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Tech Tips - Twist Guard Test Leads

Fluke TL175 TwistGuard™ Test Leads

Fluke TL175 TwistGuard™ Test Leads

As a pro, you know a successful project needs more than a great strategic vision. It’s also the little things. The details of how you do the job and your craftsmanship really count.

The pros at Fluke think the same way. Working with professionals who use these products every day, they’ve taken a “little thing”—electrical test leads—and added features that make them more durable, more versatile, and most important of all, safer.

The result is the new Fluke TL175 TwistGuard™ Test Leads, the world’s first with adjustable length tips designed for use in CAT II, CAT III, and CAT IV environments. In higher-hazard conditions (CAT IV and CAT III), a twist retracts the tips to reduce the possibility of accidental contact with energized surfaces. When you work in CAT II environments you can extend the tips for better access to hard-to-reach contacts, such as within wall outlets. Whether tips are retracted or extended, the leads always show the correct category rating.

A system for safe testing

The personal protective equipment (PPE), test instruments and accessories you use for electrical testing comprise a safety system. Indeed, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 70E Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace defines test equipment as an integral part of PPE. Bottom line: from clothing, gloves and eyewear to digital multimeters and test leads, each piece of equipment you use for testing must be designed and approved to work safely in your testing environment.

You must make sure your accessories, including test leads, are rated for safe use where you’re working. Leads should bear a usage category (CAT) rating at least as high as the multimeter you are using. If you use test leads that did NOT come with your multimeter, you could be compromising your safety. Even if the leads did come with the product, are they up to today’s standards?

Fluke TL175 TwistGuard Test Leads with WearGuard

Double-insulated WearGuard™ wires provide another safety advantage

Double-insulated, extra-safe

Test leads you have accumulated from years ago may not be designed with the insulation needed for today’s electrical environments. In addition, test leads suffer from wear and abuse that could easily damage the insulation. For instance, leads that have been pinched in a panel door or kinked due to sharp bends have reduced insulating capability at those stress points.

In Fluke TwistGuard™ leads, on the other hand, double-insulated WearGuard™ wires provide another safety advantage. If the outer layer of insulation gets nicked or worn through, the inner contrasting color shows through clearly to signal it’s time for a fresh set of leads.

Those wires are insulated with silicone, which both withstands high temperatures and remains flexible in the cold. They are rated for temperatures of -20 °C to 55 °C (-4 °F to 131 °F). Their universal input plugs are compatible with all instruments that accept standard 4 mm shrouded banana plugs. Accessories like the Fluke AC72 Alligator Clips simply slide onto the extended tips. The TL175 test leads also accept threaded accessories, such as 4 mm lantern adapters.

Durability is another “little thing” the Fluke engineers planned for. TwistGuard™ leads have an extra-heavy duty strain relief on both probe end and plug end, tested to more than 30,000 bends without failure.