Amp clamp is a special feature that distinguishes some multimeters from others in terms of efficiency of testing and measurement.
This feature allows you to measure the current and voltage of the circuit without breaking it. Most amp clamps allow users to measure AC and DC voltage and AC amperage. Some of these meters allow you to measure DC amperage using the probes provided with the clamp meter.
The right automotive multimeter with amp clamp is one that also allows the user to measure DC load using probes.
Here, we discuss the top five choices that are available for automobile testing and troubleshooting. We have selected these meters based on their performance, accuracy, ease, and durability. You can find beginner-level and advanced clamp meters in the list.
KAIWEETS HT206B Digital Clamp Meter
Doesn’t measure small current
Let’s start with the basics. The unit is small and lightweight. You can carry it in your toolbox wherever you go. The handheld device allows you to measure current (AC/DC), voltage, capacitance, continuity, duty cycle, resistance, and temperature.
The accuracy is enough for a general multimeter for this range that can detect the origin of the electric problem in your vehicle. Of course, it doesn’t compare favorably to its pricey competitors but it’s fairly reliable for most automotive jobs. If you are using it for general testing, you will also get the max hold function that will record the peak reading taken for the job.
The CAT III 600V device gives different safety and efficient features including the non-contact voltage (NCV) function, an orange-colored backlight to warn you of high voltage and current, and the LoZ function to eliminate ghost readings.
For most readings the backlight is white. Some users have commented that the meter doesn’t offer the best display setting with a narrow screen. It makes reading difficult. The meter could do better with a screen that is at least half an inch wider.
You get a high accuracy rate for DC measurements which is good news for automotive testers. Note that you have to use the FUNC button to manually switch between AC and DC measurements; it will not switch after detecting the current itself.
The meter is designed to detect small changes in current of up to 0.02A. With this smallest detectable increment, the commendable multimeter can measure up to 600A of current. The best part is that the meter gives efficient and fast readings. So, you can complete your tasks promptly.
After fifteen minutes of using the backlight, it can auto-shutoff. This feature helps you save energy. But it can also create frustration if you are working on a lengthy task and want to keep taking readings for a long time.
Etekcity Digital Clamp Meter Multimeter
Ergonomic and safe
The clamp doesn’t read DC amperage
This is another general-purpose multimeter that works great for most appliances and automobiles. You may want to go for heavier options if you want to work on hybrid or electric cars. But this one should work on most of the older engines.
Once it’s out of the box, the first thing you will notice about it is its compact size. Its size makes it perfect for every toolbox whether it’s for your home or your companion for on-site tasks. The carrying couch makes it an even more suitable option for on-the-go testing.
The design is ergonomic and efficient. You will notice that the meter is sturdy and you can use the knob with your thumb without using the other hand. Like many other clamp meters, this one can check conductors that are up to 1 inch wide.
You can use it to measure AC/DC current, voltage, resistance, diode, and continuity. You will have to use its probes to measure DC amperage on your vehicles. Its clamp amp only caters to AC amperage. You will have to switch between AC and DC measures to suit your circuit needs.
The best part is its accuracy. For vehicle testing and general purpose electric work, you can depend on this meter to offer up to 2% of accuracy.
You can use its data hold feature to keep track of measures. Also, it remembers the max value when you want it to hold it for you.
The thermometer probe is used for only testing the range of temperature in a circuit so you can rely on the actual number it presents.
AstroAI Digital Clamp Meter
Ergonomic and safe
The clamp doesn’t test DC load
The first feature you will notice about this multimeter is its price. At just around twenty bucks, you can get a spare automotive multimeter with an amp clamp that will go with you wherever you take your vehicle. This is the multimeter you will use to diagnose the problem.
Don’t be fooled by its price point – it’s durable. Plus, it’s compact and ergonomic. You can use the clamp to read the AC amperage of any device. Use it around the live wire to test your automobile battery.
For measurements, this tester covers your needs for AC amperage, voltage, resistance, continuity, and diode testing. You can also use the thermometer probe that is included in the package to test the temperature. Its AC voltage range starts from 600mV and maximizes at 750V. The range for DC volt is between 600mV and 1000V.
The backlight is enough for you to read the measures in dim-lit areas. You can also use its data hold button to activate memory for that reading. The max hold function will store the maximum reading it has taken on a job.
A low battery indicator saves you from unpleasant surprises and saves your time.
The package also includes temperature test leads. This probe can test temperatures between a range of -40 degrees Centigrade and 1740 degrees Centigrade. You can also measure the temperature in Fahrenheit instead of Centigrade.
Klein Tools CL800 Digital Clamp Meter
Low Impedance Mode
Higher safety rating
Klein is the name of trust in the multimeters industry. Their products are durable, accurate, and high-quality. If you want a multimeter that doesn’t miss any of the frequency, resistance, or capacitance tests, you should rely on Klien or Fluke for your multimeter purchase.
The CL800 model arrives as a kit that includes a multimeter, carrying case, test leads, adapter, thermocouple, and batteries.
Like any other clamp meter, it is lightweight and easy to carry. Its design is intuitive and standard. You will have no worries switching from your general testing multimeter to this one when the need arises because it follows the design standard that is prevalent in all clamp meters.
Use its ergonomic knob with your thumb while holding the meter in the same hand. It allows you to keep your other hand free to note the readings or manipulate the circuit. Use its data hold and max hold buttons to remember valued readings. And use its backlight to read in dim-lit settings.
When working on your vehicle, you will also admire its fast readings, allowing you to complete the work on time without frustration. Then you use its NCVT feature to detect voltage at ease enhancing efficiency even more.
The clamp feature ensures that read DC and AC loads without breaking the circuit. You can take these readings without stripping the wires. All you have to do is to enclose the live wire with the clamp meter and get the measures.
Note that the meter is useful for you to take measures including current, voltage, resistance, capacitance, and frequency. You can also rely on it for continuity and diode testing. It can measure up to 1000V for AC and DC. For current, its range is up to 600Amp for both AC and DC.
Accuracy is the most important feature of this meter. First, you get this in the form of its true RMS (TRMS) feature. Then, you get LoZ quality that detects and eliminates ghost voltage. All in all, you can rely on the readings offered by this meter while troubleshooting your vehicle.
The meter is made safe for users. Its CAT IV 600V and CAT III 1000V ratings mean that your meter is protected against electrical surges that may occur while testing faulty batteries. The double insulation also gives you an extra layer of protection against electric shock by eliminating the risk of the external casing becoming live.
In the end, the manufacturer has ensured the durability of the meter with its sturdy construction. It can withstand up to a 2-meter drop from the worksite without breaking down.
Fluke 117/323 Kit Multimeter and Clamp Meter
VoltAlert and AutoVolt for efficient operations
If you are in the market to fulfill all your multimeter needs hoping that you don’t regret your decision a decade down the road, you should check out this combo kit from Fluke. The first selling point for this kit is the brand name Fluke. This brand is known for its top-quality testers. The two testers included in the kit are just as reliable and durable as any other tester offered by Fluke.
This kit includes Fluke 117 meter and Fluke 323 clamp meters. The multimeter can measure current, voltage, resistance, capacitance, continuity, and frequency. The clamp meter, on the other hand, measures AC amperage, AC and DC voltage, resistance, capacitance, frequency, and continuity.
Use the first one to speed up your processes. The Fluke 117 meter will detect voltage with its VoltAlert technology making your operations safe. Then, you can proceed with the AutoVolt feature to detect the type of voltage present in the circuit. Using this feature, your meter will switch between AC and DC voltage as soon as it detects it in the circuit.
The LoZ or low impedance along with the TRMS features to enhance the accuracy of its readings. Now, you don’t have to worry about fluctuating readings when you are using Fluke 117. The TRMS feature will take care of the fluctuations and give increased accuracy. To be more specific, you get an accuracy of up to 1% for AC voltage and 0.5% for DC voltage. Current accuracy is a bit lower as compared to accuracy offered for voltage testing but it’s still less than 2% offered by most other testers.
If you are concerned about the efficiency of the meter, note that it updates four times a second. That’s impressive when compared to other meters in the same category that update after seconds. The rugged design is a trademark of Fluke’s superior craftsmanship. You also get a rubber holster with this meter.
If you want to measure the voltage present in a circuit without breaking it, Fluke 117 will not help you. In that case, you will use the 323 models. It’s a clamp meter that is designed to test the current and voltage of a circuit without breaking it. Note that the clamp meter cannot measure DC amperage.
Its safety rating is CAT IV 300V and CAT III 600V making it suitable for most household installations and automobiles.
Fast and accurate readings are the highlight of this meter. Mechanics use it to speed up their general testing and problem detection issues. You get multiple readings in a second. Combine this fact with its ability to measure voltage and current without breaking the circuit and you get a fairly fast solution for your automotive jobs.
Its inability to measure DC amperage can be a cause of the problem for you. But you can work around this shortcoming with Fluke 117 as a supplemental meter.
An amp clamp meter is the best choice for you if you want to be more involved in your vehicle maintenance. You can use it to quickly detect the problem area without waiting for readings after you have broken the circuit.
This article discusses five choices you can use to get your clamp meter for automotive work.