Best HVAC Multimeters for 2018: Reviews, Tips

Best HVAC Multimeters for 2018
PRODUCT GUIDES

If you have a heating, ventilation and air conditioning related job, you are probably interested to know what are the best models of multimeters for your job type this year.

You have come to the right place. Stick around and find out what models are top notch when it comes to HVAC multimeters and what are the pros and cons of the best HVAC multimeters in 2018.

What is the difference between HVAC and standard multimeters?

There is no difference in basic functions, however, HVAC multimeters have some additional features. The most prominent of those additional features is temperature measurement. Temperature measurement is a very much needed feature for heating, ventilation and air conditioning professionals. It enables them to check the temperature while installing or repairing boilers, pipes, heating and air conditioning.

Having all those features together, combined in one multimeter, can be very useful for the HVAC technician since they don’t need to measure just temperature but also electricity and continuity, especially when working with electric boilers and air conditioning.

Now that you know what are HVAC multimeters, feel free to dive right into this article and find out what are the best HVAC multimeters in 2018!

Best HVAC Multimeter Comparison Chart

NameAccuracySafetyEasiness of useEditor's Rating (1-5)Amazon.com listing
FLUKE-116/323 KIT HVAC Multimeter and Clamp Meter Combo KitMeasuring temperature and voltage is very precise.The outer shell is very sturdy. The insides are reinforced with several blast shields.This combo is very easy to use.
Perfect for beginners.
4.5 Buy it now
Fluke 116 HVAC multimeterCallibrated very good, but temperature measurment accuracy could be better.
Can't measure amps.
Sturdy shell, comes with a rubber casing that envelops the outside.Easy to use for begginers and experienced users.4.25 Buy it now
Fieldpiece HS33 Expandable Manual Ranging Stick Multimeter for HVAC/RCallibrated, produces highly accurate readings.Safe for use, will protect the user in case of overload.
The manufacturer could have added aditional safety features like rubber casing around the body.
At first not so easy to use.
After a short period of familiarising, very easy to use.
4.25 Buy it now
UEI Test Instruments DL369 Digital Clamp-On MeterIsn't factory callibrated.
Once callibrated DL 369 works well.
Due to the low quality of the materials that were used for body build, I wouldn't recommend exposing this multimeter to higher level of stimuli, physical and electrical.Easy to use4.25 Buy it now
Fluke 324, True RMS clamp meter with temperature and capacitance measurementsAll functions measure highly accurate results.Very high level of safety, although the plastic could be a bit sturdierExtremely easy to use and understand, even for people who have never heard of multimeters before.4.75 Buy it now
Fieldpiece SC260 Compact Clamp Multimeter with True RMSUncallibrated.
Once callibrated, results on the final decimal place will be around +/- 3 of the actuall value
Safe, made from good materials.
Lightweight despite sturdiness of build
Easy to use4.00 Buy it now

Best HVAC Multimeters for 2018

FLUKE-116/323 KIT HVAC Multimeter and Clamp Meter Combo Kit

Fluke 116/323 reviewI have decided to pick FLUKE-116/323 KIT HVAC Multimeter and Clamp Meter Combo Kit up because it has an approachable price, it is Fluke 116 and ready for use immediately, it comes with all required multimeter test leads and it has the temperature measuring test leads and, if you get a Fluke 116, a clamp meter included.

This combo kit is an excellent opportunity for users who are new in the business to start off with a full set of quality equipment that they can afford.

The level of quality of this combo is standard for Fluke. This means that products shipped in this combo will work a very long time and they will work in accordance to the high standard that Fluke company has set for themselves.

Safety

The safety of this kit absolutely amazing. The multimeters in this kit are made of reinforced plastic. The fuse is US built and will definitely protect you in case that something goes wrong.

Here’s the full list of items this combo includes:

  • Fluke 116 or Fluke 323
  • Standard multimeter test leads
  • Soft protective holster
  • Clamp meter
  • Thermal measuring probes
  • Sling for the multimeter

The only difference is that the Fluke 116 comes with an integrated DMM temperature probe and 323 doesn’t.

Pros:

Cons:

  • Calibrated and ready for use
  • Very safe to use
  • Comes with all the necessary equipment – this combo kit contains everything that a beginner needs to start working in the HVAC, including the thermal measuring probes and the clamp meter.
  • Fluke 116 is CAT III 600V certified and Fluke 323 is CAT III 600 V and CAT IV 300 V certified.

 

  • Too expensive for the level of quality
  • Standard test leads shipped in the combo can sometimes not be as accurate as they should
  • This combo is unsuitable for highly advanced, professional users.

Check the price here on Amazon.com

 

Fluke 116 HVAC multimeter

Another one of Fluke’s marvels, the Fluke 116 HVAC multimeter has earned its spot on this list of the best multimeters for HVAC field. Although with notable differences from the other products on this list, both positive and negative, this multimeter found its place on this list due to its level of quality and level of usefulness.

Features

fluke 116 reviewFeatured in the combo one the previous place on this list, Fluke 116 HVAC comes with a built-in thermometer for heating, venting and air conditioning, which is definitely good, because this multimeter is not available for purchase in a package with multimeter test leads.

When you take into account its price of around one hundred and fifty dollars that is not good. But, there is a feature that the some of the multimeters on this list don’t have.

The back light

Fluke 116 HVAC comes with a powerful back light that enables you to work in low light environments. This is very important for the best HVAC multimeter in 2018 because many HVAC professionals need to work in low light environments.

This multimeter is designed to be able to do a range of standard multimeter features.

The only thing that it can’t do is measure amps, only miliamps and that is a deal breaker, in my opinion. That is one of the most needed and most basic functions that a multimeter can have and it is a real shame that Fluke 116 can’t do that.

Ease of use

This multimeter is suitable for experienced users and for industrial settings. Like all Fluke models, the level of safety that this multimeter provides you with is up to the standard.

Fluke 116 HVAC can’t measure nano amps and amps, only micro amps. That can be a huge problem when you take into account the purpose of this multimeter.

The Fluke 116 HVAC will be easy to use for the begginer and an experienced user alike.

Safety

You need to contact the customer support immediately if you discover this and they will grant you a replacement. This is a very serious oversight for a CAT III certified multimeter.

Pros:

Cons:

  • Accurate
  • Easy to use
  • Resistant
  • Calibrated and ready for use
  • Highly resistant to falls
  • Comes with an inbuilt thermometer
  • Can’t measure amps
  • Accuracy issues with its basic function – temperature measuring

Check the price here on Amazon.com

 

Fieldpiece HS33 Expandable Manual Ranging Stick Multimeter for HVAC/R

The Fieldpiece HS33 is a manual ranging stick meter with the ability to measure temperature. Fieldpiece HS33 can measure standard and ghost voltage without contact. It comes with a one year warranty, starting from the date of its purchase. Unfortunately, this multimeter doesn’t have a backlight so it isn’t suitable for some types of industrial work and low light environments.

Accuracy

HS33 reviewThis multimeter is calibrated and the results are very precise. If you are measuring voltage, amps or temperature, you can rest assured that this multimeter is giving you a precise reading.

The extension leads work prefectly and I highly recommend this model if you need to conduct work in a high voltage environment.

Used by educational institutions in the United States

The manufacturer also claims that schools in the United States use this model for teaching HVAC students and I find that likely because of Fieldpiece HS33’s aproachable price, reasonable level of safety and the amount of features this multimeter offers.

Below the, sadly, not back lit screen, are located highly visible LED lights that serve as indicators of continuity and high voltage.

Quality of build

Fieldpiece HS33 model is made from reinforced plastic and comes with a quality fuse installed. The only problem that I have with it is the lack of additional rubber protection around the body, as seen on every Fluke’s model. That probably isn’t an issue for everyone, but since I am usually extra careful when it comes to safety, this bothers me.

Another, more important problem is the somewhat porturding dial in the middle. In the case that this multimeter falls, there is a small chance that the dial will break.

The body of the Fieldpiece HS33 is resistant to drops, but not like some of the other models on this list. The issues with temperature measuring are virtually non existant, unlike the case of some other models on this list.

The holster that comes with this multimeter could have been made out of more sturdy and more protective materials, but that is really insignificant when you realise that everything else that you recieved in this package is superb for this price range.

Ease of use

This multimeter can be a little bit complicated for the new user, but Fieldpiece HS33 is shipped with a detailed instruction manual that enables the user to understand every function that this multimeter has, and to use the multimeter with ease.

Pros:

Cons:

  • Comes calibrated and produces highly accurate readings
  • Very safe, with visible indicators of high voltage
  • Can measure without contact
  • Comes with everything needed for use
  • When you take into account everything that you gain with this multimeter, the price is insignificant
  • Somewhat complicated for new users
  • No back light
  • No additional protection
  • No auto range function
  • Portruding dial in the middle
  • Can be complicated for new users

Check the price here on Amazon.com

 

UEI Test Instruments DL369 Digital Clamp-On Meter

DL 369 multimeter is on this list because of its approachable price and its features that make it an excellent choice for the new guy in HVAC. This multimeter comes shipped with a soft case and multimeter test leads. DL 369 omes with a standard range of multimeter features like resistance, continuity and diode testing. The clamp is inbuilt in the multimeter and it can only measure AC current. The Test Instruments DL 369 is accurate, but a little bit slow on producing amperage results.

Features

  • DL369 reviewDL 369 can measure temperature, but it doesn’t come with thermal probes. If you want to use this multimeter in the HVAC niche, you will need to get those separately.
  • Once you do get the thermal probes, you will be pleased with the abilities of this multimeter.
  • DL 369 doesn’t have a backlight. This could be a problem for heating, ventialtion and air conditioning technicians that sometimes need to work in low light environments.
  • The size of this multimeter makes it very impractical for you to even hold it up in one hand and light it up with a flashlight in the other.
  • Like the previous model on this list, the DL 369 also has a very portruding dial that could easily break in case the multimeter falls.
  • The dial is easy to use, but it isn’t made of strong plastic, so that could be a problem.

Safety

In fact, the whole multimeter does not look or feel very reasurring when it comes to sturdiness. The casing is made of tougher plastic, but the way that it was put together makes it possible for the multimeter to crack in half in case it falls.

The fuse is OK, but it could and should be better.

Cost

I guess that all those features are actually in proportion to the price. This multimeter is the cheapest on this list and it is excellent for users who won’t use it in industrial settings and for users that need to use multimeters on a somewhat rare basis.

The good news is that the side of the fuse is placed against a structure that looks like a blast shield.

DL 369 is CAT III certified or at least it says that on the front side of the multimeter.

Ease of use

This multimeter is easy to use and shouldn’t be a problem to use, even for the newest in HVAC. The test leads could be a bit better, but they are, in fact, as they should be, when we take into account the price of this product.

If I were the manufacturer, I would have kicked the case that comes shipped in the package out and invested the saved money in the quality of the build materials. That would have made this product even better for the same price.

This multimeter also has a dual display and an auto-off feature that turns it off after a couple of minutes of inactivity. DL 369 comes with a three-year warranty.

Pros:

Cons:

  • Affordable price
  • Easy to use
  • The functions that this multimeter can do are executed very well
  • Functions that this multimeter has worked well
  • Three-year warranty
  • Uncalibrated
  • Low-quality materials
  • No thermal probes in package
  • Low level of safety for the operator
  • Protruding dial
  • The clamp can only measure AC current
  • The clamp can sometimes be too wide
  • Doesn’t come shipped with temperature measuring probes

Check the Price here on Amazon.com

 

Fluke 324, True RMS clamp meter with temperature and capacitance measurements

Another one on our list of best HVAC multimeters of 2018 is the Fluke 324. Although this is not a fully fledged multimeter but a clamp meter, Fluke 324 has definitely earned its place on this list. Although it is not a ‘true’ multimeter, it has all of the functions that ‘true’ multimeters have and it well outperforms some of the other products on this list.

Features

  • Fluke 324 reviewFluke 324 comes with a soft case, temperature probe and multimeter test leads with protective rubber caps.
  • Fluke 324 is small and it can fit to your hand easily. You can be confident that it will not fall out because of its ergonomical design.
  • It comes with a backlight that uses very little power.
  • This clamp meter is shipped callibrated and the results it displays are accurate and precise.

Accuracy

The temperature measurment is accurate. The output of the results of thermal measurments can be in degrees Fahrenheit or degress Celsius.

Fluke 324 has AC and DC measurement capabilities. Continuity meter produces a loud sound when it detects continuity.

Safety

In terms of safety, the Fluke 324 is CAT III 600 V and CAT IV 400 V certified.

This clamp meter is made of a thin layer of strong plastic. It could potentially break if dropped, but due to its low weight and sturdiness, I think that it is highly unlikely. The dial doesn’t have anything besides a small dot for you to grab when you want to turn it and that is a bit unfortunate. On the upside, the dial wont break so easily if dropped.

I can understand the decition of the manufacturer to leave out anything on the dial. Fluke 324 is so small and compact that any additional part would break its nice sleek sillhouette and make it visibly wider.

Fluke 324 is very easy to use, for beginners and experienced users alike.

Pros:

Cons:

  • Size
  • Affordable price
  • Accurate measurements
  • Quality of build
  • Safety
  • Easy to use
  • Small and compact size
  • Wide range of features that easily outperform multimeters in this and a bit higher price range
  • Nothing to hold on while turning the dia
  • Plastic on the body is very thin
  • Can be a bit too small for those used to standard multimeter size

Check the Price here on Amazon.com

 

Fieldpiece SC260 Compact Clamp Multimeter with True RMS

This clamp multimeter comes with a temperature probe, standard multimeter test leads, protective caps for test leads and a soft holster. It has a nice True RMS feature that makes life easier for users that require a higher level of accuracy in their measurements.

Quality back light

Fieldpiece SC260 reviewFieldpiece SC260 is equipped with a nice, powerful backlight that is very bright even in the sun.

Amazingly, the powerful backlight in this model consumes very little battery power. These are excellent news for users who need to work in dark areas or at night, as this model has the best backlight on this list.

 

Fieldpiece SC 260 can measure temperature in both Fahrenheit and Celsius scales.

Some models seem to be calibrated, while some don’t. I don’t even know how is that possible, but I think that that is just a coincidence and that the manufacturer does not calibrate them.

Features

  • This meter has all features that standard digital multimeters have. That includes continuity, amps and voltage measuring, and more.
  • Temperature measuring is not as accurate as it should be and that seems to be a significant problem for a small (around five percent) number of buyers.
  • This meter has a low battery indicator and a magnet on the back.
  • This meter is easy to use for users with different levels of experience in the HVAC field.

Safety

The level of safety of Fieldpiece SC 260 is very favorable and the Fieldpiece Company is getting really close to Fluke when it comes to this criteria. Fieldpiece SC 260 comes with a warranty.

Pros:

Cons:
  • Powerful Backlight
  • Easy to use
  • Good materials used for body build
  • High level of safety
  • Not callibrated
  • A bit overpriced for what it has to offer
  • a Wide clamp
  • Low quality of the probes

Check the Price here on Amazon.com

 

Conclusion

The most qualified multimeter on this list is the Fluke 324 True RMS clamp meter with temperature and capacitance measurements. I think that it is obvious why. This multimeter easily outperforms all other products listed here. Even though it has a few flaws, they are so small and insignificant that most of you won’t probably even notice them. The accuracy, features and quality of build are at the level of a much higher price range.

It is incredible how people at Fluke managed to put this ‘work of art’ together, make it so accurate and build it from such good materials for this price. Although the sturdiness of the body is not the best on this list, the level of protection that it offers is in the top.

If you are into heating, ventilation and air conditioning and you are looking for the best HVAC multimeter of 2018, I think that you have just found one. If I were you, I’d get one as soon as possible.

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