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Looking for a new multimeter...

I've had a few multimeters come and go over the years, and now that I'm finally using it pretty much every day now, I'm looking for something that I can truly rely on and have be consistent enough for these builds.
I'm tempted to step to a Fluke, although not entirely sure which one (the differences between the 115, 116, and 117 have me deep diving into some very minute details), but thought this would be a good opportunity to see what everyone here uses and how reliable they have been. Sometimes those online reviews can be a little shady, so hearing from folks here seems much more reliable.
Hope ya'll are well and thanks!
 

PedalPCB

Administrator
Staff member
For me, when it comes to handheld multimeters it's Fluke all the way. I've been using them for over 20 years and have never been able to "bond" with anything else.

The Fluke 115 is plenty capable for anything we do here, and likely the best "bang for buck" model unless you have a special need for one of the other models. The 116 and 117 are similar models but each have specialized functions geared towards HVAC / electrical work.

I've used a Fluke 179 for years and if I were replacing one of my meters that's what I would go for just because of familiarity, but it has a fair amount of functionality you'll probably never use while working on pedals (and costs almost twice as much as the 115).

I can be thrifty at times, but when it comes to my test equipment I want something that I can depend on and trust. There is nothing worse than having equipment that gives inaccurate measurements when troubleshooting.... You can lose hours / days because of it.
 

Ratimus

Member
Remember: "If you get a good reading, it must be a Fluke!"

(I had a buddy who worked for Fluke in Everett, WA. Used to tease him that they should use that as their slogan).

Pretty much can't go wrong with 73 (discontinued, replaced by 77 I think) or 117.

Personally, I use a Klein Tools meter I bought with Home Depot gift cards during my student days. When it dies, I will replace it with a Fluke, but I've had the darn thing for almost 10 years and it's still going.

Only major complaint with it is that it doesn't have separate knob selections for vac and vdc, so any time you switch to voltage, you have to press a button to change to dc. Sounds minor, but when you're switching between volts and ohms, you're better off just having a second meter.

Side note: I've tried a few different portable oscilloscopes from Fluke and absolutely **hated** them, FWIW.
 
For me, when it comes to handheld multimeters it's Fluke all the way. I've been using them for over 20 years and have never been able to "bond" with anything else.

The Fluke 115 is plenty capable for anything we do here, and likely the best "bang for buck" model unless you have a special need for one of the other models. The 116 and 117 are similar models but each have specialized functions geared towards HVAC / electrical work.

I've used a Fluke 179 for years and if I were replacing one of my meters that's what I would go for just because of familiarity, but it has a fair amount of functionality you'll probably never use while working on pedals (and costs almost twice as much as the 115).

I can be thrifty at times, but when it comes to my test equipment I want something that I can depend on and trust. There is nothing worse than having equipment that gives inaccurate measurements when troubleshooting.... You can lose hours / days because of it.
I'm definitely learning where to be thrifty and where not to be thrifty :) The 115, 116, and 117 are really all around the same price it seems...between those 3 which is the most useful? I'm willing to spend an extra $15 on the 117 if it's worth it! For some reason the "electrical work" 117 seems a little more limited than the 116, but I could be reading that wrong. Thanks again!
 

PedalPCB

Administrator
Staff member
The 116 has temperature functions and has a microamps current mode.

I think the primary difference in the 117 is the "Non-Contact Voltage Detection" and LoZ measurement modes. Unless you plan to do some home wiring I can't imagine either of these being overly important.

Aside from that, the specs are similar between the three models. I'd lean towards the 115, just because I'd never use those specialized functions in the 116 / 117. You really can't go wrong with any of the three though.
 

mozz

New member
Fluke also gets my vote. Back a while ago, someone on ebay was selling model 27fm which is a military version of the 27. Waterproof with a oring inside, very accurate, i bought a pair. Prices have gone up a little and nowhere near the quantity once word got out. I would even buy another as when working on tube amps i am monitoring a bunch of voltages at once.
 
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