Multimeters & Current Clamp Meters
Much used by electrical engineers and technicians, a current clamp meter is a device that possesses twin jaws, which can be opened in order for it to clamp around an electrical conductor. Once fitted, a current clamp metering device can measure the electric current in the conductor and display it to the operator. Crucially, the device does so without having to make physical contact with the wiring it is measuring. It also means that the conductor does not need to be switched off so that a probe can be connected to it safely. This is because current clamps read the strength of a sinusoidal current, much used in alternating current power distribution systems. By contrast, a multimeter often uses two probes, which are physically held on to unshielded conductors, such as a circuit board component, by the operative. When a multimeter, a highly adaptable form of measuring device, detects a current, it will not only be able to determine the amount of current present but a wide array of other properties as well, such as voltage and resistance. Many multimeters are available with a variety of probes and sensors, usually marketed as test equipment accessories, so that they can be used in all sorts of settings, from laboratory work to field testing.