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I know! Another Multimeter question sorry!

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Greetings all.  I know this is one of those hateful topics as it gets beat up a lot but I am about to make a purchase and I just want to make sure I make the right one.  I am looking for a professional multimeter.  I am currently leaning towards the Fluke 87 V as I know Dave likes it and so do a lot of others.  To be honest if it were not for the continuity testing on the Agilent U1253A I probably would get that one.  I don't do much field work and I have plenty of batteries on my workbench.  I really like the OLED display but the continuity test is a deal breaker for the most part.

I am really looking forward to the actual product review on the Agilent U1272A.  I can get past the epic fail video as I am sure Agilent will get that issue worked out one way or another.  The tear down looks good but until Dave posts the actual review I have no idea of whether it will be as good as the Fluke 87 V.  I anxiously await the continuity test results and whether Dave has a high opinion of the meter in general.

I would love a Gossen meter but I can't even find any place that sells them let alone get a price on them.

I would just like to hear opinions on a good professional multimeter.  If you have one you love please let me know.  I am looking in the 3-5 hundred US dollar range and am not dead set on that if the meter is good one.  I would like to have one that I don't have to worry about for years and have a little faith in.

The Agilent's continuity tester isn't half as bad as Dave makes it to be: you can choose the sensitivity with the range button from the default shit slow to anywhere up to what I'd describe as "even better than Fluke". This is also mentioned in the manual if you ever bother to read it, but I agree that default value should be chosen better.

As for Gossen meters, they're sold under a different brand name, which is probably the reason you can't find them anywhere. ;)


--- Quote from: tekati on May 24, 2011, 05:59:39 pm ---I would love a Gossen meter but I can't even find any place that sells them let alone get a price on them.

--- End quote ---

You are looking at Dranetz BMI where you are. I must say, if I had the money, I would probably go for Gossen.


--- Quote from: tekati on May 24, 2011, 05:59:39 pm ---I don't do much field work

--- End quote ---

If so, you are looking at the wrong models .

Stay away of everything that haves the word " Industrial " on it ..
Those DMM's haves functions specialized for electrical motors .
And they miss functions useful exclusively for bench work.  

Example 1 :
If you repair old CRT screens , you will need an MOhm range to at list up to 100 MOhm.
So to be able to measure voltage cascade units .

Example 2: If you do not repair electrical motors with variable speed , you will never use the AC Filters on those industrial DMM's .

And so why to pay for something, that you do not need ?

My direct advice to you , is to get a pencil and to write down what you need .

Other than functions , does it maters what pleases your eyes ?
I dislike the display of the Agilent U1272A simply because it has an dark background.
I prefer the bright background of the 87V, and I have this bright background on the display of my old (18 years old)  Proskit (Mastek) meter.  

But the bottom line is that the display its something that your eyes will just adjust to it ,
what matters the most are the functions on it ..

If your target is to work and make money , you will get the proper tool for the job.
Simple as that .  

I would wait on the 1272a, its brand new, and its a great meter with some build faults.  If the build issues are resolved by Agilent, its basic design however: feature, function, accuracy overall make it at least equal, if not better, than the Fluke 87V.  Other differences are ergonomics.  Its $370 retail, but without more discounts its likely $400 final price adding shipping, and taxes.

The Fluke 87V, however, has a legacy spanning 20+ years, so its a conservative choice, you can't go wrong for your money.  Brand new, from typically $320 delivered.

I've no personal experience with Gossen, aka Dranetz.  Its a great meter but no as much penetration where I work.

Agilent is position the 125x series, such as the 1252a, as the engineer meter, and the 1272 as an 'industrial' meter.  The 1252a is devoid of input filters present on the 1272a.  We had a run at where the 1252a meter was $140, retails for $430.

However, that all said, your budget opens quite a large number of meters as possibilities.  If all you need is measurement accuracy to 0.1-0.05% VDC and under <= 1% VAC TRMS, and don't need all the time saving features of top meters, consider a used Fluke 85III or 87 any series from 1-4, from eBay.  They'll run about $100-250, and used series V for about $150-250.

I bought 2 used 85 series for $35 and $90, both still in calibration and working like new. 

Note, older Fluke series 80 meters below III are not CAT rated.

If you're interested in used Flukes, see the master used Fluke maven, Excavortee, he know's used Flukes, here's a pic of some of his collection!


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