Multimeters are essential for electrical jobs as they measure multiple electrical properties. Fluke has released two excellent multimeters, the 17B+ and the 15B+. We will be comparing them based on advanced functionality and modes. We will base our recommendation on user skill level and project needs.
The Fluke 17B+ is a compact multimeter. It is easy to use and offers safe, reliable measurements. It can measure voltage, capacitance, resistance, and continuity.
The capacitance has a range up to 1,000 μF, allowing for the diagnosing of larger capacitors.
It features a min/max mode. This mode allows for the monitoring and picking up of discrepancies in a signal. Users will be able to pinpoint and hold the high and low jumps over time.
Relative mode provides the comparison of a given signal to a previously stored value. Users can zero out resistance in their leads. This will allow the performing of measurements for more accurate results.
Duty cycle and frequency can be measured when checking the current or voltage of a circuit.
One problem users may face is that the manual comes in Chinese. For those experienced with using a multimeter, this won’t be a problem but for new users, there may be a lot of confusion. However, manuals can be downloaded on the internet to make things easier.
It can measure voltage up to 1000 V, amperage from 10 A to 400 μA, and resistance to 40 MΩ. All these measurements are standard to most multimeters.
This multimeter is sturdy. It’s built to handle drops and bangs. The rear of the unit features a kickstand.
The display is backlit and large. It has a 4000-count resolution.
The unit features an automatic power-off function after 20 minutes. The backlit screen powers off after two minutes. Both of these functions can be disabled as the user prefers.
The circuit board features great protection with MOVs. Additionally, it comes with high rupture capacity fuses. It also features protection to CAT-III.
It offers great accuracy and features temperature measurement.
The downside to this unit is that it reads slowly and lacks true RMS capabilities.
The Fluke 15B+ is a multimeter with auto-ranging capabilities. It allows the measurement of continuity, AC and DC voltage, resistance, diode check, and others.
Unlike the 17B+, the 15B+ does not feature a min/max or relative mode. It also does not have a duty cycle, measure AC or DC current, or measure temperature. They do, however, both feature rugged builds.
The Fluke 15B+ features an excellent build. Its IP rating is 40. Despite being over 7” long, it is still easily managed with one hand. It comes with a holster and a durable case. There is a kickstand-like feature on the rear of the device.
It features a large, bright screen with a resolution of 4,000 count. The backlight has an auto-off function after two minutes, which can be disabled. Additionally, on the front by the screen, are the four inputs this model features.
Its AA batteries will last for up to 500 hours. But this will be determined by how much you employ the backlight. Additionally, the auto-off function turns the device off after 20 minutes, which can be disabled.
The inputs for the current are protected by fast-blow fuses. It’s 440 mA for the micro and milli-amp input and 11 A for the high-current input. Also, it is a CAT-III meter.
It can measure voltage up to 1000 V, amperage from 10 A to 400 μA, and resistance to 40 MΩ.
The downside of this model is its slowness when changing readings.
Both multimeters offer a wide range of features. We are going to break down the differences to help users make a purchasing decision. First, the Fluke 17B+ offers min/max mode, several safety features, and a sturdy frame. We recommend this model for students or hobbyists as it does not offer the features professionals need in their day-to-day operations.
On the other hand, the Fluke 15B+ does not offer a min/max or relative mode. It does however offer multiple safety features, standard multimeter measurements, and an excellent build. We also recommend this model for students or hobbyists.