Today, it’s all about making the customer happy, right? Or, wait, is it all about making the boss happy. Or, getting your money’s worth?

When it comes to making sense of what the “best” test tool is, there really are multiple factors to consider – customer satisfaction, safety and dollar savings being just a few.

Take clamp meters. A clamp meter is an electrical tester that combines a voltmeter with a clamp-type current meter. Way back when (or maybe not so long ago), they were created as a single-purpose test tool for electricians. But today’s models have incorporated more measurement functions, more accuracy and, in some instruments, some special measurement features.

We all know it’s important to consider the specifications and features of a clamp meter, to make sure you get what you need for the job. For instance, some people really want a tool that performs very specific functions, and so, there are different clamps for different uses. And, not everyone wants a top of the line device. Some people really want the quality, durability and accuracy of a trusted brand, but they don’t need bells and whistles. And other people, they want whistles and bells. The key here, if you’re seeing the trend, is options. That said, there are some pretty fantastic features that should be kept top of mind when reviewing today’s newest clamp meters, including:

  1. Those that run up to 2,500 amps AC / 1,000 amps DC.
  2. A clamp that can fit into tight, crowded panels and around big conductors.
  3. Wireless options: It’s ideal to be able to connect the clamp, detach the readout and walk away. No one should be running back and forth anymore. And, you shouldn’t need a second person.
  4. State-of-the-art signal processing: You should always get stable readings, even in noisy electrical environments. This technology should be standard in any test tool you buy.
  5. Multi-dimensional: Your clamp should be able to work with accessories to measure pressure, temperature and fiber optics.

Clamp meters really are the way to go in a wide range of measurement scenarios, especially if you’re working with higher amperages – or if you need a comprehensive motor test in one device.

Keep the above features in mind when considering clamp meters and you’ll find that it is possible to do good work, be safe and feel pretty good about your purchase.

But for all that talk about features and specs, sometimes what it comes down to are the non-tangibles, like how a tool fits in your hand or your tool belt.

There are many meters out there, and Fluke has just introduced a new true-rms clamp meter series that is definitely worth checking out. You can really move the bar with these devices. Or move the meter, as it were.