The Fluke 115 is a good, everyday multimeter at the lower end of Fluke’s range of measuring devices. This easy to carry test meter fits in the palm of the hand, is accurate, and user-friendly.
It appeals to everyone from trainees and home electrical enthusiasts to auto electricians and even field service technicians. A best seller with a build quality and accuracy that competes with higher spec meters, this Fluke 115 review recommends it based on function and price.
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- Compact, ergonomic design
- Large backlit LCD screen for poor lighting conditions
- Check voltage, current, resistance, continuity, frequency, capacitance
- Diode tester
- Reads 10A continuous load (20A for 30s)
- Auto ranging
- True RMS
- CATIII 600V safety rated
- Size: 6.6″ (168mm) x 3.3″ (84mm) x 1.8″ (46mm)
- Weight: 1.3 lbs (590g)
- Probe leads (4mm silicone)
- Trademark Fluke yellow rubber holster
- 9V Battery
- User manual (fluke 115 manual)
Compatible with ToolPak (sold separately)
In-depth Review of the Fluke 115
This solidly built, compact True RMS digital multimeter is part of the reliable 110 series and is a step up from the 114. It is able to accurately portray voltage, current, resistance, continuity, frequency and capacitance and also features a reasonable diode check function.
Best of all, it is produced by the industry leader of multimeter manufacturers, who offer unparalleled build quality, safety and peace of mind. Fluke is a major US brand, producing a wide variety of pocket and portable test devices, including clamp meters, insulation testers, calibration equipment and more.
Along with the ability to measure up to 600V AC and DC, it can measure continuous amperage to 10A, up to 40MΩ resistance, and frequency to 50kHz (very accurately). NOTE: Frequency bandwidth goes beyond 50kHz, though accuracy is not specified.
MAX RANGE, BEST ACCURACY
– Auto-ranging automatically selects the correct range on a given setting
– Measurements of non-linear loads are accurate due to True RMS
– MIN/MAX/AVG lets users track signal fluctuations
– The 115 also has a low impedance (LoZ) mode that filters out ghost voltages
Why True RMS?: The Fluke 115 is a true Root Mean Square multimeter, as opposed to an ‘average’ measuring one. This means it can accurately measure varying types of AC waveforms, from standard sine waves supplying homes and industry to irregular waves produced by variable speed drives and digital systems. A succinct description of the importance of True RMS devices.
Design & Build Quality
The most notable attribute of this multimeter is its compact size and rugged construction; an impressive feat for the relative cheap price considering the prestige of the company. Ergonomically designed, with sweeping case, it is solid outside and in, with a tough holster and case and a neat, intuitively designed, well protected circuit board.
The meter comes with the standard rotary input selector dial – its small size permitting easy operation with the thumb of the left hand. The compact and lightweight construction allows for the quick measurement of systems on-the-go and it easily fits into overall pockets, tool-kits or kitchen draws.
This Fluke 115 review details the unit’s large display, which comes with a backlight for dim working conditions – good for when probing inside control panels or roof spaces. The 6,000-count display has easy-to-read digits and includes a responsive bar graph underneath, along with clear unit icons.
While not a major detriment, if it suffers in any area, it is the resolution and contrast of the display itself. When viewed at an angle, it tends to look a bit washed out. The dial and buttons are clear and user-friendly, however, with simple Hold, Min/Max, Range and Function actions, together with a backlight button. The dial is large, prominent, accurate and operable with one hand.
Function and Performance
The nine position dial includes DC/AC volts and amps, millivolts, resistance, and diode check. The quick continuity check of leads, cables, fuses and diodes comes with a beeper, while the Function button extends usage to include frequency and capacitance measurements.
As for connectivity, there are the standard three input jacks: voltage, resistance and continuity on the main terminal + Common + Amps. Lacking is a milli/micro-amp jack socket, often found on other multimeters. Response time is quick and it covers a slew of measurements compatible within the home and industry. Above all, this multimeter is inherently portable, being lightweight, comfortable in the hand and easy to use.
Like other meters in the Fluke range of multimeters, the 115 has a durable case and holster, offering excellent resistance to drops, general wear and tear, and humidity. The operational temperature window varies from 14 degrees to 140 degrees (Fahrenheit) – -10 to 60 degrees centigrade respectively.
It also features overload protection and an inline fuse (accessible by removing three underside screws). Battery access is equally simple and has hard-wired terminals to the board.
Who is it Best Suited To?
This is a general purpose multimeter, good for most situations in the home, field and light industry. While ideal for beginner electricians, it also suits technicians as a secondary, more portable, meter, though falls short on testing electronic circuitry.
- Light industry
- Apprentice electricians
- Field service engineers
- Home / property maintenance
- Auto industry – audio and diagnostic
NOTE: technicians focused on electronics might want to seek something more substantial as there is no provision for milli- or micro-amp measurements.
Fluke 115 Pros and Cons
- Solid build quality inside and out
- Durable and accurate (DC volts: ±0.5%)
- Large screen
- True RMS
- Auto ranging
- Track signal fluctuations
- Auto power-off
- Smooth, responsive bar graph display
- Good continuity tester
- Easy to access battery compartment
- One-handed operation
- Slightly disappointing display resolution
- Lack of dedicated milliamp / micro-amp range
- Lacks Touch Hold® mode
This Fluke 115 review covers one of the corporation’s base model multimeters, good for home owners to electrical engineers. Accurate, rugged, very portable and featuring most standard testing characteristics, it will suit most tasks, though falls short of a full service multimeter.
Although relatively expensive and lacking a milliamp / micro-amp range – where other meters may have this included – it is nevertheless a very handy tool owned by many electricians. In short, the simple use, compact design and standard functions make it a winner and best seller.
A popular alternative is the Fluke 117, which features a non-contact voltage sensor.