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Thread: Alternative to Fluke meters?

  1. #1
    DIY Senior Member TJanak's Avatar
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    Default Alternative to Fluke meters?

    I put this down below for Bob and Don but didn't get much traffic. Maybe they are busy playing with their vacuum tubes instead of clamp meters...

    I would like to get my brother this http://www.fluke.com/fluke/usen/clam....htm?PID=70391 Fluke clamp meter for a wedding gift. $300 is kinda steep. Are there other brands of high quality meters that may be a little less expensive? I really like all of the features this specific meter has that I linked to.

    Thanks
    Travis

    When I need a precise measurement of something I often use the highly technical method of eyeballing it.

  2. #2
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    There are many meters on the market that cost lots less. All one has to do is google clamp meter to find them.

    The type meter you purchase should fit his needs. The one you posted a link to has many bells and whistles that I would never use but might fit into the type work he does.

    The primary issue I have with any meter I use is its category rating. If I am going to be working on or around the service equipment I would want a category IV meter. This would include a residential 240 volt single phase panel.

    If all I am going to be doing is low voltage (50 volts or less) them any old $10 meter will work.

    Personally I use Greenlee

  3. #3
    DIY Senior Member BobL43's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TJanak View Post
    I put this down below for Bob and Don but didn't get much traffic. Maybe they are busy playing with their vacuum tubes instead of clamp meters...

    I would like to get my brother this http://www.fluke.com/fluke/usen/clam....htm?PID=70391 Fluke clamp meter for a wedding gift. $300 is kinda steep. Are there other brands of high quality meters that may be a little less expensive? I really like all of the features this specific meter has that I linked to.

    Thanks
    Well, I guess I am spoiled. for the past 30 years I have been using Simpson meters in the beginning, and then we statrted using Fluke. I also have an old Bell Current Gun that is a Clamp ON AC/DC meter. And of course the old Amprobe. Like most everything else in life, you get what you pay for. He's your brother, get him the good stuff. Home D E P O T sells a Klein Clamp on for 60 bucks, but I am not familialr with it.
    Last edited by BobL43; 09-16-2011 at 07:19 AM.
    I am definitely not a pro plumber, but I am a pro crastinator

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    If he NEVER uses the more esoteric features of the Fluke, you would be wasting money to buy it. HOW much you spend depends on what he is going to do with it and the degree of accuracy needed. For my purposes a $70.00 clamp on volt/ammeter does EVERYTHING I need it for with more than enough precision.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

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    DIY Senior Member BobL43's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    If he NEVER uses the more esoteric features of the Fluke, you would be wasting money to buy it. HOW much you spend depends on what he is going to do with it and the degree of accuracy needed. For my purposes a $70.00 clamp on volt/ammeter does EVERYTHING I need it for with more than enough precision.
    Maybe because your trade is plumbing. I'm sure when you buy plumbing tools you don't buy cheap. Maybe his brother is a hobbyist, in which you are correct, but Travis never mentioned his brother's skill level.
    I am definitely not a pro plumber, but I am a pro crastinator

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    That is why I said to find out WHAT he is going to use it for, and how much precision he needs. I also do electrical, but the meter still tells me everything I need to know. I usually do NOT need to know if the voltage is 240 or 239.95. If I need a plumbing tool for a specific job, I will buy the one that is adequate, which is not always the BEST or most expensive.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

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    DIY Senior Member BobL43's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    That is why I said to find out WHAT he is going to use it for, and how much precision he needs. I also do electrical, but the meter still tells me everything I need to know. I usually do NOT need to know if the voltage is 240 or 239.95. If I need a plumbing tool for a specific job, I will buy the one that is adequate, which is not always the BEST or most expensive.
    OK, this is starting to sound like Grumpier Old Men
    Last edited by BobL43; 09-17-2011 at 06:56 PM.
    I am definitely not a pro plumber, but I am a pro crastinator

  8. #8
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Not really, you need to buy what you NEED, not always the VERY BEST. If you just want drive to work a Yaris will do the same job as a Rolls Royce.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

  9. #9
    DIY Senior Member TJanak's Avatar
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    Well I went with the Fluke. I looked at some of the other recommended higher quality brands and they were within $20-30 anyways. My brother is a GM service tech studying to become an engineer. If you've diagnosed problems on the electrical components on 2011 Chevy pickups or medium duty GM trucks then you can understand why it would be very helpful to have a good meter.

    Besides, as Bob said it's a high quality piece of equipment that I would feel proud to give him and should last a very long time. Kind of like a Snap-On cordless impact or Matco ratchets, etc.
    Travis

    When I need a precise measurement of something I often use the highly technical method of eyeballing it.

  10. #10
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    I have a Fluke 77 that is at least about 25 years old. It has been kicked around, and dropped more than once ( I do have a padded case on it). Although I have not had the calibration checked in 15 years, I have high confidence that it is all still in spec. That's what you pay for in a Fluke. I have purchased several meters in the intervening years ( seems like you need to always have an equal number of multimeters and philips screwdrivers!). I think they are also still fine. I still love the fluke.

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    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    Have a 300$ old Amprobe that matches the chinese 7$ clamp on. scary. But not rated of course.

    Well, its rated in the instructions printed on toilet paper "Fine meter making good all testings and safety in levels of very high."

    For quickie well ohm readings for ground and motor windings, I find the $1.99 [with battery] chinese meter to match a real one to 3 or 4 digits. Also scary.

    I suppose I should wear a flak vest and welding helmet while doing this however.

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    DIY Senior Member BobL43's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ballvalve View Post
    Have a 300$ old Amprobe that matches the chinese 7$ clamp on. scary. But not rated of course.

    Well, its rated in the instructions printed on toilet paper "Fine meter making good all testings and safety in levels of very high."

    For quickie well ohm readings for ground and motor windings, I find the $1.99 [with battery] chinese meter to match a real one to 3 or 4 digits. Also scary.

    I suppose I should wear a flak vest and welding helmet while doing this however.
    absa- tootly! protect yourself against the plasma.

    The tech writers in China do pretty well. can you imagine us trying to write Chinese instructions?
    I am definitely not a pro plumber, but I am a pro crastinator

  13. #13
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    quote; seems like you need to always have an equal number of multimeters and philips screwdrivers

    Have you ever noticed that when you need a Phillips screwdriver your drawer is full of "flat tipped" ones, but when you need one of those, the screwdrivers have all been changed to Phillips. Hopefully, the marriage will last LONGER than the Fluke.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

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    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    Hello All,

    I think that Fluke is very over rated.

    I have used the Tenma meters with no problems at all. The electrical specs are as good as Fluke.

    The Fluke may have a better drop test rating, But a good technician does not drop their meter.

    This is one of TENMA's True RMS Clamp on Meters. For around $100 it is hard to beat.


    http://www.mcmelectronics.com/produc...-7228-/72-7228


    Have a great day.


    DonL
    Theory only works perfect in a vacuum.

    Cyber Security Protection for Windows C:\ > WWW.WinForce.Net

  15. #15
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    quote; seems like you need to always have an equal number of multimeters and philips screwdrivers

    Have you ever noticed that when you need a Phillips screwdriver your drawer is full of "flat tipped" ones, but when you need one of those, the screwdrivers have all been changed to Phillips. Hopefully, the marriage will last LONGER than the Fluke.
    You have to have 10 or 20 of each for any chance to have one at the right spot. And tape a new battery on the back of the meters.

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