Author Topic: If Brymen BM869s is cheaper and as good, why people would still buy Fluke?  (Read 115755 times)

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Offline rolycat

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Pomona is the definition of overpriced garbage.

Nah, this £5000 Damien Hirst "artwork" consisting of full ashtrays, half-filled coffee cups, empty beer bottles and old newspapers is the definition of overpriced garbage.
 

Offline John Coloccia

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My pomona  probes are very nice, and less than $20. What are you talking about? They're nicer than the ones that originally came with the Fluke, and they're cheap.  :-//
 

Offline Ice-Tea

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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.

I'm calling UL, TÜV, Veritas, Dekra and all the other and tell them they can close shop now...
eBay shop with all the gear you need!
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Offline jadew

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The car analogy was funny, but wrong. A better analogy would be comparing a Hummer 1 to a new town car.

One camp keeps mentioning that "But the hummer can take bullets, can step on a land mine and will still work in 40 years with no maintenance." while the other camp argues for a car that has low consumption, handles better, is faster, has mp3 player, double AC, heated seats, voice recognition, a 5 star crash test rating and costs 3 times less.

I think that if you pay MORE for a meter that offers something you don't need and has less of something you actually need, just because it's a cool "war machine", you're just like the guys who buy Hummer 1s.
 

Offline Muxr

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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.
I agree on the low end. I think something like a Brymen BM257 makes a lot of sense. If you only wanted to spend just above $100 I would probably get a Brymen.

Yeah most of Fluke's low end meters are really more suited to an Electrician. And it kind of makes sense. When they set out to design a meter they first design in the protection, and there isn't much budget left for the low power features. They don't cut corners on safety. Those HRC fuses aren't cheap, and they are a big portion of the meter budget. But some of it is also definitely because they don't want to cannibalize their product line.

I will admit that some of my preference for Fluke isn't exactly rational, that's the thing with preferences. I like the way it feels and looks, the specs it has are way past the level of sufficiency for what I use it for. But I also think that the specs on the Brymen are overstated. If I need 5 1/2 digit + resolution I use my bench meter. That's why they have a heated voltage ref. Something I would never want in a DMM for battery reasons.

87V's dial is the best dial I've used. The way it clicks into place is just different from any other brand. And it exudes quality.

There is definitely a "Fluke tax". But I wouldn't exactly call it overpriced. They are one of the rare companies who still make meters inhouse (not in Asia, at least their higher end products) and that means it costs more to produce. The quality advantage is definitely there.

Don't get me wrong though I am not saying Brymen isn't potentially a better bang for your buck, it perhaps is. But I like Fluke. And for an instrument I use daily and a product which lasts for decades, $80 saved on an off brand makes little sense. To me at least.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2015, 04:47:30 pm by Muxr »
 

Online HKJ

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I can say why I buy Fluke meters, this is because I want DMM's I can trust and is easy to use.
I do also buy Agilent Keysight, they are cheaper and I do also trust them, but they are more complicated to use.

If I had to be very careful with the money I would probably not buy Fluke.
 

Offline Lightages

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$224 + $35 shipping, 1 year warranty
http://www.tme.eu/en/details/bm869/portable-digital-multimeters/brymen/bm869s/#td89215072647ba5bb06d6bee18487a6f
You don't pay for the lifetime warranty but still get the same meter that is sold with one. To each his own.

$414 +$9 shipping, includes calibration certificate, lifetime warranty
http://www.amazon.com/Greenlee-DM-860A-C-COUNTS-DM-860A-CALIB/dp/B007YUIOXO
Yes, more expensive than the 87V and I am sure if it were that way for Brymen I would buy a Fluke too. The difference is the features and specs might push the Brymen over the Fluke in some eyes. There are some here that would argue neither is worth the money and you should rely on your cheap multimeter's leads to be the fuses.

"Crap continuity"? That is in the eye of the beholder. Some people prefer non-latched and some prefer.

As I said, people will buy what makes them more comfortable and Fluke has a long standing reputation that no one else has.
 

Offline XFDDesign

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How are your eyes not a valid way to verify build quality? That's like judging a meter's build quality by looking at the case that has no brand name.

I didn't even have to do any work.
 

Offline Armxnian

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How are your eyes not a valid way to verify build quality? That's like judging a meter's build quality by looking at the case that has no brand name.

I didn't even have to do any work.

If you're going to rearrange my words out of desperation at least make it so they make sense to what you write under it. If you can't tell if a piece of test equipment is built well or not by looking at the circuit design and components then you either have no experience or are damaged in one or more sensory receptors. Dave and other reviewers do teardowns and analyze the build quality of a product by looking at it. Are you saying that method is invalid? Your last two posts in reference to my original statement included a nonsensical car analogy and no mention on why what I said was questionable.
 

Offline PedroDaGr8

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$224 + $35 shipping, 1 year warranty
http://www.tme.eu/en/details/bm869/portable-digital-multimeters/brymen/bm869s/#td89215072647ba5bb06d6bee18487a6f
You don't pay for the lifetime warranty but still get the same meter that is sold with one. To each his own.

$414 +$9 shipping, includes calibration certificate, lifetime warranty
http://www.amazon.com/Greenlee-DM-860A-C-COUNTS-DM-860A-CALIB/dp/B007YUIOXO
Yes, more expensive than the 87V and I am sure if it were that way for Brymen I would buy a Fluke too. The difference is the features and specs might push the Brymen over the Fluke in some eyes. There are some here that would argue neither is worth the money and you should rely on your cheap multimeter's leads to be the fuses.

"Crap continuity"? That is in the eye of the beholder. Some people prefer non-latched and some prefer.

As I said, people will buy what makes them more comfortable and Fluke has a long standing reputation that no one else has.

You missed the one without Calibration:
http://www.amazon.com/Greenlee-DM-860A-DMM-500K-COUNTS/dp/B00J9S1P8A/ref=sr_1_10?s=industrial&ie=UTF8&qid=1435074267&sr=1-10&keywords=DM-860A

$347.87 + $9 shipping from the same seller as the one you linked to.

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Offline pascal_sweden

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What is preferred? Latched or non-latched? How to recognize for sure?
 

Offline Lightages

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Some people prefer latched, if it is fast enough. The reason is that it can catch a transient connection and hold it long enough for you to hear it. If it is not implemented correctly it can hold on to a latched condition too long and you can miss an intermittent connection, or it can wait to long to wait and miss a quick transient connection.

Some people prefer non-latched because it gives you the naked truth. But in giving you an unfiltered indication of a connection it can sound scratchy and weak. If a transient connection is to short you might not hear it whereas a properly implemented latched continuity tester might see the connection and present a long enough tone for you to hear it.

Generally latched continuity tests I have experienced are either too slow, hold too long, smooth over intermittent connections, or all three. fluke has some of the best implementations and I would have no problems living with theirs, but I still prefer non-latched naked truth.
 

Online Fungus

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Generally latched continuity tests I have experienced are either too slow, hold too long, smooth over intermittent connections, or all three. fluke has some of the best implementations and I would have no problems living with theirs, but I still prefer non-latched naked truth.
I wonder why it isn't user-selectable...
 

Offline nukie

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How many of you on this thread actually own a Brymen and a Fluke of the same class? I don't have a Brymen but plenty of Fluke. This thread makes me want a Brymen.
 

Offline Lightages

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I have a Fluke 27/FM and a number of different models of Brymen. I would not say they the 27/FM and any of my Brymens are in the same class. The 27/FM is a ruggedized and water proof meter with good basic functions and good accuracy. I purchased it to have for this function, and it was a bargain with the HV probe, RF probe, and case it came with on ebay when I purchased it.

If I had a Fluke 87V then I would probably say it would match up well with a BM829s in features. They go back and forth on some features and accuracy on different functions. Other than the warranty difference and reputation for the Fluke and PC connection possibility for the Brymen they are close to being equal.

Fluke 87V: around $400
BM829s:  around $200 (shipped to your door) or Greenlee version with lifetime warranty: around $240

Edit:

If you consider the BM869s: It out features the Fluke 87V, and has better accuracy and 50000/500000 counts, it costs less than $310 shipped to your door. The Fluke has a couple of features the Brymen doesn't, like auto hold for example, but the total count puts the BM869s far over in feature count. This and the 829 and 869 are CATIV/1000V safety too.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2015, 05:40:33 am by Lightages »
 

Offline Muxr

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Brymen's price is what makes it an interesting proposition, even though you have to order it from overseas if you live in the US, as the Greenly equivalent is more expensive, although you do get lifetime warranty with Greenly like you do with a new Fluke. On the other hand, there are great deals on 87V on ebay you can snatch all the time if you look around, since it's a much more popular meter. There are tons of Flukes on Ebay.

87V's feature set includes some must haves for me that BM lacks, auto hold is a big one (I use it often, even on your bench it's handy to be able to refer to the last reading while you're going through a service manual for the thing you're trying to troubleshoot), fast latched continuity (could probably live with scratchy continuity but that feels like using a $10 meter), Fluke is also smaller (more room on the bench), 400 battery life vs 100 on BM..

Few other things, 87V is better at: transient peak performance, you can test Zener diodes with Fluke with 7.9V voltage instead of 3.5, can withstand higher humidity. There are also small things like being able to center the bar graph, some other nifty power on features. Reputation to take abuse and perform in spec for decades.

Aside from the AC defaulting in the current measurement mode (there's a safety argument for this), Fluke is great to use ergonomically, and everything makes logical sense. For instance if you're measuring in min/max mode, the auto power off is disabled. It's the little things like these where you realize it's a well thought out product.

I own a  27/FM but the 87V is a notch above in build quality imo (not ruggedness). What I mean by that is that 87V just feels like it was made of better material. The dial is the best dial I've ever used.

The biggest feature BM offers imo is resolution. But I find myself rarely even taking the advantage of 20K resolution mode on my 87s (I have a 5 1/2 digit bench meter which I rarely use.), whereas I couldn't live without auto hold. So when I considered getting a BM869s I got a 2nd 87V instead.

But bottom line is if none of the features are a deal breaker for you: If you live in the US and have a limited budget and don't mind a 2nd hand ebay meter, there is very little reason to get a BM. As you can often score an 87V for less. If you want new and cheap, especially if you live outside of US, there are good reasons to go with Brymen. But if you want a good quality meter that will serve you for decades, you can't go wrong with an 87V.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2015, 06:42:11 am by Muxr »
 

Offline retiredcaps

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I have searched in the past and recently, but I cannot find anywhere on Greenlee's website their definition in concrete terms what "lifetime" warranty means in terms of years.

For example, here is Fluke's warranty statement straight from the Fluke user manual.

Each Fluke 20, 70, 80, 170 and 180 Series DMM will be free from defects in material and workmanship for its lifetime. As used herein, “lifetime” is defined as seven years after Fluke discontinues manufacturing the product, but the warranty period shall be at least ten years from the date of purchase.

QUESTION.

What is Greenlee's equivalent statement in number of years in a clear statement like Fluke's above?
 

Offline Lightages

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From one of the Greenlee manuals:

Quote
Lifetime Limited Warranty
Greenlee Textron Inc. warrants to the original purchaser of these goods for use that these
products
will be free from defects in workmanship and material for their useful life, excepting normal wear and
abuse. This warranty is subject to the same terms and conditions contained in Greenlee Textron Inc.’s
standard one-year limited warranty
 

Offline Deckert

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Generally latched continuity tests I have experienced are either too slow, hold too long, smooth over intermittent connections, or all three. fluke has some of the best implementations and I would have no problems living with theirs, but I still prefer non-latched naked truth.

Fully agreed. I like Fluke's fast latched continuity test, but I had this one instance where it let me down:

I was diagnosing a problem an older function generator - it had an noisy amplitude on the output. I was checking continuity on the selector knob that handles the different amplitude intervals. Basically it has one ground-pin and 4 pins used for 0.01V, 0.1V, 1V and 10 V outputs. Testing with my Fluke 177 revealed no issued with the switch.

Eventually, testing with the Brymen immediately revealed a scratchy sound on the switch contacts when you fiddle with the knob - that meant they were dirty and required cleaning with some contact cleaner.

--deckert
 

Offline pascal_sweden

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Generally latched continuity tests I have experienced are either too slow, hold too long, smooth over intermittent connections, or all three. fluke has some of the best implementations and I would have no problems living with theirs, but I still prefer non-latched naked truth.
I wonder why it isn't user-selectable...
Good point! Why not make it user selectable: latched or non-latched, and also make the interval width configurable to fine tune to user needs/wishes.
 

Offline Muxr

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Latched is supposed to make you hear a quick short, something you would miss on a non latched tester. Fast latched continuity is the way to go. Problem is most meters are slow at latching which gives latching a bad name. But fast continuity like on the 87 is superior to non-latching continuity testing.
 

Offline iloveelectronics

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Latched is supposed to make you hear a quick short, something you would miss on a non latched tester. Fast latched continuity is the way to go. Problem is most meters are slow at latching which gives latching a bad name. But fast continuity like on the 87 is superior to non-latching continuity testing.

A fast latched continuity tester is pleasant to listen to but how do you tell if you have a dirty contact?
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Offline Wytnucls

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Because it is not necessary. Top-tier meters all have latched continuity and can detect shorts of minute duration. Often, the resistance threshold can be adjusted by the user. On the Gossen 26S for instance, sensitivity can be adjusted from 1 to 300 ohms.
 

Offline Muxr

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Latched is supposed to make you hear a quick short, something you would miss on a non latched tester. Fast latched continuity is the way to go. Problem is most meters are slow at latching which gives latching a bad name. But fast continuity like on the 87 is superior to non-latching continuity testing.

A fast latched continuity tester is pleasant to listen to but how do you tell if you have a dirty contact?
The same way it detects quick shorts it detects quick opens. So it should still work the same. It's latching so it won't change the state as fast but at least you won't miss really short opens or shorts.
 

Offline Marco

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Ideally a latched continuity tester would change it's latching condition based on it's output level. So it would detect minute shorts when not beeping and minute breaks when beeping (which it would only act on after the latching period obviously).
 


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