Fluke 177 vs 179: Which One’s Best?
|The Winner||Fluke 179||
|The Runner-up||Fluke 177||
The Fluke 177 and the Fluke 179 are the same digital multimeter. They have the same frame, do the same things, and are equally reliable for years into the future. Why then, are there two different models? The answer lies with the few extra features that come with the 179, making it a much more versatile multimeter than the 177. That and, of course, a few dollars between the two.
But don’t get us wrong. Both are great multimeters with well-deserved reputations for accuracy, longevity, and dependability. That said, we’re going with the ultimate versatility and reputation of the Fluke 179.
What’s the difference between them?
The Fluke 179 is equipped with a thermostat for HVAC work. The 177 is not. Enough said, right? Both have similar suites of features for accuracy and durability, but one has a built-in thermometer for HVAC use. The 179 wins by simple mathematics.
As meager a win as additional HVAC utility is for the 179, price is likewise a meager victory for the 177. It’s probably a few bucks cheaper. You’ll get a little less product for a little less money. What you’re still getting, and still paying for, is the tool line. No matter which one you go with, you’re getting excellent staying power.
Durability is no issue with either of these multimeters. The Fluke name means their products come individually pre-tested to ensure they work to the company’s specifications. They’re both built to outlive cockroaches after a nuclear war. They both enjoy a wide range of environmental conditions under which they’ll work, and both are equally durable.
We liked the 177’s design a little better. Its knob was more flush to the front than on the 179. It’s a sleeker design that also reduces the wear and tear that comes with knocking the thing over. It’s a pretty insignificant win. But when two things are pretty even, like in this case, the slightest difference can prove critical.
Quick Rundown of Fluke 177:
- 6000 counts, updates 4 x second digital and 33 segments, updates 40 x second analog bar graph display
- Automatically turns off after 2 minutes to save battery life; the timeout feature can be disabled by a power up option
- Hold: Feezes the display at the push of a button; Auto hold: Display holds present reading until it detects the new stable input, then...
Fluke’s intro model into high-end multimeters is designed to take a shot while delivering the kind of accuracy we’ve come to expect from the maker.
Quick Rundown of Fluke 179:
- AC and DC Voltage measurements to 1000V
- AC and DC current with 0.01 mA resolution
- Continuity, resistance, diode test, capacitance and frequency measurements
The gold standard of general-use multimeters, the Fluke 179’s specialty is across-the-board excellence. You have to pay for that, but odds are pretty good that you’ll think of it a worthwhile return on your investment.
What Users Say
Oh yeah, you’re comparison shopping two of the best multimeters and you aren’t satisfied with knowing what just one website has to say about them. You want to know what a range of users shared regarding their experience. We respect that. These are both serious up-front dollar investments, and you (rightfully so) want to know if a broad range of people would endorse your choice.
As you can imagine, most everyone loved both of these multimeters. They are everything you want in a digital multimeter and then some. That is, you aren’t just getting accuracy or longevity or durability. You’re getting all of them, all at once, in both models.
The obvious thing is that you’re paying for that quality. You pay quite a lot for both of these multimeters. The 177 is probably a little cheaper, but it’s still not bargain-basement priced.
A lot of people who talked about this didn’t say it was a bad value, however. They just said that both models cost a lot of money. That’s a bit different than calling one a bad value.
Finally, people coalesced around the idea of versatility. You’re already paying a lot of money for a lot of features, and a lot of money for accuracy and a lot of money for durability and longevity. Why not maximize your potential? This is where the 179 started to shine. This model is capable of doing a lot more for just a little more money.
But really, those margins are pretty small. Users really liked both of these multimeters; they liked their versatility and their Fluke durability. The general consensus is that you aren’t going to go wrong buying either of these.
We liked the Fluke 179 over its stripped-down cousin the 177 because it was just a better all-around value. If you’re spending the money for a top-shelf tool and you have an extra few dollars, why not get a fully versatile suite of features? That said, these are both excellent digital multimeters that can handle a lot of your jobs—DIY and professional.