Author Topic: Quick decision between Amprobe AM-510 and Greenlee DM-45  (Read 5267 times)

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Offline ehuesman

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Quick decision between Amprobe AM-510 and Greenlee DM-45
« on: January 24, 2016, 10:21:16 am »
Hi All,

I'm looking for a budget multi-purpose multi-meter, and it'll be the first one I've owned. I'll be using it for DIY things around the house (like troubleshooting appliances), and possibly light automotive stuff (maybe testing O2 sensors). I've spent all day on the internet, and most of that time was spent researching this forum and the related Youtube videos. Since I could possibly be using the multimeter on the electrical system in my house, I want a CAT III rated multi-meter, and I want to have confidence that the CAT rating isn't just some pretty stamp on the case. Watching all of Joe Smith's videos was enough to scare me away from any product who's certifications I could not confirm were independently verified. I was able to do this through the websites for UL, CSA, and/or ETL. I also learned the "CE" stamp means absolutely nothing...

Anyways, after several hours, I've narrowed it down to the two multi-meters listed in the title, the Amprobe AM-510 (at $40) and the Greenlee DM-45 (at $50). Here are their manufacturer pages for reference:

http://www.amprobe.com/amprobe/usen/digital-multimeters/am-500-digital-multimeter-series/amp-am-510.htm?pid=74033

http://www.greenlee.com/products/DMM%2540c-600V-AC%2540FDC%2540c-10A%2540c-CAP%2540c-TEMP--(DM%2540d45).html?product_id=20431

Other than the DM-45 having temperature capabilities, and the AM-510 being slightly more accurate and with a flashlight, is there anything else I am missing between these two products? I notice the DM-45 shares the same lead connection for most functions, versus the AM-510 splits it up a little. I'm not really sure what that means to me though. I've seen a few people vouch for the AM-510 in this forum, but couldn't find much on the DM-45.

Just looking for some input from the pros before I click the "buy" button.

Thanks!

Eric (in California)
 

Offline Lightages

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Re: Quick decision between Amprobe AM-510 and Greenlee DM-45
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2016, 11:11:59 am »
They both will probably serve you just as well. IMHO, the AM-510 gets the nod because of having the milliamps jack separated from the volts. It is also a known while the Greenlee is not at this point on this forum.
 

Offline ehuesman

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Re: Quick decision between Amprobe AM-510 and Greenlee DM-45
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2016, 06:16:36 pm »
Thanks Lightages. Can you tell me what the pros/cons are of having the milliamps jack separated from the volts?

The fact that the Amprobe AM-510 is a "known" and the Greenlee DM-45 is not, is the main reason I've been leaning that way. Based on what I've read in these forums though, I know that at least some Greenlee models are re-branded Brymen's. It seems Brymen mulitmeters are fairly respectable, but I'm not sure if ALL Greenlee models are re-branded Brymen models, or if that only applies to certain products in their lineup.

I'm slightly embarrassed to say the reason I haven't just purchased the Amprobe AM-510 is probably the looks and shape. The DM-45 just looks prettier and like it would fit in the hand better. I think I was looking for a more logical reason to pick that over the Amprobe.

Thanks,

Eric
 

Offline helius

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Re: Quick decision between Amprobe AM-510 and Greenlee DM-45
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2016, 06:40:16 pm »
Brymen does not have any models with a shared mA/V jack in their catalog. Sharing the jacks creates a risk of short circuit if the knob is turned.
 

Offline Lightages

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Re: Quick decision between Amprobe AM-510 and Greenlee DM-45
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2016, 06:46:46 pm »
Yes, helius is right. IMHO, having the current measurement on the same input as the other measurements is an invitation to making a mistake more easily. This can blow the fuse, or damage the equipment under test, maybe injure you, are all three of these results. It basically increases the chance of user error.

I am sure that this particular model of Greenlee is not a Brymen re-brand.
 

Offline ehuesman

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Re: Quick decision between Amprobe AM-510 and Greenlee DM-45
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2016, 07:16:52 pm »
So it's looking more and more like I can't base my decision on looks, such is life...

BUT, I do have one last question (I think this is my last question, lol).

I was just researching the replacement fuses on these two models, and I am having a hard time locating the fuses on the Amprobe AM-510. It may just be the way I am searching for the fuses, but the Greenlee DM-45 seems to be using more "standard" sized fuses. I think I have been able to find the right replacement fuses for both, but the ones for the Amprobe were harder to find and cost way more. If someone can let me know if these worries are unfounded or not, I would appreciate it.

According to the manuals:

Amprobe AM-510 uses:
F1 fuse, 0.5A H 660V fast-fuse,  6.3×32mm
F2 fuse, 10A H 660V fast-fuse,  6.3×32mm

DM-45 uses:
400 mA/600 V fast-acting fuse, minimum interrupting rating 20 kA, 13/32" x 1-1/2" or 13/32" x 1-3/8"
10 A/600 V fast-acting fuse, minimum interrupting rating 20 kA, 13/32" x 1-1/2"

Thanks!
 

Offline helius

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Re: Quick decision between Amprobe AM-510 and Greenlee DM-45
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2016, 07:40:08 pm »
6.3x32mm is a 3AG fuse, the second most common type globally and the easiest to source in American hardware stores. Not a HRC fuse.
edit: 3AG are glass, 3AB same size but ceramic. Ceramic is better for DMM use, but still is not a HRC required for very high energy circuits.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2016, 07:52:34 pm by helius »
 

Offline joeqsmith

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Re: Quick decision between Amprobe AM-510 and Greenlee DM-45
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2016, 08:26:44 pm »
If you are working on your car, I am a bit surprised you did not want something with a temperature probe.   Personally, this has been handy to have at times.   The other thing you may want to consider is getting a shunt if you are going to be looking at the current draw.     

If your on a budget I would not be so quick to make a decision. That $50 could be put towards a better meter.

How electrically robust is your meter?? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 

Offline ehuesman

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Re: Quick decision between Amprobe AM-510 and Greenlee DM-45
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2016, 08:40:58 pm »
Thanks for that info, and the edit you added answered what I was Googling for at the time.

One thing I noticed is it still seems hard to find 3AG or 3AB in 500ma or 10A that is rated for the 660V. I was able to find them on manufacturers' websites and specialty websites, but the vast majority of what I would call "easily available" were only rated for 250V. For example, on Amazon I can get about 10 or 20 of the 500ma/250V ceramic fuses for the same price as one 500ma/660V ceramic fuse. That trend appears the same for the 10A fuses.

Keeping in mind my stated intended uses, how important would it be to get the 660V fuses?

And did I have it backwards, are the fuses for the Greenlee the ones that harder to come by in the U.S.?

Thanks again for your time!
 

Offline ehuesman

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Re: Quick decision between Amprobe AM-510 and Greenlee DM-45
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2016, 10:04:36 pm »
If your on a budget I would not be so quick to make a decision. That $50 could be put towards a better meter.

When I first got on Amazon yesterday, I was initially going to go with the Innova 3320 for $20, but after doing a little research on this forum and elsewhere, I decided I was willing to spend a little more money, but I don't want to go above the $50 mark.

Do you have a different recommendation for a sub-$50 meter? I really don't want to spend any more than that, because the use it will get doesn't justify it. I'll probably use it one or twice a year. My main concerns were "good enough" for my needs and safety. I don't want to get myself killed trying to fix an appliance.

Thanks!

 

Offline CustomEngineerer

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Re: Quick decision between Amprobe AM-510 and Greenlee DM-45
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2016, 10:08:54 pm »
I received a Greenlee DM-860A last week. So far I love it, no complaints at all. This one is a Brymen rebadged BM869, its more expensive than the Brymen, but it also comes with a lifetime warranty. The reason I choose it over the Brymen (or any of the other rebadge's of this model) is simply because the Greenlee was available on Amazon and I had a $200 gift card for Amazon. That and the fact that Greenlee is an American company, so hopefully should be easier to get service if I have any issues with it (though mainly the Amazon availability). Until I started researching this meter purchase I had no idea if Greenlee made nice meters or not. Honestly still don't other than the DM-860A.

Edit: Wanted to clarify that I wasn't recommending the DM-860A to you, its well above the price range you are looking at. Just wanted to let you know that I have so far really enjoyed a Greenlee meter since there aren't many reviews of them.
 

Offline joeqsmith

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Re: Quick decision between Amprobe AM-510 and Greenlee DM-45
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2016, 10:34:03 pm »
The price / features / robustness of the AM510 is pretty good.   It has proven itself over and over again here as I continue to abuse it.   If it meets your needs, why not. 

The Innova 3320 is one of the few meters I played with on the half cycle line simulator.  I was surprised that its case opened up. 
How electrically robust is your meter?? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 

Offline retiredcaps

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Re: Quick decision between Amprobe AM-510 and Greenlee DM-45
« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2016, 11:50:30 pm »
Brymen does not have any models with a shared mA/V jack in their catalog.
Brymen BM27 has shared amp/V jack.

http://www.brymen.com/product-html/cata20/Bm20L1.htm
 

Offline helius

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Re: Quick decision between Amprobe AM-510 and Greenlee DM-45
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2016, 01:35:28 am »
I missed those. The shared microamp range is seen a little more often on some meters, but I do look askance at it.
 

Offline Robomeds

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Re: Quick decision between Amprobe AM-510 and Greenlee DM-45
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2016, 02:20:47 am »
Ideally, I would suggest hoping that a few more Amprobe AM-130s show up on ebay for around $55.  Those are stellar meters for that price.  They are respectable compared to the benchmark meters like the Fluke 87V.  However, that is one of those shot in the dark good deals.  They are never around when you want them. 

You might look at some of the Uni-T models.  They aren't the best for input protection but for what you are after that shouldn't be too big a deal.  They have quite a few options with temperature measurements.  I'm a big fan of the temp readings.  The 61E (not 61A, B, C or D) was really popular for a while.  Not sure which is the current favorite. 

The other feature I really like is the Fluke Autohold/Touch Hold.  This is one of those great features that a few other people have but most Flukes have.  You touch the meter to the voltage or resistance, wait a moment, the meter beeps and now you can remove the probes THEN look at your reading.  Not having to look at the display when taking the reading can be VERY handy. 

Anyway, your best bet is a bit of patience and looking around on ebay.  Given enough time you can get some killer deals there.  If you want dealer new then I think the Amprobe or perhaps the Uni-T would be good bets. 
 

Offline Robomeds

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Re: Quick decision between Amprobe AM-510 and Greenlee DM-45
« Reply #15 on: January 25, 2016, 04:56:03 pm »
Here is a CEM based meter on ebay for what I think is a decent price:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-SOUTHWIRE-IP67-WATERPROOF-AUTORANGING-MULTIMETER-11060S-/181998002270?hash=item2a5fed205e:g:powAAOSwLnlWoDfd

I've played with the 11070 version of the meter.  It's decent.  This is made by the same ODM as many Extech meters.  I've never dealt with the seller so buyer beware.  I selected this because it was the lowest priced listing for a 11070 or 11060 meter.
 

Offline ehuesman

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Re: Quick decision between Amprobe AM-510 and Greenlee DM-45
« Reply #16 on: January 26, 2016, 01:36:02 am »
I went ahead and ordered the Amprobe AM-510 from Amazon for $40. I have enough things competing for my time right now, and I just had to make a decision before I went down the rabbit hole further than I already did.

Thank you to everyone for your input and suggestions. Forums with passionate and knowledgeable people such as yourselves are one of the most valuable aspects of the internet.
 

Offline Muxr

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Re: Quick decision between Amprobe AM-510 and Greenlee DM-45
« Reply #17 on: January 26, 2016, 04:57:09 am »
You made the right choice, if for whatever reason you decide to upgrade and get a 2nd meter (which if serious about electronics you should have) that non contact voltage detection feature is pretty unique, so that meter will always be useful.
 

Offline CustomEngineerer

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Re: Quick decision between Amprobe AM-510 and Greenlee DM-45
« Reply #18 on: January 26, 2016, 07:46:15 am »
I just had to make a decision before I went down the rabbit hole further than I already did.

You are clearly a very wise man. Please teach me the ways master.
 


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