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To Be honest I have always favoured Fluke and this is a great replacement to my old and battered 20 year plus meter (Also Fluke). I have paired it up with a generic magnet mount (The fuke one looks nice but at Fluke prices not that nice) and the system all works well. I do like the probes. When you are doing a quality job on site it does matter to convey professionalism to the casual observer and part of that is actually looking the part yoou do not get the same gravitas from a cheaper £25.00 chinesium brand.
I had a cheap analog multimeter for years before deciding to get a digital. I didn't think I need a Fluke because I would use it mainly at home with simple measurement. So I ordered a Extech 550 (from amazon) and I had to return it because it is slow (take almost 1 sec to get the continuity beeping) and not accurate. Moreover, the Extech screen was bad at angle and no backlit. And why they don't make it compatible with a magnetic strap? Then I ordered a Amprobe 520 and canceled because I found a detail youtube video review it, same annoying thing, slow, bad screen at angle. Finally, I pulled the trigger and go with this Fluke. I think I don't need to describe its good point, what is better than a Fluke anyway.
Great little meter, really great. As a long time electronics enthusiast dating back to the 1970s I've had probably 20 different VOMs and DVOMs over the years, including bench models with fewer features and the now legendary Simpson analog models. I really like Fluke. You can buy cheaper, and there are some good/cheaper ones out there, but Fluke makes a solid product that lasts. I bought this one to supplement my old 73III series meter from ~15 years ago--because sometimes you need two. I recall the salesperson demo'ing my original 73III meter by throwing it across the store and then showing it still worked. Wow. If this newer one is even half as rugged as that, I'm a customer for life.
If you are just getting started in electronics, maybe experimenting with Arduino or Raspberry Pi, etc., this is a great choice. Later in life you'll want a second meter, but this one will serve you well for many years. 99% of electronics enthusiasts can get by with a meter like this for a long, long, long, time. Sure, there are higher-end logging and graphing meters, and they are really great. But most of us don't need these unless you are in a high end test facility. I think you can actually get a certification paper for the F115 but it costs extra...which means the quality is there, just not the paperwork until you pay for it. If you are Joe@home hobby guy like me...this is a great meter at a great price. If you need more accuracy than this, you're over qualified for this review anyways and I hope your office at MIT has a nice view ;) .
What do I love?
- The Capacitance feature is great. Saves me buying a separate meter for this. Even-though the range is a tad limiting, it serves 90% of my needs. - Diode test is nice. While you can technically do this with a resistance measurement, you need to pull out the specs to do it properly. I recall one circuit that stumped me for weeks that I eventually traced to a bad diode. I couldn't be bothered getting out the specs until I wasted a bunch of time. I probably would have tested earlier if I had the 115. - MIN/MAX may be commonplace now, but for an old school guy like me that hasn't bought a VOM in years, this was a treat. - True RMS and AVG features are terrific. - The LED backlit screen: Never thought I'd need it until I had it. But it's great in a truck late at night trying to diagnose a wiring problem. (Note that you can defeat the 40 sec auto shut off and other features during the startup process. Read the manual--there are lots of helpful tips in it.) Additionally, the more common parameters are printed on the back of the meter: Disable Beeper/Disable Auto Power Off/Disable Auto Backlight Off. - After ordering I was a bit sad to see that it was called a "Compact" design. This worried me. But after unboxing the display seems just as big as my older 73III series. The compact title may just relate to how it sits in your palm better. It certainly is more ergonomic with its curved sides, and surprisingly this contoured design works better than I expected. Usually if you have circus freak-like hands such as I do, nothing "contoured" fits right. In fact, I like the size profile of the F115 better than the older square 73 series. - Because it is a newer model (at least for me) I expected a cheaper feel than older ones. I was wrong. It feels much heavier and sturdier than I expected and I keep picking it up to confirm this fact. Yuppp....still feels solid to me. Silly criterion for testing--but to me it makes me feel like I got my money's worth. It feels "professional," and like something that I wouldn't feel embarassed to have others see in my shop or toolbox. - Like older models it has the built-in probe holders on the back. These are very useful for testing equipment for those of us with just two hands. - Frequency counter is great. While I do have a higher range bench top counter and generator, for the budget-conscious and newbie starting out in electronics this is fantastic: it will do the bulk of what your could ever want, save you buying yet another piece of test equipment, and function as a backup or secondary counter if and when you decide you wanted a devoted generator/counter. Nice feature.
What don't I love?
Not a big deal but:
- I miss the older bendable "Gumby" stand on the back of older models that could be folded over things and do double-duty as a hanger. I get that Fluke is trying to make more money from their magnetic hanging strap thingy and accessories, but playing with this proven and lovable feature seems a tad greedy. I also worry I will break the rigid plastic support integrated into the case at some point. - The leads seem cheaper quality and less flexible than older models. Granted they are still better than other brands, but not as good as the old 73III series.
As a final note, and worthy of a separate paragraph is that Fluke wisely avoided complicating the user interface and control panel. Extra features are available via startup combinations using the dial, and these are well documented in both the manual and on the back of the meter (for the popular ones). But for me the acid test is that can I play around with the interface/dial and have it all make sense without having to resort to a manual that will eventually get lost anyways. It only took me a few extra secs to realize that holding the RANGE button down made the meter revert to Auto. Originally this was something I got back to by turning the meter OFF then ON again. But after only one try I just held the RANGE button, because it seemed logical. Sure enough it worked. (I don't need no stinking manual !)
So, all in all, very minor gripes for the F115...nothing worth deducting even half a star for....especially when price is factored in.
This is not my first Fluke multimeter. I owned another for many years and someone convinced me he needed it more than I did so I sold it to him. I put up with inexpensive odd name brand meters since then but decided it was time to have a decent meter again. The Fluke 115 meter is a great compact meter. Very accurate and fast. Nice compact size yet still has a very readable clear display. Worth every penny!