The Fieldpiece HS36 is the top of the range of HS series of meters by Fieldpiece. It is essentially the same as the popular HS35 with the addition of backlit screen and True RMS capability. This is an auto ranging so-called stick multimeter built mainly for HVAC use. It comes with a detachable amp clamp head and there are several others available to greatly increase functionality.
- Measures temperature to 1000 degrees
- Micro-amps for testing flame diodes
- True RMS
- Voltage detector
- Amp clamp (400A AC)
- Lead storage
- Silicone leads & alligator clips
- Auto power-down
- 9V battery
- Silicone leads
- Alligator type adapters
- Amp clamp
- Meter cas
- User manual – see here for online HS36 manual
In-depth Review of the Fieldpiece HS36
This is perhaps one of the best multimeters out there for HVAC work. It performs all the tests you would want, including micro-amps and high temperature analysis and is backlit for those dark basements. It has a magnetic hanger built in, which is ideal for one-handed use together with the included alligator clips.
True RMS allows the user to pick up non-sinusoidal waveforms accurately and its bar graph takes on an analog feel. Use this to see minor fluctuations in a quickly changing signal.
Like the others in the HS series of Fieldpiece multimeters you can also attach additional modular accessory heads to perform a wider range of tests. Among these are a combustion checker, dual temperature head, refrigerant leak detector, manometer, oxygen and carbon dioxide detectors, and a dedicated head for measuring micro-amps.
Other features include a voltage sensor for checking if an outlet has juice safely. This is for AC only, since it picks up the sine wave, though will extend down to 24V where others meters’ might only be useful at mains voltage. The capacitance scale, meanwhile, will let you test the start and run capacitors in compressor motors.
Aside from the lack of kickstand there are few negatives. The included magnetic hanger makes up for the omission of tilting bail, being more useful in the field where a stand is best for the bench. It is a pretty accurate meter, with a DC volts level to ±(0.5%+1), for example.
|400mV / 600V
|400μA / 4000μA
|400mV / 600V
|400Ω / 400MΩ
|4kHz / 40MHz
|-30 to 1000°F
Design & Build
The oddly shaped Fieldpiece HS36 differs from most other devices out there; its long and thin form fitting more snugly in-hand than standard meters. The built-in magnetic hanger gives no-hands usage when needed and it also boasts storage for the leads – these are of the silicone type, so more pliable and easier to wrap up. The corners have rubber bumpers to help protect from drops and it also comes with a case.
Display: The HS36 has the best display of the series of HS multimeters. Although toting the same count as the HS35 – at 3999 digits – and an analog bar graph, there is a good backlight. It runs for around a minute too.
Functions and Protection
Max/Min mode will let you pick up signal highs/lows, while a screen hold freezes the display. The auto-off feature can be disabled. The inclusion of a PTC helps protect the circuitry and user from spikes. Category level is CAT-III, which means you can safely check mains voltage at source (beyond breakers).
Pros and Cons
- Backlit display
- True RMS
- Amp clamp head
- Magnetic hanger
- Lacks tilting bail
The expandable HS36 is a True RMS stick multimeter aimed at HVAC types. An accurate, ergonomic meter, it can test flame diodes and high AC amps (with included head) and boasts many other attractive features. Chief among these is its backlit display, micro-amps range and magnetic hanger.
Alternative: If you don’t need a backlight or True RMS capability, consider the cheaper HS35, also reviewed on this site.