Best Clamp Meters to Detect That Electric Current

Electricity is one of the best discoveries that changed humankind forever. As much as it helps light up our homes, power our industries and runs almost every machine around the world, electric currents if not properly monitored can result in extensive damages and even loss of life. As an electrician or anyone involved in electrical objects, it’s important to have the best clamp meters with you to help you effectively measure any electric current generated.

Clamp meters are specially designed devices that use a sensor to digitally measure electric current. This device has jaws which are clamped on an electric device where the current is measured without disconnecting the entire circuit. Originally, clamp meters were just used for single measuring functions but modern gadgets are more diverse in their measurement functions and can have special features for added accuracy.

There’s a number of factors that you need to look out for when shopping for best clamp meters to meet your needs such as the size of the jaws, IP ratings, accuracy among others. Don’t worry. We got you covered with this comprehensive review on the best clamp meters that will offer you a safe and accurate measuring experience. Let’s go.

Top 12 Clamp Meters Of 2019 Reviewed

1. Fluke 324 True RMS Clamp Meter

Best Accuracy

Once you clamp this gadget on your electrical device, you can enjoy multiple functions since it has the ability to AC current up to 400 amperes as well as AC and DC voltage of up to 600 volts. You can even get to measure the resistance of up to 4 kilohms with this clamp meter. Whether you are measuring linear or non-linear electric loads, the RMS sensing meter will provide you with highly accurate readings.

The jaw opens easily to measure the current of up to 30mm without having to break the electric circuit. To know whether the circuit is conducting electricity, the audible sensor will go off alerting you of the presence of a current. In terms of safety, the meter has met the IEC 61010-1 safety standard and has a rating of CAT IV for 300 amps and CAT III for 600 volts. Its slim and ergonomic design will fit perfectly on your hands allowing easy measurement of readings that will be clearly displayed on the easy to read display that has a backlight.

Fluke 324 True RMS Clamp Meter

Pros:

  • Multifunction reading of AC, DC, and resistance
  • Has RMS sensing feature
  • Comes in a slim and ergonomic design

Cons:

  • Doesn’t read higher resistance measurements
  • Its lids may be a bit stiff
  • Doesn’t read well in lower temperatures

2. Klein Tools CL800 Digital AC/DC Clamping Meter

Best Features

If you are looking for a versatile clamping meter with multiple functions, then the Klein Tools CL 800 is the tool for you. With over 160 years of manufacturing tools, Klein Tools brings you this clamp meter that boasts of an automatic True mean squared (TRMS) which helps you take accurate readings. With this digital tool, you will get to measure current, resistance, voltage, frequency and capacitance.

To eliminate the chances of stray volts, you can activate the Low Impedance mode which quickly identifies such volts. It also has a low battery indicator and its battery compartment is easily accessible. The clamp meter is sturdily built and can withstand a drop from a height of two meters.  For safety, it boasts of double insulation rating and CAT III 600V and CAT IV 1000V.Klein Tools CL800 Digital AC/DC Clamping Meter

Pros:

  • High accuracy through TRMS
  • Multipurpose measurement
  • Can withstand drops of 2 meters

Cons:

  • The Low Impedance feature could be more accurate
  • LED light not bright enough
  • Doesn’t include a magnet attachment

3. UEi Test Instruments DL369 Digital Clamp-On Meter

Best Dual Display

The DL369 is a great tool for contractors and electricians who just a simple but accurate electric current measuring tool. Whether it’s for troubleshooting or basic electrical maintenance, this clamp meter can effectively test circuits, measure circuit loading and any current on live conductors. It boasts of a dual display so that you can easily record your readings.

It measures an AC current of 750V and DC of 1000V. The AC current clamp is 400A and a resistance of 400 milliohms. It also features a low battery display lock and test lead storage. The clamp also has a test lead holder with auto power off and auto ranging. The package includes a zippered pouch for easy storage, a manual, two batteries and ATL59 test leads.UEi Test Instruments DL369 Digital Clamp-On Meter

Pros:

  • Dual display
  • Multiple applications
  • Auto power off and ranging

Cons:

  • A bit slow to read capacitance
  • Doesn’t read the temperature
  • Reduced accuracy

4. General Technologies Corp GTC CM600 Clamp Meter

General Technologies Corp brings you the CM600 Clamp Meter that can measure AC/DC current up to 600 amps and AC/DC voltage up to 600 volts. The jaws of the clamp can open up to 1 inch (25.4 MM) allowing you to clip even hard to reach areas. The audible indicator allows you take two readings every second for continuity check.

Some of the other great features of the CM600 clamp meter is the ability to measure resistance and a buzzer to help with measuring continuity.  There’s also a detector function for hold and peak functions. The test leads come with a deluxe carrying pouch with the batteries included.

General Technologies Corp GTC CM600 Clamp Meter

Pros:

  • Hold and peak detector function
  • Jaws open wide – 1 inch
  • Audible indicator

Cons:

  • Doesn’t meet CAT IV standard
  • No backlight
  • A bit heavy

5. Voltcraft Current Clamp Meter VC330

Best For Automobile And Solar Energy Sectors

As an entry-level clamp meter, the VC330 is quite a tool that allows you to take all types of measurements such as AC/DC readings, AC/DC voltage and resistance readings. The ergonomic design allows you to record non-contact readings and can serve as a multimeter as well. It has a manual range and a backlight that lights up the display. It also boasts of auto shut off and one hand operation mode. The clamp meter has been masterly crafted using German engineering to provide you with accurate readings.

Voltcraft Current Clamp Meter VC330

Pros:

  • Ergonomic, one-hand design
  • Backlight display
  • Auto shut off

Cons:

  • Slow to give continuity readings
  • May have odd holding positions
  • Beep needs to be louder

6. Extech MA445  400A AC/DC Clamp Meter

You will be drawn to this clamp meter bold colors and beautiful construction then get hooked to its accuracy due to the True RMS feature incorporated in the design. The jaws open up to 1.2 inches (30mm) and can fit conductors of up to 500 MCM. Some of the measurements functions that the clamp meter can perform include NCV, AC/DC current, AC/DC voltage, resistance, frequency and Diode test.

It also has DC zero and allows for offset adjustment mode. It features an auto power function that switches off the tool when not in use and a low battery indicator to alert you when it’s time to recharge. It also has a multipurpose temperature probe and comes with 3 AAA batteries.

Extech MA445  400A AC/DC Clamp Meter

Pros:

  • Multiple measurement functions
  • Offset adjustment mode
  • Multipurpose temperature probe

Cons:

  • Carrying case has no handle
  • True RMS bought separately
  • The jaws may clip a bit loosely

7. General Technologies Corp GTC CM100 Clamp Meter

Best Small Size

Get to measure currents from as low as 0.01 amperes to 100 amperes which make it a great tool for parasitic draws. You can also take readings of AC/DC volts up to a voltage of 600 volts. The jaw only opens half an inch. It also has the peak and holds functions that are operated by one switch rotary function. You can also take two readings per second and will be alerted by the audible beep of the indicator. The test leads come with a soft case for easy portability and storage.

General Technologies Corp GTC CM100 Clamp Meter

Pros:

  • Multiple measurement functions
  • Test leads come in a soft carrying case
  • Peak and hold functions

Cons:

  • Jaws open only half an inch
  • Not ideal for resistance and voltage measurements
  • Readings may be unsteady

8. Sperry Instruments DSA500A

Best Snap-Around Clamp Meter

The DSA500A is a 5-function clamp meter designed to measure AC/DC current measurements between 40 and 400 amperes, voltage of 400 to 600 volts and continuity. The clamp meter has a large LED screen that displays the readings and has a hold button to maintain the readings on the display for you to record.

To extend battery life, it has an auto turn off the feature and a low battery indicator to let you know when the battery is running out. It has a buzzer that goes off when taking continuity readings. For safety, the tools have overload protection while its transformer jaws are shrouded for increased safety.

Sperry Instruments DSA500A

Pros:

  • Increased safety features
  • Data hold button to maintain readings
  • Large LCD display screen

Cons:

  • There’s no range for zero
  • Complaints of continuity function not working
  • Replacing the fuse isn’t readily available

9. Milwaukee 2235-20 400 Amp Clamp Meter

The simple and compact design of this clamp meter allows you to take measurements on AC/DC current (400 amps), AC/DC voltage (600 volts) and resistance (4,000 ohms). It also auto calibrates which saves you the hustle of taking it back for calibration each year.

It has a backlight and a hold function with a black on white display. It’s also designed with a thin jaw that allows you to easily measure wires in a panel. It comes with an LED flashlight with one electrical lead set.

Milwaukee 2235-20 400 Amp Clamp Meter

Pros:

  • Thin jaws for easy measurement
  • Auto calibration
  • Multiple measurements

Cons:

  • Smaller specs for AC measurement
  • Some don’t like the rugged design
  • No True RMS

10. TackLife CM01A Clamp Meter

Measure your current in a safer, easier and faster way with the Tacklife CMO1A clamp meter. It has the features of a full multimeter and measures AC/DC current, voltage, resistance and continuity. It has a flashlight that allows you to take measurements even in dark areas. The LCD display also increases visibility while the hold function helps you record readings easily.

The jaws open up to 26 mm and have great clamp control that doesn’t disrupt the circuit. It has a low battery indicator and automatically switches to sleep mode or inactive for more than 15 minutes.

TackLife CM01A Clamp Meter

Pros:

  • Flashlight and LCD screen
  • Great clamp control
  • Auto sleep mode

Cons:

  • Doesn’t have a dual read out
  • Limited features
  • Work light only works when measuring  AC

11. Etekcity MSR-C600 Digital Multimeter

For great auto ranging measurements, you need to get the Etekcity MSR-C600 which measures a variety of tests including diode and continuity tests. It also has other great features such as the hold function, max reading and displays the readings on a large LCD display. To conserve energy, it switches to auto sleep.

Etekcity MSR-C600 Digital Multimeter

Pros:

  • Auto sleep feature
  • Auto-ranging feature
  • Large LCD display

Cons:

  • May have some void in load measurements
  • Batteries don’t last long
  • Not great with resistance or continuity measurement

12. FLIR CM174 True RMS 600A AC/DC Clamp Meter

The FLIR CM174 clamp meter uses IGM to scan a panel without direct contact with the current. It also has a center point temperature that helps confirm hot spots. The narrow jaws and flashlight help you efficiently access hard to reach areas. It also has the True RMS feature for increased accuracy.

FLIR CM174 True RMS 600A AC/DC Clamp Meter

Pros:

  • True RMS helps increase accuracy
  • Narrow jaws to help reach all areas
  • IGM for easy scanning

Cons:

  • Doesn’t come with a case
  • No connectivity to Bluetooth
  • Limited features

Best Clamp Meters Buying Guide

As an electrician or anyone dealing with electrical equipment, it’s important to keep track of the electric current to detect and prevent short circuits and power surges. There are a number of tools you can use for electrical maintenance among them a clamp meter that’s specially designed to test AC current around electrical conductors. The best thing about using a clamp meter is its ability to squeeze into tight spaces and measure the current without breaking the circuit.

Why Have Clamp Meters become Popular?

Almost every electrician out there now owns a pair of these jaw clipping tool and it’s for good reasons. The test leads in a clamp meter have made it much easier to troubleshoot and carry out electrical maintenance. One key benefit that electricians love about clamp meters is the safety elements since now there’s no need to cut wires and insert a test lead to get a measurement.

The jaws of the clamp meter don’t even need to touch the conductor in order to take a reading. Better yet, clamp meters make electrical maintenance efficient since you don’t need to disconnect the circuit as you work.

Common Features of a Clamp Meter

This electrical tool has incorporated a number of features that make it a must have tool for any electrician. Most clamp meters have these features but the high-end ones have all these features.

  • True RMS (True Root Mean Square) – As current moves, it creates a wave which may provide you with different readings each time. This feature helps convert AC current into DC current which ensures that you collect stable and more accurate readings.
  • Ingress Protection Rating (IP Rating) – This is a safety standard that rates enclosures according to their degree of protection from moisture and intrusion by foreign bodies. With a good IP Rating, a clamp meter is well protected to work in a variety of environments.
  • PC Interface – Since most clamp meters are digital, they have a slot that allows you to conveniently transfer your readings from the source into your PC for further analysis and generation of reports.
  • Data logger – This feature allows a clamp meter the internal memory to hold several readings at a time which you can refer to later.

What Readings Can You Take Using a Clamp Meter?

  • AC/DC Current – This is the most basic measurement and measures the flow of electric current through a circuit. Most clamp meters measure both AC and DC  current.
  • AC/DC Voltage – Measuring volts helps identify the amount of energy stored and delivered at a certain time. It’s usually measured using a voltmeter but most clam meters allow you to record the voltage as well.
  • Resistance – Measured in Ohms, clamp meters allow you to measure the resistance to the passage of current generated by an electrical conductor.
  • Temperature– You may find that the clamp meter can take temperature readings for probes or thermal objects.

Conclusion

All in all, a clamp meter is one tool that will help make your electrical works much easier. We hope that this review has provided you with great ideas on the best clamp meters to help you find the right product to add to your toolbox. Do enjoy your shopping and always remember, with electric currents, safety always comes first.