In the $1,000 – $2,000 range today we will review the Kyoritsu 6201A.
This is a small compact little unit with a detachable lid that neatly slides under the unit when in use and when it’s time to pack up the lid slides back on to protect the display.
A basic user-friendly tester with some nice features for around $1,300; this PAT has been around for a long time.
Results are displayed via a green or red light as well as the actual reading being displayed until meter over range is reached, so there are two options: either look just for the lights or check the values too. We like this feature as it allows the user to see how close an item is to a pass or a fail … if they want.
The Kyoritsu 6201A is not battery powered and does have a special supply lead which if lost won’t be available everywhere, hence keep the lead safe!
The PAT is controlled by a rotary switch much like on many multimeter and some selector switches.
This PAT has a simple and mostly effective means of ensuring the testing person is aware of when an item under test will be put into “Go mode”. This is indicated by a beeping noise however unfortunately we have noticed that the tone cannot always be heard especially by the more vintage people in our midst.
That said and providing it can be heard, it’s a good additional safety feature for the user, so we give that a plus.
Unless a powered leakage test is part of the test sequence this is a very very quick tester, but if leakage is required, we suggest you pack your breakfast … and lunch.
Like most, its test for earthing, often called earth bond, is unfortunately only done at 0.2 Amps (200 milliamps although advertised as 10 Amps, the 10 Amp test is carried out for less than 6 milliseconds and is hardly worth the mention) this is really just a continuity test but still leaves the tester compliant.
Because of this we’d call this PAT a compliance tester rather than a safety tester – a real big pity as it has many merits.
The next standard test is the 500-volt Insulation Resistance test. It works very well and quickly, you can also select a 250-volt Insulation Resistance test as an alternative if required when testing certain items.
Leakage testing, which is done at normal operating voltage of the item under test, works well when selected however you will definitely be older when the test is finished! With a running time of approximately twice that of other testers on the market this will most definitely slow your testing down.
The other test that is normally required is a polarity test (when testing leads and power boards) and again this works very quickly, however there is no way of just performing one polarity test when testing power boards. On the plus side the speed it tests at means it doesn’t add much to the time taken even though extra tests will be done that aren’t really required.
PRCD testing is commonly required when performing tests to ASNZS3760, unfortunately the 6201A doesn’t have any ability to test PRCD’s.
The Kyoritsu 6201A was designed as a quick basic manual tester and works mostly well for this. As such it doesn’t have a memory or ability to download nor can it be attached to a printer or scanner.
In a nut shell this is a tester with many good points but for those who are interested in safety first not just compliance – leave it alone. For compliance only, it’s definitely an option.
A last word of caution: A design flaw means (and we’ve seen this happen on many occasions) that it’s easy to destroy this PAT simply by plugging it into the mains through the wrong socket! (Repair costs often make repairs uneconomic).
The 3 big questions:
Q: Does it enable a testing person to comply with all the requirements of ASNZS3760?
A: No, due to not being able to test PRCDs this tester does not quiet make the grade for testing to ASNZS3760
Q: Is it a safety tester or compliance tester only?
A: Compliance only
Q: Value for money ?
2 and a half stars out of 5
This has all the makings of a great tester, unfortunately it doesn’t seem to finish any of them off. Add some way to record data and a PRCD tester, boost the rest of the features a little more and you have an amazing tester