Author Topic: Multimeter Purchase - Choose between Fluke 87, Fluke 77 IV, and Uni-T UT61E  (Read 18299 times)

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Offline LocalMech

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I have the opportunity to purchase locally the original version of the Fluke 87 model in pristine condition, only used twice for $100. Also, someone is selling a new Fluke 77 IV locally for $150. Additionally I can get the Uni-T UT61E for $50 online. My current need is to test resistors, capacitors, and diodes on a circuit board. However; I want to do more with the multimeter in the future. What is the best option among the three listed? Please advise ASAP as I want to purchase a multimeter today.
 

Offline LEECH666

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Both of the Flukes are probably way better specced regarding high volatage / high power stuff. The UT61E can only take 250V on some of the Jacks. Input and blast protection is probaly better on the Flukes, too. For meassuring hobbyist stuff like micro controllers and other low power stuff (let's say up to 230V) the UT61E is certainly a good meter for the price.

I think the Fluke 87 (no suffix) is a bit dated. Probably still a decent meter, even tho it has had at least a few revisions over time.
 

Offline poorchava

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If the difference Fluke vs UNI-T is $100 vs $50 answer can be only one -> get the Fluke.

Fluke is Fluke: decent brand, quality, customer support, no stupid cost cutting etc.

UNI-T is still chinese crap. Maybe is does what is should, maybe it does not, maybe someone 'higher' in ranks decided that 'these small caps are not needed and they cost whooping $0,0001 so we are not putting them in. It surely is a good pick for $50, but Fluke for $100 is as if someone gave ii to you for free.
I love the smell of FR4 in the morning!
 

Offline LocalMech

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So which one would you recommend?
 

Offline EEVblog

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Either of the Flukes.
The original 87 is an old model, but still a great electronics meter.
The 77 IV is the latest version, super rugged, but not entirely suited to electronics use (IMO) because of no uA current capability. BUt if you are asking this question, then you likely won't need that.

Get the 77IV. You can always get a feature rich cheapie later if you need it.
The Uni-T will do the job though, if you only want to spend $50.

Dave.
 

Offline LEECH666

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Dave put what I wanted to say into way better words. :)

The FLUKE-77-4/EUR (Euro versions) costs ~ 340€ here in germany, so 150$ sounds like a good price to me.

Florian
 

Offline LocalMech

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Either of the Flukes.
The original 87 is an old model, but still a great electronics meter.
The 77 IV is the latest version, super rugged, but not entirely suited to electronics use (IMO) because of no uA current capability. BUt if you are asking this question, then you likely won't need that.

Get the 77IV. You can always get a feature rich cheapie later if you need it.
The Uni-T will do the job though, if you only want to spend $50.

Dave.


So your recommendation is the 77 over the original 87. Right now I have a need to check diodes, resistors, capacitors on a circuit board. Based on that need is the 77 still better suited than the 87 based on the $50 difference. Also you mentioned a feature rich cheapie unit. What cheapie unit would you recommend?
 

Offline EEVblog

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So your recommendation is the 77 over the original 87.

Only because the 77 is brand new and will last you another 20 years.
The original 87 could be 20 years old already :->
Your call if it's worth $50 more for brand new less features vs older 2nd hand more features.

If the 77 is brand new in the box you could probably resell it on ebay and get the 87V for free :->

Quote
Right now I have a need to check diodes, resistors, capacitors on a circuit board. Based on that need is the 77 still better suited than the 87 based on the $50 difference.

Pretty vague requirement. I assume you mean out of circuit.
All multimeters have pretty much equally very ordinary cap measurement.
All 3 will basically do what you want.

Quote
Also you mentioned a feature rich cheapie unit. What cheapie unit would you recommend?

I have done hour long videos on $50 and $100 units, and that barely scratches the surface. A UNI-T is as good as any for $50.

Dave.
 

Offline PedroDaGr8

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I have the opportunity to purchase locally the original version of the Fluke 87 model in pristine condition, only used twice for $100. Also, someone is selling a new Fluke 77 IV locally for $150. Additionally I can get the Uni-T UT61E for $50 online. My current need is to test resistors, capacitors, and diodes on a circuit board. However; I want to do more with the multimeter in the future. What is the best option among the three listed? Please advise ASAP as I want to purchase a multimeter today.

I say this as a huge fan of the UT61E: If you have the money and/or need the features for a Fluke; go with the Fluke. With the Fluke you know you are getting excellent input protection (safety), long term reliability, good resale value, etc. All of these really help make up the difference in price if you can afford it.

That being said, if you are a basic hobbyist and are looking for a good enough quality meter at a good price then go with the UT61E.  The UT61E should not be confused with the rest of the UT61x  line. It really deserves its own model name because it blows the rest of them out of the water for the most part. In the UT61E thread I tested it against a bunch of different resistors and capacitors and it definitely seemed to meet/beat its specs (which are quite respectable if not outright good at that price point). That being said, its biggest flaw is the input protection is meh at best. Definitely not useful for high voltage circuits. I don't do anything with high voltage circuits so that is not an issue for me, I pretty much operate exclusively in the sub-100V range. I will say this, after 6 months I have been extremely happy with this meter.

So in conclusion, if you want a cheap multifunction meter then the UT61E is really damn nice but if you have the money/need for a Fluke get the Fluke.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2012, 04:13:08 pm by PedroDaGr8 »
The very existence of flamethrowers proves that some time, somewhere, someone said to themselves, "You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I'm just not close enough to get the job done." -George Carlin
 

Offline LocalMech

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Dave,

The 87 model that is being sold locally is like brand new. The unit is in pristine condition. The person only used it several and it was stored away for years. Based on your comments in the previous post are you telling me that the 77 has more features than the 87?
 

Offline T4P

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Dave,

The 87 model that is being sold locally is like brand new. The unit is in pristine condition. The person only used it several and it was stored away for years. Based on your comments in the previous post are you telling me that the 77 has more features than the 87?

The question is which 87 is it? Just sayin' but most 87's before the V have only 5uF, in comparison to 220mF on the UT61E
The UT61E is worth buying over the 87 only if you do intend to measure high-energy circuits and want the 220mF capability, unless it's a 87v which is pretty good news

Right-
, I pretty much operate exclusively in the sub-100V range. I will say this, after 6 months I have been extremely happy with this meter.
There's no need to be worried plugging the 61E into the mains.

UNI-T is still chinese crap.

But something i will not accept as a exclamation is, the UT61E is CRAP. It's just not.
If it was, it would break once dropped, the display rate would be slow as hell, there wouldn't be any RS-232 neither would there be any ceramic fuses in it.
Tell me about it really, in the 50$ shootout, do you see a meter that performs better than the 61E? No, not that i did
Neither did any in the 100$ in terms of resolution and accuracy, input protection better than the 61E, but you can always sub your own protection
« Last Edit: July 26, 2012, 05:27:27 pm by DaveXRT »
 

Offline LocalMech

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It is the original 87 model. The other 87 models have the version number on the front screen. This unit does not.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2012, 05:47:33 pm by LocalMech »
 

Offline LocalMech

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I am hoping this is my last question. If you have a choice of getting a brand new Uni-T UT61E for $50 or a like new Fluke 87 original for $100, which one would you choose. Does the fluke model have better features than the Uni-T UT61E?
 

Offline Rick

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People keep comparing fluke xx with UNI-T 61E, how about a UNI-T 71E which seems to have higher capabilities for a reasonable price. Strangely the local price (230 $ VAT included) is lower than the "ebay" price. Compared with a Fluke 87 V or 83 V, how would you rate it? I shall buy it anyway along with a Fluke 87V (or 83 on ebay) to have the complete set and not to look like a cheap Chinese multimeter fan:)
By the way today I discovered Mastech 8229 which seems to have several interesting functionalities along the "traditional" ones. Is it also a Chinese brand?
« Last Edit: July 26, 2012, 09:03:37 pm by Rick »
 

Offline mariush

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I am hoping this is my last question. If you have a choice of getting a brand new Uni-T UT61E for $50 or a like new Fluke 87 original for $100, which one would you choose. Does the fluke model have better features than the Uni-T UT61E?

People are often recommending Fluke because it has built a good reputation in time and their multimeters maintain their "accuracy" in time relatively well. That is, most of the multimeters list specifications on the box and the meters themselves are much better than those specs and years later, the meters are still within those specifications.

There's nothing bad with that Uni-T 61E (I own it, I like it, and lots of people like it). It theoretically has better "processor" inside, has better display (more digits), it's 22.000 counts, it's True RMS.. on paper it looks good and the people who inspected the insides of the 61e didn't find anything bad (deal breaking) about it

The concern, as far as I understand it, is that you can't tell if a few years or so later the meter will be accurate, if it's reliable and so on.

Quote
People keep comparing fluke xx with UNI-T 61E, how about a UNI-T 71E which seems to have higher capabilities for a reasonable price. Strangely the local price (230 $ VAT included) is lower than the "ebay" price. Compared with a Fluke 87 V or 83 V, how would you rate it? I shall buy it anyway along with a Fluke 87V (or 83 on ebay) to have the complete set and not to look like a cheap Chinese multimeter fan:)

Uni-T seems to have several teams that design these multimeters. The 61E and the 6x series in general seems to have been designed by a completely different team than the one who made the 7x series. Some model (I forget which one) is reviewed here and it's ugly, basically not worth the money, lacking in protections inside and...well, overall it looks ugly inside.

---

My opinion .. if you want a multimeter around the house, for hobby projects, for diy, as an introductory model, you can save some money and get the 61E with no worries, it's a very good meter for the money.

Use the rest as an advance for an oscilloscope or a soldering gun or whatever you may need.

« Last Edit: July 26, 2012, 09:25:50 pm by mariush »
 

Offline Rick

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Uni-T seems to have several teams that design these multimeters. The 61E and the 6x series in general seems to have been designed by a completely different team than the one who made the 7x series. Some model (I forget which one) is reviewed here and it's ugly, basically not worth the money, lacking in protections inside and...well, overall it looks ugly inside.

Ok I have seen it. It is this one:
http://electroelvis.com/2012/02/09/multimeter-uni-t-ut71d-teardown/
« Last Edit: July 26, 2012, 09:54:27 pm by Rick »
 

Offline PedroDaGr8

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https://www.eevblog.com/forum/product-reviews-photos-and-discussion/uni-t-multimeter-ut71d-unboxing-and-teardown/

here is the eevblog forum discussion of the above. Things like the screw in the middle of the COM trace are just rediculous. The UT61E really is a much better built meter. Logical, simple and capable. Nothing too flashy or fancy (though an actual backlight would have been nice).
The very existence of flamethrowers proves that some time, somewhere, someone said to themselves, "You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I'm just not close enough to get the job done." -George Carlin
 

Offline David_AVD

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I have a UT61E on the way to replace an old Jaycar one I use at home.  On paper it seems like a nice all-in-one meter at a good price.  Since I don't do much real electronics work at home, I didn't want to spend too much on it.
 

Offline zaoka

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Fluke 77IV is not true RMS and does not measure small capacitors and Fluke 87 does not measure large capacitors :)

I have seen on eBay Fluke 77IV for $99 new with free shipping.

This mean you would need Fluke 177-179 (also does not measure small capacitors) or Fluke 87V to have it all.

Since you only need basic features I would go with 77IV.


















 


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