The Significant Difference Between a Multimeter and a Clamp Meter

The Significant Difference Between a Multimeter and a Clamp Meter

A clamp meter is as useful as a multimeter. However, there’s a tremendous significant difference between the two. Since these tools are commonly used by electricians, technicians, and anyone who works in the technology field, knowing their differences can help you during projects. You wouldn’t have to take a long time deciding what tool to use since you’re already knowledgeable of what they offer.

To start off, a clamp meter is built mainly for measuring amperage (or current); on the other hand, a multimeter generally measures resistance, voltage, continuity, and sometimes low current. In simpler terms, the clamp meter is for bigger currents, while the multimeter is for smaller currents and other electric quantities. 

In this article, we will explain the differences between the two, so read on below! 


Consider Your Safety 

When we talk about work, it’s essential to consider one’s safety, especially when using tools that deal with electricity.  To measure the current with a multimeter, you need to break off the circuit. On the flip side, taking measurements with the clamp meter won’t require you to break the circuit. 

Because of this, a clamp meter is considered safer to use between the two. A clamp meter has a clamp to test the conductor while the other tool doesn’t; hence, the circuit must be broken to measure for current.


The Accuracy and Resolution

When comparing the two devices, Multimeters can better accuracy and resolution than clamp meters, specifically on functions such as voltage, frequency, and resistance. Multimeters are more involved in design since they can detect any measurement needed.

However, Clamp meters are the most flexible diagnostic tools for technicians and electricians. 

But if you are a troubleshooter, then taking advantage of both multimeters and clamp meters is a great way to assess your issue. 


The Design and Function 

The clamp meter’s design looks very identical to the multimeter. However, the only difference is that the clamp meter has a clamp at the end. This makes the device exceptionally easy to utilize and highly portable. 

Though it might seem surprising, this device can measure the current within it uses electromagnetism to measure the current.

On the other hand, the multimeter must be held in one hand when testing. The device has two probes that you need to place directly on the circuit you’re measuring. 

Typically, there are two kinds of multimeters, digital and analog. Analog meters are cheaper but less accurate. While as, digital multimeters give you precise measurements, but it is quite expensive.


The Price of The Device 

Price is a factor that one must carefully consider. Most clamp meters and multimeters cost about the same. Clamp meters can range up to 50 dollars depending on the brand and model. 

However, purchasing a multimeter can sometimes cost you a bit more due to its more precise results and increased measurements. A digital multimeter can cost you about 100-150 dollars, while the analog can be found in the range of 50-70 dollars. 

The more accurate device you get, the more money you should expect to pay. But keep in mind that buying a device is an investment, so better that you purchase one that’s durable and worth the price than one that’s cheap yet won’t give you your desired results. 



Whether you’ve been a technician for years or just starting in the field, it’s good to learn what kind of tools you can use when dealing with work. Both multimeters and clamp meters can undoubtedly help you get your job done, so think well before buying, but better yet, just go and purchase both! 

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