You might have heard of multimeters, but have you heard of their sister instrument known as the clamp meter? Clamp meters are like multimeters in most aspects, only that they have jaws.
They are a worthy replacement for the ideal multimeter if you can lay your hands on them. And therein lies the problem- how do you select a clamp meter that will guarantee you the best results? Such an instrument should be not only accurate but also inexpensive.
Table of Contents
Quick Answer: Best Clamp Meters
1. Best Overall: Fluke 323 True-RMS Clamp Meter
- Digital clamp meter measures AC current to 400 amp, AC and DC voltage to 600 v, and resistance to 4 kilo ohms. Does not...
- The true RMS sensing meter provides accurate readings when measuring linear or non-linear loads, regardless of waveform
- Jaw opening measures current in a conductor up to 30 millimeter without touching or interrupting the circuit. Resistance...
- Audible continuity sensor confirms that the circuit conducts electricity
- Meets IEC safety standard 61010 1, and is rated for CAT IV installations to 300V and CAT III installations to 600V
If you’ve heard of multimeters, then you must have heard of the famous fluke multimeters. As it turns out, Fluke does not only make multimeters but also clamp meters. Like most fluke multimeters, Fluke 323 clamp meter also lives up to its billing.
It is a versatile meter that you can use to test alternate current AC up to 400 amps, AC voltage, and resistance. It, however, can’t test DC. However, that doesn’t necessarily detract from its versatility.
One thing we loved about Fluke 323 meters is the fact that it has a True RMS scale. True RMS scales are famous for their increased accuracy levels when compared to other scales. You are, therefore, sure that the results you get from this meter will be as accurate as possible.
Another thing that is sure to endear this clamp meter to you is the jaw that can test or sense in a conductor up to 30mm without interfering with the circuit.
The non-contact testing also means that you will be safer when using the multimeter. The fluke 323 is a decent device but look at the following product or list if it doesn’t excite you.
- The audible continuity test makes it convenient
- Can test for current in a conductor that is 30 mm
- The true RMS scale is more accurate
- It has a safety rating of CAT III 600V
- The test leads are quite fragile
2. Best Budget: Extech AC/DC Clamp Meter with NCV
- True RMS feature for accurate readings regardless of waveforms
- 1.2" (30mm) jaw size fits conductors up to 500MCM
- Large backlit LCD display and built-in Flashlight
- Functions include: NCV, AC/DC voltage, AC/DC current, resistance, Capacitance, Frequency, type-k temperature, Diode test,...
- Relative mode for Capacitance, DC Zero and offset adjustment, data hold, max/min, auto power off and low battery indicator
The Extech MA445 clamp meter boasts a True RMS scale to provide you with the most accurate results possible. The scale makes it ideal for testing instruments with waveforms since they won’t interfere with the reading.
The outstanding feature of this clamp meter is the backlight on display and the flashlight. The backlight comes in handy when you are testing for things in the dark. The flashlight will boost visibility whenever you are using the instrument.
Its jaw size is considerable enough and can fit conductors that are up to 500mcm. The jaws are also 1.2 inches to ensure they fit as large conductors as possible.
Additionally, Extech has convenient features such as data hold and automatic power shutoff. The low battery indicator ensures you know exactly when to charge the battery or replace it.
- The backlight and the flashlight enhance the visibility of results in the dark
- The low battery indicator means you will when to charge the battery
- It has a considerable jaw size of 500mcm
- Although it comes with a case, the case doesn’t have a handle
3. KAIWEETS Digital Clamp Meter
- True-RMS clamp meter: This multimeter can accurately measure AC/DC Current, AC/DC Voltage, Frequency or Duty Cycle,...
- LowZ & LPF: Low input impedance helps prevent false readings due to ghost voltage. Low Pass Filter (LPF) for accurate...
- NCV Detection Function: Non-contact voltage detection effectively check electrical status through measuring EM field...
- Multi-function: Two-color backlit LCD Display - When the voltage > 80V, the current > 3A, the LCD backlit screen turns red to...
- Safety Service: Safety standard IEC 61010-1, CAT III 600V. Double insulation. 36 Months product service provided. 7/24...
Next is the Kaiweets digitals clamp meter. It boasts a 6000-count True RMS scale that will guarantee you accurate and reliable results. This digital clamp meter is also quite versatile.
The True RMS scale makes it relatively efficient when you are testing nonlinear signals. Also, the low input impedance further boosts the accuracy of the multimeter by preventing ghost readings. The Kaiweets digital clamp is also relatively safe, thanks to a satisfactory safety rating.
Additionally, it also has non-contact testing of voltage which is usually safer than contact testing. Finally, it also has a large LCD screen with a backlight. The backlight ensures easier use even in the dark.
- It has a large screen that makes it easier to read
- It is safe thanks to the non-contact testing function
- The True RMS scale makes it accurate
- The plastic build doesn’t boost its durability
4. AstroAI Digital Clamp Meter 2000 Counts
- 2000 COUNTS CLAMP METER:Check out our VIDEO on the left side and take a quick tour of AstroAI Multimeter! TEST A WIDE RANGE...
- AUTO POWER OFF SAFELY:The amp meter's sampling speed of 2 times per second; If the meter is not in operation for 15...
- CONVENIENT FEATURES: Included Data Hold/Max Hold and a Large, Digital LCD Display, and Extra Large Clamp make for easy use...
- SAFETY FEATURE: Transformer Jaws pick up AC Current flowing through the conductor, increasing safety while improving this...
- EASILY CARRING AND DURABLE:Commercial settings where it can handle the demands of a long workday, from the durable exterior...
AstroAI is a famous name when it comes to devices such as multimeters and clamp meters. It is, therefore, no surprise that we would feature one of their clamp meters on our list. You can use it to test a wide array of electrical properties.
It has convenient features such as data hold and auto-shutoff features. The data hold ensues the results remain on the screen until you have recorded them somewhere. Automatic shut-off, on the other hand, will help conserve battery life.
The transformer jaws make it easy to test AC since they pick up the current without touching the conductor. You will love this clamp meter, thanks to the compact size it comes with. That means you can carry it almost anywhere. That makes it a highly convenient instrument.
- The compact size makes it easy to carry
- It is versatile and can test different electrical properties
- The convenient features such as the data hold and auto-shutoff make it easier to use
- It provides results relatively faster
- It has a soft case that doesn’t protect the instrument much
5. Klein Tools CL380 Electrical Tester
- Electrical Tester measures both AC/DC current via the clamp
- Non-contact voltage tester integrated into the clamp jaw
- High-visibility reverse contrast LCD display for improved viewability in all ambient lighting conditions
- Automatically ranging True Root Mean Squared (TRMS) measurement technology for accuracy
- Measures AC/DC voltage, DC micro-Amp current, resistance, continuity, frequency, duty-cycle, capacitance and tests diodes via...
Klein is another famous name in the tools business. Apart from their incredibly durable multimeter, they also make clamp meters, like the Klein CL380 clamp meter. This clamp meter can measure electrical properties such as current and voltage.
It is a safe device to use, thanks mainly to the non-contact jaw that enables you to test voltage without touching the conductor. That reduces the chances of any accidents from electrical faults.
Another feature that guarantees the accuracy of this clamp meter is the True RMS scale. The scale also has automatic ranging to reduce the work you have to do before testing for an electrical property. It should be enough for anyone to use it, leave alone an electrician.
- It has a true RMS scale that has automatic raining
- It is versatile and can measure multiple electrical properties
- The large LCD screen makes it easy to view readings
- The non-contact jaw enables safer testing
- The reverse contrast screen doesn’t work that well when working in the open
6. Proster 6000 Trms – Best DC Clamp Meter
- 【Reliable Clamp Multimeter with True RMS】Accurate AC/DC voltage current, resistance, capacitance, frequency, temperature,...
- 【Auto-Ranging with NVC】The meter will automatically select the appropriate auto range; NCV detects the existence of AC...
- 【Clamp Measuring】Clamp jaw measures AC current up to 28mm without interrupting the circuit, which makes it much safer to...
- 【Continuity Test & Overload Protection】 Designed to Safely and Accurately Confirm the Circuit Electricity with Low...
- 【Features】high resolution, large backlit LCD screen and clamp light to improve visibility in dark place. Low battery...
If you are looking for a 6000-count clamp meter, then the Proster clamp meter is here. In keeping with the trend so far, it has a true RMS scale. The scale guarantees you more accurate results than devices with regular scales. Its wide array of functions makes it a versatile clamp meter you will want to own.
Another thing that will endear this clamp meter to you is the automatic ranging for the non-contact voltage testing. Non-contact testing, as you must understand by now, is the safer option when dealing with direct voltage.
In addition, the clamp can measure up to 28mm without interfering with the circuit. That makes this clamp meter the best option for testing cables or high-current loads in cars.
The other thing that further boosts safety when using this clamp meter is overload protection. If it detects too much voltage, the light alarm will inform you when it is too high and can cause damage.
- The clamp meter can test up to 28mm without interfering with the circuit
- It is versatile and can make a wide variety of tests
- Overload protection adds to the safety
- The LCD’s backlight only stays on for a short duration which doesn’t help much
7. UEi Test Instruments DL369 – Best Accurate Clamp Meter
- 📺 DUAL DISPLAY: The DL369 comes with a Dual 4000 Count Display to show all numbers clearly and easily while testing. There...
- 🧰 CAPACITANCE & FREQUENCY: The DL369 measures both capacitance 4000µF & frequency providing industrial capabilities as an...
- ⚡ AC/DC Microamps: The DL369 measures AC current up to 400A and AC/DC Current up to 2000µA providing you a wide testing...
- 🔌 NCV: The DL369 has audible Non-Contact Voltage to be able to identify live lines and protect you on the jobsite. This...
- ✅ 3-YEAR WARRANTY: The DL369 has a 3-year limited warranty. All warranties must be redeemed in the US.
UEi DL369 clamp meter is an excellent tool if all you need is an instrument for routine electrical maintenance or general-purpose troubleshooting. It lacks most of the extra features typical of other high-end clamp meters.
UEi DL369 clamp meter makes it capable of non-contact voltage testing, which is usually safer than other testing styles. It is a rugged device, thanks to the rough exterior it has. That makes it resistant to damage from minor falls. Also Read: Best multimeter 2023
The convenience features make it a fairly easy-to-use instrument. For starters, it has an automatic ranging option that sets the range for you whenever you are using it. That saves you a lot of time. The other feature is the automatic power-off that makes the device go off if the screen stays idle for too long.
- The test leads are on the clamp for better testing
- The convenience features such as automatic shutoff make it easy to use
- It has non-contact voltage testing
- It is durable thanks to the rugged make
- You can’t use it to test inrush’s current
8. Klein Tools CL800 Digital Clamp Meter
- Clamp Meter with automatically ranging true mean squared (TRMS) technology for increased accuracy
- Test leads measure AC/DC voltage, resistance, continuity, frequency and capacitance and tests diodes
- Thermocouple probe measures temperature
- Low Impedance (LoZ) mode for identifying and eliminating ghost or stray voltages
- CAT IV 600V, CAT III 1000V, Class 2, Double insulation safety rating
Klein Tools CL800 boasts a True RMS scale for high accuracy results and an automatic ranging scale that makes it easy to use. You won’t struggle to set the range yourself.
To boost the accuracy of the results you get, Klein Tools CL800 has a low impedance feature. The low impedance feature blocks out ghost readings that are usually responsible for false readings.
The Klein CL800 is also relatively safe. Thanks to the double insulation it comes with. It also has a safety rating of CAT III 100V and CAT IV 600V. You will thus be sure you are using a safe product when using this clamp.
The CL800 also comes with a carrying pouch that makes it easier for you to move with it. It also has a relatively rugged build that ensures it is resistant to damage when it accidentally falls.
- It is a safe and accurate clamp meter
- The true RMS scale makes it more accurate
- The low impedance feature eliminates ghost readings
- The automatic ranging scale makes the clamp easier to use
- The temperature test isn’t that accurate
Buyer’s Guide (Factors you Need to Consider)
The following are a few factors you need to consider before buying a clamp meter;
Safety and Ease of use
The ideal clamp meter is easy and safe to use. You should check for the safety rating and other safety features such as overload protection. An easy-to-use clamp meter should have a simple design and easy-to-use features.
Size of the Jaws
The size of the jaws will determine the size of the cables or conductors you can test with the clamp meter. A smaller jaw will limit you when you want to test generally larger cables. That’s why you need to consider the size of the jaws.
True RMS scale
Another thing to look out for when buying a clamp meter is the scale. While any scale will give you results, a True RM scale will provide far more accurate results than any other scale. Accuracy is an essential aspect of a clamp meter which is why you need to consider this.
Clamp meters, like any other product, come at different prices. The meter you get will depend on the budget at your disposal.
Your budget should guide you to get a meter that will suit your needs. Please don’t go for the highly-priced clamp meters without first looking at what they have to offer.
You don’t want to end up buying an expensive meter that isn’t worth the money. On the other hand, Cheaper clamp meters might also be a good option if you choose wisely.
FAQs: 3 Questions & Answers
Are expensive Clamp Meters worth it?
Yes, they are. You, however, have to ensure you make the right choice and not blindingly choose one just because of its price.
Is a True RMS scale more accurate than a regular scale?
A true RMS scale is more accurate than a regular scale. Therefore, choosing between the two clamps with the two scales, choose the one with a True RMS scale.
Do Clamp Meters have a warranty?
Yes, it, however, depends on where you buy them. Most have a one-year warranty from the manufacturers and a 30-day warranty if you are buying from amazon.
Choosing the best electrical clamp meter won’t be that complicated if you have read our guide. However, clamp meters like multimeters will require you to consider several things when buying them. The jaw size should feature high on the things to look for in a clamp meter.
Another thing to look at is the scale. Various scale types have varying accuracy. That is why you need to choose one that will give you as accurate results as possible. A true RMS scale is one of the most accurate scales, and it will guarantee you the most reliable results.
Again, there are many options from the market, with the most notable brand being Fluke. However, it would be best if you didn’t restrict yourself to only the Fluke as other clam brands such as Klein will give you excellent results.