Although you won’t find many bells and whistles on the Fluke 113, it is a handy unit that serves a purpose. Essentially a general purpose, ‘utility’ multimeter, it has just a few basic ranges across minimal range positions, making it very user-friendly for trainees, professionals and those that have a hands-on job.
Both reliable and accurate and able to measure AC/DC voltage, resistance, continuity and even capacitance, it has all the main criteria that would satisfy most tasks. It especially suits those into general electrical work, such as for maintenance, commercial wiring, security systems, basic HVAC and more.
- AC/DC voltage (to 600V)
- Measures resistance and capacitance
- Continuity and diode tests
- True RMS for accurate measurements of nonlinear loads
- VCHEK™ / LoZ low impedance functions for simultaneous voltage / continuity tests
- Manual / auto ranging modes
- Safety ratings: CAT-III to 600V, CAT-IV to 300V
- Large backlit display
- Min/Max function to record fluctuations
- Integral boot with probe holders
- Size: 6.6″ (167mm) x 3.35″ (85mm) x 1.8″ (46mm)
- Weight : 13oz (404g)
- Probe leads
- 9V battery
- Instructions (fluke 113 manual)
Optional: hands-free TPAK magnetic hanger
In-depth Review of the Fluke 113
The main difference with the 113 over other multimeters in the 110 series, and indeed many multimeters in general, is its low impedance (LoZ) VCHEK function. This enables it to detect whether it is measuring voltage or checking for continuity due to its 3kΩ internal resistance. When it detects more than 3V, it will measure voltage in either AC or DC. Less, and it performs continuity/diode checks.
The auto ranging function of the VCHEK is actually quite fast. The other benefit of testing with a low impedance meter is it can eliminate ghosting from neighboring live wires when fault finding. The downside; low impedance is not great for testing sensitive electronic equipment as it will load up the circuitry.
The 113 is also without any amperage inputs and its resistance range is quite limited at 600Ω to 60kΩ, though there is a basic capacitance range. Users will enjoy the joint voltage/continuity tester, with the latter being quick and latching. Switching to the diode tester is automatic and good for checking silicon and germanium general-purpose diodes.
This is a True RMS multimeter, meaning it can accurately measure AC variable drive system outputs, such as inverters. Although a basic meter, the Fluke 113 also has a MIN/MAX feature, which is often unseen on some meters. It is very handy when you can’t decipher a fluctuating signal, with the device recording both high and low values and averaging them out. There is also a manual hold button.
On the safety side, it can measure up to 600V CAT-III and 300V to CAT-IV, with the provision for transients (spikes) at those reference ground-voltages.
|VCHEK||6V / 600V||±(2.0%+3)||0.001-0.1V|
|Resistance||600Ω / 60kΩ||±(0.9%+1) @ 6-60kΩ||0.1Ω-0.01kΩ|
|Capacitance||1000nF / 9999μF||±(1.9% +2) @ 1000nF-100μF||1nF-1μF|
|Diode test||2V||±(2% +3)||0.001V|
|Continuity||beep on <20Ω, beep off >250Ω|
Build Quality and Interface
Although the 113 is the entry level meter to the 110 series, it has the build quality and sturdy feel of any Fluke. While Chinese made, it is tough to the touch and has an integral holster and a separate battery compartment.
The dial selector switch is raised, has just the three positions and is easy to operate by thumb alone. The display is 3 5/6 digits (or 6,000 count), and comes with a bar graph. Both the main display and bar graph are quick to update. There is a backlight, which stays on for 40-second bursts and can be disabled. Compared with higher end Flukes, the display on the 113 is not as sharp or impressive, however.
Buttons are straightforward – Hold, Min/Max, Range, select, backlight. With the range button, you can select between automatic ranging and manual ranging. Manual ranging mode is typically more responsive. There are just two inputs, + and COM.
Along with being able to operate the 113 with one hand, the ability for it to detect voltage or continuity modes makes it very easy to use. It performs as quickly as some of the top-rated multimeters on the market, and has decent accuracy too. This is a godsend for those working in high-pressure maintenance environments, where having an all-singing-all-dancing multimeter can often be more of a hindrance.
Battery life from the 9V battery is around 300 hours of typical use, though prolonged use of the backlight will shorten this. An auto-off, sleep mode maximizes battery life.
People often balk at the price of the average Fluke multimeter, often citing the extra features of models from cheaper brands. But usually not taken into consideration is the lack of input protection on these devices. When you go with Fluke – even Chinese-made ones – you can be sure that the category rating (in this case, CAT-III @ 600V) will stand up to errant spikes. The 113 can handle over-voltage to 6kV through its complement of MOVs and thermistor. It has also been drop-tested to 1m and has been vibration tested.
The Good and Bad
Fluke 113 PROS
- Compact and solid
- Simple to operate
- Auto voltage / continuity detection
- Auto/manual ranging
- Backlit display
- Reasonable price for a Fluke multimeter
- Low impedance limits electronics usage
- Display a bit dark and washed out
- Narrow resistance range
- No amps
If you need a multimeter that measures the basics, is really easy to use and yet has excellent input protection, the Fluke 113 is certainly worth looking at. Those who need a tool to test electronics and current should look elsewhere, such as the 117.