||6th September 2012 12:07 AM
Ever go to a restaurant and ten things on the menu look great, and you just can;t decide? You'd enjoy any one of them. The point is that none of the ten would be wrong.
Fluke may make a lot of meters, but yoiu may find ten models - or more - that would work great for you. And none of them would be wrong.
Just my opinion here, but I;d draw up a chart. Features you must have, features you'd like, and then check the models that have those things. You can find meters with 0.0001% accuracy, but do you REALLY need that? 6-digit readouts? Is 0.1% not good enough for you? Often the difference between a $200 meter and a $400 meter is just that.
Mouser sells Fluke, as do many other parts houses. Heck Sears even sells some Fluke models.
Low end meters often throw in a lot of functions because they can at almost no additional cost, to msaker it more attractive to buyers. Cap meter, freq meter, temperatuer meter, transistor hfe meter. Not sure how utile they all are. But I almost never have a need for freq measurements - maybe you do - other than to check speed on turntables or tape decks. I have a counter anyway, so I would never spend extra money for that feature. Just because someone heaps features on a meter doesn't mean you should pay extra for them.
Meters measure caps at very low voltages, and while they may read the capacitance, they will tell you nothing about leakage. My old Heathkit cap tester tells me a lot more about a cap than my hand meter. Especially in tube amps, you need to know that a filter cap is OK at 400v, not just at 2 volts. SO I agree with the above person who suggested getting a good DMM and leave the cap and inductor testing to something else.
Sencore used to make a cap/inductor analyzer, forget the model number, they made a whole series of them. They would measure capacitance, ESR, leakage, and could do it at up to 500v. And I used to buy inductors that came in 2mH, 3mH, 4mH, etc, and when I needed a 2.7mH coil for a crossover, I could connect it to the Sencore and unwind it until I got down to 2.7mH. Find and old used one of those.