Digital clamp meters help homeowners identify common household electrical issues by testing them. Finding the best clamp meter might sound a bit intimidating.
However, by focusing on the right variables and features, you can be assured that you land a quality clamp meter in your hands.
In this list, we’ll account for the best clamp meter for electricians and home repair hobbyists. It’s a must-have device for your toolbox as it helps conduct accurate and quick assessments.
Before we proceed further, we’ve listed down a few things that you should consider before purchasing a clamp meter.
As mentioned above, buying clamp meters is an investment that you chose to make. Hence, doing so means that you have to be smart with your decisions.
To facilitate that, we’ve compiled a list of things you should keep in mind when going to buy a clamp meter.
Define a purpose
Defining a purpose or having a plan when buying technical tools is of utmost importance. This is because your end goals will help you specify exactly what type of accessories and features you require in your clamp meter.
Additionally, defining a purpose would enable you to plan a budget which you can adhere to. In that budget, you can choose the best clamp meter that suits your needs well.
Work environmental friendly
This suggests that the clamp meter that you’ll be buying works in the conditions where you see yourself using it the most.
This means that if you’re working in hot areas, there should be minimal chances that your clamp meter can’t function in that condition. Vice versa for colder regions and climates.
Additionally, this also extends to indoor and outdoor usages.
Accuracy and reliability
The accuracy levels of different clamp meters vary. Most of them do have a lower threshold, but it’s best to get one which suits your needs best and gives a reliable reading.
For example, if you’re looking for the best clamp meters for HVAC, you’ll need a tool that is extremely reliable and has a minimal error.
You’ll be dealing in high-risk situations. Remember, a clamp meter is a tool for assistance, and assistance only. Never compromise on your safety.
Since you’ll be dealing with circuitry and high voltages, ensure that your equipment is adequately insulated at the holding points.
Quality over quantity, always
If you’re looking to invest wisely for the long run, it’s best to get a clamp meter that gives the best bang for its buck. Don’t buy a clamp meter with features that you won’t need.
Remember, buy the tool that you require, not what the company wants to sell you.
Top 15 Clamp Meters ReviewsThe list below has been compiled after meticulous attention to detail.
With each product, we have highlighted its general review and a brief list of pros and cons. These will essentially assist you in deciding what type of product might be best for your particular need.
Without further ado, here are the best clamp meters available on the market!
Manufactured in Taiwan, this simplistic model is both easy to use and elegant in design.
With a durable exterior, the Milwaukee provides a wide range of voltages and provides auto-calibration, making it handy for usages on the go.
The thin jaw profile also makes it easier to hold onto wires individually or in a bundle. The model also includes a built-in LED work light.
- Elegant design
- Easy to use
- Low continuity alert
- Drains the battery quickly
Coming equipped with the whole package, this digital clamp meter is one of the best in the market.
The aesthetical design and the yellow color adds a touch of flair to it.
The UEi provides several features such as 40MΩ Resistance/Continuity, Frequency/Duty Cycle, and the diode test.
Additionally, this model also has a superb range and deals in capacitance values until about 4000μF.
- Complimentary components offered
- Good for safe measures
- No backlight
- No temperature test input
The fluke epitomizes simple design with maximal efficiency. This model measures AC to 400 amp, AC and DC voltage to 600V, and resistance to 4 KOhms.
However, a minor drawback is that it does not measure direct (DC) currents. The actual RMS sensing meter ensures that the readings are reliable and accurate.
Additionally, the jaw can open up to 30mm making it optimal for measuring current in wires.
- Simplistic design
- Good jaw hinges
- Does not measure DC
- Leads aren’t strong
This model is used by professionals and provides a plethora of features.
These include a 6000 count Auto Range, a measure of AC/DC voltage, AC/DC, resistance, diode, continuity, capacitance, temperature, frequency and duty cycle. Test cables, temperature probes, and batteries are included in the package.
The model also meets safety standards and has a backlight LCD.
- Very high accuracy
- Good tool coverage
- Bluetooth issue might arise
- Manual not elaborative
This model is very versatile is usage and combines elegant design with usability, making it suitable for operation in a variety of scenarios.
Providing a TRMS 2000 Counts, this model also has auto-ranging making it appropriate for professionals and amateurs alike.
The model can measure continuity, resistance, and voltages. It’s a great clamp meter for dc current.
- Comes with all equipment
- Can be used anywhere
- Not suitable for beginners
- Drains the battery pretty quickly
The Flir includes thermal images, making it optimal for use in places where thermodynamics is the main factor.
This instrument also enables users to work safely since the user can scan a panel or cabinet for hazards using IGM without direct contact.
This model also packs a plethora of features into one small model, such as True RMS, LoZ, VFD Mode, and Inrush.
- Optimal for safety
- Short battery life
- The thermal image takes time to show
The small device is optimal for carrying around. The lightweight feature means you can take it with you wherever you go.
With a 4000 count LCD, the model can be used by professionals and hobbyists alike. The resolution is in mA. The jaw of this meter opens up to 0.5-Inch.
This model has several features, such as AC/DC voltage, resistance, frequency, capacitance, and Duty Cycle.
- Very reliable resolution
- Small and compact
- Takes time to give a reading
- Occasional calibration issue
The Ideal, as the name suggests, is ideal for all sorts of users. The non-contact voltage measurement is on point.
Measuring up to 600 AAC, the model also has right tapered hooks which can be used for safe measurement of the current.
The model also has a low battery indicator and auto power-off feature, which will save you battery.
- Suitable for beginners
- Efficient battery timing
- No backlight for dim working conditions
- Button for voltage testing gets stuck occasionally
This model is highly reliable with reasonable and narrow readings, accounting for a sensitivity of 1mA.
The Bside is versatile and measures a wide range of things, such as temperature, capacitance, frequency, resistance, continuity, low impedance voltage, v-alert (non-contact voltage alert) and AC/DC voltage measurement.
- Easy to carry
- Not optimal for field work
- Clamps need to be held tight constantly
This model comes enclosed in an accessory box, which can be used for carrying it around.
If you want flair and class, this is the right product for you. With a resistance range of 0.01-200Ω and an accuracy of 1%, this model is optimal for professional usage.
The 32mm clamp size also makes it easier for clamping on a bundle of wires.
- Great battery timings
- Clamp range is excellent
- Not suitable for beginners
- Might be burdensome to carry around
With a detachable jaw, the fluke is highly versatile and can be used in dense wiring and circuitry.
This model has 600V AC and DC voltage measurement. The displays are bright and nicely lit.
Additionally, the smart design enables easy handling even under protective gear, which means you can use it just as well as if you were wearing gloves.
The model also includes built-in flashlights.
- Built-in flashlight
- Easy to carry around
- No min/max registers
- Manual isn’t elaborative
12. Tekpower UT202A
The Tekpower comes in two colors, both of which bring out its structural beauty. The model can handle current up to 600 Amps and is quite reliable.
The accuracy levels are generally below 2%, making them suitable for professional as well as occasional use.
The product comes with a whole box, which contains other accessories as well.
- Comes with equipment
- Good for indoor usage
- Not the best model for large scale projects
- Drains battery fast
This model includes two essential features which make it applicable for long-term usage: auto power off and data hold feature.
This means you don’t have to worry about taking readings quickly, giving you time to think and access things.
The Extech includes a 4000 count backlit LCD. This model also includes a Relative mode for capacitance zero and offset adjustment.
- Compact size
- Easy to read display
- Doesn’t measure true RMS
- Likely to break on impact
This lightweight model is an all-in-one. It is an exact RMS equipment with a 2000 display count.
Additionally, this model has a 17mm jaw capacity, which makes it suitable for hooking wires.
The model also has auto power off and battery indicator feature, which preserves battery life.
- Good battery timing
- Bright and clear display
- Good for home usage only
- Doesn’t measure microamps DC
This model has an automatically ranging true mean squared (TRMS) technology which accounts for an increased accuracy level.
The thermocouple feature enables the measurement of temperature whereas the other features that are included are the measurement of AC/DC voltage, resistance, continuity, frequency and capacitance, and tests diodes.
The battery compartment is also easily accessible in this model.
- Optimal battery timing
- Exceptional accuracy
- No built-in magnet
- Continuity might not work correctly at times
Frequently Asked Questions
How accurate are clamp meters?
The accuracy in a clamp meter is accounted for as a percentage of the official reading of the device. The accuracy is denoted as an error which might be unaccounted for in the official reading.
For example, an error of 2% would mean that a 100A reading is definitely between 98A and 102A.
The general accuracy levels are below 5%, but it’s optimal to only consider with >3% error.
What is a clamp meter good for?
A clamp meter is used for measuring currents within a circuit without having to disconnect it.
This is done via the usage of hinged jaw mechanism which literally ‘clamps’ the object which is being tested.
A clamp meter is mostly useful for circuit analysis without any external influence on the present circuit.
What is the difference between a multi-meter and a clamp meter?
Both objects are used frequently by electricians yet harbor great differences.
The former compiles the measuring abilities for several different quantities, such as voltage, current, and resistance.
Clamp meters, however, only measure currents and are designed to do with optimal ease and reliability.
What is the true RMS clamp meter?
A true RMS clamp meter is used in the industry for measuring alternating currents.
These currents are characterized by polarized periodic flow, which is why measuring them with standard equipment can get tricky.
To overcome the difficulties, a true RMS clamp meter is used.
What does true RMS meter mean?
A true RMS meter, as mentioned above, measures the magnitude of the alternating current in a circuit. RMS is an abbreviation for Root mean square.
This necessarily implies the equivalent value of the current if it were in a DC (direct current) setting as opposed to AC.
Do I need a true RMS meter?
Concluding whether you need a true RMS meter or not depends on the type of environment and conditions you’ll be working under.
To put things in perspective, it’s best first to clarify your immediate working conditions.
If you feel that you need the additional benefit and will be interacting with AC sources, then a true RMS meter is the right choice for you.
What is a digital clamp meter?
A digital clamp meter has the functions available to all clamp meters.
However, this version accentuates and makes the tool more versatile and safe than its predecessor models.
The digital clamp meter will also help you calculate voltage and resistance, making it into an all-in-one tool that is essential for compatibility.
Can a clamp meter measure voltage?
For the majority of the product on the market, clamp meters work well in measuring currents.
However, some models are built specifically to have this additional feature in it which is why they’re able to measure voltages as well.
Can a clamp meter measure DC?
A clamp meter’s main job is to measure the current going through the wire without causing any obtrusion or having to turn the system off.
Current generally flows in two ways, which is widely termed as direct current (DC) or Alternating current (AC).
Clamp meters can measure DC with relative ease.
How do you use a clamp meter to measure frequency?
Clamp meters can be used to measure frequencies, especially when encountered with AC circuitry.
Generally speaking, all models include a manual which can run the user through the process.
However, the basic crux of it is to turn the knob towards the Hz option and then clamp the jaw shut around the conductor.
What is the clamp on a handheld electric meter used for?
The clamp in a handheld electric meter is used as the medium used for interacting with another surface that can give as quantitative data and information.
This clamp is usually hinged around objects of interest to extract more information about them.
In this case, this implies the current flowing in them, etc.
In the end, it’s your call which clamp meter you want to go with.
Remember, it’s always better to invest smartly and think long-term. Hence, when choosing a clamp meter, make sure you get something that lives up to the expectation you hold for it.
Moreover, let us know in the comments below which clamp meter you like best!