The Fluke 87V Max is the rebadged version of the previously known and reviewed Fluke 28II. It is also the rugged version of the Fluke 87V, which itself is an exceptional everyday multimeter. With speed, accuracy and great ranges the MAX also features a stronger hood and is watertight, dustproof and good in hot and cold working environments. This is a well reviewed multimeter and universally liked.
- Industrial strength – 13’ drop tested
- IP Rating IP67 – waterproof, dustproof
- Backlit 19,999-count display & buttons
- Measures AC/DC 1000V
- Measures AC/DC 10A (20A for 30s)
- Measures frequency to 200kHz
- True-RMS voltage & current
- Measures temperature
- Min/Max/Average recording
- Voltage, frequency motor drive filter
- Hi resolution display mode
- Long battery life (up to 800h)
- Premium TwistGuard leads
- Size: 8.5″ x 4.3″ x 2.4″ (216mm x 109mm x 61mm)
- Weight: 1.54lbs (698g)
- Fluke 87V MAX
- TwistGuard® test leads (TL175)
- Alligator clips (AC175)
- Temperature probe (80BK-A)
- Three AA batteries (installed)
- User manual
Review of the Fluke 87V MAX
Below is a fairly brief outline of the Fluke 87V MAX. More info is on the Fluke 87V page…
The standout feature of the Fluke 87V MAX is its tough and solid build quality. Bear in mind that it’s a meaty meter as a consequence and is big in the hand. Main attributes are that it can withstand 13-foot (4m) drops due to its strong shell and holster, it is rated IP67 –impervious to water and dust – and will also stand up to temperature and humidity.
The category rating is CAT-IV and it comes with a temp sensor, screw on alligator clips, and high end collapsible TL175 leads.
As with the Fluke 87, the Max measures all the ranges with generous scales. Voltage goes up to 1000V, amperage to 20A (in bursts), resistance to 50MΩ, and capacitance 0.01nF to 10,000μF. Accuracy is excellent and as good as you’ll get with a handheld multimeter.
Temperature & humidity
There’s a temperature sensor on the 87V Max, so you can measure with or without the included probe. The type-K thermocouple allows for direct and accurate measurements. The meter will happily operate in ambient temperatures of between 5°F (-15°C) and 131°F (55°C), on down to -40°F/C in bursts. The humidity tolerance is to 95%.
Min/Max/Average recording is sharp, with a 250μs Peak Min/Max option picking up changes automatically. You also get a Relative mode and low pass filter and true RMS for correct measurements on ‘noisy’ equipment / variable speed drives etc.
PRICE: The Fluke 87 Max is pricey at over $400, but is worth the expense if your work is in harsh environments since cheaper meters tend to become unreliable or give up over time. It has all that the 87V offers regards accuracy and tolerances: below.
|range||best accuracy||best resolution|
|DC voltage||0.1mV / 1000V||±(0.05%+1)||0.1mV|
|AC voltage||0.1mV / 1000V||±(0.7%+4)||0.1mV|
|DC current||0.1μA / 10A*||±(0.2%+2)||0.1µA|
|AC current||0.1μA / 10A*||±(1.0%+2)||0.1µA|
|Resistance||0.1Ω / 50MΩ||±(0.2%+1)||0.1Ω|
|Capacitance||0.01nF / 9999μF||±(1.0%+2)||0.01nF|
|Frequency||0.5Hz / 199.99kHz||±(0.005%+1)||0.01Hz|
|Duty cycle||to 99.9%||±(0.2% per kHz+0.1%)||0.1%|
|Temperature °F||-328°F to 1994°F||±(1.0%+18)||0.1°F|
|Temperature °C||-200°C to 1090°C||±(1.0 %+10)||0.1°C|
*Amperage: stated 10A on current scales is continuous. Measurements to 20A are possible in 30s bursts followed by cool down.
Differences between the Fluke 87V and 87V Max
The Max has the same specs, accuracy and CAT rating, with the following additions:
|Type||Fluke 87V||Fluke 87V MAX|
Fluke Genuine Accessories
The Fluke 87V MAX DMM is compatible with Fluke Genuine Accessories, enabling the seamless connection with other tools, such as the a current ‘amp’ clamp.
The 87V MAX affords the build quality of the trusted Fluke 87V, with obvious improvements to make it stronger and on par with the first version of the Fluke 28II. The case and boot are industrial strength and it has been drop-tested to 13’.
The IP67 rating means it is water and dust proof. While you don’t want to be testing mains systems under flood conditions, it means you don’t need to worry about wet floors, dusty environments and heat or cold getting to the meter.
The Twist Guard leads are very high quality and snap easily into the storage on the removable holster.
Fluke is renowned for its displays and the Max has a 20,000-count (41/2 digit) one like the 87V. It is dual display and able to show readings where 6,000-count resolution is ample. The digits are large and backlit by a two-stage LED and there’s also a fast bar graph on the bottom. The buttons are also lit, making it easier to operate in dim, dusty light.
Function and Performance
The layout is the same as the 87V, with a responsive dial selector switch and associated buttons. You also get lightening fast continuity and quick auto-ranging, while a smoothing feature tempers fluctuating signals.
Batteries: A change from the traditional 9V battery, the Fluke 87V Max has three AAs powering it, which are able to last around 800 hours. Note: that this is an ideal figure, with prolonged usage of the backlight in tough environments reducing this. A 30-minute auto-off helps save power and can be disabled.
Safety and Protection
The Fluke 87V MAX is built like a tank both outside and in. Input protection is exceptional, with high end components, a blast shield and big HRC fuses set behind a sealed case. The category rating is CAT-III 1000V, CAT-IV 600V.
Fuses are rated to 440mA and 11A across the milliamp and amperage jacks respectively.
Fuse Test: There’s a handy test feature on the Fluke Max which quickly lets you know if one or both of the fuses are blown. Simply short a test lead across the volt jack (with the dial on Ω) and each current input. An O/L display will indicate a blown fuse.
Pros and Cons
- Very durable
- Accurate and fast
- Clear, backlit dual screen
- 20,000 count resolution
- IP67 rating
- CAT IV-rated
- Excellent battery life
- Chunky holster
- Top of the line leads
- Lifetime warranty
- Heavy and bulky
- Fairly pricey
The ‘big’ brother to the Fluke 87V, the MAX version has the same specifications and accuracy but is heavily built with tough case and IP67 rating. It works especially well in warm and humid and/or dusty places.
Can’t decide?: It should come down to workplace; if you’re in mines, foundries, O&G, food production, or mainly outdoors, etc, or just want to show off to your buddies, then consider the Fluke Max. If testing mainly on the bench or for typical plant-based work, the 87V will be plenty good enough as it is still tough and will do just about everything the Max will.
Alternatives: Some of the other brands produce rugged multimeters, but Fluke is the leader, with the Fluke 20 series featuring heavy duty devices. Note that the 28II is now the 87V Max. The Fluke 28II Ex is the top of the line in this range, being super strong and intrinsically safe. It is spark proof so is safe in chemical plants.