The 8 Best Clamp Meters

Updated April 11, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

8 Best Clamp Meters
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 36 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. All electrical contractors will want to check out these clamp meters, which make it easy to measure and identify any troublesome current fluctuations in household or commercial electrical circuits. They are also good for the average DIYer diagnosing electrical problems in their home or on a car or boat. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best clamp meter on Amazon.

8. Bside ACM03

The Bside ACM03 is able to measure AC and DC currents safely, as well as hertz, continuity, capacitance, resistance, and a few others. It has an operating range from 32°F - 104°F, so whether you are working in the dead of winter or middle of summer, your meter can keep up.
  • includes an lcd screen
  • accommodates standard banana plugs
  • measurements take a long time
Brand BSIDE
Model ACM03
Weight 16 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

7. Signstek UT210E

The low cost of the Signstek UT210E makes it a good choice for the home DIYer who likes to tackle a few electrical projects around their house. It's very easy to use and extremely accurate, but the small jaws can't accommodate extra thick cables or bundles.
  • beeps as it gets closer to ac fields
  • auto-adjusting voltmeter
  • needs to be zeroed often
Brand Signstek
Model UT210E
Weight 15.2 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

6. Milwaukee 2235-20

The Milwaukee 2235-20 has thin jaws to make it a little easier to get specific wire measurements from a bundle. An integrated LED work light helps to illuminate your work area, and rugged over molding on the sides helps to provide a secure grip.
  • high contrast display
  • rotary dial mode select switch
  • backed by a 5-year warranty
Brand Milwaukee
Model 2235-20
Weight 1.1 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

5. GTC CM100

Whether you need to catch a parasitic draw or find out which wire is live in a bundle, the GTC CM100 can help you accomplish the task. It has a maximum capacity of 600 volts and can detect currents from 0.001 up to 100 amps.
  • takes a reading twice in one second
  • holds peak measurement data
  • comes with batteries and a pouch
Brand General Technologies Co
Model CM100
Weight 15.2 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

4. Klein Tools CL800

The Klein Tools CL800 can test nearly every electrical aspect, including diodes, capacitance, AC or DC voltage, resistance, and more. Its thermocouple probe can be used to get a temperature measurement, and it is capable of detecting ghost voltage, too.
  • durable rubber coating
  • auto starts voltage readings
  • lcd is hard to read at an angle
Brand Klein Tools
Model CL800
Weight 1.5 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

3. Amprobe AMP-210

The Amprobe AMP-210 obtains an accurate reading quickly so you can spend less time measuring and more time getting the job done. It can measure low currents down to 1/10th of an amp and can take capacitance measurements for diagnosing motor capacitors.
  • bright backlit screen
  • included leads are very flexible
  • selector dial is easy to turn
Brand Amprobe
Model 4560537
Weight 1.1 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

2. Etekcity MSR-C600

The Etekcity MSR-C600 comes in at a budget-friendly price, yet is functional enough to meet the demands of professionals. It is auto-ranging to eliminate any guesswork, has a 400 amp max capacity. It comes with a handy carrying case for easy storage.
  • auto enters sleep mode
  • large-digit lcd
  • includes test leads
Brand Etekcity
Model 679113374812
Weight 16 ounces
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

1. Fluke 323

The Fluke 323 has a true RMS sensing meter for accurate measurements no matter the waveform, and its jaws are wide enough to measure current in a conductor measuring up to 30 millimeters. Conveniently, it has a slim design that is great for getting into tight spaces.
  • audible continuity sensor
  • low-battery indicator
  • holds the last measurement
Brand Fluke
Model Fluke 323
Weight 1.3 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

AC Clamp Meters Versus DC Clamp Meters

Clamp meters are available in both AC and DC models. A standard clamp meter used to measure AC currents cannot be used to measure DC currents and vice versa. This is because AC and DC currents have different properties. In an AC current, the flow of electricity periodically reverses direction causing a dynamically changing magnetic field. A DC current continuously flows in one direction and has a fixed magnetic field.

AC clamp meters are designed to detect the dynamically changing magnetic field produced when electricity flows through a wire. The fluctuations in the magnetic field caused by the AC current switching directions is directly proportional to the size of the current flow. A transformer inside of the AC clamp meter can detect and measure the magnetic fluctuations and convert those measurements into a current reading.

DC clamp meters makes use of a Hall Effect sensor to measure currents. The Hall Effect principal states that when a current carrying conductor is placed in a perpendicular magnetic field, the magnetic field will exert a transverse force on the charge carrier, which is perpendicular to both the current and the magnetic field. A small voltage runs across the Hall element when it is subjected to this transverse force, which is then amplified and measured to produce a current reading.

How To Use A Clamp Meter

Using a clamp meter is a relatively simple endeavor that does not require you to break a circuit or make a direct connection to any live wires. This makes it the ideal tool for the home DIYer who is still learning how to work with electrical components.

Your first step is to choose the electrical conductor you will be testing. It must be a live wire that is currently under load. If using it on an appliance, this means the appliance should be in operation during testing. If you have purchased a clamp meter which does not have autoranging, you will then need to select the correct measurement function and range. If unsure of the voltage range, it is always best to select a higher range and then decrease as needed.

Next, clamp the jaws of the meter around the conductor you are measuring. The jaws of the device should not be touching the conductor on any of its sides. If there are a number of other wires jumbled around the conductor you are measuring, you will need to untangle them so your clamp meter is only encircling the conductor to be measured. A reading should appear on the meter's display screen within seconds.

What To Consider When Buying A Clamp Meter

Not all clamp meters are created equal and it is important to purchase a quality clamp meter that will provide accurate results in the types of environments where you will be working. One of the first and foremost considerations must be accuracy of the readings. Ideally you should purchase a clamp meters that reports true-rms readings. If not, extraneous electrical noise from light bulbs and other devices in the room can cause inaccurate readings. In addition to offering a true-rms reading, your clamp meter should meet the industry accuracy standard of 2% ± 5 counts. Steer clear of any accuracy ratings stated to ± 10 counts.

Nearly every clamp meter can perform admirably in a clean and controlled lab setting, but more than likely you won't be working in this type of environment. Look for a clamp meter that is designed to work in the kinds of conditions you will be subjecting it to. Some may be specified for indoor use only with minimum and maximum operating temperatures. If you use a clamp meter under or over its specified operating temperatures, your readings will be inaccurate.

Finally, you will want to look at the features of each clamp meter you are considering. It may seem like a no-brainer to go with one that offers the most additional features, but bear in mind that the more gadgets integrated into a clamp meter, the harder it may be to use for its intended application. Avoid clamp meters that have silly features like a tape measure. Instead, focus on purchasing one with the measurement functions you need to get the job done quickly and correctly.

Some useful features to keep an eye out for include Inrush measurement capabilities, which can be invaluable if you will be working on motors, autoranging, and a large blacklit display screen with a wide viewing angle.



Statistics and Editorial Log

0
Paid Placements
5
Editors
36
Hours
21,243
Users
34
Revisions

Wiki Granular Update & Revision Log


help support our research


Patreonlogoorange psj5g7Wiki ezvid low poly earth xdypeb

Last updated on April 11, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.


Thanks for reading the fine print. About the Wiki: We don't accept sponsorships, free goods, samples, promotional products, or other benefits from any of the product brands featured on this page, except in cases where those brands are manufactured by the retailer to which we are linking. For our full ranking methodology, please read about us, linked below. The Wiki is a participant in associate programs from Amazon, Walmart, Ebay, Target, and others, and may earn advertising fees when you use our links to these websites. These fees will not increase your purchase price, which will be the same as any direct visitor to the merchant’s website. If you believe that your product should be included in this review, you may contact us, but we cannot guarantee a response, even if you send us flowers.