Klein CL600 Review
Klein CL600 Review Summary
Easy-on-the-wallet, yet boasting an impressive range of features that will satisfy the keenest of electrical amateurs and light contractors — the Klein CL600 clamp meter challenges more premium-priced models.
With a CAT IV rating and capable of handling up to 1000 volts — the unit can tackle a plethora of home, office, and medium industry applications, as well as being suited to use in electromagnetic environments.
Capable of measuring voltage, current, resistance, continuity, and testing diodes — its TRMS system ensures accurate readings through either the included probes or top-mounted clamp.
Incorporated auto-ranging makes the multimeter usable by electrical troubleshooting newbies — while acting as a welcome downtime-preventing feature for more experienced users. Double-insulated, and able to withstand drops up to 6.6 feet — it promises safety combined with durability.
A low-battery feature ensures that drained cells don’t appear as an unwelcome surprise mid-project, and its substantial clamp trigger enables impressive leverage and reduces finger fatigue.
This unit hails from Klein Tools — a USA-based company that manufactures and retails a plethora of handheld and electrical trade and DIY equipment. The CL600 is one of its more budget-angled clamp meters, a step below the HVAC suitable CL700.
- Weight – 11.8 ounces
- Voltage – 1000 volts
- Current – 600 amps
- Safety Rating –Cat IV
- Withstands drops up to 6.6 feet.
- TRMS tech.
Features and Benefits of the Klein Tools CL600
Light Contractor Grade
Targeting the serious amateur and pro-user, the CL600 Klein multimeter unsurprisingly has a CAT II, III, and IV safety rating. If you want an in-depth explanation of what this means, check out my What Are Multimeter CAT Ratings article.
However, if you haven’t the time or the inclination for the technical stuff, in brief, they indicate what loads the unit can handle. CAT II is for single-phase (like your drill), CAT III is three-phase (such as industrial building power supplies), and CAT IV mains utility connections.
Hence, whether you’re trying to troubleshoot the issue in Little Jimmy’s remote-controlled car or fixing the power cut to your street’s electrical supply (goodness sake don’t do that unless you’re qualified) — the Klein CL600 clamp meter has the versatility to handle it.
Testing voltage and current can often mean working in high-level locations — for example, checking the wiring in your home’s outdoor security lamp. This means that should accidental drops and slips occur, you run the risk of seriously damaging your power tools — as I discovered a few weeks ago when my rotary hammer drill kicked back while up a ladder, escaped from my clutches, and resulted in a smashed casing.
Hence, it’s reassuring to see that the design boffins at Klein Tools have reinforced the CL600 — able to withstand a 6.6-foot drop. Admittedly, this wouldn’t prevent damage if you drop the multimeter from a 60-foot-high mains power line — but then, you shouldn’t be up there in the first place unless you’re a certified professional, and you should have the common sense to have it secured with a lanyard.
As a pro-grade unit, the CL600 boasts TRMS tech — that is, True Root Mean Square — in order to calculate current and voltage loads. If you’re a multimeter or electrical newbie, I recommend you read my What Does RMS and TRMS Mean for Multimeters?
Generally speaking, RMS units only measure the peak wave of voltage and current, while TRMS machines investigate both non-sinusoidal and sinusoidal waves.
Clear as mud right? Read the article, it’s written for non-nerds!
In simple terms, TRMS multimeters are more accurate than standard RMS as they take into account electrical noise interference, which RMS units don’t.
Substantial Clamp Trigger
Size is important — any guy who tells you differently is either a fool or covering up for their own inadequacies.
So, it’s rewarding to see that the Klein Clamp Meter CL600 incorporates a generous side-mounted clamp trigger. Not only does this allow you to locate the activator effortlessly in poorly lit conditions, but it also increases leverage to open the clamp jaws — reducing finger fatigue when testing wide-diameter wiring such as steel-reinforced underground cables.
In my top tips for life advice — number three on the list is choose a clamp meter with auto-ranging (if you’re interested, number two is always wear sunscreen, and number one is don’t fall for a married woman).
If you’re an electrical novice — you probably have no idea what the color bands on a resistor denote or have no comprehension of the ratings of capacitors. As such, you’re going to struggle to set the correct range on the multimeter.
With auto-ranging — as featured on the CL600 Klein multimeter — you don’t have to worry about it, as intelligent internal circuitry automatically selects the ideal scope.
Even if you’re a certified and experienced electrician who understands resistor bandings backward and their international equivalents — an auto-ranging multimeter will save you valuable downtime as you don’t have to keep fiddling with the dials.
It’s the saddest and most-gut-wrenching three-word sentence in the world — batteries not included. There’s literally nothing more disappointing, as I recall one Christmas unboxing my Shoot-O-Matic Authentic Laser Gun present (with realistic sounds) only to discover Auntie Mabel didn’t purchase any cells. Stupid Aunt Mabel.
Anyways, the Klein CL600 shields you from enduring a similarly depressing experience, by including batteries (2 x AAA) with the multimeter — allowing you to immediately crack on with your electrical testing. And, when these cells begin to lose their power, a useful low-battery indicator alerts you to the problem.
Furthermore, the unit also arrives with testing leads — and a handy carry pouch for safe storage and effortless transportation.
Klein Multimeter CL 600 Specifications
|Jaw Size||1.38 inches|
|Voltage||1000 Volts AC/DC|
|Highest Safety Rating||CAT IV|
|Size||9.09 x 1.55 x 3.81 inches|
|Test Lead Length||41 inches|
|Batteries||2 x AAA|
|Maximum Operating Altitude||6562-feet|
What Do Users Say About the Klein CL 600 Multimeter?
For me, the CL600 Klein Multimeter is an intelligently designed robust electrical tester that’s ideal for the keen amateur and trade user.
However, with limited personal experience of this popular unit, it’s possible that my rose-tinted view doesn’t adequately reflect how the machine functions on a day-to-day basis. Hence, for the ultimate comprehensive CL600 review, I sought the opinions of the owners of the Klein.
Pleasingly, the testimonials proffered were positive and acted as an echo chamber to my own. Users of the CL 600 praised its large display and bright backlight, welcomed its CAT IV rating, and applauded the reliable auto-ranging feature.
Sure, not everyone thought that the machine was perfect, with a couple of guys expressing a little disapproval. One DIYer felt that the metal probe connectors were too short, restricting their access to confined spaces. Additionally, an experienced contractor felt that the jaw opening width should be increased by half an inch — as he struggled with larger underground cables.
However, virtually all users of the multimeter concurred that the CL 600 is a durable and pro-ready device that’s equally suited to trade pros and amateur enthusiasts.
Alternatives to the Klein Multimeter CL600
Whether, after reading this review, you feel that the CL600 lacks the spark you’re seeking in your electrical multimeter — fear not. I’ve curated three impressive machines below that may be more suited to your requirements.
While the Fluke has an equal safety voltage rating as the CL600 — it incorporates a heat testing system. Able to measure temperatures from -10 to 400 degrees Celsius, it’s more suited to users who plan on utilizing their multimeter for HVAC or automotive work.
- Tougher on the wallet than the Klein.
- Like the CL600, the Fluke features TRMS accuracy.
- Lower voltage capacity — 600 volts as opposed to the 1000 volts of the Klein.
The CL120 clamp multimeter is significantly lighter on the wallet than its cousin, the CL600 — yet still boasts the Klein label, auto-ranging, and a generous clamp trigger. Although it has a CAT III rating, as opposed to the CAT IV of the CL600 — this shouldn’t be a factor for home users.
- A more budget model than the CL600.
- Capacity of 600 volts, in comparison with the 1000 volts of the CL600.
- Like the CL600, it arrives with a carrying pouch.
The SC680 from Fieldpiece is compatible with the popular Job Link app — allowing it to send data to your laptop, phone, or tablet. This permits effortless review and troubleshooting while also permitting you to transfer the information to colleagues or customers.
- Rated for 1000 volts like the CL600.
- As with the CL600, it has a CAT IV safety rating.
- Significantly harder on your bank balance than the Klein.
Affordable, but packed with sufficient features to satisfy the amateur home electrician and light contractor — the CL600 from Klein is an impressive clamp meter.
Its TRMS tech ensures accurate measurements, pleasingly presented on a generous backlit display. Auto-ranging means that the unit is suitable for users with little knowledge of current, voltage, and capacitance — while its robust build will appeal to those users who are concerned about durability.
Admittedly, it’s not going to appeal to everyone. While reassuringly CAT IV rated, the lack of a temperature sensor will make it less than ideal for automotive, HVAC, and refrigeration specialists.
However, should you be chasing a versatile machine with high-end specs but without the premium price tag — I suggest checking out the Klein CL600.
Klein Tool Clamp Meter CL600 FAQs
Q: Where Can I Buy the Klein Tools CL600?
The CL600 is a clamp multimeter that boasts auto-ranging, TRMS, and a 1000-volt capacity. Suitable for DIYers and light contractors, you can get hold of this impressive machine here.
Q: Where Can I Find the Klein Tool CL600 Manual?
The official Klein Tools website offers a multitude of manuals for its power tool range. For rapid access to the Klein CL600 manual.
Q: Can the CL600 Measure Temperature?
No. While an impressively versatile machine, the Klein CL 600 Clamp Meter doesn’t have a heat testing function. If this feature is important, check out the similar CL700 that incorporates a temperature sensor.
Q: What Batteries Does the Klein Clamp CL600 Use?
The CL 600 Clamp Klein Meter requires two AAA batteries. Impressively, these are included with the tool purchase.
Q: Does the Klein Clamp Multi Meter Come With A Case?
Yes. The CL600 clamp meter arrives complete with a carry pouch.
Q: Is Klein Tools A Good Make?
Yes. Klein Tools are respected USA-based manufacturers and retailers of handheld and powered DIY equipment with a history dating back over 160 years. They are renowned for their durable yet pleasingly priced products.