The Fluke will last for decades of heavy use. The Craftsman will last
a while if you occasionally use it.
Unless you have a need for the fancy-schmancy features (frequency,
capacitance, duty cycle, etc.) I'd advise that you buy the simpler
unit. (Like a Fluke 110 or the good old standby, the Fluke 73, I think
they're in the Sears catalog too.).
But after my experiences with buying Kenmore appliances (regardless of
who actually manufactures them), I made a promise to God that I would
try to talk anyone and everyone out of buying anything at Sears.
And so, even though I've never seen theCraftsman #81079, I must tell
you it is complete crap and will break down within a month of it's
purchase, you will schedule repair calls time and again, only to have
no one show up, show up 6 hours later than they said they would, show
up and "not have that part" on their truck, or show up and tell your
your multimeter needs a new motor when this is plainly wrong as your
multimeter will agitate and spin just fine; it's just that it won't
complete a cycle.
So then you will probably end up calling customer support, looking for
a supervisor and then finding out there really aren't any, and even if
their were, none of them would give a damn about you or your new
On the other hand, if your Fluke won't complete a cycle, make a phone
call and a new one will be on the way.
I say go with the Fluke.
Fluke and the carftsman are nice meters but do you really use all those
functions and need that accuracy?
I have a Fluke I have had for years but lately have been buying those from
Harbor Freight as they are "good enough".
The UL or CSA registration number may tell. See www.ul.com or
I don't think that Fluke meters are better, except for high accuracy
(0.2% or better), warranty, and availability of replacement parts. I
have a Fluke 73 that works fine, but a set of contacts in its rotary
switch once fell off (I had to mash its plastic pins with a soldering
iron to hold the contacts in place), and my cheapo house brand meter
from MCM Electronics/Newark electronics was priced much lower and has
more features, like a serial link for an RS-232 port and the ability to
record minimum and maximum values (good for tracking down intermittent
The choice is like buying a Sears power tool over something like
Porter Cable (or others). You might get lucky, you might not. I found
out that for hand tools, Sears is ok since you can replace them
forever. I bought a recipricating saw at Sears and after 14 months
the thing broke. I bought the parts to fix it but it never rally
worked after that. I ended up buying a Milwaukee Super Sawzall and
have had it for 7 years now (it has a Milwaukee lifetime warranty).
My point is I as I get older I get tired of messing around with
marginal stuff. I bought a Fluke 111 on ebay and have been happy with
it. I don't know what would happen if I bought an unknown brand, but I
do know what I usually get with the better name brands. My 2 cents.
I notice that as I get older - I usually pay extra and get the better
quality - probably only because I have the cash now. When I was younger
and raising a family and covering my nut - I would always look for
bargains out of necessity. I do not think I am any smarter or wiser now
- I just have more money to throw at a problem :-)
I like to buy good things to avoid the hassle. One of my teachers always
told me - it only costs a quarter to go first class. I thought he meant
25 cents - I guess he meant 25% more. :-)
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