Inductive ammeters are nothing new, but they’re incredibly useful yet fairly rare tools. While electrical diagnostics usually require nothing more than a test light, motors, actuators, and battery connections are best tested with an ammeter — so you know not only if current is present, but how much.
The i1010 is a long-standing offering from Fluke, the best name in the business. The upper end of the measurement range is 1000A, but the bottom end is a relatively tiny 0.5A, leaving the i1010 in the perfect range for current measurements of just about any actuator or automotive current draw. Short of a battleship’s starter motor, you’re never going to run off the top end of this thing’s range. The only drawback is only 2% accuracy — more than enough for most applications, but severely Type-A personalities may wish to continue shopping. The i1010 is plenty expensive, but there’s a similar, less accurate (3.5%) model with a 400A range, the i410, available for much less.
Thank the fine folks at Fluke for these neat little expletive-savers: they’re simple prongs of thin, sturdy metal used for back-probing wiring harnesses. Anyone who’s used a bent pin or rusty paper clip from the shop floor can appreciate these doohickeys, especially since the female banana plug socket on the back makes ’em compatible with Fluke’s interchangeable test lead wires.
Sure, $31 is a fair amount to ask for what are basically sewing pins with a socket on the end, but for career electrical technicians and harness builders, these lovelies would make a great addition to a tool box — if you’ve ever had to disassemble a Weatherpack connector, you understand why some Toolmongers would make the investment.