The Fluke 117 vs. Fluke 115 – Choosing the perfect Multimeter

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The Fluke 117 vs. Fluke 115

A variety of practical professions such as electricians and engineers, as well as related activities such as the diagnosis of an electrical system can require a multimeter. Fluke offers a reliable line of products in this sector, with the 117 and 115 models standing out in particular. The former features low input impedance that is not present with the 115 alternative. 

Whether you’re an engineer, electrician, or are just simply looking for a multimeter for home use, taking a look at the Fluke 117 vs. 115 is an excellent way to compare your options. Both products boast excellent quality in terms of design and capacity, but there are a few differences that set them apart as well. Taking an in-depth look at the aspects afforded with both products can help you make a well-informed decision when looking to buy one for your needs. This Fluke 117 vs. 115 review is designed to offer the details required for one to identify the benefits and implications of each choice.

Differences between Fluke 117 vs. 115 – How do they compare?

Model
Fluke 117
Fluke 115
Voltage Detection
Non-contact. VoltAlert technology used in detection.
10A current measurement (ac/dc)
Battery Cell
Alkaline
Alkaline
Voltage Selection
Automatic: AutoVolt selection (ac/dc)
Max voltage 600V (ac/dc)
False Reading Prevention
Low input impedance
N/A

Fluke 117 vs. Fluke 115: What is the difference?

Additional Apps and Features

When it comes to capabilities, the Fluke 117 beats its counterpart due to the inclusion of a variety of supportive apps and features. VoltAlert technology, for example, is implemented in the application of non-contact voltage detection. It also uses an automatic system for voltage selection and a low impedance reading that negates ghost voltages – eliminating false positives in the process. These features can make its handling a whole lot easier, allowing you to collect your readings at a faster and more accurate pace. This can be ideal when working on a variety of projects per day.

The Fluke 117 also offers a flexible option when it comes to the variety of elements it can identify. Since it operates via TRUE RMS meter technology, not only is it capable of reading clean waves, but it can also identify distorted variations as well as the aforementioned ghost voltage. This feature can be highly crucial when conducting specific types of diagnostic work.

Project Viability

Both the Fluke 117 and 115 are offered as general-purpose multimeters, which makes them suitable for a variety of operations. However, it should be noted that the subtle differences included with their features can influence the more specific requirements regarding a job, so it’s essential to ensure your particular needs match with an option’s provisions. The Fluke 115, for example, is great for individuals working with medium-sized to large equipment. This makes it a viable option for occupations, such as field agents. The Fluke 117, on the other hand, is suitable for smaller devices – due to features such as its no-contact voltage detection. This can be highly useful when dealing with constricted spaces. Both products meet the CAT III safety ratings, meaning they can be utilized for anything inside your house.

Available Ranges

The capacity of both models with regard to the ranges on offer has been a concern in the market. It has been argued that the scope provided with this aspect is a poor showing, meaning it might not be suitable for a variety of specific jobs. Both the Fluke 117 and 115 measures a number of aspects, including amps (AC/DC), capacitance, frequency, and diode testing. It should be noted that some complaints have been made in this sector when it comes to the performance of the 117 alternative – as issues such as diode checks are not as reliable as one would wish. The optimal performance of this model may also be afflicted when undertaking measurements over 50 kHz. You will also require an additional tool for the recording of temperature readings.

Calibration

In cases where your Multimeter is not functioning effectively, recalibrating it is a good way to get it back on track. This task can be accomplished easily enough by following the instructions that come with the owner’s manual. You can reach this section of the system through a few presses of the right buttons, as indicated in the directions. Once there, you will use the values in the table provided on the manual to conduct the recalibration process. It should be noted that though the recalibration of ohms is a straightforward endeavor, doing the same for other values will require the inclusion of test leads with the activity.

A security system is also connected to this sector, so as to prevent any potential external interference from changing your settings. Thus, you will be required to input a code before you can access this area of the system. The initial password of a new device is 1234. However, upon your first calibration, you will be required to replace that code with one of your own. It’s crucial that you don’t forget this password, as unlocking your device can be a costly expense. It should be noted that though the calibration process is similar for all models, the codes differ between alternatives.

Voltage Detection

As mentioned earlier, the particular features of these two models will determine the most suitable alternative for your specific needs. If you happen to be working with systems or appliances that involve a variety of electrical connections, some of which are allocated in constricted spaces, then getting the Fluke 117 is ideal for such scenarios. This option includes a non-contact measurement feature that allows for the easier reading of currents in tight spaces. The feature can be a timesaver when working on smaller appliances. The Fluke 115, on the other hand, offers a more traditional alternative in this sector – with a 10A current measurement (featuring a 20A current overload for a maximum of 30 seconds). Such provisions are more practical when working with larger equipment.

Quality

The quality of both the Fluke 117 and 115 is an aspect that cannot be put into question. The providers have not skimped on the detail and attention paid in the production of these models, ensuring that both users can enjoy a satisfactory experience. Both devices are designed with an outer protective layer to ensure minimal damage when dropped. Their voltage range comes in at 600V (AC/DC), while their resistance (ohms) levels feature at 40 MΩ. These are excellent statistics for most individuals looking to complete a variety of general projects around the house. Their readings also feature minimum and maximum recordings, which allow one to note the change in values during measurement. Their CAT III 600V safety ratings make them suitable for a variety of projects found in one’s residence, while their alkaline batteries represent a reliable cell type.

Handling and Storage

One of the elements that many people don’t take into consideration involves the potential handling of the instrument involved. Issues such as how comfortably the device can fit in your hand will determine how easily it can be used. This is especially important when dealing with busy environments that might require the frequent use of this tool for your diagnostics. Both the Fluke 117 and 115 feature an ergonomic design that exhibits slight and smooth curves with the body shape. This contouring allows the tool to snuggle into the palm of your hand, enabling easy one-handed use. Its compact nature also makes sure users don’t have to struggle to get a hand around it. These devices come with a storage case that offers reliable protection against external elements when the device is not in use.

Warranty

Another important element that should always be taken into consideration is the provision of a warranty for the models involved. The kind of guarantee offered with an item can play an integral role in identifying the level of confidence a manufacturer has in that particular product. Purchasing something without a reliable warranty can be a highly expensive mistake if your device breaks down after just a few months of use. Both the Fluke 117 and 115 come with dependable warranties from their providers. The Fluke 117 comes with a three-year warranty, while its 115 counterpart features a limited provision of similar length.

The Fluke 117 vs. 115 Review: Pros and Cons

The Fluke 117

The Fluke 117 is a great multimeter option for individuals looking for a modern device capable of a variety of functions. This diagnosis tool comes equipped with a number of features that are designed to enhance its accuracy and ease of use. One of the primary aspects that stand out in this model is its application of VoltAlert technology, which is the system behind its no-contact voltage detection. This feature makes the device suitable for a range of electrical jobs, especially when dealing with constricted spaces. It ensures that the tester will still activate even if it comes within the vicinity of a livewire that’s been isolated by plastic. Such range can be a great convenience for those hard to reach places.

Its operations feature low input impedance that enhances the quality of results by negating the effects of ghost voltage. The Fluke 117 is also capable of reading both clean and distorted waves. It has been argued that the measurement ranges provided with this model are fairly limited, which can be an obstacle when working with largely varying figures in this scenario. Frequency measurements exceeding 50 kHz can also potentially impede its optimal performance levels.

Pros

  • Non-contact voltage detection features
  • Automatic voltage selection
  • Low input impedance
  • Reliable warranty

Cons

  • Doesn’t function at optimal status when dealing with measurements over 50 kHz
  • Conservative measurement range on offer
  • It’s a bit more expensive than some other alternatives in the market

 

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The Fluke 115

The Fluke 115 is a great alternative for individuals who may be looking to use the tool as part of a DIY or hobby-based project, or field agents working with sizeable equipment. This alternative doesn’t come with as many features as its counterpart, but it still offers reliable readings for a variety of situations in this sector. The device comes with an ergonomic design, which allows the tool to fit more comfortably in your hand during use. Its digital display is supported by a bright backlight that ensures you can read the figures produced in dimly lit surroundings. This Multimeter is capable of measuring voltage of up to 600V as well as a 10A current (AC/DC).

The device comes equipped with a rubber holster that absorbs any impact experienced when it’s dropped. It also features a CAT III 600V safety rating, which means that it’s suitable for various projects around your home. One of the complaints related to this model is that the display screen doesn’t portray the expected clarity at certain angles. This can make it hard for individuals to read the measurements from somewhat twisted positions.

Pros

  • Great value for money due to its affordability
  • Safe to use with household appliances/ CAT III 600V safety ratings
  • Ergonomic design
  • Protected calibration access

Cons

  • Limited warranty
  • Doesn’t have as many features as its counterpart
  • Restricted display vision from odd angles

 

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The Final Verdict

All in all, if you’re looking for a suitable option between the Fluke 117 vs. 115, then considering your particular needs is an issue that can’t be ignored. The Fluke 117 is great for fields involving a great deal of electrical work in constricted spaces, such as electricians. This is due to the no-contact voltage detection that is featured with its provisions. Individuals working with larger appliances such as field agents would do well with a Fluke 115. Its counterpart, the Fluke 117, however, takes the lead due to the additional features that come with its design.

FAQs

Can the Fluke 117 do all the things that 115 can?

Yes. Essentially, the Fluke 117 can be viewed as a more current model of its counterpart, boasting additional features.

What’s the difference between the warranties on offer with the Fluke 117 vs. 115?

The Fluke 117 features a more comprehensive coverage with its three-year warranty, as it doesn’t come in a limited format as compared to the 115. Limited warranties have a number of clauses that restrict the coverage offered for the product.

Which is the best alternative for running diagnostics around the house?

Both options feature CAT III 600V safety ratings, making them adequate for household use. The Fluke 115 would be your best option if this is the only use intended.

Can I measure temperature with these models?

No. You will need a separate device to measure temperature with both the Fluke 117 and 115. There are other models in the market, however, that offer this feature.

Can I switch to a manual reading option?

Yes. Both alternatives offer an automatic and manual mode when it comes to measurement activities.

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