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Red Squirrel 12-21-2010 07:40 PM

clamp on meter vs killawatt?
I just bought a clamp on meter with the intention of being able to measure amp draw on the fly but it never occured to me that it's made for a single conductor, so I can't measure a device that is plugged into the wall for example, without unplugging said device, and plugging it into some custom setup where I seperate both wires, or something. So if I'm going to unplug something, may as well just use a killawatt.

Is there any advantage to the clamp on? More accurate?

Chevyman30571 12-21-2010 09:01 PM

what you want is called a line splitter. You can use it with your clamp meter. you first plug it into the recep and than plug in the device or load and the turn in the device. and than read the amps. craftsman makes one and so does extech.

joed 12-21-2010 10:01 PM

Clamp on will only measure the instantaneous current while you watch it. Some of them will have a max and min saver. A kilawatt meter will measure the watts used over a period of time. Good for a device that turns on and off like a fridge.

Red Squirrel 12-21-2010 10:50 PM

I'm mostly just interested in the instantaneous reading though the features of the killawatt are interesting too. Basically I want to check how much watts/amps a device uses, so I'll set the meter, then turn the device on and look at the numbers. So would a Ideal $100 clamp on be more accurate then a killawatt? I heard killawatts arn't very accurate, but not sure if that's true.

I'll have to check if HD has line splitters, or I can always make my own. :whistling2:

frenchelectrican 12-22-2010 01:09 AM

The line spitter will have in the most of the big box store and it should be about 20 Eurs or so depending on which model you get.

Just becarefull with some splitter some will have 10X coil reading so watchout which opening you use when you read the current drawage.

Nice thing about the clamp on ampmeter it can read much higher current drawage then what the Killawatts can do. { Most Killawatts are useally limited to 15 or 20 amp the most @120 volts }

I keep two diffrent type of clamp on ampmeters with me one with digital dispaly and the other one with anlog { dail type or needle movement } the latter I used the most with motor loads for any other loads I go either way.


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