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I decided to get the clamp meter in the image. And it say AC Current:60A/600A/1000A

  1. What does " AC Current:60A/600A/1000A" mean ? It only has one option for Amps AC.

  2. I was doing some testing and I observed I can measure the AC current of my toaster oven using the clamp meter. Which was using 9 amps. However, when I tried to do a test on my table lamp. I got no reading. Is it because the amp usage is too low ? Does it have anything to do with question 1 ? OR is it because the table lamp is using two wires where as the toaster oven has three wires because of the ground. I am only measuring one wire of the whole in the clamp meter.

product on amazon

enter image description here

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  • Be clear: Are you somehow separating one wire feeding the table lamp and just putting the meter clamp around the one wire?
    – Hot Licks
    Aug 14 '21 at 23:50
  • @HotLicks yes, I split a 3 wire extension cord from which I clamp onto one conductor. And I feed the device into the extension cord
    – ender maz
    Aug 15 '21 at 0:05
  • I'm shopping around more. And It's not standard to support higher resolution low amp reading. But apparently they are out there
    – ender maz
    Aug 15 '21 at 0:07
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    Try using the "range" button for 60/600/1000 selection. Actually the dial has different positions for 60/600 and 1000, not "only one" as you say. Perhaps start with looking at your meter and it's manual a bit more closely...
    – Ecnerwal
    Aug 15 '21 at 0:24
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The major sellers of Mastech meters are Amazon, eBay, AliExpress, Konga, Joom, Indiamart and wish.com. That is a huge red flag for cheap counterfeit crud, right off the boat.

If that fact did not reflect the price you paid, that's because crud sellers have discovered people are more likely to buy it if it's up-priced comparable to quality units. Also Mastech is a real brand, they just don't sell test equipment. This "brand predation" is very typical of "those guys".

I bought a modest quality Klein unit last year for around $50, so I don't see any reason to pay that much for junk.

The lamp didn't produce a reading because its current draw is negligible - perhaps 0.1 amp assuming you are using modern bulbs.

If you cut up any line cords to wrap the meter around 1 wire, you need to replace those line cords, or shorten them and replace with a UL-listed retrofit plug.

The normal way of testing cord-and-plug connected equipment without slicing up the cord is to use a line splitter as Doxylover discussed. Some just spread the wires for you, for a 1x reading. Others wrap the wires 10 times around the hole, giving you a 10x reading -- helpful for things like that lamp.

enter image description here

10x makes sense. Most clamp ammeters range to at least 200A, and 20A is the max for anything that plugs into this type of socket.

Realistically I think you got much too large a clamp meter for residential-tier activities. If quality were equal, a larger "max limit" means poorer resolution on small measurements.

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  • My $80 klein clamp meter came with a line splitter.
    – JACK
    Aug 15 '21 at 1:22
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    You need a special leakage clampmeter if you want really high (mA) level resolution Aug 15 '21 at 4:07
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What does "AC Current:60A/600A/1000A" mean?

That means the meter can measure three ranges and report them on its four-digit display:

  1. 00.00A - 60.00A (0.01A resolution)
  2. 000.0A - 600.0A (0.1A resolution)
  3. 0000A - 1000A (1A resolution)

It only has one option for Amps AC.

Incorrect. It clearly has two different positions on the "range" dial for measuring current: "60/600A" and "1000A". If set to the former, it will "auto-range" and figure out which is appropriate.

Your table lamp likely draws only a fraction of an amp (a 60W filament bulb at 120V is 0.5A; LED/CFL bulbs are going to be more like 0.1A). The 1000A scale cannot display fractional amps. Try the 60/600A setting.

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  • It might auto-range. Or it might need the range button to be used.
    – Ecnerwal
    Aug 15 '21 at 0:28
  • I tried range button, but nothing. I got a 0.045 Amps using someone else's clamp meter that has a range of 2/20/200/400 Amp. 0.045 A seems too low. But that's what it said
    – ender maz
    Aug 15 '21 at 1:21
  • OK yeah, it's one of those LED/CFL bulbs.
    – ender maz
    Aug 15 '21 at 1:31
  • @nobody, well it clearly doesn't start at 0
    – ender maz
    Aug 15 '21 at 1:35
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For low currents put the wire through 2 or 3 times and then divide the reading by the number of turns.

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  • Normally that would work, But I need to use it on my fridge. I want to measure amp usage of some of the components in there. And they do use small amps. I was hoping not to cut the wiring
    – ender maz
    Aug 14 '21 at 23:28
  • I was hoping this clamp meter that is in the higher end would be able to measure amps...
    – ender maz
    Aug 14 '21 at 23:30
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    Measuring amps is what clamp meters do. They can't measure anything else, they don't have access to voltage to arrive at V, VA, W, ohms, PF or anything like that. Aug 15 '21 at 0:16

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