Fieldpiece SC640 Review

Editor Rating: 4.8/5

Great Product

Fieldpiece SC640 Review

Reviewed by: Timothy Henderson

Last modified: Apr 15, 2022 @ 2:24 am

  • Design
  • Functionality
  • Price

Fieldpiece SC640 Review

Focusing on the HVACR pro user, the Fieldpiece SC640 is the consummate refrigeration, air-con, ventilation, and heating investigation clamp meter.

With microamp testing, the unit can fault-find troublesome flame sensor components. And, with the capability to scrutinize inrush current — not just running amperage — the tool is ideal for power breaker tripping start-up loads.

Showing a strong emphasis on user safety, the SC 640 incorporates reassuring risk-reducing features — including non-contact voltage detection, high energy warnings, and CAT III certification.

Furthermore, it’s a machine designed for the challenges of dimly lit HVACR environments — with a backlit LCD screen, integrated flashlight, and illuminated selector dial.

TRMS technology delivers additional accuracy to the circuit tester, while still including the standard scrutinization tools you’d expect of a clamp meter — including current, voltage, resistance, capacitance, continuity, and frequency.

This machine comes from the respected brand Fieldpiece — a USA-based company with a history dating back over 30 years. The SC640 is the second-highest specced unit in its HVACR clamp meter range — one step below the similar, yet wireless-tech boasting SC680 model.

Specifications:

  • Weight – 15.87 ounces
  • Voltage – 600 volts
  • Current – 400 amps
  • Safety Rating – Cat III

Features:

  • Swivel clamp head.
  • Illuminated selector dial.
  • Integrated probe lead storage.

Pros:

N
Swiveling clamp head.
N
Three different illumination options.
N
CAT III certification.
N
Tests microamps.
N
Inrush current investigation.

Cons:

N
Relatively large and heavy for a clamp meter.
N
Upper temperature limit may be too restrictive for some users.
N
Many features will be overkill for non-HVACR specialists.

Features and Benefits of the Fieldpiece Multimeter SC640 Clamp Meter


In the manufacturer’s blurb, Fieldpiece describes the SC640 as having more features than any other unit in the HVACR (heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration) category.

True, or just marketing speak? Time to get down to the detail and discover whether the SC 640 is the most resource-packed clamp meter on the market.

Temperature Testing


Although not a crucial feature for all clamp meter operatives, for the HVACR professional, it’s essential. Temperature testing permits you to scrutinize condensers, compressors, and heating elements — daily tasks for the busy air-con and heating engineer.

The SC640 Fieldpiece can investigate heat levels from -30 degrees through to 932 degrees Fahrenheit through its detachable Type K thermoprobe. And, with the readout switchable from Fahrenheit to Celsius, the unit is as suited to French and Italian continental types as well as all-American users.

Microamps Function


Undoubtedly, a feature that separates the SC 640 from many of the industry’s so-called HVACR clamp meters. Critical for investigating flame sensors on furnaces and boilers, the microamp capability is a welcome inclusion for the dedicated pro engineer.

Swivel Head


The Clamp SC640 Fieldpiece boasts a swiveling clamp head — a rather novel feature in a testing machine.

This permits you to rotate the base unit for easy LCD reading, while keeping the clamp jaws stationary — not just preventing you from breaking your neck trying to check the readout, but also shielding against the risk of wire-circuit disconnection as there’s no requirement to twist the entire unit.

Inrush Current Detection


If you’re anything like me, you need a strong cup of coffee to get going in the morning — that powerful boost of caffeine gets my motor up and running and ready to face the day ahead.

HVAC machines can be similar — but instead of a cup of Joe, they require a thrust of current to start up the motor or condenser. However, if it’s too excessive, it can lead to unit damage or simply trip the power breaker.

Thankfully, the Fieldpiece Clamp Meter can scrutinize that initial surge of current — not just average running amperage like most circuit testers — allowing you to effortlessly troubleshoot powering up issues.

Illumination


The design boffins at Fieldpiece pulled out all the stops when it came to illumination on the SC640 Clamper. Knowing that HVACR professionals often find themselves operating in poorly lit conditions — such as basements and attics — they threw in more lights than Vegas.

Firstly, it incorporates a backlit LCD screen — admittedly a feature found on many high-end clamp meters, but genuinely welcome. Secondly, it incorporates a flashlight, permitting you to illuminate your target circuit without the use of a secondary work lamp.

However, it also has a light-up selector dial — something hardly seen in the clamp meter world. This means that even in the darkest and dankest environments, you can still effortlessly switch between alternative metrics mid-project.

Versatility


It’s pleasing to see that despite this clamp meter’s concentration on HVACR capabilities, — such as flame testing, temperature investigation, and inrush current scrutinization — the SC640 still has all the circuit investigatory capabilities of a standard multimeter.

This includes:

  • Current.
  • Frequency.
  • Resistance.
  • Capacitance.
  • Diode testing.
  • Continuity.
  • Voltage.

User Safety


If you’re an HVACR pro, you know that your job exposes you to significant inherent risks. Not only are you dealing with the extremes of hot and/or cold — you’re also encountering hazardous electricals.

Hence, it’s rewarding to see that the SC640 Clamp Meter incorporates a CAT III safety rating. Certifying the unit to up to 600 volts, it also permits the machine to be utilized in conjunction with industrial-grade three-phase systems.

Additionally, this tool also offers non-contact voltage detection, alerting you to live wires without having to make contact — and a high voltage warning, informing you both visibly and audibly if dangerously high loads are present.

Additional Accessories


Featuring a whole host of included accessories, you can operate the Fieldpiece Clamping Meter SC640 straight-outta-the box. Included with the base testing unit are:

  • Deluxe silicone-coated leads with gold-plated heads.
  • Nine-volt power cell.
  • Soft carry case for transportation and protection.
  • Velcro strap.
  • Alligator-type lead extensions.
  • Type K thermocouple.

Fieldpiece SC 640 Clamp Meter Specifications


 Fieldpiece SC640
Weight15.87 ounces
TRMSYes
Display5000 count
Voltage600 Volts AC/DC
Current400 Amps
Highest Safety RatingCAT III
Size11.31 x 3.13 x 1.96 inches
Batteries1 x 9 volt (included)
Measurement Rate3.3 per second
Non-Contact VoltageYes
Auto Power Off30 minutes
Battery Life100 hours
Low Battery IndicatorYes
Maximum Operational Altitude6562 feet
Inrush CurrentYes
MicroampsYes

What Do Users Say About the Fieldpiece Clamp Multimeter?


Personally, I’m in agreement with the manufacturer’s description of this clamp meter. Boasting a plethora of HVACR functions, it’s undoubtedly one of the highest specced air-con and refrigeration circuit testers currently available.

However, have I become seduced by the marketing blurb? And, as I’m not using this tool on a daily basis, am I missing something crucial?

Hence, to guarantee a completely unbiased SC640 review, I delved into the options of owners of the unit — to discover exactly how guys in the field felt about this machine.

Reassuringly, the testimonials were mainly positive, with users expressing the same opinions as myself. These SC640 owners lauded its microamps capability, praised the impressive illumination options, and welcomed the inrush current detection.

Sure, not everyone was entirely won over. A couple of pros indicated that the maximum 932 degrees Fahrenheit temperature testing limit was insufficient for their trade requirements. Furthermore, a number of guys remarked on the large size and weight of the clamp meter.

That said, overall, owners felt that the SC640 Fieldpiece Clamp Meter was an impressive and versatile HVACR circuit tester.

Alternatives to the Fieldpiece Clamp Multimeter SC 640


Despite the machine being praised by industry experts, the Fieldpiece SC640 Multi Clamp Meter will not appeal to all circuitry scrutinizers.

With that in mind, I’ve put together three impressive alternatives that may be more suited to your preferences and the demands of your electrical projects.

Should you be a fan of the US-based Fieldpiece brand, but are looking for something a little easier on the wallet — consider this comparative machine instead.

Hailing from the same stable as the SC640, the SC440 still delivers impressive HVACR capabilities including inrush current tech, microamps capabilities, and temperature testing. However, coming in at a sub $200 price point, it’s easier on your bottom line than the premium SC640.

  • CAT III rated, like the SC640.
  • No swiveling head, a benefit of the SC640 model.
  • Like the SC640, this model includes leads, case, and battery.
Looking for an accurate and robust clamp meter, but, not being an HVAC pro, you have no requirements for flame testing abilities or inrush scrutinization? Take a look at this machine as an alternative.

The CL380 from Klein Tools delivers impressive features — non-contact voltage warnings, accurate TRMS technology, and temperature testing, but without HVAC-specific tools that may be unnecessary for the light contractor or serious DIYer.

  • Investigates to 1832 degrees Fahrenheit, as opposed to the 932 degrees of the SC640.
  • Lacks any illumination, unlike the light-packed Fieldpiece.
  • Shuts off after five minutes, in contrast to the 30 minutes of the SC640.
Looking for an accurate and robust clamp meter, but, not being an HVAC pro, you have no requirements for flame testing abilities or inrush scrutinization? Take a look at this machine as an alternative.

The CL380 from Klein Tools delivers impressive features — non-contact voltage warnings, accurate TRMS technology, and temperature testing, but without HVAC-specific tools that may be unnecessary for the light contractor or serious DIYer.

  • Investigates to 1832 degrees Fahrenheit, as opposed to the 932 degrees of the SC640.
  • Lacks any illumination, unlike the light-packed Fieldpiece.
  • Shuts off after five minutes, in contrast to the 30 minutes of the SC640.

Conclusion


Loaded with features for the HVACR professional — the SC 640 from Fieldpiece is a consummate air-con and heating investigation clamp meter.

Inrush technology permits you to scrutinize start-up current issues, while microamp capabilities allow you to troubleshoot flame sensors. Its CAT III certification, non-contact voltage detection, and high energy warnings offer reassuring safety — while a plethora of illumination options enable operation in poorly lit environments.

Admittedly, it’s not going to rock everyone’s electrical testing world. For guys unlikely to encounter ventilation or refrigeration units in their hobby or trade — many of the functions could be nothing more than expensive overkill. And, being sizable and weighty, the machine isn’t the most portable or easy to wield of circuitry testers.

However, for serious HVACR engineers — few clamp meters can meet the standards set by the Fieldpiece SC640.

Fieldpiece Clamp Multimeter SC640 FAQs

Q: What Is the Fieldpiece SC640 Price?

The SC640 from Fieldpiece is an HVACR-grade clamp meter that incorporates inrush amperage detection, temperature testing, and a microamps facility. To check out the current price of this unit, click here.

Q: Where Can I Find the Fieldpiece Clamp Meter SC640 Manual?

The official Fieldpiece website stores a multitude of instruction guides for its vast range of clamp meters and testing equipment. To rapidly access the SC640 manual, click here.

Q: What Batteries Does the Fieldpiece Multimeter SC640 Use?

The SC640 Field Piece Clamp Meter utilizes a 1 x 9-volt PP9 battery. Happily, this power cell is included with the unit purchase, permitting you to operate the machine straight after unboxing.

Q: Does the Fieldpiece SC 640 Multimeter Clamp Meter Test Temperature?

Yes. The SC640 can scrutinize heat levels from -30 degrees through to 932 degrees Fahrenheit — permitted by the included thermoprobe. Furthermore, if Fahrenheit means nothing to you, a swift button press converts the reading into Celsius.

Q: Are Fieldpiece Multimeters Clamp Meters Any Good?

Yes. The US-based Fieldpiece has a respected thirty-year history of manufacturing robust and pro-targeting testing equipment.

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