Best Clamp Meters – Reviews and Buyer’s Guide

In this article, we’ll review 10 best clamp meters with an in-depth buying guide.

Best Clamp Meters

Our Top Picks


Best Overall

Tacklife CM05 Clamp Meter

  • 3.52 pounds
  • 2 x AAA Batteries
  • 2-Years

 

Best for Industrial Use

Fluke 324 Clamp Meter

  • 14.1 ounces
  • 2 x AAA Batteries
  • 2-Years Warranty

 

Best For Budget

Amprobe AMP-210 Clamp

  • 1.10 pounds
  • 2 x AAA Batteries
  • 2-Years

 

It’s almost a decade ago since I got a chance to use a clamp meter in my hand while working with my colleague. But, back then, choosing the best clamp meter was very straightforward with few brands in the market, which is quite a hustle these days!

Measuring current with a clamp meter makes the task very quick and easy that saves both our time and energy. Having no direct connection to electrical wires, the user is also safe from overloading that can prove fatal!

Of course, it’s pretty difficult to stick with one when we have hundreds of options to choose from!

Let’s leave this shortlisting task to us as we’ll be reviewing the top ten best clamp meters available in the market to make the selection process easy for you!

Not only that, you’ll find a detailed buyer’s guide containing the features you should look for before buying a multimeter after the product reviews section.

So, without further due, let’s dive deep into it!


List of top 10 Best Clamp Meters


1. Tacklife CM05 Clamp Meter

CM05 Clamp Meter

What it has?

What it lacks?

Carrying pouch availability
Mounting straps availability
Bright LED Backlit
VFC Function
True RMS
Auto Shutoff
Data Hold
Drop protection
CATIII Safety Rated
NCV or live line testing

No Built-in Flashlight
No kickstand
No Hanging magnet
No overload fused input protection


Measurements:

Tacklife CM05 multimeter can measure both AC/DC voltage, temperature, capacitance, frequency, resistance, and AC current. One can also perform continuity and diode check using this multimeter.  

Unfortunately, you won’t be able to do transistor check or polarity identification.

Design:

This unit comes with a nicely designed nylon carrying pouch having enough space to hold a clamp meter, test leads, and even a screw drive. So, just put the unit into it and take it wherever you want!

Although there isn’t any kickstand or hanging magnet, you’ll get a mounting strap with this unit by which you can hang it alongside your belt while taking easy readings!

With an overall display counts of 5999, this unit has one of the highest resolutions LCD in our list of best clamp meters, and thanks to its bright LED backlight, you won’t find any problem while taking readings in the dark!

But bear in mind, there is no flashlight in this unit, so always take a headlamp with you while going in the dark!

Functions:

With its variable frequency control, you can measure the voltage of a variable frequency/speed drive with much better accuracy as a low pass filter is employed.

Being a true RMS multimeter, it is eligible to be used for measuring nonlinear signals but with the absence of min/max value storage function, estimating the fluctuations would be hard with tack life CM05 multimeter unit.

In the case of 15 minutes of inactivity, the multimeter goes into the sleep mode to save battery, and its hold function will be handy in freezing any specific value that you intend to note or use later!

Safety:

No direct current measurements omit the need for any fused input protection, so with no chance of overloading, you are safe from any kind of misadventure.

Having a robust structure with a tough casing that won’t deteriorate in harsh working conditions like cheap clamp meters, you can expect the Tacklife CM05 multimeter to last long!

Tacklife CM05 has got CAT III up to 600V voltage safety ratings that makes it suitable to be used for low to medium power applications. The plier head having double insulation provide a much safer service!

When it comes to non-contact voltage detection, this unit makes a buzzer sound and flash a light to notify the voltage presence when the clamp head is taken 0-5 cm close to the voltage source.


Being a lightweight, portable amp clamp meter, it is best suited for small household troubleshooting. However, it’ll be equally beneficial for HVAC technicians and general-purpose electricians. Lastly, it can also be considered as the best clamp meter for solar appliances as well!


Pros
  • Good sized leads. nLong battery life.nSensitive voltage detection.nTough casing. nSpacious nylon casing.nGood customer support.
Cons
  • Less life span.nDifficult to use.n

2. Fluke 324 Clamp Meter


What it has?

What it lacks?

Carrying case availability
Clear Backlit LCD
Auto-ranging
True RMS
Data Hold
Auto shutoff
Drop Protection
CATIII and CATIV Safety Rated

No Kickstand
No Hanging Magnet
No Mounting straps
No Built-in Flashlight
No NCV or live line testing
No fused overload input protection


Measurements:

Fluke 324 is capable of measuring AC/DC voltage, temperature, capacitance, resistance, and AC current with a jaw capacity of 30 mm. Audible continuity of a circuit and diode check can also be performed using Fluke 324 multimeter. 

Unfortunately, you won’t be able to measure frequency and ac current. Additionally, you can’t check transistors as well using this multimeter unit.

Design:

The overall design of Fluke 324 is slim and ergonomic, and thanks to the vinyl carrying case, you won’t find any difficulty moving it here and there.  Fluke 324 model has a large high-resolution LCD display that is easy to read and is equipped with a backlight; it’ll be equally visible both during day and night.

But unfortunately, this unit also misses out on the kickstand, hanging magnet or strap, and flashlight. So, neither you will have the option to do the hands-free operation, nor can you use it during the night without any external flashlight or headlamp. Thus, it misses out on most of the advanced functions that every best clamp meter must-have.

Functions:

Fluke multimeter clamp 324 is an auto-ranging multimeter with true RMS sensing capability to better analyze the varying AC signals of any waveform involving variable speeds. 

But the absence of min/max function snatches the flexibility of estimating the difference between highs and lows of any signal.

If you don’t want to lose any reading while taking measurements at inaccessible places, just press the hold button, and it’ll freeze the value for you!

Thanks to its auto shut off feature in case of inactivity, and its battery won’t be drained out with you forgetting the unit to turn off once!

Safety:

There is no need for any current input protection as the amperage isn’t measured by making any direct contact.

Fluke 324 is capable of withstanding all kinds of splashes and wear.  Overall, the material quality is good, with a sturdy casing that won’t break down unless dropped quite often!

Fluke 323 is CAT III 600 V and CAT IV 300 V safety rated that guarantees its safe use in all kinds of applications starting from low to high power. But unfortunately, this unit doesn’t have any non-contact voltage detection capability that limits its use somehow!


This is indeed an expensive clamp meter in comparison with other units in the list having more features, but it’s the only clamp meter you would need regardless of the area where you want to use it. Although it is specially designed for HVAC technicians, one can use it for other applications, including commercial and residential troubleshooting and circuits fault diagnosis. 


Pros
  • Lightweight.nEasy to handle.nHigh brand reputation.nPlenty of features.nRobust, long-lasting unit.nHighly loved by customers. nSpacious vinyl casing.n
Cons
  • Pricy compared to other brands.

3. Amprobe AMP-210 Clamp Meter

Amprobe AMP-210 Digital Clamp Meter

What it has?

What it lacks?

Carrying pouch availability
Bright Backlit LCD
Auto-ranging
Data Hold
True RMS
Auto shutoff
Drop Protection
CATIII Safety Rated
NCV or live line testing

No Kickstand
No Flashlight
No Hanging magnet
No Fused overload input protection


Measurements:

AMP 210 amperage clamp meter can accurately measure AC/DC voltages, temperature, frequency, capacitance, resistance, and ac current. It can also be used to test diode and circuit continuity that’ll be notified via a loud beep.

Unfortunately, you can neither check dc current and transistors, nor can you perform polarity identification using AMP 210.

Design:

A nicely designed spacious carrying case will be provided by the Amprobe with this unit to hold both AM 210 multimeter and related accessories. The Amprobe 210 also equips n easy to shift straightforward dial selector switch.

Additionally, with its large, 6000 counts display interface and an uncluttered backlit screen, readings will be easily visible both during the broad daylight and night time making it the best clamp meter for both day and night jobs.

Unfortunately, AM 210 also lacks a kickstand, magnetic hanger, and flashlight. So, you’ll have to hold it in hand while taking readings and take a headlamp with you while going in the dark!

Functions:

One area where AMP 210 beats all other clamp meters is its amp-tip function that allows current measurements of wires as low as the size of 0.1 Amp.

This auto-ranging electrical clamp meter equips a low pass filter that helps in precise measurements of current and voltage on any variable frequency drives!

Two more interesting features are its hold and min/max function. It is represented as “REC†on the clamp meter.

Where the first one will help the user in saving any value during troubleshooting, the later one discovers the high and low points of measured signals to clearly estimate the fluctuations.

As AMP 210 is a True RMS clamp meter, it is capable of accurately analyzing the nonlinear signals affected by surrounding noise or disturbance.

Last but not least, the auto-off feature, which gets activated after 30 minutes of inactivity. This feature will be handy for those who forget to turn off the clamp on amp meter after doing their job!

Safety:

There is no need for overload protection as the current is measured by induction instead of direct contact!

Thanks to its well tested strong casing, this unit can withstand drop impact and job site wear and tear without breaking, making Amprobe a trusted brand in the market!

AMP 210 has got CAT-III up to 600V safety ratings, which acts as a guarantee that the device is safe to use in low to medium power applications!

While checking the presence of voltage in switches, sockets, or wire, just bring the AMP 210 close to them, and you’ll be notified with a beep sound if voltage exists!


This clamp tester is the best clamp meter for the money that is a perfect device to perform standard checks that inexperienced or professional electricians would need. Having good safety ratings, one can use this device for household and residential troubleshooting. 


Pros
  • Amp-tip allows accurate low amp check.nClean interface.nGhost voltage filtration.nQuick response.nStrong built structure.nLong battery life.n
Cons
  • No DC amps measurement.nTest ranges are narrow.n

4. Fluke 323 Clamp Meter

Fluke 323 HVAC Clamp Meter

What it has?

What it lacks?

Auto-Ranging
Data Hold
True RMS
Auto shutoff
High-resolution Backlit LCD
Drop protection
CATIII and CATIV Safety Rated

No carrying pouch availability
No Built-in  flashlight
No kickstand
No hanging magnet
No NCV or live line testing
No overload fused input protection


Measurements:

Fluke amp clamp 323 can measure AC/DC voltage, resistance, and AC current with a jaw allowance of 30mm. One can also perform a continuity check using this multimeter.

This clamp meter can’t measure dc current, frequency, temperature, and capacitance. Additionally, one can’t perform polarity identification and diode check as well.

Design:

Fluke does ship this unit with a carry pouch, but that is a bit tight to hold the multimeter, so you may have to place it in your tool kit.

There is no flashlight as well in this unit, so you’ll always have to look for a headlamp or separate flashlight.

With 4000 display counts, the screen is of high resolution, and readings will be crystal clear to note, but you won’t be to use it during night time as it isn’t equipped with any backlight.

This unit isn’t equipped with a kickstand, hanging magnet, or mount strap. So, you may need a second hand while taking a reading.

Functions:

This is an auto-ranging multimeter unit that adjusts the range on its own, omitting the need for adjusting the knob for every new reading. By clicking on its hold button, you can freeze your desired reading for future use.

Being a true RMS multimeter, this unit will accurately measure the AC variable drive outputs and nonlinear loads irrespective of the waveform. With no min/max value storage function, analyzing the fluctuating signals will be a bit hard with this clamp meter.

The built-in auto-shutoff feature turns off the clamp meter after 20 minutes of inactivity to conserve battery.

Safety:

The tough casing with a durable slimline jaw mechanism provides good resistance to workplace abuse. But avoid dropping the multimeter quite often to prolong its life.

Fluke 323 meets IEC safety standard 61010 1 and is CAT IV up to 300V and CAT III up to 600V safety rated multimeter. That makes the unit one of the best clamp meters that can be used in residential troubleshooting.

Unfortunately, you won’t be able to do NCV detection or live line testing.


Fluke 323 is specially designed for commercial and residential electrical troubleshooting, and it can be considered as the best clamp meter for electronics. Having a very narrow design, Fluke amp meter allows the user to use the multimeter in tight spaces, including the trunking and duct cables.


Pros
  • High accuracy.nVery thin design.nGood amperage range.nClean display.nEasy to use interface.nGood build quality.nReputable brand.n
Cons
  • It can’t be used at night.nBit tight carrying case.nCan’t be used for DC amps measurementn

5. Fieldpiece SC440 Clamp Meter

Fieldpiece SC440 HVAC Clamp Meter

What it has?

What it lacks?

Hanging Magnet availability
Carrying pouch availability
Blue Backlit LCD
Auto/Manual-Ranging
Data Hold
True RMS
Auto shutoff
Drop protection
CATIII safety rated
NCV or live line testing

No Flashlight
No kickstand
No overload fused input protection


Measurements:

SC440 is the best clamp meter for HVAC that can measure AC/DC voltage, AC current, temperature, frequency, capacitance, and resistance. Additionally, you can perform continuity and diode check using the SC440 clamp meter.

One can’t measure dc current, perform transistor check or identify polarity using fieldpiece clamp on multimeter.

Design:

There is no kickstand integrated into this clamp meter. So, you’ll have to always hold the unit in hand while taking readings. However, with its heavy-duty magnet, you can hang the clamp meter on any metallic surface to enjoy the flexibility of hands-free operation.

Fieldpiece ships the carrying case with this unit that makes it easy for electricians to move the unit to different places at their job site.

With 5000 display counts, the measurements are easily readable during the day or night work with its bright blue backlight. By setting the clamp voltmeter on dual display mode, you can see both voltage and amperage values simultaneously. 

The only missing thing in SC440 is the flashlight, but you won’t need this feature as you’ll be carrying a headlamp while working in the dark.

Functions:

Fieldpiece SC440 operates on both auto and manual ranging mode, so you can use the unit as desired. 

While taking readings in a harsh environment, you can freeze any value by pressing the hold button, which you can note later, and pressing the button twice will exit the hold mode.

This is a true RMS multimeter that puts in the list of best clamp meters. So, you can study nonlinear signals with it. But having no min/max signals, estimating the fluctuations will be a difficult task. Moreover, after a few minutes of sitting idle, SC440 automatically turns itself off to save battery.

Safety:

Having no direct amperage measurement, there is no chance of overloading. The test leads that you’ll get with this unit are gold plated. There are removable safety caps that provide added protection when not in use.

Being made up of high-impact plastic, SC400 can easily withstand the wear and tear at the job site.  
CATIII safety ratings make it eligible to be used in high power building installations and are certified by the CE, and RoHS further guarantees its safe use.

With its NCV, you can check the voltage presence, and the multimeter will notify you by lightening up a red LED and makes a loud beep. As the intensity of the field increases, the beep shifts from intermittent to continuous.


This HVAC clamp meter is mainly designed for HVACR applications. But it can also be used for general residential and commercial troubleshooting.  


Pros
  • Quick voltage verification. nGood battery life.n
Cons
  • Limited warranty.

6. Klein Tools CL800 Clamp Meter

Klein Tools CL800 Clamp Meter

What it has?

What it lacks?

Carrying pouch availability
True RMS
REL Mode
Auto shutoff
Drop Protection
CATIII and CATIV Safety Rated
NCV or live line testing

No hanging magnet
No built-in kickstand
No Mounting straps
No built-in flashlight
Clear Backlit LCD
No Data Hold
No overload fused input protection


Measurements:

CL800 is the best clamp meter for automotive that is capable of measuring AC/DC voltage, temperature, frequency, capacitance, resistance, and AC current with a jaw size of 35mm.

Diode and continuity check with audible beep can also be performed with this unit. But, neither can you check transistors, nor can you identify polarity.

Design:

Klein clamp meter CL800 ships an easy to hold carrying pouch that is very handy while moving the unit at multiple places. It also protects the unit during the accidental drop impacts.

This unit lacks a kickstand, hanging magnet or strap, and flashlight. So, neither can you enjoy the flexibility of hands-free operation nor can you operate the unit in dark places. But that won’t be a problem if you can take any external flashlight or headlamp with you. Having a backlight and 6000 display counts, the readings are pretty clear to read regardless of how dark or bright the surrounding is. But, the readings seem a bit washed out when viewed from an angle!

Functions:

Being a True RMS clamp meter, one can easily test all AC signals. Moreover, the inclusion of the low impedance feature nullifies the chances of ghost voltages disrupting the accuracy of the multimeter.  This feature gives Klein CL800 an edge over other best clamp meters.

Additionally, with its min/max function, you can check the signal’s highs and lows for better estimation of fluctuations.

Relative mode allows users who want to see the difference of multiple readings from an already defined reading. But frighteningly, there is no hold button to freeze any desired value.

Don’t forget its auto-shutoff feature that puts the unit on sleep mode after 30 minutes of inactivity.

Safety:

As CL800 measures the current inductively, there is no need for any replaceable HRC fuses as there are zero chances of overloading.

With a drop protection rating of 2m, its tough rubber casing will absorb the impact energy and save the unit from breaking into pieces. You can expect the unit to last long and work effectively in any harsh environment.

The Klein CL800 is backed by the CAT-III up to 1000v and CAT-IV up to 600V safety ratings. So, depending on the application, you can use this unit for normal residential and industrial troubleshooting.   

In order to see the voltages from the outlets, cord and switches, just bring this clamp on meter close to any source. Its NCV detector will instantly notify you about voltage presence with a beep sound!


CL800 multimeter unit, being highly safety rated, is most suitable for electricians, domestic and commercial use and one can use it as automotive amp clamp meter as well. But bear in mind that it is limited in testing the DC sources but still a good amp clamp for automotive use!


Pros
  • High resolution illuminated display.nFixable, high-quality probe leads.nReasonable price.nBright flashlight.nSeveral multimeter ranges.nTough build.
Cons
  • Distorted view from an angle.nSlow continuity test.n

7. Aimo MS2108A Clamp Meter


What it has?

What it lacks?

Carrying pouch availability
Built-in flashlight
Clear Backlit LCD
Auto-ranging
True RMS
Data Hold
Auto shutoff
Drop protection
CATIII Safety Rated
Pollution Degree II Certification

No kickstand
No hanging magnet
No Magnetic Straps
No Fused Overload input protection
No NCV or live line testing


Measurements:

Aimo MS2108A clamp meter can be used to measure AC/DC voltage, temperature, frequency, capacitance, resistance, and ac current with a jaw size of 26mm. So, it isn’t an ac dc clamp meter, but only a dc clamp meter.

Additionally, one can also perform a diode and continuity check using an MS2108A multimeter unit.  This unit lacks in a testing transistor or current polarity.

Design:

After doing your job, bring this boy anywhere you want by putting it in its carrying bag. You won’t have to spend extra as you’ll get it with the unit.  Additionally, with its built-in flashlight, you won’t need to carry any additional headlamp with you while working in dimly lit areas.

Aimo MS2108A  has a widescreen with 4000 display counts that it is easy to read. Moreover, thanks to its backlight, you can view readings in low light areas without any problem. However, its resolution is not as good as a few other best clamp meters on the list.

To give an analog touch, its display includes a responsive bar graph. But, unfortunately, there is no kickstand, hanging magnet, or mounting strap in this unit. So, hands-free measurements aren’t possible, and you’ll need a helping hand while doing complex troubleshooting

Functions:

This is an auto-ranging RMS multimeter that has the capability to measure any nonlinear signal accurately by filtering out the surrounding disturbances.  

Its min/max function will be very handy while noting the highs and lows of the measured signal. That acts as a basis for estimating fluctuations.

There are three other very useful buttons, including the ‘data hold’ for freezing any value, ‘relative’ for checking the difference of measured value from referenced values. The last one is the ‘auto shut off’ to preserve battery by turning off the unit in case of inactivity.

Safety:

With no direct contact during the current measurement, you won’t have to worry about overloading.

One concern to consider is its injection molding casing that may not be strong enough to bear heavy splashes. So, do take great care of it and don’t let it drop quite often. That makes this unit less reliable while comparing it with other highly robust best clamp meters.

CAT III up to 600V safety ratings and pollution degree II certification builds user’s trust over this unit. This is because neither will dust go into this unit and nor is there any chances of multimeter harming to the user in case of overloading. Additionally, Aimo MS2108A also conforms to the IEC1010-1 & IEC1010-1-032 standards.

Non-contact voltage detection isn’t possible with this multimeter unit with no live line testing capability as well.


Aimo MS2108A is the best clamp meter for electricians capable of performing standard checks that inexperienced or professional electricians would need. Having good safety ratings, one can use this device for household and residential troubleshooting. 


Pros
  • Well written instructions.nTips protected by covers.nFlashlight for night use.nWide pouch size. nFair backlit display.nEasy to handle. nRugged design.
Cons
  • Can’t handle high voltage transients.

8. Etekcity MSR-C600 Digital Multimeter

Etekcity MSR-C600 best budget clamp meter

What it has?

What it lacks?

Carrying pouch availability
Auto shutoff
Auto/Manual-Ranging
Auto Hold
Drop protection
CATII and CATIII safety rated
Live line testing

No Backlit LCD
No kickstand
No hanging magnet
No flashlight
Average TRMS
No overload fused input protection


Measurements:

Etekcity MSR-C600 is the best budget clamp meter that is capable of measuring AC/DC voltage, resistance, and AC current with a clamp jaw capacity of 28mm.

Additionally, continuity and diode check can also be performed, and one can easily identify polarity as well as using the Etekcity clamp meter.

Unfortunately, this unit doesn’t have the ability to measure DC current, temperature, frequency, and capacitance. Testing transistors is also not within reach of the Etekcity digital clamp meter.

Design:

With a mere weight of 13.6 ounces, this portable clamp meter comes with a nicely designed carrying case that makes it easy to move while troubleshooting at multiple places.

You shouldn’t expect its LCD to be of high resolution with display counts of 2000. No backlights make things even worse for people who intend to work in dark places with this boy!

With no kickstand, hanging magnet, mounting strap, and flashlight, you’ll have to take this fellow in your hand during troubleshooting. Additionally, arrange a separate headlamp or flashlight in order to work in dimly lit areas.

Functions:

Just like me, if you also leave the multimeter turned on after completing the job, then its auto-shutoff feature will save the battery for you by automatically turning it off.

One can operate the unit at both auto and manual ranging modes, and anytime while taking the readings, you can freeze any value by pressing the hold button.

One of the areas where it lacks is its incapability to analyze nonlinear signals. It may do well with AC signals of the main supply but not for other varying signals.

This is one area where Etekcity MSR-C600 seems less useful than other best clamp meters. But you can set the unit to record the maximum value that a signal reaches by pressing its max button.

Safety:

This unit is pretty good at absorbing any kind of wear and tear at the job site. Just don’t drop it from a high altitude as MSR-C600 may not withstand the drop impact.

B CATII up to 600V and CATIII up to 600V safety ratings, this safe to use multimeter wins the hearts of its users!

Although you can do live line testing with MSR-C600, it fails to use for non-contact voltage detection.


Talking about its applications, Etekcity MSR-C600 is the right product for low power appliances testing. That includes the sockets, fuses, switches, and batteries. But, bear in mind that you won’t be able to use it to measure the current draw of a car battery or any other DC system.


Pros
  • Good accuracy.nStraightforward interface.nEasy to use.nGood battery life.nReputable customer support.nInexpensive.
Cons
  • Can’t measure DC.nCan’t withstand drop impact.nIt can’t be used at night.n

9. UEi DL369 Digital Clamp-On Meter

UEi DL369 Clamp on meter

What it has?

What it lacks?

Carrying pouch availability
Auto-ranging
True RMS
Data Hold
Auto shut off
Drop Protection
CATII and CATIII Safety Rated
NCV or live line testing

No Backlit LCD
No Kick Stand
No Hanging Magnet
No Mounting Straps
No Built-in Flashlight
No fused overload input protection


Measurements:

UEI DL369 is the best digital clamp meter for home use that you can measure AC/DC voltage, frequency, capacitance, and resistance, and ac current, hence it is an ac clamp meter, with a jaw capacity of 23 mm. You can instantly check diodes and circuit continuity at any two points in the circuit.

But, you cannot measure temperature and dc current using this unit, nor can you check transistor or make polarity identification.   

Design:

A carrying pouch to hold the multimeter unit and related accessories will make it easy for you to handle everything while doing troubleshooting at more than one places at the Jobsite

Although the DL 369 has a dual display that helps in note readings more effectively in no time while working in broad daylight. But, due to the absence of any backlight, you won’t be able to use it at night.

DL369 clamp meter doesn’t include a kickstand, hanging magnet, and mounting strap. It makes the unit less reliable in comparison with other best clamp meters in the list that allows hands-free operation. Likewise, it doesn’t have any flashlight as well

Functions:

DL369 is an auto-ranging True RMS multimeter with functionality to perfectly analyze the nonlinear signals. It doesn’t affect by the surrounding disturbance like the one we see in speed drives.

In order to check the fluctuations of any measured signals, you can turn its min/max mode on. It’ll filter out the highest and lowest value from the measured set of data for easy estimation.

This unit equips both data hold feature to freeze any value and auto-off feature to shut off the unit. The later feature activates after 15 minutes of inactivity. It would be handy for a lazy person like me who mostly forget to turn off the unit!

Safety:

Bear in mind, this small clamp meter measures amperage by induction. So, don’t confuse yourself while seeing no fused overload protection in the description. Due to no direct contact, there are zero chances of circuit burning.

Having a robust outer casing that can absorb high impact drops, expect the DL369 to last long. This unit is also 1000V CAT II, and 600V CAT III safety rated. That guarantees the unit to be safe to use in high power applications.

Just bring this multimeter close the voltage source, and it’ll verify the voltage presence. Thus, you can identify the live wires without making any physical contact between the source and the meter. This feature will be very handy during your household troubleshooting.


Contractors who only need basic features without any advanced functions should go with this clamp-on current meters. Moreover, it is equally suitable for general electrical maintenance, circuits troubleshooting, and home use.


Pros
  • Dual display.nVariety of features.nNicely designed case.nFlashlight included.nInexpensive.nReputable brand.nUser-friendly interface.
Cons
  • Big size. nPoorly written instructions.

10. IDEAL 61-744 Clamp Meter

IDEAL 61-744 clamp meter

What it has?

What it lacks?

Carrying pouch availability
Auto-ranging
Data Hold
Auto Shutoff
Drop protection
UL, IEC, and EN Specifications
CATIII Safety Rated
NCV or live line testing

No kickstand
No Hanging Magnet
No Mounting straps
No built-in flashlight
No Backlit LCD
No True RMS
No fused overload input protection


Measurements:

Ideal 61-744 clamp-meter is capable of measuring AC/DC voltage, resistance, and AC current with a maximum diameter capacity of 30 mm

Checking the diode and the circuit continuity along with the polarity identification is pretty easy with this multimeter unit. 

Do keep in mind that neither can one measure the temperature, frequency, and capacitance, nor will you be able to check transistors. 

Design:

Ideal 61-744 clamp meter comes with a large carrying bag. That holds the clamp meter itself but related accessories as well. Its pouch is the largest-sized pouched by comparing it with the ones that come with other best clamp meters.  

With no kickstand, hanging magnet, mounting strap, you won’t enjoy much flexibility while taking a reading. This unit also doesn’t equip any flashlight as well. So, a big NO to the night work without any additional torch or headlamp.

Talking about its screen resolution, it would stand in the medium resolution range with 4000 display counts.

Although the readings will be crystal clear to see during the daytime, But with no backlights, you can’t use it while working in dimly lit areas!

Functions:

Ideal 61-744 clamp meter is pretty easy to operate on an auto-ranging mode to get foolproof results. Moreover, instantly lock any measurement instantly by pressing the hold button located at the side of the unit.

By pressing the button twice, you can toggle out of the hold mode to come back to normal real-time reading. Moreover, 10 minutes of inactivity activates the auto power-off mode of 61-744 multimeter.

Unfortunately, it isn’t a true RMS clamp meter but an average sensing one. So, bear in mind, it lacks in analyzing the varying or nonlinear signals. Additionally, the absence of min/max mode will limit its capabilities for estimating the fluctuations perfectly!

Safety:

Thanks to its double insulation, you won’t get a shock using this clamp meter. But don’t look for any input amperage protection in its description as being a clamp meter; it doesn’t require any physical contact with the current source!

Thanks to its solid casing, this unit can easily withstand high altitude drops. Any kind of worksite splashes and abuse won’t affect it, so expect spend years with this Ideal 61-744 clamp meter!

Ideal 61-744 complies with UL, IEC, and EN specification. Moreover, having Cat III-600V safety ratings, and one can guarantee its safe use. Additionally, this dustproof multimeter meets the Pollution degree 2 standards, which very rare portable clamp meters meet!

Located on its left tip is the NVC detection mode at which after detecting voltage, it’ll turn on the flashlight. Alongwith that it makes a loud beep to verify the voltage presence in the nearby source. The more closely it gets to it, the louder the beep will be!

You can also do live line testing by easily differentiating between the live and neutral wires by following the procedure mentioned in its manual!


It will do all the simple jobs that most hobbyists and enthusiasts require. However, one can also use it for residential and household troubleshooting!


Pros
  • Large clamp size.nReasonable price.nGood warranty.nEasy troubleshooting. nNeat and clean interface.nDouble outer insulation.nEasy access to tight spaces.
Cons
  • Slow response.nShort battery life.n

What to look for before buying the best clamp meters

During the process of selecting the best clamp meter, one must analyze multiple products serving the same function from five different angles, including the measurements, design elements, function, safety, and lastly, area of applications

A brief explanation of these parameters is given below:

Measurements:

Every multimeter is limited in terms of measuring different electrical parameters. So, one should make sure the selected unit would fulfil their requirements of buying the best clamp meter to avoid wasting money on a useless product. Few of them must have parameters, including AC current, AC/DC voltage, temperature, frequency, resistance, and capacitance.

Moreover, the selected clamp meter must also be capable of checking diodes, transistors. Moreover, they must be capable of verifying the electrical connection between any two points, normally known as continuity.

Design:

There are certain design elements in electrical appliances that make the troubleshooting process easier for electricians. In the case of a clamp meter, these include a magnetic hanger, hanging strap, flashlight, and high-resolution backlit LCD. The kickstand is another highly useful feature for lab jobs, but it is present in multimeters only, not in any clamp meters on our list.

Let’s discuss the above feature briefly:

  1. People who are buying the clamp meter for doing lab experiments should go for a multimeter instead of a clamp meter, as the built-in multimeter kickstand boosts up the speed of noting reading and helps electricians in completing their job before time.
  2. The integration of a magnetic hanger in the HVAC clamp meters is very beneficial for HVAC technicians. This is because it allows them to hang the clamp meter with AC or any other metal surface of the HVAC appliance. Thus, they can get their job done singlehandedly. The hanging strap makes it easy for technicians to move around the clamp easily.
  3. The absence of a built-in flashlight in the clamp meter limits its use to daytime only, but if you always take a separate light source in the form of a flashlight or headlamp, this factor won’t be a major concern.
  4. Your clamp meter must not have a poor display with an extremely low resolution. As instead of having all advanced features, the poor resolution makes it difficult for people to read the measured data. Hence, only a fool would spend cash on such a device. So, firstly LCD of the clamp meter should be of high resolution. Secondly, it must equip backlights that make the reading visible in dark areas.

Functions:

By keeping your requirements in mind, you should carefully check the functions the clamp meter can perform. In other words, make sure it fulfils your needs for which you’re buying it. Some of the most common features that every clamp meter should have include auto/manual ranging mode, True RMS analysis feature, min/max measurements allowance, data hold auto power-off feature.

Let’s briefly discuss all functions one by one:

  1. Auto-ranging mode, being a bit slow, isn’t suitable by the professional electricians. So, if you are one of the experienced folks, you should go for a unit that operates at both auto and manual ranging mode. It’ll give you the flexibility to operate the clamp meter on any model you like the most. 
  2. Electrical noises greatly disturb the accuracy of any measuring instrument. These disturbances are filtered out by the TRMS analysis. This feature analyzes the signals irrespective of their shape or waveform to achieve better accuracy. So, make sure this functionality is there in your selected best clamp meter
  3. Having a min/max measurement gives users additional flexibility to record the measuring data set. It helps in automatically filtering out the highs and lows of that signal. This data can be used further to estimate the fluctuations. 
  4. One can freeze a certain value that is difficult to see or note in tough working conditions. That too, by pressing a single “Hold†button, which is there in almost all clamp meters in the market. But, just for surety, do check it in your selected unit before finalizing it.
  5. If you don’t want to replace the clamp meter batteries every second week, then make sure your clamp meter has a built-in auto power-off function. That helps in shutting down the unit automatically in case of a few minutes of inactivity.

Safety:

A unit back by the international safety standard organizations is more trusted than a local one. Where it increases the trust of the user over the product, it also acts as a guarantee that the unit is safe to use.  

Including the certifications, there are some other must-have safety elements of clamp meters. That includes overload and drop protection, non-contact voltage detection, and live line testing.

If you aren’t aware of any of this feature, they are briefly explained below:

  1. Current measured by the induction instead of making any direct connection omit the need to include any overload protection in the form of fuses in the unit. It allows users to measure high current value without the risk of their lives. This is one of the factors that differ clamp meters from multimeters, as they measure current directly.  
  2. Having a robust outer casing with a rubberized holster provides good shock resistance and drop protection to the clamp meter. The sturdy and tough structure helps assists in withstanding Jobsite abuse. That’ll ultimately help the unit to last long.
  3. The last thing to observe regarding the safety is whether the clamp meter has any safety ratings (CAT I – CAT IV) or not. The higher the ratings, the safer the clamp meter will be to use for high power applications.

Others:

Where a good warranty will give you peace of mind, having a long-lasting battery will solve the headache of replacing batteries every month. So, make sure battery timing and product warranty is good enough!

In comparing various products on the basis of the above-listed features, always keep your intended purpose of buying the best clamp meter in mind. My advice would be to go for an all-round product. A unit that will be equally beneficial for multiple areas of troubleshooting. That includes HVAC testing, automotive repair, electronics work, circuit analysis, residential and commercial troubleshooting!


Types of Clamp Meters:

Two main types of clamp meters are available in the market, which is listed below:

  1. Current-transformer clamp meters
  2. Hall Effect clamp meters

Where the first one can measure both AC current, the later one is capable of analyzing both AC and DC current by working on the Hall Effect principle. Thus, a unit can be both ac dc clamp meters if it has a second function mentioned above.


FAQs:

How accurate are the clamp meters?

Most of the clamp meters have accuracy within 1% of range. What that means is that if you measure a 400 amps current, the possible error in measurement would be as high as 4 amps, either less or more than the exact value. This level of accuracy is best for all kinds of troubleshooting. Still, the smaller the measurements, the lesser will be and vice versa.

What is clamp meter good for?

Where clamp meters can measure various parameters, they are most suitable for quick current measurements by clamping its jaws around the current wire without making any connection. Thus, firstly they can be used for high power wires; secondly, they are pretty safe to use.

How does a clamp meter work?

Clamp meters work on the principle of magnetic induction to measure the non-contact AC current, thus omitting the requirement to physically connect the meter’s probe with the wire. However, not all clamp meters can be used to measure dc current.

What are Hall Effect clamp meters?

Hall Effect clamp meters is such a type that can measure both ac and dc current up to. This is done by the rigid iron jaws to concentrate the magnetic field that encircles the conductor being measured.

Which is the best clamp meter?

If you can afford to spend some good money, then you should go for any Fluke clamp meters but Fluke 324 would be the best clamp meter in the market. If you have a limited budget, I would still recommend you to buy Tacklife CM05.


Closing Thoughts!

So, here is the list of our 10 best budget clamp meters. The ins and outs of these products are explained in detail to make the product selection process straightforward for you.

Now, you would be in a position to choose the product based on your own analysis. But still, we have something to suggest here.

If you want a single all-round product having the capability to perform nearly all basic to advanced level of testing, then you should definitely go for Tacklife CM05. With its wide range of features, it would be applicable to use at multiple places.

Moreover, Fluke 324 is the right product for industrial use and Amprobe AM-210 is the best budget clamp meter and most suitable for people having a low budget.

Still, the choice is yours to make. Hope our detailed review and guide would have helped you somehow in choosing the right product.

Happy Testing!


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