As a machinist, you already know that the accuracy of your cuts depends on the precision of the tools that you use. Inaccuracies may result in parts not fitting or working correctly. It may also compromise the safety of the project on which you are working.
So what is the best way to attain accuracy in measurements? As a machinist, one of the most essential tools is the calipers. It is the most used tool for day to day use by machinists.
A digital caliper provides you with accurate readings when dealing with small measurements. The calipers are made of high-quality materials for durability. Besides, they use innovative features to help you achieve high-grade work.
However, with numerous digital calipers on the market, it can be confusing to find one that suits your needs. Choosing the right tool is essential for your safety and performance. Therefore, we have compiled a list of the 5 best digital calipers to add to your toolbox.
Best Digital Caliper for Machinists – Our Expert’s Recommendation
Starrett 798A-6/150 Digital Caliper – Best Overall
Top 5 Machinist Digital Calipers Reviews
If you are looking for accuracy and durability, then this is your best option. Although there are various types of calipers in the market, Starrett 798A-6/150 Digital Caliper, is arguably one of the best that you can find. It is made of durable stainless steel, and it features a digital display for easy reading of measurements. With the ability to measure 0-150mm range and accuracy of 0.01mm, this tool is quite impressive. Besides, it has a 3.5 mm thick bar and a protective plastic casing, which makes it durable.
Another exciting feature is the IP67 ratings. Meaning that it is dust, water, and oil resistant. Furthermore, it is coolant proof. This measuring tool is lightweight with a slim and comfortable design to allow secure handling. The LCD display screen feature provides you with a choice to change between millimeters and inches with a simple press of a button.
With its thumb wheel design behind the screen, you can easily adjust it with a single hand. This makes it convenient, especially when you are working in tight spaces. These features, combined by the fact that it meets DIN 62 standards, make it accurate and suitable to all machinists regardless of their skill level.
- It has a heavy-duty construction.
- The tool has protection against water, oil, and dust.
- It offers an LCD screen for easy reading.
- The design is of excellent quality, thereby providing accurate readings.
- It comes with a smooth thumbwheel hence can be operated by one hand.
- It features a simple design that accounts for the ease of use.
- It is very pricey.
Are you prepared to go deeper into your pockets for one of the best brands you can ever find? Although it is on the expensive side, this measuring tool is worth every penny. With its stainless steel construction, it is built to last long. This digital caliper covers a range of 0- 600mm, a resolution of 0.01mm plus an accuracy of 0.002 inches.
More so, this versatile device can handle harsh conditions in the workshop. Also, it can measure large items with its 70mm body length. You will appreciate the convenience of this model with its LCD screen showing readings in metric units and inches. Getting the correct score is essential when it comes to the safety of your project. This is assured through the caliper’s linear encoder feature for precise measurements.
Another additional function is the low voltage with a battery life of up to 3.5 years under regular use. Besides, the battery is fitted with a plastic case for durability. You can use this digital caliper to measure inside and outside diameters, different depths, and sizes of items.
- It is versatile in its use.
- The caliper has a sturdy, durable construction
- With its electrostatic linear encoder, the model gives accurate results.
- It comes with an ample length that is suitable for measuring large spaces.
- The battery has a long life of about 3.5 years of regular use.
- It comes with a protective case and hardened steel jaws for additional durability.
- It comes at a higher price of the initial purchase, though it is cost-efficient due to its durability.
- You might find it a bit heavy.
Although it is on the pricier side, you will not be disappointed by this highly innovative device. With a measuring range of 0-6 inches, it has a resolution of 0.0005-inch resolution. This makes it precise in measurements, thereby no frustrations when working.
The good news is that this digital caliper features a lock function that secures the zero position in place hence avoiding errors. Therefore, once you switch on the device, you don’t have to rest to zero each time you make a measurement. Not only does the move save you time, but it also makes the process easy.
This model is also impressive with its innovative reference system that allows repeatability of measurements accurately. With its LCD screen, it shows readings in inches and metric units and decimals for easy readout. It is also versatile in its areas of applications and can be used by various professionals. More so, you will appreciate its ability to withstand the harsh conditions of a workshop and its high precision results.
The electronic measuring tool further features a long-life battery of about 3 years and a protective case. You can use this device with the utmost confidence to measure depth, inside and outside spaces, steps, and diameters.
- It is versatile in its uses.
- It features an innovative reference system for repeatability.
- The caliper has a lock function on zero position.
- It contains an extended life battery and a protective case.
- This tool comes with three measuring systems.
- It provides accurate and precise readouts.
- It has protection against rough working conditions.
- Apart from great feel and repeatability, this model features a round depth rod that allows easy reach of depth measurements.
- It is costly
First, you will love its sturdy steel body that assures long service. Besides, it has IP54 ratings, which makes it safe against dust, water, and oil splashes. Meaning that it can withstand the harsh conditions of a workshop.
This tool boasts of a high-grade design that leaves no empty space between parts. The measuring jaws are also stable and do not move around too much. Thanks to its large display screen, you can easily read the measurements. Besides, the large-sized screen takes precise readings and is suitable for awkward and tight spaces.
With a measuring range of 0-6 inches, the digital caliper has a resolution of 0.0005 inches, the accuracy of + or – 0.001inch and repeatability of 0.0005 inches. Furthermore, it displays reading to1/128 in fraction display, and there is a four-digit decimal display option. This makes it suitable for professional use. It provides you with value for your money with its accuracy and high resolution.
- It is made with stainless steel for durability
- The tool comes with a protective case.
- With its large screen, it is easy to use
- It provides a high level of accuracy.
- There is no stickiness between components.
- It measures in inches, metric, and fractions.
- This digital caliper is safe from debris, oil, water, impactful shocks, and drops.
- The little depth stick might slide out from the bottom
- It has a few durability issues
- Difficulty in opening the battery compartment.
Are you tired of dealing with low-quality measuring tools? EAGems digital caliper is designed to solve all the problems that come with low-quality models such as weak batteries and sticky or rough movement.
Besides, it is lightweight, which makes it easy to handle with one hand. You can use it without the worry of damaging it, thanks to its high level of protection against liquid and dust.
This measuring tool is made from stainless steel and works smoothly with a high accuracy level of 0.0005 inches. No more frustrations of difficulty in reading measurements or wrong readings. It comes with easy to read large display screen with excellent precision. Furthermore, the device is versatile and can be used by both beginners and professionals.
You don’t have to waste your time with conversion of measurements because it displays readings in inches, metric and SAE decimals. It also measures diameters, depths, steps and inside and outside dimensions hence suitable for a wide range of jobs. You will appreciate its ability to automatically turn off and on when you need it.
- It is built with durable construction.
- The tool works smoothly with minimal stickiness.
- It comes with large screen and accurate readings.
- It displays measurements in inches, metric and decimals.
- You can use the device to measure diameters, depths and steps.
- It is dust and liquid resistance and comes in a red protective case.
- The tool comes with a two-year warranty and owner’s manual.
- It is a little heavy.
- It has durability problems.
What are The Advantages of Digital Calipers?
Digital calipers are used in various fields like carpentry, metalworking, medicine, and mechanical engineering, among others. Professionals use it to get accurate measurements of a space or object. Therefore, you need to get calipers of excellent quality for the best working experiment. Here are some of the benefits that come with a digital caliper.
Ease of Reading Measurements
One remarkable benefit of a digital caliper is the LCD screen that allows you to read the measurements easily. Unlike dial and Vernier calipers require two different scaling to get the complete readings, digital screens show the whole measurements directly. You don’t need additional tools with digital calipers, thereby helping to reduce clutter.
They are also efficient in collecting data automatically which makes them convenient and fast. Also, they feature large screens that allow you to see the readouts easily which makes them suitable for awkward and tight spaces.
Accuracy and Precision
The digital calipers are highly reliable when it comes to accuracy. They come with high resolution and measure both small and large spaces accurately. Thanks to their feature that allow them to hold firmly on the surface of interest, the tools has precise readouts. Furthermore, the tools keep reference of measurements to avoid any room of error.
When it comes to workshop tools, durability is the primary concern. The digital calipers are made from stainless steel that provides them with long life. Besides, most of these tools have protection against dust, liquids, impactful shocks, and falls. They are shock-proof because they lack moving parts. Furthermore, they also have protective case for extra durability and comes with a replaceable long-life battery.
Easy Conversion of Measurements
With a simple press of the mm/inch button you can change the reading of distances measured. You can convert the measurements after taking them to reduce chances of inaccuracies. This improves the reliability of the readouts. More so, with the zero function, you can automatically calculate between readings without stressing your brain or using a calculator.
Since some calipers feature memory cards in their system, you can move the data with USB for convenient data analysis.
With digital calipers, you can take up to four various types of measurements; inside readings, outside readings, depth measurements and step measurements. This means that you can use them for measuring small and large entities.
Furthermore, the Quadri feature makes them versatile in their applications. They can be used by different professionals in various fields such as metalworking, woodworking, engineering, medicine, and many more.
There is a wide range of digital calipers in the market. With a wide variety comes different prices. However, you don’t have to break a bank to get the right one since there are affordable digital calipers for those on budget. However, if you are willing to get deeper in your pockets, you get premium quality that is worth every penny in durability and service.
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Care and Maintenance Tips Of A Digital Caliper
As a precision measuring tool, the digital caliper, if not properly cared for, can cause inaccuracies. This could cause issues with the projects you are working on. With proper care, you prolong the life of your tools and increase performance.
A critical way of proper care is to ensure the caliper is turned off and stored well after use. If it comes with a protective case, then use it.
Best maintenance practice for optimal performance levels of a digital caliper include;
- Storing in low humidity surrounding
- Oiling the shaft lightly and wrapping in corrosion-free paper.
- Use it for the intended purpose
- Avoid placing heavy objects on it.
- Keep it away from corrosive chemicals and excessive heat.
- Check the battery regularly to ensure it is performing at an optimal level.
- In case you are storing the tool for an extended time, remove the battery to minimize the risk of corrosion and leakage.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: How do I use a digital caliper?
A: Most models come with the owner’s manual that has instructions on how to use the tool properly. For measuring the outside dimension of an entity, use the large jaws. Ensure that the measuring tool is reset back to zero before measuring another item. However, for the inside dimension of an object, use the smaller jaws.
Q2: How will I know if the battery is dead?
A: Normally, a flashing display will alert you that you will soon need to replace the battery.
Q3: Why should I use a caliper over a ruler?
A: The main advantage of using a digital caliper is the ability to display measurements on the screen clearly. However, with a ruler, you have to calculate the measurement yourself, thereby leaving room for error. Using a digital caliper is also fast and time-efficient as compared to a ruler.
Q4: What is the meaning of least count?
A: The least count is the smallest length that a caliper can measure. You find it by dividing the difference of one main scale division by the total number of divisions found between two scale values.
Q5: What is the function of the thin moving strip at the back of the main scale?
A: The strip allows measuring objects’ depth, such as liquid in containers or tubes.
With this article, you have five different types of digital calipers with their pros and cons. When purchasing a caliper, be sure to check out its features and choose one that fits your needs. Furthermore, consider aspects such as calibration, accuracy, ease of use, durability, measurement types, and conversion units. This will enable you to make smart decisions. Also, remember that you get what you pay for when it comes to calipers. So, why not make a wise investment by buying a product that will offer you excellent service for years to come?
In our opinion, Mitutoyo 6″ calipers are the best digital calipers in the market. They are easy to use, durable, and precise in measuring. Besides, their lightweight and design make them portable and suitable for use in tight areas. They also slide smoothly and has a wide range of applications. However, you have to choose a size range that suits your needs.