June 19, 2013

Klein MM5000 Electrician's TRMS Multimeter - Review

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I had a boss once who would refer to his multimeter as "the amazing tool that has a thousand uses, of which we know only two." That sentiment pretty much defines my relationship with the multimeter. I can do a little wiring, but I'm no electrician. I know how to use a multimeter to check voltage and current, but that's about it. Still though, they have that cool tri-corder vibe and if you bust one out in front of a client, it makes you look really intelligent (Oh my, he knows how to use that...he must be good!), so I'm all in favor of them, even if their true capabilities are way, way beyond my simple brain.

Klein has just released two new models and they dropped one of the MM5000 in the mail for us to check out. The MM5000 is certainly impressive looking, even if a large portion of its functionality remains a total mystery.

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It's quite a bit larger than our old GB one that we picked up on the cheap many years ago. A lot of that added bulk has to do with the large backlit screen and the beefy rubber case that looks like it could protect the delicate digital tool from a 40-foot fall (according to Klein, it's rated for 10-feet). The back of the MM5000 is also built up a little to house a fold-out foot (like on a framed picture), so the unit can prop itself up for hands-free use. There's also a flag printed on the front indicating that, yes, this is a tool that is made in the USA.

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For our own meager purposes, we can still use this tool to check voltage and current, but that's underselling the tool quite a bit. The key word in the name of the MM5000 is "Electrician's" because that's who this thing is made for. Among the confusing capabilities this tool has, it's got:

Low impedance that reduces ghost voltage.
A µA setting for checking flame sensors.
An Analog bar graph for fast moving readings.
Tests diodes and continuity.
CAT IV 600V safety rating.
Basic DC accuracy: ±0.3%.

Yep.

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The probes are nice and the tool comes with a set of alligator clips that can be be screwed on to the tips, so you can easily work with bare wires.

The manual is pretty skimpy, so you're not going to learn a whole lot there on the specific applications of the tool (the manual for the GB was pretty comprehensive), but like I said this is a tool for the pro who already has all of this knowledge.

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It comes with a nice padded carrying case. A magnetic holder is available as well. If you're an electrician, it's certainly worth looking into this one.

The MM5000 costs about $230, but it seems to be at Amazon for $151.

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Posted by Doug Mahoney at June 19, 2013 5:28 AM

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