Digital calipers are a somewhat useful tool for taking measurements, and it’s much harder to make mistakes when they’re being calculated for you digitally. Rather than having to measure something yourself and try to work out unit conversions in your head, the right set of these calipers will be able to tell you precisely what you need at a glance.
However, like every tool, it’s essential to know that you’re getting what you need – whether you’re using it around the home or for work, you need to make sure that you have the right equipment for the job, especially when other people’s safety and wellbeing could be on the line. Below are ten of these digital caliper models, along with some reasons they might be an excellent addition to your toolbox.
Related: Best Tape Measures.
View the Best Digital Caliper, Below.
- VINCA DCLA-0605 Digital Vernier Caliper
- Mitutoyo 500-196-30 Digital Caliper
- Neiko 01407A Electronic Digital Caliper
- REXBETI Digital Caliper Measuring Tool
- EAGems Electronic Measuring Tool
- iGaging IP54 Electronic Digital Caliper
- Hornady 050080 Digital Caliper
- Fowler 54-101-150-2 Cal Electronic Caliper
- Proster Digital Vernier Caliper
- Starrett Electronic Digital Caliper
1. VINCA DCLA-0605 Digital Vernier Caliper
This high-quality digital caliper is made with smooth stainless steel, allowing it to slide around and take measurements without needing much force from the user. With no calibration needed and a built-in data transfer port, it’s easy for both new and experienced users to find a use for this tool, regardless of whether it’s part of your regular job or your hobby toolkit.
The tight measuring range and easily-visible digital display of this caliper mean that it's much simpler to take measurements of objects in awkward positions, and you won't need to worry about fiddling with external settings to get it to work correctly.
Although reasonably basic in concept, this digital caliper is ideal for a vast range of situations, and doesn't slow the user down with unnecessary features or design choices.Check Price on Amazon ➞
2. Mitutoyo 500-196-30 Digital Caliper
These advanced digital calipers use a built-in Advanced Onsite Sensor to lessen damage from dirt, liquids and other debris that could throw off its readings. The visible LCD screen displays the exact measurements the caliper is picking up, down to 0.01mm increments. With a measurement range of one to six inches, you’ll be able to accurately measure most small-to-medium-sized objects that might need repairs, and the stainless steel body ensures that it won’t take much damage if you accidentally drop or bash it against a surface.
The built-in Zero/ABS key also means that you can set the caliper to measure similar-sized objects based on comparisons, rather than having to use the range as-is.
This digital caliper offers a few more advanced features that can come in handy for professionals, but they don't get in the way, meaning that it can be an excellent tool for new users to learn how said features work.Check Price on Amazon ➞
3. Neiko 01407A Electronic Digital Caliper
This digital caliper offers three distinct measuring settings, allowing you to switch between inches (imperial), millimeters (metric) and fractions with the press of a button. This makes comparing certain measurement scales far easier and eliminates the need to do the conversions yourself, speeding up complex jobs significantly.
Thanks to the 0.02mm / 0.001-inch precision, you’ll be able to get much more accurate measurements at a granular level, making important repair jobs easier. This is helped by the extra-large LCD screen and Zero button, both of which help you take very specific measurements of smaller objects that might be in awkward or tight spaces. The smooth and carefully-designed body of the calipers also makes its movements far smoother.
This digital caliper is excellent at taking very precise measurements of small objects, and can display them in three different ways, making it an excellent tool for general-purpose repairs and DIY work on any scale.Check Price on Amazon ➞
4. REXBETI Digital Caliper Measuring Tool
This digital caliper is built for precision and consistency, displaying the results within 0.0005 inches of the current measurement in both imperial and metric units. The stainless steel body has been given an extra layer of protection, enough to make it both dust-resistant and water-resistant, while still retaining the smooth movement and lightweight of most other steel caliper tools.
The digital display can be configured to measure both the inside and outside diameter of an object, as well as the depth, with an optional 'step' function that lets you use the back step as a secondary measuring tool. Although it's battery-powered, the system automatically turns on and off, so it's difficult to leave it switched on when you're not using it.
This digital caliper is both precise and reliable, using a range of useful and/or optional features to boost its versatility rather than making it a niche tool.Check Price on Amazon ➞
5. EAGems Electronic Measuring Tool
This digital caliper is meant to solve a lot of the problems that lower-quality models can possess, including slow, sticky or jumpy movement and a poor battery life. The tool is light enough to hold in one hand, and its extra features - such as the option to switch between inches, millimeters, and fractions – make it useful in a broader range of jobs.
The body of the caliper contains a depth blade that can be extended, allowing you to judge how deep a hole or dent is. In terms of the main measuring jaws, they can display both the inside and outside dimensions of an object with ease, and you can even use the back edge for step measurements, or set it to Zero for comparing two measurements.
Simple, effective, and easy to use, this caliper can take measurements well and doesn't put too much focus on other tasks that are better solved with entirely different tools.Check Price on Amazon ➞
6. iGaging IP54 Electronic Digital Caliper
This digital caliper boasts a large display and a very durable body, all of which has been designed for maximum resistance to water, oil, dust and other liquids or debris that you might encounter while using it. With a range of accuracy that dips at granular as 0.01mm, you can easily use it to take small measurements, with the results being shown on a super-large-sized display screen that makes it much easier to use.
Thanks to the high-quality parts used in this caliper’s design, there’s not much empty space between components, and even the measuring jaws themselves are stable enough to keep their position without feeling “sticky” or moving around too much. This, combined with the larger-than-average display, makes this a useful tool for taking precise measurements at awkward angles or in tight spaces.
This digital caliper balances ease of use with accuracy really well, making it an excellent tool for beginners who are getting into important or precision-heavy projects.Check Price on Amazon ➞
7. Hornady 050080 Digital Caliper
Although originally designed to measure bullets and cartridges, this digital caliper has a vast range of potential applications. Since it's been tuned for smaller measurements, it's incredibly reliable when it comes to taking consistent measurements of small objects for DIY or construction work, and the digital display built into the measuring jaws use a simple three-button control system that you can activate with one hand.
However, since it extends out to a total of six inches of measuring space, this caliper can also be useful in larger-scale situations, providing readings on any object that can fit into its jaws while keeping the same level of calibration and accuracy. This, along with its easy-to-use design and straightforward operation, makes it a surprisingly versatile and effective tool.
Although it was built for reloading purposes, this caliper can come in handy for a wide range of different jobs and tasks, especially if they involve small objects.Check Price on Amazon ➞
8. Fowler 54-101-150-2 Cal Electronic Caliper
The angular, wrench-like shape of this caliper cuts down on unnecessary weight while still providing a high level of corrosion and rust resistance. Faster and more precise than a conventional set of calipers, they’re also able to turn themselves off when not in use, ensuring that the limitation of being battery-powered is much less of a problem compared to other digital models.
Thanks to the smooth components, this digital caliper is surprisingly slick and can take accurate measurements in very little time. The measuring jaws move quickly without being too slippery to use correctly, and they don't 'stick' like with some bulkier designs, making it an excellent choice for people who are trying out battery-powered measuring tools for the first time.
This digital caliper offers the pure basics, making it an excellent tool for quickly taking measurements without needing to work around obstructive features or design choices.Check Price on Amazon ➞
9. Proster Digital Vernier Caliper
This digital caliper boasts three different measuring modes and an easy-to-use calibration function, giving you much more control over the accuracy of the results you’re getting. On top of that, the unit also has an energy-saving mode that can retain power when you’re not actively using it, increasing its overall battery life without requiring you to buy bigger batteries.
Switching between units is as simple as hitting a button, meaning that you can operate almost every feature on the caliper with one hand. Thanks to its relatively low weight and non-bulky design, it’s much smaller and less cumbersome than some other pieces of measuring equipment, with most of its weight going into the large LCD display screen that shows the current measurement readings.
Lightweight and easy to use, this caliper manages to be effective without being overly bulky or heavy.Check Price on Amazon ➞
10. Starrett Electronic Digital Caliper
These lightweight digital calipers are designed to be as slim and comfortable as possible while still retaining a familiar design that experienced users will be able to pick up quickly. The easy-to-use settings located on the LCD display screen give you the option of switching between inches and millimeters at the press of a button or setting the current position to zero so that you can compare different measurements much faster.
The thumbwheel at the back of the screen makes it much easier to adjust without needing to use both hands, and you can operate almost everything on the tool one-handed if required, making it much more convenient for measuring objects in hard-to-reach locations or small spaces. This, combined with its familiar and simple design, means that you'll find it reasonably easy to use regardless of your skill level or past experience.
This digital caliper is simple and convenient, providing a lot of different features that can be used one-handed for much faster measurement-taking.Check Price on Amazon ➞
Digital Caliper Buyer’s Guide
Like all tools designed to measure different values, you can’t rely on any random set of digital calipers to be precisely as reliable and accurate as you’re expecting them to be. There’s always a chance that the calibrations can be off, or that they don’t convert between measurement types correctly, and fixing these problems yourself can waste valuable time that could be spent on much more important tasks.
However, if you’re buying a pair (whether for yourself or for work purposes), it’s good to know which features and elements you should focus on first. Simply purchasing the first pair you see will often leave you with a poor-quality product, or even one that’s outright unsuited to the job you need it for.
While you can’t usually tell how well-calibrated a set of calipers will be, you can still look at the distributor’s website to see if they talk about the calibration process. Ideally, you’ll want a pair that are already calibrated, especially if you’re entirely new to using digital calipers and/or need them to be ready to use straight out of the box.
Bad calibration will also throw off your measurements, and can even lead to serious mistakes further down the line if you don’t realize that they’re wrong. This is especially important for jobs where there are small but vital components involved since you might not be able to judge whether your measurements are correct through sight alone. You can’t correct them until you know they’re wrong, so it’s best to avoid poor calibration altogether if you’re able to.
While it’s a much rarer situation, knowing that a company claims to have calibrated their calipers can also give you some legal grounds if something goes wrong. If a poorly-set-up caliper leads to something important getting destroyed, especially in the workplace, you won’t be responsible for the mistake.
Alongside calibration, there’s also the accuracy of the measurements it takes. Not all calipers will display them to the same decimal point, and there can be a big difference between 0.1 mm and 0.01 mm when you’re dealing with small objects. While this might not be too important for DIY work, it can make a massive difference in industrial work and construction, especially when a situation calls for measurements that are too specific for you to measure properly.
Some calipers won’t provide certain measurement types, either. While it’s rare to find one that’s lacking either metric or imperial in some way, they won’t always convert between types well and might be missing alternative measuring systems (like fractions) that could be vital to certain plans or instruction manuals. Even if you can convert between unit types yourself, it still wastes time and takes a lot more effort to achieve the same result.
This can also apply to the Zero setting if that particular caliper has them – while they make it much easier to compared different measurements, they still use the same calibrations as the regular measurement style, and making sure that they’re correct can be just as important as the standard measurements.
While being able to measure the distance between two points is important, there’s not only one way to do this – ideally, you’ll want calipers that can measure both the inside and outside of a chosen section. Some will also have a step measurement feature, and there are specific designs that use a pull-out depth-measuring stick for judging how deep a hole or dent is in a surface.
Not all of these are necessary, especially if you’re only planning on using your calipers for a very specific purpose, but they can make a big difference if you’re into DIY or need them for a professional job. Being able to measure in more ways opens up more opportunities to check for mistakes, improving the quality of whatever you’re building without forcing you to buy entirely new tools.
A zero setting can also make a difference since it allows you to compare two measurements without needing to record them separately. While it’s not particularly challenging to do this, it still saves plenty of time and can help you avoid measurement mistakes by showing you the comparison directly.
As with all tools, water, rust, and other types of damage can lead to calipers becoming unreliable and harder to use, especially if important components become damaged. Water can be a big problem for metal tools, as can other liquids like oil or cleaning chemicals, and there’s rarely any downside to choosing a set of calipers that can resist common types of damage.
This is especially important if you’re using them for tasks where damage is quite likely, such as repairing cars, pipes, large machines or anything else that cause damage to both you and your tools if handled incorrectly. While it’s definitely better to break your tool rather than part of your body, it still leaves you stuck without an important piece of equipment.
There’s also the issue of having to replace it – a cheaper caliper without extra protective features might break more often, and the cost of constantly buying a new one will quickly add up, whereas a slightly more expensive set might last much longer while costing less overall.
Calipers with zero settings might sometimes expect you to reset it using the same button – move the jaws back into the zero position and hit the button again to bring the measurements back to normal.
Did you know?
Some digital caliper models with power-saving modes will only activate them when the jaws are reset – this can either be when they’re closed or when they’re fully open, so check with the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid wasting power.