The Klein Tools CL800 is an almost all-singing-and-dancing clamp meter. It has good specs and can measure both AC and DC amperage, along with voltage, resistance, capacitance and temperature. It also has some nice little touches too, such as a flashlight, voltage detection and a low impedance mode. Good for most electricians, domestic and commercial. Around the $100 mark.
- Measures AC/DC amperage to 600A
- Measures AC/DC voltage to 1000V
- True RMS and auto-ranging
- Resistance, capacitance and frequency
- Performs continuity and diode tests
- Temperature measurements via included thermocouple
- Low impedance mode to pick up ghost voltages
- Voltage detection
- Rated to CAT-IV at 600V
- Size: 9″ (231mm) x 3.8″ (97mm) x 1.5″ (39mm)
- Jaw size: 1.38″ (35mm)
- Weight: 12.3oz (350g)
- Batteries (x2 AAA)
- Carry pouch
See here for Klein Tools CL800 manual
In-depth Review of the Klein CL800
This is a great tool; having all the features and specs to measure high amps and volts fairly accurately. You also get many functions just like a standard multimeter. The clamp stats are the main selling point, of course, and it measures DC as well as AC amps – up to 600A.
It does this through one dial setting, with a ‘Select’ button switching between the two. Voltage is much the same, measuring to 1000V – it can manage this on category III circuits, and 600V at category IV.
The dial is similar to that of a standard multimeter and it has decent ranges – resistance is up to 60MΩ, for example. There is also a temperature input and readings can be displayed in both Celsius and Fahrenheit. You can also test capacitance and frequency, along with continuity and diode tests.
The True RMS response allows for the accurate testing of all AC signals. Many also buy the Klein CL800 for the LoZ (low impedance) function, which you only tend to see on more expensive devices. With this, you can test systems safe in the knowledge that you aren’t picking up spurious induced voltages from neighboring circuits.
Voltage detector: In addition you can also pick up voltage, with a beep. This is ideal for ‘seeing’ voltage from outlets, cords and switches, etc, without testing directly.
Other functions: include a Max/Min button for the monitoring of circuits’ high/low values, zeroing, and a range button to switch between auto and manual ranging. There’s also a flash light and the display is backlit.
The Klein Tools CL800 clearly has a good feature-set, though where it tends to lose out is on accuracy and test speed. But this would be fine for most electricians.
|AC voltage||6V / 1000V||±(1.5%+5)||1mV-1V|
|DC voltage||600mV / 1000V||±(1.0%+3) @ 6V-600V||0.1mV-1V|
|AC/DC current||60A / 600A||±(2.0%+5)||10mA-100mA|
|Resistance||600Ω / 60MΩ||±(1.5%+5)||0.1Ω-10kΩ|
|Capacitance||60nF / 6000µF||±(3.0%+5) @ 600nF-60 µF||0.01nF-1µF|
|Frequency||10Hz / 500kHz||±(1.0%+5)||0.001-100Hz|
|Duty cycle||1% to 99.9%||±(1.2%+2)||0.1%|
|Temperature °F||-14 / 1000||±(1.0%+5.4°F) @ 33-752°F||0.1-1°F|
|Temperature °C||-26 / 538||±(1.0%+3°C) @ 1-400°C||0.1-1°C|
As with most Klein products, the Klein Tools CL800 is a well built meter that can take a certain level of abuse. It comes in a tough, rubber casing, has an ergonomic clamp handle, a firm dial action and the battery compartment is easy to access. The jaws are not so pronounced that they struggle to get around cables and you get lead storage slots on the rear. The leads themselves could be better, however.
Display: The display is backlit and shows all readings, including Max/Min, relative and low impedance modes. It has a resolution to 3 5/6 digits (6000 counts), which is on par with many standard multimeters. Unfortunately, it appears a little washed out when read at angles. Sampling rate is around three times per second.
Function and Performance
There’s an auto power-off mode, which not all multimeters even have. It turns off the clamp after about 30 minutes of non-use. You also get a low battery indicator. On testing, you can lock one of the probes into the holders to effectively have three hands. Test speeds of continuity and the auto-ranging are not lightening fast, but you can’t have it all for $100!
The Klein CL800 can test out circuits and equipment to CAT-IV at 600V, which is those connected to source voltage such as switchgear. The CAT-III rating is 1000V. It also has a drop protection rating, which is 6ft 6” (or about 2m). As this is an amp clamp, it doesn’t need replaceable HRC fusing since it measures current inductively.
Pros and Cons
- Good to measure DC & AC amperage and voltage
- Several multimeter ranges, including capacitance
- Natty flashlight
- Temperature input
- Tough build
- Illuminated display
- Easy testing with fixable probe lead
- Non-contact voltage checker
- Great price
- Screen prone to washing out at angle with backlight
- A little slow on continuity tests
After the review of the Klein Tools CL800, we have a nicely designed and built clamp meter that competes with some of the Flukes. It has most of what you’ll need in both an amp clamp and a multimeter – aside from low current testing – and is ideal for many electrical trades, especially those into motor control. The CL800 comes with a case, and a magnetic holder can be purchased separately.
They might not be to Fluke status, but Klein meters are not far off and offer great savings. Overall, this one is well made and has the functionality of more expensive devices.
Alternative: The Fluke 325, though it doesn’t have a voltage detector or a flashlight and is double the price.