Fluke 17B+ Digital Multimeter Review

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An electrician’s job requires that you have an accurate, rugged, and reliable multimeter. That’s where the Fluke 17B+ steps in. This device has the common basic electrical measurements such as frequency, duty cycle, and temperature. Its compact size makes it easy to use on one hand, providing everything you need.

The Fluke 17B Plus is an upgrade from the previous 17B model and a model up from the 15B. It includes a few improvements over the original model, with features such as: a temperature input, a Min/Max function, a large capacitance scale, and better responsiveness.

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Key Features

  • Over Voltage Indicator
  • Diode testing
  • 50% Larger display due to its LCD backlight
  • Diode test
  • Voltage, continuity, capacitance, resistance

What’s Included

  • Remote probe
  • Test leads (caps included)
  • Users manual
  • 2 AA batteries
  • Meter hanging kit

In-depth Review of the Fluke 17B Plus

We like that the Fluke 17B+ can be used for its temperature measurement. This is great for electricians as they can decide if a tool or wire is too dangerous to use at the moment. It can find AC and DC measurements by up to 10 A current.

With its Min/Max feature, you’ll find it easier to find the highs and lows within a given signal. This allows users to spot any discrepancies and fix them immediately. Because of this, electricians use this multimeter to ensure that their wire signals are properly monitored.

Plus, the Fluke 17B+ Plus has the accuracy needed when measuring currents. You can use the thermocouple that’s included to determine the temperature of a wire. Since it weighs only 1lb, professional electricians will appreciate its compact size when on the job.

Its data hold feature helps it stand out against its competition. When in use, the device stores in the memory of your previous insulation tests. Thus, reducing the need for electricians to use pen and paper to keep track of their measurements. Overall, this is a good budget multimeter, as it’s designed for general everyday use within the electric industry.

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Specifications

FunctionResolutionRangeAccuracy
AC Volts0.001 V0.01 V0.1 V1 V4.000 V40.00 V400.0 V1000 V1.0% + 3
DC Volts0.001 V0.01 V0.1 V1 V4.000 V40.00 V400.0 V1000 V0.5% + 3
Frequency0.01 Hz0.1 Hz0.001 kHz0.01 kHz0.1 kHz50.00 Hz500.0 Hz5.000 kHz50.00 kHz100.0 kHz0.1% + 3
Temperature0.1C50 °C- 400 °C0 °C- 50 °C-55 °C- 0 °C2% ±1 °C±2 °C9% ±2 °C
Resistance0.1 Ω0.001 kΩ0.01 kΩ0.1 kΩ0.001 MΩ0.01 MΩ400.0 Ω4.000 kΩ40.00 kΩ400.0 kΩ4.000 MΩ40.00 MΩ0.5% + 30.5% + 20.5% + 20.5% + 20.5% + 21.5% + 3
BacklightYes

Fluke 17B+ vs 18B+

If you want a slightly more premium option, the Fluke 18B+ has more features than the 17B+. Alternatively, you could save a bit of money and go with the Fluke 15B+ if you don’t need the Min/Max or temperature sensing. For other, cheaper Flukes, consider the compact 110 Series, which are slightly more refined (albeit still built in China).

Or for a well-priced option that has more than both the Fluke 17B+ and 18B+, the Fluke 117 is an excellent alternative. It comes with super handy features like a good non-contact voltage detector and True RMS meter. If you need more information, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide on the best multimeters for electricians which we’re sure you’ll find useful.

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Build Quality

As for its build construction, it’s nicely constructed and well built. It feels great on the hands and is compact and lightweight enough for single-handed use. In fact, you could possibly wear this with gloves too!

It comes with a large display screen and another unique feature, a leg stand that helps it stand on flat surfaces. Thus, making this multimeter great for hands-free usage while you’re on the job.

Display and Labels

The Fluke 17B+ delivers a stunning first impression. It has a clear LCD screen which is large enough to show accurate measurements with ease. There is an improved sleep mode function that increases battery life, while giving a door access to make quick battery adjustments without tampering with the calibration seal. 

Function and Performance

The Fluke 17B+ Plus is known for its high quality performance. For example, it can measure current down to its µA range, measure temperature with the K-type thermocouple probe and measure capacitance. With an IP40 rating, you can stay protected when working with small wires under 1cm.

When it comes to performance, it lives up to Fluke’s reputation. This multimeter is able to test multiple ranges and is simple enough for an apprentice electrician to figure out. Get the Fluke 17B+ plus as its ability to test from 1000 volts (50V, 100V, 250V, 500V, 1000V), which is more than its competitors.

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Protection

Safety is important when using a multimeter and the Fluke 17B+ fails to disappoint. The IEC 1010 is the safety standard it applies to. When seeing a multimeter with this rating, it’s referring to the IEC 1010 Safety Compatibility. Since it is CAT 600V safe, it means that it offers protection for wall connected electronic appliances.

Pros And Cons of Fluke 17B+

What We Like
  • Auto and manual ranging
  • Portable and lightweight
  • Durable
What We Don’t Like
  • Expensive
  • Slower time to give an accurate reading

About Blake Sutton

Blake has worked as an electrician for over 10 years, receiving his Journeyman Electrician license in 1998. Looking to take his professional electrical career further, in 2008 he received his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering (BSEE) from the University of Texas in Austin. Blake now works full time as an electrical engineer, specializing in power systems.