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Best DC Clamp Meter for Automotive | Top 7 Picks

If you are an auto mechanic or auto-electrician, then a reliable DC clamp meter must be in your daily toolkit. Now, you might be wondering what a DC Clamp meter does? and why would i need the best DC clamp meter for automotive work?

A DC clamp meter is basically an electrical voltage tester that is used to measure the current in a DC circuit or in mechanics language "DC wiring". As we all know, every vehicle on the road have a DC power supply, therefore you need a DC clamp meter to measure DC Amps.

Therefore, to make things aligned, I have made a list of the best DC clamp meter for automotive use. With a extensive list and attention to detail here i will help you in choosing the best DC clamp meter for automotive applications. It can be a battery testing or fuse testing.

If you're interested in how to test car wiring with multimeter then i have made a guide for you on it.

Why you need the best amp clamp for automotive use?

DC clamp meters are designed to measure direct current flow in circuits, commonly found in batteries and automotive systems. In contrast, an AC clamp meter is optimized for measuring AC current, typically found in household and industrial applications.

best dc clamp meter for automtive

3 Major Benefits of DC Clamp meter

Using a DC clamp meter for automotive work is essential for several reasons.

1. Accurate DC MeasurementDC clamp meters provide precise measurement of direct current in automotive circuits, allowing for effective diagnosis and troubleshooting of electrical issues in vehicles.

accurate electrical measurements

2. Non-Invasive Testing: DC clamp meters offer a non-invasive method of measuring current, enabling technicians to test circuits without the need to disconnect wires or interrupt the flow of electricity, enhancing safety and efficiency.

How to test amps with a clamp multimeter

3. Identification of Parasitic DrawsThey assist in identifying parasitic draws, helping prevent unnecessary power drainage from the battery, which is crucial for avoiding battery drain issues and ensuring optimal vehicle performance.

How to Test a Battery for Parasitic Drain

7 Best DC Clamp meter for Automotive Reviews

ModelCurrent (A)Voltage (V)Temperature
Extech MA445400A600VYes
Uni-T UT210E100A600VNo
UEi DL379B400A600VYes
Klein Tools CL800600A1000VYes
Fluke 374 FC2500V600ANo
KAIWEETS HT208D1000A1000VYes
INGCO Ammeter600V600AYes
Edit Table

Following are the best DC Clamp meter discussed briefly for your help:

KAIWEETS CLAMP METER

1. Extech MA445 Amp Clamp meter | Best For Automotive Use

Looking for a clamp meter that's both accurate and easy to use? Look no further than the Extech MA445. This handy little device is perfect for anyone who needs to take measurements on the go. Its large backlit LCD display and built-in flashlight make it easy to read even in low-light conditions. Plus, the true RMS feature ensures that you're getting accurate readings every time. Now let's look at some of its key features in more detail.

Key features

  • It features a backlit LCD display that is easy to read in bright sunlight.
  • You can measure AC and DC currents up to 400A.
  • Both ac dc voltage can be measured up to 600V with CAT-III rated test leads.
  • You can measure Resistance up to 40MΩ and capacitance up to 40mF.
  • Both Duty cycle and Frequency can also measure measured up to 1MHz
  • Additionally, this digital clamp meter measures temperature ranging from -40°C to 1000°C.
  • For Temperature measurement a septate thermocouple probe also comes with it.
  • This clamp meter can also be used to perform diode and continuity tests. But the meter cannot detect very high continuity test.
  • It is a True RMS and auto-ranging multimeter, so it is quite easy to use.

Read more about How To Use Clamp Meter To Measure Voltage

Pros
  • Non-contact voltage detection function eliminates ghost voltages.
  • You hold Data for later use.
  • Auto-shutdown incase of inactivity of 15minutes.
  • One-year warranty also comes with it.
Cons
  • You can measure high voltages (1000V)

Why Choose Extech MA445 Digital clamp meter?

There are only a few clamp multimeters Price that have all the features that Extech MA445 Digital clamp meter offers. It is both reliable and accurate, making it perfect for anyone who needs to take measurements on the go. The true RMS feature ensures that you're getting accurate readings every time, and its large backlit LCD display makes it easy to read in low-light conditions Price.

Overall, the Extech MA445 Digital clamp meter is a great choice for anyone looking for an affordable and reliable multimeter. If you’re looking for best multimeters under 100 dollar then you can visit my blog. It is worth every penny and should be your first choice when it comes to buying a DC clamp meter.

Package Includes

  • Extech MA445 Clamp meter
  • A pair of Test leads (CAT-III standard)
  • 3x AAA Batteries
  • Type K temperature probe
  • A zipper Pouch

2. KAIWEETS HT208D Inrush Clamp Meter | Best For Commercial Use

"Beginner's choice"

KAIWEETS HT208D Inrush Clamp Meter Review

Get 15%OFF & FREE DELIVERY

Coupon Code: MMW15

If you're a person who frequently works with inrush current, then you need a clamp meter that's specifically designed for that. KAIWEETS HT208D is a great choice for labs, factories and workshops. It's simple to use and has a CAT III 1000V safety rating. If you want to know more about cat ratings then click here! Plus, it comes with an LED flashlight for those dark workspaces.

You'll appreciate the features of this clamp meter, like the non-contact voltage (NCV) detection, and 1000V AC/DC voltage measurement. With its durable design, it can withstand the wear and tear of everyday use. So you can focus on your work instead of worrying about your tools.

Key features

  • It is a True RMS clamp meter, so it gives you accurate results.
  • Auto-ranging also makes it easy for everyday use.
  • It is capable of measuring both dc and ac voltage up to 1000V.
  • Additionally, it can measure current in both AC and DC circuits up to 600A.
  • You can also measure inrush current up to 1000A with this kaiweets clamp meter. 
  • The Flashing light option is also available for confined places.
  • data hold option is also available in it.
  • The NCV mode prevents stray voltages and gives accurate results.
  • LoZ functions make it easy to measure inductive loads.
  • This kaiweets clamp meter supports both CAT III and CAT IV safety ratings.
  • thermocouple also comes with it so you can measure temperature.
Pros
  • Two layers of insulation for added safety.
  • Auto and Manual modes are accessible through the RAN button.
  • It is relatively compact in size.
  • Only clamp meters which offer inrush current.
Cons
  • Backlight don’t have any brightness adjustment.

Why Choose KAIWEETS HT208D Inrush Digital Clamp Meter?

A multimeter with advanced features like the KAIWEETS HT208D is a great choice for electricians, HVAC technicians, and other professionals. DIY enthusiasts can also use it for their home electrical projects since it has various features.

KAIWEETS HT208D Inrush Clamp Meter is an accurate and versatile multimeter with many features. Even though it may have a steeper learning curve and the user manual could be more detailed, its durability and ease of use make it a worthy investment for professionals who require a high-quality multimeter.

Package Includes

  • KAIWEETS HT208D Clamp Meter
  • 3×AAA Batteries 
  • A pair of CAT-II Test leads
  • Silicon Soft case
  • A Users’ manual
  • K-type Temperature probe

3. UEi DL379B Digital Clamp Meter | Best HVAC Clamp meter

For HVAC Work or automotive use, the UEi DL379B is one of the best DC clamp meters you can buy. This versatile meter can measure AC/DC current, AC/DC voltage, resistance, continuity, and diode test. You can also use it to measure temperature and frequency. For measuring ac current it is the best option. Plus, the backlit LCD display makes it easy to read in low-light conditions.

Key features

  • It comes with a bigger dual display so you can read values clearly.
  • backlit is also introduced in it for easy operation at night.
  • To remove all kind of noises an NCV Mode is also available in it.
  • You can measure AC/DC Microamps up to 2000µA.
  • It is also capable of measuring AC/DC Volts 1000V with CAT-III test leads.
  • You can also measure ac current up to 400A
  • Temperature can also be measured from -30˚C to 400˚C.
  • It can also measure capacitance up to 2000µF. 
  • Wether you have to measure Frequency or  Duty Cycle it can do both. 
  • You can also measure resistance up to 40MΩ.
  • Both continuity and diode tests can also be done with this UEI DL79B clamp meter
Pros
  • Data Hold Option
  • Bigger jaw clamp size.
  • It comes with a magnetic mount for handsfree operation.
  • Easy Temperature unit switch button
Cons
  • You can not measure DC current in High amperes.

The UEI DL379B digital clamp meter is a great choice for anyone who needs an accurate and reliable DC clamp meter. With its huge range icof AC and DC current measurements, it's perfect for HVAC work, automotive work, and any other electrical troubleshooting tasks.

Read More about: How to test Temperature sensor?

Plus, its intuitive interface makes it easy to use even for beginners. The backlit LCD display ensures that you can read your results even in low-light conditions. So if you’re looking for aces reliable clamp meter for HVAC and automotive work, the UEi DL379B is a great choice.  

Package Includes

  • UEi DL379B Digital Clamp Meter
  • A pair of Test Leads (CAT-III standard) 
  • User Manual
  • Zipper pouch
  • K-Type temperature probe
  • 2x AAA batteries

4. Klein Tools CL800 Digital Clamp Meter | Electrician's First Love

Most people need an all-in-one tool from the house to their garage. Klein Tools CL800 is the perfect meter for them! It has a CAT III 1000V rating. Plus, it's drop-tested from 2 meters so you know it can handle any situation. Klein tools also have many best clamp meters so you can also visit my blog about Klein CL800 vs CL900.

With its auto-ranging feature, the CL800 makes taking measurements easier than ever. You don't have to worry about fiddling with knobs or switches – just select the type of measurement you want and go! You can test any automotive vehicle with this clamp meter. You can also visit my ECU testing guide for automotive repairing.

Key Features:

  • 6000 counts resolution display makes this clamp meter perfect for non linear loads.
  • This is an Auto-Ranging Clamp multimeter.
  • The true RMS function is ideal for measuring voltages with high fluctuations.
  • Current can be measured in both AC and DC.
  • AC current range: 600A
  • DC current range: 600A
  • With a CAT-II safety rating, you can measure voltages up to 1000V.
  • It has a non-contact voltage detection mode for safe troubleshooting.
  • High accuracy with the low impedance (LoZ) function.
  • You can measure temperatures ranging from -26℃ to 538℃ using a temperature probe.
  • You can measure resistance up to 60 Mohms.
  • 2 meter drop test certified clamp meter.
  • Capacitance and frequency can be measured easily with this clamp meter.
  • Low battery indication allows you to replace it before it dies.

Pros
  • The insulation has a Class 2 safety rating.
  • Its IP40 water resistance keeps dust and moisture out.
  • High Current measurements.
  • It comes with High CAT Ratings (CAT-II).
Cons
  • A bit bigger in size as compared to other meter.

Why Choose Klein Tools CL800 Digital Clamp Meter?

It's a great choice for electricians, HVAC technicians, and other professionals who need a reliable multimeter with advanced features, as well as for DIYers who need a comprehensive tool for home electrical projects.

In addition to offering a wide range of features for various electrical applications, the Klein Tools CL800 Digital Clamp Meter is a comprehensive and reliable multimeter. Despite being relatively expensive, this multimeter provides accuracy and versatility, making it a worthwhile investment for professionals who need accuracy and versatility.

Package Includes

  • Klein CL800 Clamp Meter
  • A pair of Test Leads (CAT-III standard) 
  • User Manual
  • Zipper pouch
  • K-Type temperature probe
  • 2x AAA batteries

5. Fluke 374 FC 600A Wireless Clamp Meter | Heavy Duty Clamp meter

Looking for a clamp meter that you can connect with your smartphone? The Fluke 374 FC 600A Wireless Clamp Meter not only has all the features you need in a clamp meter, but it also connects wirelessly to your smartphone so you can easily take measurements and record data.

Plus, with the IFlex cable, you can measure high ac/dc current and voltages. If you don't have a handsome budget then you can visit my blog about fluke 323 vs 324 clamp meter. So, if you’re looking for a top-of-the-line clamp meter, the Fluke 374 FC 600A Wireless Clamp Meter is the perfect choice for you.

Read more about How To Use Fluke Clamp Meter?

Key Features

  • The Fluke Connect app lets you take measurements and record data wirelessly.
  • For a user-friendly experience, it comes with a digital display and backlight option
  • You can also measure AC/DC voltage up to 600V.
  • With this fluke 374 you can measure current up to 600A in both ac and dc.
  • With the iFlex flexible current probe, you can measure high ac/dc current up to 2500A.
  • You can also measure inrush currenwith this clamp meter.
  • It is a True RMS clamp meter so you will get accurate readings. 
  • You can also perform a continuity test on your car wiring with this fluke 374 clamp meter.
  • data hold option is also available so you can take readings without having to hold the button down.
  • The NCV mode prevents stray voltages and gives accurate results.
  • It comes with both CAT-III and CAT-IV safety ratings.

Pros
  • You can measure and record data wirelessly with the Fluke Connect app.
  • The iFlex current probe lets you measure high ac/dc current up to 2500A.
  • It has a compact and rugged design.
  • Low battery indications tell you the battery status before it runs out of power.
Cons
  • Temperature measurement is not available.

Why Choose Fluke 374 FC Digital Clamp Meter?

Electricians, industrial technicians, and others needing a high-end multimeter for advanced electrical applications will find the Fluke 374 FC an ideal choice. Its wireless connectivity and advanced features can be used for troubleshooting and analysis in commercial and industrial settings. Fluke 374 FC 600A AC/DC TRMS Wireless Clamp Meter has advanced features and wireless connectivity that allows remote monitoring and data logging.

Those who require accuracy and versatility in their testing and analysis will find it an ideal tool. The advanced capabilities of this electrical testing equipment make it a worthwhile investment for professionals who demand the best from their electrical testing equipment, even though it may be expensive and have a steeper learning curve.

Package Includes

  • Fluke 374 FC Clamp Meter
  • A pair of CAT-III Test leads
  • Silicon Soft case
  • A Users’ manual
  • TPAK magnetic hanger

6. Uni-T  UT210E Clamp meter | Best for Car Electronics

Almost every automotive technician will agree that the Uni-T UT210E is one of the best DC clamp meters on the market. This versatile little device can measure AC/DC current, AC/DC voltage, resistance, continuity, and diode test. You can measure the current without interrupting the circuit. Plus, it has a built-in temperature sensor that makes it perfect for taking measurements in hot or cold environments.

Key features

  • You get accurate results with this True RMS clamp meter.
  • Its auto-ranging function makes it a great choice for beginners.
  • AC & DC voltage measurement helps in troubleshooting all automotive issues.
  • You can measure voltages up to 600V.
  • In addition to DC current, it can measure measure ac current also ranging up to 100A.
  • You can also measure current in mA with this clamp meter.
  • It also comes with a flashlight for everyday use.
  • data hold option is also available in it.
  • Moreover, it has a V.F.C function for measuring signal.
  • NCV mode prevents stray voltages and gives precise results.
  • Inductive loads can be easily measured with LoZ functions.
  • This Uni-t UT210e clamp meter has CAT III(600V) safety ratings.
  • You can also measure temperature up to -40℃~1000℃.

Read more about How To Measure DC Amps With a Clamp Meter


Pros
  • You can measure milliamps alsowith this clamp meter.
  • High accuracy (up to 97%)
  • Low battery indicator alerts you about battery status with beep alarm.
  • Almost every multimeter function is available in it.
Cons
  • Not perfect for high current measurements.

Why Choose UNI-T UT210E Digital Clamp Meter?

The Uni-T UT210E digital clamp meter is one of the most accurate multimeters on the market. It has a high accuracy rating of up to 97%, which makes it perfect for any type of automotive work.

The True RMS functionality ensures that you get precise readings every time, while its auto-ranging feature makes it a great choice. So if you're somebody who needs a reliable and accurate DC clamp meter for automotive work, the Uni-T UT210E Digital clamp meter is an excellent choice.

Package Includes

  • UNI-T UT210E Mini Clamp Meter
  • A pair of Test Leads (CAT-III standard) 
  • User Manual

7. Ingco Digital Clamp Meter | Best for Car Mechanics

Looking for a quality clamp meter at an affordable price? Look no further! This digital clamp meter is perfect for anyone looking for an easy-to-use, durable device. It's perfect for both personal and professional use. You can measure current, voltage, frequency, capacitance, resistance, duty cycle, and frequency.

With features like auto-ranging and frequency measurement, this clamp meter is sure to make your life easier. Plus, it comes with a 90-day refund or replacement warranty, so you can be sure you're getting a quality product.

Key features

  • It is a True RMS clamp meter so you will get accurate readings. 
  • A beginner can also use it easily due to its auto ranging feature.
  • You can measure ac/dc voltages up to 600V
  • It is also capable of measurement current in both AC/DC circuits up to 600A
  • Flashing light option is also available in it for low lit areas.
  • As it also has a low impedance mode therefore no ghost voltages.
  • low pass filter helps in measuring inductive loads easily.
  • You can measure resistance up to 60MΩ.
  • It can measure capacitance up to 100mf, which is quite valuable for automotive use.
  • For you car AC check a temperature measurement option is also available ranging (-4~1832°F)

Pros
  • Quite a bigger display with a backlit option.
  • Auto shut off in case of inactivity.
  • A non-contact voltage detection is also available for safer operations.
  • You can measure temperature in both Celsius and Fahrenheit scale.
Cons
  • You have to keep pressing the back light to keep the backlight on.

Why Choose Ingco Auto-Ranging Digital Clamp Meter?

If you are looking for a reliable, affordable multimeter for basic electrical testing, the INGCO Auto Ranging Digital Clamp Meter is ideal for DIY enthusiasts, hobbyists, and students. It is also ideal for electricians and technicians who want a backup or secondary multimeter in their toolbox.

With its basic electrical testing features, the INGCO Auto Ranging Digital Clamp Meter is a reliable and affordable multimeter. While it may have limited features compared to more advanced multimeters and not be suitable for advanced or industrial electrical testing.

Package includes

  • Ingco Digital Clamp Meter
  • 2×AA Batteries 
  • A pair of CAT-III Test leads
  • Zipper enclosure 
  • A Users’ manual
  • K-type Temperature probe

Buying Guide for Best Automotive Clamp meter

6 things one should consider

There are certain things that you need to keep in mind while buying a DC clamp meter for automotive purposes. Best Digital multimeter or best clamp meter have the same buying guide but clamp meters have some additional features as mentioned below.

1. Current range:

Buying Guide For Best Automotive Clamp Meter

The current range is one of the most important factors to consider while buying a DC clamp meter. You need to make sure that the clamp meter you are buying has a current range that is suitable for automotive applications. There must be a separate option for DC voltages and DC Ampere measurements. If you don't know how to measure amperage then CLICK HERE!

2. Accuracy:

Clamp meter accuracy

Another important factor to consider while buying a DC clamp meter is accuracy. If the clamp meter is not accurate, you won't be able to get accurate readings. so, what are the accurate measurements? In general, the accuracy of a DC Clamp meter should be more than 95%.

3. Auto-Ranging:

are clamp meter has auto ranging function

If you are somebody who is not very familiar with electrical circuits, then you should definitely buy a DC clamp meter that has an auto-ranging feature. This feature will automatically select the correct range for the measurement. Almost all digital clamp meters have this feature so you don’t have to dig more.

4. JAW Clamp size:

openign jaw size of clamp meter

You need to make sure that the clamp meter you are buying has a jaw size that is suitable for automotive applications. The Jaw should be big enough to clamp around the battery wires. If you're working on solar panels then i have a made a separate testing guide for solar plates system for you.

5. Display:

Buying Guide For Best Automotive Clamp Meter

Always make sure that the clamp meter you are buying has a large and easy-to-read display. This will make it easier for you to take readings. The backlite option will be the cherry on top.

6. Budget:

What budget should I have for buying clamp meter

Last But not least, you must know your budget before buying a DC clamp meter. because, if you don't know your budget then you might end up spending more money than you need to. A budget clamp meter must possess all the functions that you need and must be under 100 dollars. If you’re looking for best multimeters under 100 dollar then you can visit my blog.


Safety Guidelines

Follow these safety precautions when using a clamp meter:

1. Electrical Safety

  • Prioritize safety first. Make sure you're wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Before using the clamp meter, check for damaged wires or insulation. Repair or replace as needed.
  • Avoid touching bare wires or conductors, and always assume they are live.
  • Keep a safe distance from live circuits, and use appropriate barriers if necessary.

2. Parasitic Voltage

  • Be aware of parasitic voltage. High-end clamp meters like the Fluke 374 are capable of measuring it.

3. Battery Life

  • Monitor the battery life of your meter. Replace batteries when low to ensure accurate readings.
  • Follow manufacturer recommendations for battery replacement.

4. Proper Handling

  • Handle your clamp meter with care to avoid damage.
  • Store it in a protective case when not in use.

How to Use a DC Clamp Meter?

1. Preparing Your Meter

  • Ensure your clamp meter is in good working condition.
  • Set the meter to the appropriate function (e.g., AC current or voltage).
  • Verify that the meter is accurate to within specifications.

2. Measuring DC Current

  • Clamp the meter around the wire you want to measure.
  • Observe the reading on the meter's display.
  • Pay attention to the unit of measurement and any decimal points.

3. Measuring Voltage

  • Place the meter's probes in the correct voltage ports.
  • Carefully touch the probes to the circuit you want to measure.
  • Always use the appropriate voltage range to prevent damage.

4. Resistance Measurement

  • Ensure the circuit is de-energized before measuring resistance.
  • Connect the meter's probes to the circuit being tested.
  • Read the resistance value on the meter's display.

5. Fluke Connect (For Fluke Connect-Enabled Meters)

If you have a Fluke Connect-enabled meter, you can easily transmit data to your Apple or Android device for further analysis.

By following these safety and handling guidelines, you can rely on Fluke meters. Remember, your safety is paramount, so always exercise caution when working with electricity.


Wrapping up everything 🙂

The DC power system can be found in every vehicle, whether it is a car or a truck. Therefore, you need to purchase a clamp meter that is suitable for automotive use. Keeping things simple, I have created a list of 7 of the best DC clamp meter for automotive use.

Now, It is up to you to choose the best clamp meter that is best suited to your needs. All clamp meter instructions have been written on their user manual so always check them before using it.


Frequently Asked Questions

Are cheap clamp meters accurate?

Cheap clamp meters almost can do all the jobs that any expensive clamp meter do. Unlike most inexpensive meters, it can be used for troubleshooting, but not for configuring. You can tell if components are functioning, but you can't detect minute details. So, all in all a cheap clamp meter is good for routine use but not for Lab or DIY projects. If you’re a DIYer then you can visit my list of best multimeter for DIY electronics.

How do you test a car battery with a clamp meter?

The procedure for testing any car battery is simple and similar to multimeters. I have a made a separate blog on how to test car battery with multimeter or clamp meter,

How do you use a clamp meter on a car?

You can use a multimeter on a car for variety of purposes. Each purpose have different settings. Some time you gave to measure current and sometimes continuity of wiring. For each function you have to select the relevant function and then touch the related probes.

Can a clamp meter measure DC current?

Yes, a clamp meter can measure DC current. To do this, simply set the dial to the "DC Amps" mode.

How accurate are DC clamp meters?

DC clamp meters are generally quite accurate. However, they can be affected by electromagnetic interference (EMI) from nearby devices. This is why it is always a good idea to take multiple readings and average them out.

Is there a DC amp clamp?

Yes, there are DC amp clamps. These are specialized tools that allow you to measure the current (with current clamp meter) in a conductor without having to make direct contact with the conductor. This is important when working with high voltage systems where there is a risk of electrocution. Magnetic DC amp clamps are not always necessary, but they can be helpful in some situations.

How to test Arduino project with clamp meter?

To measure power consumption of electronics projects. All you have to do is clamp the wire and set the clamp on meter to ac clamp or dc as per requirement. However, if you want to test Arduino projects with multimeter then you can visit my list of best multimeters for precise measurements.