Fluke 101 – True Review [After 3 Months Of Use]
The Fluke 101 is just what it sounds like: a basic Fluke model. It lives up to expectations, which means that you can now buy a real Fluke with limited options for a great price.
When you’re looking to buy a digital multimeter, the choice can be overwhelming. At the same time, a few minutes of research will point you to one brand: Fluke. Fluke is a household name in the digital multimeter world, and for good reason. Its engineering quality, measurement precision, and durability are the industry standard.
Of course, with that reputation comes a matching price tag. And if you’re a professional working with electricity on a day-to-day basis, it makes sense to invest in a tool that can save your life and a ton of time in your job.
But what about the rest of us? What about the people who use a multimeter enough to invest in quality, but not enough to consider becoming a certified electrician? Is there such a thing as a Fluke 101?
About the Fluke 101
As you may suspect from the name, the Fluke 101 is a very basic digital multimeter. Its design is very straight-forward, and all six settings can be seen at first glance. But just because it looks simple doesn’t mean we should underestimate it. Fluke has a reputation to uphold, and we expect nothing less than simply done very well.
The first difference with other, more expensive, Fluke multimeters is that the 101 is made in China. This immediately reminds us of the 110-series, which presents four lower-budget alternatives that serve a specific market but don’t compromise on building quality, ruggedness, or durability. Unlike each of the models in the 110-series, however, the Fluke 101 is made for a general purpose.
Something else that immediately catches our attention is the CAT-III rating. This rating isn’t uncommon for Fluke multimeters, but not as common for the price category of the Fluke 101. A good sign, as it means that the lower price doesn’t come at the cost of safety.
Finally, the Fluke 101 doesn’t just have a pretty small price but seems just as small in your hand. It’s the lightest Fluke on the market and will probably remind you more of a smartphone than a clunky tool.
Who needs the Fluke 101?
With the price tag, the limited functionality, and even the name, the Fluke 101 aims at the general market. In other words, the Fluke 101 is made for anyone who needs a good multimeter that covers all the basics but doesn’t cost more than it needs to. The Fluke 101 is perfect for DIY electricians, hobbyists, general DIY-ers, or even as a quick tool for the professional who doesn’t want to clip a full-size version on his belt for the quick basic measurement.
That being said, its limited functionality automatically means that the Fluke 101 is out for most professionals. As we mentioned before, most professionals can afford to invest in a Fluke that’s designed for their line of work, or a heavy-hitting model like the 87-V.
Fluke 101 -- Features
Now that we’ve covered who the Fluke 101 is for and its most basic features, let’s dive into the specific features that cover the functionality of the 101. First, we’ll have a look at all the things we like about the Fluke 101, and then cover some of the drawbacks.
Things we like about the Fluke 101
On most review sites, the Fluke 101 gets a lot of praise. From our own experience, we know that the meter works as expected, but there are some things we particularly like about the Fluke 101.
The engineering quality
As we’ve discussed before, the biggest concern is whether Fluke just sliced the price on this little meter, or also cut into quality. The good news is that the Fluke 101 is no threat to the great reputation of this brand. Its engineering is superior; it feels robust, durable, and outperforms any other multimeter in this price range when it comes to measuring.
Gives you just what you need
A lot of multimeters will give you more functions than the Fluke 101. That doesn’t mean you’ll use them. If you’re looking around for digital multimeters, consider what you will really need them for. If the Fluke 101 covers all those needs, don’t get a multimeter that offers you more. It’s better to have a tool that works great every time you use i, than one that works fine for all the things you don’t need. The Fluke 101 is the embodiment of this principle, and it’s okay to appreciate that.
Perfect ‘second’ multimeter
When you work with multimeters on a regular basis, you’ll probably find yourself wishing you had a small pocket meter to perform some quick measurements. The Fluke 101 is perfect for this. The simple layout makes it even easier to perform a quick measurement, and the light-weight and small device simply fit in your pocket.
Things we didn’t like about the Fluke 101
With a unique price/quality balance, it’s going to be tough to find real problems with the Fluke 101. In the overview below, we didn’t consider the low number of functions, as it is the reason the 101 exists. Even aside from that, there were a few drawbacks we think you should know about.
Some measurements run a bit slow
Although all the measurements for the Fluke 101 are on point, some of them are a bit slow. Especially the continuity feature feels a bit lethargic at times.
No backlight for the LCD
The LCD screen will be hard to read at times, as it lacks the backlight that’s commonly available on multimeters and generally included on the higher-end Fluke models.
Fluke 101 Alternative (My pick after some time of use)
If you ready to spend more on the multimeter, one of the best picks is from the same brand (Fluke) -- Fluke 107 (TOP choice from 100 series Fluke multimeters) -- Check our side by side review on these two Fluke multimeter models here! Also, suggest checking user reviews from Amazon.com.
If you’re in the market for a multimeter that does the important things better than any other multimeter, the Fluke 101 is made for you. If you’re looking to get a great quality multimeter that does a lot of things well, Fluke’s other models might be a better fit.
The Fluke 101 is exactly what it promises to be: a digital multimeter with the engineering quality of a Fluke, the functions of a basic model, and a price tag that gets you the real deal while still being a great deal, too.