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Old 25-01-2012, 10:06   #1
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Multimeters

Looking for recommendations on multimeters.👀 Brands, marine grade, ranging, functions. Any opinions?😲
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Old 25-01-2012, 10:09   #2
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Re: Multimeters

Fluke brand. Not cheap but they're the best. Get a true RMS meter.

The Flukes are digital. I also keep an old analog meter with a dial and needle. These are sometimes very handy for catching intermittant shorts and opens. Hook up the meter and watch to see if the needle bounces while you jiggle the wires. Can't see that as well with a digital.
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Old 25-01-2012, 10:23   #3
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Re: Multimeters

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Tom M.

You can’t go wrong with Fluke meters (expensive); but I’ve also had very good service from Sears “Craftsman” products.

See also ➥ digital multimeter
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Old 25-01-2012, 10:36   #4
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Re: Multimeters

My Fluke is 20 years old. That's the brand I used in the USAF, so I bought one after leaving the service.

It's been in the drink for 30 minutes at 10 feet and survived. It's not water proof, I took it apart and let it dry for a day and all was well.

The original 9v battery lasted 15 years, but nobody believes that. I replaced the battery when it started to fail to zero on OHMS.


A waterproof Fluke would be hard to beat in my opinion.
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Old 25-01-2012, 10:50   #5
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Re: Multimeters

Another vote for Fluke.

Not cheap ($200), but I have abused it mercilessly (it shows) for the last ten years and it is still going strong.
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Old 25-01-2012, 10:52   #6
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Re: Multimeters

What are people's thoughts on having multimeters with DC amp clamp capabilities to measure DC amperage without having to split open a wire or getting to an exposed terminal? Multimeters with this ability are pretty rare and expensive (lots of multimeters have this for AC, not so much for DC) , so not certain if its really useful in practice.
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Old 25-01-2012, 11:32   #7
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Re: Multimeters

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Originally Posted by teneicm View Post
What are people's thoughts on having multimeters with DC amp clamp capabilities to measure DC amperage without having to split open a wire or getting to an exposed terminal? Multimeters with this ability are pretty rare and expensive (lots of multimeters have this for AC, not so much for DC) , so not certain if its really useful in practice.
I'm quite happy with the Sears Craftsman 82369 AC/DC Clamp meter. I bought it for $59 but its currently online for $51. It measures up to 400 DC/AC amps, DC/AC volts, ohms, capacitance, frequency, and temperature. I wish it had a feature to measure milliamps with the probes like some other multimeters, but it seems to be accurate to about 0.1 amps in the clamp-on mode on the 40 amp scale, and is well built and packaged.
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Old 25-01-2012, 11:51   #8
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Re: Multimeters

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Originally Posted by teneicm View Post
What are people's thoughts on having multimeters with DC amp clamp capabilities to measure DC amperage without having to split open a wire or getting to an exposed terminal? Multimeters with this ability are pretty rare and expensive (lots of multimeters have this for AC, not so much for DC) , so not certain if its really useful in practice.
A DC clamp meter can be very handy but, like Don I have ended up with a regular VOM and a separate AC/DC clamp meter and like this option.

I think this is standard for almost all the better meters but I did have a spare, throw it in the bottom of the toolbox meter that didn't, but do make sure the meter will beep when testing continuity.
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Old 25-01-2012, 11:54   #9
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Re: Multimeters

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Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Tom M.

You can’t go wrong with Fluke meters (expensive); but I’ve also had very good service from Sears “Craftsman” products.

See also ➥ digital multimeter
Have not tried a Craftsman. That's a very good idea.

I like to keep a spare meter for times when I don't want to risk my Fluke. Have tried Radio Shacks, Home Depots, etc and wasn't thrilled with any of them. Will have to go to Sears to see what they've got (before they end up Chapter 11 or worse).
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Old 25-01-2012, 12:09   #10
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Re: Multimeters

Quote:
Originally Posted by teneicm View Post
What are people's thoughts on having multimeters with DC amp clamp capabilities to measure DC amperage without having to split open a wire or getting to an exposed terminal? Multimeters with this ability are pretty rare and expensive (lots of multimeters have this for AC, not so much for DC) , so not certain if its really useful in practice.
Many multimeters will measure up to 10 amps of AC or DC. For more than that there are clamp ammeters that measure both AC and DC. For AC you must measure either the hot or the neutral. For DC of course either the positive or the negative.

The splitters for clamp meters for AC wall outlets are relatively inexpensive.

I agree with Fluke being the best.
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Old 25-01-2012, 12:13   #11
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Re: Multimeters

I don't like Harbor Freieght tools very much but they have multi meters that are $5. They work as well as my more expensive units. And they don't upset me when they slide into the bilge or dropped on a concrete floor.
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Old 25-01-2012, 12:15   #12
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Re: Multimeters

I've had a cheap crappy one for years.
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Old 25-01-2012, 12:16   #13
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Re: Multimeters

Don- You know, I bought and then returned 2 of that Craftsman model. Both had some issue where the leads were making poor contact with the receptacles n the unit. Testing for continuity by touching the probes together only resulted in a tone maybe 15-20% of the time. I wrote it off as unreliable, but perhaps I just got two from the same bad batch....
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Old 25-01-2012, 12:28   #14
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Re: Multimeters

I have and like Fluke, but have also had decent service from some budget meters. For boat applications you don't generally need the absolute best accuracy, but you do want something rugged and easy to use. I carry a couple of meters,

One trick do get more sensitivity with a clamp-on DC ammeter is to wrap the wire through the jaws multiple times. Divide the indicated reading by the number of passes through the jaws. This can be tough with heavy battery wires, but sometimes this technique can be useful.
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Old 25-01-2012, 21:41   #15
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Re: Multimeters

Greenlee makes some pretty decent multimeters...I have a DM-810 that has been exceptional.

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