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Old 06-04-2019, 05:02 AM   #1
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Which multimeter?

I need to pick up a reliable multimeter for general marine use. I believe I want auto ranging and an amp clamp. Recommendations?
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Old 06-04-2019, 05:23 AM   #2
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I have a Craftsman Model 82369 and it works OK for basic stuff and price was reasonable but forget exactly what I paid for. They are better / higher $ ones but this has done what I've needed it to do.
Just be sure to check the clamp on Amps includes DC as many do not.
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Old 06-04-2019, 05:44 AM   #3
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Hard to beat a Fluke 325 clamp meter. Will measure DC amps to 400 amps.

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Old 06-04-2019, 05:46 AM   #4
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I just ordered a Fluke 117, a really good quality overall meter with non contact which is handy. However no clamp (but not really necessary if you know how.... ac or dc). Use this one strictly for the boat. (have another Fluke at the airport).



My Klein CL700 is a cheaper one, but good one, with the clamp. Also, highly recommended, forget what I paid... around ~$75....



For a cheapy I have a $30 Etekcity Auto Ranging TRMS 6000, auto or manual range which I like and just a great meter for the cost, but poor cables and no case which is ok for me. Good enough to work well and cheap enough to have a few around.
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Old 06-04-2019, 07:16 AM   #5
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I use a Fluke 115 and have a separate cheapo clamp meter. Works for me. I rarely use the clamp meter, but when I need it, I need it. AC only. Would like to get a DC one, but the lack of it has never really slowed me down.

Fluke makes good stuff. Probably used the 115 for about 5yrs, no problems. A bit pricey, but not too bad. The earlier Fluke got killed on a sea trial when drenched in sea spray, my fault there.
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Old 06-04-2019, 07:34 AM   #6
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Fluke 323 for AC amps and AC V and DC V.
Fluke 1503 for DC testing, including shore power leakage work.

With those two, you will exceed what 90% of folks have for EL portable instruments.
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Old 06-04-2019, 07:50 AM   #7
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For the boat I have a Klein clamp on multimeter. It does everything I would ever need on the boat including AC and DC amps, its good quality and not expensive.


https://www.homedepot.com/p/Klein-To...L800/206517428


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Old 06-04-2019, 08:11 AM   #8
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I have cheap multimeters on the boat and home and have never needed anything except a frequency function one time. IMO expensive multimeters are not worth the cost.
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Old 06-04-2019, 08:24 AM   #9
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I find my mulitmeter is my personal friend, get one you like the feel of, but my choice has been Fluke, you can decide what features you need.
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Old 06-04-2019, 09:03 AM   #10
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I recommend you get one that has a lighted screen option.
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Old 06-04-2019, 09:21 AM   #11
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Temperature probes are great too. Both the fluid probe and surface probe are useful.

Worth repeating the AC and DC clamp capability. Freq meter is great too. Accurate measures between zero and one ohm are sometimes lacking.

A cheap throw away meter is great. HF gives them away with a coupon. I go through a couple a year.

A test equipment toolbox with electrical, electronic and vacuum testers is good.
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Old 06-04-2019, 09:22 AM   #12
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Which multimeter?

If the “Fluke” is too rich for your blood, an excellent option is the Blue sea one. It has a DC clamp meter function. It’s serving me well.

https://www.bluesea.com/products/811...imeter_-_AC_DC
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Old 06-04-2019, 09:29 AM   #13
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In a clamp ammeter, get one that does DC down to 10 ma. Properly used, you will debug boat DC systems many times faster than without it. Also smaller jaws are an asset, as you can get them into tight spots and wire bundles more easily. I have a Fluke and an Extech, like the Extech a little better because the jaws are smaller.
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Old 06-04-2019, 09:41 AM   #14
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Funny that in many years of working on everything I have never needed an ammeter. OHM measure is helpful for sensors and continuity.
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Old 06-04-2019, 09:48 AM   #15
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To debug earth leakage issues, a low ac range ammeter is great. Very quick to check a dozen onboard circuits once the panel is unhinged. Getting to be more common to worry with this.
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Old 06-04-2019, 10:55 AM   #16
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The ammeter can be used to trace circuit faults that are difficult any other way. And because the clamp version is non-invasive, circuits can be tested intact.
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Old 06-04-2019, 11:45 AM   #17
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You might want to sit down and right out all the different types of measurements you need to be able to make. Then look for a meter that will do it with room to spare. Ac and DC clamp is good to have. Also if you need to measure duty cycle or diodes or capacitors. Then choose a meter based on what will fit the requirements.



I do power generation for a living. So I have 7 different meters to cover my daily needs. 5 Flukes an amprobe and a sperry. Plus a couple amp clamps.
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Old 06-04-2019, 11:48 AM   #18
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clamp-on is a good feature. I've got a Craftsman that works great and i believe has a lifetime warranty. Fluke is good but they're a bit like "BMW"... you pay a lot more just for the name but IMHO they're not so much better to warrant the price hike. its not like these things break easily.
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Old 06-04-2019, 12:01 PM   #19
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Definitely Fluke. 325 ac/dc clamp amp meter and an old 20+ years old Fluke 83 multimeter that still works great. Says a lot about the durability... more expensive but I think worth the cost for the DIY...
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Old 06-04-2019, 12:04 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kchace View Post
For the boat I have a Klein clamp on multimeter. It does everything I would ever need on the boat including AC and DC amps, its good quality and not expensive.


https://www.homedepot.com/p/Klein-To...L800/206517428


Ken

I agree with this and have the exact same one in my boat toolbag. I have a Fluke at home and like this Klein just as much. Very easy to use. Will measure up to 600A DC so you shouldn't hit it's limits.
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