Fieldpiece HS33 Review
The Fieldpiece HS33 is little more than a standard tool for HVAC professionals. With its very specific features and wide range of accessories, it is made for one group of technicians. This also means that people looking for a more all-round digital multimeter should look elsewhere. Other multimeter options are available that offer a wider variety for the same price, or less. As a basic model, there are a few missing features on the HS33 that are compensated on the more extensive models in the series. Coupled with the stellar performance, this basic multimeter is the ultimate digital multimeter for the beginning HVAC professional or apprentice. The weathered professional that has a better idea of what he wants and how he’ll use it might want to consider splurging on the Fieldpiece HS33’s bigger brothers, the HS35 and HS36.
Fieldpiece is a company that makes tools specifically for HVAC professionals. One of the tools that HVAC technicians cannot live without is their multimeter, and that’s why Fieldpiece offers the HS33. This digital multimeter is specifically designed for HVAC technicians and the most basic model out of the Fieldpiece HS range.
But if you’re looking for an HVAC multimeter, the Fieldpiece HS33 isn’t your only option. What about this digital multimeter is different from all your other choices? To make your decision-making process a lot easier, we’ve listed the most important characteristics for this digital multimeter and weighed the pros and cons in the article below. Finally, we’ll look at some alternatives for people who are looking to buy a digital multimeter.
Who is the Fieldpiece HS33 multimeter for?
The Fieldpiece HS33 is specifically made for HVAC professionals. Because Fieldpiece is a company that focuses on delivering tools and equipment to HVAC technicians, their multimeter comes with a ton of experience built into the multimeter. The best example of this HVAC-specific design is the wide range of accessories that comes with the HS33 and eliminates the need for bringing any other meters into the job.
Aside from these specific features, the Fieldpiece HS33 also has many of the basic features we expect to see in a digital multimeter. It measures AC volts, DC volts, capacitance, and resistance. On top of that, it can measure temperature up to 1000⁰F. The leads can be stored with the meter itself, so you don’t have to spend the first five minutes of the job looking for and untangling your leads. With a built-in magnetic hanger, it’s also easy to perform your tests hands-free.
What’s included with the Fieldpiece HS33?
The Fieldpiece HS33 comes as a pretty extensive kit. Aside from the basic stick multimeter, a 400A Amp clamp is included, as well as a carrying case, silicone test leads, alligator lead extensions, and of course a 9-volt battery and a manual.
Overview of features
Aside from the very basic features, we discussed above, a fancier feature that might be attractive is the non-contact voltage meter, which allows you to test voltage without having to touch a live wire (with the multimeter). The most specific feature we find on the HS33 is the Flame Rectifier Diode test, for when the flame diode goes out.
When we look at the meter itself, it feels sturdy. Because it weighs well over a pound and a half, it will feel heavier than a normal multimeter, and heavier than most stick meters, too. In spite of this, it fits nicely in your hand and feels very ergonomic. The dial that selects the different features on the meter is prominent, but well-balanced so that using it with one hand is a real option.
The performances of the Fieldpiece HS33 are good, and every test works as it should. A downside to this multimeter, however, is the lack of a backlight, which means that the meter will be harder to use in crawlspaces and poorly lit areas. Another drawback is that there is no auto-ranging feature, which means that you’ll spend some time adjusting the settings to fit the job.
How to get the most out of the Fieldpiece HS33
It may sound strange, but one of the main reasons to buy a Fieldpiece stick meter is because of the things that do not come with the Fieldpiece HS33. With its slim design and accessory head jack on top, you can fit any of the Fieldpiece accessories on top of the HS33. This means that you can switch functions in a heartbeat and don’t have to bring a range of other meters but use the small accessory on the one-meter you’re already bringing.
The most exciting accessories are the air velocity and temperature accessory head, which will save you a whole lot of time (and space in your bag) when you’re dealing with heating, cooling, or ventilation systems. Another accessory is the dual head manometer, which can help you measure pressure by simply clicking an accessory on the multimeter. The one accessory that’s already included with the Fieldpiece HS33 is the 400A Amp Clamp.
Alternatives for the Fieldpiece HS33
While Fieldpiece is a company solely focused on providing tools to HVAC technicians, the Fieldpiece HS33 isn’t the only multimeter that’s aimed at this group of professionals. One of the best-known examples of an alternative multimeter for HVAC purposes is the Fluke 116. This multimeter is wildly popular among HVAC professionals and is more usable as a standalone multimeter, as well. At the same time, it lacks the extra options that Fieldpiece offers with their many accessories that simply clip onto the Fieldpiece.
For someone who’s looking for a bit more in their multimeter, the other models in the Fieldpiece HS3X range might offer a solution. The Fieldpiece HS35, for example, offers the auto-ranging feature that is missing on the HS33, and the more extensive HS36 also offers a backlight in its screen – the other missing feature on the HS33. The HS33 is clearly the basic model that Fieldpiece offers, and it’s understandable why it is used in many classrooms. If you’re learning to use a multimeter for HVAC purposes, starting out with a manual range might not be a bad idea.