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When someone asks to borrow a tool from the Toolmonger shop, we usually don’t say, “Over our dead bodies” — unless the tool in question is our faithful Fluke 77 Multimeter.  Though it’s not the latest model out there, it still keeps pace with any meter currently on the market.

My dad gave me this meter fifteen years ago when I was trying to diagnose my rather finicky first car.  Since then it’s been at my side during nearly every electrical project I’ve undertaken, and the projects where it wasn’t involved I spent half my time cursing whatever other meter I was using.

In trying to nail down what makes this meter so special, I have to start with the digital/analog meter readout.  Though totally digital, the bottom of the display gives the operator an analog feel with a swing bar that mimics an old-style needle.  The hard case for it, seen here, is set up for linemen, electricians, or straight-up bench guys.  The whole unit has a positive feel and finish to it — even in a sixteen-year-old tracing down shorts in an old Toyota Corolla, it breeds confidence.

This old 77 doesn’t sport the sexy yellow covering or contoured shape of the 77 mark IV.  It’s grey, blocky, and completely reliable — after 15 years of service, when we reach for it, it delivers.

77 Multimeter [Fluke]
Street Pricing [Google]
Via Amazon [What’s This?]

 

31 Responses to TM’s 2008 Favorites: Fluke 77 Multimeter

  1. Chuck Cage says:

    Sadly the one in the picture belongs to Sean, which means when he doesn’t bring it over I’m stuck with my generic piece of crap meter. One of these is totally on my list for this year. 🙂

  2. toolaremia says:

    One of my favorites too. I got my original 77 as a birthday gift when I was 16 in 1983. It was new to the market and the hottest meter out there. Still works great, though it’s dirty and beat up. It’s been replaced by a 78 Series IV(?) on the bench, but continues to do yeoman duty in the garage.

    They look downright girly without the heavy rubber holster, but once secured in it they are nearly indestructible and have a healthy heft to them.

  3. Bart'sDad says:

    I got my 79 in the early 90’s. Best meter I own.(I think I have 6 or so) Flukes are tough to beat.

  4. toolaremia says:

    “It it works, it must be a Fluke!” – Fluke company sales representative I used to know.

  5. toolaremia says:

    “IF it works, it must be a Fluke!”

    Grrrr.

  6. Adam says:

    I have my Grandfather’s FLuke that is identical to the one pictured. He was an Electrician for Ford for 30 years+. He died suddenly of cancer. I have many of his tools, and use them as often as I can. The multimeter has been one of the best tools, and the one I got to first for electrical stuff. The continuity with the tone is especially helpful.

  7. Stan says:

    I’ve had mine for 16+ years also.
    It’s pretty scuffed up, but still does what it’s suppose to.
    Can’t remember the last time I changed the battery in it though….
    Reminds me of the old Timex watches, “Takes a lickin and keeps on tickin”

  8. fred says:

    While we are not electricians – we carry Fluke meters on all our plumbing trucks. Our latest ones are 177’s.

  9. David Bryan says:

    I still use the one I bought in 1984. For instrument techs used to Beckmanns or older Flukes like the 8040 that simple rotary switch with manual- or autoranging, the nice leads they came with and that 320 count display that gave you a 32 mA range made them really popular. I think I saw them first without the holster and the size and weight were really impressive at the time– especially compared to something like a Simpson, which you still saw the sparkies using a lot back then. It won a special place in my heart for Flukes I guess I’ll always have.

  10. Dennisb says:

    Dependability is no fluke – pun intended.

  11. Brice says:

    I traded my Fluke 77 for a Fieldpiece. Needed the RMS for working with frequency drives and wanted the backlight for working in the dark. A good meter. The 77 is one heck of a meter though.

  12. ChrisH says:

    Mine was stolen, it was inside my 20 year old telecom tool kit. damn kit was just getting broke in. I replaced the 77 with an 83. The kit is no longer made.

  13. Alex Tartakovsky says:

    Where can I find a manual for this exact model?
    Thank you.

  14. John Nielson says:

    The Fluke 77 manual can be downloaded at http://us.fluke.com/usen/Support/Manuals/default.htm

    I’ve used Fluke products for 30 some years. I currently have a 79 that I use daily in my industrial service engineer work. I seem to have to replace the test leads about every six months.

    I’ve sent it in for repair twice in the last 10 years. The first time I wore out the banana jacks; after witch I purchased the lifetime warranty. The second time I wore out the switch.

    As we use to say in the Navy cal lab “If it works, it’s a fluke!” 😉

  15. Mike Kardinal says:

    Nice find this page.

    I bought mine in 1983 for oilfield work. Went thru ten years of that, and tech travel all over NA, Europe, and Asia. Spent another 16yrs of rattling around my toolbag for home and rental-unit projects as a second career. I was looking for it two weeks ago, and my heart stopped. Multiple projects finishing/starting at the same time and most of my residential wiring tools AND MY ’77 got landfilled!!!. I would have grabbed a shovel but it had been over 2wks since that debris was hauled off. Merry #@#*&! Christmas.
    I am now looking for something that would perform and survive close to that ’77. With holster, indestructible. I miss it. The picture hurts to look at.

    • Michael Lewis Jr says:

      Did you ever end up finding another 77 like this one shown? I actually have the exact one for sale on my OfferUp & Facebook Marketplace pages.I live in zip code 98388 and it’s listed in the tool section under “Electrical Testers”

  16. PutnamEco says:

    Re:
    Mike Kardinal Says:
    I am now looking for something that would perform and survive close to that ‘77.
    —-
    Always a bunch of 77s on Ebay

  17. JODY says:

    I have one just like this that was left by my husbands father I do not need it what would it be worth if I were to sell it?I have no idea what it is even used for.

  18. Richard says:

    Any idea where I might find an original or copy of the manual for the 77 without having to pay for it? I tried the site listed above but could ony find manuals for the III and IV

  19. John says:

    I’m also looking for a manual for the good old original “Made in USA” Fluke 77. I’ve been using it for years, sent it back for calibration about 10 years ago, and still can’t find anything I’d want to replace it with.

  20. I just found one of these in my basement. I put a new 9 volt battery in it and it turned on. I wasn’t sure what it was for. It was my father’s, who owned an auto shop (so it makes sense that he would’ve had one). Glad to know what it is for now but where do the sharp ends go in to on the opposite ends of the red and black cords?

  21. Dominic says:

    I love my 77 multimeter. It was handed down from my father and has been by my side ever since. I used to prefer analog meters but there is just something special about this meter.

    I’m gutted the ammeter function stopped working though. I’ve tried putting the probes into all the different current rating sockets and it still doesn’t work. Any ideas anyone?

    • curt says:

      To Dominic, It has a bad fuse. The fuses are special and expensive. I suggest using the factory supplied fuse. There are two inside the case or send it to Fluke for calibration and repair. It is A FLUKE AND WORTH IT!~
      Curt

  22. Charles Jackson says:

    I have a Fluke 77 with the manual that belonged to my Grandfather. He was a journeyman electrician for Times Mirror Press. I’m not an electrician but I would like someone who has the same appreciation for the device to have it. I will let it go for $70. I’ll pay for shipping. If you are interested, call me at 660-672-9799.

  23. Don says:

    Have a 77 I was given around 1983 by my godfather. Have been a auto tech all my life and I use it more than my 13mmm socket. My godfather had faith that I was going to be a great technician someday and thought he would part with it. I am now retired and still use it once a week on various projects. I remember the day he handed it to me and was totally psyched. A week ago I removed it from my house to help a friend diagnose a migwelder. Today I went into the same draw it is always kept in and it was gone! I searched everywhere for hours. Could not believe a tool that I have treasured for 30 years and has always worked flawlessly was gone. I was 100% sure I did not leave it at my friends garage as I would not do such a thing. After I initiated a call to him it is now back in my draw the same place it has been for over 30 years. I love my Fluke!

  24. Phil Haney says:

    Bought my Fluke 77 when they first came out (late 1983 or early 1984). Specialized Products was having an introductory sale – $125.00. I was just out of the Navy and had never heard of Fluke. I figured in six months the price would be down to the model number, $77. Boy, was I wrong. In all the years after I bought it that I would look at them in the stores and catalogs, the price never came down to what I paid for it. I still have it today, and I still use it…

  25. Manu says:

    Mi viejo 77 ha dejado de funcionar, apenas se ven los digitos en el display, a dado todo, pero creo que ha llegado su fin despues de 26 años.

  26. I’ve been searching for the Spec Sheet for 77/AN.

    To be exact, i want to know the main difference between, 77/AN 77/BN, 77 III, etc…

    I own a hand me down 77/AN though.

    btw, my probe is worn-out, where can I get another?

  27. Rich Mullen says:

    Just had to do my first repair on my original Fluke 77 that I bought in 1983 for $125.00. Only it wasn’t the meter but the living hinge on the holster that gave out (Ebay, $16.25). The meter’s always been fine! Can’t say that for ANYTHING else I’ve had for over 32 years!

    To be totally honest I did blow a couple of current measurement fuses, but hey, haven’t we all? 😉

    Thanks FLUKE!!!!!!! Your engineers did a fantastic job and their hard work still makes it easier to do mine!

  28. Jeremy Baker says:

    I have a Fluke 77AN. Can anyone tell me difference to a 77?
    It seems to work good. Plan to use it a lot this year.
    I also have Fluke 21 III. And plan on learning what it’s capabilities are this year also.
    I need a meter that is designed for auto, RV, and solar metering and troubleshooting. Is there a way to read temperature. It seems a probe that reads voltage across a thermistor and converting that to temp should be possible. I’m not a electronics wiz obviously.
    Thanks

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