A clamp meter is an advanced variation of a regular multimeter with the major difference of a jaw-like structure on the top that allows contactless measurement of current and voltage.
You can ‘clamp’ this structure around conductors (a wire, for instance) to detect the current running through it.
With this being the basic principle, modern clamp meters come with functions that enable measurement of several quantities, features that make troubleshooting and analysis easier, and ultimately, more safety measures.
Since you don’t have to manually plug testing probes/leads to live circuits and also don’t have to disconnect the system to take a measurement, clamp meters have quickly become one of the most important tools in an electrician’s life.
Chief Differences Between a Clamp Meter and a DMM
Following are what makes a clamp meter different from a digital multimeter:
- Primarily used for DC and AC amps measurement
- Contactless quantity measurement
- Lower resolution (only till hundredth of a unit)
A clamp meter and a digital multimeter (DMM) usually go hand-in-hand as you cannot use them interchangeably for some testing applications.