RoadTest: Fluke 381 Clamp Meter
Evaluation Type: Independent Products
Did you receive all parts the manufacturer stated would be included in the package?: True
What other parts do you consider comparable to this product?:
What were the biggest problems encountered?:
I got my Fluke 381 last week in the mail and just started using it this week.The 381 comes out of the box with a nice soft case,I-flex cord,TL-75 leads,some AC-72 alligator clips and an instruction book. The 381 has replaced my old Fluke 337 which was the big bad clamp meter 10years ago. The fist thing I noticed was that the 381 is 2-3in longer a bit fatter and heavier than the 337. The 381 has 3 AAA battery's in the main body and 2 AAA in the removable display.The 381 will still fit in the old Fluke H-3 holster that I had for my 337 and if you work in some not so friendly places like I do this is a must so that you never have to set your tester down. The TL-75 leads are cheep and you can't remove the tips.Iam using my old TL-24 leads with TP1 tips on them,and a set of AC220 alligator clips(witch are larger and nicer than the AC-72 clips).
This 381 has all the feachers that the 337 had volts ac/dc,ohms,amps ac/dc,hertz,inrush,min/max,hold and back lit display.What the 381 adds is the I-flex amp/hertz loop(for AC only),removable display (with a better back light),you can disable the auto power off feacher,and the min/max now has an "avg" option.
The Fluke 381 is just what you would expect from Fluke its great!! If you are like me and the use of your tools puts food on your table then the $500.00 price tag can be justified.I wish they had the I-flex years ago it is so much easer to get into panels and loop it around the wires,even if they are small #12s in a tight panel.It also works around large bus-bar that the clamp will not fit around.
The fact you can turn off the auto power off feacher is also great.With my old 337 I would set it on some feeders and set the min/max to monitor some systems and the thing would power off after 20min.Now with the 381 I can turn that off this for me is a big improvement.
The removable display is rated for up to 30 feet but I have found that mine will work up to 50 feet away when there isnot a lot of electrical interference around it.The removable display lets me hook the amp probe up at the breaker then take the display with me to the equipment and start it and monitor it.The back of the display is also magnetic allowing me to stick it to some switch gear.
Over all the Fluke 381 is great!!! If you need a tester with all of these feachers then the 381 is the one to get.I wish that they could give you better set of leads and that maybe it was a little lighter.But its not a big enough deal for me to not give it a 10/10 rating.I highly recommend it!!! Another great Fluke product!!!
This is a clamp meter not an osilloscope!! It dosn't get any easier to use than this!!As for its accuracy I compared it to my old 337(volts,amps,ohms,inrush)and they were always within 1/10th of each other. I don't have any calibration equipment at my disposal to test it any further than that.As for making life at work easier the I-fex is the best new feacher.I can now wrap it around a group of parallel feeders insted of trying to separate them one at a time to get the clamp on them(with 500mcm this can be a pain).Iam sure as time goes on I will find more ways it make my job easier.
Nice overview, but where is the details? Does it meet specifications, is it accurate, easy to use on the job, does it make your work easier, how easy is it to use? I realize you only had it a week, but I hope you plan to update this report after you have used it a while.