Best Multimeter? Fluke, Fieldpiece, others?

Discussion in 'Reviews' started by gerryb, Apr 24, 2015.

  1. gerryb

    gerryb Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor

    Oct 12, 2006
    Somers Point, NJ
    "On Vacation"
    2006 40 Sundancer
    Raymarine E125 & HD Radar + Garmin 5208
    QSB5.9 380 Cummins
    Have several chinese models around the house and boat which have served the purpose but now looking to get something better. I want to be able to use it for automotive, mechanical, hvac, and electrical component testing (diodes, resistors, etc). An all-around quality piece that will be my "go-to" multimeter. Any recommendations? Doing initial research and I have a headache. A very large range of prices, models, features and opinions. What multimeter do you use troubleshooting boat/electrical issues and what feature do you find more useful than you thought it would be?
     
  2. northshore

    northshore Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Jan 17, 2011
    Cleveland, OH
    1989 340 Sundancer
    Raymarine E90W Radar/Chartplotter
    Twin 454 Mercruiser 340's
    If you can find an old fluke 75 - 77 they are really rugged, cheap and easy to get along with.
    Peak hold is a nice feature for working in cramped places. Put your leads on what you want to measure, wait for the beep, remove the leads and the reading is held

    I should probably mention that a 77 was my test and engineering meter for the better part of 20 years.
    80 series might be easier to find now days.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2015
  3. sdleo26

    sdleo26 Member

    523
    Feb 5, 2011
    Long Island, NY
    290 Amberjack 2004
    350 5.7 MAG MPI Horizons w/ V-drives
    +1 on the 77.... got mine going on 15 years!
     
  4. MasterFab

    MasterFab Active Member TECHNICAL Contributor GOLD Sponsor

    Aug 17, 2010
    Wallkill, NY
    2002 340 Sundancer, Rescued, Restored, Modernized, and now Sold
    8.1L Horizons, ZF 63 V Drives
    I have been a Fluke fan for many years also - strongly recommended.

    Dale
     
  5. LTD.330

    LTD.330 Active Member SILVER Sponsor

    Oct 5, 2009
    Lake Erie
    1999 Sundancer 330
    7.4 MPI
    Another +1 on the Fluke 77. I've had mine for about 25 years. It's rugged, reliable, durable, and accurate. The newer meters have a lot more bells and whistles but for volts, ohms, and amps it can't be beat.
     
  6. northshore

    northshore Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Jan 17, 2011
    Cleveland, OH
    1989 340 Sundancer
    Raymarine E90W Radar/Chartplotter
    Twin 454 Mercruiser 340's
    I should probably also mention the 77 that I was talking about is the really old series 1.
    Grey in color.
    There were 3 models in the series 73, 75, 77.
    If memory serves, the 73 did not have peak hold.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2015
  7. Hifirush

    Hifirush Member

    542
    Mar 21, 2014
    North Padre Island
    1998 330 DA, 7.4 MPI with V-Drives, raw water cooled, Westerbeke
    twin 7.4 MPI’s with V-Drives
    Well it seems a consensus, Fluke! I'll add mine is going on 20 years and works flawlessly.

    Matt


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  8. magstang1

    magstang1 Active Member

    May 30, 2010
    Lake St.Clair
    1998 31 Sedan Bridge
    Twin 350 Marine Power
    Fluke. I own several and have used many of their other products as well. Thermal cameras, otdr... Their stuff works and lasts.
     
  9. eweise

    eweise Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    457
    Aug 23, 2013
    Jacksonville, FL
    2005 Sea Ray 280 Sundancer
    Twin 4.3L 220 HP, Alpha 1 Drives, 5E Genny, AC
    Fluke 87-V. Awesome tool.
     
  10. IanBat

    IanBat New Member SILVER Sponsor

    Nov 19, 2011
    Sydney, Australia
    Pro Tournament 36' 1999
    Twin Cummins 5.9L 370hp B Series
    Fluke have the rep as being the best, and are extremely respected.

    In a cheaper range, I would strongly recommend the UNI-T if they are available there. We have sold them here for over 15 years, and I have never heard anything back but compliments on them.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
     
  11. Havana Shamrock

    Havana Shamrock Well-Known Member

    Sep 9, 2008
    Long Island.
    2005 500DB
    QSM11's,
    Honda 30HP
    Sea Doo 90 HP H.O.
    Old grey fluke!!!! 25 yrs or so love it.
     
  12. HUMPH

    HUMPH Well-Known Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Nov 4, 2009
    SF BAY AREA
    2003 410DA,
    2004 C14 Caribe
    CAT 3126TA's 350HP/
    50HP Honda
    Fluke! Is there any other?
     
  13. gerryb

    gerryb Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor

    Oct 12, 2006
    Somers Point, NJ
    "On Vacation"
    2006 40 Sundancer
    Raymarine E125 & HD Radar + Garmin 5208
    QSB5.9 380 Cummins
    Thanks for the unanimous feedback! Proud to say that I was just the winning bidder on a new Fluke 179. I definitely had to have the AUTOHOLD feature. That's something I think would by now be a pretty standard feature on all meters -:huh: - extremely useful when you can't focus on the probes and the screen at the same time (which is most of the time when working in a boat engine room).
     
  14. Mike Blake

    Mike Blake Active Member

    Jan 27, 2012
    Yankeetown FL West coast
    89 340 Sundance all Raymarine.
    Gas hogs 454X2.
    I have had the Fluke for years now.
     
  15. MonacoMike

    MonacoMike Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Sep 15, 2009
    Indiana lakes and Lake Michigan
    2000 Cruisers 3870
    97 270 Sundancer
    85 Sea Ray Monaco 197
    8.2 Mercs,
    7.4 BII
    260hp Alpha 1
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2015
  16. kaz911

    kaz911 Active Member

    Jan 24, 2011
    In Transit -> London
    Boatless
    Boatless
    Any Fluke 87 (I, III, V) is perfect. Finding an 87 model in Automotive version (extra accessories are included) can be a benefit for boat usage.

    Else Brymen series if you want to go cheaper but still great.

    I use Fluke 287/289 but that is because I use them for my other electronics work. They are darn precise and my 7 year one just passed calibration inspection within 0.05% of their official testers measurements. But that might be overkill and they eat batteries for breakfast, lunch and dinner - and starts up slow.

    Btw I think Fluke 87 got lifetime warranty like my 287/289's. Warranty does not cover battery leakage though!! I got 2 of mine on eBay defective and got them repaired for free :) (So < $150 for a $550 meter)

    I won't agree with Ian (sorry Ian since you sell them ....) on the Uni-T's they are simply not worth the money - they are the overpriced China meters - often missing important FUSES inside. (Ian - check out your fellow "Australian not Austrian" Dave's review's on EEVBlog....) so their CAT XXX ratings are often pure bull..... The same "Model number" like Uni-T 61 - can be found in many different versions - some with fuses - some without - so it is too much of a jungle to find one that is safe for both you and the instrument. But when they work they work OK - but finding the right one at the right price is not easy. Where I am they are only 30% less expensive than Fluke - so not worth it at all.
     
  17. northshore

    northshore Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Jan 17, 2011
    Cleveland, OH
    1989 340 Sundancer
    Raymarine E90W Radar/Chartplotter
    Twin 454 Mercruiser 340's
    The short answer is not much that you would need on a boat.

    The thing about Flukes as you can probably tell from the posts is they just last.
    And for the old 70 series they do just what you need on a boat with out some of the extras that you will never need.

    There are meters made that can do all kinds of bizarre crap. (transistor gain functions !?)
    The only thing I could possibly use on my old fluke that is doesn't have is frequency for checking the genny. Most all meters now do this.

    I've got an unholy expensive Keithley 2001 that I think would do my dishes if I just took time to read the manual, but is way out of place on a boat.
    Conversely, I've got an old BK Precision that has a rotary dial that can't even auto range - it lives at the bottom of my tool bucket in the garage.

    I'd be willing to bet the Craftsman DMM you have will do all that you need and probably some stuff you will never use.

    -Mike
     
  18. MonacoMike

    MonacoMike Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Sep 15, 2009
    Indiana lakes and Lake Michigan
    2000 Cruisers 3870
    97 270 Sundancer
    85 Sea Ray Monaco 197
    8.2 Mercs,
    7.4 BII
    260hp Alpha 1
    Thanks Northshore.

    MM
     
  19. mjoplin

    mjoplin Member

    116
    Oct 10, 2016
    Houston, TX
    2005 Sundancer 280
    Twin 4.3 Mercruiser
    Can't beat a Fluke. I have one that is 35+ years old and still works great.
     
  20. Wylie_Tunes

    Wylie_Tunes Active Member

    513
    Oct 26, 2012
    Lake Wylie NC area
    N/A
    N/A
    Fluke user here. Got my Fluke 88 in 1995 and use it everyday.
     

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