A Comparison List of 9 of the Best Outside Micrometers

On this page we will compare some makes and models of outside micrometers that have been found to be among the most popular on the market. An outside micrometer is the most commonly used type and measures external dimensions such as the diameter of a screw. This is as opposed to an inside micrometer which is used to measure internal dimensions such as the inside diameter of a hose.

A micrometer performs much the same role as a caliper, the main difference being the size of the measurements taken. A single 6” digital caliper is able to measure the same objects that it would take 6 different sized micrometers to perform. The difference is, however, that a micrometer can take the measurement to an extremely precise level.

Remember - although we are highlighting individual micrometers here, many of these makes and models are also available as part of complete micrometer sets covering larger ranges of measuring sizes.

Determining which is the best micrometer comes down to a number of factors because the truth of the matter is that any of those listed on this page will do the job admirably. Factors such as price, ease of use, durability and hand feel may tip the balance towards one over another.

The micrometer is very similar in the way a caliper has been designed and its application. It is used to measure depth, length and thickness of small objects and can do so to a very precise degree.

The tool consists of both moving and non-moving parts and it is important that everything moves smoothly and consistently. Because we are dealing with a piece of equipment that operates to such exact standards it is crucial that it is durable enough so that unexpected knocks do not damage the components.

You can find out more information about the way in which a micrometer works as well as the various parts that comprise them by reading our article What Is A Micrometer?

Listed below is a selection of micrometers from a range of manufacturers that will allow you to compare them to come up with the one that best suits your needs. It is important to note that the MSRP is the price that has been placed on the products by the manufacturers. It is very common to find the products for sale at significantly lower prices than these.

Make / Model

Accuracy
(Inches)

Range
(Inches)

MSRP

+/- .00005

0 - 1

$175.00

+/- .00005

0 - 1

$260.00

+/- .0001

0 - 1

$156.00

+/- .00015

0 - 1

$170.00

+/- .00005

0 - 1

$104.00

+/- .0001

0 - 1

$135.00

+/- .0001

0 - 1

$48.00

+/- .00016

1 - 2

$142.00

+/- .00016

0 - 1

$98.00

Detailed Description of Micrometers

Getting a brief overview of the different types of high quality and most popular outside micrometers is a valuable process when trying to compare one against the other. But it is also important to understand all of the features that makes each model unique and helps it stand out from the competition.

We will now take a more detailed look at each model with a description of the features of each product that should give you a better idea of which model might best suit your needs.

Mitutoyo 293-340-30 Digimatic Micrometer

Features

  • Flat carbide tipped anvil
  • IP 65
  • Auto power ON/OFF function
  • Supplied in fitted plastic case
  • Resolution: 0.00005”
  • Range: 0-1” / 0 to 25mm

Description

This is a micrometer that is made by one of the most popular and widely trusted manufacturers of precision measuring devices and its quality and ease of use is the answer to the question of why it is such a popular product. There is a strong argument for the adage “you get what you pay for” and although this is an instrument that will cost more than many of its competitors, it has a track record that proves it is worth the money.

The measuring faces are carbide tipped to offer outstanding durability and this will also help with maintaining precise measurements. The ratchet stop is built to provide even pressure which means precise and repeatable measurements. The plastic components are tough and resistant to oil, water and dirt impurities.

This is a Digimatic micrometer which means that it has an LED screen readout to provide you with easy-to-read and accurate readings. It can switched to provide results in either imperial or metric at the touch of a button. It has a Zero function that enable measurements to be taken from different points and a hold feature that will enable the results to be kept. There is a built in automatic shut-off that will help to preserve the battery life.

The unit comes in a fitted plastic case for better protection during storage.

Mahr Micromar 40 EWR Digital Micrometer

Features

  • High Contrast Analog Display
  • Carbide tipped anvil and spindle
  • Ratchet integrated into thimble
  • Lacquered heat insulated steel frame
  • Approximate battery life is 2 years
  • IP 65 protection
  • Spindle Diameter: 6.5mm
  • Measuring range: 0-1”
  • Graduation: 0.00005” / 0.01mm
  • Comes in a storage case

Description

This is an extremely high quality micrometer and the components of the Mahr 40 EWR are chosen and designed so that it will withstand the conditions of the most inhospitable workshops and continue to yield consistently precise readings. The spindle and anvil are carbide tipped for greater durability and the spinner ratchet is integrated into the thimble for smooth operation.  

The micrometer features a digital LED display screen. The unit is equipped with the Reference-System which means that as soon as it is switched on it is ready to take a measurement. It has been built with a USB slot incorporated into it which will allow readings to be ported into your computer as you require them.

It has the capability of being locked at the point of measurement for the most accuracy and repeatability possible. The device can also be Zeroed at the touch of a button and the readings stored.

The protection level of the micrometer is IP 65 which means that it will protect the device from water, oil and dust.

The unit is supplied in a high quality storage case that will provide it with plenty of protection when it is not in use.

SPI 0-1” Double Ratchet Outside Micrometer

Features

  • Double ratchet
  • Carbide tipped anvil
  • Ratchet stop and locking lever
  • Satin chrome heat insulated forged steel frame
  • Absolute and incremental measuring modes
  • IP65 protection
  • SPC/USB data output
  • Powered by CR2032 Battery
  • Fitted Case
  • Spindle Diameter: 0.25”
  • Graduation: 0.0001” / 0.01mm

Description

This is an extremely high quality micrometer and the components of the Mahr 40 EWR are chosen and designed so that it will withstand the conditions of the most inhospitable workshops and continue to yield consistently precise readings. The spindle and anvil are carbide tipped for greater durability and the spinner ratchet is integrated into the thimble for smooth operation.  

The micrometer features a digital LED display screen. The unit is equipped with the Reference-System which means that as soon as it is switched on it is ready to take a measurement. It has been built with a USB slot incorporated into it which will allow readings to be ported into your computer as you require them.

It has the capability of being locked at the point of measurement for the most accuracy and repeatability possible. The device can also be Zeroed at the touch of a button and the readings stored.

The protection level of the micrometer is IP 65 which means that it will protect the device from water, oil and dust.

The unit is supplied in a high quality storage case that will provide it with plenty of protection when it is not in use.

Mitutoyo 112-225 Point Micrometer

Features

  • Spindle and anvil are pointed at 30 degree angles
  • Spindle and anvil made from hardened steel
  • Thimble has a satin chrome finish
  • Body has a hammertone baked enamel finish
  • IP65 protection from dust and moisture
  • Supplied in fitted plastic case
  • Accuracy: +/- .00015
  • Resolution: .00005” / 0.001mm
  • Range: 0 -1”

Description

This micrometer features a pointed spindle and anvil to make it possible to measure items such as the web thickness of drills, small grooves, keyways and similar types of hard to reach dimensions. On this particular model the angle of the points is 30 degrees, however it is also possible to get 15 degree points too.

The device is rated IP65 for dust and water protection. The spindle and anvil are made from hardened steel, the thimble has a satin chrome finish and the body is a hammertone baked enamel finish. According to the company's documentation the measuring points have approximately 0.3mm / .012” radius

As with the majority of measuring devices from Mitutoyo the quality of the craftsmanship is extremely high and you will own a solid and dependable micrometer. The important repeatability factor is there and you can rely on getting consistent and accurate measurement readings.

Starrett T444.1XRL-1 Outside Micrometer

Features

  • Advanced sleeve design
  • Ratchet thimble
  • Anvil & spindle made from carbide
  • Knurled ring lock nut
  • No glare satin chrome finish
  • Range: 0 - 1”
  • Graduations: 0.0001”
  • Accuracy: +/- 0.00005”

Description

This micrometer from Starrett features has a measuring range of 0 - 1” with graduated line readings that are staggered to provide enhanced readability. The anvil has a carbide face and there is a ratchet stop and lock nut to provide even pressure and the thimble is designed for better handling when taking a measurement.

The frame is made with a no glare satin chrome that will not rust. It is insulated so that it will not be affected by temperature changes that might otherwise cause expansion or contraction.

It offers readings in ten-thousandths of an inch (0.0001”) with a vernier scale on the sleeve. The advertised accuracy matches that of the more expensive models at +/- 0.00005”.

Mitutoyo 293-831-30 Digimatic Micrometer

Features

  • Carbide tipped anvil and spindle
  • Large LCD screen
  • Zero-set key
  • Ratchet Stop
  • Takes SR44 battery
  • Battery life approximately 1.2 years
  • Comes in fitted plastic case
  • Accuracy: +/- 0.0001”
  • Resolution: 0.00005”
  • Range: 0-1”

Description

This may be considered the bare bones micrometer option in the Mitutoyo stable, which is why it is termed the MDC-MX Lite. It is a Digimatic model that offers an easy-to-read LED display screen but many of the finer features that you will find on the more expensive model have been left off.

The measurement faces are carbide tipped to offer the durability you would expect and it has a friction thimble to ensure that it is possible to apply a constant measuring force.

On this model, however, there is no spindle clamp, nor does it contain a way to output the data that is captured. On the digital display section there is only zero-set key to provide origin setting.

If you are after a micrometer that features the reliability of the Mitutoyo name but don’t need all of the features of the absolute top-end models, this is the one to buy. It is a good quality measuring device at a more approachable price.

VINCA DMCA-0105 Digital Outside Micrometer

Features

  • Carbide tipped measuring faces
  • Satin chrome finish for reduced glare
  • LCD screen (1.25” x 0.5”)
  • 1.5V, LR44 battery
  • Storage case
  • Accuracy: +/- .0001”
  • Resolution: 0.00005”
  • Range: 0-1” / 0-25mm

Description

Here is your low-cost electronic micrometer that will serve your purposes very adequately, providing great precision at a budget price. It is a device that is recommended for use by the avid DIYer who is after a measuring device that will provide consistent and repeatable results.

The measuring faces are carbide tipped for enhanced durability and it uses a ratchet thimble and fixed thimble to apply precise pressure on the measured object.

The device has an LCD screen to provide large and clear measurement readings. It is possible to perform absolute / relative measuring and there is a data hold button as well as a tolerance option. The thimble also has laser etched graduations and is made with a satin chrome finish that will reduce glare.

This is a unit that is very easy to use, either one- or two-handed and, most importantly, it is a precise measuring tool that is durable.

Fowler 54-860-002-1 Electronic IP54 Outside Micrometer

Features

  • Carbide measuring faces
  • Protected to IP54 specifications
  • LCD Display
  • Absolute and incremental measuring
  • Powered by CR2032 battery
  • Automatic switch off
  • Accuracy: +/- .00016
  • Resolution: .00005”
  • Range: 1-2”

Description

This Fowler Outside Micrometer has been created to provide a high level of accuracy over a 1 to 2 inch range. It is an electronic device that is protected from fluids and dirt to IP54 specifications. It features a large LCD screen that ensures the measurements are easy to read.

As well as the ON/OFF switch it is also possible to choose either absolute or incremental measurements and you can get the readings in either Imperial or metric. The unit will switch itself off automatically after 5 minutes of inactivity.

This is another good quality micrometer from a trusted company that will provide you with a device that you can be confident will offer consistent accuracy. The accuracy is not quite as precise as those that are listed above but it is a solid and durable micrometer that is readily available at a good price.

iGaging Digital Electronic Outside Micrometer

Features

  • Large LCD display
  • Absolute / Incremental Modes
  • Metric / Standard measuring modes
  • Storage Case
  • Adjustment wrench
  • Accuracy: +/- .00016”
  • Resolution: 0.00005” / 0.001mm
  • Range: 0-1”

Description

Although we have chosen to examine the model that has a 0-1” measuring range it is also available in larger sizes up to 4-5”.

As with all of the other micrometers on the page, the iGaging model has been built for durability with a hardened and ground spindle and carbide anvil. This serves to increase accuracy over an extended lifespan. The unit also comes with a bonus ball attachment.

The unit features a large LCD display screen with a highly visible readout. It comes with the ability to display in either metric or imperial standard modes and can also easily be changes between absolute and incremental modes. When the unit has sat idle for a number of minutes it will automatically switch itself off. It has direct USB SPC output capability.

The micrometer comes in a storage case along with an adjustment wrench, an instruction booklet and an extra battery.

This is another good quality micrometer that is available at a lower price and would certainly make a great backup option. Those who have bought it have compared its accuracy very favorably with the much higher priced options and its ease of use has proved to be another strong point in its favor.

Things To Consider When Buying A Micrometer

There are a few important factors that should be considered when you buy a micrometer. At the top of your list should be the tool’s durability. The anvil should be made from hardened steel or carbide to ensure that it will withstand the rigors of years of use in industrial conditions.

Accuracy is the next factor that should come into your calculations. A micrometer that has been built with a high degree of accuracy (at least to a level of 1/1000”) will ensure you will be getting extremely accurate results. To increase the accuracy you should also try to buy one that has an LCD screen. Not only will this enable you to come up with an exact measurement reading but it will also be quicker and easier to read the result.

It should also be equipped with a zeroing function so that it is possible to enable the tool to automatically calculate the differences between measurements. This saves you from having to do the calculations and potentially make mistakes if your arithmetic is not quite up to scratch.

It is also very useful to ensure you get a model that provides results in both imperial and metric measurements. To be honest, most micrometers these days will provide both but it is still worth confirming that it does before purchase.

Finally, the consideration that too many put at the top of their list, the price. Sure, everyone would like to save money where they can but often, the trade-off is that you get yourself a tool that doesn’t perform to the highest standard or it just doesn’t last as long as others and you end up buying more, potentially paying more over the long term anyway. Go for quality, pay the extra up front and you will be more than likely ahead of the game at the end.