Harbor Freight introduced a new line of Ames Instruments multimeters, aimed at professional users.
Harbor Freight says that their new Ames multimeters meet the same professional quality and safety standards as the leading competitors. The Ames meters are said to offer safety and reliability, at an affordable price. They are also said to be ruggedly built.
There are a number of different Ames multimeter styles, designed for different user types and applications. The safety certifications are by ETL/Intertek, which is an OSHA-recognized Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory.
For the compact digital multimeter, shown here, they say:
This small user-friendly, safe and reliable 3-1/2 digit handheld multimeter is ideal for professionals and hobbyists alike.
Depending on the model, Harbor Freight says that their Ames meters compare with Amprobe and GE, and even that Ames beats Fluke.
For other models, they say that Ames beats Klein.
I like to think of myself as open-minded, but I don’t know what it would take for me to trust a Harbor Freight Ames meter ahead of personal favorite brands, such as Fluke and Extech. Ames or Amprobe? I’d go with Amprobe. In other words, I recognize that I’m brand-biased when it comes to multimeters and test equiment. I’m open-minded, but could potentially be convinced. You get what you pay for, but I’m open to the idea that these new Harbor Freight Ames meters are at least safe and usable.
User reviews on Harbor Freight’s site seem to be positive. Looking for negativity, I cannot find much. One review mentioned not liking the dial and button placement on the Amex HVAC meter, and another didn’t like an Amex non-contact voltage meter for not being sensitive enough, but from their review, I’d say they were using it wrong.
HF’s Ames multimeters were announced nearly a year ago. If you’ve tried one, how well has it worked for you?
What would it take for you to add one of these Ames multimeters to your test kit?