Tool Review: Cal Van Tools Amp Hound 2

Oct. 14, 2016
The reviewer says this tool offers a number of capabilities and helps technicians do their jobs more efficiently.

The Cal-Van Tools Amp Hound 2, an amp meter for fused circuits, offers real-time readings of current and amps in a fused circuit without removing the fuse. By touching the probes to the top of a fuse, users get a reading. It works on Mini-LP and Micro-Fuse fuse types, as well as with mini, standard and maxi fuse types. A tone alerts users when the tool is touching the fuse, making underdash work simpler. When troubleshooting components, the user can go to the fuse box to check current/amperage instead of the component itself. The fuse adapters lock onto the fuse for hands-free control.

The review

The Cal-Van Tools Amp Hound 2 is a tool that will save technicians time.

An amp meter for fused circuits, the Amp Hound 2 offers its users real-time readings of current and amps without the need for them to remove the fuse. When Barry Hoyland, owner of Vehicle Service Solutions of California, tested the tool on a number of vehicles, he came away quite impressed by the Amp Hound 2’s performance and capabilities.

Hoyland commends the Cal-Van offering for its ability to allow him to connect directly to a fuse, relay or battery in order to read circuit draw in amps without having to perform the math necessary to convert voltage to amps. He employed the Amp Hound 2 to test for a parasitic battery drain on a 2011 GMC Sierra, and he also used it for testing several component issues, including an A/C blower and window motors on various vehicles.

“This tool saves time and provides the ability to check if a component is drawing too many amps, a circuit has a parasitic drain, or if there is excessive resistance in a circuit,” says Hoyland.

According to Hoyland, the Amp Hound 2 arrived in a carrying pouch complete with fuse adapters and cords for connecting directly to a circuit. A user manual was also included, in addition to instructions on how to use the tool printed on the back of the Amp Hound 2.

"The Amp Hound 2 includes an easy-to-follow instruction manual on the use of the tool," Hoyland says. "The manual has appropriate safety precautions as well as comprehensive instructions for both novices and experts in automotive amperage testing.”

For updated versions, Hoyland says providing a set of alligator clips with the Amp Hound 2 would improve the functionality of the tool for more technicians.

In terms of set-up, all Hoyland says he needed to do to get the Amp Hound 2 up and running was unwrap the tool and the fuse adapters that were included with it. He quickly found that it was easy to use, and he also noticed and appreciated both the tool’s compact size and that all of the necessary fuse connectors were available in one kit.

Overall, Hoyland thought highly of the tool for a number of reasons. One significant one, he says, is that the fuse connectors included with Amp Hound 2 allow a technician to easily connect a lab scope to a circuit for waveform analysis without the need to install jumper connections.

“And, since you are able to connect directly to a fuse, it saves time,” he adds. 

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