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Products => Test Equipment => Topic started by: rawrs on April 16, 2019, 11:22:12 pm

Title: Chasing good/awesome quality multimeter/test lead kits, as well as cheap leads.
Post by: rawrs on April 16, 2019, 11:22:12 pm
Hi all,

I feel like this question may have been done to death, but I'm buggered if I can find it! So, please do accept my sincerest apologies for clogging the forum up if this question has been asked before and I simply missed it because I'm a numpty.

I am after two distinct, yet equally important groups: the police who investigate crime, and the district attorneys who prosecute the offenders.

Wait, hang on, that was the telly. OK, enough goofing around, I just had to.

I am after two types of multimeter test leads that are both good quality and reasonably priced. I assume they would exist in China, just I wouldn't know where to start. The vast, overwhelming majority of these test lead sets are not branded, so I have no idea what they are like.

Basically, I want an awesome test lead kit for my baby - my UNi-T UT181A. I guess I want something this kit (https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Multifunctional-Digital-Multimeter-Probe-Test-Lead-Cable-Alligator-Clip-Kit/123240449339?var=&hash=item1cb1b4053b) would do for all the weird and wonderful jobs I might need to do some day.

In addition to my baby's kit, I want awesome basic probes, and awesome alligator clips. The probes are most important, though. I want them to be silocne, and I want them to be gold plated. Most importantly, I want them to be able to do 10 bloody amps like they are supposed to. Now, Jaycar have such *fairly* awesome leads (https://www.jaycar.com.au/professional-cat-iv-multimeter-probes/p/WT5338), but they are not gold plated, and somewhat annoyingly, they have permanent banana plugs on them. Don't get me wrong, when I am doing power supply stuff, they are so damn handy, but every other tiime, they tend to get in the way. I have a set of these probes and they will remain in my daily carry.

All I want in the awesome probes, is gold plating, a simple, sharp tipped probe, silicone leads, the ability to do its rated current, and if they're nice and long that would definitely be appreciated. It is in the Jaycar leads.

Now, what do I want in the smaller, cheaper kit? I don't really want a kit. I just want some cheap, dependable little test lead sets, that again, can do their rated current and not melt, and are a simple, no frills product. I don't need gold plating, don't really need silicone (though would be nice if everything is silocne, I love it so much!), all I want is just some leads that do what they say on the tin and no more. I have a few other multimeters, such as clamp meters, so even then, amps rating is not all that crucial. But I just want to have spare leads in the car, toolbox, etc, as I have a few older multimeters around that do still work, but the leads are long gone, or junk to begin with.

Jeez, this is way too much waffle for two basic questions. Apologies in advance!

-Rory
Title: Re: Chasing good/awesome quality multimeter/test lead kits, as well as cheapies?
Post by: rawrs on April 16, 2019, 11:24:50 pm
Hi all,

I feel like this question may have been done to death, but I'm buggered if I can find it! So, please do accept my sincerest apologies for clogging the forum up if this question has been asked before and I simply missed it because I'm a numpty.

I am after two distinct, yet equally important groups: the police who investigate crime, and the district attorneys who prosecute the offenders.

Wait, hang on, that was the telly. OK, enough goofing around, I just had to.

I am after two types of multimeter test leads that are both good quality and reasonably priced. I assume they would exist in China, just I wouldn't know where to start. The vast, overwhelming majority of these test lead sets are not branded, so I have no idea what they are like.

Basically, I want an awesome test lead kit for my baby - my UNi-T UT181A. I guess I want something this kit (https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Multifunctional-Digital-Multimeter-Probe-Test-Lead-Cable-Alligator-Clip-Kit/123240449339?var=&hash=item1cb1b4053b) would do for all the weird and wonderful jobs I might need to do some day.

In addition to my baby's kit, I want awesome basic probes, and awesome alligator clips. The probes are most important, though. I want them to be silocne, and I want them to be gold plated. Most importantly, I want them to be able to do 10 bloody amps like they are supposed to. Now, Jaycar have such *fairly* awesome leads (https://www.jaycar.com.au/professional-cat-iv-multimeter-probes/p/WT5338), but they are not gold plated, and somewhat annoyingly, they have permanent banana plugs on them. Don't get me wrong, when I am doing power supply stuff, they are so damn handy, but every other tiime, they tend to get in the way. I have a set of these probes and they will remain in my daily carry.

All I want in the awesome probes, is gold plating, a simple, sharp tipped probe, silicone leads, the ability to do its rated current, and if they're nice and long that would definitely be appreciated. It is in the Jaycar leads.

Now, what do I want in the smaller, cheaper kit? I don't really want a kit. I just want some cheap, dependable little test lead sets, that again, can do their rated current and not melt, and are a simple, no frills product. I don't need gold plating, don't really need silicone (though would be nice if everything is silocne, I love it so much!), all I want is just some leads that do what they say on the tin and no more. I have a few other multimeters, such as clamp meters, so even then, amps rating is not all that crucial. But I just want to have spare leads in the car, toolbox, etc, as I have a few older multimeters around that do still work, but the leads are long gone, or junk to begin with.

Jeez, this is way too much waffle for two basic questions. Apologies in advance!

-Rory
Title: Re: Chasing good/awesome quality multimeter/test lead kits, as well as cheap leads.
Post by: todd_fuller on April 17, 2019, 01:04:14 am
Many people like the ProbeMaster leads: https://probemaster.com/dmm-multimeter-test-leads/

Good stuff and not exorbitantly priced.
Title: Re: Chasing good/awesome quality multimeter/test lead kits, as well as cheap leads.
Post by: //Matt// on April 17, 2019, 01:30:13 am
Yes, the probe master ones seem good. Some people like the Brymen leads. They are even cheaper at around 15 AUD.
https://brymen.eu/shop/silicone-test-leads-bl21s2-t4sc-brymen/ (https://brymen.eu/shop/silicone-test-leads-bl21s2-t4sc-brymen/)
Title: Re: Chasing good/awesome quality multimeter/test lead kits, as well as cheap leads.
Post by: tooki on April 17, 2019, 08:11:40 am
I love Probe Master probes.

All I want in the awesome probes, is gold plating, a simple, sharp tipped probe, silicone leads, the ability to do its rated current, and if they're nice and long that would definitely be appreciated. It is in the Jaycar leads.
Probe Master meets all of these criteria easily. Sharp enough to easily draw blood, gold plating so good it makes even the worst continuity testers work great, large choice of banana plugs and cord lengths (including custom), superbly soft, limp wire that meets its specs. (For what it’s worth, I found longer leads to be only a nuisance, since leads longer than arms length mean you’re too far from the meter to see the reading!)

I’m pretty sure the banana (“lantern”) tips on the jaycar probes unscrew. They’re intended for use in 4mm European power outlets.
Title: Re: Chasing good/awesome quality multimeter/test lead kits, as well as cheap leads.
Post by: Someone on April 17, 2019, 10:26:36 am
I'm not sure of the value of gold plating (and if it would survive high current use), if you remove that requirement the choices open up substantially.

Fluke moved much (all?) their manufacturing to china, and sell cheaper priced options into that market. Thanks to the free market and enterprising people you can access those discount prices on exactly the same items that are available locally for 10x higher prices.
Title: Re: Chasing good/awesome quality multimeter/test lead kits, as well as cheap leads.
Post by: Housedad on April 17, 2019, 10:57:49 am
I am in love with my probemaster probes.  They are wonderful, and they fit all your wants.
Title: Re: Chasing good/awesome quality multimeter/test lead kits, as well as cheap leads.
Post by: GreyWoolfe on April 17, 2019, 12:03:08 pm
Yes, the probe master ones seem good. Some people like the Brymen leads. They are even cheaper at around 15 AUD.
https://brymen.eu/shop/silicone-test-leads-bl21s2-t4sc-brymen/ (https://brymen.eu/shop/silicone-test-leads-bl21s2-t4sc-brymen/)

I have multiple sets of the Brymen leads.  Very good quality for the price.  I recently picked up a Fluke 110 for my tool bag for work.  Promptly tossed the crappy leads that came with it and added a set of the Brymen leads.  The meter has better accuracy on resistance settings with the Brymen than the OEM.  That is important to my use.
Title: Re: Chasing good/awesome quality multimeter/test lead kits, as well as cheap leads.
Post by: gabeeg on April 20, 2019, 04:03:57 am
Another vote for Probe Master leads, vastly better than the half-dozen OEM probes that I have.  Soft, heavy, sharp, comfortable.
Title: Re: Chasing good/awesome quality multimeter/test lead kits, as well as cheap leads.
Post by: windsmurf on April 20, 2019, 05:37:10 am
Pomona's are pretty good too, IMHO.
Title: Re: Chasing good/awesome quality multimeter/test lead kits, as well as cheap leads.
Post by: Photoman on April 20, 2019, 11:07:19 am
Another vote for the ProbeMaster probes.  They are extremely sharp and great for poking through old crusty flux or getting below the oxidation on a board.
Just watch your fingers, especially on needle probes.  The needle probes are great as well.

I also have a few sets of the Fluke TL175's.  Great for everyday electrical use.  Not as sharp as the ProbeMasters but good enough.
Title: Re: Chasing good/awesome quality multimeter/test lead kits, as well as cheap leads.
Post by: tooki on April 21, 2019, 12:13:22 am
Pomona's are pretty good too, IMHO.
Pomona (which is Fluke) is very good, but Probe Master is better.
Title: Re: Chasing good/awesome quality multimeter/test lead kits, as well as cheap leads.
Post by: stj on April 21, 2019, 12:54:08 am
I recently picked up a Fluke 110 for my tool bag for work.  Promptly tossed the crappy leads that came with it and added a set of the Brymen leads.

i'm surpriesd the Fluke fanboyz have not flooded this thread yet!  ;D
Title: Re: Chasing good/awesome quality multimeter/test lead kits, as well as cheap leads.
Post by: Gyro on April 21, 2019, 01:04:05 am
It's a shame you're not in the UK, these Metrix ones with Siba fuses are still available (they were quite popular on here a while back)...

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Metrix-Electronics-fused-probe-MX67-meter-Fluke-meters/372374118197?epid=11008589837&hash=item56b33a1f35:g:JyUAAOSwIBNbUIP3&frcectupt=true (https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Metrix-Electronics-fused-probe-MX67-meter-Fluke-meters/372374118197?epid=11008589837&hash=item56b33a1f35:g:JyUAAOSwIBNbUIP3&frcectupt=true)

You do need to provide your own red sleeve identifier though (they only come in black).
Title: Re: Chasing good/awesome quality multimeter/test lead kits, as well as cheap leads.
Post by: janoc on April 21, 2019, 01:04:40 am
Franky (99centhobbies on eBay) has both the Brymen probes and also decent accessories. He is also on this forum, so if you need something specific, just ping him.
Title: Re: Chasing good/awesome quality multimeter/test lead kits, as well as cheap leads.
Post by: cjs on April 21, 2019, 02:13:04 am
On the "very cheap and pretty decent" side are leads like this (https://www.aliexpress.com/item/A18-J-Needle-Silicone-Wire-gold-plate-Tip-Probe-Test-Leads-Pin-Universal-Digital-Multimeter-Tester/32835201824.html) that I picked up from AliExpress. (Various vendors there seem to sell the same ones.) They're gold plated (and you can tell the difference when doing continuity tests), sharp enough that I've hurt myself on them several times (which I've never done with "regular" leads) and the silicone wire is very soft and drapes easily.

I don't know how these compare to really good leads like ProbeMaster, nor do I know how much I would trust them with 20 amp currents, but they're definitely a lot better than the leads that have come with any scope I've ever seen, including Flukes. And they're under US $5.

That UT181A looks like a pretty nice meter! I noticed it's selling for only ¥405 (about US $3.60) on amazon.co.jp (https://www.amazon.co.jp/gp/product/B079Z86GZG/) so I ordered one. I do have this funny feeling they're going to cancel my order and refund my money, though....
Title: Re: Chasing good/awesome quality multimeter/test lead kits, as well as cheap leads.
Post by: David Hess on April 21, 2019, 08:16:55 am
My best leads are all ones which I made myself using test lead wire, probes, banana plugs, and alligator or grabber clips.
Title: Re: Chasing good/awesome quality multimeter/test lead kits, as well as cheap leads.
Post by: blueskull on April 21, 2019, 08:22:22 am
The 405 Yen UT181A is out of stock as of now...
Title: Re: Chasing good/awesome quality multimeter/test lead kits, as well as cheap leads.
Post by: stj on April 21, 2019, 07:57:22 pm
On the "very cheap and pretty decent" side are leads like this (https://www.aliexpress.com/item/A18-J-Needle-Silicone-Wire-gold-plate-Tip-Probe-Test-Leads-Pin-Universal-Digital-Multimeter-Tester/32835201824.html) that I picked up from AliExpress. (Various vendors there seem to sell the same ones.) They're gold plated (and you can tell the difference when doing continuity tests), sharp enough that I've hurt myself on them several times (which I've never done with "regular" leads) and the silicone wire is very soft and drapes easily.

thanks for posting that, i'll try a set.
they look perfect for probing for shorts on smd pcb's  :-+
Title: Re: Chasing good/awesome quality multimeter/test lead kits, as well as cheap leads.
Post by: cjs on April 21, 2019, 10:45:48 pm
they look perfect for probing for shorts on smd pcb's  :-+

I forgot to mention, they also go into the holes in breadboards and seem to make pretty good contact, which is pretty darn convenient.