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Multimeters

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by Freeheelbillie, Jan 26, 2020.

  1. Jan 26, 2020 at 1:33 PM
    #1
    Freeheelbillie

    Freeheelbillie [OP] Well-Known Member

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  2. Jan 26, 2020 at 2:03 PM
    #2
    Sprig

    Sprig Well-Known Member

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    I have found inexpensive multimeters work about as well as expensive ones. If you are a pro who uses it daily then you should get the top of the line. But for us occasional users an inexpensive one will do just fine. I have 3 multimeters none exceeding $30. A friend who is an electrician brought his over one day and we measured various voltages and also resistance. My 3 meters showed the same readings as his expensive fancy meter. I don’t know anything about the particular brand you refer to but I’m sure it will work just fine.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2020
  3. Jan 26, 2020 at 2:11 PM
    #3
    Freeheelbillie

    Freeheelbillie [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Klein seems like a good way to go for the money and a respected brand.
     
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  4. Jan 26, 2020 at 2:13 PM
    #4
    0xDEADBEEF

    0xDEADBEEF River Trash Aficionado

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    Looks like one of the many anonymous Chinese ones on the market. It's probably fine.

    I keep one of the cheap ones from Sparkfun in my glovebox and it's been great.

    https://www.sparkfun.com/products/12966
     
  5. Jan 26, 2020 at 2:14 PM
    #5
    Greeny

    Greeny Well-Known Member

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    A Fluke probably won't do anything more for you/your average user than your average meter could. I have some x branded meter I got in tech school in 1987 and have used the shit out of it over the decades. I also have an expensive Fluke that I got a smoking deal on. It sits in my tool box, collecting dust because the battery died ~10 years ago and I didn't feel the need to ever put a new one in it.
     
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  6. Jan 26, 2020 at 2:14 PM
    #6
    Itchyfeet

    Itchyfeet Well-Known Member

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    I bought my Fluke 115 at a Pawn Shop for $40 with the case and manual. I rather buy a used Fluke vs. some off brand
     
  7. Jan 26, 2020 at 2:20 PM
    #7
    XSplicer62

    XSplicer62 Well-Known Member

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  8. Jan 26, 2020 at 2:24 PM
    #8
    mx07gt

    mx07gt Well-Known Member

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    shop around eBay for flukes. you can get a nice one that retails for 100+ for 30-40 bucks, what you would pay for a cheapie.
     
  9. Jan 26, 2020 at 2:27 PM
    #9
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 Vehicle Design Engineer

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    No experience with the brand in question. But as mentioned above, an inexpensive meter will be fine for most hobbyists. I had a cheap HF for years till it broke. I'm over buying cheap tools so I try to buy quality gear that will last. I use a Klein MM700, which is a well respected brand and more affordable than Fluke. You might consider the Klein MM400 as a reasonably priced basic meter:
    https://www.amazon.com/Multimeter-A...electrical+tester+mm700&qid=1580076660&sr=8-1

    One thing to note with that meter is it doesn't have the ability to measure current. May not matter for some depending on the use, but it is a pretty basic function of a multimeter to be lacking.
     
    Freeheelbillie[OP] likes this.
  10. Jan 26, 2020 at 2:37 PM
    #10
    spitdog

    spitdog Well-Known Member

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    So how do you really know if your multi meter is correct? I guess you need to buy two and compare.
    But what if the two are different. Do you buy three? When does it stop?
     
  11. Jan 26, 2020 at 2:44 PM
    #11
    Freeheelbillie

    Freeheelbillie [OP] Well-Known Member

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    The pawnshop route is a good way to go. I have scored lots of great tools that way over the years.
     
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  12. Jan 26, 2020 at 2:53 PM
    #12
    Freeheelbillie

    Freeheelbillie [OP] Well-Known Member

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  13. Jan 26, 2020 at 3:09 PM
    #13
    maineah

    maineah Well-Known Member

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    Ok two things a multi is a good thing but testing 12 volts can be tricky. A multimeter has virtually no resistance so it can give you false readings showing voltage that will pass no loads. Enter the old school test lamp. It does load a circuit so things like bad connections will become apparent. Both are valuable tools.
     
    Freeheelbillie[OP] likes this.
  14. Jan 26, 2020 at 3:17 PM
    #14
    tirediron

    tirediron Well-Known Member

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    Golden rule of tool-buying. Always buy the you can afford. Quality used tools are generally better than cheap new.
     
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  15. Jan 26, 2020 at 4:05 PM
    #15
    Freeheelbillie

    Freeheelbillie [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Thoughts...I mean they all kinda do the same thing.
    https://www.amazon.com/Digital-Circ...9Y2xpY2tSZWRpcmVjdCZkb05vdExvZ0NsaWNrPXRydWU=
     
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  16. Jan 26, 2020 at 4:27 PM
    #16
    0xDEADBEEF

    0xDEADBEEF River Trash Aficionado

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    Definitely look for something autoranging if you're new to the game, it can save you some embarrassing mistakes.

    Also, I have a fluke that I really like. Its worth every penny if you use it's features (like data logging)
     
  17. Jan 26, 2020 at 5:05 PM
    #17
    Waasheem

    Waasheem The catholic radio bear

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    The Innova brand, I've owned 2 tools. A obd code reader and a compression tester. The obd reader was just so slow, and constantly froze so I'd have to disconnect and start over. I ended up selling it and upgrading. The compression tester stopped holding pressure after about 2 years. I got the higher quality one too. So I'm done with the brand.

    For multimeters, I used a ESI for awhile, then upgraded to a Fluke. ESI makes good high quality stuff, expensive but not as high as Fluke. Fluke now has a line of meters made in China offered with a lesser warranty. If you plan to wrench for a living I'd suggest a Fluke once you can afford it. The only issues I've ever had with it was the battery died and I didn't have a spare 9v. Then it got rained on and wouldn't work til it dried out. If you just need a multimeter for personal use, you can get one less feature packed for well under 100. The meter & amp clamp I have cost me about 1k. But it can now be had for 630 because the price has dropped on both.

    For test leads, a meter will usually come with some basic leads. I used fluke leads for years, constantly replacing them when they would break internally and stop working. So I switched to Extech TL726 leads. They're better made, and have yet to fail on me. I used to wrap my leads around the meter and store it like that. I think that added to the failure of them. So I now use Nite Ize 3" gear ties to keep them wrapped up.

    Another thing to add, like anything and everything these days, be cautious you don’t end up with a counterfeit.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2020
    Tacosail likes this.
  18. Jan 26, 2020 at 5:07 PM
    #18
    DG92071

    DG92071 Well-Known Member

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  19. Jan 26, 2020 at 5:21 PM
    #19
    3JOH22A

    3JOH22A Toyota Gigolo

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    For automotive diagnostics you're more likely to reach the limitations of a DMM (vs. test light, power probe, or oscilloscope) than see any differences between good and cheap DMM brands. Get one with a DC current clamp e.g. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0721MKXBC/ because most automotive current draws exceed the ammeter's capacity on most DMMs.
     
  20. Jan 26, 2020 at 8:37 PM
    #20
    Waasheem

    Waasheem The catholic radio bear

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    I had a ESI amp clamp multimeter that worked good until it got stolen.

    My needs are 1k volts ac & dc, 1k amps ac & dc which far exceeds the needs for automotive use. It’s rare I’ll need to measure that high but I need to be able to.

    A amp clamp multimeter is nice because it adds another ability to the multimeter. Also you can clamp it onto something so you can see it. I’ve seen guys mistakenly get one that doesn’t measure dc amps, which is what you would want for automotive use.

    Fluke makes some nice ones with a big 10” clamp. Being bit of a tool junkie, it tempts me.
     
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