Planning on starting a DIY project this weekend? Have you got a shed full of tools that you’re dying to take out and finally use? If you’re DIY project involves some construction, you’ll need more than just a hammer and nails. No matter how big or small your construction project may be, precision is the key. Whether you a building a gazebo or a high rise building, or resetting jewelry, exact measurements could be the difference between stability and strength, or something similar to a house of cards, just waiting to come crashing down.
Calipers have been around for centuries with the earliest ones being used in the Qin Dynasty in China around A.D. 9. Then in the early 1600’s Pierre Vernier, a French mathematician, came up with a style of calipers that are still in use today. Fast forward to today’s digital revolution and we now have digital calipers that offer ease of use and incredible accuracy. The best digital calipers make precision measuring in construction simple and effective. Check out our selection of digital calipers and tackle your projects with confidence.
The Best Digital Caliper
Made for precision and built to last, this EAGems caliper is a really good digital caliper when your work requires a lot of precise measuring. It features a large LCD screen that is easy to read and it is capable of measuring internal and external dimensions. The rugged stainless steel construction is designed to last so this will become your favorite measuring device for a number of years. Make sure you also check our guide to the best tape measures.
Large, easy-to-read LCD screen
Position lock for duplicate measurements
Capable of measuring inside and outside dimensions, step and depth measurements
Can be set to Zero at any position, for differential measurement
- Weight7 ounces
Taking accurate measurements is one thing, but you need to know how to read the measurements and incorporate them into your projects. With Neiko electronic digital caliper you can read your measurements with ease, thanks to the extra-large LCD display and the finely polished stainless steel frame offers smooth sliding and accurate positioning so you can take quick, easy measurements and complete your project fast. This versatile measuring device allows for taking precise measurements inside, outside, depth and step readings so you will look like a pro, and feel like one too. It had a stainless steel body with large LCD screen and inch/fractions/millimeter conversion. You may also like to check our guide to the best cordless drills.
Three measuring modes, one quick change button
Precision and accuracy
Finely polished stainless steel frame
Smooth sliding and accurate positioning
Versatile: measures inside, outside, depth & step with two sets of jaws and probe
Extra-large LCD screen for easy and clear reading
- Weight1.55 pounds
Mitutoyo’s digital measuring calipers are exactly what you need when your work requires precision. This one is perfect for any construction site because it has an electromagnetic inductive sensor for resistance to dirt and other impurities, as well as water. Mitutoyo 500-196-30 Advanced Onsite Sensor Absolute Scale Digital Caliper features a thumb roller that makes adjustment easy and you can take measurements for almost anything you need to. Be sure to also check out our list of the best moisture meters for more great items like this.
Digital readout LCD shows inch or metric units
Advanced onsite sensor (AOS)
Electromagnetic inductive sensor for resistance to dirt, oil, and water
Measures inside, outside, depth, and step values for versatility.
Features thumb roller
Includes protective case and SR44 silver oxide battery
- Model 500-196-30
- Weight1 pound
Once you start using this iGaging ABSOLUTE ORIGIN Digital Electronic Caliper, you’ll wonder how you managed without it. It features super high accuracy and it memorizes the settings. The measuring speed is unlimited and the LCD display makes it easy to read. You can connect this digital caliper to your computer or laptop making access to your information simple and efficient. This caliper tool meets all the necessary certifications and standards so you can be sure it will perform well under any conditions. Our handy guide to the best infrared thermometers features more great products like this.
Accuracy: 0.001″ / 0.02mm; Range: 12″/300mm
IP54 protection: Water drop and dust resistant
USB cable available separately.
Meets DIN standards
ISO certified manufacturing
- Weight1.55 pounds
For the DIY handyman enthusiast who excels in perfection, this digital Vinca vernier caliper is a definite winner. This is a cost-effective caliper for use around the home or for those who don’t need them too often. It has a measure range of 0-6 inches/150mm and it can convert easily from imperial to metric scales with the touch of a button. The LCD display is easy to read with all the information right at your fingertips. Love this product? Check out our review of the best multimeters for our top picks.
Higher quality stainless steel digital caliper Inch/metric/fraction conversion
Perfect for home DIY and professional use
Fine polished stainless steel
Easy to transfer data to PC
- Weight5.3 ounces
Get yourself an Aickbar digital caliper and you can get straight into those projects you’ve been putting off. It has been designed for long lasting durability for work on rugged sites and you can be sure of your measurements being accurate thanks to the highest quality standards in manufacturing. The LCD display is extra-large so you can check each measurement with clarity and the user friendly functions make this a simple caliper measuring tool to use. It comes packed in a sturdy protective carry case making it an ideal gift for the building and construction enthusiast. Find more great products like this by checking out our guide to the best bench vises.
Designed for long-lasting durability
Highest quality standard
Non-fail accurate measurement
Extra Large LCD display
Packed in sturdy protective case
- Weight6.7 ounces
The REXBETI Digital Caliper takes some very precise measurements with a resolution of 0. 0005″/0. That makes it an unbelievably reliable and accurate measuring tool. The stainless steel construction is durable and sturdy enough for the busy builder. It features a great LCD display for easy reading and the automatic on/off switch means you won’t deplete your battery unnecessarily. This is a must-have piece of equipment for your tool box.
Reliable and accurate
All stainless steel digital caliper.
High precision assembly using quality materials
Smooth sliding and accurate results
LCD display is easily readable
Automatic ON/OFF feature
- ModelDigital Caliper 6 Inch Measuring Tool
- Weight12.8 ounces
The MeasuGator Lambda Digital Caliper offers a little more than many other digital calipers thanks to the inclusion of feeler gauges. They have incredible resolution and an extra-large high contrast LCD display. It takes a number of different types of measurements and the sliding action is smooth and quiet. This is a caliper worth bringing out for any of your projects – large or small. Make sure you always have it handy in your tool bag.
Resolution: 0.0005″/0.01 mm
EASY to use and read, easy to replace the battery
Extra-large high contrast LCD readout
Smooth & whisper-quiet sliding action
External, internal, step, depth & differential measurements
Auto power on and off
- Weight5.6 ounces
When you need to get the job done with extra precision you simply can’t overlook this Clockwise Tools Electronic Digital Caliper. There are a number of different types of measuring jobs you can do with this tool and with an extra-large LCD screen, you won’t misread a single measurement. It features smoother sliding and incredible accuracy and each caliper is calibrated before it is sold so you don’t need to fiddle with it yourself. If yo0u are looking to upgrade your tools, then make sure you read our bench vise review.
Multiple measuring ranges available
Extra-large LCD screen
Up to 1/128″ fractional display
- BrandClockwise Tools
- Weight5.3 ounces
One of the first things you may look at with this GlowGeek Electronic Digital Caliper is the price, but that doesn’t mean this budget friendly tool won’t perform just as well as its pricier cousins. It has a range of 0-6″ and it is accurate to 0.001″, with a resolution of 0.0005″/0. You will love the rugged, hardened stainless steel shaft is tough enough to work with on the toughest construction sites and the LCD display screen makes it a breeze to read. The entire unit is simple to use and takes precise measurements so you can getting working on those long neglected DIY projects, or take it to work with you.
Hardened stainless steel shaft
High contrast LCD display screen
Quality stainless steel
Precision fit slide
- Weight5.3 ounces
Digital Calipers Buying Guide & FAQ
Features To Look For In Digital Calipers
Type – There are a number of different types of calipers. Some can be used to take only one type of measurement, and others can be used for multiple readings. Most calipers can measure outside, inside, depth, and step with amazing accuracy. You can take these readings using a Vernier caliper or a digital caliper. The digital caliper will save you time because the readings are more accurate and instant.
Construction – When you consider where your digital caliper will be used the most, you want the construction of the caliper to be strong and sturdy. Building and construction sites are messy and tools get dropped quite frequently. Stainless steel construction ensures sturdiness and reliability and these calipers are less likely to break, bend or warp. Stainless steel has the added bonus of being easy to keep clean.
Length – You may be tempted to go for the biggest digital caliper, but size doesn’t always matter when it comes to this precision measuring tool. As an example, the average home handyman usually only works on small construction jobs around the house so a longer caliper isn’t really necessary. On the other hand, if the caliper will be used for larger construction projects, then a longer caliper may be more beneficial. However, if you’re a frequent user and plan on using your digital caliper at home and work, then to save getting multiple calipers, you may find it easier, and cheaper, to get one of the larger models.
Battery Life – If you’re a busy construction worker, the last thing you want to happen is for your digital caliper’s battery to fail you right in the middle of an important project. Some calipers can be charged by solar power and also feature a backup battery. However, the best digital caliper won’t need its battery to be replaced for a few years, even if you use them several times a day. It is also recommended that you remove the batteries from your calipers if you only use them occasionally. The batteries can leak and damage the entire electrical and digital component.
Automatic Off – One of the best ways to preserve the battery life of your digital calipers is to not have them turned on when you’re not using them. However, when your day gets busy it’s easy to forget to turn off your calipers. An automatic on/off function is something most newer model digital calipers will feature and it’s one you will appreciate. The digital display will automatically turn off when the calipers are sitting idle for a set period. This will go a long way in extending the life of the batteries and ensure you can keep working uninterrupted for longer periods at work.
Ergonomics – Taking measurements with one hand and recording the readings with the other can feel like a juggling act. The actual metal parts of the shaft, or ruler may not be very flexible and they’re definitely not moveable. However, ergonomics play an important part in how you can operate the display. The buttons around the display should be easy to use with a simple motion of the fingers so you can change the modes as needed.
Ease In Use – The entire purpose of the digital revolution has been to make our lives easier. Digital technology has definitely come into many aspects of our lives and many old devices and tools now feature this technology. An ordinary dial or Vernier caliper is still a great measuring tool, but it can be complicated to use. The best digital Vernier caliper is simple to use and as you can change the different modes with the touch of a button, you can take different measurements quite effortlessly.
Display – Part of what makes the best digital Vernier caliper such a great measuring tool is the display. The display gives you the readings you need, no matter what you are measuring. The display itself doesn’t need to be overly large, and one that is too big may interfere with your ability to use it. However, as long as the readings are large enough, you will still be able to properly view the data relating to what you are measuring.
Digital Vs. Dial Calipers – Both digital and dial calipers can help you with accurate measurements, however, digital calipers generally offer more accuracy and are a lot easier to read. They also tend to be simpler to use than the older dial calipers. The main drawback to digital calipers is you may be forced to take a break or stop work when you run out of battery power. Some can still be used as dial calipers but that would require you to know how to use dial calipers. As with many pieces of digital equipment, it may be a good idea to learn on the “old-school” versions, in this case dial calipers. Once you understand how to take accurate measurements with dial calipers, using digital ones will be a lot easier and you’ll fully understand the readings you see on the display.
Uses Of Digital Calipers – Digital calipers are all about taking precision measurements. They are used for measuring the internal, external, depth and step dimensions of whatever you are working with. Digital calipers are popular to use in the fields of science and engineering. However, they can be used in many other areas as well.
Digital Caliper Care & Maintenance – Calipers are only good if they can be accurate. Both dial and digital calipers will work better for you if you keep them clean. Digital calipers require more care and cleaning because dirt, dust and other impurities can negatively affect the electronic caliper readings. If you’re working in any dirty environment or where wet materials are used, make sure to clean your digital calipers after each use. Storage is also crucial so always store your digital calipers in a sturdy case when you’re not using them. A drop of oil on the sliding scale from time to time will also keep your calipers working smoothly.
Using Tips & Tricks
The basic rules of using calipers are simple.
- Bring the two points or jaws together prior to each use to get a zero value. An electronic Vernier caliper tends to reset to zero after each use making your job simpler.
- Only use your caliper for its intended purpose. If you use it as a ruler, knife or any other tool, you may damage it and destroy its ability to be accurate.
- Always check the mode of your caliper before you start measuring.
- Make sure the object you are measuring sits neatly inside or outside the jaws. Preferably do this on a flat surface.
- The item you are measuring should always be flush with the jaws.
Digital Caliper FAQ
Q: Why use calipers instead of a ruler?
A: Quite simply, a caliper is always going to be more accurate than a ruler when you are measuring. Digital calipers are even more accurate than ordinary calipers and can give you an accuracy reading up to one hundredth of a millimeter, or one thousandth of an inch.
Q: Are digital calipers accurate?
A: If you’ve been wondering about the accuracy of digital calipers, you can rest assured that these will offer you the most accurate measurements possible. The ratio for error is less than a tiny fraction or a millimeter which is pretty near perfect.
Q: My caliper has returned inaccurate readings, what could be the issue?
A: There is nothing worse than going through the trouble of carefully measuring the materials you are working with and realizing your measurements are wrong. You would expect digital calipers to be accurate all the time, but as with a lot of digital equipment, things can go wrong.
You did not zero out your calipers – Bring the jaws together and separate them until the display reads zero, then measure again.
There could be an accumulation of dirt and debris – Make sure your calipers are clean. Check in and around the sliding scale. You should also check inside the battery casing. Dirt can also interfere the power supply the battery is sending out.
The battery may not be strong enough – Once the battery is no longer working at full strength, it may affect how well your digital caliper works and displays readings. Change the battery and try again.
There could be a problem with the electronics – Like any piece of digital equipment, it does have an expiry date. If you use yours frequently and you’ve had it for a while, you may need to consider getting a new one.
You may have dropped your digital calipers – Accidents happen in the workplace and sometimes we drop our tools. A serious jolt or bump may have messed up the way the caliper works.
Your digital calipers may need to be calibrated – Most digital calipers come with a factory default calibration for each type of measuring. If you did not come calibrated, you may need to do this yourself.