The Cen-Tech Model 95683 Digital Clamp Multimeter
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The Cen-Tech Model 95683 Digital Clamp Multimeter

Digital Multimeter and digital clamp on ammeters are two essential test instruments that every electrician needs Professional digital multimeter and clamp on can cost several hundred dollars, but the Cen-Tech combines both into one for less than $20.

Two of the most valuable test instruments that any electrician can have in his tool kit are a digital multimeter and a digital clamp ammeter, or a digital meter that combines the two in one. One can spend several hundred dollars on such a meter. These expensive professional meters have many bells and whistles that the professional electrician need, but the average DIY electrician can easily live without. For the average DIY electrician, the Cen-Tech Model 12397/95683 Digital Clamp Multimeter has all the functions and features that he will ever need, and it is a bargain at less than $20 + tax from Harbor Freight.

Easy to set up and easy to use

The rotary function switch allows you to select between 3 AC Ampere ranges, 2 AC Volt ranges, 4 DC Volt ranges, 5 Resistance ranges, a Diode Test and a Continuity test. These ranges cover all the measurements encountered by the DIY electrician when working around the home. The ranges break down as follows:

  1. AC Ampere Ranges (20 A, 200 A and 1000 A)
  2. AC Voltage Ranges (200 V and 750 V)
  3. DC Voltage Ranges (20 mV, 20 V, 200 V and 1000 V)
  4. Resistance Ranges (200 Ohms, 2000 Ohms, 20,000 Ohms and 2,000,000 Ohms)

One of the nice features that this meter has is the Peak Hold button. If one is taking a reading in an area where it is difficult to see the display, one can lock in the reading by simply pressing the hold button. Once one locks the reading in, one can move the meter to a position where one can see the reading displayed. This is a feature usually only found on expensive professional meters.

The only meter that you will ever need

This clamp on multimeter is the only test meter that you will ever need to troubleshoot the wiring in your home, as-well-as troubleshoot washing machines, clothes dryers, electric ranges, vacuum cleaners and other appliances. The DIY auto mechanic can even use it to troubleshoot automotive electrical systems. This versatile meter makes finding the most elusive problems easy. Do you have a circuit breaker that appears to be tripping for no apparent reason? Is the circuit breaker itself is defective or is the circuit overloaded? The clamp on AC ammeter will help you determined what the problem is.

Clamp it over the wire attached to the breaker and note the reading. If the reading is greater than 80 percent of the circuit breaker's rating, you need to reduce the load on the circuit. If the reading is 80 percent or less of the circuit breaker's rating, the circuit breaker is probably dying of old age, and you need to replace it. How to use the various function to troubleshoot electrical problems is beyond the scope of this article. Trust me when I tell you that this is the instrument you need to find and solve almost any electrical problem.

Limited one year warranty

This great meter is not only affordable at under $20, and it is covered by a limited one-year warranty. Harbor Freight will replace it free during the first year unless the damage was done by improper use or abuse.

Update on the Cen-Tech Multimeter

The Cen-Tech Model 12397/95683 Digital Clamp Multimeter has been discontinued and replaced by two newer Cen-Tech digital mulitmeters from Harbor Freight.

Cen-Tech 6 Function Mini Digital Multimeter

There is the Cen-Tech 6 function mini digital multimeter (SKU #96308) at Harbor Freight for a cost of $13.99. This multimeter is also a clamp type with the following features:

  • Designed for quick checks and light duty use
  • 400 A AC only clamp meter
  • Make quick AC current measurements without disconnecting wires
  • Test AC/DC voltage, AC Current, resistance, diode and audible continuity test
  • Features an easy-to-read 3-1/2 digit LCD
  • Comes with (2) 36 in. test leads, three 3V lithium batteries
  • CAT II 300V safety rated

This multimeter has an accuracy of:

AC volts: ± 1.5% of reading in 5 digits

DC Volts: ± 1.2% of reading in 5 digits

The warranty for this is they guarantee this product to be free from defects in materials and workmanship 90 days from the date of purchase. Limitations apply.

Cen-Tech 6 function mini digital multimeter manual

Cen-Tech 7 Function Clamp-on Digital Multimeter

Another multimeter is the Cen-Tech 7 function clamp-on digital multimeter (SKU #95683) at Harbor Freight for a cost of $9.97. This multimeter has the following features:

  • Test AC/DC voltage, AC current, resistance, diode, insulation test, continuity
  • 17 test ranges
  • Diode test
  • LCD with maximum reading of 1999
  • Peak hold
  • Includes double-insulated leads
  • Includes carry case

For this meter, AC volts are from 200 to 750 volts. And the amperage (amps) is 20-200-1000A.

The warranty for this is they guarantee this product to be free from defects in materials and workmanship 90 days from the date of purchase. Limitations apply.

Both meters are excellent multimeters and as far as replacing the excellent Cen-Tech Model 12397/95683 Digital Clamp Multimeter, these two meters are a nice upgrade.

Cen-Tech 7 function clamp-on digital multimeter manual

Both of these fine multimeters are only available at Harbor Freight.

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