Roundup Review: Top-End Multimeters

There are a lot of multimeters available these days, which is something to be thankful for...the more competitive the market, the better it is for the consumer.

There are a couple of features you should focus on before choosing one a new multimeter.
Although each of these multimeters may cost more than $100, that's about as much as they have in common. Truth be told, when shopping in this price range, you will find that some multimeters offer a larger number of features, while others offer superior quality and accuracy.

Be that as it may, finding an ideal multimeter for your needs ain't no simple task. In this review we want to compare the premium multimeters. We decided to feature Fluke, Fieldpiece and Extech's premium offers. Let's see how these units face up against each other.

fluke multimeters



So it comes down to which features you need and then finding the best quality multimeter which satisfies your needs.

Whether you're an experienced electrician, or a novice trying to find a short circuit, everybody ought to have no less than one meter in their home since it can save you SO much time and hassle. If you don't believe us, then read the top ten uses for a digital multimeter.

Let's separate the chalk from the chaff...
We give you our roundup review of the very best multimeters currently on the market.


Fluke 87-V

Whether you are a seasoned electrician or a budding DIY enthusiast, there is always room in your equipment locker for a reliable and feature-rich multimeter. 

In this review, we have thoroughly tested the Fluke 87-V multimeter, and we want to share our findings with you so that you can make an informed decision when it comes to choosing the best multimeter for your electrical testing and measurement needs.

This unit is a perfect fit for electricians who rely on accurate and in-depth measurements during their day to day duties and provides the user with readings that cover everything relevant to personal health and safety.

The Fluke 87-V is ideal for electricians who regularly deal with HVAC (High Voltage, Alternating Current) units due to the unit’s ability to measure lower and higher resolutions and the Fluke 87-V also offers greater range than that of standard multimeters.

One of the best features of this multimeter is its ability to measure voltage, frequency, current, capacitance and even water temperature.

This feature coupled with the amazing dual resolution display screen means that this unit is easy to read on-screen and can detect even the smallest variance in voltage instantly. These are just a few of the fantastic features that the Fluke 87-V multimeter has to offer and let’s have a look at what else this unit has to offer.

Durability of design – The robust shell of this unit has been out through the paces and stands alone as one of the most durable multimeters available on the market. This unit has been thoroughly tested for drops from height, water damage, and shocks. If that wasn’t enough, the Fluke87-V boasts a lifetime guarantee, so you are covered in any situation.


Fieldpiece HS36

The Fieldpiece HS36 is a user-friendly Multimeter. You will find this Fieldpiece very crucial if you are dealing with HVAC/R appliances, due to its high accuracy.

It is a premium multimeter with impressive features such as automatic ranging and voltage detection. These type of features are not found on cheaper competitors.

Fieldpiece HS36 comes with a well-detailed user manual hence you do not have to worry if you are a first time user.

If you have used a multimeter before, ensure you also read this user manual because every unit has different specifications.

True RMS
True RMS reading is an excellent everyday-use feature. This feature allows you to measure the continuous power accurately, for example, the input power going into your speaker from your amplifier. This is an excellent feature especially for those of you who are audiophiles.

Auto Ranging
This unit comes with an auto-ranging function, which makes it ideal for use by both professionals and non-professionals. This means that it will do all the work for you. You don't have to set the sensitivity range on your AC or DC voltage input, for example, the Fieldpiece HS36 will automatically adjust according to the voltage you are measuring.

Non-Contact Voltage Indication
The NCV function is sensitive enough to detect 24VAC on thermostats. If any voltage is present, the unit will alert you with an audible warning.

High Voltage and Continuity Indicator
This unit has Hi-V LED/Beeper for circuits over 30V. The LED and Beeper will tell you if a circuit is open or closed.


Fluke 116

The Fluke 116 is a great tool for both experienced home enthusiasts and professional users. It can measure voltage, current, temperature, capacitance and a whole lot more.

The features of its design include a built-in thermometer, a data hold function, plus manual and auto-ranging.

The Fluke 116 is not recommended for beginners because the additional features might not be needed for those not dealing with HVAC applications on a day to day basis.

However, if you are a professional, you will find it rather useful. You will be able to measure frequency, current, voltage and much more and get accurate and precise results.

This is the best digital multimeter as it is affordable, durable, accurate and precise.

The Fluke 116 digital HVAC multimeter comes with an inbuilt thermometer which makes it easy to measure the temperature of a liquid or object.

 If you connect the bundled thermocouple to your test object, you can easily measure temperature.

To measure a liquid's temperature first ensure the liquid is not corrosive to protect the integrity of the thermocouple then put the thermocouple in the liquid and wait for the results to be displayed.

Auto Ranging
The multimeter has an auto-ranging function. This is a useful feature for professionals since you don't have to switch between 110V, 230V and HVAC range. It's also excellent for beginners since it can be tricky to select the right range yourself when starting off with multimeters.

Data Holding
The data hold function is also useful for those who do not have a piece of paper to write down the values and sometimes these values are hard to memorize thus this capability comes in handy. It stores the last reading until it is overwritten with a new one or the button is pressed again.

Quality Interface
The other feature is that the screen is large which makes for a good display and easily legible. It is brightly lit with LED in the backlights allowing you to work in dark surroundings. It is also worth mentioning that compared to other multimeters, the screen does not lose much contrast at high viewing angles.

Likewise, the 116 has a standard Fluke design which is of the high quality we have come to expect from the manufacturing giant. Electricians will appreciate the smoothness of the rotary switch because it can be used with one hand with ease.

True RMS
It is also worth mentioning that this is a true RMS meter, which should be standard in this price range, but many cheaper multimeters do not have this feature. It offers accurate data under abnormal conditions such as the influence of a ghost voltage.

Although it is great, the Fluke 116 has its shortcomings which are not that critical, but we felt it still worth mentioning.

Some users reported problems while using the thermocouple, which can sometimes display inaccurate temperature readings.

The Fluke 116 HVAC Digital Multimeter is an excellent choice for professionals as it is affordable, precise and accurate, durable with a good display and easy to use. While this model may be a bit overkill for DIY use at home, the price is far from exorbitant, and you never know when any of the useful extra features of the 116 may come in handy.


Fluke 117

The Fluke 117 has to be the Best HVAC Multimeter by far. This is because it is not only simple to use but also versatile.

You can make use of the gadget to measure the capacitance, voltage, frequency and a whole lot more.

It is also suitable for determining the continuity involved within a diode by testing its condition. The thing that differentiates HVAC devices from the usual multimeters is the resolution and range.

The Fluke 117 can measure voltages to lows of 0.001V, with a recorded range of 600mV. This sensitivity is sufficient for a good range of HVAC applications.

Listed below are some of the key features of this very sold multimeter.

True RMS
The Fluke 117 has a True RMS function, something that has earned it the title of the Best HVAC Multimeter. It is an essential accessory from professionals as it offers data that is both highly precise and accurate even under the most extreme of conditions. Other units that lack the True RMS are notorious for delivering false and erroneous data.

Who Can Make Use of The Product?
The Best HVAC Multimeter is a product that should be made use of by all those looking for a quality multimeter.

The device is easy to understand and use. It also comes packed with a collection of essential features for testing HVAC appliances. Precision and versatility are two of the things that make it a highly favoured gadget. It is one device that you will never regret acquiring since it offers value for money and a whole lot more.

Lifetime Warranty
Fluke goes a step further to sweeten the deal on all of their products by offering a lifetime warranty with each purchase. If this is not the perfect assurance of quality, then nothing is.

There are very few companies that can guarantee their customers quality and reliability for all eternity, and Fluke tops that list. However, this gadget is considered overkill when used by hobbyists and DIY-ers. For such a collection of features and the premium price, it would be nothing short of a waste to use it in the testing of household gadgets solely.

The Drawbacks That We Encountered
Nothing made by man is perfect, and even the Best HVAC Multimeter falls short at one point or another. The performance of the Fluke 117 was spotless, and the data quality reliable. There were, however, some things that you should look out for when it comes to this multimeter.

Under some angles, the display tends to lose contrast. This makes it harder to read the values. The difficulty increases when the battery is weak and the backlight on. At a 90 degree viewing angle visibility near zero. But once you figure out how to adapt to the screen, it will be smooth sailing onward.

There also seems to have been some devices returned to the factory for undocumented reasons. These were relaunched in the market leaving some buyers with used units. This is something that is damaging to the company’s image since it shows incompetence.



Mastech MS8209

Mastech MS8209 is an auto-ranging unit that has several features that are sensitive to sound, temperature, light and humidity, as a result of which it is commonly referred to as the “5in1” Multimeter.

These support functions make the device the best Multimeter under 100 dollars in testing, troubleshooting and analysing activities.

In addition to the above, is the fact that it can be safely used for 14 other known functions, which achieve incredible 39 separate ranges.

It is user-friendly for both the professional as well as the non-professional user, the Mastech MS8209 can be used for either manual or auto-ranging depending on preference and ability.

The auto-ranging functions sets up parameters for the non-professional. This wide range of use means that troubleshooting an installation of new wiring, measurements of temperatures and checking of continuity, becomes an easy task.

This set of features once again undoubtedly makes Mastech MS8209 our top pick for a Multimeter under 500 dollars.

Data Hold
A key features of the Mastech MS8209 is the Data Hold which enables the saving of the latest reading until such a time as one is ready to overwrite them. 

In the past, a common frustration was the inability to find a pen to write with or a place to write on, luckily, this has now been taken care of and is a great addition to our newer
models.

True RMS
The True RMS reading is another function which ensures that the data that is displayed is right by improving on accuracy and countering any interference from peculiar signals that are a common constituent of electrical noises. Again, this latter addition was lacking in the older generation of analogue multimeters.

Advanced Sensor
Of notable mention is the 100 dB sound sensor which is usually a pleasant surprise for those who first come into contact with the Mastech MS8209.

The additions of temperature and humidity sensors of up to 1000 degrees Celsius and 30-90% humidity probe (RH) respectively, are a huge bonus which proves that it is a firm contender for the best Multimeter under 500 dollars.

Advanced Funtions
The Mastech 8209 has an automatic power switch-off after inactivity of 15 minutes, thus the device has a prolonged battery life and is a sure plus. 

These are complemented by the inbuilt functionality of the device to select ranges automatically on the multi-meter circuit bar as opposed to what was the case in the older, manually adjusted Multimeters.

Furthermore, the Overload protection ensures that if the correct mode is not selected, then only a fuse, and not the entire circuit board is blown. Alongside this, the low battery indicator acts as a constant reminder of dwindling battery activity in need of attention.

Who then is the best Multimeter under 100 dollars suited for?
Because of its adaptability, it is for anyone who only needs to know what precautionary measures to take.

Professional electricians will also find it very resourceful because of the aforementioned additional features. Due to its affordability, individuals who are looking for top quality packaged in a great budget product will surely find it worth their while.

 There is absolutely no doubt that it is a much-needed improvement to the older generation Multimeters.

For more cutting-edge reviews check out the review hub over at Santa's Reviews, and stay ahead of the curve! 

If these multimeters were slightly above your price range then head over to our budget multimeter review for more options.

~Elreigh Bunton, Head editor