Author Topic: EEVblog #99 – $100 Multimeter Shootout  (Read 18356 times)

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Offline Kiriakos-GR

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EEVblog #99 – $100 Multimeter Shootout
« on: July 12, 2010, 11:11:26 pm »
Not a word about the UNI-T  bar graph ?   Shame on you ..  ;D ;D ;D

Interesting review , the reviewer had made lots of steps of progress .
And I will be gentle and all  ..  :)  

Your love affair with the BK precision , it looks that it was just words ..
Yes by looking an video, its not like having in front of you the real thing.

But in my eyes .... The UNI-T  had the clearest display , the most easy to read ,
and  bar graph & com port ...  and  it looked truly well made .
And it had  high quality parts at the most important sections ,  and it did had an double anti RF shield ,
that you was disliked ..

But the UNI-T took it revenge  on you , by acting beautifully at the True-RMS  test ,
and in all tests ..

I will advice you to paint it with the BK precision colors, and keep it ..  :D


Great Job Dave , an true well made " review "  job ... well done  and congratulations...
  



 
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #99 – $100 Multimeter Shootout
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2010, 12:37:50 am »
Your love affair with the BK precision , it looks that it was just words ..
Yes by looking an video, its not like having in front of you the real thing.

But in my eyes .... The UNI-T  had the clearest display , the most easy to read ,
and  bar graph & com port ...  and  it looked truly well made .
And it had  high quality parts at the most important sections ,  and it did had an double anti RF shield ,
that you was disliked ..

The bargraph is a wank feature with slow updating and unworthy of mention.
High quality parts? hardly!
It had crap quality radial paper caps bodged onto SMD pads.
Trimmers are likely the cheapest one-hung-low brand.
The input jacks were very ordinary.
It had the cheapest feeling test leads
The shielding and construction/mounting of the LCD left a lot to be desired, it was poorly implemented I thought.

Quote
But the UNI-T took it revenge  on you , by acting beautifully at the True-RMS  test ,
and in all tests ..

Apart form the shit continuity tester, slow autoranging, some overshoot, horrible cap offset, single PTC, and probably the worst battery life out of the bunch, yeah it performed just fine.

Quote
I will advice you to paint it with the BK precision colors, and keep it ..  :D

In the end the winner was the meter *I* liked most, that's what people want to hear, and that was the BK Precision.
If its was a "best value for money" shootout, the Uni-T or maybe the Extech would take it out.
Horses for courses, they are all decent meters in various ways.

Dave.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2010, 12:40:07 am by EEVblog »
 

Offline DJPhil

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Re: EEVblog #99 – $100 Multimeter Shootout
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2010, 04:32:59 am »
I was rooting for the Amprobe a bit, as I've got a Meterman 38XR. Glad to see it did ok, but the sickly beeping made me giggle every time I heard it! I'll bet it's caused by the half-ass mounting job and it'd sound less sick if it was floating or firmly mounted, but I'd be mad I had to fix it at birth. In an office I'd be mortified to bring it to work, but at home I'm weird enough to find it almost endearing. All told I liked the BK the best, as it seemed to trade in the ruggedness I don't really need myself for a good spread of awesome everywhere else.

It's definitely a different beast than the 38XR, it doesn't beep on range changes except for lead alerts. They do share the equally crummy capacitance range. I've used it a good deal, for lack of another option yet, but I don't trust it too much. I'm also a bit miffed that they sell the cable you need for the 38XR's datalogging separately, for $25US or so, and you'll still need a serial to usb adapter if you don't have a spare serial port!

Still, I love my meter. It'll be many moons before I spring for another, just too much other awesome stuff to save for!

Thanks for all the hard work Dave, it was worth the wait!
 

Offline cybergibbons

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Re: EEVblog #99 – $100 Multimeter Shootout
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2010, 07:24:23 am »
Not all Uni-T meters are the same Kiriakos. I think the review was entirely fair to the meter.

The UT-61A I think uses the same count for the bargraph as the display, so it's just as slow.

My UT-71D clearly uses a different count for the bargraph as it's much faster than the main display, it's also pretty useful being able to switch it down to 4000 count if you need it.

You get a lot of features for your money with Uni-T, but I don't think that is the end of the story with a meter.
 

Offline ArtemisGoldfish

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Re: EEVblog #99 – $100 Multimeter Shootout
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2010, 09:23:53 am »
That reply was a fun read, Dave. :)

Personally, I was rooting for the B+K from the start. I saw it amongst the list of meters you were going to test, and thought, "Well, it'll go well with my B+K analog scope." The autoranging speed and continuity speed are probably some of the bigger selling points, so next paycheck, I'll definitely invest in one.
John, Hardware Technician, F5 Networks
 

Offline Mechatrommer

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Re: EEVblog #99 – $100 Multimeter Shootout
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2010, 03:03:06 pm »
Uni-T just presented their weakest (among) $100 UT60D DMM line, they should present (Dave should have bought) at least the $90 UT71A (20000 count) DMM then we can decide the true winner! hehe ;D Kinda proud that Uni-T can beat the gossen on freq reading! thumbs up Dave! i just missed your nasty rants!
if something can select, how cant it be intelligent? if something is intelligent, how cant it exist?
 

Offline Zad

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Re: EEVblog #99 – $100 Multimeter Shootout
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2010, 04:09:11 pm »
Shafri, any chance you can take the back off your meter and take a photograph, so we can tell if the 'quality' of construction is the same?

Offline Mechatrommer

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« Last Edit: July 13, 2010, 05:23:08 pm by shafri »
if something can select, how cant it be intelligent? if something is intelligent, how cant it exist?
 

Offline Kiriakos-GR

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Re: EEVblog #99 – $100 Multimeter Shootout
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2010, 06:11:53 pm »
There is some points , like speed , that has to do mostly , with what you had " Try so far " ..

Speed at display , does not bother an " New DMM user " ...  ( 100$ budget )

Test any DMM against the 400$ ones , all the cheap will called "slow"
any  common car in comparison with an Ferrari will called "slow".

Quote
Trimmers are likely the cheapest one-hung-low brand.

Its just "Trimmers"  :)   

Quote
It had the cheapest feeling test leads

Its just safe test leads ..

Quote
The shielding and construction/mounting of the LCD left a lot to be desired, it was poorly implemented I thought.

It survived the drop test !!  :) 

I am not looking for a clear Winner ....   but because of the easy to read display , and the True RMS behavior I just like it more of the pack ..

And I do not care how many PTC has inside , as long it works as it should .. even this single one...


Another thing that I noticed , are that most of them had HRC SIBA fuses ....
MetraWatt favor those , and looks many more brand names ..
Probably due  quality VS cost ..  against the American Fuses .. that are extremely overpriced.





 
« Last Edit: July 13, 2010, 06:37:08 pm by Kiriakos-GR »
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #99 – $100 Multimeter Shootout
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2010, 10:36:57 pm »
Uni-T just presented their weakest (among) $100 UT60D DMM line, they should present (Dave should have bought) at least the $90 UT71A (20000 count) DMM then we can decide the true winner! hehe ;D Kinda proud that Uni-T can beat the gossen on freq reading! thumbs up Dave! i just missed your nasty rants!

I deliberately got the 60 series because it was the closest match to the other meters. Comparing a same spec meter at a lower price is easier than comparing a higher spec 20000 count meter at the same price as a 4000 count one I think.

Dave.
 

Offline MightyTwin

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Re: EEVblog #99 – $100 Multimeter Shootout
« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2010, 04:17:08 am »
*Lots of periods*

This post smells a bit troll-y, to be honest.

Just let it go, Kiriakos. We all know you love the Uni-T multimeters; You don't need to prove it for us.  ;)


-MightyTwin.
 

Offline Kiriakos-GR

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Re: EEVblog #99 – $100 Multimeter Shootout
« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2010, 10:25:29 am »
*Lots of periods*

This post smells a bit troll-y, to be honest.

Just let it go, Kiriakos. We all know you love the Uni-T multimeters; You don't need to prove it for us.  ;)


-MightyTwin.


Your nose possibly needs a bit of calibration ..  ;D



« Last Edit: July 14, 2010, 10:27:15 am by Kiriakos-GR »
 

Offline Mechatrommer

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Re: EEVblog #99 – $100 Multimeter Shootout
« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2010, 10:39:07 am »
yup MightyTwin, buy with our own instinct and never push anybody else to do the same, only suggestion. During the review, i more concentrated on the DMM itself that were shown on the screen and judge with my own instinct, rather than listen too closely on what Dave has said.

Dave, i knew, u mentioned somewhere earlier that u need the closest spec'ed contender, fair enough. i just want to point out, there are other $100 DMM line in Uni-T. And still, i doubt my UT71A can beat the UT61D in frequency reading, i got no proper equipment to test, but i believe there is something special about the "D" series, some aspects of UT61"D" may surpass the UT71"A". in my thinking.
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Offline saturation

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Re: EEVblog #99 – $100 Multimeter Shootout
« Reply #13 on: July 14, 2010, 07:57:24 pm »
Dave truly excels in reviews, how can anyone make reviewing a DMM worth watching?  I don't think that's ever been done.

I would agree with Dave's conclusion, that the meters were very close together in terms of measuring capability, and differed in specific areas: from the response time and ergonomics of the B&K, to the case robustness of the Extech, the serial port/USB of the Uni-T, but no one had it all.

Its impressive to see all the meters dissected to make comparisons, but like the comments on the eevblog site suggest, it would be easier to stretch out reviews one at a time so as not to rush through things.

One thing you do see for sure, is these meters emulate most features common in the FLuke 87, and given all the trade offs and some improvements over the Fluke, it comes out Fluke still does most best, holding for over 20 years.  The rock solid unambiguous accurate readings, the speed, the ease of use and the ergonomics of the layout.

« Last Edit: July 15, 2010, 01:09:06 am by saturation »
Best Wishes,

 Saturation
 

Offline MrPlacid

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Re: EEVblog #99 – $100 Multimeter Shootout
« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2010, 05:05:34 am »
I agree with saturation, Dave did a fantastic job on the dmm shootout. Most bloggers only review the product's outside appearance & functions, and they give us their recommendations. Dave takes us further and dissects them dmms. Seeing the interior bring a whole new views of these dmms, especially safety, quality, and pride.

We are left at the end to decide which one we like. Dave just chosed the BK one, I can't blame him; but I perfer the Ideal one even with all her flaws. I think she is sexier.  ;)


---edit---
I think I am in love with blond. Now, my RadioShack multimeter even looks cute too :o
« Last Edit: July 15, 2010, 05:12:33 am by MrPlacid »
 

Offline Kiriakos-GR

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Re: EEVblog #99 – $100 Multimeter Shootout
« Reply #15 on: July 15, 2010, 11:59:55 am »
We are left at the end to decide which one we like.

Thats the bottom line , and with so many details , any one can decide what he likes more.

As long none of them ,  offer any spare parts coverage,  they are not an " Long term " solution.
So any decision its not comparable, like " buying a home " ...  ;)
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #99 – $100 Multimeter Shootout
« Reply #16 on: July 19, 2010, 03:20:55 am »
Someone pointed out the BK Precison 2712 meter
http://www.bkprecision.com/products/model/2712/true-rms-ac-dc-tool-kit-digital-multimeter.html
Only $10 more than the winning 2709B but it has 0.1%+5, 40,000 count, and AC+DC TRMS.
Shame it doesn't have sub uA resolution or the high cap range though.

Dave.
 

Offline McPete

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Re: EEVblog #99 – $100 Multimeter Shootout
« Reply #17 on: July 19, 2010, 10:48:47 am »
I was about to jump and get an 87V or equivalent... You've got me thinking now Dave... I'm a fan of the little BK-P, looking at your review, and it's about 1/6th the cost of an 87V from a local supplier. I just wonder if I need a better resolution on the cap range, but otherwise I'm all but sold- Way better than the 1nF and 1mA resolution I have now -_-
 

Offline ionioni2000

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Re: EEVblog #99 – $100 Multimeter Shootout
« Reply #18 on: October 12, 2010, 06:31:55 pm »
Sorry, maybe some one can help me??
I live in ROMANIA, Europe.
Viewing the shootout, I decided to buy an UniTrend UT61E, because of the ecelent bandwidth response on AC Volts,
AND huge scale for caps. ( or, at least, the UT 61D - the one from shootout)
Unfortunately, no store in Romania, nor TME Poland, nor Farnell UK have that type.
Does anyone know where to find it?
Thank you, please help me!
II
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Offline Mechatrommer

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Re: EEVblog #99 – $100 Multimeter Shootout
« Reply #19 on: October 12, 2010, 06:49:00 pm »
ebay.
if something can select, how cant it be intelligent? if something is intelligent, how cant it exist?
 

Offline Nermash

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Re: EEVblog #99 – $100 Multimeter Shootout
« Reply #20 on: October 12, 2010, 06:51:34 pm »
As shafri said, ebay would be my first option.
If you are worried about custom duties or warranty, take a look at Conrad Voltcraft 8xx models.
You will find amazing similarity with Uni-T, only with fat price margins  :)
 

Offline JohnS_AZ

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Re: EEVblog #99 – $100 Multimeter Shootout
« Reply #21 on: October 12, 2010, 06:53:07 pm »
Um, send an email to UniTrend and ask "Where can I buy a UT61E in Romaina?"
I'm either at my bench, here, or on PokerStars.
 

Offline ionioni2000

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Re: EEVblog #99 – $100 Multimeter Shootout
« Reply #22 on: October 12, 2010, 07:07:33 pm »
Thank you, all: shafri, Nermash, JohnS_AZ.
I choose to follow all of your suggestions, and take the best offer.
My best regards, gentelmen!
I began with PNP Ge transistors !
 

Offline sacherjj

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Re: EEVblog #99 – $100 Multimeter Shootout
« Reply #23 on: May 27, 2011, 11:55:36 pm »
I decided to get another multimeter and went with the BK Precision.  I already have a rugged meter for beating up.  

Tequipment.net had 5% off with "CHATFIVE", so I was just over $100 shipped.  I made sure to mention the reasons I was purchasing from them.  Specifically to support them for supporting eevblog.  Hopefully others do the same if they get asked a survey on the site.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2011, 05:24:35 am by sacherjj »
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #99 – $100 Multimeter Shootout
« Reply #24 on: May 28, 2011, 03:01:37 am »
Tequipment.net had 5% off with "CHATFIVE", so I was just over $100 shipped.  I made sure to mention the reasons I was purchasing from them.  Specifically to support them for supporting eevblog.  Hopefully others do the same is they get asked a survey on the site.

Thanks for that.
It's important that people do that if they do buy from one of my advertisers. If they know sales are coming from my site in some way then they will continue to advertise and support me. And that helps a lot with keeping this my full time gig.

Thanks
Dave.
 

Offline Whalesac

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Re: EEVblog #99 – $100 Multimeter Shootout
« Reply #25 on: June 04, 2011, 07:08:18 pm »
Personally, I combined the results of the $50 and $100 DMM shootouts to decide on a meter for me.  I liked the results of the Amprobe AM220 from the $50 shootout, but it was pretty limited (and cheap).  The 34XR-A, however, seemed to leave little to be desired.  So, I went with the Amprobe AM270, and love it.  I think it would have been a much stronger contender than the 34XR-A in the $100 shootout.  In fact, I actually like it more than my Fluke 233 (with the exception of the remote display feature, though). 

Anyways, I truly appreciate the thorough reviews of so much test equipment, Dave.  I will see if I can give some feedback to tequipment.net as well.  They got my business due entirely to you promoting them.  So, it's the least I can do.  Thanks.
 

Offline valentinc

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Re: EEVblog #99 – $100 Multimeter Shootout
« Reply #26 on: June 08, 2011, 01:09:44 pm »
   I see a big problem on all the multimeters in the test, they have very very low AC voltage & current bandwidth (400 Hz, 1 Khz are very low in my opinion). The 400 Hz bandwidth have even the cheapest chineze multimeters that cost only $10. If I need to measure signals that have high frequencies (like 10-100 Mhz) an oscilloscope measurement is the only way to do it precisely, from what I see ...
   Though I don't need True RMS if it's only for 400 Hz signals maximum.

   And I'm also wondering about something, the frequency meter have accuracy on any type of signal waveform, or only on sinusoidal singnals ?  The datasheets don't mention that, and it's also an important feature
« Last Edit: June 08, 2011, 01:19:29 pm by valentinc »
Valentin
 

Offline Kiriakos-GR

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Re: EEVblog #99 – $100 Multimeter Shootout
« Reply #27 on: June 08, 2011, 02:14:28 pm »
400 Hz, 1 Khz are very low in my opinion

You are currently watching the hot deals at the 100$ mark.
No one stopping you from getting the true tool that fits in you own needs.
Plus no one can stop you about expecting or asking for higher demands in the 100$ mark.
Even if in my ears, it does sound as strange.

Never the less, what you seek can be found in the DMM's that called as Industrial models.
   
 
 

Offline ejeffrey

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Re: EEVblog #99 – $100 Multimeter Shootout
« Reply #28 on: June 20, 2011, 10:41:18 am »
   I see a big problem on all the multimeters in the test, they have very very low AC voltage & current bandwidth (400 Hz, 1 Khz are very low in my opinion). The 400 Hz bandwidth have even the cheapest chineze multimeters that cost only $10. If I need to measure signals that have high frequencies (like 10-100 Mhz) an oscilloscope measurement is the only way to do it precisely, from what I see ...
   Though I don't need True RMS if it's only for 400 Hz signals maximum.

   And I'm also wondering about something, the frequency meter have accuracy on any type of signal waveform, or only on sinusoidal singnals ?  The datasheets don't mention that, and it's also an important feature

Some bench meters have much higher bandwidth RMS measurements -- up to a few MHz if I recall, but it isn't very common in hand held meters.  10 kHz is high bandwidth true RMS for a hand held meter.

For >> 10 MHz, an oscilloscope or spectrum analyzer is the right tool.  At the low end of that you might find some average-responding (non true-RMS) meters, especially analog meters that work well enough.  Average responding meters are usually more accurate and faster than true-RMS, but they have large systematic errors for non-sine wave shapes.  They are great if you know you have a sine wave, or if you are doing only relative measurements.
 

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Re: EEVblog #99 – $100 Multimeter Shootout
« Reply #29 on: June 20, 2011, 06:53:28 pm »
For >> 10 MHz, an oscilloscope or spectrum analyzer is the right tool.
Or power meter.

  At the low end of that you might find some average-responding (non true-RMS) meters, especially analog meters that work well enough.  Average responding meters are usually more accurate and faster than true-RMS, but they have large systematic errors for non-sine wave shapes.  They are great if you know you have a sine wave, or if you are doing only relative measurements.
How do you know you have a sine wave? You just replaced the problem of measuring the RMS voltage by the problem of measuring the distortion (though the distortion probably doesn't have to be that low). Even mains can not be considered a sine wave anymore in most places. Relative measurements are fine, but only if the wave shape stays the same (again: how do you know?). In my opinion, the extra accuracy of average-responding meters is mostly theoretical, though I don't argue with your statements about price, speed and bandwidth.
 

Offline ejeffrey

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Re: EEVblog #99 – $100 Multimeter Shootout
« Reply #30 on: June 24, 2011, 10:54:14 pm »
Someone pointed out the BK Precison 2712 meter
http://www.bkprecision.com/products/model/2712/true-rms-ac-dc-tool-kit-digital-multimeter.html
Only $10 more than the winning 2709B but it has 0.1%+5, 40,000 count, and AC+DC TRMS.
Shame it doesn't have sub uA resolution or the high cap range though.

Dave.

I just tested the 2712 out and find it has a slow continuity test circuit.  I don't care so much about the current resolution or the large capacitance range, but the continuity meter is a serious deal breaker for me.  I would rather have one of the scratch non-latched fast detectors than something that won't register a 0.5 second contact.

On the capacitor measurement side, I am somewhat annoyed at the  low end.  The settling time for small capacitances (<100 pF) is too long.  Not as slow as the agilent 1253, but it still takes a few seconds for the reading to stabilize.  I don't have a 2709B to test for comparison, so I don't have a comparison.

Dave, if I have one suggestion for a test to add to your standard DMM review, it would be settling time for a 33 pF capacitor.  I have seen it vary from a fraction of a second to several seconds for different models.  Obviously this doesn't matter to everyone, but it is a major annoyance to me. 
 

Offline meerweten

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Re: EEVblog #99 – $100 Multimeter Shootout
« Reply #31 on: January 20, 2015, 08:42:00 pm »
seems like UNI-T updated there design a little,
just bought myself a Uni-T 61D as my velleman dvm870 is the only meter i have and is not realy a good one (was a good one for starting with)

2 ptc's
3 mov's (if i'm correct, the green ones)
and a 1kV 10n cap?

to bad the continuety tester still sucks
Meerweten, Want meten is Weten
 


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