I’m always drawn to a product that has the capability to perform several different functions. This multifunction clamp meter — the 700 Series Model 61-704 from Ideal Industries — meets that need.
The clamp/multimeter measures AC amperage, AC/DC voltage, and resistance/continuity. The meter's tapered jaw permits access to cables inside tight spaces, while a slim profile contributes to ease of use and storage.
Furthermore, the non-contact voltage tester allows electrician’s to test for voltage from 40VAC to 600VAC in the tip of the meter without turning a dial or using test leads. In any VAC/VDC range when a voltage greater than 30V is touched, the unit’s beeper will sound, and a red Hi-V LED will blink. In addition to the LED and beeper, the meter will shake when connected to high voltage. According to the company, this shaker feature provides the user “with a tactile feel similar to a solenoid tester.”
Personally, I like the meter’s capability to identify when a circuit has more than 5% total harmonic distortion on it. Although a more sophisticated power quality analyzer would be required to dig into this type of condition in more detail, the fact that this unit can perform a quick check and alert you to this problem is a valuable feature.
Other product highlights include silicone test leads, which the manufacturer says stay flexible in very cold weather and can withstand high temperatures without melting; auto power off after 60 minutes; and a battery life of approximately150 hours with alkaline and 75 hours with carbon zinc.
Rated for CAT III-1,000V, the kit sells for $202.74 and comes with a 2-year warranty and includes a probe holder for two-handed operation, lead storage, and a carrying case.
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