Digital calipers are useful tools for taking measurements. It’s much harder to make mistakes when they’re being calculated for you digitally! Rather than measuring something yourself and trying to work out unit conversions in your head, the best digital calipers will be able to tell you precisely what you need at a glance.
However, like every tool, you need to know if 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 the best digital calipers, along with some reasons they might be an excellent addition to your toolbox.
Related: Best Tape Measures.
Our Top Digital Caliper Choices, 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
Best Simple Caliper for a Range of Situations
This polished stainless steel digital caliper takes measurements without requiring much force from the user. With no calibration needed and a built-in data transfer port, new and experienced users will find a use for this tool. This caliper is perfect for any situation, whether it’s part of your regular job or your hobby toolkit.
This caliper features a tight measuring range and an easily visible digital display. This means it's much simpler to take measurements of objects in difficult positions. In addition, 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. It doesn't slow the user down with unnecessary features or design choices. It's one of the most affordable digital calipers on the market.Check Price on Amazon ➞
2. Mitutoyo 500-196-30 Digital Caliper
Best for Novices Looking to Go Professional
Mitutoyo digital calipers use a built-in advanced onsite sensor to lessen damage from debris that could throw off its readings. The visible LCD screen displays the exact measurements the caliper picks up, down to 0.01mm increments. With a measurement range of one to six inches, you’ll be able to measure most small-to-medium-sized objects accurately. In addition, the stainless steel body ensures less damage if you accidentally drop it. It's one of the best digital calipers for durability!
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 Mitutoyo digital caliper offers a few more advanced features that can come in handy for professionals, but they don't get in the way. This means it's an excellent tool for new users to learn how said features work.Check Price on Amazon ➞
3. Neiko 01407A Electronic Digital Caliper
Best Affordable Tool for Precise Measurements
This stainless steel digital caliper offers three distinct measurement settings. You can switch between fraction, inch or metric units with the press of a button. This makes comparing measurement scales far easier. In addition, it eliminates the need to do the conversions yourself, speeding up complex jobs significantly.
Thanks to the 0.02mm / 0.001-inch precision, you’ll get much more accurate measurements at a granular level. The extra-large LCD screen and Zero button help you take precise measurements of smaller objects 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. It 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
Most Reliable Tool
Rexbeti has built this digital caliper for precision and consistency. It displays results within 0.0005 inches of the current measurement in imperial and metric units. The steel body makes it both dust-resistant and water-resistant. However, it still retains the smooth movement and lightness of most other stainless steel digital caliper tools.
You can configure the digital display to measure both the depth and the inside and outside diameter of an object. It even features an optional 'step' function. This lets you use the back step as a secondary measuring tool. Although it's battery-powered, the system automatically turns off, meaning you won't accidentally leave it switched on when you're finished.
This digital caliper is both precise and reliable, with a range of useful or optional features to boost its versatility.Check Price on Amazon ➞
5. EAGems Electronic Measuring Tool
Best Simple and Durable Caliper for Any Project
This EAGems digital caliper solves many of the problems that lower-quality models can possess. This includes slow, sticky, or jumpy movement and poor battery life. In addition, the tool's extra features - such as the option to switch between inches, millimeters, and fractions – make it useful in a broad range of jobs.
The caliper's body contains an extendable depth gauge, allowing you to judge how deep a hole or dent is. In terms of the main measuring jaws, they display both the inside and outside dimensions of an object with ease. You can even use the back edge for step measurements or set it to zero to compare two measurements.
Simple, effective, and easy to use, this caliper can take measurements well. It 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
Best Digital Caliper for Hobbyists or Beginners
This iGaging digital caliper boasts a large display and a durable body for maximum resistance to water, oil, dust, and other debris you might encounter while using it. With accuracy that dips as granular as 0.01mm, you can easily use it to take small measurements. A super-large-sized display screen showcases your results, making this caliper easy to use.
Additionally, thanks to the high-quality parts featured in its design, there’s not much space between components. Even the measuring jaws themselves are stable enough to keep their position without feeling “sticky” or moving around too much. This makes it 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
Best Caliper for Small Objects
Although originally designed to measure bullets and cartridges, this digital caliper has a range of potential applications. Hornady has tuned it for smaller measurements, making it incredibly reliable when measuring small objects for DIY or construction work. The digital display uses a simple three-button control system that you can activate with one hand.
Additionally, it extends out to a total of six inches, meaning this caliper is also useful in larger-scale situations. It provides readings on any object that can fit into its jaws, 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
Best Back-to-Basics Tool
This caliper's angular, wrench-like shape 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, it turns off when you're not using it. This ensures that the battery power is much less of a problem compared to other digital models.
Thanks to the model's smooth components, this digital caliper is surprisingly slick. It can take accurate measurements in very little time. The measuring jaws move quickly without being too slippery. In addition, they don't 'stick' like some bulkier designs. This makes it an excellent choice for people 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
Most Lightweight Digital 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 retains power when you’re not actively using it. This increases its overall battery life without buying bigger batteries.
Switching between units is as simple as hitting a button; you can operate almost every feature on the caliper with one hand. In addition, thanks to its relatively low weight and non-bulky design, it’s much smaller than other pieces of measuring equipment. Most of its weight goes into the large LCD 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
Best Caliper for Convenient Measurement Taking
This lightweight stainless steel digital caliper is designed to be as slim and comfortable as possible. It retains a familiar design that experienced users will pick up quickly. The settings on the LCD screen give you the option of switching between inches and millimeters at the press of a button. You can set the current position to zero to compare different measurements much faster.
The thumbwheel makes it much easier to adjust without needing to use both hands. Moreover, you can operate almost everything one-handed. As a result, it's convenient to measure objects in hard-to-reach locations or small spaces. This, combined with its familiar and simple design, means you'll find it reasonably easy to use, regardless of your skill level or 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 might be off, or they don’t convert between measurement types correctly. Fixing these problems yourself wastes valuable time you could be spending on much more important tasks. That’s why you need the best digital calipers.
If you’re buying a pair (whether for yourself or work), it’s good to know which features 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 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’s already calibrated, especially if you’re entirely new to using digital calipers or need to use them 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 they’re wrong. This is especially important for jobs involving small but vital components 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.
While it’s much rarer, 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 measurement accuracy to consider. Not all calipers will display measurements to the same decimal point. 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 and construction work, 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 lacking either metric or imperial in some way, they won’t always convert between types well. They might even 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 more effort to achieve the same result.
This can also apply to the zero setting if that particular caliper has them. While this setting makes it much easier to compare different measurements, it still uses the same calibrations as regular measurement styles. Making sure these measurements are correct is just as important as when it comes to standard measurements.
While measuring the distance between two points is important, there’s not only one way to do this. Ideally, the best digital calipers will measure both the inside and outside of a chosen section. Some will also have a step measurement feature. Specific designs 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 using your calipers for a very specific purpose. Still, 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 recording 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 even the best digital calipers to become 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. 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 likely, such as repairing cars, pipes, large machines, or anything else that causes damage to both you and your tools if mishandled. 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. In contrast, a slightly more expensive set with additional features such as a locking screw 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 fully open, so check with the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid wasting power.