PE Tester Gary Fisher recently got his hands on the FLIR CM174 Imaging 600A C/DC Clamp Meter.
Being an electrician without any kind of clamp meter is like a mechanic without their wrench. I don’t always use my one, but when I’m doing a commercial or industrial job, especially when the company is in full swing, I do like to know what current is being consumed, as it helps with my decision-making. Of course, you can’t always tell straight away where the problem is, an issue FLIR has aimed to tackle with the FLIR CM174 clamp meter, featuring Infrared Guided Measurement (IGM).
With the integrated FLIR Lepton thermal imaging sensor, the device visually guides you to the precise location of a potential electrical problem, identifying dangerous and unknown problem areas safely.
In appearance, the CM174 is similar to any other clamp meter. The clamp jaws have noticeably narrower design than other meters I’ve tried, so getting in between all the cables shouldn’t be that difficult. It also feels like a robust device so if you do a lot of testing you shouldn’t have any trouble keeping it in your tool box with the rest of your kit.
FLIR has clearly got the safety of the user in mind. You can visually identify electrical issues without touching an installation and pin point the location of a reading using the device’s laser to ensure an area is safe for contact from a distance. There’s also a built in light to enhance visibility in darker environments.
● Clamp meter & thermal imaging in one
● Use it from a distance
● Narrow clamp jaws
● Screen is quite small
This is a first rate clamp meter. As much as I love this device I know I will not use it for its full potential. Much like the FLIR C2, this is definitely a tool for those who regularly work in heavy commercial and industrial environments. Whilst the C2 seems designed for quickly surveying an installation, the CM174 is designed for the serious professional electrician, allowing you to quickly diagnose issues and carry out your work safely.