A meter is a tool, and one of my rules with tools is to buy the best quality tools that are available. There are rare exceptions, but they are just that, exceptions.
During some idle time, I got to wondering what the options were for a person buying a meter in this day and age. There is the top of the line Fluke 87 for $350, and there are things like the well reviewed Innova 3320 for $20. Is it worth paying over 15 times as much for the Fluke 87 and why? What is available in between?
A quick look on Ebay shows plenty of Fluke model 77 meters for prices in the $50 to $100 range. I would grab one of those before a new inexpensive no-name meter.
CAT 1 - safe for use in equipment with transformer derived power. CAT 2 - safe for use on AC power outlets. CAT 3 - safe for use in braker panel. CAT 4 - safe for use in meter boxes and outdoor power lines.It is unclear what the CAT rating of my old Fluke 77 is. Mine is not even a series II (there are also III and IV). It should probably considered CAT 1, but I use it for CAT 2 all the time. The low current range is unfused. The newer Fluke 77-III is CAT 3 to 600 volts.
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