The Fluke 87 is probably the best multimeter in range of $300.00 to $400.00. And the most expensive models can cost well over $500.The Fluke Series 5 multimeters such as 87-8/E, 83-5, and 87
-5 Digital Multimeter have equal or better troubleshooting characteristics, measurement functions, power distribution, resolution and accuracy to troubleshoot more complications in electronics, electro-mechanical accessories and equipment, and plant automation. The Series 5 operates quite similar to the classic Series 3, but with more convenience, problem solving power, impact protection and safety. The Series 5 comes with a lifetime warranty, so that is a bonus.
The Fluke 87 is a top of the line digital multimeter that can do all of the functions Fluke 117 does. The first thing that catches your eye with the Fluke 87 is that it looks a totally different from the previous Series 3. But the only thing different is the rubber case. So, the actual multimeter is exactly the same shape and dimensions as the old one when you take it out of the rubber case.
The basic specifications are: 4-1/2 digit mode for precise measurements (20,000 counts), 0.05 % dc accuracy, and 6,000 counts, 3-3/4 digits. The Fluke 87 is the world's most popular industrial handheld digital multimeter. It is the standard all other digital multimeters are judged by.
Some other improvements include: large LCD display with bright, two-level backlight, battery access door on the back so you do not have to unscrew the case to change the battery which was a really bad issue with the previous version.
Unfortunately, there are several downsides to the new Fluke 87 multimeter. They have replaced the perfect old flexible tilting casing which; the user could use this feature to hang the unit up on the wall or tilt it to just the right angle he actually needs. Now they've got a new plastic bail. And this new tilting bail is not nearly as good as the old one. Talking about power on options, usually the Fluke has written on the back what the power on options are, but this new one doesn't have. It says: "Refer to manual for additional capabilities". Frankly, this is a huge minus for the Fluke.
Basic DC accuracy of the Fluke 87 is 0.05 %+1 of reading. And that is absolutely perfect. The key figure is the +1 count. A lot of inexpensive multimeters are also 0.05% but they'll are +4 or +5 counts. This allows it to stand out from the competition and delivers unique advantages in various applications.
The digits are much bigger than of the one in the previous series. The digits are bright and elegantly styled and can be seen even in direct sunlight. The display is one of the best features of this digital multimeter. The backlight is very noticeable, even in total darkness, and enables the user to read the screen at arm's length.
Also a big improvement over the Series 3 is that the user can now switch to 4.5 digit display mode without having to turn the unit off. Now you just hold down the light switch for two seconds and bingo, you are in a 4.5 digit display mode. This is really handy. And the user can switch back, of course, any time he wants and he doesn't have to change ranges or switch the multimeter off.
Other relevant features include auto and manual ranging, built-in thermometer, optional magnetic holder, and removable holster with built-in probe and test-lead storage. The Fluke 87 can withstands dangerous and unpredictable eight thousands volt spikes caused by load switching and faults on industrial circuits.
It also features peak capture mode. The user can switch it in a high-speed peak capture mode and it captures very fast transients down to 250 Âµs. This is handy for problem determination, performance tuning, troubleshooting, and more. The Fluke 87 also measures capacitance. It measures frequency but it only goes to 200 Kh which is not very good.
The screen updating is very fast on this multimeter. It is a four times per second in a 6,000 count mode and it only drops to 3 times per second in a 4.5 digit mode. So, it is a really fast responsive multimeter. It is probably one of the best on the market.