Author Topic: Debating the Fluke 87-V vs 28-II to replace my trusty Beckman Industrial DM27XL  (Read 25160 times)

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Offline MartyMacGyver

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Based on this post (https://www.eevblog.com/forum/chat/fluke-28ii-vs-87-v-digits/msg82547/#msg82547) I think I know what the basic differences are between the Fluke 87-V and the 28-II, but I'm still torn and have some questions I'm not finding solid answers to.

First, a little background. My current meter is a Beckman Industrial DM27XL (you can see a picture of it here:
)... I got it new a long while back and have taken good care of it (it still works great!), but I always wanted a better meter and frankly it's well-out-of-date in terms of safety features and such.

I realize either Fluke is probably overkill, but I really want One Good Meter that I can rely upon - mostly for bench work, but it might get use in other places as well. Being weather/waterproof is interesting but I don't tend to use a multimeter in the rain, dust storms, etc. (as an aside, I wonder where this comes in handy?)

I see that the Flukes don't have quite as many features in some respects: not that I do a ton of transistor testing but it's come in handy before. For frequency testing, outside of the KHz range I'm not sure how handy or reliable a meter is vs a decent scope. The resistance range isn't as wide, but again, is a reading of 1000 Mohms really *meaningful*?

Price-wise, I can get the standard 87-V new for $330 USD, while the best price for the 28-II seems to be $475 USD (If there better prices out there for these *new*, let me know!)

So, my questions:

  • First and foremost, has the standard Fluke 87-V been discontinued? At this price point I'd like to get as much of a warranty as I can.
  • Is the 87-V superior to the 28-II in terms of accuracy or not? Some say the 87-V is slightly more accurate.
  • Is the 87-V superior to the 28-II in terms of continuity testing, diode testing and other testing? For example, I'm not sure whether the diode testing voltage of 3V is supposed to be worse or better than 2V.
  • Does the 28-II suffer from the GSM interference problem they fixed in the 87-V? Any other notable problems with the 28-II vs the 87-V?
  • Staying under $500 USD new and considering I'll mainly use this in-house, is there something better I ought to be considering? For example, the OLED Agilent looked interesting, but the battery life appears to be terrible. While I've seen many of Dave's reviews of other meters, it *seems* like the 87-V is always called out as superior in the sub-$500 USD price range, if not for features then for safety, but perhaps there's another meter I ought to be seriously considering here.

Thank you in advance!
 

Offline zaoka

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There is no need for 28II over 87V unless you want to use it outside. Fluke 87V will last you for years, proven.

I am trying to sale my meters and will buy Hioki DT4282 just to try something new :)
 

Offline Lightages

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You can't go wrong with either meter but they aren't the best buy for features as you have surmised. If you want a real alternative with more features, better accuracy in most measurements, great build quality, and CAT/1000V rated, then consider the Brymen BM869.

It does not have the same warranty, only one year. It does not have the same track record as Fluke. It does have worse accuracy on some measurements, and is not great on battery life compared to the Flukes. The leads it comes with are not great, or at least the ones I got were OK, just not great.

It has the highest CAT rating there is right now. It has 50,000 counts plus an optional 500,000 count on many functions. It has O-Rings on all joints so it is very environment proof but is not rated in any way.

It can be purchased for $240USD plus $50 or so for shipping to the US from:
http://www.tme.eu/en/
Another $52 gets you the PC connection and software for a total of around $345 with much more functionality and really good safety and build.

My post on this meter which includes links to other reviews:
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/brymen-bm869-short-review/

Dave also did a quick review of some Brymens here:
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/blog/eevblog-432-brymen-multimeters/

Dave is in the process of reviewing this meter sometime in the future so you can see what he thinks if he does it soon.

IMHO, I would not spend the money on Fluke nor Agilent when I can be so confident of the Brymen for a lower price.

 

Offline Salas

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will buy Hioki DT4282 just to try something new :)

Looks like a well thought out meter indeed.

 

Offline MartyMacGyver

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will buy Hioki DT4282 just to try something new :)
Looks like a well thought out meter indeed.

This Hioki definitely piques my curiosity. Accuracy and precision are most important to me... drop-durability, not so much. There's a thread about these as well: https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/new-hioki-dmms-available-dt4281-dt4282/

Still looking for answers to my questions above though, as I ponder all this (first and foremost, is the 87-V discontinued?)
 

Offline EEVblog

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  • Staying under $500 USD new and considering I'll mainly use this in-house, is there something better I ought to be considering? For example, the OLED Agilent looked interesting, but the battery life appears to be terrible.
Don't get the OLED version. The U1272A beats the Fluke 87V in almost every area, and has just as good battery life.

The Fluke 28II on the hand has AWESOME battery life.

Quote
While I've seen many of Dave's reviews of other meters, it *seems* like the 87-V is always called out as superior in the sub-$500 USD price range, if not for features then for safety, but perhaps there's another meter I ought to be seriously considering here.[/li][/list]

The main things the 87V still has going for it are build quality and dependability. Feature wise, most meters on the market beat it.
 

Offline EEVblog

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is the 87-V discontinued?

No. What gives you that impression?
It's very likely still one of their highest selling meters.
 

Offline MartyMacGyver

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First, thanks for the direct reply here, Dave! Love the vlogs (just finished watching a couple more tonight). They got me thinking about upgrading to a better (and more importantly safer) meter in the first place...

is the 87-V discontinued?
No. What gives you that impression?
It's very likely still one of their highest selling meters.
Well, I wasn't sure if the 28-II was a replacement for it. Also, this post (https://www.eevblog.com/forum/reviews/fluke-kills-87v-28ii-and-many-more-updated-models-soon-!!/) led me to ask the question outright (that and how much cheaper the 87-V appears to be lately).

Don't get the OLED version. The U1272A beats the Fluke 87V in almost every area, and has just as good battery life.
...
The main things the 87V still has going for it are build quality and dependability. Feature wise, most meters on the market beat it.
I'll give the U1272A a closer look then! Is it feature-wise the best meter for the buck in the sub-$500 USD range (with reasonable safety as a given), or is there one you think even more highly of in that regard?

 

Offline EEVblog

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Well, I wasn't sure if the 28-II was a replacement for it.

It's most definitely not.

Quote
Also, this post (https://www.eevblog.com/forum/reviews/fluke-kills-87v-28ii-and-many-more-updated-models-soon-!!/) led me to ask the question outright (that and how much cheaper the 87-V appears to be lately).


That post is 2 years old, and turned out to be incorrect.

I'll give the U1272A a closer look then! Is it feature-wise the best meter for the buck in the sub-$500 USD range (with reasonable safety as a given), or is there one you think even more highly of in that regard?

It would certainly be one of the front runners, yes.
AFAIK it is the only meter that comes with a proper calibration with values.
Can't comment on others as I have not physically used them.
I have the Brymen, but have not really used it yet. It appears like great value.
 

Offline Fsck

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I've got a BM869 and I think it's a better value than a U1272A.
Either way, almost all the high end options will be an excellent choice and you'd most likely be happy with any of them.
If you're crunched for money, the BM867 offers almost all the features of the BM869 but at a dramatic price reduction.
The 28-II is like the ruggedized version of the 87v, they more or less have the same specs and are nothing impressive for benchwork, but their reliability is proven and unquestionable.
"This is a one line proof...if we start sufficiently far to the left."
 

Offline MartyMacGyver

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Well, I wasn't sure if the 28-II was a replacement for it.

It's most definitely not.

Quote
Also, this post (https://www.eevblog.com/forum/reviews/fluke-kills-87v-28ii-and-many-more-updated-models-soon-!!/) led me to ask the question outright (that and how much cheaper the 87-V appears to be lately).


That post is 2 years old, and turned out to be incorrect.

I'll give the U1272A a closer look then! Is it feature-wise the best meter for the buck in the sub-$500 USD range (with reasonable safety as a given), or is there one you think even more highly of in that regard?

It would certainly be one of the front runners, yes.
AFAIK it is the only meter that comes with a proper calibration with values.
Can't comment on others as I have not physically used them.
I have the Brymen, but have not really used it yet. It appears like great value.

I appreciate the detailed reply. I thought about resurrecting that old post to find out if it was valid or not - the thread just died without further info so I figured that was the word on that (glad to learn otherwise).

I did watch your review of the U1272A tonight... it left me with mixed feelings about that meter (also their warranty is rather weak). The 87-V is still looking interesting to me overall, but I'll do more homework on this before I commit to one.

And I'll look into the Brymen ones as well, though price will probably be a deal-breaker there. I'm not even sure where I'd buy it from in the U.S. (having done a cursory look just now)...

Edit: I see I'm not the only one... https://www.eevblog.com/forum/buysellwanted/usa-source-for-brymen-meters/
« Last Edit: May 13, 2013, 09:35:11 am by MartyMacGyver »
 

Offline Lightages

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A few people here have purchased from www.tme.eu now. My experience with them was a bit frustrating but they did deliver in the end. $290 shipped is still a good price IMHO for such a capable and well built meter, the BM869 that is. The BM869 is also known as the Greenlee DM860A if you can find it at a reasonable price. You won't be unhappy with the Fluke 87V, nor the Brymen BM869 or BM867, nor the Agilent U1272A if it doesn't have issues.

The other alternative, although I had a bit of a lemon issue with mine, is the UEi DM397. It is $235 in the US from www.testequipmentdepot.com and is a very feature rich meter with software and cable included, and it is CATIII/1000V. You can also get free shipping in the 48 states.

http://www.testequipmentdepot.com/uei/digital-multimeters/dm397.htm
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/uei-dm397-video-review-by-jwrelectro/
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/uei-dm397-i-think-not-an-update-on-this-multimeter/

Another option, the Amprobe AM-160:
http://www.testequipmentdepot.com/amprobe/multimeters/am-160-a.htm
jwrelectro did a review on a AM140 its little brother
https://www.youtube.com/user/jwrelectro?feature=watch
Horrible backlight but otherwise a really good meter.
 

Offline MartyMacGyver

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That DM397 looks awfully shiny, feature-wise... and it's designed (made?) in the USA even! I'l be giving it a close look (I think durability in terms of accidental physical abuse isn't a big factor for me)... curious what your lemon issue was and how or if it was resolved?
 

Offline Lightages

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No resolution beyond my other threads. It works well now so if you get one that is calibrated and adjusted correctly it is a great meter. It is a bargain as far as meters go. One thing, the software only works in Windows XP and below, but it works fine in a virtual machine.
 

Offline zaoka

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I dont like my U1272A because of 2 reasons: dark display and fast sampling time on DC. If voltage changes you dont see last 2-3 digits because meter updates very fast.

This meter has good specs as well: http://www.tequipment.net/YokogawaTY720.html
 

Offline ben_r_

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Little off topic, but does Agilent have anything that competes with the Fluke 289 yet? havent really been keeping up on their handheld meters.
If at first you don't succeed, redefine success!
 

Offline Fsck

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Little off topic, but does Agilent have anything that competes with the Fluke 289 yet? havent really been keeping up on their handheld meters.

Newp. U1272a is basically their closest competitor.
"This is a one line proof...if we start sufficiently far to the left."
 

Offline MartyMacGyver

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Update: after lots more reading and review-watching, I'm still leaning towards Fluke 87-V over the Agilent (still digesting info on Brymen/Extech)... though the 287 / 289 has caught my eye as well. Again this will primarily see use on my bench, rather than out and about, so features are important (as is quality).

Considering Fluke, are the TL175 TwistGuard decent or not, versus the default TL75 leads? The WearGuard and strain reliefs are nice features and I wouldn't mind some extra length on the probe (I'm surprised those features aren't standard, twisty-bits aside).

Edit: I found a thread on the 175s here: https://www.eevblog.com/forum/chat/which-fluke-test-leads-to-choose/

It's not clear what the TL175E is (it happens that it'd be particularly easy to get that one, but what's a "lantern tip" for (removable though it is)?

Also, if anyone recently got one, are the 87-Vs shipping with the newer AC175 clips now? (The AC72 I see commonly listed appears to be discontinued but everyone seems to list them as an in-the-box accessory.)
« Last Edit: May 14, 2013, 12:44:58 pm by MartyMacGyver »
 

Offline SLJ

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It's not clear what the TL175E is (it happens that it'd be particularly easy to get that one, but what's a "lantern tip" for (removable though it is)?

The "E" in the TL-175E means they came with the screw on lantern ends. I did not think I'd really use the lantern ends on mine but I have actually used them several times. I have found they are quicker to put on than swapping to banana leads when setting power supplies and such.  I could live without them but they do save some time and they allow banana type accessories to push on the tips like my old set of Pomona alligator clips.

Offline MartyMacGyver

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It's not clear what the TL175E is (it happens that it'd be particularly easy to get that one, but what's a "lantern tip" for (removable though it is)?

The "E" in the TL-175E means they came with the screw on lantern ends. I did not think I'd really use the lantern ends on mine but I have actually used them several times. I have found they are quicker to put on than swapping to banana leads when setting power supplies and such.  I could live without them but they do save some time and they allow banana type accessories to push on the tips like my old set of Pomona alligator clips.
Thanks for the info, sounds like the TL175E is a good value then.
 

Offline ben_r_

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Update: after lots more reading and review-watching, I'm still leaning towards Fluke 87-V over the Agilent (still digesting info on Brymen/Extech)... though the 287 / 289 has caught my eye as well. Again this will primarily see use on my bench, rather than out and about, so features are important (as is quality).

Considering Fluke, are the TL175 TwistGuard decent or not, versus the default TL75 leads? The WearGuard and strain reliefs are nice features and I wouldn't mind some extra length on the probe (I'm surprised those features aren't standard, twisty-bits aside).

Edit: I found a thread on the 175s here: https://www.eevblog.com/forum/chat/which-fluke-test-leads-to-choose/

It's not clear what the TL175E is (it happens that it'd be particularly easy to get that one, but what's a "lantern tip" for (removable though it is)?

Also, if anyone recently got one, are the 87-Vs shipping with the newer AC175 clips now? (The AC72 I see commonly listed appears to be discontinued but everyone seems to list them as an in-the-box accessory.)
If youre mostly going to be using it on your bench, then you will be able to switch batteries whenever you need to as the battery life isnt as good as other DMMs with the 289 and being thatll mostly be used on a bench I would go with that. Or, look at a benchtop meter. I just placed an order on the new Agilent 34450A as they are running a deal right now giving two upgrades for free right now. More expensive yes, but a next step up over handhelds. Otherwise I love my 289 and the battery life using Sanyo Eneloops has been more than good enough for me so far.
If at first you don't succeed, redefine success!
 

Offline MartyMacGyver

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I read the other thread on the Agilent bench meter (and its potential drawbacks). Whatever I get, having portability is a consideration (particularly unplugged operation... not going to go spelunking with it but might work on something outside once in a while).

Now I've got the 289 bug... but it'll nearly double what I was expecting to pay to get the 87-V (considering the kit with the data cable, software, better probes, etc.) However, it's got that Fluke world-class warranty and pretty solid reviews, which is more than I can say for any of the other brands so far.

It'd be a no-brainer if one just stood right out, but if it's not one thing it's another... want the good probes? Pay extra. Want a case? More money, please! Confusing ad copy (not sure what's really in the box / how current it is)? Good luck! I'd have already ordered one if not for all the not-inexpensive extras that end up being involved.
 

Offline Lightages

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This is typical, set a budget and then break it.  ;D
 

Offline Fsck

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This is typical, set a budget and then break it.  ;D

I know. "bang for buck": UT61E.  Oooh, reliability: used 87v. Ooh, top of the line: U1272, BM869.  Yay logging: fluke 289.  Way better performance: 34401a.  Oh, what the hell, best of the best: 3458a/8508a.

Yeah, if you don't need to move it, a bench meter will give you way more performance/price.
@Dave's anti-bench: not all of us have benches large enough for a whole family to sleep on!
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Offline MartyMacGyver

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If Fluke made a 289 without the logging and given that a somewhat simpler display (but with the same counts and other specs) I'd probably be all over it...

As for the others, the reviews weren't very encouraging, and I hesitate to get a dedicated bench meter at this point.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2013, 04:54:29 am by MartyMacGyver »
 


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