Unless you’re a physicist or an electrician, you’ve probably never heard of Walter Rogowski or his contribution to the electrical trade, the Rogowski coil. The late German scientist, who died over 70 years ago, is the reason I have the Klein Flexible Clamp Meter in hand today.
Rogowski’s contribution to the electrical trade comes by way of the flexible coil he invented for measuring current. This coil acts as a versatile clamp meter that can get into tighter spaces and around multiple conductors much better than standard models. The Klein Flexible Clamp Meter incorporates Rogowski’s design with this new tool, pairing it with a digital display. I’m amped up to review it.
The marquee feature of the Klein Tools Flexible AC Clamp Meter is the 18-inch flexible clamp/coil. It’s a True RMS CAT IV 600V, CAT III 1000V meter that measures 0.01 to 3000A AC current. The coil has a big enough capacity to do just about everything you need to do. Not only is the meter body compact, the coil can be wound up twice to fit neatly into the tool bag.
Simple, User-Friendly Design
Although the Klein clamp meter is actually a sophisticated piece of equipment, it appears quite simple. It has three buttons (power, min/max, backlight), the coil/clamp, and a backlit LCD digital display.
- 3000-count LCD display
- 6.6′ drop protection
- Auto-power off after 15 minutes of non-usage
- Low battery indicator and easily accessible battery compartment
Electricians use clamp meters on just about every job as a matter, of course. We measure amperage – the flow of electrical current – to confirm that a circuit functions properly. Clamp meters help us diagnose the problem when that circuit isn’t functioning. However, sometimes the rigid jaws of a typical clamp meter won’t fit between a wire and panel. That or the wire you need to measure sits too close to other wires to be able to isolate just one. The job presents you with any number of headaches that seem bound to pop up with an inflexible meter.
Case in point: I needed to measure the amps of each leg on a back-fed panel when the power went out at a local business. The Klein Flexible Clamp Meter was invaluable for this task. As you might imagine, I needed a clamp that I could work around various wires and circuits. I simply unhooked the coil from the right “ear” of the meter, fed it around the wire I needed to measure and hooked the coil back up to the ear.
Not only does amperage register on the large digital display, the Klein meter also displays the minimum and maximum amperage. Say you’re measuring the current on a circuit, but the switch is too far away from the meter to read it in real-time. The min-max function allows you to see what happened during the entire span of the measurement. You can even measure the amperage of a group of wires provided they’re on the same phase. And if you’re in the dark, the backlit display is excellent.
Price and Value
Retailing for around $90, the Klein Flexible Clamp Meter offers a lot of bang for your buck, and it costs less than half of what some of Klein’s competitors charge for comparable meters. To be fair, some of these other models offer more features and versatility. But if you don’t need all of the bells and whistles to get the job done, this Klein clamp meter presents a fantastic value.
The Bottom Line
I find it difficult to list any drawbacks to the Klein Flexible Clamp Meter for a model that lets you cover the basics. It makes measuring AC current safe, simple, and quick. This has quickly become my go-to meter since the flexible coil allows me to get into places that a rigid clamping jaw doesn’t work well in. It’s just simple and easy to use.
Klein Flexible Clamp Meter Specifications
- Item Number: CL150
- Type: Flexible AC Current Clamp
- Application: Measures AC Current
- Special Features: Auto-power Off, Max/Min, Hold, Auto-Ranging and Low Battery Icons
- Material: ABS
- Batteries: 2 x AAA
- Auto-Power Off: Yes
- Jaw Size: 18 inches
- Drop Protection: 6.6 feet
- Display: Backlit 3000 Count
- Functions: Auto-range, Hold, Max/Min Value, Auto-power Off
- Current: 0.01 to 3000A AC
- Standard: CATIV 600V, CATIII 1000V, Class 2
- Included: Carrying Case, Instruction Manual, and 2 x AAA Batteries
- Weight w/Batteries: 6.6 ounces
- Length: 10.5 inches
- Height: 1.06 inches
- Width: 4.12 inches
- Weight: 5.9 ounces
- Price: $89.97