test measurement awards lg

Test and measurement tools were, by definition, the first “smart” tools owing to their design around electrical components. Now these electrical detecting units and environmental monitors are starting to benefit from other smart technologies being developed around them. The result is some of the most exciting steps forward we’ve seen for this the 2016 Pro Tool Innovation Test & Measurement Awards.

Winner – Clamp/Fork Meters

Klein Tools CL330Klein Tools CL330 400A AC TRMS Auto-Ranging Digital Clamp Meter

What they said: The Klein Tools CL330 is an auto-ranging true root mean square (TRMS) digital clamp meter with a high-visibility OLED display that measures AC current (via the clamp), AC/DC voltage, resistance, continuity, frequency, capacitance, and tests diodes via the included test leads, and cam measure temperature using the included thermocouple probe.

It’s unique and innovative feature is the best-in-class, high-visibility, OLED display, and the CL330 is the only opening price point meter with this technology. This display presents information in reverse contrast compared to standard meters, providing much better visibility both in dark work spaces and in bright environments like outside in bright sunlight. The brightness of the information in addition to the reverse contrast also makes it much easier to read the display when viewing the meter from off-normal angles and from a distance.

What we say: The clamp meter has been around for a while now and is beginning to benefit from technologies that aren’t necessarily specific to electrical detection. Klein proves it with their CL330 Digital Clamp Meter that takes advantage of an OLED screen. Organic Light Emitting Diodes made waves when they were first introduced in televisions. The benefit for Klein’s clamp meter is that OLED uses less energy than an LED screen, giving you the benefit of an easy-to-read screen that isn’t an energy hog.

Price: $99.00

For more information, click here.

Winner – Inspection Cameras

Milwaukee M12 M-SPECTOR FLEX 3 ft. Inspection CameraMilwaukee M12 M-SPECTOR FLEX 3 ft. Inspection Camera w/PIVOTVIEW

What they said: Anyone who has used an inspection camera can relate to the frustration of trying to feed a cable just right while watching what is happening on the screen. Whether it’s trying to position the camera head, being able to see further, or keeping the display in viewing position, the M12 M-SPECTOR FLEX System solves the biggest challenges that have frustrated users for years-delivering the easiest and fastest way to inspect on the market.

What we say: There are a lot of benefits to Milwaukee’s newest inspection camera, but a couple innovations really push it over the top. The M-Spector Flex tackles the frustrating issue of seeing from the correct angle by giving you the ability to rotate the cable 270 degrees from the unit itself. We also love the wireless display that allows you to view what’s going on at the end of the cable without having to keep it attached to unit. That’s huge when you need the camera to be in an awkward position that’s not so easy to view. With a host of features, the Milwaukee M-Spector Flex sets itself up well as a premium inspection camera that’s going to be awfully tough to beat. 

Price: $699.99

For more information, click here.


  • Walter Surface SURFOX Smart Passivation Tester

Winner – Moisture Meters

General Tools TS06/ToolSmart Moisture MeterGeneral Tools TS06 ToolSmart Moisture Meter

What they said: The ToolSmart Digital Moisture Meter is the first step in mold prevention. Water and moisture build up in a home can lead to hazardous and unsafe living conditions. By checking suspicious water stains around the house, it can be determined whether the area is wet (a perfect breeding ground for mold) or has long since dried. Equipped with Bluetooth, this tool offers the ability to be used in concert with the free ToolSmart app, for both Apple and Android phones. Readings can be quickly saved to the user’s smartphone and applied to images for quick reference, perfect for indicating the change in moisture over a period of time. It also allows a smartphone to serve as a second viewing screen in case conditions are dark, or there’s more than one person on the job.

What we say: Moisture meters are a critical tool for identifying leak issues before they become a health problem or you invest in a home purchase. While the moisture meter is not a new device, Bluetooth connectivity takes it to a new level. Documentation of readings and reports that include photos do more than just make the process easier, it adds a layer of professionalism that your customers will notice. The General Tools ToolSmart line is aiming to bring smarter tools that help you not only measure, but document and transfer the results when needed.

Price: $39.99

For more information, click here.

Winner – Multimeters

General Tools TS04General Tools TS04 ToolSmart Digital Multimeter

What they said: The ToolSmart Digital Multimeter reads voltage, current, resistance, temperature, and more with turn of the dial. Equipped with Bluetooth, this tool offers the ability to be used in concert with the free ToolSmart app, for both Apple and Android phones. Readings can be quickly saved to the user’s smartphone and used to tag pictures, perfect for easily documenting problem areas. It also allows a smartphone to serve as a second viewing screen in case conditions are dark, or there’s more than one person on the job. Everything needed to write a report, share details with clients, or come up with an estimate is organized and ready to go.

What we say: Another member of the ToolSmart suite, General Tools’ ToolSmart Digital Multimeter takes your electrical data reading to a more intelligent level with Bluetooth connectivity. Like other members of this line of tools, you can incorporate your data into photos, creating more informative, professional reports. Your smart phone also acts as a second screen. This is helpful for low light situations and when you’re working in awkward spaces. 

Price: $49.99

For more information, click here.

Winner – Temperature Meters

General Tools TS05/ToolSmart Infrared ThermometerGeneral Tools TS05 ToolSmart Infrared Thermometer

What they said: The ToolSmart Infrared Thermometer makes identifying hot or cold spots in a home easy. These areas are signs that energy is being wasted especially around older windows and doors. Equipped with Bluetooth, this tool offers the ability to be used in concert with the free ToolSmart app, for both Apple and Android phones. Readings can be quickly saved to the user’s smartphone and applied to images for quick reference, perfect for indicating where weather-stripping and insulation is most needed. It also allows a smartphone to serve as a second viewing screen in case conditions are dark, or there’s more than one person on the job. This tool can help reduce energy waste, save money, and make homes more efficient.

What we say: IR Thermometers are absolutely necessary on a variety of jobsites, but are particulary useful for home inspections, HVAC, and remodeling. Thermal imaging IR thermometers are great, but they are a big expense compared to an IR thermometer. Still, those images are incredibly helpful in visualizing problem areas. General Tools’ ToolSmart Infrared Thermometer may not have thermal imaging capability, but it can use images taken by your phone to combine with data giving you a better picture of where energy leaks are taking place.

Price: $39.99

For more information, click here.

Winner – Thermal Imaging

Milwaukee M12 102 x 77 Infrared CameraMilwaukee M12 102 x 77 Infrared Camera

What they said: The new M12 102×77 Infrared Camera features the highest pixel density in its class and new DUAL SENSE pixel technology for superior definition of hot and cold details within the same image. Ideal for service professionals, the new Camera provides an affordable solution for predictive maintenance or troubleshooting applications, taking high-quality images that rival more expensive imagers on the market, in a more compact and easy-to-use design.

What we say: Thermal imaging cameras take similar data to what’s collected from an IR thermometer. They just bring it into focus with an image where you can literally see the heat readings. It’s an invaluable tool to quickly see problem areas and diagnose heat loss, spot thermal overloads, locate electrical problems, perform motor diagnostics, and more. Milwaukee’s M12 Infrared Camera brings two major improvements to the table that make the picture even clearer in this entry level class. First, the sensor resolution has been bumped up to 102 x 77. Next, they added Dual Sense pixel technology to reduce the blurring between hot and cold pixels. Higher resolution and greater contrast makes for a thermal picture that’s easier to analyze.

Price: $499.00

For more information, click here.

Winner – Line Laser Levels

AdirPro Cube 2-360AdirPro Cube 2-360

What they said: The AdirPro CUBE 2-360 laser is a cross line laser that has a pendulum level. This unit is self-leveling with a vertical accuracy range of within 4°. Depending on the work area’s illumination, the working range of this laser is up to 230’ (70m) with a receiver, and 65’ (20m) without a receiver. The two separate line beams are generated from 635-670nm laser diodes. The line beams have ±3mm accuracy at up to 10m.

The CUBE 2-360 laser level is a compact, practical option for basic cross line leveling work requiring a 360° horizontal line beam. Measuring at 2 ½” x 3 ¼”, the laser can fit comfortably in the palm of your hand. 

There are 2 separate laser beams, one horizontal and the other vertical. Both beams cover 360°. This allows for intersecting layouts that require right angles. It’s ideal for construction and repair work such as laying pavement or tiles. It’s a great option to use while hanging shelves, pictures, wall ornaments, hanging wallpapers, placing electrical wiring conduits, as a guide for suspended ceilings, and the like.

What we say: The AdirPro Cube 2-360 Cross Line Laser is a nice step-up to the standard Cube cross line which adds the ability to provide a full 360 degree vertical and horizontal line around a room for setting cabinets, drop ceilings, or other tasks. It’s perfect for when having a single source for leveling an entire room is preferred. The Cube 2-360 cross line laser also includes a pendulum level system that is self-leveling up to 4 degrees. When you use a target (not included), the working range is increased to 230 feet. Two 635-670nm laser diodes are used to generate the red lasers which are accurate to +/- 3mm at 33 feet. One thing is for certain—the compact design is awfully hard to beat.

Price: $229.00

For more information, click here.

Winner – Rotary Laser Levels

DeWalt 20V MAX Green Rotary Laser-model DW079LGDeWalt 20V MAX Green Rotary Laser-model DW079LG

What they said: As many rotary laser users will attest, typical green beam lasers have a short run time and will quickly drain your battery. This causes users to bear the burden of frequent battery replacements and increased costs.

DEWALT’s new 20V MAX* Green Rotary Laser solve this problem by running on a 20V MAX* lithium-ion battery platform that uses advanced technology to extend laser run time. Users can now expect extended run times of 17-56 hours, similar to their red beam counterpart, and the convenience of rechargeable power tool batteries.

The visibility and accuracy of the 20V MAX* Green Rotary Laser is what separates the product from current models. The green beam technology is projected in lines and up/down dots that are visible in the toughest of jobsites-indoor and outdoor. The beam provides an interior range of 250 ft. or an exterior range of 2,000 ft. with the use of a detector for additional visibility. Accuracy is +/-1/16” at 100 ft.

What we say: Even DeWalt is going green. No, they’re not changing their color scheme, but they are jumping on board the green laser revolution. Green lasers are much more visible to the human eye, but come at an energy cost. DeWalt has worked to increase efficiency, and you can now expect a minimum of 17 hours run time with the visibility advantages of a green laser. DeWalt also developed their DW079LG to be able to thrive on tough jobsite environments with an IP67 rating for water/debris ingress and a roll cage with 2-meter drop protection. Additionally, they packed everything you need to get started in the kit including the laser, 2.0 amp hour battery and charger, target card, detector, ceiling bracket, green laser glasses, and remote control. Many of these are typically accessories you pay extra for. 

Price: TBD

For more information, click here.