The Fluke 175 is a rugged and versatile DMM for the electrician. Built to stand up in industrial environments, it is also good in any set-up, including the home, bench and garage. It is happy testing everything from variable AC drives to vehicle solenoids and home appliances.
If you’re deliberating over the 77 Series IV, note that the 175 is a True RMS device that is slightly more accurate. It also has a manual hold and smoothing mode and is more equipped to troubleshooting motors and drives, whereas the 77 has micro-amps and is more an all-rounder.
- True RMS AC accuracy
- AC/DC measurements of 1000V and 10A
- DC accuracy of 0.15%
- Measures resistance, capacitance, frequency
- Continuity and diode checker
- Manual/auto ranging
- Manual/auto hold
- 6,000-count display
- Rapid response bar graph
- Min/Max recording
- Ergonomic case and integral boot
- Closed case calibration
- Size: 7.3″ (185mm) x 3.5″ (90mm) x 1.7″ (43mm)
- Weight: 14.8oz (420g)
- 9V battery
- Test leads
In-depth Review of the Fluke 175
The 175 is fairly accurate, and is a step up from the 77 Series in this regard, but is not as accurate as the 177 and 179.
|AC voltage||5 ranges: 600mV / 1000V||±(1.0%+3) @600mV-600V, 45-500Hz||0.1mV-1V|
|DC voltage||4 ranges: 6V / 1000V||±(0.15%+2) @ 6-600V||0.001-1V|
|AC current||4 ranges: 60mA / 10A||±(1.5%+3)||0.01mA-0.01A|
|DC current||4 ranges: 60mA / 10A||±(1.0%+3)||0.01mA-0.01A|
|Resistance||6 ranges: 600Ω / 50MΩ||±(0.9%+1) @ 6kΩ-6MΩ||0.1Ω-0.01MΩ|
|Capacitance||4 ranges: 1000nF / 9999μF||±(1.2%+2) @ 1000nF-100μF||1nF-1μF|
|Frequency||4 ranges: 99.99Hz / 99.99kHz||±(0.1%+1)||0.01Hz-0.01kHz|
Accuracy is correct up to a year after calibration.
Where it excels is in industry diagnosing variable drive faults, with its True RMS capability. It will measure all types of waveforms accurately and also comes with a selectable AC filter to steady rapidly changing, noisy signals. This is smoothing mode. Min/Max mode is also very useful, automatically recording low and high values in a given measurement range and quickly calculating the running average between the two.
Voltage and current default to AC. The auto-ranging speed of the 175 is pretty fast, as is the continuity checker. This is important as there’s nothing worse than a tired auto-ranger and having to switch over to manual ranging to speed things up – impossible for those meters with no ‘Range’ function.
Voltage and current have generous ranges and resolution, as do frequency and capacitance. Frequency/voltage range between 1mV and 1000V is 2Hz-100kHz, for example.
The 175 has smooth lines, clear buttons and a nicely sunken dial. The exterior is ergonomically curved and easy to hold, while the various labels and icons are very clear to the eye. Display refresh rate is 4/sec and can show up to 1999Ω. Also standard is a responsive analog bar graph that is ideal for watching those fast signals and to make null adjustments. There is no backlight on the 175, however.
There are four input jack sockets at the bottom, all very clearly marked with their lead designation, CAT rating and fuse size.
The housing on the Fluke 175 is the high-impact, over-mold type, making it neat and tough at the same time. Built into the holster are a tilting bail (kickstand) and probe lead holders. There is also easy access to the battery here, underneath the kickstand. Battery changes are thus straightforward.
The 170 Series is a stunning piece of multimeter architecture and it is also very rugged at the same time. These things just keep going even after being dropped from ladders, trodden on and splashed, etc.
This is one of the easiest to use, professional multimeters, with separate switch positions for main ranges. AC and DC voltage have their own positions, as do DC millivolts, milliamps and amperage. Resistance and continuity are also split, each sharing their position with capacitance and diode test respectively.
There are just the four buttons on this model – Hold, Min/Max, Range and the ‘select’ input range changer. The manual hold doubles up as an auto hold. Both the 177 and 179 also have a backlight button. Battery life is not great on the 170 Series compared to some of the other Fluke ranges, such as the 80 series, at around 200 hours of nominal usage.
Overvoltage, spike category ratings of the 175 are CAT-III to 1000V and CAT-IV to 600V. This makes the surge protection well up into the kV range. Fuse protection is 440mA for the milliamp input and 11A for the 10A input. They are high quality HRC fuses that are accessible by getting into the case. The 175 is UL, TÜV, CSA-listed and can operate between -10°C and 50°C.
Fluke 175 Pros and Cons
- Reliable and accurate
- Very clear interface
- Fast auto ranging and continuity tests
- Easy to recalibrate
- Automatic ‘Touch’ hold
- Nice styling
- Separate purchase needed for a case and hanger
- No micro-amps
- No backlight
The Fluke 175 review looks at this classy True RMS multimeter for the electrician. While it is undoubtedly a fine piece of kit with nice lines, speed, accuracy and functions, it is the base model and loses out on its lack of display backlight. For sharper accuracy and a backlight, the 177 has that, while the 179 also does temperature.