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Old 02-09-2011, 08:45 AM   #1
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Well... my $15 Harbor freight special finally bit the dust. Got a year and a half out of it and the 9Volt battery is still good! (Score)

Any recommendations?

This will be used for both 120V work in the house and also 12V work on the cars.

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Old 02-09-2011, 09:21 AM   #2
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Fluke T5-600; a bit more than a typical run of the mill VOM, but a great tool.

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Old 02-09-2011, 09:56 AM   #3
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I got one from HD or lowes for about $25 years ago and like it, it has heft and long leads. I also have a sears/crapsman and the leads are about 18" long and a it is so lightweight it wont stay put. So buy a heavy meter with long leads.


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Fluke T5-600; a bit more than a typical run of the mill VOM, but a great tool.
If I were a pro spark I would buy a fluke but I think they are overpriced for anyone that doesnt use it many times day.
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Old 02-09-2011, 08:17 PM   #4
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With a background in specialty electrical work I am firm believer in Fluke products. I have a T5 style meter along with several others and it is one of my go to meters. Good basic functions, slip on amp metering. Best part is its small enough to slip right in your back pocket. It's not a cheap meter but it will last. It has it's limits but nothing you'll run into with basic electrical work. If you want a real meter go for a fluke 289.

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Old 02-10-2011, 12:00 PM   #5
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HF has a meter that is one step up from their cheapo model that is now
on sale for $20. click here
.
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Old 02-10-2011, 02:01 PM   #6
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After going through a half dozen clunkers, I got a Fluke T5. Yeah..... more money, but......Always works. Always reliable.
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Old 02-10-2011, 02:05 PM   #7
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I ask you this, would you buy the cheapest saw you could find for a job, or would you choose on that lasts. Personally, I go for the one that will be passed to my grand kids, and if they look after it, they pass it on to thiers.

Take the plunge and buy a Fluke always dependable, tried and true meter and very rugged to boot.

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Old 02-10-2011, 02:43 PM   #8
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If someone uses a meter for general home/auto repairs it would be senseless to buy a $100+ fluke. I have never paid more than $25 or so for a meter and have never had one die on me ( I have stepped on them, droped them in water and slammed car hoods on them) I Know fluke makes a nice meter that you need if you are a electrical repairman but my EL cheapo meter test auto fuses and wall outlets with the same accuracy. If someone asked advice on what cordless drill to buy to use " around the house" would you steer them toward a $300. Makita or a XRP dewalt because they are a "quality" tool.
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Old 02-10-2011, 02:55 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STL B. View Post
If someone asked advice on what cordless drill to buy to use " around the house" would you steer them toward a $300. Makita or a XRP dewalt because they are a "quality" tool.
If you read my post you would know the answer to that, I would every time, like I said, so my grand kids, kids could use the tool, I have tools that my great grandfather used and I still use them to this day.

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Old 02-10-2011, 03:05 PM   #10
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I have a Greenlee meter that I got at a bigbox store. It works great. Has a nice rubber protective sleeve that holds the leads.

I think it was $25 or $30. For my purposes it's more than enough.
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Old 02-10-2011, 03:05 PM   #11
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I have an old belt sander and a jigsaw from my gramps but I dont think I would've wanted his old analog meter though. Some things change and some stay the same,I would place money on any kind of electronics will be obsolete in twenty or thirty yrs. I understand what your saying about quality, but some times it pays to pay less.
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Old 02-10-2011, 03:44 PM   #12
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I have absolutely nothing against a $25 VOM, and in fact have two of them, one that I keep in the house, and one in the barn, for "bench work", ie. trouble shooting the vacuum cleaner, mixer, etc. They lay flat while in use, and the large analog scales are easy to read. Perfect.

A few of the things that I really like about the T5, which, by the way, is in the $100 range, so not out of the realm of practicality, in my opinion, are that it easily reads amps, which can be very handy for trouble shooting, it reads negative volts DC, which is great when you are trying to take a reading under the hood of a car, and are having a hard enough time getting the probes in the right place, let alone getting the right probe in the right place, it has a hold button for readings (great in tight spaces), it has tone for checking continuity, and you can slip one of the probes into the body of it, so that you have the meter with a probe in one hand, and a probe in the other hand, without having to find a place to set the meter.

Anyway, that's my 2 cents worth.
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Old 02-11-2011, 07:52 AM   #13
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I still have, along with a half dozen other brands, My 1990 Fluke Model 27 DMM .
This was the original high end ruggedized Fluke DMM that cost >$300 20 years ago and now runs >$400 for the replacement model 27 II. It was designed to withstand a 10 ft drop & now mine has a cracked faceplate but it still works fine except that I wish it had a backlit display.

That said I would still recommend for use around the house a cheapo DMM. DMM's unlike fine tools grow obsolete fast. No one would think of passing on their old TV because of its quality. The new Fluke 27 II model now has a backlit display and capacitance measurement. One can only imagine what meters will look like in 50 years.
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Old 02-11-2011, 08:14 AM   #14
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Good info - thanks guys. I'll be looking for one this weekend. The fluke is super nice, but for the use it's going to see I don't think I can justify it right now. Trying to put as many dollars as possible into the "kitchen fund".

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