Professional Tool Reviews for Pros


Test and Measurement Reviews

Our test and measurement reviews address those products suitable for electrical and mechanical evaluation and testing. When diagnosing systems and components, these tools are invaluable. They must also have the features and durability to work well on the jobsite. We review electrical tools like circuit testers, multimeters, clamp meters, video inspection cameras, IR thermometers, and more. Our goal is to help electricians know which tools will get the job done quickly. We test and evaluate all of the most recent and popular tools from Klein Tools, Southwire, Greenlee, FLIR, and others. This lets us reveal which tools perform at better-than-average levels. Test and Measurement Reviews in the Field It may sound odd to be “testing” test and measurement tools, however manufacturer specifications only tell part of the story. The newest smart multimeters are using Bluetooth technology, and even circuit breaker finders and clamp meters are getting smarter. Rather than rely on manufacturer specs and marketing materials, Pro Tool Reviews determines whether productivity features are beneficial or just marketing.

Porter-Cable PCC581B 18V Infrared Thermometer Preview

Porter-Cable PCC581B 18V Infrared Thermometer Preview

Porter-Cable launched a couple of brand new Infrared Thermometers, the 18V-powered PCC581B and the 9V-powered PCC582B. These infrared thermometers are very different from the ones we’ve seen in the past, incorporating a three-color indicator beam that indicates changes in temperature visually. When you pull the trigger, the thermometer takes a reference temperature reading while it paints a green circle beam onto the surface at which it is aimed. The colors change when a difference in temperature is detected as it is scans across an area. A blue beam identifies a cool spot, and a red beam shows a hot spot.

Fluke Ti9 Thermal Imager Preview

Fluke Ti9 Thermal Imager Preview

Fluke makes a lot of high-end test and measurement tools. This week they alerted us to their new Fluke Ti9 Thermal Imager, an entry-level instrument designed to meet the needs of electricians and electrical and HVAC technicians. It seems to take on directly, or vice versa, the new Milwaukee M12 Thermal Imager. Fluke’s new Thermal […]

Milwaukee M12 Thermal Imager Preview 2260-22

Milwaukee M12 Thermal Imager 2260-22

Possibly the most interesting tool of the entire 2011 Milwaukee Media event was Milwaukee’s new M12 Thermal Imager. With a maximum 4 hours of run-time, and dual cameras (it takes both a digital camera still and a thermal image at the same time) this is a whole new style of product for the M12 line. When you pull the trigger, the two images are immediately stored onto the included 2GB SD memory card. In this way you have a reference image and the thermal image for each location. What we also liked was that you can view either mode when you pull the trigger, so its easy to focus on what you need to in order to survey a site for insulation needs or weatherization.

Johnson 25' PlanReader Architect Series Power Tape Review

Johnson 25′ PlanReader Architect Series Power Tape Review

Oftentimes, when out in the field, it can be difficult to measure plans to verify dimensions. With the new Johnson 1819-0025 25′ PlanReader Architect Series Power Tape, you have both 1/8″ and 1/4″ architectural scales built right into the bottom of the tape. With larger, easy to see numbers on the top side of the tape, you can do your regular measuring and layout work. When you need to go back to the drawing board to check some dimensions or verify the size of something on the plans, just flip the tape over and you have the two most common architectural scales at your fingertips.

DeWalt DCT414S1 12V MAX Infrared Thermometer Kit Review

DeWalt DCT414S1 12V MAX Infrared Thermometer Kit Review

The DeWalt DCT414S1 12V MAX Infrared Thermometer Kit is a great addition to DeWalt’s compact 12V lineup. This tool will be a great asset to the electrical, plumbing, and especially HVAC (air mechanical) tradesmen. Infrared thermometers provide safe, easy and accurate non-contact temperature readings which are ideal under hazardous conditions and for hard to reach objects. The DeWalt Infrared Thermometer has good ergonomics, making it easy to handle. The laser is bright and can easily be seen under nearly any lighting condition. With a wide temperature range of -20º F to 932º F, most users should find this more than adequate for most situations. The green backlit LCD screen is easy to read in both bright sunlight and in the dark. There are three programmable alarms, both audio and patent-pending LED lights. The infrared comes with a nice hard case, one battery, a 40-minute charger and an instruction leaflet.

Amprobe PK-100R Electrical Test Kit Review

Amprobe PK-100R Electrical Test Kit Review

Some people have extensive electrical test and measurement devices on-hand, ready to go at a moment’s notice. But there is the homeowner who doesn’t need all that much – and why spend more than you have to to get a basic kit that can handle light-duty testing for live power and ensuring that the outlet […]

Milwaukee True RMS Fork Meter 2205-20 Review

Milwaukee True RMS Fork Meter 2205-20 Review

When we first set eyes on the Milwaukee 2205-20 Fork Meter, we thought it was a quaint tool – but its compact size is in stark contrast to its impressive feature set. Turns out, this is a rugged compact CAT IV electricians tool that has lots of great features, not the least of which are an integrated LED work light and reverse white-on-black LCD display. After using it over the past few weeks, we’ve come to appreciate its convenience and size as well as the way it makes one-handed measurements both possible and practical.

Milwaukee True-RMS Clamp Meter 2237-20

Milwaukee True RMS Clamp Meter 2237-20 Review

In my time I’ve used a lot of meters. Ever since my first home, I’ve installed enough circuits and cabling to rewire half a city block. I’ve had a trusty Fluke meter for some time as well as a number of generic voltmeters and such that have done the job sufficiently, albeit with varying degrees […]

Amprobe Electrical Test and Measurement Tools Now at Lowes

Amprobe Electrical Test and Measurement Tools Now at Lowes

Electrical test and measurement tools from Amprobe, a leading brands of tools for professional electricians, contractors and facility maintenance technicians, are now available for the first time at Lowe’s. Amprobe’s easy-to-use, handheld electrical test and measurement tools let pros quickly determine the source of problems with electrical systems as well as heating, ventilation and air […]

DeWalt Releases HVAC Code Reference for HVAC Pros

DeWalt HVAC Code Reference for Pros

DeWalt announced the release of the DeWalt HVAC Code Reference: Based on the International Mechanical Code. Employing the codes established by the International Code Council (ICC), this book is designed to help HVAC professionals understand and comply with complicated code requirements. This detailed reference manual is extremely useful for those working on critical HVAC functions, […]