Today we’re going to look at a few different electrical testers/multimeters and talk about some of the pro’s and con’s of each.
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TESTERS: IDEAL 61-704 – https://amzn.to/2uFcM0p
KLEIN CL360 – https://amzn.to/38ACMIR
FLUKE T5-600 – https://amzn.to/2u3VcTj
FLUKE 373 – https://amzn.to/2SNmbLn
First, we start out with the FLUKE T5-600 and the KLEIN CL360 as they’re both testers that have a jaw-style ammeter. Both of them are very similar in how they work, however, the ergonomics, length of leads, and thoughtfulness in design differ in important ways. The T5-600 has been my daily carry for a long time, as it does everything I need it to, it’s reliable, the leads tuck into the tool well – and are not annoyingly long. The screen is in a great place so you’re not covering it up with your hand. And the settings are the basics: Voltage, Amperage, Resistance, and Continuity. The KLEIN CL360 is really not a bad tester, but the number of things I don’t like about it makes me not want to use it at all. The length of the leads are far too long, and always tangle up. The screen is in an unusual spot, near the bottom of the tool, which when using sometimes makes your hand cover the screen. Lastly, the tips of the leads are not as responsive as almost all other meters. Sometimes, not even picking up continuity until tapping a few times. These are some really annoying problems to have for such an important piece of equipment to an electrician. Best to stick with a company that’s been doing this for decades…
Next up is the clamp-on-ammeter style tester. We’re looking at the IDEAL 61-704 vs the FLUKE 373, both of which are outstanding testers in my book. The Fluke 373 I’ve been using for several years, and have loved it the entire time. My only complaints with it are that there’s absolutely NO lead storage, and there’s no slot to insert a lead so you can use one hand to hold the tester WITH THE PROBE IN IT, and the other hand with the remaining probe. You have to try to hang the tester somewhere, then use both hands with both leads…or try to use two leads in one hand, and the tester in the other…which is always slightly sketchy. Still a great meter overall, just a silly thoughtlessness in the design. The IDEAL 61-704 is becoming my new favorite daily carry.
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