Fluke 115 vs. 117: Which Multimeter is Better?

Fluke 115 vs. 117: Which Multimeter is Better?

If you are looking for a quality multimeter, then the Fluke 115 and 117 models are two of the best options on the market. But which one is better? In this article, we will compare these two multimeters and help you decide which one is right for you. We will discuss features, pros and cons, and everything else you need to know in order to make an informed decision. Let’s get started!

Fluke Multimeters in General

A multimeter is an electronic measuring instrument that combines multiple measurement functions into one device.

A typical multimeter can measure voltage, current, and resistance. Some more advanced models can also measure capacitance, inductance, and temperature.

Fluke Multimeters in General

Multimeters are essential tools for any electronics enthusiast or engineer. They allow you to quickly and easily test circuits and components to troubleshoot problems.

There are two main types of multimeters: analog and digital. Analog multimeters use a needle and dial to display readings, while digital multimeters display readings on an LCD or LED screen.
Digital multimeters are generally more accurate than analog models and are easier to use. For these reasons, they are the preferred type of multimeter.

Fluke is a well-known and respected name when it comes to multimeters. They offer several models, each with its own unique features, benefits, and drawbacks. The two most popular models are the Fluke 115 and Fluke 117. So, which one is the better choice?

The answer may surprise you – both have their pros and cons, and the best multimeter for you will ultimately depend on your specific needs and budget. Let’s take a closer look at each model to help you make a more informed decision. [1], [2]

Detailed Overview of Fluke 115

Let’s start with the Fluke 115.

This is a digital multimeter that’s designed for general-purpose electronic testing. It can measure voltage, current, and resistance, as well as continuity, frequency, and capacitance.


The Fluke 115 is a great all-around multimeter that’s well suited for general use. It’s simple to use and very accurate. Additionally, it has a large display that’s easy to read, even in low-light conditions. Since the best way to highlight features and benefits is with a list, below we will discuss some of the main advantages of the Fluke 115 in more detail.

Detailed Overview of Fluke 115

Can be held with a single hand

The design of a multimeter is important for several reasons. First, the ergonomics of the device need to be considered. The multimeter needs to be easy to hold and use for extended periods of time. Second, the layout of the controls should be intuitive and easy to understand. Third, the overall aesthetics of the device are important. A well-designed multimeter will have a professional look that inspires confidence in its abilities.

One of the best features of the Fluke 115 is that it can be held in one hand. This is thanks to its compact and lightweight design. This makes it very easy to use, even for extended periods of time.

Additionally, the fact that you can hold it with one hand means that you can keep your other hand free for other tasks, like holding a component in place while you test it.

Overall, the Fluke 115’s design makes it a very versatile and user-friendly multimeter.

Comes with a laterally opening case

The 115 comes with a laterally opening case, which makes it easy to use in tight spaces. This is a feature that’s not often found on multimeters, and it’s a very handy one.

The case allows you to easily access the multimeter’s controls and display without having to remove the entire unit from your work area. Additionally, the case protects the multimeter from damage and makes it easy to transport.

Affordable option

The 115 is one of the more affordable options in Fluke’s lineup. It’s a great choice for budget-conscious shoppers who still want a high-quality multimeter. It’s also a good choice for beginners or those who only need to use a multimeter occasionally. If you don’t need all the bells and whistles of a more expensive model, the 115 will do the job just fine.

True RMS readings

Another signature feature of any multimeter is its ability to take accurate readings. The Fluke 115 uses true RMS technology to provide accurate readings most of the time.

True RMS is a feature that is important to consider when choosing a multimeter.

True RMS multimeters are able to give accurate readings when measuring AC voltage and AC current, even if the waveform is not a perfect sine wave. This is because True RMS multimeters take into account the root mean square (RMS) of the waveform, which is a measure of the average power of the signal. Many electronic devices use non-sinusoidal waveforms, so True RMS capability is an important feature to look for in a multimeter.

Detailed Overview of Fluke 115

This is a great feature for anyone who needs to take measurements on a regular basis. You can be confident that your readings will be accurate, no matter what type of waveform you’re measuring.

Another advantage of true RMS is that it allows you to measure AC voltage and current with greater precision than other types of multimeters. This is essential for anyone working with AC circuits or power supplies.

Fluke 117 also offers true RMS readings, so you can be confident in the accuracy of your measurements. They are pretty much even in that regard!

Safe for CAT III 600V environments

Both the Fluke 115 and 117 are designed for use in CAT III 600V environments. This means that they can be used safely around electrical circuits that have up to 600 volts of direct current or alternating current. However, just because a multimeter is rated for CAT III 600V doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the best choice for every situation. You’ll still need to consider other factors, such as the accuracy of the readings and the features that are important to you.

So, what is CAT III 600V? It’s a safety rating that indicates how much voltage a multimeter can safely handle. The higher the voltage rating, the more resistant the multimeter will be to damage from electrical surges. For most home and small business applications, a CAT III 600V rating is more than sufficient. However, if you’re working with industrial-grade equipment or high-voltage circuits, you may want to consider a multimeter with a higher voltage rating.

Safety is an important factor to consider when choosing any type of electrical equipment. You want to make sure that you’re using a product that is designed for the job you’re doing.

Both the Fluke 115 and 117 are safe for use in CAT III 600V environments, so you can rest assured that they can handle whatever you throw at them. [2], [3], [4]


Still, like anything else, the 115 has its own disadvantages. While these are far from deal breakers, it’s important to be aware of them before making your final decision.

Lack of advanced features

The biggest downside to the 115 is the lack of advanced features. This isn’t necessarily a huge issue as most people won’t need them, but it’s worth mentioning. It’s a more simple device and is targeted towards those who don’t need anything too complicated.

Detailed Overview of Fluke 115

Lack of non-contact testing

The non-contact testing feature is a great feature to have on a multimeter because it allows you to test for voltage without having to make contact with the live wire. This is a great safety feature that can come in handy if you are working with live wires.

Sadly, the 115 doesn’t have this feature. This means that you’ll have to physically touch the object you’re testing in order to get an accurate reading. This can be inconvenient and even dangerous in some situations.

No low input impedance

The input impedance of a multimeter is the amount of resistance that the device has to an external voltage. The lower the input impedance, the less resistance the device has and the more accurate the reading will be. The 115 doesn’t have a low input impedance which means that readings may not be as accurate as you’d like.

Overall, the Fluke 115 is a great soldering iron for those who don’t need anything too complicated. It’s simple to use and is very affordable. However, it does have its limitations and lacks some features that more advanced users may find useful. If you think the 115 will be sufficient for your needs, then it’s definitely worth considering. [2], [3], [4]

Detailed Overview of Fluke 117

Now that we’ve gone over the 115 in detail, let’s take a look at the 117. The 117 is very similar to the 115 but it does have some key differences that may make it a better choice for you. From the name alone you can see that it’s a newer model, so it has some updated features.


Just like with the 115, we shall start with the advantages of the 117 over its rival.

It provides non-contact testing

One of the biggest features that sets the 117 apart is that it provides a non-contact testing feature, which is great for testing things like doorbells, circuit breakers, outlets and even live wires. This means you can test voltage without having to actually touch the wires.

The main benefit of the non-voltage feature is that it allows you to test devices without risk of electrocution. This is a huge safety advantage, especially if you’re working with live wires.

Another benefit of the non-voltage feature is that it can help you troubleshoot devices without causing damage. For example, if you’re trying to figure out why a light switch isn’t working, you can use the non-voltage feature to test the wires without risk of shorting out the switch.

Detailed Overview of Fluke 117

It can read both AC and DC current

Another notable difference is that the 117 can read both AC and DC current. If you’re working with a lot of different materials, this can be a big time saver since you won’t have to constantly switch between multimeters.

This allows for more flexible and precise measurements, and is a definite plus if you’re looking to buy a new multimeter.

It has a large bright LED screen

The screen on a multimeter is important for a few reasons. First, it allows you to see the reading that the multimeter is taking. This is important because you want to be able to see what the multimeter is reading in order to make sure that it is accurate. Second, the screen on a multimeter allows you to change the settings on the multimeter. This is important because you want to be able to change the settings on the multimeter in order to get more accurate readings.

A good multimeter will have a large, easy-to-read screen. The Fluke 115 and 117 both have large screens that are easy to read. However, the 117 has a bigger LED screen that makes it even easier to read.

This can be beneficial if you’re working in low light conditions or if you simply want to be able to see the screen more easily. The other key difference is that the 117 has a bright backlight. This means that you can press a button and the entire screen will light up, making it even easier to see in low light conditions.

It prevents false readings due to ghost voltage

One of the most frustrating things about multimeters is when you get a false reading and can’t figure out why. This can be caused by what’s called “ghost voltage.” Ghost voltage is induced voltage from nearby wires that can give you a false reading. The Fluke 117 has been designed to eliminate these false readings so you can trust your results. [2], [3], [5]


While the Fluke 117 has many advantages, there are a few disadvantages to consider as well. It’s important to weigh these disadvantages against the advantages to decide if the 117 is the right multimeter for you.

It’s more expensive

One of the biggest disadvantages of the Fluke 117 is that it’s more expensive than the 115. It’s important to consider your budget when choosing a multimeter and whether or not the extra features of the 117 are worth the extra cost. The difference is around $50, so it’s not a huge price difference, but it’s something to consider if your budget is very tight.

Can’t be held with a single hand

The next disadvantage of the 117 is that it can’t be held with one hand as easily as the 115. This is due to the fact that the 117 has a bigger body than the 115. As we already mentioned, the benefit of being able to hold it with one hand is that you can use your other hand to hold onto something else, like a wire or component. This can be helpful if you’re working in a cramped space or trying to keep both hands free.

Detailed Overview of Fluke 117

While this isn’t a dealbreaker for everyone, it’s something to keep in mind if you think you might need to use one hand to hold the multimeter and the other hand for something else. [2], [3], [5]


Which multimeter is better for beginners?

If you are a beginner, then the Fluke 115 is the better choice. It is easier to use and has more features that are geared towards beginners. The Fluke 117 is a more advanced multimeter and thus may be overwhelming for beginners.

The Fluke 115 is also a good choice if you need a multimeter for general use. It can measure AC/DC voltage, AC/DC current, resistance, continuity, and diode test. The Fluke 117 can do all of those plus offers a no-contact voltage detection feature that is very handy.

So, if you’re just starting or need a multimeter for general use, then the Fluke 115 is the better choice. If you are more experienced or need a multimeter with more features, then the Fluke 117 is a great option.

What is the difference between Fluke 115 and 117?

The Fluke 115 and 117 are both digital multimeters that can be used to measure voltage, current, and resistance. The main difference between the two models is the features they offer. The 115 is a basic model that only offers the essential features, while the 117 includes additional features such as autorange, true RMS, and a backlit display. VoltAlert technology is also included on the 117, which is a feature that allows you to quickly and easily identify live wires.

115 on other hand is slightly simpler and comes with a laterally opened case. It’s also pretty compact which means you won’t need both hands to measure.

Is the Fluke 117 worth it?

The Fluke 117 is definitely worth the investment, especially if you plan on using it regularly or for professional purposes. It has more features than the 115 and is overall a more versatile and durable multimeter.

If you don’t think you’ll use all of the extra features, then the 115 might be a better choice since it’s cheaper. But if you’re not sure, go with the 117 – you can always sell it later if you find that you don’t need it!

What is the difference between Fluke 116 and 117?

The main difference between the Fluke 116 and 117 is that the Fluke 117 has a presence of non-contact voltage measurement capabilities. Additionally, the 117 can measure both AC and DC voltage, while the 116 can’t measure non-contact AC voltage.

On other hand, 116 features a built in thermometer which is useful for all applications. However when it comes to accuracy of said thermometer, the readings can have some large deviations.

Other than these factors, both multimeters are nearly identical in their performance and abilities. So, which one should you choose? If you need the extra features of the 116, then it’s worth the higher price tag. However, if you don’t think you’ll use those features often, then the 117 is a perfectly good choice and will save you some money.

Useful Video: Best Fluke Multimeters Of This Year – Top 6 Fluke Multimeters Reviews


So, which is better? The answer, of course, depends on your needs. Both the 115 and 117 are excellent multimeters, but they have their differences.

115 is a more affordable option which offers all of the basic features that you need in a multimeter. The 117, on the other hand, is a more expensive option with additional features like AC/DC current measurements and non-contact measurement option. If you need those extra features, then the 117 is the better choice. But if you don’t need them, then the 115 is a great option that will save you some money. Whichever model you choose, you can be sure you’re getting a quality product from Fluke.

Thanks for reading! We hope this article helped you learn more about the differences between the Fluke 115 and 117 soldering irons. Do you have experience with either of these multimeters? Let us know in the comments below! And be sure to check out our other articles on soldering and electronics. Happy soldering!​


  1. https://web.ua.es/docivis/magnet/multimeter.html
  2. https://housegrail.com/fluke-115-vs-fluke-117/
  3. https://www.transcat.com/calibration-resources/selection-guides/fluke-115-vs-fluke-117-key-differences
  4. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01EWFB9FI?tag=housegrail-20&linkCode=ogi&th=1&psc=1
  5. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000O3LUEI?tag=housegrail-20&linkCode=ogi&th=1