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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
Style Name: 80A|Change
Price:$127.48+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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on July 28, 2011
Clamp meters are very handy devices and I thought to give this low current meter a try. I restore antique cars and motorcycles for a hobby. Having a meter capable of measuring low current DC is very desirable. The specifications for this item say it will measure 1mA... IMPOSSIBLE!

The first unit I purchased would not zero. These are Hall Effect devices and it's very important to zero the meter in proximity to where you're taking a measurement to get an accurate reading. Good luck trying to do this. I took the meter out to test it. I used my Sorensen DC power supply (an extremely stable device) and hooked up to a calibrated load - that means I should have been able to read current levels precisely and accurately. When I hit the zero button on the meter it would set to zero and immediately start drifting... all over the place. There is no way to achieve an accurate measurement if the zero is drifting - the drift was large: 20-30mA. You can't measure 1mA accuracy if the unit is drifting 20 times that much.

I called Extech to confirm I wasn't using the meter incorrectly - they confirmed it shouldn't be behaving this way. So back it went. Amazon was terrific and sent a replacement immediately. The second meter behaved similarly, but it drifted even more wildly.

To claim 1mA you have to have a very stable meter. You should be able to measure the correct current (accuracy) and get the same number (or close to it) every time (precision). Each of the two meters I received could not deliver either an accurate or a precise measurement. Admittedly I didn't have time to conduct a very scientific test, but I don't believe this meter is accurate to anything better than 50mA.

It's possible Extech had a bad run on these meters and I received two lemons. I have no way of knowing and don't intend to do any more experimentation. One way to ensure the meter performs to spec is to turn it on. I can't believe either of the meters I received were ever turned on because the instability I experienced is pretty obvious. That makes me wonder about who's doing quality control. If there are production problems with a device like this they should be caught before being sold to the public. These meters are not inexpensive and consumers deserve a product that performs as advertised. This is the first Extech device I purchased and I'm not impressed.

My recommendation is to pass this item by.
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on January 17, 2015
Only 4 out of 5 stars because the readout is mediocre. The currently active measuring function, such as AC, DC, Ohms, V, mV, etc. is displayed in such tiny letters that it cannot be read reliably without a magnifier. Also, the decimal point is so small that it is hard to locate between the very large digits.

By the way, this Extech 380950 is nearly identical to the ESI 687. There are just minor differences in labeling style and the shape of the selector knob.
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on February 24, 2009
Quickly this is an easy to use and I believe accurate tong meter. It's small size allow it to fit easily in a tool pouch. It does everything I want. I have cracked the display in my pouch. I'm now a little more careful how I put it in my pouch. I wish it came with a hard case. I'd probably still keep it in my pouch. My only issue is that it doesn't have an auto off and I'm forever putting it away with the power on, wearing out the battery. I also bought the 110 volt plug adapter that allows me to read one leg of the power cord of an appliance without spearating conductors. That's been real handy.
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on November 26, 2011
Extech 380950 Clamp Meter Does not zero or read low currents accurately. The meter would set to zero and starts drifting 20-50mA.
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on July 16, 2015
I made a very big mistake choosing to buy this EXTECH mini clamp meter Model: 380947. If I had known I would have stick to FLUKE products.
I have fluke 287 - a very good multimeter; I have no issue with it. FLUKE is a reputable company well known for measuring instruments.

From the attached image, at 40A and 400A dc range, the meter (EXTECH mini clamp meter Model:380947) will not zero; it reads -00.19A and -002.1A at no current!!!!!!!!!!!
The accuracy is very very poor!!!!!!! in fact this is not a meter, it's just a junk. You can imagine taking dc current measurement at both 40A and 400A and getting two different readings.

For instance, at 40A range the reading was 01.34A and at 400A range, it read - 000.3A!!!!!!!!!!!!!! While the true reading suppose to be 1.560A when measured with other meters. I just wasted my hard-earned money of $299.99 plus shipping. Please I want a refund.

I am greatly disappointed. I will not recommend this product to anybody. If you need a good meter, buy FLUKE product.
My rating for this product was actually 0 star.
review image review image review image review image
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on August 1, 2007
Low DC current range makes this meter ideal for trouble-shooting auto electrical problems. I used it to pinpoint a relay problem on my air-conditioning circuit without disconnecting the wires or connectors.
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on June 22, 2013
Just great for measuring low current, especially DC. Hard to find a low current DC clamp-on. If you zero it just before you use it and right next to the wire, you can even check 4-20ma sources. Uses 2 AA batteries. Also checks voltages and includes banana plug test probes. Comes in a black canvas type case with Velcro closure and carry strap. 3 guys that I work with borrowed it and then bought one.
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on November 3, 2014
This is a superb multimeter. Mine has worked well for more than 10 years!
... Update: My Extech 380941 stopped working just after I submitted the above review. I should have added "knock on wood". When I asked Extech Service to quote a repair, I received a reply from FLIR, which appears to be the parent company of Extech. FLIR quoted $150 for repair plus $100 for calibration plus $75 for shipping, which does exceed the cost of a brand new meter by $55! (Amazon lists the Extech 380941 for $269.99.) In other words, this meter is not repairable.
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on September 21, 2014
excellent set of ranges. High resolution current measurements. Nice small form factor. It is my first pick for all measurements now. Very pleased. Should come with a certificate of calibration at this price. Why should I need to calibrate a new $400 meter?
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on November 5, 2014
Much better in tight places ..
I do believe though that the thickness of the distal <far> end of the clamp 'halves' could be made even smaller ..
but this is such an improvement over the great majority of 'clamp meters' that I really cant object!
Idea: Do get a 'line splitter' to use with it .. ie, a device into which you plug an AC device powercord, and then plug the line-splitter's other end into a wall-socket, eg .. If you 'clamp' any such meter onto the AC powercord of any appliance device, for example, the meter wont work : its the nature of the game. But using a 'line-splitter' will separate each of the double-wire cord's lines to let ya measure current in each individual wire <which should be the same, of course). In this case, I do have a line-splitter but found that the clamp is so DESIREABLY small that it wouldnt properly and fully clamp around the access-points of any typical line-splitter: Solution? i physically pared down the diameter of the line-splitter's access-points so as to allow the clamp of this meter to fully surround the splitter's access points. Tedius, but then, this might give any of you the motivation to take the next step in the 'wire power distribution world' and to redesign the universe of wire-splitters to accomodate great meters such as this.
I also build circuits on breadboards .. and the ability to measure such low amperages < on order of milli-amps!> is amazing. ...
J.A. , MeEng, M.D.
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