In the world of digital multimeters, Fluke is the uncontested champion of quality and durability. When you buy a Fluke, you can safely assume it needs a place in your will. But not all digital multimeters are the same, even when they come from the same brand. One of Fluke’s latest introductions is the 110-series, which features four different models: The Fluke 114, Fluke 115, Fluke 116, and Fluke 117.
The 110 series is a unique to the Fluke brand. It tries to find a balance between Fluke’s superior engineering quality and the demand for simplified models that serve a specific audience. The 110 series is designed to offer limited functionalities of their digital multimeters to professionals and DIY-ers who can’t justify splurging on full-on industrial equipment.
One of the ways Fluke lowers the price on this series is by manufacturing their products outside of the US. Fluke usually manufactures all their products within the USA, but the 110 series is made in China instead. Another way the models from the 110 series are more attractively priced is through specialization. Each of the different models have very specific features that makes them appealing to a certain audience.
In the comparison review below, we will go through each of the models and see what makes them so useful for their specific purpose. At the same time, we’ll keep a close eye on the engineering quality. With the changes Fluke has made to bring these multimeters to a wider market, do they still have the accolades of other models?
|Digital Multimeter||Key feature||Additional feature||Perfect for||Price|
|AutoVolt function chooses AC or DC voltage automatically||Exceptional engineering quality for affordable price||Anyone looking for the single best multimeter for specific and limited uses||Buy it now|
|All-round functionality gives Fluke quality for affordable price||True-RMS reader||Professionals working with light equipment or behind the box||Buy it now|
|Built-in thermometer and ability to measure microamps||Low input impedance eliminates possible false readings due to ghost voltage||HVAC professionals, but hardly anyone else.||Buy it now|
|Contactless readings and includes AutoVolt option||Combines electricity-focused features of other models||Electricians||Buy it now|
An overview of the Fluke 114
The Fluke 114 isn’t just the first one in the series, but also the simplest model. Because of this, it’s also the cheapest model we will discuss today. In fact, it’s one of the cheapest Fluke multimeters around. But just because it’s simple and affordable doesn’t mean it can’t pack a punch.
The Fluke quality can be seen in some of the basic features. The large backlit 6,000-count LCD display updates four times per second and includes a bar graph on the bottom that updates 32 times per second. Because of the automatic AC/DC voltage selection, this multimeter is fast and easy to operate with one hand. Switching jobs includes much less hassle with these functions. It’s also reassuring that the Fluke 114 is CAT-III certified up to 600 volts.
When we screw open the 114, we can’t find a clear visual difference between this stripped-down model and the higher-priced Fluke models. Any efforts to keep these models affordable did not seem to affect the quality of the engineering. It feels sturdy like other Fluke models, and it is easy to operate with one hand. If you’re planning to use it with one hand, you can also consider the magnetic hanger that’s available as an accessory.
While the Fluke 114 offers great quality and a remarkable price, it does suffer from some limitations. It is the only multimeter in this series that’s not a True-RMS multimeter, which means that it can’t read distorted waves. It also has a very limited amount of modes available and is missing features such as capacitance and diode tests that can be found on digital multimeters in a much lower price range. These missing features make the Fluke 114 the most stripped-down multimeter we’ll discuss in this article.
The Fluke 114 does a few things and does them very well. If your needs are limited to what the Fluke 114 has to offer, there is no single better multimeter you can buy. This little yellow box is packed with quality engineering and will last you forever. The AutoVolt option that automatically selects AC or DC voltage can be an attractive distinguishing feature.
An overview of the Fluke 115
The gap between the Fluke 114 and Fluke 115 is quite noticeable. Where the Fluke 114 is a compact, sturdy multimeter with limited options, the Fluke 115 has a wide variety of test modes and possibilities. It can do pretty much any electrical test you can think of and doesn’t lack any of the great engineering that we found in the 114 and higher-end Fluke models.
A quick look at the Fluke 115 already tells you that it has more to offer than its little brother. There are more options around the main dial and an extra port for your leads. By adding the capacitance and diode tests, this model becomes an all-round multimeter that fulfills most electrical needs. Because of its CAT-III rating up to 600 volts, it’s a great choice for electrical professionals who work behind the box.
The Fluke 115 is also a True-RMS meter, so you can use it with distorted waves, too. Other than these differences, we find the same specifications on the 115 that we did with the 114. There is the same quality of engineering, the same specifications on the LCD display, and they feel and weigh just the same.
Although the Fluke 115 is more robust than the 114 in a lot of ways, it won’t replace the industrial models that can be used before the box or on big industrial equipment. The features are focused on the work behind the box. While the Fluke 115 will be the standard professional tool for many field technicians and electricians, it is not the heavy lifter some professionals will need.
The Fluke 115 is a great all-round multimeter. It offers most of the standard features that come on digital multimeters, has the Fluke quality engineering, but still won’t cost you an arm and a leg. This all makes it the perfect multimeter for professionals working behind the box or with light equipment, or even the DIY-ers who wants to buy one multimeter in his life that will always provide excellent measurements.
An overview of the Fluke 116
The Fluke 116 is different from the others in the 110 series. Its features make it specifically interesting for HVAC professionals. Not only does it offer the standard measurements that the 115 also offers, it has a built-in thermometer and can measure microamps to test flame sensors. Aside from those specific functionalities, it still offers the Fluke multimeter quality and a wide variety of standard tests.
This specific combination of features makes it the perfect meter for HVAC professionals. Not only do you need the built-in thermometer and ability to measure microamps, you also need a highly reliable digital multimeter. The Fluke 116 offers both in one. Like the other models, it has a large 6,000 count display, a sturdy design that allows one-handed operation, and an outstanding engineering quality when you take a look under the hood. It is also CAT-III certified and offers low input impedance, allowing you to read weak signals and eliminate false positive readings due to ghost voltage.
There is hardly anything missing from the Fluke 116, but the optional accessory of a magnetic hanger will feel less optional for HVAC professionals, so it would have been nice if it were included. But when it comes to the functionality and durability of the model itself, there is no reason for any HVAC professional to buy another multimeter.
The Fluke 116 is the most specialized multimeter in this comparison article. It is built for HVAC professionals and therefore less appealing to other audiences. The price will be on the high end for a hobbyist, and the professional working with electricity would rather opt for the 115 behind the box, or for the 117 with its extra capabilities.
An overview of the Fluke 117
The Fluke 117 is the heavyweight in this series. It has the biggest capacity and the highest price tag. At the same time, it has more to prove, too. This model is designed for electricians working before the box and those working on light industrial equipment. It has the most similarities to the Fluke 115 but has a few nice extras that make this particular model worth a look for the electricity professional.
The most notable feature is the non-contact voltage detection. This allows you to get a reading from a live wire without touching it. As you can imagine, this is a life-saving feature if you’re working with live wires or before the box. Like the Fluke 114, this model has an AutoVolt function, which will automatically select AC or DC voltage, allowing you to use your hands for your actual work.
Aside from these special features, it offers all the usual tests you expect to find on a multimeter. It also offers the ghost voltage detection that the Fluke 116 had and is a True-RMS meter. It therefore combines the most useful electrical options from the other models and adds some special features as well.
While the Fluke 117 all the options you expect in a digital multimeter, it doesn’t distinguish itself in ranges or capacities. Like the 115, it has a CAT-III rating up to 600 V, but the ranges do not differ from the 115. For someone looking to make a leap forward from the 115, the 117 might be too close. Other Fluke models naturally offer these ranges and capacities, but do not have the money-saving features that the 110 series can offer.
The Fluke 117 is made for electricians. Any electrician who doesn’t need a range of 1,000 V can buy a Fluke 117 and never have to buy another multimeter. It does every electricity trick the other models do, but adds the contactless readings and has the AutoVolt option on a much better model. For the hobbyist or DIY-er, there are probably plenty of multimeters around for better value. Unless you have the budget to get a professional model for your non-professional needs, the 115 or 114 might serve you better.
The 110 series from Fluke has clear benefits. It allows people on a budget to get the quality and durability of a Fluke, without paying full price. The difference between the American-made and these models made in China is neglectable but can be a personal preference. Professionals looking for an all-inclusive model might dislike the specialization of these multimeters, but any HVAC professional will be glad there is a Fluke specifically designed for their work.
If you’re looking to buy a multimeter and you know what you need, chances are one of the four models in this comparison review will satisfy them. If you’re not quite sure what you’re going to use a multimeter for, but you want to rely on quality tools, the Fluke 115 is a great all-round tool. The Fluke 114 is the perfect multimeter for limited use, while the Fluke 117 has a few extras that make working with electricity a lot easier. Out of all of them, the Fluke 116 is most specialized, focusing almost exclusively on HVAC specialist.
In the comparison table below, we have outlined the specific features for each model one more time:
|Feature||Fluke 114||Fluke 115||Fluke 116||Fluke 117|
|Ghost voltage detection||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|Contactless voltage detection||No||No||No||Yes|