Author Topic: Best Multimeter for 600-700 USD?  (Read 5282 times)

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Offline TDrew83

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Best Multimeter for 600-700 USD?
« on: December 06, 2012, 01:51:11 pm »
Hey Guys...

Just a bit of advice required, what's the best multimeter for electronics and priced around 600-700 USD?. There seems to be a lot to choose from!

Tom
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Offline jabramo

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Re: Best Multimeter for 600-700 USD?
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2012, 03:01:06 pm »
Ummm so are you looking for a bench or handheld??

I think once you get into the 600-700 dollar range there isn't a clear winner. They will all be rock solid. Why do you need such an expensive meter? For most people 600 dollars on a meter is a waste.

So that being said if you looking for a hand held meter you don't have too many options.

You could go for a Fluke 289 which has a suggest retail price of 599.99 but they go for cheaper. It's a 50,000 count meter

~400$ will get you a U1252B which is Agilents hand held. It's 50,000 count as well.

There are a few Metrahit meters in the 600-700 dollar range. You can check those out.

Bench Meters

~700 Fluke 8808A which is a 5.5 digit meter

~600 Agilent U3402A 5.5 digit meter

~700 Rigol DM3058 5.5 digit meter

~600 Keithly 2110 5.5 digit meter

Again there's no clear winner. All the meters will be top quality.
 

Offline TDrew83

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Re: Best Multimeter for 600-700 USD?
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2012, 06:26:02 pm »
Thanks for the detailed response.

To cut a long story short we have budgets we have to spend, don't spend em, you lose em!  So I was thinking I could do with a decent meter (handheld).

I purchased one years ago when I was first getting into electronics but because I was a noob I got something not very useful. A fluke 117, a electricians meter not for electronics! dow! (most diffidently a trap for young players!). I later followed it up with a UNI-T UT71D out of desperation but its a bit crap compared to fluke quality.

I had about 700 USD left over so, it seemed like the way to go. Its not like I get to keep the difference or anything.

I like the OLED's on the new Agilent's but I hear they are really horrible on battery life? My of my test/measurement equipment is fluke and its always been rock solid for me.

Tom
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Offline jabramo

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Re: Best Multimeter for 600-700 USD?
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2012, 07:00:40 pm »
Pretty much all high resolution Agilent hand held meters have poor to average battery life.
If you look at their brochure http://cp.literature.agilent.com/litweb/pdf/5989-7340EN.pdf

You'll see that their new OLED U1273AX meter has 50-100 hours of battery life. A lot better than the 8 hours on the U1253B.

The fluke 289 has a graphical display which some people dislike but I don't mind it that much. We had one at work and while it definitelywasn't as crisp as a regular segmented display it never bothered me. Anyways that gets 100-200 which isn't bad either. Keep in mind that the fluke takes 6 AA batteries, the U1273AX takes 4.

Also you can always go with a 87V which is always going to be rock solid in every aspect. You'll have some extra money left over for something else like maybe a new soldering station or what ever else you could think of.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2012, 07:15:41 pm by jabramo »
 

Offline FenderBender

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Re: Best Multimeter for 600-700 USD?
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2012, 11:00:02 pm »
Unless you are sending something to the moon...or mars...I don't really see a point in getting a meter above $200-300. Even then, your price:performance ratio isn't all that great. Not sure your situation, but yeah, perhaps some other equipment? Even some hand tools? Not sure what exactly your job is. I've found one of the best investments I've made is a Panavise Jr! Or a new soldering iron? Hot air rework station? Power supply? I don't know. Can you think of anything else you might need...or do you literally have it all and now you just want to spend it?
 

Offline TDrew83

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Re: Best Multimeter for 600-700 USD?
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2012, 11:31:51 pm »
I have a very different, but extremely fun Job. I am a Instrumentation Engineer and design scientific test equipment. Primarily optical systems, interferometers etc... for the Pharmaceutical industry. My background is Aerospace (Astrospace specifically) and mechanical engineering but I have been doing this for the past 5 years.
I like the look of the U1273AX, that display looks like it will work in low light well, something very useful to me.

Thanks for the suggestion of a hot air rework station, is very interesting. I have a couple of good soldering stations but everything is going SMT these days. Totally agree on the Panavise, I have a couple of the big ones and they are epic! Have you seen the Bernstien versions?

On hand tools I have a moderatly obsessive collection. I love PB Swiss tools, I note Dave uses them too. Absolute quality and precision. The Japanese "Engineer" brand is awesome for the price too. Im guessing the 87 (V) is the updated 87? 
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Offline nukie

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Re: Best Multimeter for 600-700 USD?
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2012, 01:18:16 pm »
Gossen.

 

Offline Isamun

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Re: Best Multimeter for 600-700 USD?
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2012, 11:56:26 pm »
I have a very different, but extremely fun Job. I am a Instrumentation Engineer and design scientific test equipment. Primarily optical systems, interferometers etc... for the Pharmaceutical industry. My background is Aerospace (Astrospace specifically) and mechanical engineering but I have been doing this for the past 5 years.
I like the look of the U1273AX, that display looks like it will work in low light well, something very useful to me.

Thanks for the suggestion of a hot air rework station, is very interesting. I have a couple of good soldering stations but everything is going SMT these days. Totally agree on the Panavise, I have a couple of the big ones and they are epic! Have you seen the Bernstien versions?

On hand tools I have a moderatly obsessive collection. I love PB Swiss tools, I note Dave uses them too. Absolute quality and precision. The Japanese "Engineer" brand is awesome for the price too. Im guessing the 87 (V) is the updated 87?

You could have a look at the MTX 3282B (tequipment.net), which is a camshell 100 000 count DMM from Chauvin Arnoux, or AEMC in the states. Martin Lorton did a on it a while back. Only issue with it in my book is the slower then expected continuity beeper.

I have the Bernstein ESD vice, and I think its great. One thing to watch out for though, is that if you want to use the circutboard holder (9-253) you need to get the base (9-251) and the clamp(9-252) separately, because the circutboard holder wont fit on the base of the preassembled vice(9-205). Don't ask me why... A trap for you players! (such as myself  |O)

I can also say that other products from Bernstein, such as the EUROline pliers and the miniature screwdrivers are great too!

Good luck with your spending
 

Offline ivan747

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Best Multimeter for 600-700 USD?
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2012, 12:15:28 am »
Your job sounds very interesting! If you choose not to get a multimeter, a Mantis microscope seems like a good choice. I suspect you do a lot of soldering because you make niche test equipment.
 

Offline saturation

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Re: Best Multimeter for 600-700 USD?
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2012, 12:58:20 pm »
In the USA, Gossen is Dranetz, and I think is the most accurate, and precise HH there is.  But its basically a compacted bench meter.  If you're own the road so much, particularly by air, and need a truly portable bench meter, this fits the bill.  Dranetz accessories tend to be very pricey, including the data logging interface, if you need it.  Its over your budget, but if you're interested in these models, work your way down from the top and see where the twain meets.

http://www.tequipment.net/DranetzDMMDranTechULTRA.html

Otherwise for transport use, I think a true bench meter is more practical such as the industry standard HP 34401a or its updated 34410a because the high end features of the meters, such as 4 wire ohms, or uV measurements, are near impossible to do in an uncontrolled environment, and best in a lab.

HH meters are made to give you portability first, so it needs to be tough first, but precise and accurate enough for field measurements, as best as a field can allow.  In that case, the 1272a offers the best combination of features for price and is tough for travel, and if its your one and one one tool, this is it.  The 87V is the most updated of the series and the defacto industry standard, I prefer the 87V for its ergonomics over the 1272a as I've had the 80 series for over 20 years, but the 1272a is superior in many respects as a measuring tool, but less in ergonomics.  For the the usage I put it through, the ergonomics starts to weigh on me as I don't use the extra features of the 1272a as much.  One missing item in the 87V is datalogging, for doing long range continuous measurements, then documenting it; with the 1272a to avail of it just requires a $40 cable.








I have a very different, but extremely fun Job. I am a Instrumentation Engineer and design scientific test equipment. Primarily optical systems, interferometers etc... for the Pharmaceutical industry. My background is Aerospace (Astrospace specifically) and mechanical engineering but I have been doing this for the past 5 years.
I like the look of the U1273AX, that display looks like it will work in low light well, something very useful to me.

Thanks for the suggestion of a hot air rework station, is very interesting. I have a couple of good soldering stations but everything is going SMT these days. Totally agree on the Panavise, I have a couple of the big ones and they are epic! Have you seen the Bernstien versions?

On hand tools I have a moderatly obsessive collection. I love PB Swiss tools, I note Dave uses them too. Absolute quality and precision. The Japanese "Engineer" brand is awesome for the price too. Im guessing the 87 (V) is the updated 87? 
Best Wishes,

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