Author Topic: If Brymen BM869s is cheaper and as good, why people would still buy Fluke?  (Read 115967 times)

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Offline Terry Lingle

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The 87v is a cat IV rated meter.
 

Offline Lightages

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In a mine, you should be using an intrinsically safe meter like the Fluke 28EX. Brymen does not make anything that is ruggedized nor IP rated nor intrinsically safe. Brymen has made some modifications to one of their meters on request for some mines.

If I were to shop for one of those types of meters, I would buy a Fluke 28EX, or an Amprobe HD-160.
 

Offline HackedFridgeMagnet

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Quote
The 87v is a cat IV rated meter.
Yeah but CAT IV rated to 600V which you said is your nominal voltage.
 

Offline Armxnian

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Lets see how your meters are working in 40 years  then we can have a fair discussion of value vs price.

Flawed logic. Just because a meter from one brand survives harsh conditions and lasts for a long time doesn't mean a meter from another brand won't. We have eyes, we can see build quality.

Also, who realistically uses a 40 year old multimeter? That's a long period for anything. Scientific advancements give the potential for everything to improve.
 

Offline miguelvp

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Lets see how your meters are working in 40 years  then we can have a fair discussion of value vs price.

Flawed logic. Just because a meter from one brand survives harsh conditions and lasts for a long time doesn't mean a meter from another brand won't. We have eyes, we can see build quality.

Also, who realistically uses a 40 year old multimeter? That's a long period for anything. Scientific advancements give the potential for everything to improve.

Not 40 years but about 30 or so years old and my GB GDT-200A piece of crap is still alive and well (The one on the right)


Not constructed well at all:


But I never did plug it into mains, maybe I should, 500V rated 10A and "unfused" but it's UL listed. I guess I'll have to make sure it's on it's right range ;)

No worries I won't!
 

Offline Ice-Tea

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Lets see how your meters are working in 40 years  then we can have a fair discussion of value vs price.
Flawed logic. Just because a meter from one brand survives harsh conditions and lasts for a long time doesn't mean a meter from another brand won't. We have eyes, we can see build quality.

No, it is not flawed logic. Put a percentage on it. What are the chances of equipment from a reputed brand with a proven track record with puddles of experience going the distance against equipment from the new kid on the block? Even if you think the difference is marginal, you'd be dishonest if you did not agree on at least a score favoring the reputed brand.

And while "eyes" may be a primary tool for any engineer, it's hardly sufficient to call build quality. There are *so* much factors to consider. Even if Brymen did not cut any corners and did everything to the absolute best of their abilities and knowledge, it's hard to imagine Fluke hasn't picked up a thing or two along the way the other folks are not aware of...
eBay shop with all the gear you need!
FS: Agilent 54825A, R&S CMU200, CRTU, SMIQ06L, Marconi 6201B, Lecroy WP 950, 9354TM, 9354M, 9374L LC584A, Tek THS720P, TDS7154B, Anritsu MG3671A 2.75G I/Q RF gen, Keithley 238 SMU, HP 8642B, 8903A, 8110A, 8156A
 

Offline Armxnian

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No, it is not flawed logic. Put a percentage on it. What are the chances of equipment from a reputed brand with a proven track record with puddles of experience going the distance against equipment from the new kid on the block? Even if you think the difference is marginal, you'd be dishonest if you did not agree on at least a score favoring the reputed brand.

And while "eyes" may be a primary tool for any engineer, it's hardly sufficient to call build quality. There are *so* much factors to consider. Even if Brymen did not cut any corners and did everything to the absolute best of their abilities and knowledge, it's hard to imagine Fluke hasn't picked up a thing or two along the way the other folks are not aware of...

No one in this thread has said Brymen > Fluke. Brymen uses Fluke test equipment to calibrate their products...

Look at the title. We are arguing that the 87v is old and the BM869 is a better value, because it has improved specs, costs $100 less (more outside the U.S), and is built well to survive any lab use, and industrial use since it is also U.L listed and is praised by electricians. Prove us wrong.
 

Offline Ice-Tea

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No one in this thread has said Brymen > Fluke. Brymen uses Fluke test equipment to calibrate their products...

Look at the title. We are arguing that the 87v is old and the BM869 is a better value, because it has improved specs, costs $100 less (more outside the U.S), and is built well to survive any lab use, and industrial use since it is also U.L listed and is praised by electricians. Prove us wrong.

The title says "as good" and I'm sorry, that's something you have to earn. And your "eyes" do not qualify as sufficient grounds to qualify the unit as "as good".

And I don't have to prove you wrong. You may very well be right. I just don't know and neither do you. Which makes the Fluke a safer bet. I'd also like to point out that an U.L. listing does not make it an equal product. It just means it also meets a minimum design requirement and if it fails it will probably do so safely.

Common mistake. Qualified according to certain specs is not the same as quality or endurance.
eBay shop with all the gear you need!
FS: Agilent 54825A, R&S CMU200, CRTU, SMIQ06L, Marconi 6201B, Lecroy WP 950, 9354TM, 9354M, 9374L LC584A, Tek THS720P, TDS7154B, Anritsu MG3671A 2.75G I/Q RF gen, Keithley 238 SMU, HP 8642B, 8903A, 8110A, 8156A
 

Offline Hydrawerk

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Amazing machines. https://www.youtube.com/user/denha (It is not me...)
 

Offline XFDDesign

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Flawed logic. Just because a meter from one brand survives harsh conditions and lasts for a long time doesn't mean a meter from another brand won't. We have eyes, we can see build quality.

Also, who realistically uses a 40 year old multimeter? That's a long period for anything. Scientific advancements give the potential for everything to improve.

If you're going to claim the logic is flawed, it's first best to show the inconsistency, and second it's better not to create a new argument to attack, let alone one which relies on something subjective as "eyes." 

Use your eyes, tell me which of these is a genuine Bugatti Veyron:



Just because something appears to be the same, does not make them the same thing.

Mean Time Between Failures is a thing. MTBF on one meter from each vendor doesn't mean jack. However, when one company has a product in the field, which racks up hours of service, and a specific failure rate they can identify MTBF. If another brand shows up and wishes to be considered an equal, it has to assert the same MTBF. The point of a "40 year old meter" is "this meter is built with an intrinsically long MTBF." This does not mean that there will not be a case where a user buys a new meter and it fails to turn on. It means that on an average, the long-term reliability has a degree of certainty (or as Dave put it, "Trust").

A certain company who develops Power station products in Pullman Washington prides themselves on the lifetime quality of their products. In order to have earned that pride, they set out to achieve the highest MTBF possible. They test all conditions they can to force their systems to fault. They concern themselves with bit-flipping due to charged particles. At the end of the day, their products have an MTBF of 80 years. Their certainty is so high, they give a lifetime warranty and free exchange. The buyers of their products have trust in the product.
 
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Offline Fungus

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Just because something appears to be the same, does not make them the same thing.


Mean Time Between Failures is a thing. MTBF on one meter from each vendor doesn't mean jack.
Not unless it specifies the usage conditions.

Almost anything will last a long time if it mostly just sits on a table in a nice clean office. Flukes are designed to last a long time in coal mines with passing clouds of dust, dripping roofs, etc.

Flukes have stood the test of time, they've proved themselves, they've earned the brand recognition.

It sucks for Brymen, yes, but that's the way the world works.
 

Offline rolycat

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Use your eyes, tell me which of these is a genuine Bugatti Veyron:

Ford Cougar with a body kit.

Quote

Bugatti Veyron.
Although to paraphrase René Magritte, ceci n'est pas une Veyron.
 

Offline HackedFridgeMagnet

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Sorry nearly off topic, but this is a real Bugatti, unfortunately I don't know the MTBF.

Maybe people buy Fluke for the Bugatti factor.
 

Offline XFDDesign

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Mean Time Between Failures is a thing. MTBF on one meter from each vendor doesn't mean jack.
Not unless it specifies the usage conditions.

But even if one meter sits in a box on a table, it's one meter. It's not a statistically significant sample. Fortunately for Fluke, most of their units are in the field as you mentioned.

:stuff:
Yes, you're wise to it. The point was to the person who was saying that eyes were good enough to judge. :)
« Last Edit: May 29, 2015, 02:05:17 pm by XFDDesign »
 

Offline Muxr

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No, it is not flawed logic. Put a percentage on it. What are the chances of equipment from a reputed brand with a proven track record with puddles of experience going the distance against equipment from the new kid on the block? Even if you think the difference is marginal, you'd be dishonest if you did not agree on at least a score favoring the reputed brand.

And while "eyes" may be a primary tool for any engineer, it's hardly sufficient to call build quality. There are *so* much factors to consider. Even if Brymen did not cut any corners and did everything to the absolute best of their abilities and knowledge, it's hard to imagine Fluke hasn't picked up a thing or two along the way the other folks are not aware of...

No one in this thread has said Brymen > Fluke. Brymen uses Fluke test equipment to calibrate their products...

Look at the title. We are arguing that the 87v is old and the BM869 is a better value, because it has improved specs, costs $100 less (more outside the U.S), and is built well to survive any lab use, and industrial use since it is also U.L listed and is praised by electricians. Prove us wrong.
Brymen is obviously a decent meter, and no one is saying those who purchased it made a mistake either. Honestly outside of US if the difference is greater than $100 for a 87v I can see why someone would prefer it over Fluke as it's much cheaper.

People perceive value differently however. To me there is not much difference between $200 and $300 when it comes to a DMM. When you pay that much for a meter you're paying for something that will last you 20-30+ years. That's less than $5 difference per year, for something you use daily it's negligible.

And then there is the resale value, you look at the 20-30 year old 87s which can still fetch $150-$200 on ebay depending on the condition.

Specs: I don't get impressed by the specs. For one Fluke is very conservative about their specs. Everyone knows that the accuracy listed on the specsheet is only what they guarantee, and that it's often vastly better than what the actual spec sheet says. The same is true for your HP/Agilent/Keysight and Keithley gear for instance.

Fluke has no incentive to push their published specs, since they have an established credibility. So in that regard I don't think the specs are as relevant. Companies who order large quantities of meters know to buy Fluke so I don't think Fluke is worried. Readings per second and capability is, sure, but not the accuracy. Brymen scores nicely spec wise, but the specs and price are also their only chance to compete with Fluke's reputation. Historically Fluke has always had competition which competed on specs, Brymen isn't the first and I am sure they aren't the last.

And then there is the build quality of the product. Again Fluke has an established reputation, and while Brymen is also of a good quality many who have used both will admit Fluke is a notch above.

For me personally I could see myself getting a Brymen BM869 one day because I do think it's a good meter, and I like test gear (don't we all?) but for my main meter, 87V is it. I've been out of electronics for a few years so when I came back I bought non Fluke, but that only reminded me of how much I missed my 87. I used one at the job in the 90s and I just remembered how much I loved using it.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2015, 03:05:33 pm by Muxr »
 

Offline Terry Lingle

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If all you work on is low voltage equipment then as long as you are satisfied with the features and specs  of any meter it will probably meet your requirements.
Once you enter the realm of higher voltage /power you need to pay more attention to track record.
when you are a long ways from a replacement you want a meter that will forgive basic user mistakes like 600 vac on the ohms range and keep working.
With 45 years in the power industry I have seen some glaring errors and a few fatal events  as well
Interestingly none involved measurements
What I do know is that the leads are by far the most dangerous part of any meter.
   
 

Offline Armxnian

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If you're going to claim the logic is flawed, it's first best to show the inconsistency, and second it's better not to create a new argument to attack, let alone one which relies on something subjective as "eyes." 


How are your eyes not a valid way to verify build quality. What's the point of reviewers doing teardowns then. Anyone one with experience can tell if something is built well by looking at it. Your eyes are almost as good as a way to judge electrical test equipment build quality as actually using it.

Your car analogy also makes zero sense. That's like judging a meter's build quality by looking at the case that has no brand name. Open the meter, or open the hood of your car and you can get a good idea.

Brymen is obviously a decent meter, and no one is saying those who purchased it made a mistake either. Honestly outside of US if the difference is greater than $100 for a 87v I can see why someone would prefer it over Fluke as it's much cheaper.

People perceive value differently however. To me there is not much difference between $200 and $300 when it comes to a DMM. When you pay that much for a meter you're paying for something that will last you 20-30+ years. That's less than $5 difference per year, for something you use daily it's negligible.

And then there is the resale value, you look at the 20-30 year old 87s which can still fetch $150-$200 on ebay depending on the condition.

Specs: I don't get impressed by the specs. For one Fluke is very conservative about their specs. Everyone knows that the accuracy listed on the specsheet is only what they guarantee, and that it's often vastly better than what the actual spec sheet says. The same is true for your HP/Agilent/Keysight and Keithley gear for instance.

Fluke has no incentive to push their published specs, since they have an established credibility. So in that regard I don't think the specs are as relevant. Companies who order large quantities of meters know to buy Fluke so I don't think Fluke is worried. Readings per second and capability is, sure, but not the accuracy. Brymen scores nicely spec wise, but the specs and price are also their only chance to compete with Fluke's reputation. Historically Fluke has always had competition which competed on specs, Brymen isn't the first and I am sure they aren't the last.

And then there is the build quality of the product. Again Fluke has an established reputation, and while Brymen is also of a good quality many who have used both will admit Fluke is a notch above.

For me personally I could see myself getting a Brymen BM869 one day because I do think it's a good meter, and I like test gear (don't we all?) but for my main meter, 87V is it. I've been out of electronics for a few years so when I came back I bought non Fluke, but that only reminded me of how much I missed my 87. I used one at the job in the 90s and I just remembered how much I loved using it.

I have no objections to wanting to go with the product that has been proven if your life could be in danger, like working with high voltage in a mine, I would do the same myself. But for other uses, I don't see why I should give my money to a brand that doesn't update their meters when there are competitive products. I can prove they are competitive because electricians and hobbyists and electronic engineers buy them.

If Fluke released an 87VI with modern specs I would buy it without question, and I bet you would be excited to buy one also, more than your 87v purchase. I'm not even saying the 869 is a better meter than the 87. That's nearly impossible to prove. I'm only saying it's a better value. It has better specs, is built well, and most of all is less expensive. Mechanical build quality and history isn't enough to consider it a better value for the average user of the product. The facts are laid out in front of us, there is no argument against what I'm saying.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2015, 07:08:59 am by Armxnian »
 

Offline John Coloccia

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Just off the top of my head, many Brymens have a crap continuity test, and even the 869, which is not bad, still isn't latching. They also have a crap warranty...1 year, I think.  Fluke is Lifetime.  Hey, no biggie.  That doesn't make Brymen terrible meters, but the idea that it's somehow "just as good" as a Fluke fails miserably with only about a second's worth of thought.  I don't even need to look at construction, performance, probes, etc.

re: Fluke Warranty
It's not 7-10 years.  It's 7 years after it's discontinued, with a MINIMUM of 10 years from the purchase date.

In the US at least, the only legit source of Brymens off the top of my head is Greenlee, and the DM860A is a good bit more than a Fluke 87.  Off Ebay, we're still paying $310 for a Brymen, and I can get an Fluke 87 new for $370.  The Greenlee badged Brymen will cost over $400. If you're going to be priced this closely to Fluke, you really need to blow me away with specs AND give me warm fuzzies that you'll last 20+ years.  Selling re-badged products, and also having such a wide range of quality from lowest to best, already makes me feel like they don't really give a crap about their brand beyond making some money.

Again, I really don't have anything against Brymen meters.  I think they make a fine meter that will probably last a good long time.  For a few bucks more (or a few bucks less if you're buying a Greenlee  :-DD), I can buy a Fluke that I KNOW will most likely outlast me.  Like so many others, I've had my Fluke for a LONG time.  It's had the crap beat out of it in some harsh settings, and has never done anything but work perfectly and reliably.  It's hard to imagine why I would buy a Brymen, though I understand the pricing is much different outside of the US.  If the price difference were $200 or more, I'd be a lot more inclined to take a chance.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2015, 08:47:15 am by John Coloccia »
 

Offline Wytnucls

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Fluke provides a sturdy K-type temperature probe, worth about 25$, with all their meters (1 year warranty). Brymen DMMs are supplied with the cheapest probe available, which, in my experience, usually fall apart after a couple of uses.
Scratch that, the probe doesn't look all that bad actually and is a notch above the usual fare.



« Last Edit: May 30, 2015, 08:50:12 am by Wytnucls »
 

Offline pascal_sweden

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Selling re-badged products, and also having such a wide range of quality from lowest to best, already makes me feel like they don't really give a crap about their brand beyond making some money.

You actually have a point there! But maybe Brymen needs to keep these entry level models to keep overall profit, as the sales on their higher-end models is limited?

BTW: Brymen is a Taiwanese company. Do companies in Taiwan have to publish an annual report with yearly earnings? It would be interesting to see how good they are doing.


 

Offline Armxnian

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Just off the top of my head, many Brymens have a crap continuity test, and even the 869, which is not bad, still isn't latching. They also have a crap warranty...1 year, I think.  Fluke is Lifetime.  Hey, no biggie.  That doesn't make Brymen terrible meters, but the idea that it's somehow "just as good" as a Fluke fails miserably with only about a second's worth of thought.  I don't even need to look at construction, performance, probes, etc.

re: Fluke Warranty
It's not 7-10 years.  It's 7 years after it's discontinued, with a MINIMUM of 10 years from the purchase date.

In the US at least, the only legit source of Brymens off the top of my head is Greenlee, and the DM860A is a good bit more than a Fluke 87.  Off Ebay, we're still paying $310 for a Brymen, and I can get an Fluke 87 new for $370.  The Greenlee badged Brymen will cost over $400. If you're going to be priced this closely to Fluke, you really need to blow me away with specs AND give me warm fuzzies that you'll last 20+ years.  Selling re-badged products, and also having such a wide range of quality from lowest to best, already makes me feel like they don't really give a crap about their brand beyond making some money.

Again, I really don't have anything against Brymen meters.  I think they make a fine meter that will probably last a good long time.  For a few bucks more (or a few bucks less if you're buying a Greenlee  :-DD), I can buy a Fluke that I KNOW will most likely outlast me.  Like so many others, I've had my Fluke for a LONG time.  It's had the crap beat out of it in some harsh settings, and has never done anything but work perfectly and reliably.  It's hard to imagine why I would buy a Brymen, though I understand the pricing is much different outside of the US.  If the price difference were $200 or more, I'd be a lot more inclined to take a chance.

I wouldn't pay $400 for an 869 rebadge. The Brymen one costs $230 because it has 1 year warranty. Personally I've never used a warranty on anything. I either take care of my product, or somehow end up destroying it past warranty coverages. I don't really care about the specs either, they aren't that drastic of a difference, I have a bench meter for accuracy and precision. But looking at Fluke's handheld dmm lineup, pretty much everything seems to be overpriced for electronics use. They have $200 meters that don't even have a microamp range. Either their lineup is designed for industrial electricians use or they just haven't updated anything.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2015, 09:18:13 am by Armxnian »
 

Offline pascal_sweden

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Fluke is like Apple... huge profit margins, moderate specs.
 

Offline Armxnian

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Fluke is like Apple... huge profit margins, moderate specs.

The arguments in this thread are literally what Apple fanboys use to defend their products. You tell them you can get another laptop that is cheaper and faster, but by default they respond with "build quality". Am I buying a screw driver set or a computer?  Unless the BM869 or similar dies after a year of use then I think I've made my point, and it seems to be the most realistic one.
 

Offline John Coloccia

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A lot of Fluke meters don't have mind boggling specs, but for 99% of what I do, I don't need specs like that.  I use that same Fluke to do everything...work on vehicles/equipment, house wiring, electronics works on the bench, etc.  It's tough and reliable.  It's 20 years old and I still have the original probes (though I recently replaced them with some Pomonas that I like better).  Specs aren't everything.  If I have to buy a cheap meter 3 times because it can't hold up to daily use and abuse, then the Fluke is much cheaper in the long run.  We've all come to trust them.

Specs are nice, but most of the time I'm either checking rails or I'm checking continuity.  Maybe I'm testing a diode or checking a cap to see if it's leaky.  The most important things to me are reliability and a FAST, latching continuity test.  If I need more than basic accuracy/precision, I won't be fiddling around with a stupid handheld meter.  I'll have a proper bench meter.  This class of meter is marketed to pros, and I'm guessing most pros probably feel the same way.  We just simply don't need a whole of of precision most of the time.  It's really surprising how many meters, even very expensive ones, have really awful continuity tests. I think BK Precision is one of the few, including Fluke, that seem to have put any time into getting that right, even though I probably use that more than anything else!

Where did you see the Brymen for $239?  Cheapest I could find was over $300.

Frankly, I don't have to be a "fanboy" anything.  You guys asked why people buy the Fluke instead.  I don't think most of us really care if you buy a $.99 multimeter from Harbor Freight.  We're simply answering the question that was asked.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2015, 09:58:44 am by John Coloccia »
 

Offline Armxnian

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Pomona is the definition of overpriced garbage. And IIRC they are owned by Fluke. I ordered some BNC and banana to alligator cables from them, paying a lot more than other brands, thinking I was getting quality goods. The BNC jacks aren't even machined properly. You can see the metal where the bnc ball rolls into is crooked and requires a lot of force to tighten and untighten them. My $3 Amphenol bnc terminator tightens like butter and is precision machined. Most of their other cables, including the ones I got, are pvc and rated to 3A instead of 10A and something stupid like 30V DC if touching the INSULATED cable...

Based on Dave's video, the 869 has a ridiculously fast continuity tester, and is basically latched. It's $224 now on TME, I linked it in the first page.

You don't need a 99 cent harbor freight meter to last a life time if probing mains. It's the last thing you'll ever do.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2015, 10:30:50 am by Armxnian »
 


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