Our Rating: 4.8 out of 5
Reviewed by: Elriegh Bunton
Published on: September 21, 2017
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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!