If you’ve been in the market for a new multimeter, you probably noticed the eye-watering price tags on Fluke multimeters.
Often considered the industry standard, Flukes have been around for ages. But why are they so much more expensive than most of the competition?
After extensive research, we realized that Fluke multimeters are primarily expensive because of the quality of their measurements. Their durability, safety, features, and perceived value also play a role in the high price tags.
This article looks at why Fluke multimeters are so expensive. Keep reading to find out if there are cheaper alternatives that are just as good.
About Fluke Multimeters
Established in 1948, Fluke is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fortive Corporation. The company deals in electronic maintenance, installation, and service but specializes in electrical tools like digital multimeters.
While Fluke multimeters are considered the gold standard, they vary in quality (and prices), ranging from low voltage home multimeters to high voltage industrial-grade multimeters.
Fluke Multimeter Price
As explained above, there are several types of Fluke multimeters, all at different prices. Here are some of the most common models and their prices:
|Fluke multimeter type||Average price|
|Fluke 289 True-RMS Logging Multimeter||$725|
|Fluke 113 True-RMS Utility Multimeter||$183|
|Fluke 101 Digital Multimeter||$44|
|Fluke 107 Digital Multimeter||$105|
|Fluke 117 True-RMS Digital Multimeter||$250|
What Is Special About Fluke Multimeters?
After using several Fluke multimeters, we realized that they especially stand out for their reliability. The company has a long history of making high-quality electrical tools, including multimeters.
A high-end fluke multimeter is guaranteed to last a couple of years, even with heavy use.
What Makes the Fluke Meter So Expensive?
It’s interesting that a Fluke multimeter can cost upwards of $500 while most of its competitors sell for under $200. Here are some of the reasons behind these outrageous prices:
Since multimeters are used in high voltage environments, they could cause injury or even death if they’re unable to withstand the voltage. As a result, all multimeters have a safety rating (CAT), ranging from I to IV.
Fluke multimeters are almost universally rated CAT III 600V or higher. This means that even in an industrial environment where the 6000V line supplies tens of amperes, the multimeter will fail without causing injury to the user.
Fluke multimeters are packed with many industry-leading features. Instead of just measuring the electric values, most modern Flukes can record thousands of readings for later review.
High-end Fluke multimeters are also Fluke Connect compatible, which means you can connect them to your iOS or Android devices.
3. Perceived Value
Fluke is generally considered the industry leader in electrical tools. Most professionals trust Fluke products for their long history of reliability and sturdy build.
As a result, most people believe Fluke multimeters are better than any other commercially available multimeters.
Therefore, they are willing to pay well above the standard price for what they consider premium products.
4. Quality of Measurements
We can’t talk about measurement tools without discussing the quality of the measurements. Accuracy, precision, and resolution are the three main components we gauge to judge the quality of the measurements.
Accuracy is how close a range of measurements is to the actual value, while precision is how close a series of similar measurements are to each other.
Resolution, on the other hand, is the smallest unit of measurement your multimeter can display.
There are a few multimeters with good accuracy and precision but low resolution. However, all Fluke multimeters balance all the components to give high-quality readings.
It’s important to note that safety regulations do not necessarily indicate that the multimeters survive in high voltages. The regulations only require the meters to fail safely without injuring the user.
As a result, most generic multimeters fail safely in high voltages but don’t work after that. Fluke products, on the other hand, withstand higher than normal voltages and keep working after failing.
Which Fluke Multimeter Is Best?
There are tens of good Fluke multimeters. Here are two of the best:
Fluke 289 True-RMS Stand Alone Logging Multimeter
This is a specialist’s ultimate multimeter. Unlike basic multimeters that just measure current, voltage, and resistance, the 289 is a data logging mini-computer.
Of course, you can still use it for electrical work around the house, but it offers much more functionality.
It comes with a backlit QVGA, dot-matrix display, which is great for its graphing functions, and a more capable processor than most other graphing multimeters.
This allows you to review up to 10,000 recorded events and logged reading without a PC connection.
Since the 289 is a Fluke Connect compatible device, you can set it up with an ir3000 FC wireless connector to connect with your ios or android devices.
With the ir3000FC (sold separately), your Fluke 289 can also transmit live readings with your team by video call and offer other smart features.
As a measurement tool, it has accurate voltage and frequency measurements, thanks to the low pass filter. The smoothing mode (selectable AC filter) also helps it display a steady reading when the input signal is noisy or changing rapidly.
While this multimeter costs more than $700, it’s still most experts’ tool of choice. It’s accurate, durable, and reliable.
FLUKE-107 Digital Multimeter
If $700 is not a budget you’re willing to spend on a multimeter, you might want to consider the Fluke-107 Digital Multimeter. The 107 is a sleek and compact handheld auto range device.
The multimeter also comes with a 6000-count backlit display which updates every three seconds. Furthermore, being a Fluke product, you can rely on its build and measurement quality.
Are Fluke Meters Worth the Money?
Fluke multimeters are definitely worth the money if you can afford them. However, if you need a basic multimeter to use around the house, you might find a few more affordable options.
Fluke Multimeter Alternatives
Price: $ 95
Uni-T is one of Fluke’s biggest competitors. One of their best residential auto-range True-RMS multimeters is the UT61E+.
While it’s mostly basic, it offers some premium features like data retention and a backlit screen.
The Greenlee DM-830A is a premium multimeter with a 50,000 count resolution, dual display. It also has better accuracy than the more expensive Fluke 289.
The meter also has a CAT IV 1kV rating, which is better than most Fluke meters.
This 5.5-digit bench multimeter competes with high-end Fluke multimeters. Its 4.3” dual display is rated for over 66,000 counts and a basic DCV accuracy of 0.015% (150ppm.)
It’s also CAT II 300V rated and is a USB host/device.
How to Choose a Fluke Multimeter
Here’s a video explaining some of the things you should consider when shopping for a Fluke multimeter.