Fluke 117 vs. Fluke 115: What is the Right Choice?

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Fluke 117 and 115 rank top on the list of best multimeters from the Fluke Corporation. They boast True RMS readings, an ergonomic design, sturdy construction, and a CAT III 600V safety rating.

Then again, Fluke 117 and 115 have a couple of features that make them different. For instance, Fluke 117 has the non-contact voltage and LoZ features, which are missing on its sibling, Fluke 115.

These differences often give many buyers a challenge when trying to choose the best amongst the two. If you are one of those electrical technicians who feel undecided, this detailed overview will help you narrow it down to the best.

Fluke 117 vs. Fluke 115 Quick Comparison

An Overview of the Fluke 117 Multimeter

Fluke built this multimeter to make troubleshooting easy, safer, and convenient. It uses the cutting-edge VoltAlert technology to detect voltage without contact and the LoZ functionality to enhance its accuracy. 

The multimeter’s auto Volt technology eliminates the hassle of resetting the unit when testing AC or DC. Besides, this multimeter comes packed with several other great features like:

Multipurpose Functionality

The versatile Fluke 117 multimeter can troubleshoot every aspect of an electrical component. You can use it to troubleshoot voltage of up to 600 volts, a maximum current of 20 amperes, and a resistance of 40 milliohms. Also, you can use Fluke 117 to troubleshoot capacitance and frequency.

With this potential, Fluke 117 makes an excellent investment for electricians and hobbyists who want a multimeter they could use to troubleshoot various electrical systems and devices used in domestic settings.

However, it might be less helpful for professional projects since it does not measure milliamps and microamps.

Reasonable Safety Rating

The Fluke 117 has a CAT III 600V safety rating, a standard in many multimeters used for light to medium projects. This multimeter will handle voltage from polyphase motors and large electrical appliances used at home without blowing up. If you accidentally use Fluke 117 multimeter to measure a voltage above limits, its fuse will blow up to protect internal components from destruction.

Ergonomic Design

Fluke Corporation’s engineers designed this multimeter to make your work easier during use. It has a bright LED screen for easy reading and a data hold function to record current values displayed on the screen.

With the multimeter’s ergonomic architecture, you can operate it with a single hand while the other is engaged with the test leads. It is designed to fit on your hands comfortably. The multimeter’s kickstand will free up all your hands in the event of troubleshooting.

Sturdy Construction

Multimeters, just like any other equipment, are prone to damage. They can shatter if they drop from heights. That is why Fluke made this multimeter from hard plastic with excellent resistance to impact.

The multimeter’s plastic casing has a rubber sleeve to absorb excess impact when the multimeter drops from a height. Handled carefully, Fluke 117 will serve you for a generous period before giving up.

An Overview of Fluke 115

Fluke 115 is a lower-end multimeter in the Fluke Corporation’s 110 lineups. Though less costly, this multimeter has the accuracy, versatility, design, safety rating, and durability of high-end multimeters from Fluke. It has an autoranging capability that automatically selects the corresponding range and a one-handed design to enhance your efficiency when troubleshooting electrical components. Other great features on Fluke 115 include:

Ability to Test Several Electrical Metrics

Like Fluke 117, you can use Fluke 115 to test all aspects of an electrical component. You can use it to measure a voltage of up to 600 volts, a frequency of 50 Kilohertz, a DC/AC of 10 amperes, and a resistance of 40 milliohms.

You can also use this True RMS autoranging multimeter to test a capacitance of 1000 microfarads, diode, and continuity. Its potential in testing components is closely similar to Fluke 117, but it lacks the VoltAlert and LoZ capabilities. Therefore, in regards to performance, Fluke 117 is superior to 115.

Ergonomic Design

Fluke 115’s design is similar to that of its sibling Fluke 117. It has a backlit screen, making it easy for you to read values in dark or brightly lit settings. However, some technicians claim that the values exhibited on the screen appear faded when viewing the display at an angle.

Featuring a one-handed design, you can operate this unit’s rotary input selector and button with one hand while the other is handling the test leads. As an alternative, you can make use of the multimeter’s kickstand in case you wish to free up both hands during the troubleshooting process.

Well-made Construction

Fluke 115 was designed to resist wear and tear for a reasonable period. Its plastic construction enclosed in a rubber sleeve will hold up well even when the multimeter drops or gets exposed to elements on the job site.

In addition to the hard case, the multimeters’ internal components are protected from high voltage with a high-rapture fuse. The fuse blows up when the unit receives more voltage than it can handle, disconnecting power from reaching the multimeter’s internal components.

Excellent Safety Rating

Rated CAT III 600V, Fluke 115 can handle high to moderate energy transients without issue. You can use the multimeter to troubleshoot a range of electrical appliances, including lighting systems, portable electronics, distribution panels, switchgear, and other electronics used in domestic settings.

Fluke 117 vs. Fluke 115: Which Multimeter Should you pick?

As can be seen, Fluke 117 and Fluke 115 are great deals for electrical technicians or hobbyists looking for the best multimeter. They have good performance, design, and construction integrity.

However, Fluke 117 is superior to its sibling, Fluke 115. The multimeter has a LoZ function which increases the accuracy of readings, and it is capable of detecting voltage without contact. The multimeter can be used for industrial projects.

Fluke 115 is not a bad deal, especially if you are on a budget. The multimeter can test electrical components for voltage, resistance, current, and frequency. As well, it is easy to use, durable, and accurate. It is an excellent investment for enthusiasts looking for a unit for light projects like home maintenance and field apprentice.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do you use Fluke 115 and 117 multimeters?

Using Fluke 115 or Fluke 117 is straightforward. Insert the multimeter’s 9V battery into the compartment and power on the multimeter. Then, insert the test leads into their respective ports and flip the selection knob to the right setting, i.e., voltage, resistance, or current. 

Use the test leads to start troubleshooting your electrical component. Each multimeter comes with a detailed user guide to walk you through the process of using the multimeter to test current, voltage, resistance, frequency, continuity, and diodes. Refer to the manual anytime you get stuck. 

  • Where are Fluke 115 and Fluke 117 manufactured?

The two multimeters are designed by Fluke Corporation, a multinational company based in the United States, Asia, the UK, and the Netherlands. Therefore, your multimeter can be made in either of the countries mentioned before. 

All in all, the country where your multimeter is manufactured should not be an issue so long as you get a genuine Fluke multimeter from authorized stores. All Fluke manufacturers are designed according to set industry standards. 

  • Can Fluke 115 do all the things that Fluke 117 can do?

Performance-wise, Fluke 115 is similar to Fluke 117. Just like Fluke 117, you can use Fluke 115 to troubleshoot an electric component’s voltage, current, resistance, continuity, diode, and frequency. Nonetheless, Fluke 115 cannot detect voltage without contact alongside avoiding ghost voltages.

  • Who can use Fluke 115?

Fluke 115 is suitable for hobbyists, DIY enthusiasts, and beginners who need a multimeter for light and casual duties like testing home appliances, motor vehicle electrical parts, chainsaws, and other low voltage systems. It might not be suitable for professionals since its safety rating is low and does not test important metrics like milliamperes. 

  • What are the advantages of accurate RMS multimeters? 

True RMS multimeters like Fluke 117 and 115 are designed to give precise measurements of sinusoidal and non-sinusoidal waveforms. Such meters come in handy when troubleshooting electronic systems like HVAC, speed motor drives, power lines, and computers. True RMS multimeters are an advanced option of the traditional RMS multimeters. 

Toby Ashby

I am an automotive specialist with over 20 years of experience in and around electronics