Test/review of DMM Fluke 17B+

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HKJ
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Test/review of DMM Fluke 17B+

DMM Fluke 17B+
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This is a Fluke DMM designed to be sold in China, i.e. I doubt any authorized Fluke dealer in the EU/USA will have it, but due to all the Chinese shops selling directly to EU/USA it is very easy to buy and considerable cheaper than a regular Fluke DMM.
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The meter arrived in a yellow Fluke box with Chinese writing (I bought it from a German seller on Ebay).
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It included the DMM, a pair of probes, a thermocoupler and a manual in Chinese.
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The probes has removable tip covers.
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The probes are the Fluke TL75 model.
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The probes are rated for 10A, and CAT II, CAT III, CAT IV
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The thermocoupler looks like a good construction and is marked Fluke.
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Display
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The above picture shows all the segments on the display.
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Typical display during usage, it will show the number and what measurement is selected.
Warning
There is a red warning light, this will turn on when DC or AC voltage is above 30V or when selecting “Hz %” in a voltage range (Because it is impossible to see the actual voltage). The LCD display will also show a lightning symbol.
Functions
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Buttons:


  • Hold (Blue): Will freeze the display.
  • Range: Switch to manual ranging and will also change range, hold down to get back to automatic
  • Rel: Uses the current value as reference and will show all further readings relative to this, will change to manual range.
  • (Yellow): Selects the ranges printed with yellow on the rotary switch
  • Min Max: Starts recording min/max values, press the button to change between min/max (Both are saved), hold down to exit.
  • Hz %: Select Hz and duty cycle display, works on all volt and current ranges.
  • Backlight: Turn backlight on, press again to turn off.

Rotary switch:

  • Off: Meter is turned off
  • VAC: Show AC voltage, use “Hz %” for frequency an duty cycle.
  • VDC: Show DC voltage, use “Hz %” for frequency an duty cycle.
  • mV: Show DC or AC mV. Use the yellow button to select AC and use “Hz %” for frequency an duty cycle.
  • ohm: Resistance, continuity and diode
  • Capacitance: Capacitance.
  • A: Current AC and DC. Use the yellow button to selet AC and use “Hz %” for frequency an duty cycle.
  • mA: Current AC and DC. Use the yellow button to select AC and use “Hz %” for frequency an duty cycle.
  • uA: Current AC and DC. Use the yellow button to select AC and use “Hz %” for frequency an duty cycle.
  • Temp: Temperature, when no probe is mounted it will show a temperature, but that is not correct.

Input
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  • 10A: High current, it can only withstand 10+ ampere for a short time (Fuse is 11A).
  • mAuA: The lower current ranges, the selector switch will change between two different shunts (Fuse is 440mA).
  • CON: The common terminal for all ranges.
  • xxx: All other ranges.

Measurements

  • Volt and frequency

    • At 10mVrms input frequency range is from 10Hz to 3kHz on mV range
    • At 1Vrms input frequency range is from 1Hz to 0.7MHz on mV range
    • AC volt can measure up to about 1.1kHz.
    • Max/min nneds about 150ms to capture a voltage.
    • Input impedance is 10Mohm on DC, except 1V range that is 11Mohm, AC input is AC coupled
    • mV range is high impedance for AC and DC
    • Frequency counter requires zero crossing in DC
    • Warning lamp turns on at 30VDC, 30VAC or if frequency is selected.

  • Current

    • Frequency counter can be selected in any current range.

  • Ohm, Continuity, diode and capacity

    • Ohm is 0.51V open and 0.17mA shorted
    • Continuity is moderate speed (About 130mS).
    • Continuity beeps when resistance is below 83ohm and is intermittent below 117ohm.
    • Continuity is 0.54V open and 0.17mA shorted
    • Diode range uses 2.4V, max. display is 2V at 0.11mA, max. current is 0.57mA shorted
    • 1000uF takes about 11 seconds to measure.
    • Capacity range shows often wrong value when checking high value capacitors.

  • Miscellaneous

    • Temperature compensation is mounted near the input terminal
    • Temperature range is specified from -55°C to +400°C, but display works from about -110°C to 1100°C within a few degrees.
    • Current consumption of meter is 1.5mA (5.5mA with backlight)
    • Meter works down to 2.2V where it turns off, battery symbol show at 2.2V.
    • The meter usual need two display update to reach the final value.
    • Viewing angle is good, except from the top.
    • Display updates around 2 times/sec
    • Backlight will automatic turn off in about 2 minutes.
    • Will automatic turn power off in about 19 minutes.
    • To disable auto power off hold down the yellow button when turning the meter on, this will also disable automatic backlight off.
    • Weight is 455g without accessories, but with rubber sleeve and batteries.
    • Size is 183 × 92 × 44mm with rubber sleeve.

  • Probes

    • Probe resistance 34mOhm for one.
    • Probe wire is 125cm long.


1uF
A look at the capacity measurement waveform.
DMMschema
Tear down
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6 long screws and the back could be removed.
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This DMM has real input protection. The two fuses are 1000V and HRC, i.e. they can both break 1000’s of amperes.
The mA uA range has a diode bridge (CR9) and a diode (CR5) to protect the shunt until the fuse blows. The mA current shut is R21 (1ohm) and the uA shut is R25 (100ohm).
There is also a 10MOhm resistor (R63, R65, R104, R105).
The chip (U8) near the input terminals is probably for measuring temperature and used for compensation when using thermocouplers.
The current output for ohm and capacity has a lot of protection: A big resistor (R20), some MOVs (RV1, Rv2, RV3) and PTC (RT1).
There is a EEPROM for calibration data (U6:24AA024H). It looks like they are low on pins for the main chip (U1), there is a chip (U7:74HC148) to encode 8 switch positions onto 3 bits. The other HC148 (U2) is probably doing something similar, maybe with the switches?
The slots are used for plastic shields, this greatly increases the isolation distance.
The group of 6 golden points near the two square battery connections are for calibration, there is a hole in the bottom of the battery compartment for access.
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A input resistor is placed on this side, it is build from 7 resistors (R2, R8, R14, R24, R2?, R29, R37: All 143kohm).
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The circuit board is 4 layer, here I have added some light from behind, this makes it possible to see some of the buried traces.
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And from the other side.
Conclusion
This is a Fluke meter made for the Chinese market, this means Fluke do not sell it in Europe or USA, but it is possible to buy from Ebay. It has good input protection, making it safe to use within its marked CAT rating. For a Fluke this DMM is fairly cheap, but that do not make it a cheap meter.
It has the usual ranges for a good DMM, but nothing extra.
Notes
It is possible to download a English manual from Fluke.
How do I review a DMM

My website with reviews of many chargers and batteries (More than 1000): https://lygte-info.dk/

Edited by: HKJ on 10/03/2017 - 13:28
The Miller
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Didn’t AvE do a vidjeo about this.
Still to expensive to justify for me though.
Thanks for the in depth review!

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Excellent review... I recently tested model 362 clamp meter also not available in the U.S.

 

It took everything I threw at it and the quality was as you would expect from Fluke.

Only short a couple of small features like back light and no case. But, it is still an excellent meter.

I've seen this meter for around $110.00 U.S. dollar's. That is a very good price for a meter of this quality.

 

Thanks for such a thorough review. 

 

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HKJ
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Terry White wrote:

Only short a couple of small features like back light and no case. But, it is still an excellent meter.

Fluke is generally not the meters with most features, but they are usual very easy to use.

Look at this from a Keysight meter:

There a many possibilities, but not nearly as nice designed as a typical Fluke meter.

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ven
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Thanks for the review, always super useful and nice to see.
Work provided me with a Di-Log DL9309, seems a reasonable MM, do you know of it and any thoughts. Downside for me is it has a 9v battery………dont like it

Home though i have a Fluke 789, admittedly its a bit too fancy for me. This is fed on 4x AA so naturally it has loops in.

HKJ
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I do not know the DiLog, my first guess would be a typical cheap meter that works fine as long as you keep it away from high voltage and current.
But because it is provided by work it might also be a simple, but properly protected meter.
A look at the circuit board will tell what it is.

In good meters the bargraph will update much faster than the numbers.

The 789 is a rather expensive meter, due to the process calibration.

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When i looked into the cost, they tend to sell around the £150 mark in the UK. Kind of lower end Fluke of which we used to have. The Di Log specs
True RMS Digital Multimeter, with large Back-lit LCD display. Measures AC or DC voltage and current, resistance, capacitance, frequency, Temperature to 1382 deg. F, diode test and continuity. Features min/max and peak hold, auto power off, relative mode, data hold, full-range protection & 6000 counts display. EN61010-1, CAT IV 600V, CAT III 1000V. Di-Log DL9309. 9V Battery included.

I do find the newer probes a pain with the guards………Might get some Fluke TL175 twistguard for it to use. Do you do reviews on the leads also? and croc clips etc?

Thanks again

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The specs on that Di-log 9309 are pretty respectable. I am not 100% sure but I am about 80% that this along with a half a dozen or more are manufactured in the same plant by the same company then branded.

There are 4 DMM's I know for a fact that came to be this way. I will not name all of them but there is one I will mention. That would be SouthWire. I do not mind talking about their meters as I own about 5 of them. All 5 are excellent meters. I have their top of the line of last years models and it is every bit as safe and accurate as any on the market and cost much less. Very well constructed.

Fluke I have always put at the top because they usually tend to lead the way...not follow. And so far (Hope this never changes) customer service is outstanding. I am willing to pay 20% more for the service I get if I have to call or email Fluke verses even the Southwire meters I own. I am still waiting on an answer from them from 3 months ago lol.

 

Measurement   Range                               Basic Accuracy

AC voltage          1.0 mV – 1000 V               1.0 % +/- 3 digits

DC voltage          0.1 mV – 1000 V               0.09 % +/- 2 digits

AC current          0.1 µA – 10 A                   1.5 % +/- 3 digits

DC current          0.1 µA – 10 A                   1.0 % +/- 3 digits

Resistance          0.1 Ω – 60 MΩ                 0.3 % +/- 4 digits

Capacitance        0.01 nF – 1000 µF             3.5 % +/- 4 digits

Frequency          0.001 Hz – 40 MHz           0.1 % +/- 1 digits

Temperature     -45°C to 750°C                  3.5 % +/- 4 digits

Diode test           0.9 mA typical 2.8 V DC

Power supply     1 x 9 V PP3 Alkaline battery (supplied)

Dimensions        182 x 82 x 55 mm

Weight 360 g

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Nice review HKJ. Thanks.

 

djozz quotes, "it came with chinese lettering that is chinese to me".

                      "My man mousehole needs one too"

old4570 said "I'm not an expert , so don't suffer from any such technical restrictions".

Old-Lumens. Highly admired and cherished member of Budget Light Forum. 11.5.2011 - 20.12.16. RIP.

 

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ven wrote:
When i looked into the cost, they tend to sell around the £150 mark in the UK. Kind of lower end Fluke of which we used to have. The Di Log specs True RMS Digital Multimeter, with large Back-lit LCD display. Measures AC or DC voltage and current, resistance, capacitance, frequency, Temperature to 1382 deg. F, diode test and continuity. Features min/max and peak hold, auto power off, relative mode, data hold, full-range protection & 6000 counts display. EN61010-1, CAT IV 600V, CAT III 1000V. Di-Log DL9309. 9V Battery included. I do find the newer probes a pain with the guards.........Might get some Fluke TL175 twistguard for it to use. Do you do reviews on the leads also? and croc clips etc? Thanks again

 

I am about to order a set of Fluke TL71 Premium leads for the meter that arrived yesterday. I am not even sure of the resistance or anything else of them I just like them, they suite my hands.

Back on what I wanted to say is that I actually found them on the Fluke website and when I clicked buy now it sent me to a list of retailers one of which is Amazon and they are selling them for $17.84 U.S. dollars. It is Prime sold and shipped by Amazon so that even includes 2 day shipping. Just a heads up for you as their leads can get costly.

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HKJ
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Terry White wrote:

The specs on that Di-log 9309 are pretty respectable. I am not 100% sure but I am about 80% that this along with a half a dozen or more are manufactured in the same plant by the same company then branded.

That is fairly normal, but even the same DMM can have different electronic/protection inside.
UNI-T do that with Chinese/EU versions, the EU version have lower CAT rating and better protection for the same meter.

Terry White wrote:
DC voltage          0.1 mV – 1000 V               0.09 % +/- 2 digits

Measure 610V within 0.5V, that is impressive (ok, the +/- 2 count fixes that, it is only with +/-2.5V).

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HKJ wrote:
Terry White wrote:

The specs on that Di-log 9309 are pretty respectable. I am not 100% sure but I am about 80% that this along with a half a dozen or more are manufactured in the same plant by the same company then branded.

That is fairly normal, but even the same DMM can have different electronic/protection inside. UNI-T do that with Chinese/EU versions, the EU version have lower CAT rating and better protection for the same meter.
Terry White wrote:
DC voltage          0.1 mV – 1000 V               0.09 % +/- 2 digits
Measure 610V within 0.5V, that is impressive (ok, the +/- 2 count fixes that, it is only with +/-2.5V).

 

Show off lol.... Honestly I was impressed even with the variances. Depending on how much the meter costs it is a pretty good meter... At least on paper. 

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Great review HKJ! Even though I didn’t understand some of it.

Is the Fluke 17B+ as accurate as the more expensive Fluke like your 189

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He gets over my head a good bit too lol...

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HKJ
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Venom wrote:
Even though I didn’t understand some of it.

It is always possible to ask if you want something clarified.

Venom wrote:
Is the Fluke 17B+ as accurate as the more expensive Fluke like your 189

No, the 189 has more digits. The rated specification will also often also be better for more expensive meter with the same amount of digits, but that do not mean they are more precise, just that they a guaranteed to be more precise (It is not the same).
i.e. A meter rated with 1% +/-5 and a meter rated 0.5% +/-2 can both show 1.000 volt when you apply 1.000 volt and often will.

Even cheap meters are usual very precise, at least when used indoor at normal indoor temperature.

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I have a Fluke 189 and 289. To be honest, I use the 189 most of the time. It’s got an easier to read display contrast wise. It’s been professionally calibrated about a year ago. The 289 was sent back to fluke to have the leaky super capacitor replaced under warranty about 2 years ago. While it was there, they calibrated it and updated the firmware.

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HKJ
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atbglenn wrote:
I have a Fluke 189 and 289. To be honest, I use the 189 most of the time.

Same here, I also prefer the 189 for most tasks.

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HKJ wrote:
atbglenn wrote:
I have a Fluke 189 and 289. To be honest, I use the 189 most of the time.

Same here, I also prefer the 189 for most tasks.

My 189 which I’ve owned since 1999 still has a good supercapacitor. Have you checked your 289? It is a known issue with that model. Luckily mine didn’t damage the circuit board because it was just starting to leak. Fluke was really good about taking care of the problem.

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atbglenn wrote:
[ My 189 which I’ve owned since 1999 still has a good supercapacitor. Have you checked your 289? It is a known issue with that model. Luckily mine didn’t damage the circuit board because it was just starting to leak. Fluke was really good about taking care of the problem.

Not recently, it is probably a good idea to check again.

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atbglenn
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HKJ wrote:
atbglenn wrote:
[ My 189 which I’ve owned since 1999 still has a good supercapacitor. Have you checked your 289? It is a known issue with that model. Luckily mine didn’t damage the circuit board because it was just starting to leak. Fluke was really good about taking care of the problem.

Not recently, it is probably a good idea to check again.

Definitely a good idea. I mentioned this to BLF member TurboBB73. He made a video on youtube a little over a year ago.

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It may be time to remove it:

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Wow! Glad I mentioned it to you before it could do damage.

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I have one of those fluke IR thermometers glenn in work. Actually got it for bearing temps and flashlight checks……….not used for latter yet.

Keep pondering over the thermal imagining Fluke but too much money.

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atbglenn wrote:
Wow! Glad I mentioned it to you before it could do damage.

It needed to leak a lot more before it could do any damage, but now it is removed. It did not work anyway.
This means it looses the time each time I replaces batteries (I already did that) and that is not really a problem for me. If I need to do some offline logging with time stamps I will have to use another meter.

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ven wrote:
I have one of those fluke IR thermometers glenn in work. Actually got it for bearing temps and flashlight checks……….not used for latter yet.

Keep pondering over the thermal imagining Fluke but too much money.

Hi Ven, how are you buddy? I purchased my Fluke 62 Mini years ago before all the cheap Chinese IR meters came out. I remember it wasn’t cheap. I can only imagine how expensive Fluke thermal imaging meters cost. BTW, I purchased my Fluke meters when I had a decent paying job. Today I’m retired, and very careful how I spend my money. If I already didn’t own them, I’d be looking for much less expensive electronic measuring tools.

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HKJ][quote=Venom wrote:
Even though I didn’t understand some of it.

It is always possible to ask if you want something clarified.

It’s just a matter of learning what different functions does and learning different terms mean like burden voltage. shunts.

Are these DMM good for the flashlight hobby and are these meter made in the U.S. for the Asian market?

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Venom wrote:
It’s just a matter of learning what different functions does and learning different terms mean like burden voltage. shunts.

Shunt is often used about a resistor when it is used for current measurement.
Burden voltage is the voltage drop in a DMM when it is used for measuring current. If you are measuring current from a 1.2V battery with a 200mV burden voltage (At the actual current) your load will only see 1V, i.e. the DMM will affect the result.

Venom wrote:
Are these DMM good for the flashlight hobby and

Yes, but if only used for flashlights you can get something cheaper that is just as good. With the Fluke you also pays for safety when using it at mains voltage.

Venom wrote:
are these meter made in the U.S. for the Asian market?

Probably made in Asia for the Asian market

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HKJ wrote:
Venom wrote:
It’s just a matter of learning what different functions does and learning different terms mean like burden voltage. shunts.

Shunt is often used about a resistor when it is used for current measurement.
Burden voltage is the voltage drop in a DMM when it is used for measuring current. If you are measuring current from a 1.2V battery with a 200mV burden voltage (At the actual current) your load will only see 1V, i.e. the DMM will affect the result.

Venom wrote:
Are these DMM good for the flashlight hobby and

Yes, but if only used for flashlights you can get something cheaper that is just as good. With the Fluke you also pays for safety when using it at mains voltage.

Venom wrote:
are these meter made in the U.S. for the Asian market?

Probably made in Asia for the Asian market

Thanks for the replies!

What’s your idea of a cheaper DMM that is just as good?
You don’t have to many DMM reviews/test report up yet so I can’t go by that for reference.

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Venom wrote:
What’s your idea of a cheaper DMM that is just as good?

The cheap Aneng (AN8008 & AN860B+) looks good, but they do not have the same mechanical quality as Fluke,(that is not a problem on a bench).

Venom wrote:
You don’t have to many DMM reviews/test report up yet so I can’t go by that for reference.

I am working on it, I have a couple more ready, they will be published over the next few months.

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Nive review, thanks Steve

I bought the Fluke 17B+ about over a year ago after AvE´s review.
Mainly, because I had done it all for like 10 years on a 10$ multimeter, so I thought it´s about time…

Has been working well and I like that it is AA-powered and not 9V (which I had to replace to my older MM quite often).

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atbglenn wrote:
ven wrote:
I have one of those fluke IR thermometers glenn in work. Actually got it for bearing temps and flashlight checks……….not used for latter yet.

Keep pondering over the thermal imagining Fluke but too much money.

Hi Ven, how are you buddy? I purchased my Fluke 62 Mini years ago before all the cheap Chinese IR meters came out. I remember it wasn’t cheap. I can only imagine how expensive Fluke thermal imaging meters cost. BTW, I purchased my Fluke meters when I had a decent paying job. Today I’m retired, and very careful how I spend my money. If I already didn’t own them, I’d be looking for much less expensive electronic measuring tools.

Hey there, OK thanks, hope your doing good Thumbs Up Sorry for late reply, BLF has been down my side for a day or 2 and missed this altogether.

Yep Fluke are certainly not cheap! Case of buy once , cry once……………

I have the little baby 59(just for checking bearing temps…………oh and flashlights when i get chance).

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