Best Clamp Meter: Our Top 10 Picks of 2019

A clamp meter is a versatile tool that combines a basic digital multimeter with a current sensor.

A good clamp meter will give you accurate voltage and current measurements, can perform diode and continuity tests, has a high safety rating, and a nice long battery life. This results in fast hassle-free work.

On the other hand, a poorly-made clamp meter will constantly fault, run out of battery, and can even show you the wrong readings. Not fun.

To help you find the best clamp meter for your needs – we’ve reviewed the Top 10 Clamp Meters of 2019. No matter what your budget – we’ve got the clamp meter for you.

best overall rating
Fluke Clamp Meter
  • Slim & ergonomic design
  • True RMS AC voltage & current readings
  • Measures resistance up to 4 kΩ
premium choice rating
Kyoritsu Clamp Meter
  • Auto-off feature
  • Higher maximum readings than competing models
  • CAT IV 600 V safety rating
great value rating
Mastech Clamp Meter
  • Diode check and continuity test
  • Worklight and backlit display
  • Great value for the money

Best Clamp Meter

Fluke Clamp Meter – Best Overall

Fluke Clamp Meter

Our favorite clamp meter on this list is the Fluke 323, which is overall an outstanding clamp meter with a tonne of cool features. This is also one of the safest clamp meters on the market, with a safety rating of CAT IV up to 300V and CAT III up to 600V. It also meets IEC safety standard 61010-1.

The Fluke clamp meter can measure AC current of up to 400 Amps, and it can measure both AC and DC voltages up to 600V. This model can also test resistance levels up to 4 kilohms. To ensure that you have stable and accurate results, the Fluke clamp meter takes True RMS AC voltage and current readings.

Fluke Digital Clamp Meter

The clamp gives you up to 30mm of clearance so that you can measure current without having to press the device against a conductor or having to interrupt the flow of electricity. This clamp meter is also designed to be as compact as possible, and it’s slim enough to slide into a pocket when not in use.

The Fluke clamp meter also features a continuity sensor that will beep to let you know that a circuit is conducting electricity, up to a resistance of 70 Ohms. One of the only issues we had with this clamp meter is that the ports are located at the bottom, which can lead to stress on the plugs, and it also makes it harder to prop up the clamp meter.

Aside from this minor gripe, the Fluke 323 is an outstanding clamp meter and an excellent addition to any electricians tools list. Highly recommended for those looking for a high-end, well-priced clamp meter.

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What We Like
  • Great size and ergonomics
  • True RMS AC voltage & current readings
  • Measures resistance up to 4 kΩ
  • CAT IV 300V/CAT III 600 V safety rating
  • 600 V AC and DC voltage measurement
What We Don’t Like
  • Poorly-positioned ports

Kyoritsu Clamp Meter – Premium Choice

Kyoritsu Clamp Meter

For customers that are willing to stretch their budget a little further, this clamp meter from Kyoritsu is one of the best on the market.

Like the previous model from Fluke, the Kyoritsu is equipped with a true RMS sensing meter that ensures that you get accurate readings without fluctuations.

The jaw opening on the clamp of this model also opens slightly further than the previous product, with a maximum extension of 33mm. Another place where the Kyoritsu wins out is in its maximum readings. This model can measure AC and DC up to 600 Amps, as well as an AC/DC input up to 600V.

Kyoritsu Digital Clamp Meter

The Kyoritsu clamp meter can also display capacitance to the level of 4000 microfarads, resistance up to 60 megohms, and frequencies of up to 10 kHz. This model also has an impressive safety rating, with a CAT IV safety rating for installations up to 600V.

The Kyoritsu clamp meter runs on AAA batteries, and to ensure that they don’t die out if you forget to power it off, there is a helpful auto-shutdown feature. The only downside to this clamp meter is its price point – at a slightly higher price than the competition (as premium products often are).

Despite this higher price, we would still argue the Kyoritsu clamp meter is more than worth the money for a professional electrician who needs a long-lasting clamp meter that’s able to deal with a wide range of electrical measurements.

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What We Like
  • Auto power-off feature
  • Higher maximum readings than competing models
  • Impressive build quality
  • Meets IEC safety standards 61010-1, 61010-031, & 61010-2-032, and is rated for CAT IV up to 600V
  • Peak hold function captures the highest reading of inrush current at the startup of motors (and other inductive loads)
What We Don’t Like
  • More expensive than competitors

Mastech Clamp Meter – Great Value

Mastech Clamp Meter

If you’re on a budget and you don’t want to spend a large sum of money on your next clamp meter, then you’ll be happy to hear that Mastech MS2109A True RMS Digital Clamp Meter is able to compete with the best of the best. While this model sacrifices a few features for a lower price point, it’s much better made than other budget clamp meters.

Due to this improved build quality, you can rest assured that this model from Mastech is reliable enough to last you a long time, even in busy work environments where it may get scuffed or dropped. The jaws on the clamp meter extend to about 26mm, which isn’t as wide as some of the high-end models, but it’s still enough clearance for most conductors.

Mastech Digital Clamp Meter

This model is also well-equipped for working in the dark, as it features a compact work light that will let you see in the dark, and the display is also backlit. So that you can keep track of the device’s power consumption, it features a low battery indicator and an auto-shutdown feature.

Unfortunately, being a cheaper device, this model is a little slower at getting a reading when compared to some of the pricier models we’ve gone over so far. Despite this, the Mastech clamp meter has a bunch of awesome features and is definitely the best cheap clamp meter on the market.

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What We Like
  • Excellent value for the money
  • Diode check and continuity test
  • Low battery indicator.Auto power-off
  • Worklight and backlit display
  • Built-in Non-Contact Voltage Detector
What We Don’t Like
  • Slow readings

Hioki Clamp Meter

Hioki Clamp Meter

If you need a professional-grade clamp meter and you’re willing to pay the money for it, the Hioki clamp meter is probably what you’re looking for. Keep in mind that this is a more specialized product than some of the other clamp meters that we’ve looked at, as it’s more focused on measuring AC leakage.

This model can detect leakage from an AC conductor ranging from 10mA up to 200A. The device can also measure frequencies of up to 1000Hz.

Hioki Digital Clamp Meter

To ensure that all of your readings are as accurate as possible, the Hioki clamp meter features a true RMS sensing meter that will work with both linear and non-linear loads.

The rechargeable battery in the Hioki HiTester 3283 features up to 40 hours of battery life, so you won’t have to recharge it as frequently as other clamp meters. The major issue with this model lies in its high price combined with its relative lack of versatility, as it’s mainly made for measuring leaks.

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What We Like
  • Long battery life
  • Excellent accuracy
  • Well made
What We Don’t Like
  • Too expensive

Klein Clamp Meter

Klein Clamp Meter

The Klein clamp meter is similar to the model from Fluke that we reviewed earlier in that it’s a mid-range model that is designed for a wide range of tasks.

The clamp on this model allows you to measure both AC and DC currents, making it slightly more versatile than the Fluke model.

Klein Digital Clamp Meter

This model features a reverse contrast LCD that makes it a lot easier to see in all lighting conditions, making it ideal for working in the dark.

To ensure that this clamp meter is as accurate as possible, the designers integrated True Root Mean Squared technology.

However, the Klein clamp meter comes up short in a few key areas, which is why we couldn’t rate it higher than the Fluke model. For example, the thermocouple readings are very inaccurate, and it doesn’t feel as durable the Fluke clamp meter, so we doubt that it will last as long on a busy worksite.

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What We Like
  • Reverse contrast LCD
  • TRMS technology
  • Clamp measures AC and DC current
What We Don’t Like
  • Inaccurate thermocouple
  • Not durable enough

Milwaukee Clamp Meter

Milwaukee Clamp Meter

This clamp meter from Milwaukee is yet another mid-range model, and it combines ease of use with improved durability, making it the right choice for people buying their first clamp meter.

It can measure the voltage across both AC and DC up to 600V, though it can only measure AC amperage at up to 400 amps.

This clamp meter can also measure resistance at up to 4000 ohms.

Milwaukee Digital Clamp Meter

To ensure that all of these measurements are taken as accurately as possible, the Milwaukee clamp meter features TRMS. There is also a backlight that makes it a lot easier to see your results when working in the dark.

The ruggedized design of this clamp meter also helps minimize damage in case you drop it while you’re on the job.

However, there are a few downsides that held this model back from the top spot, including its inability to measure DC amps, its lack of auto-calibration, and its slightly higher price.

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What We Like
  • Equipped with TRMS
  • Backlit display
  • Easy to use
What We Don’t Like
  • Can’t measure DC current
  • No auto-calibration

Ideal Clamp Meter

Ideal Clamp Meter

Up next, we have the Ideal clamp meter, which is priced similarly to the Kyoritsu model that we reviewed earlier in our guide.

This model has a few features that help it stand out from the crowd, including a slightly higher maximum current measurement of 660A, instead of the 600 that a lot of the competition maxes out at.

Ideal Digital Clamp Meter

One of the more innovative features of this clamp meter is the TightSight display that’s mounted on the bottom. If you have to take a reading in a confined area and you can’t see the screen at that angle, then you can just take a look a the TightSight screen to get your reading instead.

Both displays are also backlit, which helps ensure that you can get your readings even if there’s no ambient light source. The main problem that we had with the ideal clamp meter is that it simply doesn’t feature enough improvements over mid-range products to justify its price point (it’s almost twice as much). You’re probably better off with a Fluke.

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What We Like
  • TightSight display
  • Backlit screens
  • Max current measurement of 660A
What We Don’t Like
  • Too expensive
  • Not enough innovation

Amprobe Clamp Meter

Amprobe Clamp Meter

Moving back to mid-range clamp meters, the Amprobe clamp meter features a reasonable price point and a relatively versatile design.

This model is equipped with TRMS to ensure that it provides you with the most accurate measurements possible, and it is also designed to run faster than the competition.

Amprobe Digital Clamp Meter

This model is safety rated to 600V at CAT III, and it can measure both AC and DC voltage at up to 600V. However, it can’t measure DC amps, though it can still take readings on AC at up to 600A. The frequency range is from 5 to 999.9 Hz, and the resistance can be measured up to 60 kilohms.

While the Amprobe clamp meter can get measurements slightly quicker than competing products, they aren’t substantial enough to make that much of a difference. This puts it at a disadvantage compared to the Fluke model, which we chose as our best mid-range option.

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What We Like
  • TRMS
  • Quick processor
  • Backlit LCD
What We Don’t Like
  • Not fast enough to make a noticeable difference
  • Reliability

Extech Clamp Meter

Extech Clamp Meter

Our next product is this clamp meter from Extech, and it features True RMS for measurements that are as accurate as possible.

If you plan on working in the dark, this model comes equipped with a small work light, and the display features backlighting so that you can see your measurements.

Extech Digital Clamp Meter

The inclusion of a low battery indicator and an auto-shutoff function also help ensure that your batteries last as long as possible and that you know when to replace them. With a max width of 30mm, the clamps also spread far enough apart to let you take measurements without contact.

The Extech clamp meter is a relatively standard clamp meter that doesn’t really stand out when compared to any other models. While there may not be anything wrong with this clamp meter, it doesn’t have anything that sets it apart from more impressive products like the one from Fluke.

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What We Like
  • Worklight and backlight
  • Auto-shutoff
  • Lightweight
What We Don’t Like
  • No impressive features
  • No handle

Craftsman Clamp Meter

Extech Digital Clamp Meter

The final product that we’ll be reviewing today is also the worst. The Craftsman clamp meter simply isn’t worth your money, especially when you look at all of the other options. The first thing we noticed about this model is that the clamp has trouble opening up, and it feels like it’s poorly-attached to the device.

This is the first of many signs of shoddy workmanship that we noticed when we were going over this clamp meter. The dials and buttons feel loose, and you can hear something rattling around when you shake the device. It also states that it measures up to 1% accuracy, but we had several occasions where the readings would fluctuate massively.

One of the only good things about this clamp meter is that it comes with a helpful belt holster that can be used with similarly-sized clamp meters, so buying it won’t be a complete waste.

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What We Like
  • Comes with a belt holster
What We Don’t Like
  • Poorly made
  • The clamp is hard to open
  • Inaccurate

About Blake Sutton

Blake has worked as an electrician for over 10 years, receiving his Journeyman Electrician license in 1998. Looking to take his professional electrical career further, in 2008 he received his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering (BSEE) from the University of Texas in Austin. Blake now works full time as an electrical engineer, specializing in power systems.