Fluke 179 vs. Fluke 117: Which is the Best?

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Fluke 179 and Fluke 117 stand among the most popular multimeters in the market. They boast a rugged construction, good safety rating, and a true RMS reading. Electricians use them for troubleshooting current, resistance, frequency, and even temperature.

Though made by the same manufacturer, Fluke 179 and 117 have differing warranty covers, troubleshooting capabilities, weight, and safety ratings. That is why many people face a challenge when looking to buy the best Fluke multimeter from the available models.

So, if you have narrowed down your purchase list to these two multimeters, but you are unable to pick an ideal unit for your needs, we have scrutinized each to help you make a well-versed verdict.

Fluke 179 vs. Fluke 117 Quick Comparison Table

Fluke 179 Review

Fluke 179 is a high-rated model in Fluke Corporation’s 170 lineups. From a decent accuracy to a lifetime warranty, this multimeter has several features that make it a great pick for electricians who need something for professional use. Some notable features making up this multimeter for specialists include:

Exceptional Build Quality

Fluke Corporation made this multimeter from a rugged plastic material that can survive wear and tear for quite a long period. The multimeter has a rubber sleeve to absorb excess impact when it drops accidentally.

Design-wise, Fluke 179 has a large backlit display that lets you take readings quickly without straining your eyes. In addition, this multimeter has a data hold feature, which locks current values on the display for later reading.

Other great features on Fluke 179 include the inbuilt kickstand, which frees up your hands when working, and the easy-to-operate interface, which simplifies troubleshooting. This multimeter weighs 550 grams.

Superb Safety-Rating

Fluke 179 has a safety rating of CAT IV for 600 volts and CAT III for 1000 volts. With this kind of safety rating, this multimeter can endure high transient voltage from large motors and transformers without exploding.

Each Fluke 179 multimeter comes equipped with a high-rupture fuse to protect the unit’s internal components. The fuse blows up to disconnect high voltage power from reaching other internal components of the meter.


Fluke 179 is a multipurpose meter. It measures the resistance of up to 60 megaohms, a voltage of up to 1000 volts, the capacitance of up to 10,000 microfarads, and AC/DC of up to 20 Amperes.

You can also use Fluke 179 to measure a temperature range of -40-400 degrees Celsius and a frequency of 100 Kilohertz (kHz). With this capability, Fluke 179 makes a great mate for electricians who want something they can use for professional electrical troubleshooting projects.

Long-lasting Battery

Fluke 179 multimeter uses a 9V alkaline battery used in some high-end smoke detectors, instrumentation devices, and battery-powered medical devices. The 9V alkaline batteries used in Fluke 179 will last for 200 hours. It is supposedly better than the AA batteries used in cheaper multimeters.

Fluke 117 Review

Fluke 117 brags of groundbreaking features like LoZ function and non-contact voltage, features which are rare in competitors of the same price range. It detects voltage without contact and eliminates false readings from ghost voltage. Other amazing features making up this unit include:

Ingenious Design and Rugged Construction

Like its siblings from Fluke Corporation, this 117 model features a durable plastic construction that will hold up for years. It is enclosed in a rubber boot that absorbs the excessive impact from falls and collisions.

Regarding design, Fluke 117 has a reasonably-sized backlit screen to facilitate the ease of reading values even when working in dark and brightly lit settings. Its data hold feature will record the values displayed for later reading.

The multimeter’s dials are easily accessible with the thumb, and it has an inbuilt stand to free up your hands when troubleshooting components. It weighs 550 grams.


With Fluke 117, you can troubleshoot a voltage of up to 600 volts and a current of 10 amperes. You can also use Fluke 117 to test capacitance of up to 1000 microfarad and frequency of up to 50 Kilohertz.

Fluke 117 can detect voltage without touching the electrical component under test. This unit also has an AutoVolt function that automatically sets the unit to AC or DC when testing for current.

Excellent Battery and Battery Life

Like its competitor Fluke 179, Fluke 117 is powered by a 9V alkaline battery which promises to power up the unit for several days. On average, the 9V battery can offer 400 hours of service before wearing out. The 9V alkaline cell might not last as long as 400 hours when you backlit the display frequently.

Safety Rating

This multimeter from Fluke Corporation has a CAT III rating. It will withstand transient impulses of up to 600 volts without blowing up. The rating makes it an ideal multimeter for testing home electrical appliances, branch circuits, and other components that receive low to medium voltage connections from utility power.

Fluke 117’s fuse will blow up when exposed to high voltage as a way to protect internal electrical components.

Our Verdict—Which Is the Best?

The choice of which multimeter makes the best investment would depend on your personal preferences. For instance, Fluke 179 would be a good option for electricians looking for a multimeter for diverse professional projects. It delivers superb accuracy and can measure virtually all electrical metrics you would think of. With a CAT IV safety score, this unit will survive the damaging effects of high transient impulses.

On the other hand, Fluke 117 would be a great pick for professionals looking for a highly accurate unit to troubleshoot components for voltage without contact. It measures a decent range of electrical metrics, and it can stand transient impulses of up to 600 volts. Its battery lasts long, and its rugged construction will hold up well for years.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the differences between Fluke 179 and Fluke 117?

There are a couple of differences between Fluke 179 and Fluke 117. Fluke 179 has a CAT III 600V and CAT IV 1000V rating. It is one of the safest multimeters you could use to troubleshoot components with high voltage inputs.

Fluke 179 measures a voltage of up to 1000 volts and has a lifetime warranty. Apart from basic electrical metrics like voltage, resistance, frequency, and current, Fluke 179 measures temperature.

Fluke 117 measures a voltage of 600 volts, and it detects voltage automatically. The multimeter has a LoZ function which eliminates false readings when measuring voltage. A three-year warranty backs it.

What are the similarities between Fluke 179 and Fluke 117?

Both Fluke 179 and Fluke 117 have rugged construction that can resist wear for pretty long. Additionally, both multimeters are protected from power surges. They will offer several years of service when used as recommended. With Fluke 179 and 117, you can troubleshoot an electrical component’s voltage, resistance, continuity, frequency, current, and diodes.

Is Fluke 179 worthy of buying?

Fluke 179 is worth every dollar. This multimeter features rugged construction that can survive the impact of falls and high voltage for years. It will save you from the hassle of buying new multimeters after a short while. With Fluke 179, you will test every aspect of an electrical component.

Are Fluke multimeters made in the United States of America?

Fluke Corporation is a multinational company headquartered in Washington DC, USA. It runs several manufacturing plants in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Asia. Your meter could be from Fluke companies based out of the US.

Why are multimeters from Fluke more costly than those from rival companies?

Fluke’s multimeters are expensive because they are durable, safe, convenient, and versatile. The multimeters have a rugged construction that can resist crashing when your multimeter falls from heights. Each multimeter from Fluke has a safety fuse that protects internal components from power surges. Fluke’s multimeters accurately measure voltage, current, continuity, resistance, and frequency.

Toby Ashby

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