Multimeters are essential tools in the electrical industry. They are required for measuring two or more electrical values, especially resistance, voltage, and current. Fluke has developed two multimeters to fill this role, the 83V and the 87V. Both offer excellent features that we will be comparing. We will base our recommendation on industry needs.
The Fluke 83V is an average-responding multimeter. This means it has no true RMS capabilities. It can handle most tasks except measuring varied AC outputs accurately. It features excellent safety ratings, long battery life, and amazing build quality.
Maximum voltage is measured up to 1000 V for both AC, DC, and 10 A current. This can be maximized at 20 A for short bursts. This feature is beneficial for diagnosing motor faults.
The capacitance range is from 10 nF to 9,999 μF. Continuity testing is extremely fast and the diode tester can light up most LEDs because of its 3 V output. The device features min/max, relative, and peak capture modes to improve functionality.
Safety Rating and Battery Life
Additionally, the multimeter has an excellent safety rating with its CAT-IV to 600 V system and surge protection to 8 kV. Without this feature, there’s the potential for the meter to explode. Overload protection comes from 440 mA and 10A HRC fuses. There is also an input jack alert function that prevents users from plugging into the wrong input.
Battery life can be up to 400 hours; however, this is largely dependent on the use of the backlight. There is a default auto-off feature that turns the unit off after 30 minutes of idleness. This feature can be disabled. It features a convenient access door.
The Fluke 83 V has an excellent build. It can be dropped, soiled, and heated but still keep going. The case is tough, and the multimeter has a thick rubber boot that adds to the already solid circuit board. There is built-in probe storage in the boot as well. Shock protection is to 1 m.
The screen has a decent resolution at 6,000 counts. It updates 4 times per second. Also, it features an analog bar graph that rapidly refreshes to allow users to observe fast fluctuations or better differentiate null adjustments. The screen is also backlit, which allows for use in dark settings.
The unit comes with a limited lifetime warranty.
The Fluke 87V features true RMS capabilities. It provides users with an excellent build quality, ease of use, and amazing measurements.
When compared with the Fluke 83V, both meters feature min/max and relative modes. However, the 87V offers the better display option and features RMS capabilities whereas the 83V is deficient in both of these.
The Fluke 87V is designed to withstand falls of 1 m. It can function in a large range of temperatures, from -20℃ to 55℃. It features a glove-friendly dial and buttons for use in extremely cold weather.
However, it is not waterproof or dustproof. It does not have an IP rating. This means it is not intrinsically safe for hazardous environments. Additionally, it’s not small enough to fit in a pocket.
It features a low pass that enables the rejection of all the high-frequency noise created by the drive controller. Additionally, users can try several different methods to determine motor speed or frequency, depending on which clamp they are using.
It features a dual-display resolution. With both 6,000 count and 20,000 count display options, this multimeter offers an excellent display for users to view.
The 87V is ready for use straight out of the box. The controls are extremely easy to learn, read, understand, and adjust. It features a quick reference guide that is easy to comprehend.
Unlike many other multimeters, the 87V features the ability to measure in both μA and mA. The ability to measure in μA with resolutions of 0.1 μA, for instance, makes it easy to check flame rectification for both troubleshooting and preventative maintenance.
AC and DC voltage are both measured up to 1000 V. DC and AC are measured up to 10 A but this can be extended up to 20 A for 30-second bursts.
Safety Rating and Battery Life
This meter has ratings to CAT-III 1000 V and CAT-IV 600 V. It features 400 mA and 10 A fuse-protected connections.
Battery life is expected to be up to 400 hours.
Clearly, both meters offer excellent specifications. However, we must compare them before users make a purchasing decision. The Fluke 83V offers an excellent build quality, a high safety rating, and excellent measurement capabilities. We recommend this meter for professional electricians.
On the other hand, the Fluke 87V offers RMS capabilities, a low pass filter, and a high-resolution display. We recommend this model for professionals.