as NCV or data hold as you don't have them turned on from the outset. The result is that the features never get in the way of each other or overly complicate matters, they are accessible if you need it and not intrusive.

 There are a few disadvantages to point out for this product. The probe ends come up short. If you're testing something bulky, these short ends will not serve you well, and long ends would be far better suited to the task. This can be circumvented however by purchasing longer compatible leads that are plentiful in stock. Another note is that a case is not included with the unit. Misleading information on Amazon suggests a case is included, but this is not true in most instances.
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Pros:
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    Good price
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    Easy to use
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    Multiple features to appeal to professionals
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    Lightweight
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Cons:
  • Case not included
  • Short metal ends on probes

User Reviews: 

In the main, most buyers are very pleased with this product, and it's easy to see why.

With multiple features and a good build quality, here's what one buyer had to say, " This multimeter is fantastic! The response of the auto-ranging is snappy, and the LCD has a well-optimized viewing angle."

Further positives were noted with another buyer stating, "The strap feature and built-in work light have come in handy - boats are always rocking and often wiring is in dark locations, so these features swayed my purchase. As an MM the unit is accurate, has all the modes and responds fast enough to my needs."

However, there are of course negatives to explore. One such review was as follows, "The non-contact voltage sensor did not work 75% of the time which makes the NCV useless as it can't be trusted. I saw other reviews say the NCV does not work "

This was further echoed with another buyer issuing " The non-contact voltage detector is OK, but not sensitive enough to detect AC voltage at a standard household socket."

Conclusion

Despite the pitfalls of an NCV which seems to be slightly untrustworthy, the overall rating of the product is extremely high. In all other areas, the readings are precise and consistent, which is the key point for the best multimeter for electronics.

One note to mention is that this product doesn't come with a magnetic strap, which is commonly seen, but a kickstand instead. The only real downside we found was the leads, which as we examined earlier had far too short metal tips. The alternative is to purchase new leads with a longer tip, which would go a long way to making this product near flawless.

In conclusion, anyone who needs this product for home diagnostics should seriously consider purchasing, and that's not all, anyone who is also a seasoned professional using these tools daily can also get a lot of benefit from it, it does deliver in multiple ways.

Should you be looking for something a little different, be it more specialized or more in your budget range, be sure to check out our multiple other reviews on our review hub, as you will surly find what you need!

how to use a fluke multimeter

Extech Ex330 Multimeter Review

 Extech Ex330 Multimeter

A Well Priced Hard-hitter

Our Rating: 4 out of 5

Reviewed by: Elriegh Bunton

Published on: September 24, 2017 

               Top Product

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    Design   8.5/10
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    Funtionality  9/10
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    Price 9/10

Extech Ex330 Overview

On to our next product in the budget multimeter category, we have the Extech Ex330. Extech are well known for producing multimeters that are both versatile and durable, two key components for any good multimeter.

Another key element with Extech is that they cater not only to professionals but newcomers and those who simply wish to conduct some DIY work. With the Ex330, they've created a model that has a staggering 12 functions in total.

We'll be exploring more about this shortly, and to get a complete picture of this product, we will firstly begin with an overview, detailing what the item is. This will be followed by the key features, before moving on to our pros and cons. We'll also take a look at what other users found when buying the product before giving our final verdict.

Extech Ex330 Review

You're probably keen to know what the 12 functions we mentioned above entail. To give you an idea, it has AC/DC and voltage, capacitance, resistance, temperature, frequency, and pulse radio.

This is combined with an easy to read and big screen, which is a huge plus for a model in this category as often, the screens are too small, and the data becomes unreadable. What is also impressive is how simple this multimeter is to use.  The multiple functions offer the ability to troubleshoot and repair a whole host of problems such as home computers and cameras.  

Due to these extensive features, it also appeals to professionals as well as newcomers. Its intuitive design means that even someone new to this world can pick it up and get going in short time. So without hesitation, let's get a deeper look into the multiple features this product has.

Specifications

Well priced at $52.93 (on Amazon.com) you would assume there wouldn't be as many features as there are. By now you've picked up that one of the main selling points of this product is the fact it has so many options to help it stand out from the crowd, so let's break these down.

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  • Built-in non-contact AC voltage detector (NCV)
  • 4000 count auto-ranging multimeter measures AC/DC voltage and current, resistance, frequency, duty cycle and temperature
  • Cat III - 600V UL listed
  • Includes Type K temperature probe
  • Rubber holster protects meter
  • Data Hold
  • Low Battery Indicator
  • check-circle-o
    Auto Power-Off
  • check-circle-o
    Lightweight and compact

To expand further, here are some quick-fire functions to be analyzed.

1. Temperature Sensor

Commonplace amongst high-end multimeters, it would normally not be something to highlight. However, in the categories of the best home multimeter and best cheap multimeter, it's somewhat of an anomaly, in a good way.

In line with the rest of the model, measuring temperature is a simple process. Simply select the temperature mode, and without anything being plugged into the multimeter, you will see the room temperature appear.


2. Multiple Attachments 

A great feature here is the ability for the device to have plenty of attachments. This includes things such as test instruments and accessory heads being easily adopted and fixed to the unit.

Saving on space and the number of tools you need to carry around with you, it’s another well thought out design element.


3. Low Battery Indicator

Another feature that probably seems insignificant on its own, but when you add it all into the mix, it creates a great product that ticks a lot of boxes.

It's another simple idea and execution; many people forget to buy or replace batteries, particularly when no visual reminder is given. Just like your smartphone, you pay attention to the battery meter displayed on the screen, and it's the same concept here. Keep an eye on it and replace as required.

Pros & Cons

As you can see, the multiple features present with this multimeter make it a very attractive prospect. The great diversity and usability of all of these components make it a great unit to buy and certainly one that we like.

When you collect together all of the things it can do and look at the price, it's outstanding. One of the best things about this is the screen. However, despite its large size and easily interpreted data, it still lacks a backlight, which can irritate certain conditions.

Ease of use for the product, in general, is a massive plus point as it appeals to DIY occasional users as well as the everyday professional. One downside, however, is that the metal tips on the test leads are quite short and longer tips would solve the situation a lot more efficiently. Here's how we break down the good and the bad.

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Pros:
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    Priced well
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    Easy to use
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    Many great features and functions
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    Durable
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Cons:
  • Test leads have short tips
  • No backlight on the screen

User Reviews: 

As you may expect, user experiences, on the whole, are positive, but there were negative reviews as well.

But first, let's look at a positive review, which is as follows; "Just out of the box you can already tell this thing is built solid. I tested all the features of this tester, and so far they suit my needs. The contactless voltage sensor makes you feel like a Ghostbuster!"

This points to the fact that anyone can pick up the unit and get going with what they need to do, which is something we agreed with. However, there are a few reviews where people didn't get their test leads or temperature probe.

One such example said the following, " The meter seems good, like new in fact, but I am missing my Type K Thermocouple probes."

By contrast, though, another positive review gushed, " I have had this meter fit several months now. It is well built and has handled all expected bumps and falls. The accuracy is better than expected. I work on scales and load cells for my job, so I have a fluke meter that was over $500 - I bought this meter in one day fur a side to side comparison. The results were that this ex-tech meter matched the flukes readings very closely."

Conclusion

This is a well thought out, multi-use and multipurpose multimeter. Ticking plenty of boxes and performing well in most areas, there's a lot to like about it.

Being user-friendly and intuitive goes a long way to making a product like this a joy or a burden to bear and this falls into the former. A veteran can pick this up and use it well, as we saw with the last user review and then a relative newcomer (the first review) can also get everything they need out of it.

However, one downside to note that occurred a few times is in relation to the quality of the company, not the product. To specify, a lot of people didn’t get the test leads and the temperature probe even though the description clearly states they’re included.

Sadly, the only thing you can do is return the product and wait for a new one. We would still recommend this product though, as it's fairly priced and comes packed with features that will make your job easier.

Should you be looking for something a little different, be it more specialized or more in your budget range, be sure to check out our multiple other reviews on Santa's Reviews, as you will surly find what you need!

how to use a fluke multimeter

Innova 3340 Multimeter Review

Innova 3340 Multimeter

innova_3340
Top Quality at a Great Price

Our Rating: 4.8 out of 5

Reviewed by: Elriegh Bunton

Published on: September 21, 2017 

               Top Product

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    Design   8/10
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    Funtionality  9.5/10
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    Price 9/10

Innova 3340 Overview

This is at the other end of the spectrum entirely from the Fluke 88V, in that it is a much smaller unit and priced far lower ($74.85) The 3340 seeks to offer relief for anyone who is experiencing automotive issues, be it performance related or an electrical mishap.

For today, we will conduct an automotive multimeter review that seeks to find out which tool is the best for finding out what fault is causing your motor to run poorly, or not at all. To do this, we will firstly begin with an overview, detailing what the item is.

This will be followed by the key features, before moving on to our pros and cons. We'll also take a look at what other users found when buying the product before giving our final verdict.

Fluke 116 HVAC Multimeter

Taking Fluke out of the equation and concentrating solely on the Innova 3340 reveals a few things. Firstly, this product may well give the Fluke a run for its money and crown as best automotive multimeter available.

This isn't achieved by some fantastical element that blows all competition away, but rather it has ascended to the top through lots of little things done well and right. A handheld device that is lightweight and packed full of extensive features, the 3340 also has safety as a big priority - being certified safe under the UL.

Another nice touch (one of several you may notice) is that the instructions come in multiple languages; English, Spanish and French. As we mentioned, this is a light and handheld device, but it can also be equipped with the wrist wrap that accompanies it as well as a stand, for varying operational modes. Let's explore, in depth, some of the features and specifics to be found.

Specifications

The crucial function and desirability of the Innova 3340 are its numerous features that blend to create a fantastic product. It seems in the design stage, no stone was left unturned and plenty of eventualities are catered for to ensure your vehicle can be running flawlessly again in no time.

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  • Professional Automotive Multimeter designed to help pinpoint engine problems - UL Certified Product
  • Tests alternator diodes, duty cycle, solenoids, breaker points, wiring, switches, and more
  • Temperature probe, inductive RPM clamp, and carrying case included
  • Features auto-ranging, auto shut-off, and overload protection
  • Includes test lead holders for hands-free protection
  • Data Retrieval
  • Reverse Polarity Protection
  • check-circle-o
    Overload prevention and auto shut off feature

Let's take a closer inspection at some of the  key specifications and unearth a little more detail.


1. ​Testing

Obviously, a good multimeter needs to be able to test and diagnose the faults of your vehicle properly. This multimeter excels here.

Many different elements of car-care can be tested which include things such as the alternator diodes, duty cycle, solenoids, breaker points, wiring, and switches.


2. Data Retrieval

Holding data is one thing, but saving data for a multimeter is truly impressive. This means you can log data for future use without having to waste your time with a pen and paper.

The min/max and hold buttons allow you to keep the valuable data you've recorded so you can store this for later, should you get interrupted or pulled off to another job. Time is saved, and unnecessary stress is avoided.


3. Autoranging

This feature allows for the range value of a specific electrical issue to be determined without the need for preset ranges to be adhered to, which is common amongst many multimeters. This grants easier clarification of issues with minimal fuss.


4. ​Self Maintenance

Features exist within the 3340 that ensure its functions keep operating at optimum levels consistently without expiring. This is achieved with an automatic shut off feature and an overload protection function. Components will avoid being overstressed and ultimately fail thanks to these precautions.

Pros & Cons

With such a diverse and expansive range of use, this automotive multimeter can be employed by both inexperienced users and veteran mechanics alike. For someone experienced, this multimeter will streamline procedures and make operating on vehicles a piece of cake.

By comparison, a new user will not be overwhelmed or daunted by the prospect of using this as it is intuitive and simple to use. In a lot of cases, for the novice user looking for a simple diagnostic, the multimeter will probably have more functions that is necessary, but this isn't necessarily a bad thing, as you aren't forced to use anything you don't need to.

The negatives that were found were that the screen was slightly dimmed, which can irritate certain lighting conditions. Also, other users have mentioned an inconsistent RPM feature, which we'll expand on after this section. Here's how the good and bad points can be broken down;

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Pros:
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    Easy to operate
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    Plenty of functions
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    Versatile uses
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    Very well priced
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Cons:
  • Inconsistent RPM feature
  • Dimmed screen

User Reviews: 

You may have pre-empted this already, but user satisfaction for this product is very high. ​

There are plenty of positive reviews giving outstanding praise, for instance, the following extract was forthcoming with such information, " Overall very high quality. An excellent multimeter, simple to operate. A very powerful tool with clear and simple operating instructions. Temperature probe reading is almost instantaneous. Inductive spark pick-up clamp is very durable surviving a few chops from radiator fan."

Furthermore, other buyers have also pinpointed this product as directly helping with their automotive woes, with one review commenting, " This is a great quality multimeter. I succeeded in diagnosing the errant starter by checking the voltage and cranking voltage of the battery, then measuring the drain on the battery (only 3 milliamps, which is fine), which led to the starter. I got it replaced today, and the car starts up great!"  

However, as mentioned above, there are negative comments on the RPM feature, which are as follows, "Cons - the rpm (spark pickup) device is very bad
a: it registers lower than two other sources for ignition readings
b: it jumps around and is difficult to set in "just the right spot" to get a consistent reading."

Conclusion

After assessing what the Innova 3340 has to offer it's hard to look at any other multimeter on the market and not compare them to this.

Priced exceptionally well, there's simply so many functions, and abilities this product has that is staggering to the point of being too good to be true. The fact that you get all of this for the meager price quoted ($74.85) is mind-boggling.

The fact that this caters not only to professionals, but the average Joe on the street is also a great feature, which is demonstrated clearly with the above user reviews. There is no need to look any further for the best multimeter for cars as this excels in every department and ticks all of the boxes and more.

Fluke 88V Multimeter Review

Fluke 88V HVAC Multimeter

fluke 88v
Top Quality Automotive Multimeter

Our Rating: 4.7 out of 5

Reviewed by: Elriegh Bunton

Published on: September 21, 2017 

               Top Product

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    Design   9/10
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    Funtionality  9.5/10
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    Price 9/10

Fluke 88V Overview

Fluke have provided an excellent range of multimeters over the years, spanning from affordable multimeters to the top of the range must-have pieces of equipment.

Now in front of us we have the Fluke 88V, which looks to be the best multimeter for cars. A complete diagnostic package is required to determine and pinpoint any problems. Anyone who owns a car knows that things can and will go wrong.

Therefore, it's great to have a tool at hand that can ease the burden and determines what has gone wrong. For today, we will conduct an automotive multimeter review that seeks to find out which tool is the best for finding out what fault is causing your motor to run poorly, or not at all.

To do this, we will firstly begin with an overview, detailing what the item is. This will be followed by the key features, before moving on to our pros and cons. We'll also take a look at what other users found when buying the product before giving our final verdict.

Fluke 88V Multimeter

Fluke has issued this product as a complete diagnostic package that will be the solution to your automotive woes. An improved model over their 88 model, the 88V has renewed measurement functions and troubleshooting features and accuracy to solve more problems on both conventional and the newer hybrid vehicles.  

Manufactured in the USA and comes with a lifetime warranty offer great peace of mind, which is important where any product purchasing is concerned, particularly when dealing with vehicles and their properly working functions.

There is a whole host of specifics and features to explore, so let's begin with our next segment and unearth some facts.

Specifications

As we've briefly mentioned, there are plenty of details and specifics to sink our teeth into with this product.

Fluke want this to be the best multimeter for automotive purposes, so it's not surprising that this comes with a huge spec list. To follow are the key details, with explanations of some of the elements.

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  • Digital multimeter measures AC/DC voltage, AC/DC current, resistance, capacitance, frequency, and temperature
  • Manual- and auto-ranging modes for user flexibility.
  • RPM measurements with inductive pickup
  • Built-in thermometer allows for temperature readings without a separate instrument
  • Performs millisecond pulse width measurements for fuel injectors.
  • Safety rated for Category III to 1000V and Category IV to 600V. Resistance, continuity and diode test
  • Improved selectable sleep mode for long battery life


1. Manual and Auto-Ranging Mode

Appealing to both the seasoned mechanic and also the novice user is the ranging mode available. This is for dealing with electrical faults your vehicle may be experiencing, and the manual pick up can be used to narrow down to the exact fault by someone with lots of knowledge in the field.


2. Temperature Probe

A flawless addition and great component of this multimeter is the temperature probe. Simply put, it measures the temperature around wherever you leave it, but the important thing is that it is accurate and saves you from having to purchase yet more tools.


3. Design

Worth mentioning on its own is the design of the product. Fluke is known for providing robust and durable multimeters in all of their ranges, and this is no exception.

Ticking the boxes and making sure that the price lives up to its billing, don't be afraid of dropping or accidentally damaging the item. On a similar note, the display is very easy to see and read and provides crisp and clear data to analyze.


Pros & Cons

As you would expect from Fluke, we have an all round quality product that delivers in all areas including performance, quality, and durability.

Fluke is consistently used as the barometer in which other companies strive to emulate, and it's so easy to understand why. Packed with essential elements to conduct accurate and safe diagnostics there really is not a lot to find fault with here.

The cost would be the only obvious negative ($527 on Amazon), but once again with Fluke, you truly get what you pay for.

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Pros:
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    Exhaustive list of testing components
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    High-quality design
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    Durable
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    Lifetime warranty
  • Made in the USA
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Cons:
  • Expensive
  • May not be suitable for new/inexperienced users

User Reviews: 

It's not too surprising that in the main, other users are extremely happy with this multimeter and can be viewed with reviews such as, " Comes with everything I needed for work at my shop. Great quality as expected from fluke. I would highly recommend this kit."

More expansive praise is also given, with another user commenting that " This is the best of the best. The Cadillac. The Rolls Royce. Everything about this meter says quality. Even the magnet hanger used to suspend the whole meter while working under the hood is great. Some of the skeptical mechanics in the shop tested its' ability to hold the weight of the meter up securely, and it passed with flying colors. The temp probe which I use in diagnosing air conditioning issues works flawlessly. It responds quickly and is very accurate. The voltmeter is easy to read and accurate when measuring the voltage drop."

Another review gave good praise, while also noticing the price, " Best multimeter on the market. Look no further. A little pricey but worth every penny. You'll never buy another (or better) meter of this type again. Fluke is the standard."

However, it is impossible to please everyone, and one gripe was mentioned which was as follows, " It also does not come with a manual. Instead, you get a colorfully printed flyer talking about being green; Then they give you a link so you can download and print your manual."

Conclusion

Suffice to say that the Fluke 88V is the standard when looking at the best multimeter for cars. It covers so many eventualities and diagnostic tests that it's hard to think of an area that could cause an issue.

As users have adhered to, it is not only accurate but responsive and fast as well, which is so desirable in a field where time is money and results matter. The addition of a temperature probe is a great touch which allows for further uses and a saving exercise in regards to carrying and buying less tools.

We're really struggling to find any negatives so we can wholeheartedly say that if your bank account allows it, go ahead and splash the cash, you won't regret it. If this particular product isn't quite to your taste, but still keen on a premier multimeter, please see our comprehensive list, you'll not be disappointed! 

Fieldpiece HS36 Multimeter Review

 Fieldpiece HS36 Multimeter

Fieldpiece HS36
A Well Priced Hard-hitter

Our Rating: 4 out of 5

Reviewed by: Elriegh Bunton

Published on: September 24, 2017 

               Top Product

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    Design   8.5/10
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    Funtionality  9/10
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    Price 9/10

Fieldpiece HS36 Multimeter

Our final product for our category of ‘Best Multimeter for 2017’ comes from the manufacturer Fieldpiece. This offering is an auto-ranging, true RMS stick multimeter that promises to deliver high-quality results in the field.

Expanding on their HS30 series, Fieldpiece has provided a product that comes equipped with a multitude of accessories, such as a magnetic hanger and detachable test leads.

Safety is of utmost importance to Fieldpiece and to establish this; there are key elements incorporated into the design that are both obvious to the user and some “behind the scenes” functionality. As you would expect, this unit can measure microamps, capacitance, and temperature along with having a min/max setting to cover the readings of the above in this way, should you desire.

 Once more we will be starting with an overview, detailing what the item is. This will be followed by the key features, before moving on to our pros and cons. We'll also take a look at what other users found when buying the product before giving our final verdict.

Specifications

The Fieldpiece HS36 has multiple specifications and a strong remit, which you would expect for a product at this price and with the quality of Fieldpiece. Let’s get into the detail and see what can be unearthed.

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Specifications

  • The HS36 works with all Fieldpiece accessory heads 
  • Auto Ranging
  • Non-Contact Voltage Indication: The NCV function is sensitive enough to detect 24VAC on thermostats. 
  • High Voltage and Continuity Indicators
  • Microamps for measuring the flame diode current in a heater control
  • Rugged case with bumpers
  • Built-in magnetic hanger

To expand further, here are some quick-fire functions to be analyzed.

1. Design

Appropriate for all multimeters is that the design and build is considered carefully for everyday use.

This is true for the HS36 as not only does it come with a robust and durable case, but it is also ergonomically designed in such a way that it will fit into your hand comfortably. Thus allowing for one-handed operation, which is again very useful in the field.


2. Multiple Attachments 

A great feature here is the ability for the device to have plenty of attachments. This includes things such as test instruments and accessory heads being easily adopted and fixed to the unit.

Saving on space and the number of tools you need to carry around with you, it’s another well thought out design element.


3. Auto Ranging

The auto-ranging capabilities found within the HS36 allow it to automatically adjust the measurement range based on the detected source, such as electrical components and electronic equipment.

This is especially useful in some commercial and industrial environments where electronic devices are present; the AC waveform can be distorted, making it difficult for averaging meters to get an accurate reading. Thanks to the RMS feature as well as the auto-ranging capability, this distortion is negated.

Pros & Cons

There is plenty to admire and like about this product. The multiple features present allow for real diversity in the field and present plenty of appropriate recordings to be taken.

Durability is also another component that gets the thumbs up from us; able to withstand a real beating and be used time and time again, this is, of course, an important factor for use in the field.

Adjustments such as additional attachments, including a magnetic hanger, make for a real positive, as work can be undertaken completely hands-free, saving time and effort.

 As always though, it’s almost impossible to find a product that is faultless and this is true for the HS36. The true anomaly is that the meter is prone to not resetting to zero, despite the fact it is not hooked up to any power source. This is, of course, an issue as it presents a loss in confidence that numbers are accurate.
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Pros:
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    Multiple functions
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    Durable
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    Can house many attachments
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    Noncontact voltage
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Cons:
  • Readings do not neutralize back to zero, causing an issue in confidence.

User Reviews: 

As always, it’s important to gauge what others thought about the product, so let’s examine these views now.

We’ve explored already how well this product stacks up and with its multitude of performance capabilities; it’s easy to see why. Other users agreed too, with comments such as the following giving testament to that, “The good thing about this metering device is you have so many different attachments for it so you don't have to spend so much money on big tools and you won't have to carry all types of tools. The attachments are small and portable, not like others tools that are much larger and a waste space”

However, the following negative comments were also noted; “The meter would not show zero in any setting even though it was not hooked up to any power source. Even the amp clamp would show almost an AMP without having any wires at all going through it. This was extremely annoying, and I lost all confidence in any measurements I was taking.”

 “The thing I hated most about it is if there is no voltage it just cycles through random numbers instead of displaying "0". The final straw came when I was trying to verify a 120v circuit, and it was reading 240v for a bit then 120v in the same receptacle! I sent it back and bought a Fluke.”

Conclusion

By examining other users’ responses to the HS36 plus our findings, we can draw some conclusions. Firstly, it can be stated that this is a very good product.

Multiple features and functions allow for this multimeter to rank amongst the best available. Or that would be the case if there weren’t some outlying flaws to address.

As we discovered, there is an issue with the meter not reading at zero. This causes confusion and distrust, as we saw with reviews above, with a loss of confidence being a real issue.

The knock on effect is that users will defer to another supplier for their multimeter, representing a loss of business and trust for Fieldpiece. This aside though, the product does come recommended, as it is very affordable and does do a good job. Thus despite concerns, the readings do prove to be accurate, and we can say it is definitely worth considering.

Should you be looking for something a little different, be it more specialized or more in your budget range, be sure to check out our multiple other reviews as you will surly find what you need!

how to use a fluke multimeter

Extech EX505 Multimeter Review

 Extech EX505 Multimeter

A Well Priced Hard-hitter

Our Rating: 4 out of 5

Reviewed by: Elriegh Bunton

Published on: September 24, 2017 

               Top Product

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    Design   8.5/10
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    Funtionality  9/10
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    Price 9/10

Extech EX505 Overview

A bit of background on Extech before we look at the item itself; they are one of the largest suppliers of testing equipment worldwide. As such, customer service and satisfaction rank highly amongst their priorities and this feeds directly into the product we have today.

A model that is built for professional use on a daily basis, it comes with a durable and sturdy design that ensures it can be used repeatedly.

The top feature of this product has to be its versatility. You are able to measure capacitance, frequency, temperature and more. In conjunction, there are a whopping 11 functions to select which will fulfill most needs.

We will be going in depth with the item and explore what it's about with an overview, this will be followed by the key features, before moving on to our pros and cons.

We'll also take a look at what other users found when buying the product before giving our final verdict.

Extech EX505 Multimeter

This well designed and robust product is aimed at the professional in the industry. Due to its multiple functions, it would be unwise for a beginner to purchase this, as it can be quite overwhelming.

Simplicity has been sacrificed for functionality, which is again why we would advise seeking an alternative product if you’re brand new to this industry. With that said, this model is designed for heavy-duty use throughout the day.

As we mentioned above, multiple features exist to get the job done. Another helpful component of this model is the auto-ranging feature (we will expand on this shortly in our specifications).

Finally, it’s worth noting that there is a 520 variant of this model which exists in order to deliver greater instrument count and accuracy. With that said, let’s get into the detail for this model, the 505 and see how it fares.

Specifications

The obvious stand out here is the price of this unit. Coming in at $91.98 on Amazon.com you could be thinking either this is a great deal, or what’s the catch? The following list of specifications and explanations will be able to shed some light on this.

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Specifications

  • Double molded for waterproof (IP67) protection
  • 1000V input protection on all functions
  • Diode open circuit voltage of 2.8VDC
  • Dual sensitivity Frequency functions
  • 0.5% basic accuracy
  • True RMS
  • Data Hold
  • Auto Power Off
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    Temperature Measuring
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    Great Display

To expand further, here are some quick-fire functions to be analyzed.

1. Auto Ranging

The EX505’s auto-ranging capabilities allow it to automatically adjust the measurement range based on the detected source, such as electrical components and electronic equipment.

In some commercial and industrial environments where electronic devices are present, the AC waveform can be distorted, making it difficult for averaging meters to get an accurate reading. The EX505 uses a more advanced True RMS calculation to compensate for this kind of distortion for superior performance.


2. Display

The screen for the 505 performs well. A 4000 count display is backed by bright LEDs. This may sound trivial to mention, but there are multimeters that don’t have this feature.

Unlike the Fluke models we have explored, where an issue with contrasting under certain angles is present, this model actually performs well under unfavorable angles.


3. Data Hold

In keeping with the above data hold function, the auto power off component is somewhat standard, but again is worth noting. ​

 simply concept, once the unit is inactive for a period of 15 minutes, it will shut itself off. The benefits are clear, not only will the battery power be saved, but time. You won’t have to remember to switch the unit off every time.

4. Auto Power Off

In keeping with the above data hold function, the auto power off component is somewhat standard, but again is worth noting.

A simply concept, once the unit is inactive for a period of 15 minutes, it will shut itself off. The benefits are clear, not only will the battery power be saved, but time. You won’t have to remember to switch the unit off every time.

Pros & Cons

A healthy list of specifics, but how did we rank the product overall? To be honest, it’s a good unit, but it’s not going to change the world.

There’s plenty to admire, and the features are numerous and work well, for the most part. The display is surprisingly good and reacts well in different lighting conditions.

The unit is also very durable and sturdy which is, of course, vital to the industry to withstand the occasional bump and drop.

The model is lightweight and compact, again a positive when you take into consideration how it will constantly be used in the day; you don’t want to carry around something heavy.

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Pros:
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    Affordable Price
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    Durable and Well Built
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    Multiple functions, such as data hold and auto power off
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    Auto ranging
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Cons:
  • Inaccurate temperature readings
  • Audible signal is far too quiet
  • Display backlight expires too soon

User Reviews: 

Our views have been expressed clearly here, so now it’s time to explore what other buyers said about this product.

 In the main, comments are generally positive with examples such as the following excerpt being commonplace; “This is a great meter. I use it for work every day and it take a real beating. The plastic case had taken the brunt of all of the falls and drops and does not show any signs of damage. The dial and buttons work perfectly and the screen is very easy to read with the large numbers.”


An interesting comparison was made with a Fluke model by one user, who examined that, “The only negative (compared to my $300 Fluke) is that the meter takes between two & four seconds to settle down to a voltage reading - the Fluke reads instantly.”


Further less than favorable reviews are offered with remarks such as, “Nice unit, however the continuity audible buzzer is very faint almost inaudible. The unit otherwise works well.”

Conclusion

The reviews above from other users indicate several key findings. Firstly, we can determine overall that the 505 is a worthy multimeter, but doesn’t quite tick all of the boxes necessary to make it a true top contender.

We discovered that the various features are both numerous and in the main, high performing. The poor aspect however was the temperature readout, which didn’t record as accurately as desired.

In addition, various buyers complained about the faint and almost inaudible buzzer, which was again in line with our discovery.  If you are looking to purchase this product, it will be able to satisfy most needs on a daily basis and perform to a good standard, offering reliable and accurate data.

Other multimeters can be prone to expiring due to be left on for too long, but thankfully this is not the case here. An auto shut off feature prevents this, which we found extremely useful.

Overall, we can ascertain this is a good product, but not without its flaws. For that reason, we would suggest opting for an alternative model, perhaps the 525 variant as this records data more accurately.

Should you be looking for something a little different, be it more specialized or more in your budget range, be sure to check out our home for multimeters as you will surly find what you need!

how to use a fluke multimeter

Fluke 87-V Multimeter Review

 Fluke 87-V Multimeter

Fluke 87-V
Flukes High-performance Multimeter

Our Rating: 4.9 out of 5

Reviewed by: Elriegh Bunton

Published on: September 24, 2017 

               Top Product

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    Design   10/10
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    Funtionality  9.5/10
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    Price 8/10

Fluke 87-V Overview

The next and final offering on our list from Fluke is the mighty 87-V. Taking things to the next level is a multimeter that truly excels in its field, ideal for professional electricians dealing with HVAC units.

A range of features exists here, such as true RMS, auto shut off and a selectable filter for accurate voltage. There is also a temperature within the unit, which means you can read the room temperature without the need for a probe. By far our favorite component, however, is the auto and manual ranging. This capability caters to both the novice and the expert and is not a common feature for multimeters, instantly setting this product apart.

Once again with our review, we will begin with an overview, detailing what the item is before exploring the key features. Following this will be pros and cons. We'll also take a look at what other users found when buying the product before giving our final verdict.

As before, we will begin with an overview, detailing what the item is. This will be followed by the key features, before moving on to our pros and cons. We'll also take a look at what other users found when buying the product before giving our final verdict.

Fluke 87-V HVAC Multimeter

Fluke have raised the bar with this unit. A huge range of features exist and the multimeter can measure voltage, frequency, capacitance, current and temperature.

The display ranks highly as well and comes with a dual resolution screen. 6,000 and 20,000 counts is the range, which means that even the tiniest fluctuation of voltage can be detected immediately.

One of the most impressive aspects of this unit is that almost anyone can use it. This multitude of features present does, however, offer a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it's great for those who are professionals working in the HVAC and electrician field, but by contrast, a beginner could be overwhelmed by all of the auxiliary facets presented.

 It is easy to carry on gushing about the product, but for now, let's leave it there and instead get into the specifics.

Specifications

As you've probably noticed already, there is a whole host of new devices and components to discover with this model. Fluke has gone all out to present a unit that can cover most occurrences and this is reflected in a long list of designations;

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Specifications

  • check-circle-o
    Built-in thermometer conveniently allows you to take temperature readings without having to carry a separate instrument
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    Optional magnetic hanger for easy set-up and viewing while freeing your hands for other tasks
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    Large digit display with bright, two-level backlight
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    True RMS AC voltage and current for accurate measurements on non-linear signals
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    Selectable filter for accurate voltage and frequency measurements on motor drives
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    0.05% DC accuracy
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    6000 counts, 3-3/4 digits
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    4-1/2 digit mode for precise measurements (20,000 counts)
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    Measure up to 1000 VAC and DC
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    Measure up to 10 A, 20 A for up to 30 seconds
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    Built-in thermometer lets, you carry one less tool (TC probe included)
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    Frequency to 200 kHz and % duty cycle
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    Resistance, continuity and diode test
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    10,000 µF capacitance range for components and motor caps
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    Min/Max-Average recording with Min/Max Alert to capture variations automatically
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    Peak capture to record transients as fast as 250 µs
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    Lifetime warranty
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    Auto and manual ranging
  • check-circle-o
    Auto shut off

To expand further, here are some quick-fire details to be analyzed;



1. ​Auto and Manual Ranging

Touched upon previously, this double feature is great for allowing you to have complete control on how to conduct your tests.

The manual mode means you can truly narrow down the range and get it completely to your configuration. However, if this is too time-consuming, or you're not confident enough, simply engage automatic ranging and go right ahead.


2. True RMS

Always a positive for any of the best multimeters, precision, and accuracy should never be compromised and this ensures they're not. For a professional who relies on data that can't be compromised by false readings, true RMS is mandatory.


3. Auto Shut-Off

As the name implies, this functionality comes in handy if you've left the unit on by mistake and gone off for a break or even packed away for the day.

After fifteen minutes of inactivity, the unit will shut itself down. This saves on battery life overall and prevents an embarrassing situation whereby you attempt to turn on the multimeter only to find it is completely drained from being left on all night.

Pros & Cons

There are so many features to examine and admire that it seems like a pretty easy list of positives and negatives.

However, one glaring negative is the price. This will come down to your personal preference, but the price is higher than many other units available on the market. Potentially justified by the number of auxiliary features we still think it could be available for cheaper.

On that subject, the sheer amount of additions could be seen as a positive or a negative. We happen to think it's a great thing and ensures this is a true multimeter answering the call of multiple uses.

A final point to praise is the design of the product. Once again, Fluke has ensured that this is one of the most shock-resistant products available and with a lifetime warranty attached, that makes a big difference.

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Pros:
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    Auto and manual ranging
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    True RMS
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    Lifetime Warranty
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    Audible Warnings
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    Multiple features such as auto hold and auto shut off
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Cons:
  • Price is Steep
  • Overwhelming for new/inexperienced users

User Reviews: 

By now, with Fluke products you can expect to have the majority of buyers lavishing praise on the product, but with a few negative comments scattered around.

The praise this time, however, is a higher calibration, with comments such as "Probably the gold standard in portable multimeters. I've never had an issue with it, and have high confidence in measurements" and "This is a high-quality multimeter. It comes with a thermocouple and reads temperature as a bonus. Accurate and designed with safety in mind."

One of the features of this product is the built-in thermometer. Now, while the quality of this product is high, the thermometer is a point of debate, with users refuting its accuracy.

 One buyer suggested, "The thermometer does not work when it gets too cold. I'm a refrigeration tech so I've used this inside freezers checking suction line temps and I found out this didn't work when I saw frost on the line, and the temp was reading 70 degrees f."

Conclusion

While the product is not perfect and has a few points to examine, such as the thermometer not being up to par for specific jobs and the price being slightly high, overall we have to say this is a fantastic multimeter.

Its robust design will ensure it stays with you for many years and even if things do break down, the lifetime warranty serves as a great peace of mind and bonus for you. The sheer volume of features and different ways you can use this item makes it stand out and the staggeringly good display is a wonderful note.

The moment you pick this product up and feel it in your hands, it feels worth every penny. Without hesitation, we can extrapolate that this is an unmatchable and unbeatable product that answers every call possible.

If the cost for this wonderful product is a little too dear for your taste or you merely wish to continue browsing our reviews, check out our other top multimeters, or the best budget multimeters! 

how to use a fluke multimeter

Fluke 116 HVAC Multimeter Review

Fluke 116 HVAC Multimeter

Top Quality at a Great Price

Our Rating: 4.8 out of 5

Reviewed by: Elriegh Bunton

Published on: September 21, 2017 

               Top Product

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    Design   8/10
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    Funtionality  9.5/10
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    Price 9/10

Fluke 116 Overview

The Fluke 116 HVAC Multimeter fits snugly into our countdown of the best multimeters for 2017.  

Fluke is a well-known brand within this niche market for good reason; they deliver quality where it counts. This product, in particular, is deserving of your hard earned cash due mainly to its high quality and robust design. 

The unit feels solid and housed within a rugged case that can withstand plenty of day to day punishment, it will feel right at home in your line of work. So today we will be examining this product in great detail. Firstly, we will begin with an overview, describing what the item is. This will be followed by the key features, before moving on to our pros and cons. 

We'll also take a look at what other users found when buying the product before giving our final verdict.

Fluke 116 HVAC Multimeter

Designed for HVAC professionals, the Fluke 116 multimeter is built for taking temperature and microamp measurements.

The goal is to allow for a quick diagnosis to run as this tool can measure resistance, continuity, frequency, and capacitance. Fluke's reputation precedes it, and in keeping with their long-standing tradition of rugged and reliable tools, this product offers those familiar comforts. A good quality digital multimeter that is equipped with an LED backlight to allow for use in any lighting conditions.

To round off, the compact design of the tool allows for use with one hand, particular hand in the field. With the basics noted, let's dive deeper into the specifics.

Available at a price of $179.99, you're looking at a product that should be ticking a lot of boxes for that price. So let's see if it can match up to the price tag.
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Specifications

  • Built-in thermometer for HVAC applications
  • Microamps to test flame sensors
  • Low input impedance: helps prevent false readings due to ghost voltage
  • Large white LED backlight to work in poorly lit areas
  • Resistance, continuity, frequency, and capacitance
  • Min/Max/Average with elapsed time to record signal fluctuations
  • Compact ergonomic design for one-handed operation
  • Compatible with optional magnetic hanger (ToolPak)
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    Three years warranty
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    Weight: 1.4 pounds
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    CAT III 600 V safety rated

A rather long list indeed, let's take a closer inspection at some of the  key specifications and unearth a little more detail.



1. ​Microamps to test flame sensors

An industry standard that needs to adhering for all high-quality multimeters, but it still needs to be included in the run-down of duties as it acts as one part of the overall picture.


2. Low Input  Impedance

Not all multimeters run on low input impedance, so it is a feature worth highlighting. This feature is handy for taking AC measurements on wiring that may be tightly bound together. The reason is that stray voltages will appear on open wires due to capacitive coupling with the live wires in the bundle, or in other words a "ghost voltage."


3. Compact ergonomic design for one-handed operation

Having one hand free to do other jobs is vital, as this allows you to save time in so many areas which allows you to be done quicker, freeing up your time and the clients. A great feature that again raises its standing in our eyes.


4. ​​​​​CAT III 600 V safety rated

Safety is of utmost importance. You need a tool that has been properly tested to provide you with the best possible protection so you can complete the task at hand without incident. There are cases throughout history of 329 electrical workers sadly perishing due to coming in direct contact with electrical equipment. 

With the key facts established, let's scrutinize what we've seen and broken things down further into our pros and cons.

Pros & Cons

We'll begin with the elements that we enjoyed. For starters, it is true to its name as a "multimeter" and was able to perform well under various conditions.

The readout is also very clear, so there's no delay or hassle to get accurate recordings. Also, we loved how it felt in hand. Not only is it compact and easy to hold in one hand, but it feels absolutely solid, which is a huge plus. We all know that things get dropped, and it would be gut-wrenching to see your equipment shatter into pieces at the first fall, but that doesn't happen here. The case really will protect it, and it's a great feature.

 On the other hand, there are a few flaws that need addressing. Firstly, and probably more of a nitpick than an outright defect, is the display. In some lighting conditions, the contrast is lost which causes a bit of aggravation. There is also a tendency for the unit to display the incorrect temperature but we'll expand more on that with other users reviews.
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Pros:
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    Performed all Tasks well 
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    Robust Case
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    Precise
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    Easy to use
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Cons:
  • Temperature readings can be inaccurate
  • Display loses contrast

User Reviews: 

As we just mentioned, there is one deficiency that appears to crop up, and that is the temperature reading being inaccurate.

 One buyer of the product has specified by saying, "My fluke 116 has never seemed too accurate on temperature, but today cleaning out the tool bag, I decided to check it against a couple of digital pocket t-moms that I know are dead-on. The fluke reads 10-12 degrees low."

However, to contradict this, another reviewer found the reading to be accurate, highlighting that, "Seems to be as accurate as my old Fluke and I LOVE having a direct read-out of temperature w/o having to use an adapter!Temperature seems to be accurate as well, so I don't understand the negative reviews others have posted."

This is interesting and raises an issue with consistency, which will be taken into consideration with our final thoughts. Positive remarks follow our line of thinking, in that the robust nature of the unit is outstanding, with a user commenting, " I use this multimeter every day doing HVAC work, I know it can take a fall from 12 ft to a concrete floor and still work."

Conclusion

To surmise, what we have here is a great multimeter that addresses all of the needs for any HVAC professional.

 We like this product and feel it delivers in all areas, particularly regarding quality both how it's made and how it measures readings.

With that said, there is a discrepancy on some machines with temperature readouts, so it's worth noting this and taking precaution and of course, feedback to the supplier/manufacturer if you do find this. It also comes equipped with leads and adaptor, so there are no real additional accessories to purchase, which is always a bonus.

We liked this product and would strongly recommend it based on its user-friendly nature, price, and durability.

Should you be looking for something a little different, be it more specialized such as an Automotive option or more in your budget range, be sure to check out our multiple other reviews as you will surly find what you need!

how to use a fluke multimeter