A brief overview of the various types of calculators

A brief overview of the various types of calculators

Calculators are now so common that it's difficult to remember a time when they were primarily used by engineers and academics. Calculators used to be standalone machines that were fairly huge by today's standards and only had a few basic capabilities.

Before the invention of calculators, the abacus, slide ruler, mathematical tables, and other non-electronic tools were used to conduct simple and sophisticated calculations. Not only was the labor tedious and time-consuming, but the aids' dependability was also questionable.

Many portable electronic devices, such as cell phones, now feature calculators, which can be as small as a key chain. Electronic advancements have substantially increased calculator capability, allowing for a larger range of applications like those seen in financial and scientific calculators. Despite these advancements, today's calculators are actually less expensive than previous models.

While initial models of the calculator were these black electronic gadgets, appropriate for quick mathematical actions like addition, subtraction, and others, the need for more knowledge-based calculations, and the evolution of computer science, led to the formulation of online computers.

This online computer usually comprises a user interface and a calculation module that is imperative for feeding in relevant inputs to get valid solutions like tables, charts, and other calculation outcomes with user-friendly options based on the requirements of the end-user.

You also have Google's official calculator app, which comes pre-installed on practically every Android smartphone. The calculator comes with all of the functionality you'd expect, including basic calculating tools as well as some more complex options (sine, cosine, tangents, equations, etc.).

Different types of calculators based on their applications:

While basic calculators work well for homemakers, shopkeepers, or accountants, more advanced ones like scientific or graphing or even financial calculators are needed by financial analysts, scientists, students, or teachers to get prompt answers, with no scope of errors. Mentioned below are some of these user-centric models of calculators that are specifically designed for various purposes.

  • Scientific calculator:

Simple calculators are all good for basic calculations, but a scientific calculator comes to the rescue when it comes to solving complicated calculations or equations. It is designed to solve tedious, complex calculations and is most suitable for scientists, researchers, students, professors, and others.

Primarily these calculators run with efficacy with strong battery support, so one should ensure the same while purchasing it. Another pointer while buying this scientific calculator is to ensure that it comes with a manual, so the end-user has first-hand knowledge of its various applications.

  • Graphing calculator:

Another sophisticated calculating device available in the market is the Graphing Calculator. It is a handheld device that displays plotting graphs for complicated equations like parabolas etc. Ideal for advanced mathematical courses, this enhanced calculator can not only work with variables and solve simultaneous equations.

It has additional features like cosine, sine, tangent, and the ability to demonstrate plotting equations in a graphic form. Most of the solutions are available in visual forms like animated graphs, plotting points, and algebraic equations.

This graphing calculator not only works for high-level computations and advanced users but for students who aspire to an engineering career or professors and professionals. While TI-83 is one of the best for beginners, TI-89 is considered ideal for advanced users. However, one can always surf online for a detailed guide as per the end user's requirements.

  • Financial calculator:

Apart from a basic one, yet another calculator that is widely used is the financial calculator. It is a finely tuned apparatus that is most handy for professionals in the world of finance, real estate, and economics. Designed with stand-alone keys for specific functions like interest calculations, making cash flows, storing information, time value components, calculating the money value during various periods, and even performing basic equations is easy. The features of this device are usually not available in the basic models.

Owning a financial calculator entitles one to myriad advantages, as this model can be programmed to add functions that are not present in it. It is user-friendly. Hence this appliance does not require expertise in programming. The advanced version of the financial calculator usually has the additional feature of graphing the financial calculations also. A detailed survey of the various models is highly recommended before purchasing.

  • Basic calculator:

As the name suggests, a basic calculator is an elementary one that is readily available everywhere. This handheld portable device is usually available in two models: the pocket calculators ideal for high school students, teachers, homemakers, shopkeepers, etc. The other one is the desktop calculator.

Both the calculators have LCD displays and perform the basic arithmetic calculations of whole numbers up to 12 digits. Their capacity varies from 8 to 12 digits. Large calculations are thus possible, and with memory functions, they can also be stored. The features vary depending on the models.

Basic calculators are all battery operated, and with technologies in progress, several options are now available, be it the lithium battery backup, or be it solar-powered ones. Some calculators are featured with dual power and can work in dim light also. Additionally, these days they have acrylic protection on all the buttons to increase the longevity of this device.


Buying a good calculator depends not only on the end user's requirements but also on the authenticity of the brand and the place of purchase. Casio, Citizen, Orpat, Oreva, and Texas Instruments are some of the prominent brands available for this product. There are several others that are equally good, so one should do thorough research before taking a final call on the product to be bought.

Purchasing a calculator from the market can be tedious. Still, trustworthy online websites will help you zero in the apt choice of a calculator and offer irresistible rates for the same. You can always choose to visit Moglix, one of the most reliable sites providing a wide range of calculators that can match both your pocket and your requirements.