Author Topic: New better-quality "Ames Instruments" multimeter brand from Harbor Freight...??  (Read 733 times)

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Offline LoFi

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I was in Harbor Freight last night and saw they had a rack of new multimeters, branded as "Ames Instruments" rather than their usual "Cen-Tech" brand.  Several clamp-type meters and this decent-looking meter for $69, the DM1000:

https://www.harborfreight.com/electricians-hvac-contractor-trms-multimeter-64019.html

(For those outside the U.S., Harbor Freight is a nationwide chain of stores that sells low-price tools (of mixed quality), mostly made-in-China stuff)

It looks like a step-up in quality compared to their earlier Cen-Tech line.  The feature list is decent: 6000-count, Cat III/CatIV claimed, full range of measurement capabilities, backlight, analog bar graph, fused, ETL rated.  Their promotional literature seems to be targeting Klein multimeters as their main competitors.  Makes sense, Klein multimeters are widely sold in in big-box Home Depot stores.

Anyone tried one of these yet?... any teardowns?

"Don't play stupid with me... I'm better at it."
 

Offline LoFi

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The box was substantial and heavy... so I'm guessing the contents are not lightweight and cheap feeling.

Listed features include:
. True RMS
. 6000 count
. NCV
. Lo-Z
. Min/Max
. Relative mode
. backlight
. protective holster
. all the expected measurements (AC/DC voltage, AC/DC current, resistance, capacitance, frequency, diodes, continuity, etc)

Autohold is mentioned in some promo literature, but I saw no evidence of Fluke-style autohold in my quick read of the online manual... only the usual Data Hold.

It's so new that I found no online reviews...
"Don't play stupid with me... I'm better at it."
 

Offline cdev

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With a 25% off coupon it will be competitive on price

The big question in my mind is - it vs. Uni-T UT61E and the various new Aneng meters ...

Cool, thanks for sharing-

It would be nice to be able to recommend a meter a friend or neighbor could pick up locally for cheap.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2018, 02:25:08 AM by cdev »
"What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away."
 

Offline Old Printer

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With a 25% off coupon it will be competitive on price

Their basic 20% off any 1 item coupon excludes most of their better house brand names and specifically AMES  :(

Their literature also lists a DM1010 "Professional" model with slightly better specs and a different shape, but I could not find it listed for sale yet.
 

Offline LoFi

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Their literature also lists a DM1010 "Professional" model with slightly better specs and a different shape, but I could not find it listed for sale yet.

Yes, the DM1000 box showed the DM1010 (and some lesser models) in a chart, but only the DM1000 was in stock... along with a wider range of new Ames clamp meters.
"Don't play stupid with me... I'm better at it."
 

Offline Hydrawerk

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This Ames DMM is probably made by Mastech. It looks like Mastech MS8251B. http://www.mastech-group.com/products.php?cate=123&PNo=144
Amazing machines. http://www.youtube.com/user/denha (It is not me...)
 

Offline Hydrawerk

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 ;)
Amazing machines. http://www.youtube.com/user/denha (It is not me...)
 
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Online joeqsmith

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Makes sense.  The have carried Mastech for a while.  My two Cen-Tech branded meters were made by them.   

Meter looks nice for HF.  The last one I bought from them is still working fine. 
How electrically robust is your meter?? http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 

Offline Hydrawerk

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What is Mastech like nowadays? Is it better than Unitrend and CEM?
Amazing machines. http://www.youtube.com/user/denha (It is not me...)
 

Offline videobruce

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I'd bet they are trying a new 'marketing' ploy, re-branding lines with different names to set them apart from the typical low end 'stuff' they have been carrying.

It's very apparent with hand held power tools, drills especially.  ;)
 

Offline LoFi

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I'd bet they are trying a new 'marketing' ploy, re-branding lines with different names to set them apart from the typical low end 'stuff' they have been carrying.

It's very apparent with hand held power tools, drills especially.  ;)

Since Harbor Freight is in almost every town, it'd be nice if they offered an upgraded line of tools you could count on for quality; their tools can be pretty hit-or-miss as things currently stand.  I used to know that I could drop by Sears and buy a Craftsman tool and get something of decent quality.  But the nearest remaining Sears store is now 40 miles away, and Craftsman is not what it used to be...

[These days, the best nationwide store for tools of known quality may be Home Depot.  But HF can often be found in even smaller towns]
« Last Edit: January 17, 2018, 05:45:10 AM by LoFi »
"Don't play stupid with me... I'm better at it."
 

Offline 001

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It looks similar to Mastech MS8250C

Amasing meter based on Curystek ES51968 (TRMS and 6600 counts) as BK Precision BK2709B
I happy with it for few years

But it is not dirt cheap
« Last Edit: January 17, 2018, 08:48:45 AM by 001 »
 

Offline james_s

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Since Harbor Freight is in almost every town, it'd be nice if they offered an upgraded line of tools you could count on for quality; their tools can be pretty hit-or-miss as things currently stand.  I used to know that I could drop by Sears and buy a Craftsman tool and get something of decent quality.  But the nearest remaining Sears store is now 40 miles away, and Craftsman is not what it used to be...

[These days, the best nationwide store for tools of known quality may be Home Depot.  But HF can often be found in even smaller towns]


Yeah that would be nice. Usually I buy HF tools when I want to modify it for a custom purpose, or when I need a cheap power tool for one or two specific jobs.

Some of their stuff is quite good though, I have a pneumatic brad stapler that is nicely made and works better than some costing much more, my only complaint is that the trigger feels flimsy and cheap. Some of their air hoses and quick connects are quite good as well.
 

Offline cdev

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I recently bought a drill press from them that so far works great. $50
A desk magnifying lamp that cost me $16, works great and doesn't look cheap or emit RFI..

As my favorite waiter ever, the late Edsel Ford Fong used to say; "Not too shabby!"
"What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away."
 


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