I received a test sample of Klein’s new MM500 multimeter and began putting it through the ringer this morning. Not literally of course, although this meter could probably handle it.
The main point about this meter is that it is waterproof, dustproof, and incredibly rugged. Its functions are limited to voltage, resistance, and continuity testing, but that’s enough for many users out in the field.
A full review of the meter will take some time, but I wanted to share some early feelings while they’re fresh in my mind.
Compact Housing – The meter is only slightly larger than my smartphone, and while nowhere as svelte, it’s thinner than most other compact meters I’ve used.
Thoughtful Design – I haven’t made up my mind about the built-in lead storage in the back of the meter, but it’s a nice touch. The battery compartment screws can be opened with a Phillips #2 driver, which makes field-replacement quick and easy. As promised, the screws are captive and don’t fall out.
Meter-Slapping Battery Removal – The batteries are seated very deep into the meter, but there are no pull-tabs to aid in battery removal. Rather than figure this out down the road – or consult with the user’s manual – I slapping the meter against my hand. It took a few stinging slaps before I realized I could hit the meter against other surfaces. After all, it is impact rated. I gave the meter a good short slap against the table and the batteries popped right out.
Made in Korea – While not made in the USA like some of Klein’s other recent meters, I am quite pleased to find that the MM500 meter is made in Korea.
A year ago, when I thought multimeter, Fluke and Extech were the brands that instantly popped into my mind. Now, thanks to this and Klein’s other new meters, I will probably start thinking Fluke, Extech, Klein. Not necessarily in that order, but all together.
My first impression is that this is a well thought out and well built meter. I am definitely impressed thus far.
Now, if you excuse me, I need to find a flight of concrete steps to bounce the meter down.
You might want to add Agilent to your list – if thinking about high quality meters:
I am familiar with that brand, but mentally I always associate them with benchtop meters and testing tools.
I’m not sure who has what market share. When I was going to school it was Simpson and Triplett that dominated with analog meters. Now Fluke seems more dominant – with Klein and GB now being sold at our local HD – with Extech and Ideal at Lowes (although they seem to be switching a lot of electrical tools over to the Southwire brand) . I’m guessing that Amprobe, and others still have a market too – and I recall that the electrical contractor that worked with us used Megger TDR’s.
I picked this up to replace an ideal voltage tester that I recently dropped, and it does everything (mostly finding blown fuses powering temp panels) I need.
It would be great if it had a built in non contact voltage tester like the ideal tester I dropped.
I bet electric utility personnel (linemen, meter electricians, etc.) make up one of the target markets for this meter. That group is incredibly brand-loyal to Klein and they typically don’t need anything with a lot of functionality, just something to check line voltage and continuity in a rugged package.