Multimeters are a necessity for those working in the electrical field. Fluke offers two models, the 87V Max and the 28 II, that feature excellent specifications. We will compare the two based on measurements, durability, and resolution. We will base our recommendation on project needs.
Fluke 87V Max
The Fluke 87V Max features a tough and solid build quality. Consequently, this makes it rather large to handle. It was tested and can survive a 13-foot drop due to its strong shell. It has a rating of IP67, which means it is water and dust resistant. This meter also stands up well to temperature and humidity.
The Fluke 87V Max features a CAT-IV category rating. It comes with screw on alligator clips, a temp sensor, and high-end collapsible TL175 leads.
All of the ranges are measured with generous scales:
- Voltage up to 1000 V
- Amperage up to 20 A in bursts
- Resistance up to 50 MW
- Capacitance from 0.01 nF to 10,000 mF
Its accuracy is the best you will get with a handheld multimeter.
This multimeter features two backlights at different levels of brightness. It has a 20,000-count display. It features a dual display that shows readings where 6,000 count resolution is available. The digits are large and easily readable. Its buttons are also backlit.
The Fluke 87 V Max features a temperature sensor, allowing users to measure with or without the included probe. There is a type-K thermocouple that allows for direct and accurate measurements. The meter will operate between temperatures of -40°F to 131°F in bursts. Humidity tolerance is up to 95%.
This multimeter operates on three AA batteries, which operate for approximately 800 hours before needing replacement. There is a 30-minute auto-off feature that helps save power but users can also choose to disable this function.
Fluke 28 II
The Fluke 28 II is built to high specification with a durable exterior. It comes with True RMS accuracy which is essential for users testing current and AC voltage on variable speed drives that do not have linear signals.
The Fluke 87 Max is basically an upgrade of the Fluke 28 II. It offers all of the same features but at an upgrade. They both offer resolution up to 20,000 counts and test voltage up to 1000 V. The 87 Max works in a wider range of temperatures and has been drop-tested at higher levels.
Additionally, the 28 II has an extended bandwidth for AC voltage frequency. This makes it useful for testing systems with variable speed drive. It also features a low-pass filter that blocks out higher frequencies. The impedance mode offers the ability to better test sensitive electronics.
It can test voltage ranges up to 1000 V. Current can be tested up to 10 A on both AC and DC currents. It can also test up to 20 A but only for short periods of 30 seconds at a time. There is also a DC mV range. Capacitance reaches down into the nF range.
Temperature and Humidity
The Fluke 28 II is fully functional in freezing temperatures down to 5°F. Using the included type-K thermocouple, users can measure temperature. High humidity is no problem for this device. Additionally, it was drop tested from 10 feet.
The screen has a high resolution setting up to 20,000 counts. Its screen displays large digits. The buttons and dial selector are large and allow for easy operation. Its screen and buttons are both backlit for ease of use in the dark. The screen is dual count, featuring 6000-count and 20000-count selection. Capacitance and frequency do not work on the high-resolution mode.
The device features a relative mode that negates test lead resistance. There is a min/max mode that picks up low and high values automatically. Additionally, there is a smoothing mode that flattens out quickly changing signals.
It has military-grade specifications when it comes to durability. It is waterproof and dustproof to IP67 specification.
The Fluke 28 II operates on three AA batteries. These batteries offer up to 800 hours of life with standard use. This device features an auto-off function to preserve battery life. This function can be disabled at the user’s discretion. It also features a smoothing mode, high impedance mode, and calibration mode.
Clearly, both multimeters offer excellent features for measuring various electrical values. However, we must differentiate between the two before users make a purchasing decision. The Fluke 87V Max offers 13-foot drop protection, is dust and water resistant, and can work in freezing temperatures. This model is an excellent choice for professionals.
On the other hand, the Fluke 28 II only offers 10-foot drop protection and cannot work in temperatures as cold as the 87V Max. It is however, dust and water resistant, features excellent resolution, and can measure temperature. We recommend this device for those who need to measure electrical values in a DIY setting.