Learn everything you need to know about the different types of clamp-on tension meters, how they work and why they’re critical to your business.

What are clamp-on tension meters?

Clamp-on tension meters are measuring devices used to accurately determine the tension or force in cables, wires, ropes, and other flexible materials. Unlike traditional tension measurement methods, where the measuring unit is installed “in-line,” clamp-on tension meters typically consist of a handheld unit equipped with a sensor mechanism that can be directly attached to the material being measured. This makes clamp-on tension meters especially useful in situations where preserving the integrity of the material is essential–like load-testing operations for cranes, elevators, and suspension bridges.

Clamp-on tension meters function similarly to dynamometers, but unlike dynamometers, can be used in applications where the cable is already strung and in use.

Applications of clamp-on tension meters

Clamp-on tension meters are versatile tools that are used in a wide variety of industries. In the cell tower industry, tension meters are used to verify and adjust tension in the supporting cables of towers. In construction, tension meters assess the tension in cables and wires to ensure structural safety and stability. Maritime and aviation companies use tension meters to inspect cables and wires on their crafts.

Clamp-on tension meters are easy to use, portable, and accurate, which make them a useful tool in any number of environments.


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Benefits of clamp-on tension meters

  1. Use in pre-strung cables: Dynamometers can’t measure the tension of a cable that’s already strung on both ends. For non-invasive testing of pre-strung cables, clamp-on tension meters provide the best and most accurate solution.
  2. Wide range of materials: Clamp-on tension meters can be used on metal cables, ropes, wires, and even synthetic materials.
  3. Accuracy and precision: Clamp-on tension meters provide highly accurate and precise measurements. Some models even offer digital displays that allow operators to monitor tension levels in real time.
  4. Ease of use: Clamp-on tension meters are user-friendly and require minimal training to operate effectively.
  5. Safety: By accurately measuring tension, clamp-on tension meters prevent overloading or under-tensioning of materials. This is crucial, especially in industries where a failure in tension could lead to personnel accidents or structural damage.

Types of clamp-on tension meters

Dillon/Quality Plus offers a variety of clamp-on tension meters, including the Dillon QuickCheck and Straightpoint COLT.

Dillon QuickCheck tension meters can be installed in under five seconds and can quickly measure tension in cable guardrails, guy lines, and overhead wires. They are handheld, lightweight tools with digital loadcells that are highly accurate and require no lookup or correction tables.

Common applications of Dillon QuickCheck tension meters include tower and stack guy wires, pretensioned cable barriers, bridges, elevators, winch rope, overhead electric transit wires, fall arrest systems, aircraft cables, and utilities. Dillon offers the QuickCheck 2,000 lb, the QuickCheck 10,000 lb, the QuickCheck-T Bluetooth, and the QuickCheck-T Bluetooth for the cell tower industry.

The Straightpoint COLT tension meter is a digital clamp-on line tension meter that uses Bluetooth technology to allow the user to transmit data wirelessly to any smart device. It is lightweight, easy to use, and commonly used on wires that are already under tension. The Colt also gives access to a full library of cables already calibrated & stored to the unit via downloading from the Cloud.

Not sure which tension meter is right for you? The team at Dillon/Quality Plus would be happy to answer any questions and make a recommendation based on your specific needs.

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If you’re ready for accurate, reliable force measurement, learn more about our clamp-on tension meters or get in touch with our expert team today.