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Finding a multimeter requires you to choose a reliable option for your particular needs. Fluke 87V and Fluke 179 are two recommendable alternatives in this market. The Fluke 179 boasts a 6,000 count, with the 87V alternative countering with 20, 000. This Fluke 87V vs. 179 review is designed to help you identify the various differences and similarities between these two products. 

Working on electronic equipment requires the collection of a variety of tools to aid with the repair and maintenance processes. Multimeters can be a crucial companion when it comes to the diagnosis and clearance of electronic errors within such systems. Finding one might not be as easy as it seems, however, as you will need to choose one with the appropriate features for your needs. The Fluke series offers a range of reliable models in their line, with the 87V and 179 representing two favorite options in the market. This Fluke 87V vs. 179 review takes a closer look at both products, with regard to the benefits and features they entail.

Differences between Fluke 87V and Fluke 179 – How do they compare?

Model Fluke 87V Fluke 179
Relative Mode Yes No
Maximum Temp 1090°C (1994°F) 400°C (725°F)
Motor Drive Measurement (MDM) Yes No
Minimum Current (AC & DC) 0.00010 mA 0.01 mA
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Fluke 87V vs. Fluke 179: What is the difference?

Accuracy and Readings

The Fluke 179 beats its counterpart when it comes to the accuracy of readings, especially when operating at temperatures below freezing point. On the other hand, the 87V model features a maximum temperature of 1994°F, which is significantly higher than the 725°F offered with 179. Fluke 179 comes with a filter mode that helps you view readings when dealing with a particularly high fluctuating input. The Fluke 87V offers an easier solution in this department, as it features an Auto Hold button that locks on to a stable reading when activated.

The 87V also comes with additional features that are not present in its 179 counterpart, such as power surge risk reduction, which prevents the device from potentially overloading during readings. It also comes with a dual play resolution that allows you to identify any minor variations that occur in the data.

Build and Quality

Both the Fluke 87V and 179 offer excellent quality with their lines. Their digital platform ensures that even first-time users can comfortably find their way around the various features. It also enhances the ease with which one can record the readings that occur. They are light and easy to carry around, with the Fluke 179 weighing in at 2.7 pounds upon arrival, while its 87V counterpart comes in a pound lighter at 2.6. Both products come with an inbuilt thermometer and can function effectively in noisy environments. They also feature CAT IV 600/ CAT III 1000V safety ratings and come with a dependable warranty that features an extended period. Their dimensions are ideal for one-handed use, measuring at 10.6 x 6.3 x 3.6 (inches).

Industrial Capacity

Though both the Fluke 179 and 87V represent excellent alternatives for diagnosis on electronic systems, the particular environment intended for your device can influence the final choice. The 179 may offer higher accuracy with its readings, but it will mostly be useful in no-pressure situations. If you’re planning on working multiple vehicles per day, for example, the 87V is your best alternative. Its Auto Hold feature allows you to determine readings at a faster pace when dealing with high fluctuations. It also comes with additional features, including Motor Drive Measurement, Duty Cycle, and Peak Hold alternatives. It possesses a higher digital display count at 4.5”, as well as a long battery life which is ideal for extended use. If you are examining multiple devices a day, then the Fluke 87V will definitely be better suited for your needs.

Additional Components

The supporting instruments that come with purchase are also a significant issue to consider when choosing a suitable multimeter. Fluke 179 comes with a variety of items, including a 9V battery, thermocouple probe, magnetic hanger, and test leads, to name a few. If you plan on acquiring your multimeter for occasional use, then these additions are a great deal to be considered. Unfortunately, acquiring the 87V alternative will mean that you’ll have to purchase most of these additional components separately. The 87V is mainly designed for industrial implementations, meaning the device is unlikely to be stored in one area for an extended period. It can be argued that these intentions render the inclusion of extras such as an integrated holster rather benign.

Count Mode

If you’re looking for higher accuracy with the readings, then you might want to opt for the Fluke 87V, which offers a count of 20, 000. It should be noted, however, that this feature is mainly for those with particular needs for their readings. The 6000 count offered with the 179 is still a great alternative to implement for regular requirements. It offers an extra digit at voltage ranges most favorable for electronic appliances. The 20, 000-count goes a step further by providing an extra digit when it’s under 2000 counts. This means that if you have a reading of 120v, for example, then it would be displayed as 120.12 rather than 120.1. The 6000 count offers a fractional reading until the 599.9v threshold.

Recalibration and Ranging

A major handling advantage of the Fluke 179 is that it comes with closed cased recalibration features. This means that you don’t have to go through the overbearing process of opening up the back every time you wish to perform this function. Both the 179 and 87V provide manual and automatic ranging modes for the user, as well as a minimum and maximum mode that efficiently records the changing values involved. The quick-response auto-ranging capabilities of the 179 make it suitable for working with a variety of drives and motors. The smoothening mode featured in both the 179 and 87V prevents noisy signals from affecting the data collected.

External Interference

As mentioned earlier, one of the aspects that should be taken into consideration when choosing a multimeter is the environment it will be placed in. The kind of surroundings within which the device will function may affect its performance levels in some cases. Both the 87V and 179, for instance, are well equipped to function efficiently in high decibel surroundings. However, the Fluke 87V can tend to perform poorly in areas where the temperature is below freezing point. It is also prone to cell phone interference, which means you will have to be out of touch sometimes when working with the device. It should be noted that the Fluke 179 doesn’t portray any such weaknesses. However, it’s also unable to operate at high temperatures, featuring a threshold of 400°C, which far less significant than 87V’s 1090°C.

Enhanced Visual Assistance

The success of your endeavors will depend on the quality of your readings. Both the Fluke 87V and 179 come equipped with a variety of features to assist with this aspect. Their large screen displays are combined with an analog bar graph for those who would like to collect in-depth data. The 179 comes with a filter that allows you to read highly fluctuating inputs, while the 87V alternative features an Auto Hold system that locks on to a stable reading when requested. Both products also come with a backlight, which is an excellent addition when working in dimly lit or enclosed spaces. The Fluke 87V also comes with a dual display resolution that further enhances your capability to identify subtle changes within the readings produced.

The Fluke 87V vs. 179 Review – Pros and Cons

Fluke 87V

The Fluke 87V is an excellent option for individuals in need of a multimeter for industrial purposes. At a weight of just 2.7 pounds (including shipping weight), this device is a great alternative for individuals looking for flexible portability. Its features include a 20, 000 count and a minimum current of 0.00010 mA (AC and DC). It has a basic accuracy of 0.05% and can operate at a maximum temperature of 1994°F. This model was designed with the intent of reading complicated signals, which is one of the main reasons that it is so suitable for an industrial capacity.

The 87V implements an ergonomic design that is aimed at providing a more comfortable fit in the hands of its users. This may not seem like a significant aspect, but you’ll appreciate their thoughtfulness if you have to spend a number of hours per day holding this device. Its inbuilt temperature system offers another plus for the owner, as it negates the need for a different tool when addressing this topic. The multimeter’s digital format also makes the data easier to read, and it’s combined with an analog bar graph that enhances the accuracy of the data collected. This model also comes with a long battery life that allows you to work away from a power source for an extended period.


  • Comes with an inbuilt thermometer
  • Complies with CAT III 1000V/ CAT IV 600V safety measures
  • Long battery life
  • Dual display resolution


  • Comes at a slightly higher cost as compared to its counterpart
  • Prone to cell phone interference


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The Fluke 179

If you’re looking for a reliable multimeter that you can use around the house or in a few aspects of your business, the Fluke 179 offers a great option in this field. With dimensions of 10.6 x 6.3 x 3.6 inches, it features easy-flowing architecture that promotes one-hand usage. The device comes with True RMS AC designs that enhance the accuracy of measurements on nonlinear loads. Its digital display is assisted with a backlight feature that’s ideal for working in constricted spaces with dim lighting. One of the favorite aspects of its design is the fact that it can be calibrated via a panel in the front, so you don’t have to open up its case to achieve this objective.

One of the major advantages of the Fluke 179 is that it boasts higher accuracy levels than a lot of its counterparts. It’s also not susceptible to cell phone interference and can operate efficiently under severely cold conditions. This device offers a voltage range of up to 1000v and a current range that reaches up to 10A. Both automatic and manual ranging is available, allowing you to choose your preferred mode when taking readings.

In terms of safety, this model boasts an IEC rating of Category 3 for up to 1000v and Category 4 for up to 600v. This ensures that it’s capable of handling sudden power surges from the larger motor drives you might work on. The fuses on the current inputs are high-rupture inclined, and a probe read alert lets you know if you should you plug in a wrong input.


  • High accuracy reading levels
  • Durable carrying case
  • Reliable warranty
  • Automatic and Manual ranging options


  • Has a lower temperature limit at 400°C
  • Doesn’t have a low pass filter


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The Final Verdict

After a close look at both alternatives, the Fluke 179 can be said to offer the best deal for people who aren’t planning on using the device on a daily basis. Its higher accuracy levels allow for better readings, and it represents a cheaper alternative as compared to its counterpart. The 87V is a good choice when in need of an option with a range of additional features and a long battery life.


Which offers a more accurate reading between automatic and manual mode?

As a first-timer or even regular professional, opting for automatic reading is the best alternative when struggling with fluctuating data. It’s wise to remember that computers are likely to be more precise than human eyes in such matters.

Can the Fluke 179 still be used for industrial work?

Yes, it can. However, you might have a problem when looking to fulfill certain objectives, such as noting the duty cycle or switching to microamps.

Are the Fluke 87V and 179 warranties similar?

No. The Fluke 87V comes with a lifetime warranty, while its 179 counterpart only features a limited version.

Does a higher count represent better quality?

Not particularly. This feature is only helpful for individuals who may be in need of their data to be represented in a particular format.

What can I work on with my Fluke multimeter?

This device represents a general-purpose, which means that you can work on a variety of different options in the electronics field.