I just recently purchased a amprobe ACD-51NAV clamp meter from amazon.com for $203.15. This meter replaced my 1 yr old tpi clamp meter that did not accuratly take ohm readings any longer. So far I am overall satisfied but in my opinion it does have some downfalls. After about a week of use this is what I have concluded:
Backlight- You can either turn it on or off in the powerup settings, however in the ON posistion in only stays on for around 10 seconds after selecting a function, I would like to see the option of increasing this time or turning it on for infinity. I was thinking I would not need the backligt, however actually using the meter in the field, I need it alot, the display without the backlight is kind of dark.
Beeps- It beeps everytime you rotate the dial or press a button, it also beeps when taking ohm readings unless you select ohm with the nav key, which takes more time.
Location of Leads- I dont know why both fluke hvac meter and this amprobe meter the leads come off the bottom. This is a big turndown for me because it makes it hard and bulkier to wrap leads around the meter, maybe thats what they were going for, I dont know. Also the leads do not press in very tightly, which allows the leads to back out slightly and appear to be connected but not. I figured that out while ohming a new ignitor I was installing off my truck, which it indicated open.
Clamp- The clamp is obviously much beefier than my previous tpi, hopefully making it last longer. However, because it is larger, it is difficult to work in tight locations.
Temp Sensor- It uses an adapter to plug into the bottom of my meter, will probably never use this function because of that. My tpi you could plug a standard k-type couple into the meter on the front.
Leads- The included leads are not high end, I have replaced the with flukes that I have had which are more flexible in the cold.
Battery Life- It seems that I will be using quite a few batteries compared to my previous meter.
Warranty- From what I have gathered, fluke owns amprobe now, and I understand amprobe is a good company. This meter has a one year warranty which is less than most warranties from other brands. Hopefully I never need it but who knows. My tpi is under warranty but after calling tpi I was told because its related to the clamp, they will not repair it as it has been abused. They did not even look at it.
Overall, I know I listed alot of cons, but keeping in mind I am pretty picky when it come to tools. I like this meter better than the fluke, however I might consider replacing it with a fieldpiece down the road. It is nowhere near a bad meter, just will take time getting used to it.
As far as some pros:
Functionality- It appears to do everything a HVAC technician should need plus much more.
Quality- It feels good in my hand and seems to be built well. The clamp is sturdy.
Cost- Its not cheap, but for what it does I think it is a well priced meter.
I hope my opinion on this meter can help someone make a good choice. I am not trying to deter anyone away from this meter as I think it definitley has a place in our field and it seems to be a good meter.