Why I chose these two meters...
Recently I was in the market for a new multimeter for home and work use. Why? Well there are two reasons.
The first is that the multimeter I had was lacking a few functions that I wanted. The second reason, and probably the more relevant, is that the one I had just gave up the ghost. It was a fairly cheap clamp meter, as I’d only bought it for home use at the time. And although it was okay initially, it wasn’t long before I outgrew it’s capabilities.
So, I needed a new meter, one which would suit not only my hobbies at home, but also an electrician on the job. I had to find a meter that was suitable for
With this in mind, I knew I required the following functions from a meter...- AC voltage up to 415V with AC + DC offset capability
- DC voltage up to 325V with AC + DC offset capability
- AC current up to 100A with AC + DC offset capability
- DC current up to 50A with AC + DC offset capability
- DC current to µA resolution
- DC volts to µV resolution
- Duty Cycle
- LoZ Voltage
- Low Pass Filter
- Non Contact Voltage Detection
- CAT III 600V at a minimum.
On top of all this, I did not want to pay very much money, as the meter was only for home use, and as a backup for work.
To save hours of time researching, I used the Delta Pro filtering system to show me the most suitable meters. This was particularly handy when the filters of duty cycle, LoZ and AC+DC offset were used. They narrowed down the search for me pretty quickly!
It turned out, I wasn’t able to find just one meter that would do all of what I wanted, without breaking the budget. But I could buy two meters, that resulted in a low cost but high functionality combination, and which would cover all the bases that I was likely to require.
I chose the Extech EX355 multimeter, and the Flir CM46 clamp meter. Here’s why...
* Digital count of 40 000. This gave excellent resolution, and was coupled with basic accuracy of 0.5% on DCV.
* AC/DC voltage, 10µV to 600V
* AC/DC current, 0.1µA to 10A
* Duty Cycle
* LoZ Voltage
* Temperature K-type
* Non Contact Voltage Detector
* CAT III 600V
Missing from this meter however, was the ability to measure the higher currents up to 100A, the AC+DC offset measurements, and a low pass filter.
Now usually the AC+DC offset capabilities for meters comes with a high price. However, I found a clamp meter that not only measured the higher currents that I required, but also came with AC+DC offset for both current and voltage measurement, and a low pass filter.
Between the two meters, I now have massive versatility for a total of only $603. To find a quality meter capable of all these functions for less than this value, is nigh on impossible.
So for me now, there’s not much I can’t measure using my new toys! They suit me with both my hobbies and my work, and they didn’t break the bank. I highly recommend them both.