Fluke 87V Multimeter Review | Industrial Features
Many consider the Fluke 87V multimeter the premier comprehensive diagnostic and maintenance tool of its kind. As a result, it also commands a premium price. The first Fluke 87V meter was introduced in the late 1980s, and we picked up the latest version to test out on some commercial job sites. First up came a full refurbishment on an old industrial building to ready it for use by a new business.
- Wide functionality range for industrial, HVAC, and general electrical applications
- Low pass filter for VFD work
- Peak Capture function for 250 µS intermittents
- Dual resolutions: 6,000 counts, 3-3/4 digit or 20,000 counts, 4-1/2 digit
- True RMS waveform measurement
- Third edition of EN 61010-1 to 1000 V CAT III and 600 V CAT IV Safety Rating and can handle 8000V spikes
- Large display and backlight with two brightness levels
- Withstands a 1-meter drop in holster, which includes a kickstand and probe storage
- Extra Power up options
- TL75 Leads, AC175 Alligator Clips, and 80BK Temp Probe included
- Audible alerts
- Lifetime warranty
- No significant downsides
RecommendationThere’s a reason the 87V is considered the gold standard of digital multimeters: it’s accurate, boasts a feature set that spans many electrical applications, and it’s built to last. If you haven’t used one of its latest versions over the last few years, chances are you’ll be discovering new, helpful features for a week or two. It is certainly expensive, but it’s not unheard of to run into a Pro using the same 87V from a decade ago – or longer! Given its performance, safety rating, and durability, that’s really no surprise.
Fluke 87V Multimeter Performance
New Meter’s Resolutions
What functions do you need in a multimeter? Chances are the Fluke 87V Industrial Multimeter has them. That’s why industrial, HVAC, and general electrical Pros can all rely on it to perform nearly any and every measurement task in the electrician’s world.
All Pros can benefit from the impressive dual resolution accuracy of the Fluke 87V multimeter. First is a 6,000 count 3-3/4 digit resolution that updates every 4 seconds. The second is a 19,999 count that updates a little slower at every 3 seconds (at greater than 10Hz). A 32-segment bar graph updates every 40 seconds, giving you even more insight since your eye can’t really perceive digits updating that quickly.
Industrial Electricians will use the low-pass filter for VFD work, bypassing noise from the carrier signal. The Fluke 87V industrial multimeter remains popular among HVAC Pros for all this functionality plus the included temperature probe.
We really like the large size of the Fluke 87V multimeter. At 7.9 x 3.8 x 2.16 inches, it gives the interface a clean and simple look and feels comfortable to hold. The removable holster (which we never remove) features a kickstand for bench work. It also includes a probe holder that doubles as storage when you’re done for the day.
Does your current DMM have a backlight? Well, as if to show off a bit, the 87V has two of them at different brightness levels. Of course, you also get audible beep alerts, including one against the use of incorrect input jacks. You’ll notice in the pictures that we left the screen protector on. It’s nearly unnoticeable and a great precaution against scratches.
The Fluke 87V lets users choose either auto or manual ranging. As you’d expect, you get True RMS capability on this top-of-the-line meter. It’s a function that you’d do well to spring for no matter what meter you choose.
Fluke 87V Meter Hidden Features and Modes
In addition to the Fluke 87V multimeter’s broad range of features, “hidden” power-up options disable or change some of them. Fortunately, a little Internet detective uncovered Fluke’s explanations of each function. For example, hold the yellow button and turn on the meter to disable the 30-minute auto-off function. Likewise, holding the range key on power-up enables smoothing. This lets the meter take several measurements before it displays the reading. You can disable the audible beeps by holding the continuity key. Relative measurements show up when you hold down the REL Δ button. This amplifies the bar graph or shows signal variance.
So what’s missing? Not a whole lot. Of course, if we wanted to get nit-picky, we’d like this top-of-the-line meter to include the magnetic strap/hanger. They are available on Fluke’s site for just shy of $50, which seems a bit steep. The 87V’s test leads are a fine quality, but they aren’t Fluke’s highest, either. Including one or both of these things (even with a slightly higher price) would really make this the total package. Still, it’s hard to complain about the Fluke 87V multimeter for industrial and commercial applications.
Fluke 87V Multimeter Price
You can pick up the Fluke 87V multimeter for around $429.99 on the company’s website, or shop online or through dealers. It’s not always easy to make comparisons with complex instruments like it, but here’s a look at the field of high-end industrial meters.
The Bottom Line
The latest version of the Fluke 87V multimeter is its best yet for electricians across the trade: general, industrial, and HVAC. It’s traditionally been extremely durable, accurate, and safe—and that hasn’t changed. That’s why you can find Pros still using the 87Vs they bought a decade ago or more. We also wouldn’t complain about a magnet/strap and including Fluke’s higher end probes. All in all, it’s hard to argue the 87V isn’t still the king of the digital multimeter domain.
Fluke 87V Industrial Multimeter Specifications
- Voltage DC ±(0.05% + 1)
- Maximum voltage 1000 V
- Maximum resolution 10 µV
- Voltage AC ±(0.7% + 2) True RMS
- Maximum voltage 1000 V
- AC bandwidth 20 kHz with low pass filter; 3 dB @ 1 kHz
- Maximum resolution 0.1 mV
- Current DC ±(0.2% + 2)
- Maximum amps 10 A (20 A for 30 seconds maximum)
- Maximum resolution 0.01 µA
- Current AC ±(1.0% + 2) True RMS
- Maximum amps 10 A (20 A for 30 seconds maximum)
- Maximum resolution 0.1 µA
- Resistance ±(0.2% + 1)
- Maximum resistance 50 MΩ
- Maximum resolution 0.1 Ω
- Capacitance ±(1% + 2)
- Maximum capacitance 9,999 µF
- Maximum resolution 0.01 nF
- Frequency ±(0.005% + 1)
- Maximum frequency 200 kHz
- Maximum resolution 0.01 Hz
- Temperature measurement (excluding probe)
- –200.0 °C – 1090 °C
- –328.0 °F – 1994.0 °F
- 80 BK temperature probe
- –40.0 °C – 260 °C
- –40.0 °F – 500 °F, 2.2 °C or 2% whichever is greater
- Conductance ±(1.0% + 10)
- Maximum conductance 60.00 nS
- Maximum resolution 0.01 nS
- Diode ±(2% + 1)
- Range 3 V
- Resolution 1 mV
- Duty cycle range ±(0.2% per kHz + 0.1%)
- Overvoltage category: EN 61010–1 to 1000 V CAT III, 600V CAT IV
- Agency approvals: CE, CSA, RCM
- Size (with holster): 7.9 x 3.85 x 2 in (201 x 98 x 52 mm)
- Weight: 12.5 oz (355 g)
- Weight (w/holster): 22 oz (624 g)
- Digital display: 6000 counts updates 4/sec., 19,999 counts in high–resolution mode
- Analog display: 32 segments, updates 40/sec
- Frequency: 19,999 counts, updates 3/sec at > 10 Hz
- Warranty: Lifetime
- Alkaline battery life (no backlight): ~400 hours typical
- Shock: 1 Meter drop per IEC 61010–1:2001
- Vibration: Per MIL–PRF–28800 for a Class 2 instrument
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