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  • Product Design FAIL – IDEAL Multimeter

    Posted on June 2nd, 2010 EEVblog 24 comments

    Bad Product Design 101:
    How to screw up your product with a simple design oversight.
    The IDEAL brand 61-342 looked like a nice multimeter until Dave tried to actually use it and discovered an epic product design FAIL!

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    24 responses to “Product Design FAIL – IDEAL Multimeter” RSS icon

      • Mine locks when you pull it out.

        • I just looked at the video again. Pull on the stand until it locks.

          • I have the same meter, and if you keep pulling on the stand until it “locks”, you are actually forcing the plastic past the stop and can damage it over time. So you should not pull until it “locks”. Try it and look at the plastic and you will see it fatigues. I agree with dave, this was an oversight for sure. Although if you ignore this oversight, the meter is actually pretty decent.

            • Actually, I thought it was so stupid, that it must be that you were supposed pull it to the point of locking. I figured that was going to utimately fail as you said.

            • Although if you ignore this oversight, the meter is actually pretty decent.

              I agree. The meter looks pretty decent otherwise. Real shame about this oversight.

          • Keith is right, that damages the plastic, it’s not designed to lock. You can kind of make it “lock”, but then the bail continues to fold when you put pressure on the buttons and the whole bail just snaps off. It’s not possible to push it back after you “lock” it like this, once again the bail just falls off.

      • The Ideal 61-312 was used three times after which the select button failed and then display failed showing only LLLL. This is a piece of junk, garbage, big waste of money. Batteries are encased in a shrink wraped tube that needs to be cut open to replace the AAA. Going back to Fluke or Hp.

    • Craig Overend

      I have a portable oscilloscope that does this and it drives me mad.

    • The music at the end was a neat touch. :P

    • Wow, just 58 seconds, it’s a new style of micro-video-blogging. I agree, “Epic Fail”

    • Michael Thompson


      Here I thought Dave was going to show some major circuitry flaw or something and NOPE!

      Nothing so dramatic, but still a real head scratcher.

      Don’t those folks use their own products?

      • Many companies don’t use their own products. You can even argue if the products they offer are their *own*, because they didn’t develop them.

        Flipping through the catalogs of large Chinese manufacturers, picking some products, and getting them manufactured with their own banding and configuration is common.

    • Yo, Dave, you’re going all Hollywood on us…I thought your April 1 segment was a joke, but here you have this page of verbiage at the end…I mean, can scrolling credits for the best boy and key grip be far behind?

      Too bad about the meter.


      Phil Hobbs

    • So does this mean you are almost finished with the multimeter shootout? just curious…

    • Michael Thompson


      multimeter smoke (don’t breathe this!)

      • Anyone know how to get in touch directly with Tom Dickson at Will It Blend? Apart form the silly “suggest something to blend form”. I have a Fluke 28 that needs some blending!

    • Dave do you have Extech EX530 for a review? If not, I can send it to you if you promise to send it back. It’s $240

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