The 2709B from B&K Precision, USA, is a full featured auto-ranging multimeter built for non-hazardous environments. With good test ranges, dedicated dial positions and quick response times, it has garnered itself many favorable reviews. The 2709B is a firm favourite with amateurs especially, as well as for pros as a backup meter, and is noted for its easy interface.
- Sleek, no clutter face
- Fast response times
- Dedicated test range positions
- Checks all main criteria
- Measures AC/DC to 10A
- Measures AC voltage to 750V
- Measures Resistance to 66MΩ
- Capacitance down to nF
- Micro- and milliamps ranges
- Quick continuity and auto-ranging
- Retro green backlit display
- True RMS
- Auto power-down ~ 30m
- Includes magnetic hanger
- Size: 6.25″ x 2.75″ x 1.5″
- Weight: 10oz
- Silicone test leads
- Magnetic hanging strap
- 9V battery (fitted)
- Spare fuse
In-depth Review of the BK Precision 2709B
First off, the BK Precision 2709B has a nice clean and easy to decipher interface. It is compact and easy to hold as it does not have a bulky rubber boot. Overall it is quite a bit smaller than competing meters in this bracket with similar features, but may suffer knocks without this protection.
The dial selector switch will seem busier than most other multimeters, although it has the test ranges spread out which is more straightforward and easier for the layperson to operate, since you don’t have to hit any buttons. Resistance, capacitance and frequency each have their own dedicated position, for example.
Other test ranges include: DC and AC voltage and current (to include micro-amps and milliamps) and there is also a diode test position. You can quickly select between automatic and manual ranging; the BK 2709B having auto-ranging as standard.
The test ranges are fairly generous, with resistance up to 66MΩ and capacitance down to the nano-farads, with pico-farad resolution. The capacitance range also boasts a discharge function.
There is a prominent beep test on continuity, which, at 100ms, is faster-responding than most multimeters on the market. The beeper sounds when each position is selected, however, which might get annoying since it can’t be disabled.
Modes: include max/min for picking up high and low signals, and a relative mode for comparing a previous reading and to zero out lead resistance. It is also True RMS, so you can measure *altered signals as well as ‘normal’ mains signals accurately.
* certain electronic devices or motor speed control outputs, etc.
Safety & alarms: A natty safety feature is the wrong jack input beeper, which will go off if you plug a lead into an amperage socket while the selector switch is on a voltage setting, for instance. Other features include an auto-off at 30 minutes and it ships with a magnetic hanger strap.
Rating: The highest safety rating is CAT-III 600V – see below Protection for more info.
You can just about operate the BK 2709B with one hand on the bench, although the kickstand makes it a bit prone to sliding. There are few reported negatives with the BK Precision 2709B but some find the case under-engineered and the beep can’t be disabled.
You can expect good accuracy, speed and safety from the BK Precision 2709B. Screen refresh is timely and it also auto-ranges quickly and has little screen flutter
|DC voltage||660mV / 1000V||±(0.5%+2)||0.1mV|
|AC voltage||660mV / 750V||±(1.5%+8) @660mV/50-60Hz||0.1mV|
|DC current||660µA / 10A||±(1.5%+2) @660µA-400mA||0.1µA-10mA|
|AC current||660µA / 10A||±(2.0%+10) @660µA-400mA||0.1µA-10mA|
|AC current 10A||10A||±(3.5%+10)|
|Resistance||660Ω / 66MΩ||±(1.2%+5) 660-660kΩ||0.1Ω-10kΩ|
|Capacitance||6.6nF / 66 mF||±(3.0%+30) @6.6nF||1pF-10µF|
|Frequency||660 Hz / 66 MHz||±(0.1%+3)||0.1Hz-10kHz|
Note: max test time to 10A 60sec, followed by 10min cool down time.
A bit about BK Precision
B&K Precision is a US-based technology firm that churns out solid equipment across various fields, including electronics and maintenance. Their products are put together in Taiwan, where other quality multimeters are produced such as the well-rated Brymens.
More about B&K Precision
This is a well built multimeter, although one shouldn’t expect too much in the way of ‘precision’ sub-$100. Unlike most multimeters today, the BK 2709B is not enclosed in a rubbery boot. For bench work this wouldn’t be an issue, but is worth noting if you plan on buying it for the field. It is more compact, on the other hand and also uses high quality components at input protection.
It has a nice, albeit fairly weak, position dial and buttons. The B&K Precision 2709B also ships with a magnetic strap, which can be a life saver in an awkward spot. This can be snapped onto metal surfaces – control panels, refrigerators etc. Probe leads are good, being nicely flexible and not short.
Display: 6000-count with a 3/4-digit resolution and x2/s refresh rate. The display is clear and with a neat green backlight. Reports of it washing out when read at angles, but it is clear with tight long digits.
Function and Performance
A fast performer, the Precision 2709B has quick auto-ranging and continuity response times – certainly compared to other brands in this range. Resistance and conductivity are both good, and even capacitance is timely at this price point.
Functions include a MAX/MIN mode and Relative, with dedicated buttons. There is an auto power off feature, which activates in about a half hour to save battery life. This feature can be disabled.
Power is by way of a 9V battery. While they are more expensive than AAs and AAAs, 9V batteries are sometimes preferred.
Protection and Fuses
Small HRC fuses protect the BK Precision 2709B, with a 500mA fuse at the µA/mA jack socket and a 10A fuse across the high amperage jack. These are accessible by removing the screws on the rear panel, through which the 9V battery is also accessed.
CAT rating: Surge protection level for the BK 2709B is rated Category II to 1,000V (household appliances, etc) and Category III to 600V, covering installations and power supplies.
Pros and Cons
- No mess look, easy to use
- Great position dial
- Dedicated test ranges
- Fast continuity and ranging
- Good capacitance range
- Measures micro-amps
- Good battery life
- True RMS
- Minimal case protection
- Flimsy kickstand
- No duty cycle
- Beeper can’t be disabled
The BK Precision 2709B multimeter is a neat budget / mid-range device. It’s a good meter for the money, with all the ranges you’d need and, best of all, decent speed and accuracy. The leads are silicone insulated type. Best use for bench work and labs etc. Consider something more rugged for industrial-based settings.
Alternatives: the Extech EX505 is better suited to harsh environments and has a temperature input, while the Amprobe 34XR-A is another named brand, both at similar prices. For speed and ruggedness, the Fluke 87V can’t be beat, but is three-four times the price.