5. When choosing features, pick quality over quantity
Not using all the features on your clamp meter?
It could be costing you.
In money and functionality.
These days you can get almost anything built into a clamp meter (tape measure anyone?). The more gadgets that are built into a clamp meter, the harder it becomes to use and the worse it performs. Instead of trying to get the most features possible, chose a meter that has the measurement functions you need to get the job done, without any of fluff that doesn't make sense. Plus, you don't end up paying for features irrelevant to the job at hand.
The right measurement functions depend on the type of work that you are doing, but be sure to consider the following:
- Inrush. If you are working around motors and drives, an accurate inrush measurement function is a must. The Inrush function allows you to accurate measure the high current surge that flows into motors during startup. This measurement can be critical when troubleshooting problems such as nuisance trips of over current protection devices. Because it looks at the entire motor inrush period, it is far more accurate than the "MAX" function which only looks at a single point in time.
- Autoranging display. A measurement that displays in the correct range can be a real timesaver when working in tight spaces. Choose a clamp that automatically sets the correct measurement range so that you are not having to a adjust switch positions while trying to position the clamp and take a measurement.
- Large display with Backlight. Be sure the clamp meter display you select has large, easy to read characters. Some displays may seem adequate when viewed in a showroom but then fail to perform in the workplace. Real world conditions mean a wide viewing angle and backlight are a must.