Fluke 117 vs 179: Which One’s Best?

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The Winner (#1)
Fluke Multimeter
The Runner-up (#2)
Fluke 117 Electricians True RMS Multimeter
Model
Fluke Multimeter
Fluke 117 Electricians True RMS Multimeter
User Rating
The Winner (#1)
Image
Fluke Multimeter
Model
Fluke Multimeter
User Rating
User Reviews
The Runner-up (#2)
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Fluke 117 Electricians True RMS Multimeter
Model
Fluke 117 Electricians True RMS Multimeter
User Rating
User Reviews

At first, the idea of comparing the Fluke 117 to the Fluke 179 sounded ludicrous. A lighter Fluke chassis designed for electricians going against one of their most respected digital multimeters? Then we remembered the price difference between the two, and that itself was a game changer. It’s no longer which one is best, but which one is best for the price.

Uhhh, yeah. The Fluke 179 still won. But follow us for some insights into what makes the Fluke 117 actually a really good value.

Fluke 117 in use

What’s the difference between them?

Performance

The Fluke 179 wins here. No question about that. It’s designed to measure everything, including very tiny currents. The 117 is built with electricians in mind. Even its specialty features—the non-contact voltage alert—are built with them in mind. But for overall utility, there’s no comparing the two.

Fluke 117 checking

Price

The winner here is just as stark. We cannot imagine a scenario in which the Fluke 179 is ever as affordable as the 117. It’s just a matter of features and performance per dollar from here on out, really.

Fluke 117 set

Accuracy

It’s just a simple fact that the 179 is more accurate. It’s better built, which is why it costs a lot more. Many people won’t notice the difference, because the 179 remains a tool primarily for people with very serious needs. But if you notice the difference, you’ll really notice the difference.

Design

The 179 wins here, too. Some people have difficulty reading the 117’s screen. No one has difficulty reading the 179’s screen. It also scores a point for being a much more capable instrument while maintaining a sleek design that invites novices to play around.

Quick Rundown of Fluke 117:

Sale
Fluke 117 Electricians True RMS Multimeter
599 Customer Reviews
Fluke 117 Electricians True RMS Multimeter
  • VoltAlert technology for non-contact voltage detection
  • AutoVolt automatic AC/DC voltage selection. DC millivolts - Range : 600.0 mV, Resolution : 0.1 mV
  • Low input impedance: helps prevent false readings due to ghost voltage

Built on a Fluke 110 frame, and given all the things associated with the Fluke name, the 117 was designed and manufactured for electricians in mind. It can discern spurious voltages from live ones, and it has a no-contact volt alert feature that makes your life easier.

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Non-contact voltage alerts
  • Durable
Cons
  • Not as accurate
  • Not as versatile

Quick Rundown of Fluke 179:

Sale
Fluke Multimeter
155 Customer Reviews
Fluke Multimeter
  • 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 Fluke 179 is the digital multimeter to judge other digital multimeters by. It’s not just one of the best on the market, its longevity and accuracy make it one of the best values on the market, too. Of course we love this multimeter. Everyone loves this multimeter.

Pros
  • Renowned for excellence
  • Renowned for longevity
  • Renowned for accuracy
Cons
  • Holy cow will this thing cost you money

What Users Say

Yep, we get it. You want to read what other people have to say about these two models. We might be biased in favor of one over the other. Or, you may just want a sense of what the Internet thinks because you believe in being thorough. We like that attitude. And truthfully, we look around at other reviews ourselves because there’s always something to learn from other professionals; there’s also the possibility that we might have gotten just the one bum model.

Unsurprisingly, both of these multimeters were very popular with their users. They’re Flukes. Top in the industry. Of course people are happy with them. Electricians loved the Fluke 117. They loved its no-contact voltage alerts. They loved its low impedance input that reduced ghost signaling

Everyone who bought one loved the 179. They loved its range of measurements. They loved its versatility. They loved its accuracy. They loved its longevity.

Everyone who bought either of these models had great things to say about Fluke products in general. The Fluke brand name means something. It means durability, accuracy, and longevity. User reviews solidly stand behind the Fluke name.

Both models had their critics, of course. People who bought the 117 complained that the display screen wasn’t always very readable. It wasn’t a lot of users, but it was enough that if you buy it you should definitely make sure you can see the display screen from every angle before you take it into the field. And, of course, people didn’t like the price tag attached to the 179. It wasn’t that it was a bad value. It was the raw number of dollars it costs. Users were upset that the 179’s quality wasn’t available at a more affordable price.

Conclusion

At the outset of this process, we decided to make this review about something interesting—whether the Fluke 179 was so much more superior compared to the 117 that it was worth paying a boatload of extra cash.  If the Fluke 179’s performance was indeed so superior, then that validated its much larger sticker price.

We concluded (and we don’t mind saying so) that … yeah … we find the 179 a better value and therefore a better digital multimeter. Our reasoning was pretty straightforward. Knowing that the 179 is probably a better multimeter simply by way of cost, we wanted to know if it really delivered the performance to warrant it. Based on its ease of use and general excellence, we thought so. The question this leaves you with is whether your needs would justify that upfront investment or whether a specialized, budget model is better.

About the Author Adam Harris

Hi there! My name is Adam and I write for HealthyHandyman. I have a great passion for writing about everything related to tools, home improvement, and DIY. In my spare time, I'm either fishing, playing the guitar, or spending quality time with my beloved wife. You'll also often find me in my workshop working on some new project!