Why An Electronic Digital Caliper?

An electronic digital caliper, which is the modern day technologically advanced vernier caliper that is sometimes also referred to as a vernier digital caliper, is a refinement of the traditional caliper that replaces the original analog slide readout or dial with a digital readout. This makes the reading very easy to understand as the electronic digital display gives you an exact measurement every time. You will find that there are varying features available in the digital caliper that you buy so we have provided as much information as possible for your convenience.

Digital calipers are available for sale from the following notable manufacturers, to find out more about any of the following manufacturers simply click on the logo or name. Doing so will also provide you with a listing of some of the different calipers and their features:


Brown & Sharpe TESA




Carrera Precision



No matter what you need to measure, small or larger objects, the inside gaps between two objects or the depth of a hole, the caliper is going to be an essential part of the tool box. The fact that it is a digital caliper will simply make the job that much more precise.

It may also be possible to buy an electronic digital caliper from the product pages featuring greater detail.

In some cases it is possible to buy an electronic digital caliper that will give you the option of providing the figures in either metric or inch units. The ability to reset the readout to zero at any time along the slide will allow you to take differential readouts as required.

Another feature that you will get from using electronic digital calipers is that you can freeze the readout if required so that if you are measuring an object that is sitting in an awkward location that makes it impossible to read the display in situ, it can be read after removing the caliper for later examination.

A digital caliper still performs the same basic functions as a dial caliper and the slide can be locked with a lever or a screw assembly.

Some of the well known manufacturers of digital calipers include Mitutoyo, Fowler/Sylvac, Starrett, Brown & Sharpe TESA, Lyman, Federal, Mahr and Aldi.

Caliper Sizes

The normal size for a set of electronic digital calipers is 6” / 150mm. However it is also possible to buy longer versions of 8-in and 12-in calipers. The accuracy of the measurement can be expected to be most accurate using the smaller calipers and this precision tends to decline as the caliper used gets larger.

Using An Electronic Digital Caliper

Using an electronic digital caliper is simplicity itself. Most models are pretty much the same in that they come with an on/off switch, a “reset to zero” button – or similar and a button to switch between a metric readout and inches.

The button to reset the display to zero can be pressed at any time so that you can take a differential reading if you need it. Add to this a locking screw that can be tightened once you have taken your reading so that you don’t lose it when removing the caliper from the measuring position.

Take a look at the various brands of digital calipers on display to find out which one will suit your needs best. You will notice that there are actually two sets of jaws on the caliper. The lower set takes measurements from the outside of an object while the upper set takes the measurement from the inside.

You may also notice at the bottom of the handle a little piece that is sticking out. This takes the measurement of the depth of a hole, again displayed on the LCD readout.

  • When taking a reading with your digital caliper make sure that the jaws have been thoroughly cleaned first to maximize the precision of the readout.
  • For that matter it is a good idea to clean off the object that is going to be measured too because any build up on it will also affect the accuracy of the caliper reading.
  • Make sure the readout has been reset to zero and that the units has been changed to the metric setting if you want to see the result in metric or to the inches if you do your measurements in inches.
  • The actual measurement should be taken so that the jaws are lightly resting flush either side of the object being measured.
  • The only care you need to take is that both jaws are resting on the outside of the object and not just the one.

What Does An Electronic Digital Caliper Look Like

It's all very well to talk about the digital caliper but a picture will be infinitely more illuminating.

Digital Caliper

There are not many disadvantages to using a digital caliper over a dial caliper, but then with all electronic gadgets there is the risk of technology failure. In this case you will need a battery for the caliper to operate. If the battery were to fail you would be back to attempting to take your reading visually.

Some electronic digital calipers are not waterproof which could also be a problem if they are exposed to overly wet conditions. This may be due to working in the rain or simply on a job where a lot of water is present. If you are in a situation where you know that a good proportion of the job will be in wet conditions, make sure you buy a waterproof digital caliper.

Other Measuring Tools

martool-106-uf-universal-bevel-protractorBevel Protractors - Extremely useful for accurately identifying and measuring angles, the bevel protractor consists of a graduated circular protractor with a pivot arm that provides you with the straight edge to mark off the angle. These tools can be capable of measuring angles through a full 360 degrees. We have done a full comparison of makes and models that represent some of the best bevel protractors available.

mitutoyo-micrometerMicrometers - We discuss many aspects about the micrometer including what it is and why it is used, how to read the measurements, the parts of the micrometer as well as the various advantages and disadvantages attached to the use of these tools. They are one of the most crucial measuring devices when taking very small measurements so it would pay to find out as much as possible about them.