To me, Fluke has always represented the reference standard by which all other are judged. But Fluke meters have also been more expensive than I could justify, so I’ve always made do with “lesser” brands. Some of those so-called lesser brands have served me for decades, but when I finally needed to replace one of them, I thought I would finally get myself a Fluke. A 179 kit with probes and case was almost $400 new, so I bought a used one. I figured that the highly-vaunted Fluke brand, just a few years old, would have to be better than the decades-old “lesser” brand meter that it was to replace.
When I got my long-awaited meter, I was immediately disappointed at just how gross and dirty the once-yellow case had become, but I wanted to verify that it was working, so I did some simple testing and comparison to a recently-calibrated meter. It was close enough for my purposes, but no closer than some of my “lesser” meters that haven’t been calibrated in years. So much for Fluke magic.
As I was checking out the meter, the battery went dead, so naturally I went to replace it, whereupon I discovered that the battery door was cracked so badly around the screws that pieces fell out when I removed the screws. It was degraded so badly that it wouldn’t stay on anymore. No problem, I thought, I’ll just get a replacement. Which is when I discovered that Fluke parts are even more outrageous that Fluke meters. That little piece of (apparently weak) yellow plastic cost me $20. To put that into perspective, I’ve purchased entire meters for $20, that still look and work fine decades later. $20 for $0.20 worth of plastic is just a rip-off.
Having reluctantly ordered the over-priced battery cover, I then started scrubbing on the gross yellow case, first with products that I was sure wouldn’t harm it, and then when that didn’t work, I started working my way up to ever harsher chemicals. It’s REALLY hard to clean. The material used by this legendary brand is just awful! It almost defies cleaning. After taking the mater all apart and working on it for hours, it was finally almost “like new”, but not quite, because in spite of being essentially impossible to clean, it is not impossible to damage.
Having the yellow parts so much cleaner called attention to the fact that the clear piece of plastic that covers the display was pretty scratched up, so with less optimism than for the battery door, I searched for a replacement. It’s a little thing about 1” x 3”. The only one I could find at that time was $40, so I decided to sand and polish the one I already had. That worked fine, but wow. The markings on the rubber buttons are worn too, but I couldn’t even find that part, so decided to live with it. Questionable material quality combined with outrageous cost to replace those same materials when they fail…it’s a lousy combination.
I’m sure it’s a decent meter, but “having” it is not so pleasing a thing after all as “wanting” it.
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Verified purchase: Yes | Condition: Pre-owned