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Reviews For: Fluke 87 Series IV

Category: Tools & Test Equipment for the amateur radio work bench

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Review Summary For : Fluke 87 Series IV
Reviews: 9MSRP:
True RMS Multimeter
Product is in production
More Info: http://
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
KD6ANF Rating: 2007-09-19
Great METER! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
A gift from a very good friend for providing some computer upgrading effort during the early '90's. This meter is used at least a few times a week and relied on without fault. A few years ago the LCD started to display erratic behavior and the thought of having to part with it for the repair process was upon me. Luckily two Fluke representatives were visiting the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory and giving demonstrations on their newest line of equipment while I was employed there. During a break one of the rep's was approached to inquire about my 87's display problem. The person I spoke with was very familiar with these meters and suggested that instead of sending it in for repair to just disassemble the unit and carefully remove the LCD then using a pencil eraser to gently rub the fine contact fingers that the LCD rests against. That is all that was required to correct the erratic display! It has been more than four years and the display is still functioning correctly. This meter still looks new, is kept in it's soft protective case and should provide service for a long time. I've used many Fluke products in the past and this meter is one of the best there is. Have a better meter at home than in the toolbox at work!

Best regards

george potter KD6ANF
N0FPE Rating: 2007-09-19
excellent Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I never leave home without it.
AI4WM Rating: 2007-09-19
One of the best meters around Time Owned: more than 12 months.
This is a great meter for the money. I have the 87-III which was discontinued and replaced by the 87-V or 87-5 as I have also seen it. The -5 has quite a few better features for use in an industrial setting, but the old 87-III line will be usable for years to come. Used and not abused they will last for years. I own several Fluke DMMs and the one I use most is my 87-III. It is a true RMS meter, rugged, and accurate beyond any normal amateur radio use. These meters can still be found in like new condition at very affordable prices (and sometimes unaffordable prices).

I've had this meter from soon after the -III came out when I finally replaced my trusty Beckman HD-110 after destroying it by accidentally hitting the HV on the modulator stage when I went to check the grid supply on a transmitter I had been working on all night.

No need to list all the neat technical stuff and features of the meter. They can be found along with manuals on the Fluke website.

I have the RF and HV probes for the meter which make the meter a very handy item in my tool case when I'm out working on a transmitter somewhere or on my own gear in the shack.
NL7W Rating: 2006-03-26
Excellent Multimeter... Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I own the original Fluke 87, and it is at least 10 years old. This 87 is a wonderful piece of test equipment, offering true RMS accuracy, min/max logging, ease of use, and reliability. I trust its accuracy on-the-job and around the hamshack.

My Fluke 87 stays packed up and nicely protected in a its matching Fluke soft case when not in use. I suspect it'll used in my work and play for another 10 years.

If you decide to purchase (invest) in a better digital VOM such as this, please remember to change out the 9V battery every year to precude leakage.

W9GB Rating: 2005-10-15
True RMS Multimeter Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
The Fluke 80 Series III digital multimeters were discontinued at the end of 2004.

Fluke 80 Series V has replaced series 80 Series III digital multimeters
The 80 Series V operates very similar to the classic 80 series, but with more problem solving power, safety, convenience and impact protection. The Series V also has a Lifetime Warranty!

I acquired my Fluke 87 (series I) for $5 at a computer fair. The unit had been abused by its former owners - front of the unit was splattered with paint from a spray paint gun and had some operational issues. The unit was sent to Fluke Service.
Fluke replaced the case (and gaskets) as well as the LCD; backlight, F1 fuse and front test lead connectors. My Fluke 87 now works and looks like a new unit - for 35% the price of the new Series V.

While some have commented on issues with earlier units - Fluke service addressed all of these issues. IF you find a cheap one in surplus, this may be a route to consider. The multimeter is a useful addition to my bench for its addition functions (True RMS & capacitor measure).
KJ4X Rating: 2003-03-01
Good but expensive Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have used my Fluke 87 in an industrial electrical/electronic trouble shooting environment for about 3 years. There were problems at first reading the 480 volt circuits in that the meter display would do wierd things. This was repaired under warranty and that problem has not happened again. The leads do seem to be less than quality expected and I have to break the calibration seal to change the 9 volt battery. Other than that the 87 has performed well but nothing to get excited about considering the price paid. I will say that it has outlasted other meters I have had. For hamshack use a cheaper meter would probably do as well. My rating of 3 is conservative and I don't give a 5 unless something is perfect and I have not found that equipment yet. Thanks
N0ODK Rating: 2003-03-01
GREAT METER! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have owned this meter (actually two Fluke87s for awhile) and other Fluke meters during the last 13 years of HAM radio and working in a Dairy Plant producing many different kinds of dairy products. The Fluke 87 was owned for about 12 years.
This meter is great for my many daily troubleshooting electrical problems on production machines. A lot of 480 volt three phase motors and 110 volt control circuits as well as PLC units. I love the record feature for min/max. I use this to test amp draws on three phase motors with the 80I-600 Current Transformer, testing inbalances or bad legs of motors.
I only had one problem with my meter (after a lot of abuse) which was fixed promptly by Fluke and then calibrated by them after. I did however replace test leads several times over the years due to heavy use. They are cheap anyway.
I HIGHLY recommend the Fluke 87 multi-meter for daily use, durability, and all out usefullness.
KD7KGX Rating: 2003-02-09
Works great for me... Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I picked up one of these a few years ago at (of all places) a RMEF Banquet. I wanted a Fluke meter, and the price was too good to pass up.

My 87 VI works great. I use the supplied Fluke leads and have had absolutely no problems. This is a very rugged instrument and I have no doubts about it holding up for longer than I probably will.

This unit IS fused to protect itself against high current levels during current testing, and I have blown both fuses. You just replace them with brand-new fuses available either on-line or at a good local electronics store (we've lost Active Electronics, by the way). Then it works again and you remember to not look at higher than 10 amps!

Would I buy it again? Yes... although I'd rather have the 89 IV that has a PC interface so I could use the unit for logging.
K6JJB Rating: 2003-02-09
Design flaw & no service Time Owned: more than 12 months.
After only occasional use during a three year period, the fused configurations stopped working and began emitting an audio alarm. When I shipped the unit to Fluke for repair, they simply shipped it back with a note that the unit "checked out." They enclosed a brochure for their test leads implying that it was my test leads that were the problem. Well, I bought new Fluke leads and it made no difference. I am stuck having to take all measurements in the CAT III unfused configuration. I note that this model has been discontinued (I wonder why). For the nearly $400 I spent, I was expecting a much longer service life. Buyer beware.