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fluke-115-vs-117-multimeter

Fluke 115 vs 117 Review- The Main Multimeters’ Comparison Guide

Multimeters are the standard diagnostic tools used by field service technicians and engineers to measure electric values like current, voltage, and resistance. They help you perform well by providing accurate results. But the accuracy and precision of this beneficial gear highly depend on its quality. We will talk about fluke 115 vs 117 in detail.

Fluke multimeters have their own place in the multimeter market. Fluke Company has been manufacturing high-quality hand tools for decades. Therefore, it can be confusing at times to choose one Fluke multimeter among all.

If you are interested in buying a Fluke multimeter but are confused between Fluke 115 and Fluke 117, then you are at the right place. In this article, we have compared both models of digital multimeters thoroughly to let you understand the key differences. By the end of this article, you will have sufficient information to make a knowledgeable decision.

Fluke 115 Compact True RMS Digital Multimeter

Fluke 115 digital multimeter is a part of the 110 multimeter series. It is considered a cost-effective everyday multimeter of this series. It is easy to operate and has the size of the palm of a hand. You can use it to measure quantities like frequency, current, resistance, voltage, capacitance, and continuity.

It is a digital multimeter that can measure current up to 10 amperes. It has the ability to measure voltage up to 600 volts, frequency up to 50 kilohertz, and resistance up to 40 megaohms.

Fluke 115 is a True RMS (root mean square) multimeter which means it can measure different forms of AC waveforms. This capability allows it to measure sine waves, square waves, and even complex forms of waves. This instrument comes with 4mm silicone probe leads, a rubber holster, manual, and a 9V battery. All these features make it a good choice for trainees as well as field service technicians.

Main features

Fluke 115 digital multimeter-specific features include:

  • Can measure voltage, resistance, frequency, current, capacitance, and continuity
  • Compact body form
  • True RMS
  • Diode tester
  • Rated CAT III 600V
  • Size is 6.6″x 3.3″x 1.8”
  • Large white LED backlight.

Body Design and build

Fluke 115 digital multimeter has a compact and durable construction. It fits well in the palm of a hand and has lightweight, making its usage easier. You can place it in your uniform pocket or a tool kit without any trouble.

It has a yellow holster and a well-designed circuit board. There is a standard rotatory nine-position dial that you can operate with your thumb.

Functions

You can rotate the rotatory dial to nine different positions. You can measure frequency, AC/DC current, AC/DC voltage, millivolts, resistance, and diode check by choosing the quantity you need to measure through the dial.

There are three input jacks for voltage, continuity, and resistance. However, it lacks a milliamp jack that is usually present in common multimeters. There is a beeper for the leads and a diode continuity check that beeps when a new maximum or minimum observation is made. It also has a function button that allows the measurement of capacitance and frequency.

Display

Fluke 115 digital multimeter has a 6,000-count clear and large display that shows digits and a response bar graph with clear unit icons. It has a large white LED backlight that can be very helpful when you are working in dim light conditions. However, the manufacturers could improve the resolution of the display. When the screen is viewed from a certain angle, the digits look a bit faded or unclear.

It has a large, noticeable, and easy-to-use dial that you can operate with the thumb of your left hand. It has five buttons for different purposes such as Range, Max/Min, Function, Hold, and backlight on/off. These buttons are smooth and user-friendly.

Body protection

Professional technicians use multimeters on a regular basis. Regular use can damage their body if the body is not well-built and does not have good-quality protection features.

Fluke 115 digital multimeter has a sturdy case and holster, making the main body resistant to humidity, scratches, wear and tear. Its operating temperature range is -10 degrees centigrade to 60 degrees centigrade. The overload protection feature saves it from the damaging effects of overuse or overcurrent.

It has an inline fuse which increases its safety and reliability. It comes with a battery that can be accessed and replaced in the instrument without any trouble. All these features make it a reliable and durable multimeter that comes at a relatively low price.

Pros
  • Compact and solid build
  • Large screen
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Automatically changes the internal range (auto-ranging)
  • True RMS allows use on non linear loads.
  • Automatic power off
  • Easy to operate even in poorly lit areas
Cons
  • Display resolution could be improved
  • Does not have a Touch Hold function
  • Does not have an mA and μA range

Who is it more suitable for?

This instrument can be a go-to instrument for beginners and professionals, both but it is better to avoid using it for electricity-related data analysis on a daily basis. It has several useful features like functioning well in poorly lit areas. Still, you should choose any other gear if you are looking for a high-end tool.

It is good for those who need a less costly Fluke multimeter for poorly lit areas that is lightweight and has a size equal to that of a palm. It is not suitable for lab testing and experimentation.

Fluke 117 Electricians True RMS Digital Multimeter

Fluke 117 is a versatile, user-friendly instrument that features similar to the Fluke 115 with the addition of another useful feature VoltAlert™. This feature is used to detect the voltage of a device etc., without touching its surface. Fluke 117 is also a part of the Fluke 110 series.

Fluke 117 digital multimeter is rated CAT III, which can withstand voltage up to 600V. You can use it to analyze branch circuits or fixed primary feeders. It is True RMS, so you will get the same readings no matter how many times you conduct the same test or experiment.

It can measure AC/DC current ranging from 1 milliamp to 10 amps. Other than current, it can analyze voltage, resistance, frequency, and capacitance. It is also good for diode testing. It has an LED backlight that comes in handy when you are working in dim-lit areas.

Fluke 117 has a sturdy plastic frame with a clear LCD screen. It comes with leads, batteries, a holster, and an easy-to-understand manual. Its battery can last for up to 400 hours without using a backlight. For hands-free operation, you can use it with a magnetic hanger.

Main features

  • Measures voltage, resistance, frequency, current, and continuity
  • Diode tester
  • Auto-volt and VoltAlert features for non contact voltage detection.
  • True RMS digital multimeter.
  • CAT III rated
  • Compatible with magnetic hanger
  • Size is 6.6″x 3.3″x 1.8”

Body Design and build

Fluke 117 is a well-built small-sized instrument. The frame is made up of durable, light-weight plastic that reduces the overall weight and still makes it last for years. The manufacturers designed its body keeping in mind the needs of its users.

The case is nicely shaped that makes carrying it in hand or toolkit easy. The rotatory dial is also very smooth, so you can manage it single-handedly. Multimeters that need both hands to be operated may trouble the operator while multitasking. You will not have any such trouble while using Fluke 117. You can open the battery compartment without removing the holster.

Functions

You can select any of the nine options available on Fluke 117 by rotating its smooth dial. These options are AC/DC voltage, AC/DC current, millivolts, resistance, frequency, continuity, and capacitance. You can also use it for testing the diode. It produces an audible beep if there is any continuity. In addition to these features, it can prevent and detect ghost voltage as well.

Others feature like VoltAlert and auto-V are used for non contact voltage detection. There are five buttons for different functions. Two buttons, MIN/MAX and Lo/Hi are for setting range. There is a button for the Hold function as well. The Hold function of Fluke 117 is not as good as the Touch Hold function of other Fluke devices is. Plus, you can’t measure temperature. That’s why there are no flame sensors in it.

Display

One of the most prominent features of the Fluke 117 multimeter is its LCD-display. It is 6,000-count and shows visible and clear numbers displayed on the screen. There is a LED backlight that upgrades four per second. It displays all icons clearly.

Despite all these features, the instrument may lose its functionality with time. Sometimes the numbers look washed out when seen from a certain angle. A multi-segment bar graph appears under the numbers. LED-display has a bright and clear backlight, which makes the screen visible when used in dark surroundings.

Body protection

The protective features of a device as well as its construction material are two key factors that determine its longevity and life. Fluke 117 is constructed of high-quality plastic and also has good features for protection.

There is a rubber boot and robust case that protects it from damage. Internal baffles and HRC ceramic fuse keep it protected from damaging effects of overload and protect internal circuitry. Additional features keep it safe during humid and inclement weather conditions. As described earlier, it is CAT III tested, so you can operate it in CAT III environments without any hesitation. Just make sure to keep the multimeter at its operating temperature while testing.

Pros
  • VoltAlert™ for non contact voltage detection.
  • Accurate readings
  • Auto-power off feature saves battery
  • Solid build frame
  • Diode and continuity tester
  • Compatible with magnetic hanger
Cons
  • LCD-display could be improved
  • No carrying case
  • The quality of leads could be improved

Who is it more suitable for?

Fluke 117 is not a heavy-duty multimeter. Therefore, it is good for day-to-day activities and tests that electricians do. It gives accurate readings for general use; however, they are not delicate enough to be considered reliable for lab experiments. Therefore, you should not use it for this purpose.

Beginners who want to experiment and explore more features of multimeters can also rely on this user-friendly instrument. It comes with a manual that even beginners can understand easily. So, you will not have much trouble learning how to use it if you are a novice.

Comparison between features of Fluke 115 and Fluke 117 Digital Multimeters

Fluke 115 and Fluke 117 digital multimeters are part of the same series; Fluke 110. They have many similar features, yet there are some differences among these digital multimeters. Let’s see the main ones in this battle of fluke 115 vs 117.

Similar Features

The common features that these digital multimeters share include a large LCD-display with a LED white light, lightweight, robust body, diode testing ability, measurement of frequency, resistance, AC/DC current, AC/DC voltage, continuity, and millivolts in a range that is same in both models. They are both True RMS devices, and CAT III tested.

Different Features

Now let’s talk about their differences. The primary difference is Fluke 117 has some additional features that Fluke 115 does not have. Fluke 117 has a VoltAlert feature that can detect the presence of voltage without having a connection with a surface.

Another difference is Fluke 117 has an auto-volt feature that is absent in 115. This feature allows the automatic selection of AC/DC volts. Fluke 117 can also prevent false values due to ghost voltage; however, Fluke 115 cannot prevent false readings. So Fluke 117 helps prevent false readings.

Ghost Voltage Detection:

Ghost voltage is the phenomenon of ungrounded leads and probes giving false readings. It occurs because of stray voltages near a surface being measured. As described earlier, fluke 117’s auto-volt feature helps prevent false readings of ghost voltages.

Ghost Voltage can really mess up your readings, so it’s good to have a multimeter that features an auto-volt feature that offers ghost voltage detection.

Low Input Impedance in Fluke 115 and 117:

Another difference between Fluke 115 and 117 is the input impedance. Fluke 115 has a low input impedance which it uses to measure voltage or capacitance, while fluke 117 also offers low input impedance. This feature is especially beneficial if you are going to be using it in high-impedance circuits because it reduces errors due to non contact voltage.

The low input impedance can be a gamechanger as the majority of multimeters today have a high input impedance and this can allow them to show ghost voltage, which is not needed.

Fluke 115 vs Fluke 117 performance

Performance-wise both models are good as they are manufactured by one of the best multimeters producing companies. They give reliable readings and can be used by both beginners and professionals.

Fluke 117 true rms has more advanced features than Fluke 115, so we can say that it is a better option for electricians who need a multimeter with VoltAlert and auto-volt features for non contact voltage detection. It is a good general-purpose device that electricians can use for their day-to-day tasks, like measuring voltage.

However, both models of the multimeter cannot measure temperature and also do not offer the data logging feature. So there are no test flame sensors in these fluke multimeters. Such features are usually present in common multimeters, like Klein. The performance of Fluke 115 and 117 could be better if they too have these handy features.

Final Verdict

Fluke 115 and Fluke 117 have amazing features that you may not find in other regular multimeters. If you want a multimeter that has VoltAlert and auto-volt features, Fluke 117 is the right choice. But if these features are of no use to you, then go for Fluke 115. It is the most affordable and durable option that offers nearly all standard multimeter features. So this was our fluke 115 vs 117 review.

Check out our Fluke 325 review here.

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