Our Rating: 4 out of 5
Reviewed by: Elriegh Bunton
Published on: September 24, 2017
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.
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.
To expand further, here are some quick-fire functions to be analyzed.
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.
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.
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.”
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.