The 10 Best Clamp Meters

Updated March 25, 2018 by Brett Dvoretz

10 Best Clamp Meters
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 42 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 circuits. They are also good for the average DIYer diagnosing problems in their home or on a car or boat. We've included models with differing capabilities and at various price points to suit every need. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best clamp meter on Amazon.

10. Mastech MS2115A

The Mastech MS2115A has a hard-wearing housing and durable controls that should enable it to stand up to plenty of use. It can test both AC and DC power, making it suitable for a variety of troubleshooting situations, plus it comes with a nice travel pouch.
  • very accurate capacitance function
  • glove-friendly operation
  • doesn't measure temperature
Brand Mastech
Model MS2115A
Weight 1.4 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

9. Milwaukee 2235-20

The Milwaukee 2235-20 has thin jaws to make it a little easier to get into tight spaces and isolate one specific wire. An integrated LED work light helps to illuminate your area, and rugged overmolding on the sides provides a secure grip.
  • high-contrast display
  • includes test leads and a battery
  • doesn't measure capacitance
Brand Milwaukee
Model 2235-20
Weight 1.1 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

8. Meterk MK06

The Meterk MK06 is easy to read, with its large-digit LCD screen, and allows for contact and non-contact voltage testing. A data hold button helps when taking a reading somewhere hard to reach, since you don't have to worry about looking at the measurements immediately.
  • multi-language user manual
  • auto powers off to conserve battery
  • audible live circuit alert
Brand Meterk
Model pending
Weight 16 ounces
Rating 3.5 / 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, though the small jaws can't accommodate extra thick cables or bundles.
  • beeps as it gets closer to ac fields
  • voltmeter adjusts automatically
  • needs to be zeroed often
Brand Signstek
Model UT210E
Weight 15.2 ounces
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

6. 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 can read up to a maximum 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

5. Tacklife CM02A

The Tacklife CM02A is a cost-effective option for troubleshooting household or automotive electrical problems. Its test probes are insulated with plastic, and it features automatic range detection to make operation safe and easy for anyone.
  • lots of functions for a low price
  • makes a great backup unit
  • temp readings are a few degrees off
Model pending
Weight 13.4 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

4. 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 detect low currents down to 1/10th of an amp and can take readings 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

3. 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 currents in a conductor up to 30 mm in diameter. Conveniently, it sports 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

2. Etekcity MSR-C600

The Etekcity MSR-C600 comes in at a budget-friendly price, yet is functional enough to meet the demands of most users. It is auto-ranging to eliminate any guesswork, measures up to 400 amps, and comes with a handy carrying case for easy storage.
  • enters sleep mode automatically
  • large-digit lcd
  • includes test leads
Brand Etekcity
Model 679113374812
Weight 12.8 ounces
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

1. 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
  • starts readings automatically
  • ideal for professional electricians
Brand Klein Tools
Model CL800
Weight 1.5 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 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.

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Last updated on March 25, 2018 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.

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