Fluke Corporation, being operational for more than 7 decades now, is indeed a reliable brand that is well-known for its robust, accurate, and long-lasting multimeters.
But sometimes, filtering out its multimeters becomes a difficult task especially for beginners who are just getting started. Thatâ€™s where our efforts come into play!
In this article, weâ€™ll compare Fluke 117 vs 179 in-depth to help you decide, which one is better than the other and why?
Quick comparison for Fluke 117 vs 179 is that the 117 is less expensive but only suitable for small levels of tasks while the 179 is a more advanced unit designed for industrial inspection but is very expensive in comparison with the other.
The above claim is explained in depth in this article, so stick with it.
True RMS digital multimeters: Both Fluke 117 vs 119 are true RMS digital multimeters. Thus, you can analyze non-linear signals with any of the above multimeter units. This factor gives Fluke meter an edge over other non-RMS multimeter units from other brands.
High-resolution LCD: Just like any other Fluke multimeter, both Fluke 117 and 179 have awesome resolution with pretty high end Both units have high-resolution LCD on which the thick digital display is pretty easy to read and by turning on the backlights, one can brighten up this display to allow old technicians perform their job on-time.
Carrying Case: Both Fluke 117 and 179 doesnâ€™t come with any carrying case. Still, you can get a separate carrying case separately. If you really want to easily handle the multimeter, my advice would be to definitely go for this carrying case.
Auto/Manual Ranging multimeter: Fluke 117 and 179 are auto-ranging multimeters that suit beginners as they wonâ€™t have to turn the knob for every other reading. However, these units might not be right for old fashioned technicians who like operating the device on manual ranging mode. Still, they can enjoy analyzing fluctuations by looking at the responsive bar graph below the LCD.
Measurements: Both Fluke 117 and 179 are capable of measuring AC/DC voltage, AC/DC current, resistance, and capacitance. However, Fluke 179 can also measure temperature, frequency, and DC millivolts which 117 canâ€™t.
Warranty: Fluke 179 has an edge over Fluke 117 when we compare their warranties. Where Fluke 117 comes with three years of warranty, itâ€™s a lifetime for the Fluke 179.
Battery: Fluke 117 equips AAA batteries which have lesser life in comparison with the long-lasting 9V battery of Fluke 179. Thus, in this department, Fluke 179 has an upper hand over 117.
Weight: Fluke 179 is a bit heavier than the 117 with an accumulative weight of 2 lbs. and 1.21 lbs. respectively.
Safety Ratings: Fluke 117 is CAT III rated while 179 has got both CAT III and CAT IV safety ratings which make the later unit more trustable. Thatâ€™s why it is recommended to use Fluke 117 for basic level testing only while 179, without any doubt, is a professional multimeter unit.
Temperature: Interesting part about Fluke 179 is its 80BK temperature probe, which helps in fast and accurate measurement of temperature. This feature is missing in Fluke 177.
NCV Detection and LoZ: Fluke 117 multimeter has an upper hand over Fluke 179 considering both NCV detection and LoZ functionality which helps in detecting behind the wall voltages and stray voltage filtration, to achieve better accuracy, respectively. Fluke 179 lacks both of these features.
Individual Products Reviews
Fluke 117 Review:
Fluke 117 can accurately measure AC/DC voltage, AC/DC current, resistance, and capacitance while it fails to analyze the temperature and frequency of tested appliances. However, continuity and diode checking is possible with Fluke 117.
Fluke 117 doesnâ€™t offer to check the transistors and millivolts measurements. So, if your experiments involve these parameters, go for some other unit!
Fluke 117 equips a handy stand that simplifies the measurement taking process for technicians operating the unit in the lab. Propping the backside stand and making the unit ready to use would take less than 5 minutes!
Still, youâ€™ll feel the absence of a magnetic hanger while performing any kind of testing in the standup position. Moreover, if you are likely to move this multimeter to more than one place then consider ordering the carrying case along with it as you wonâ€™t get it in the same packaging.
A high-resolution display on its wide LCD screen, with backlights, would make the data easy to read regardless of how high or low light intensity is. Its display counts stand at 6000.
If you often have to deal with non-linear signals then Fluke 117 is the right product for you. With its auto-ranging and true RMS functionality, one can instantly analyze the fluctuating signals that help in quick and right kind of troubleshooting.
By using the min/max functionality in combination while analyzing nonlinear signals on this true RMS multimeter will simplify the task of filtering out the signalâ€™s peaks and lows. Moreover, the addition of a low pass filter (LoZ) builds users’ trust as this feature is well known for improving the measurement accuracy by not counting stray residual voltages.
Just like any other technician, youâ€™ll also love the auto-shutoff, whichâ€™ll help the multimeterâ€™s batteries to last long, and its instant data holding function that simplifies the note-taking process by giving enough time to technicians to comfortably note down the reading.
Its high-end input protection in form of fuses that are rated at their maximum current value ensures the safety of the operator. Itâ€™ll protect the user in case of any mishap. Fluke also doesnâ€™t compromise on the physical strength of its meters. Its strong casing with shock-absorbing holster has the potential to comfortably absorb drop impacts.
Moreover, being a CAT III rated unit, no one can question the safety and reliability of Fluke 117. Still, avoid dealing with the high power fluctuating voltages that are out of range of this multimeter as you may not end up in the hospital!
Fluke 117 equips a non-contact voltage detector and live line testing capability. It helps in the verification of the presence of voltage in main power lines. Those high power lines which are impossible to verify by manually connecting them with the meter. Thatâ€™s one of the reasons, why Fluke is preferred for commercial settings.
Fluke 117 is well suited for dealing with low to medium power applications. Its NCV detector functionality makes it suitable for home wiring troubleshooting. Thus, itâ€™s the right product for general purpose technicians and homeowners.
Fluke 179 measures exactly the same parameters as measured by Fluke 117 with additional functionality to analyze frequency and temperature that Fluke 117 fails to test.
Moreover, just like Fluke 117, where it can perform continuity verification and diode testing, it lacks the capability to test transistors.
Fluke 179 has a sturdy kickstand that is built into the holster to provide support on bench work. Probe holders are also part of the holster that improves the handling of test leads.
Buying the Fluke 179 combo kit will give you a magnetic hanger, which will be a handy component in stand up testing position. Moreover, you’ll get better quality silicone test leads, electronic test probes, hook clips, and a nice case thatâ€™ll hold all previously mentioned accessories in one place.
There is no significant difference in the overall display of Fluke 179 in comparison with the Fluke 117. On both units, readings are pretty clear to note down during the day and night, by turning on the backlight. One thing that I love about 179 is its longer backlight on-time.
Just like Fluke 117, this unit also has 6000 display counts and a responsive bar graph. It displays the real-time fluctuations of the measured signal to better analyze the data.
Fluke 179, with its auto-ranging mode, is pretty easy to operate and unlike manual ranging units, you can complete your task singlehandedly. Additionally, having TRMS functionality and min/max data recording mode would make it the right product for measuring nonlinear signals.
Just like Fluke 117, Fluke 179 also shares the data hold and auto-shutoff feature. Both features contribute their part in simplifying the process and keeping the battery to last longer.
Thanks to the integration of fuses at circuitâ€™s input, Fluke 179 falls in the list of safe to use multimeters. It’s a tough exterior casing with a shock-absorbing rubber holster that protects the multimeter from shocks, job site abuse, and scratches!
In terms of safety, one edge that Fluke 179 has over Fluke 117 is its CAT III and CAT IV ratings. That makes it a more trustable unit. It ensures the safe operation of Fluke 179 in industrial operations.
Where Fluke 179 has temperature and frequency measurement capability, it lacks both non-contact voltage detection and live line testing functionality. That makes it not suitable for a home inspection.
Fluke 179 would be the right product for testing HVAC systems and appliances. Professionals can use this device in industrial inspection. But, as mentioned earlier, it wonâ€™t be a good product for general purpose tasks and home wiring fault diagnosis.
Fluke 179 has the capability to measure both milliamps and millivolts. Whereas, Fluke 117 doesnâ€™t have milliamps measurement functionality.
Fluke 117 is the perfect unit for home troubleshooting and lab work. On the other hand, 179 would be the right choice for industrial HVAC testing.
In nutshell, Fluke 117 is the right to buy for the home inspection and other general-purpose tasks. On the other hand, Fluke 179 would be the best unit for HVAC purposes and basic level industrial troubleshooting. There is a significant difference in their price so, choose wisely!