Just think about a day without electricity. What about all the electrical appliances that made life smooth? Plug and play work when you can make sure all are running safely. Clamp meters can help you with that. Hopefully, you will get to add the best clamp meter in your toolbox after reading this.
Clamp meters are useful in sorting out electrical anomalies safely and quickly. It measures AC current without making any direct contact with the circuit. That makes it stand out from the old way of cutting and inserting leads into a live circuit.
As a child, I liked watching electricians working on the transformer box. And I always waited for the part when they will use the remote-like tool hanging from their waist-belts.
Yes, that’s a clamp meter. Want to know more? In the next section, you will get a follow-up on some excellent clamp meters and their functionality.
10 Best Clamp Meters Anyone Can Use
Clamp Meter is something for electricians to get hands-on. Right? After reading this article, you will start thinking anew. You don’t need to wait for electricians to sort out what’s wrong with your electric connection anymore.
From now on, before installing a new appliance at home, check whether it’s compatible with the voltage flow or not. Here learn about some of the best clamp meters that can make your task easy.
- Uni-T UT210E True RMS AC/DC Current Mini Clamp
The best thing you can buy on a low budget.
This mini multi-meter works powerfully when it comes to giving AC current reading. You can measure both AC and DC voltage using this hand-size meter. Surprisingly, it gives DC reading down to 1mA resolution with its 2A range. Coming about it, it covers three ranges: 2A, 20A, and 100A.
The test leads provided with the clamp meet both CAT IV and CAT III safety ratings for 600V and 1000V respectively. Besides, it has a warning light to indicate high voltage. That’s pretty safe for a high voltage job.
The meter runs with 2 AAA batteries, not provided of course. With the current measurement mode of about 6mA (12mA when the backlight is on), the batteries shouldn’t last up to 200 hours. Other than AC and DC voltage, this 2000-count meter can measure resistance, continuity, diodes, and capacitance. The default setting is AC. You will need to select DC to get DC reading. The meter signals whenever you change position.
The clam of the meter opens to about 16mm, which is enough for its purpose. The meter looks robust and stable. The display of the meter is on the sideway. Thus, for proper reading, you should hold the meter on its side.
Even though the terms for accuracy of the reading are not high enough, it is the best thing you can get within this size and budget.
- Inexpensive compared to functionality
- Convenient features
- Easy to carry
- Safe under high voltage
- No-contact voltage detection
- Clear transparent display
- Take time to settle in the correct reading.
- Fluke 323 True-RMS Clamp Meter
Reliable companion in standard troubleshooting.
Fluke 323 Clamp Meter is the smartest multi-meter you can hold in your electric depot. This small troubleshooting kit can be your one dependable tool for measuring current, voltage and resistance continuity.
The slim, compressed design makes it useful for both domestic and professional purposes. Fluke 323 can detect AC current to a maximum value of 400 amp. Its highest voltage counting rate is 600 volts for both AC and DC over distorted waveforms caused by non-linear loads.
As it claims, this clamp meter gives sharp measurement for AC Current. Fluke 323 comes with large LCD readout. The meter has an audible continuity indicator that allows checking circuit connection without looking at the dial. And it will even let you record last reading to reduce the probability of any error.
It operates with 2 AAA batteries. The jaws of the meter open up to 30mm and can read any conductor within the parameter. It gives input protection under IEC safety standards and has a secure voltage grade of CAT-III and CAT-IV.
Fluke Clamp Meter is renowned for accuracy and reliable design. And 323 is no exception. Its narrow design enables the meter to give accurate reading even in tight cable compartments.
Fluke 323 is truly best suited for general utilization.
- Accurate AC reading
- Portable size
- Adjustable test leads
- Easy to use
- Sturdy design
- Fit for using inside constricted space
- Audible continuity sensor
- Last reading display
- Low battery indicator
- No backlight for working under low light
- Klein Tools CL800 Digital Clamp Meter
Enjoy a wide range of applications in one sturdy tool.
This digital clamp meter has everything you need. Klein integrates the TRMS technology in this digital meter to increase the accuracy of the measurement. This meter is a package of versatile appliances for you.
Klein Digital Clamp Meter comes in a firm, lean structure that measures AC and DC voltage using test-leads. It uses an automatic ranging in measuring current flow. Besides voltage, Klein meter can give a reading for resistance, frequency, capacitance, continuity, and test diodes.
This clamp meter can measure both AC and DC amps up to 600A using one dial setting. It comes with a voltage detector to identify outside voltage; and a thermocouple probe for temperature reading. The low Impedance mode of the meter helps to detect ghost or stray voltages and thereby eliminating them.
The meter runs through 2 AAA batteries like other clamp meters, and the battery compartment is easy to open and use. Additionally, it has a backlit display that enables working in low light. And the auto power-off mode ensures the meter doesn’t lay unused for more than 30 minutes.
This light-weight clamp meter can give accurate measurements in no time and comes with the CAT IV and CAT III safety rating standard. It provides Class 2 and double insulation protection as well. Nevertheless, it has a drop withstand rate of about 6.6′ (2m).
- Automatic ranging
- Fast and accurate reading
- Measure AC and DC amp and voltage
- Indirect voltage detection
- High drop resistance rate
- Power saving auto-off mode
- Illuminating display for reading
- Low battery indicator
- Slow continuity reading
- Fluke 324 True RMS Clamp Meter
The best troubleshooting tool that leaves nothing out.
Fluke 324 Clamp Meter is an upgraded version of the Fluke 323 model. Though they are the same in many ways, Fluke 324 offers more features than 323. That makes it even more appealing.
Like all Fluke 320 clamp models, 324 measures the basics; which include current load, AC and DC voltage, continuity, switches, fuses, and contacts. The measurement scale is the same as 323. The measuring capacity for AC current is up to 400 amps, and DC and AC voltages are up to 600 V.
So what’s new about the 324 clamp meter? It can measure temperature and capacitance which you will not find in the 323 clamp meter.
324 clamp meter looks more compact than 323 meters. However, it also comes in a sturdy casing like all Fluke meters. This meter has a large and clear display where you can effortlessly read results, and display hold option to save last reading data. Moreover, it comes with a backlit display to facilitate working in the low light area.
The clamp jaws open to 30 mm and have markings on them for wire placement. There is an audible sensor as well for checking continuity in circuit connection. 324 clamp meter operates using 2AAA batteries. It gives an accurate reading for both linear and non-linear loads regardless of their waveforms.
Like 323 meters, it also abides by IEC safety standards and has CAT IV for 300V and CAT III for 600V ratings.
- Swift reading
- Light-weighted body
- Accurate AC measurement
- Backlit display
- Long and flexible test lead wires
- Audible display for connectivity checking
- Record last data
- DC amp reading isn’t featured.
- Aimo MS2108A Auto Range Digital Clamp Meter
Brings everything you need to measure at your reach.
MS2108A Clamp Meter measures all you might need to assess. It measures both AC and DC current, and that’s within an affordable budget. It is the best amp clamp for multi-meter that gives reading almost as accurate as any DC amp meter.
Aimo Digital Clamp Meter uses auto-ranging and gives a swift reading for both AC and DC currents. It can measure currents up to 400A using two ranges: 40 amp and 400 amp. The highest voltage capacity is 1000V for DC and 750V for AC.
And that’s not all. It performs resistance, capacitance, continuity, frequency, duty, and diode tests on an accurate scale. The holding capacity of clamp jaws is up to 26mm. It comes with a smart and clear display with analog bar.
It has an extended battery life and operates through three 1.5V batteries. Amio meets the safety standard of IEC1010-1 & IEC1010-1-032 and has CAT III for 600V rating. It has a pollution rating of 2 degrees as well.
- AC and DC amp measurement
- Measures both highest and lowest value
- 400 count display
- Can store measurement reading
- Automatic power shut-down
- Long battery life
- No backlit display
- Somewhat incomplete manual
- Sperry Instruments DSA500A Digital Snap-Around Clamp Meter
One forthright tool for residential use.
Sperry doesn’t claim to do much, but it does what it says. It is the most straightforward, get to the business clamp meter you can find in the market.
With this clamp meter, you can measure AC current from 40 amp to 400 amp. It can measure AC voltage up to 400 V, and DC voltage equal to 600V. Apart from that, DSA 500A can calculate both resistance and continuity.
DSA 500A clamp meter believes in accomplishing basics. It offers five functions and comes in a slim-fit design that you can carry in a protective case; provided by the manufacturer. This snap-around clamp meter also includes a high-resolution LCD that can reserve data for future use. What’s different about it is its faculty to identify current without physical interaction with conductors.
Sperry Snap-Around Clamp Meter is a nine range auto-ranging device that runs by 2 Alkaline AAA batteries. It has an auto shut-down feature to preserve battery life. To make sure you receive the exact reading each time, it gives a low battery and continuity signal.
Sperry gives priority to the safety of its devices. They designed DSA 500A according to IEC 61010 standard and safety ratings of CAT II at 600 V and CAT III at 300V. Additionally, it has overload protection and shielded clamp jaws.
- Well-built and easy to carry
- Automatic ranging for nine ranges
- No-contact current sensing
- Auto power shut-down
- Data logging
- Low battery indication
- Overload protection and secured jaws
- No backlit display
- Faint buzzer
- Digital Clamp Meter Uni-Trend UT203
Have the convenience inside simplicity.
Uni-T is always a budget-friendly option in good quality. This digital clamp multi-meter will not cost you much. But you will be able to enjoy the benefits of DC amp meter.
UNI-T Digital clamp meter will give you a precise reading for both AC and DC currents. It is competent in measuring currents within a range of 40 amp to 400 amp. For different amps, you will require to set the range individually.
This digital meter has a voltage measuring capacity amount to 600V for both AC and DC. It weighs resistance, duty cycle, and frequency as well. Besides all, UT2013 performs both continuity and diode tests.
UT203 clamp meter comes in a simple design that is not intending to perform everything for you. But what it promises to do, it does right. Plus, you can handle this tool easily and comfortably. However, it is strong enough to perform under harsh conditions.
This high-quality meter uses automatic ranging and has measurement data storing facility. UT203 runs by 2 AAA batteries and has a battery power saving indicator. Furthermore, it turns to sleep mode after a period of inactivity.
UT203 is a low current clamp meter that is reliable and safe to use under IEC 61010 standard. It has the safety rating of CAT II for 600 V, CAT III for 300 V, and overload protection against high voltage flow.
- Measure AC and DC amp
- Low budget multi-meter
- Simple and easy to use
- Doesn’t add much, but do what say
- Robust casing
- Display hold
- Low battery pointer
- Power sleep function
- No backlight
- Limited functionality
- Klein Tools CL220 Digital Clamp Meter
Enhance the functionality of your toolkit with safe and prompt checking.
Klein clamp meter is prominent for its robust, compressed, ergonomic design. Like all other clamp meters from this range, it provides a wide assortment of functions for a basic clamp meter.
CL220 Digital Clamp Meter comes with a non-contact voltage tester, which facilitates a quick and safe measurement of AC current. The NCTV is attached right into the clamp jaw. So, you can measure both current and voltage using the clamp of the meter.
It takes a read of temperature using a K-type thermocouple probe. CL220 uses auto-ranging and TRMS technology to secure accuracy.
The meter operates through consuming power from 3 AAA batteries. For better power utilization, it automatically shuts down after 10 minutes of inactivity. CL220 comes with a large and clear display where you can read all measurement outputs comfortably. Besides, you can hold data on display for better accuracy.
CL220 has a sleek body and sturdy casing. The narrow body gives one more comfortable grip over the meter.
It has a drop resistance ability up to 6.6-Foot (2 m). The meter includes side test lead holders and a magnetic hanger for freehand operation. It comes with a backlight as well to facilitate low light operations.
- Sturdy and compact body
- Responsive non-contact voltage tester
- Visual indicator with beeper
- Automatic ranging
- Backlit display
- Power saving mode
- Hands-free operation
- Data holding facility
- Doesn’t perform diode test.
- IDEAL 660 Amp AC Tight-Sight Clamp Meter
Now count from a safe distance.
IDEAL positioned itself as the other name of safety and efficiency in the market. True to its word, this innovative clamp meter is determined to provide accuracy in the safest way possible.
IDEAL Tight-Sight Clamp meter is formulated to operate under critical conditions. It comes with a second tight-sight display that is unique for clamp meter. This feature allows a safe and comfortable view from afar. As a result, you will not need to hover over the display every time you measure the current flow. You can hold the head the high and still can check the reading.
It also comes with a backlit display containing large numbers and icons. So you don’t need to strain your eyes anymore when checking results.
It uses TRMS technology to give an accurate reading for AC and DC currents over a range of 0 to 1000 amps. In addition, the meter counts voltage for both AC and DC and tests continuity, frequency, and capacitance. It comes with a big tapered jaw that opens about 51mm.
Alongside, you will get a hook tip for untangling wires. The meter gives overload protection on all ranges. It has both audible and visual indicators to warn against voltage upswing that activates over 30 volts.
It has CAT III and CAT IV safety rating for 1000v and 600v respectively. The test leads of the meter are compatible with EN61010-031 standard.
- Bottom display for tight-sight view
- Broad range for current measurement
- Accuracy in a noisy environment
- Long narrow jaw
- Low battery warning
- High voltage protection
- Auto power of choice
- Data storage
- Backlit display
- Hard to read display under sunlight
- Etekcity MSR-C600 Digital Clamp Meter Multi-meter
Your easy option for anything.
Etekcity believes in keeping things simple. MSR C600 is an easy to operate multi-meter that is suitable as a nearby tool in any venture.
It is a general-purpose clamp meter that aims to make the use of multi-meter effortless. So you can’t expect a load of features in it. MSR C600 measures only AC current, and that is up to 400A. It has a measuring capacity of a maximum 600V for AC and DC voltage. Like all muti-meter, you can perform resistance, continuity, and diode tests with this meter.
MSR C600 comes in a long, slim design. However, it is not resilient enough to be used in a hazardous environment. The clamp jaws are wide enough to clasp a conductor with a diameter up to 26mm. It comes with the auto-ranging feature to allow easy use for novices.
The display of the meter is large enough to show reading from multiple angles. And to help you with keeping last data record, it has the display hold option. MSR C600 runs by 2 AAA batteries and gives a low battery indication to warn you ahead of time.
To reserve power, it automatically goes to sleep mode after 15 minutes of inactivity. MSR C600 multi-meter has the safety ratings of CAT-II for 600V and CAT-III for 300V.
- User-friendly multi-meter
- Accurate AC current reading
- Power saving mode
- Low battery warning
- Data logger
- Slow continuity check
- Less effective lead tip
Have you made up your mind?
All these clamp meters hold the usefulness to meet the basics. That is checking the current flow of your electronic devices. However, some give more features, and some render affordability. That doesn’t make any less than the best.
However, you need to choose the best clamp meter from all. And that is the nerve-racking part of the buying decision. So, let me guide you through a bit more.
What Factors You Should Look For Before Settling On?
Picking-up a clamp meter isn’t hard. The crucial part is determining the one congruent with your need. There is a wide assortment of clamp meters available in the market. But, choosing the best clamp meter isn’t like usual shopping.
Besides, they come under different categories. In general, you will find four types of clamp meters based on working principles.
- The current Transformer Clamp Meter; uses the transformer method to measure AC current only. It is known as AC current clamp meter as well.
- Hall Effect Clamp Meter; measures both AC and DC current using sensors.
- Flexible Clamp Meter; works best in constricted areas and measures AC current only.
- DC current clamp meter; it uses Hall Effect as well but measures only DC current.
Nevertheless, that is not the only thing you need to contemplate. Before picking up one look into the following aspects:
Speed and Accuracy:
Clamp meters that come with TRMS feature are more reliable for accurate measurement than others. Besides, they usually give a fast reading. If the clamp meter takes a long-time to settle on the right digit, you may get confused in the midway. Thus, try to choose one that offers this functionality.
Most clamp meters have a compact, portable design. Using a heavy clamp meter to measure current isn’t safe at all. It can easily slip out from your hand, leading to potential accidents. Besides, a slim, long body gives a better grip over the meter. And if you have a habit of tipping, make sure to buy one with a tough casing and high drop resistance.
However, simple is better. If you are a new user, consider buying a clamp that comes in a simple, easy to operate design.
If you are not familiar with a clamp meter, try to pick one with auto-ranging. That will help you select the correct range, and reduce the chances of error and repetition in measurements.
Having a broad current measurement range will give you the benefit of taking readings of hefty devices. However, if you intend to buy for residential use only, it shouldn’t be a factor.
The size and structure of the clamp jaw have a lot to do with performance. Width of the jaw opening determines the maximum diameter of the conductor that you can use. Besides, flexible clamp meters usually come with long, tapered clamps to complement with its purpose.
Non-contact Voltage Tester:
This feature ensures added safety in measuring current. Using NCVT, you can measure current easily and swiftly from a distance, without touching the conductor. Usually, NCTV works through the jaw of the meter.
Suppose, you are trying to measure the current flow in the HID ballast of your motorcycle. And suddenly without a sign, the power goes off. How disturbing it will be?
Good for you that there are clamp meters that give warnings ahead of time to protect from accidental shut-down in the middle of the work. With the beeping just put your meter on charge to get steady reading.
Besides, many clamp meters come with a power-saving mode to extend the running time. For better power use the meter will automatically shut down after a particular period of inactivity. So, if you somehow forget to shut the meter off after usage, this feature will do your job for you.
For an accurate reading, the first thing to ensure is that the meter properly connects to the circuit. What if an audible and visual indicator notifies about your connection status? Yes, some clamp meters do that to ensure a proper and secure connection. The beeper will tell you all.
A large, clear display will secure your eyes from straining over reading, every time you use a meter. Besides, some meters will let you store the last measurement on display. If you have a tendency to forget, this feature is your saviour.
And look for a backlit display as well; if you are planning to use the clamp meter on underground storage or in any dark corner of the house. It should be a must-have feature for a smooth and safe job.
Look for the safety standard of the meter. Most clamp meter comes with CAT III and CAT II safety ratings. Additionally, try to choose one that will give you overload protection against voltage upsurge. It is the secured way of connecting so that both the meter and the circuit don’t get damaged. This feature will lead to an automatic shut-down over particular voltage.
It’s not always the case that you will have to spend a lot to get accurate measurements. You can easily pick from the budget-friendly clamp meters, yet have the right reading of current. But that’s not the case if you are looking for a wide assortment of features. So, choose wisely.
Frequently Asked Questions:
- Ismulti-meter better than clamp meter?
Yes. Both can measure high current. However, multi-meter provides more accuracy and functionality.
- What do I need to consider in choosing a clamp meter?
Before picking one, you need to look at some basic features. Primary ones are true RMS, range, safety rating, features, size, and handiness.
- What is the benefit of using a clamp meter?
A clamp meter is useful for measuring AC current without contacting or interfering with live currents.
- Does clamp meters give an accurate reading?
Clamp meters give accurate readings for AC current.
- Can my clamp meter measure DC current?
That depends on the one you are using. Clamp meter mainly measures AC current. However, many clamp meter integrates Hall Effect in design to measure DC current.
Be Your Own Reliance
Are you still with me? Then by now, you must have learned all that you need to know about clamp meter. And you have read about all these first-rated meters. So, which one is the best?
The best clamp meter need not be the one with exclusive features. Rather, it is the one that can give you maximum utility. And all are not in equal footing in regard to that. A high featured meter might be the best clamp meter for HVAC engineers. However, for the general-purpose, a basic one is sufficient. Thus, the intention outlines the top-drawer.
If you have already made up your mind on buying one, make sure that you pick the right one that can serve all your purposes. And don’t hesitate on giving a simple one try, if you are in a tight budget. As it said, all that glitters isn’t gold. You only need to pick your gold.