Author Topic: Why are DMM fuse so expensive  (Read 6911 times)

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Offline kuonTopic starter

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Why are DMM fuse so expensive
« on: November 10, 2022, 04:09:24 pm »
I blew my DMM fuse, and when looking for a replacement, I found those:

https://www.digikey.ch/en/products/detail/littelfuse-inc/0FLU011-U/5233869

https://www.digikey.ch/en/products/detail/eaton-bussmann-electrical-division/DMM-B-11A/444040


I don't want to use cheap fuse and kill myself. But is there any safe cheaper one? And most importantly, I want to understand why they are so expensive.
 

Online Wolfram

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Re: Why are DMM fuse so expensive
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2022, 04:47:43 pm »
20 kA interrupt rating at 1000 V DC takes a lot more fancy technology than regular glass fuses. That combined with a moderately small industrial market and distributor markup makes them pretty expensive. Any fuse with interrupt current and voltage ratings matching or better than the original should be safe to use. Mass-market adoption of solar technology and EVs has grown this market, so there could be some cheaper options around.

Edit: The original has an interrupt rating of 20 kA at 1000 V AC/DC. The cheapest fuse on Digi-Key that meets these specifications is the 0ADHC9110-BE. It is listed in the datasheet for use with DMI (digital measurement instruments) and the press release for the series mentions multimeters, so along with the 30 kA interrupt rating I would personally be comfortable with using this one as a replacement. Note that this is qualified guessing on my part based on some experience with fuses, take safety advice from strangers on the internet on your own risk.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2022, 05:03:03 pm by Wolfram »
 
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Offline bdunham7

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Re: Why are DMM fuse so expensive
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2022, 04:53:43 pm »
I want to understand why they are so expensive.

36 francs?   :o  Because you're in Switzerland?  Here they're $21 in quantity 1 direct from Fluke and less expensive from other reliable sources.
A 3.5 digit 4.5 digit 5 digit 5.5 digit 6.5 digit 7.5 digit DMM is good enough for most people.
 

Offline kuonTopic starter

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Re: Why are DMM fuse so expensive
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2022, 05:02:03 pm »
I want to understand why they are so expensive.

36 francs?   :o  Because you're in Switzerland?  Here they're $21 in quantity 1 direct from Fluke and less expensive from other reliable sources.

Well, I can find a bit lower price. But I am really curious what is inside to justify a price > 10$. Is it mostly "low volume niche market" factor?
 

Online alm

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Re: Why are DMM fuse so expensive
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2022, 05:05:50 pm »
They are expensive because they are designed to interrupt 20 kA in case someone connects the meter across a high-energy circuit so that someone can live to buy another meter instead of being severely burnt or even killed by an arc flash, hence the name high rupture current (HRC) fuses. They are filled with a sand-like substance that will quench any arc that might occur when the fuse breaks, and are encapsulated in a fiberglass-like material that should contain any blast that could occur within the rated parameters. I'm guessing the pricing is a combination of the more complicated construction, low volume, and the testing and certification the fuses will have to go through.

At one time Dave was selling fuses cheaper, though shipping from Australia may not make sense. And I think Fluke themselves also sells them cheaper than the original manufacturers. I wouldn't buy them from an untrusted source like eBay or Aliexpress: counterfeit HRC fuses are a thing.

Online wraper

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Re: Why are DMM fuse so expensive
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2022, 05:17:10 pm »
20 kA interrupt rating at 1000 V DC takes a lot more fancy technology than regular glass fuses. That combined with a moderately small industrial market and distributor markup makes them pretty expensive. Any fuse with interrupt current and voltage ratings matching or better than the original should be safe to use. Mass-market adoption of solar technology and EVs has grown this market, so there could be some cheaper options around.
No, it's bullshit pricing policies. For example if you look at Bussmann or Littlefuse fuses (Mouser, Digikey, Farnell), they are 2-3 times more expensive than the same fuse under Fluke part number when ordered from fluke itself as pack of 5  :palm:. And you can be sure Fluke makes a decent profit on that too. So I suggest buying SIBA (reasonable price from distributors, often comes in Keysight meters) or Bussmann/Littlefuse fuses under Brymen or Fluke spare part numbers. Don't buy them from China though, almost guaranteed to be counterfeits.
BTW if you sook at fuses from the same manufacturers, with the same specs besides odd current rating of 440mA or 11A, they suddenly become much cheaper than multimeter specials.

SIBA
https://www.tme.eu/en/details/5021006.0.44/fuses-10-3x38mm-fast/siba/5021006-0-44
https://www.tme.eu/en/details/5019906.11
Brymen:
https://brymen.eu/shop/fuse-11a1000v-10x38-mm/
https://brymen.eu/shop/fuse-0-44a-1000v-10x38-mm/
https://www.tme.eu/en/details/bm-s_fuse-0.44a/accessories-others/brymen/       
« Last Edit: November 10, 2022, 06:56:37 pm by wraper »
 
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Online Wolfram

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Re: Why are DMM fuse so expensive
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2022, 05:41:31 pm »
20 kA interrupt rating at 1000 V DC takes a lot more fancy technology than regular glass fuses. That combined with a moderately small industrial market and distributor markup makes them pretty expensive. Any fuse with interrupt current and voltage ratings matching or better than the original should be safe to use. Mass-market adoption of solar technology and EVs has grown this market, so there could be some cheaper options around.
No, it's bullshit pricing policies. For example if you look at at Bussmann or Littlefuse fuses (Mouser, Digikey, Farnell), they are 2-3 times more expensive than the same fuse under Fluke part number when ordered from fluke itself as pack of 5  :palm:. And you can be sure Fluke makes a decent profit on that too.

That's the distributor markup part. 2-3x is pretty typical for Mouser, Farnell and Digi-key, although I've also seen parts with a markup in excess of 5x compared to ordering even moderate quantities from more production-oriented distributors. And this is considering the volume pricing, not just single quantity, which is often a lot more expensive again.
 

Offline kuonTopic starter

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Re: Why are DMM fuse so expensive
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2022, 05:45:44 pm »

So I suggest buying SIBA (reasonable price from distributors, often comes in Keysight meters) or Bussmann/Littlefuse fuses under Brymen or Fluke spare part numbers.


Actually, I looked in my other DMM for what brand they were using (keysight meter) and they are SIBA fuse. I'll get those, thanks.
 

Offline Zero999

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Re: Why are DMM fuse so expensive
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2022, 05:50:37 pm »
What do you use the DVM for? If it's not for mains, I'd replace the fuse with the same type, buy a cheaper meter and save the proper one for the mains.
 

Offline kuonTopic starter

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Re: Why are DMM fuse so expensive
« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2022, 06:03:56 pm »
What do you use the DVM for? If it's not for mains, I'd replace the fuse with the same type, buy a cheaper meter and save the proper one for the mains.

I work on machinery (CNC, large 3d printer...) and it's mostly mains or high voltage DC (large motors I work with run at 400VDC). I use the fluke for that, that's why I bought that brand. Before I was just grabbing replacement fuses from the company inventory, but now I work alone as a contractor and I have to buy them myself, and it's my first burnt fuse since I started. As Dave said in his video, when you want something that works and feel safe, you just buy a fluke, there is no need to read reviews or teardown, you can just go for it.
 

Offline boB

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Re: Why are DMM fuse so expensive
« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2022, 06:06:36 pm »
Geee....   Even if you order from the USA plus shipping, it would be much cheaper than that price.

I use these same fuses in my Fluke meters.  This one is 10A, 1000V  20kA interrupt rating but there are different ampere ratings available.

https://www.solar-electric.com/midnite-solar-mnfuse10.html?gclid=Cj0KCQiA37KbBhDgARIsAIzce16z2V4rLauEjd98NlhNqlePszc3XjI303fsAD-ZNGBThKTDBCDMB00aAjgWEALw_wcB

I think these are the same thing you are finding on the other site.

boB

K7IQ
 
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Offline kuonTopic starter

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Re: Why are DMM fuse so expensive
« Reply #11 on: November 10, 2022, 06:17:55 pm »
The key was to look at suppliers in the solar business and not only electronic. I found some at a decent price for 4$ a piece. Thanks for your help.
 
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Online wraper

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Re: Why are DMM fuse so expensive
« Reply #12 on: November 10, 2022, 07:15:22 pm »
That's the distributor markup part. 2-3x is pretty typical for Mouser, Farnell and Digi-key, although I've also seen parts with a markup in excess of 5x compared to ordering even moderate quantities from more production-oriented distributors. And this is considering the volume pricing, not just single quantity, which is often a lot more expensive again.
That's a 3-8 times markup from Brymen price which includes Brymen+distributor markup. So I don't believe they cost more than a few $. And they are about as expensive at TME too. Also I don't believe that a fusible element in a sand filled tube is that expensive to produce in volume. The fact that very similar solar fuses are so much cheaper also suggest about shady business practices.
 

Offline mag_therm

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Re: Why are DMM fuse so expensive
« Reply #13 on: November 10, 2022, 07:42:02 pm »
Fuse price: On a commisioning in unnamed country once, my buddy put his multimeter probes onto load side of a 480V 1500A ACB.
With almighty bang, the meter was blown to smithereens and he was left holding the smoking leads. Luckily he always wore safety glasses.
 
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Online alm

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Re: Why are DMM fuse so expensive
« Reply #14 on: November 10, 2022, 08:07:43 pm »
The fact that very similar solar fuses are so much cheaper also suggest about shady business practices.
Shady business practices or larger volume? I can't imagine Digikey sells a large volume of those DMM fuses.
 
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Offline tooki

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Re: Why are DMM fuse so expensive
« Reply #15 on: November 10, 2022, 08:22:03 pm »
The key was to look at suppliers in the solar business and not only electronic. I found some at a decent price for 4$ a piece. Thanks for your help.
Which supplier?

FYI, one thing to be aware of: the 440mA fuses are deliberately shorter (35mm) than the 11A ones (38mm), and the multimeter housings of any halfway recent model (like the last 15 years, maybe longer) is designed to prevent the housing from closing if you put a 38mm fuse into the 440mA holder. As best I can tell, this is a deliberate safety design to stop you from using non-multimeter fuses in a multimeter. (Further discouraged by the oddball current values.) So if you got e.g. 500mA solar fuses, they are likely the 38mm length that won’t fit.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2023, 12:42:13 pm by tooki »
 

Offline blackfin76

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Re: Why are DMM fuse so expensive
« Reply #16 on: November 10, 2022, 08:23:20 pm »
The sand they use to fill these high current braking capacity fuses has magical properies.

You pay for the magic trick and because you want to keep your equipment compliant to the safety standards.
 

Online wraper

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Re: Why are DMM fuse so expensive
« Reply #17 on: November 10, 2022, 08:43:26 pm »
The fact that very similar solar fuses are so much cheaper also suggest about shady business practices.
Shady business practices or larger volume? I can't imagine Digikey sells a large volume of those DMM fuses.
Why pack of 5 of Fluke/Bussmann fuses sold at the same distributor costs much less than a single fuse sold under Bussmann Brand? At qty of 200 they still cost per piece as a pack of 5 with fluke as a middleman. Littlefuce price is a bit more reasonable but at qty of 200 you get 2 pieces for a cost of Fluke pack of 5. Larger volume argument does not add up. Frankly I cannot remember other so ridiculous component price discrepancies as with these fuses.

https://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/Fluke/FUSE-11A-1000V-B5?qs=fEPEG4LJ8UGLYf5WgAuthA%3D%3D
https://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/Bussmann-Eaton/DMM-B-11A?qs=ar9f0rk5DXA%252BaeFWGEpUhw%3D%3D
« Last Edit: November 10, 2022, 08:53:11 pm by wraper »
 
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Online wraper

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Re: Why are DMM fuse so expensive
« Reply #18 on: November 10, 2022, 08:59:32 pm »
The sand they use to fill these high current braking capacity fuses has magical properies.

You pay for the magic trick and because you want to keep your equipment compliant to the safety standards.
Again the question is why this magic sand becomes so much cheaper when there is another (very expensive) middlemen in the supply chain with its own markup. Also magic sand from SIBA which provides 30kA breaking current rating instead of 10 or 20kA is much cheaper.
 

Offline David Aurora

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Re: Why are DMM fuse so expensive
« Reply #19 on: November 10, 2022, 10:02:57 pm »
A conversation that comes up a lot in my workshop is the definition of expensive. Most of the time the thing that's off isn't the actual price, it's the consumers perception of what something should cost.

People constantly have this idea that because a no name 500mA M205 glass fuse used in everyday consumer products is only worth cents, that's what fuses are worth. In reality, even in this category there's a world of difference between the 10 cent fuses and $1 brand name fuses when you need trust and repeatability.

Jump to the rated specs of a multimeter fuse, as well as what's at stake if they don't perform, and I think it's pretty hard to call them expensive. Obviously some brands/retailers will gouge for the same product so it's worth shopping around, but in general terms I really don't consider DMM fuses expensive, in my experience they're priced at what they're worth.
 

Online wraper

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Re: Why are DMM fuse so expensive
« Reply #20 on: November 11, 2022, 06:54:24 am »
A conversation that comes up a lot in my workshop is the definition of expensive. Most of the time the thing that's off isn't the actual price, it's the consumers perception of what something should cost.
IMHO it's not consumers' perception. Not even small scale manufacturers' perception. More like they make a killing by selling those particular fuses to some government funded organizations or military who don't care about wasting taxpayer money. Again when you compare Bussmann price at Mouser and the same Bussmann fuse from Multimeter manufacturer like Brymen or Fluke, there is 10 times difference at qty of 1/5. Don't tell me that Mouser has $70 handling cost ($45 @ qty of 200) for a particular type of fuse but some cents for others.
Quote
People constantly have this idea that because a no name 500mA M205 glass fuse used in everyday consumer products is only worth cents, that's what fuses are worth. In reality, even in this category there's a world of difference between the 10 cent fuses and $1 brand name fuses when you need trust and repeatability.
Again, there is no comparison with noname here. It's Bussmann under Fluke/Brymen spare part number vs Bussmann, the same fuse from the same manufacturer. Common sense suggests they should be cheaper without multimeter manufacturer markup. But not only it's opposite, the price difference is huge.
 

Offline Black Phoenix

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Re: Why are DMM fuse so expensive
« Reply #21 on: November 11, 2022, 07:24:03 am »
Again, there is no comparison with noname here. It's Bussmann under Fluke/Brymen spare part number vs Bussmann, the same fuse from the same manufacturer. Common sense suggests they should be cheaper without multimeter manufacturer markup. But not only it's opposite, the price difference is huge.

Probably the price is the same anyway. It is just cheaper because the cost of the consumable is already included in all the equipments who may need such consumable.

For everyone one who owns a DMM I'm totally sure that not everyone would need a fuse replacement in his full life of use of the DMM.

Same as Fluke offers Lifetime warranty on some products. Do you think if such products had a high rate of failure Fluke would do that?

For everyone that buys a DMM and it doesn't need warranty it compensates for the ones who may have a problem and need service.

Same as the free shipping, someone is paying for it even if you didn't, being on the product itself or subsidies from the government - this last one is how China basically do.

I can sent a 55" TV from Shenzhen to Beijing, delivered in 2 days after leaving my door step for not more then 50RMB. And I can guarantee what it will be delivered two days after today. The distance is almost the same as sending from Lisbon to Helsinki. Or LA to NY.

Tell me how such is financially viable in any part of the world, even taking in account the salaries, fuel, tolls and all the remaining expenses a delivery company have.

Or probably I'm just totally wrong.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2022, 07:26:24 am by Black Phoenix »
 

Offline David Aurora

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Re: Why are DMM fuse so expensive
« Reply #22 on: November 11, 2022, 11:47:17 am »
A conversation that comes up a lot in my workshop is the definition of expensive. Most of the time the thing that's off isn't the actual price, it's the consumers perception of what something should cost.
IMHO it's not consumers' perception. Not even small scale manufacturers' perception. More like they make a killing by selling those particular fuses to some government funded organizations or military who don't care about wasting taxpayer money. Again when you compare Bussmann price at Mouser and the same Bussmann fuse from Multimeter manufacturer like Brymen or Fluke, there is 10 times difference at qty of 1/5. Don't tell me that Mouser has $70 handling cost ($45 @ qty of 200) for a particular type of fuse but some cents for others.
Quote
People constantly have this idea that because a no name 500mA M205 glass fuse used in everyday consumer products is only worth cents, that's what fuses are worth. In reality, even in this category there's a world of difference between the 10 cent fuses and $1 brand name fuses when you need trust and repeatability.
Again, there is no comparison with noname here. It's Bussmann under Fluke/Brymen spare part number vs Bussmann, the same fuse from the same manufacturer. Common sense suggests they should be cheaper without multimeter manufacturer markup. But not only it's opposite, the price difference is huge.

You do understand that DMM manufacturers are gonna be the biggest purchasers of said fuses and therefore likely get the best deals, right?

Either way, if you can get the fuse for 1/5 the price directly from them, what exactly is the whinge here? Just buy direct from them and get on with life. Nobody is forcing you to buy fuses from Mouser. But I know this for sure- I need my tools to make a living, so if a fuse is $50 or whatever delivered the next day from an electronics supplier vs $10 delivered next week from Fluke, the $50 fuse is a goddamn bargain.
 

Online wraper

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Re: Why are DMM fuse so expensive
« Reply #23 on: November 11, 2022, 11:55:57 am »
You do understand that DMM manufacturers are gonna be the biggest purchasers of said fuses and therefore likely get the best deals, right?
You do understand they later sell those parts to the same distro in much smaller quantities and slap their own markup? Why would they pass their best deal price to the distributor? Not to say I doubt Mouser pays for them 10x more than Fluke.
Quote
$10 delivered next week from Fluke
I compared Bussmann and Fluke prices from Mouser. So shipping time is the same.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2022, 11:59:02 am by wraper »
 

Online coppice

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Re: Why are DMM fuse so expensive
« Reply #24 on: November 11, 2022, 12:37:09 pm »
20 kA interrupt rating at 1000 V DC takes a lot more fancy technology than regular glass fuses.
High performance fuses take a lot more care and attention in design, but the manufactured part contains nothing exotic and expensive to manufacture. The volumes aren't small, so they aren't spreading a lot of R&D costs across a small production run. I find it strange that cheap reliable parts have not flooded this market.
 


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