But you have the "MAX" function on - that is not giving a real time reading of the current.

So my question is why do you have that "MAX" function on in the first place? That's not reading the current flowing at the moment you are looking at the meter, its reading the highest current that has flowed since the meter was turned on. Again, not a real time reading.

Here is what I mean:

Assume some appliance takes a 50 amp inrush for 0.5 seconds, and then it draws a steady 20 amps as long as its on.

Assume the metes are turned on before the appliance, so they see this inrush. One meter might average readings every 0.5 seconds. So its going to see 50 amps for one sample, and its going to read a MAX of 50 amps.

Another meter might read a little slower, and it might take a sample over 1 second. Then it will see 50 amps for 0.5 seconds, and then 20 amps for 0.5 seconds. If we average those we get (50+20) / 2 = 35 amps. Hey, that's not too far from the actual readings. So that's quite possible.

And I see you have a standard 15 or 20A line cord and plug. One appliance that plugs into that cord should not be drawing more than 20 amps. That's a good clue that all three meter reading we are looking at are not the real time current readings.

So in short, you just need to turn off the MAX function.