I'm a refrigeration student graduating in the spring and I've been scouring these forums over the past few months picking up tons of tips. Thank you! I'm trying to figure out which meter to pull the trigger on but I'd appreciate some input.
I'm prepared to spend $200-$300, or perhaps more if it's worth it, on a quality meter that will put out for many years.
I see many guys here swear by the Fieldpiece HS36 and the SC56 looks great, but I'm wondering if they're overkill for me at this point.
Should I just go for a cheaper Fluke/Klein? I guess I pretty much just need something that does volts/amps/ohms/temperature until I see more and get a better grasp on what I could be encountering on a day to day basis.
What did you guys start out with? How did it hold up? Any info would be appreciated.
I saw you're in Canada and you mentioned the SC56 specifically, great meter, but if you will be working on any 575V equipment - don't bother. I haven't used the HS36, so I can't comment there.
Fluke is probably my brand of choice, I haven't been let down with any of them so far. It is likely what your local wholesalers stock as well.
If you want a cheap multimeter volt/amps/ohm Fluke T5-1000.
If you want a more capable meter, Fluke 87 or 83(same meter bullet proof) it can do temperature, but isn't so accurate when cold... And you would require a separate amp clamp.
I would personally suggest a dedicated tool for temperature. Although it's nice when a meter can do "everything", sometimes you may want to be able to do more than 1 thing a time. Something to think about.
FLUKE. Fieldpiece is good for all the HVAC accessories, but IMHO, FLUKE is a real DMM. An 87 or 187 is probably overkill. A good, True RMS Clamp meter will be perfect for general T/S and repair. FLUKE 335 would be a nice one and it is in the $200 range (cheaper on EBAY). Then get a dedicated temperature unit.
I may be stepping on toes, but I'm still not convinced Fieldpiece, Extech, ect can compete with FLUKE for accuracy and durability.