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So I burnt my fuses today using my AstroAi multimeter. I went to several hardware stores in Seattle and they only have fuses with 5mm x 20mm and 1/4 x 1-1/4 inch. I bought the 1/4 x 1-1/4 ones and they don't fit in my multimeter. I measure my multimeter fuse and it has a very weird size which is 6mm*29mm and the closest on Amazon cost 25 USD in total for the two types of fuses I use. Since my multimeter only cost 35 I think it's a bad idea to buy those fuses on Amazon. Is there another brand of the multimeter that uses a more common fuse? Should I get a fluke multimeter? And could I find the replacement fuses easily in the hardware store?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ The fuse doesn't have to fit perfectly so long as its snug. \$\endgroup\$ – Kyle B May 20 at 2:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ okay in that case does the type of fuses matter? In my local store, they have ABC, ATM, AGC, ATC fuses made by Bussman. I Remember some of them are fast-reacting and some of them are for microwave or time-delayed. I just got the regular ones that just says fuses. \$\endgroup\$ – Alanlicz May 20 at 3:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ Looks like 200mA and 10A fast blow fuses would be safe \$\endgroup\$ – Tony Stewart EE75 May 20 at 3:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ You can probably get them from your favorite china supplier. If it fits and the electrical specifications are the same it would be ok. Be careful of the type, if in doubt use a fast blow. I use Fluke (older units) and some have spare spare fuses in them. You can get some Fluke meters on the used marked very reasonably priced. \$\endgroup\$ – Gil May 20 at 3:31
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If you replace the fuse with another type (particularly a smaller type) you will compromise the protection. The fuses used in multimeters are larger because they are rated to safely break relatively high voltages and high fault currents without excessive arcing and without exploding. Some meters from your supplier (you didn't give a model number) are rated at 600V 10A. If you are in the US, Home Despot lists them for $7 ea. Here is data from the Chinese manufacturer with links to UL and TUV certificates. SIBA brand also seems to be popular. Note the interrupting capacity of 10kA! At 600VDC! AGC10A fuses have an interrupting capacity of only 200A at only 250VAC (no DC rating).

If you never work with anything over a few volts this won't matter much (you might wreck your meter or burn yourself on the leads), but for mains voltages it is far more important and can definitely be a safety issue. If you are doing industrial electrician work, it is mandatory, in my opinion, to have a meter with a Fluke level of protection. The consequences of arc flash in situations where fault currents can exceed 10kA are very unpleasant.

Fluke meters tend to have genuine CAT III 600 V ratings and massive internal fuses to protect the user. For example, 11 A, 1000 V FAST Fuse (Fluke PN 803293) which costs about $10 in one-off. The meter you have uses a less protective fuse type, but still WAY better than a cheap ABC fuse.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I only work with circuits below 36v, what model of fluke multimeter should I get. I heard that fluke 117 is the best value but it is more for industrial use? My budget is 200 USD but I can wiggle it a little bit. \$\endgroup\$ – Alanlicz May 20 at 4:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm not sure you need a fancy meter for such relatively low voltages. We actually don't do product recommendations here. Dave Jones at eevblog has obsessively compared various handheld meters. Think about accuracy, resolution and features too. Personally I have quite a few meters but for everyday non-critical use tend to use a very old Uni-T meter that I've patched mechanical issues on a couple times. Switch to Agilent bench 6+ digit meters for stuff that matters to more than 2 digits or a very old Fluke for mains work or 40kV probe. \$\endgroup\$ – Spehro Pefhany May 20 at 4:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Alanlicz Just always keep in mind that although you never use this multimeter above 36V, that doesn't stop someone lifting this multimeter and using it to measure much higher voltages that it is of course rated for, with the proper fuse in place. Someone will get hurt. \$\endgroup\$ – David777 May 20 at 12:30
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I am using Fluke 115 Multimeter and it has an IEC60269-2 10x38 10A fuse. Your product datasheet or manual should provide the info without disassembling like I did :) FLUKE115 Fuse Close-up

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  • \$\begingroup\$ So I checked my AstroAi DM5000AR website and they don't even have a manual. I measured the size by hand and it is 6mm*29mm which I can't find it anywhere \$\endgroup\$ – Alanlicz May 21 at 19:40

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