Know More about the Calipers and Its Types

A Caliper is a measuring tool used to measure an object's dimensions such as length, height, or breadth. Calipers are available in various sizes, with measurement ranges spanning from 100 to 1000 mm in most cases. Mechanical engineering, metallurgy, forestry, woodworking, science, and medicine are just a few sectors where calipers are utilized.

The Function of Calipers:

The jaws of the Caliper are adjusted so that the Caliper's tips fit across the areas to be measured. To measure the distance between the measuring faces, certain Calipers need the use of another measuring tool, such as a ruler. A Caliper must properly apply against the component to take the correct measurement. It may take some experience to measure round or irregular items accurately. The accuracy of measurement is greatly dependent on the operator's expertise. There are various factors responsible for causing an error while measuring using a caliper. These include parallax effects, differential thermal expansion, and moving jaw tilt error when the moving jaw becomes tilted due to excessive force.

Calipers are available in a variety of types, which you may select based on your needs. We will be learning about a few of its types in this article.

Vernier Caliper:

The vernier caliper is the most basic of this instrument but arguably the most reliable. This tool features two different rulers, one with the main scale and one with the vernier scale. The main scale is at the top, and the vernier scale is at the bottom. Each mark on the main scale represents one whole millimeter. The zero marks on the vernier scale will mark the number of millimeters for your measurements.

The Vernier caliper is capable of accurate measurements down to the fractional level. It has a precision of 0.01mm when standard scales only go down to 0.1mm. It can measure exterior and inside dimensions, as well as depth in most cases. A Vernier caliper is an L-shaped caliper with a moveable arm, similar to other calipers. You can obtain a measurement by sliding the moveable arm out to let an object fit between the arms. The Vernier and digital calipers perform the same functions but interpret the results in different ways. Unlike Digital calipers, Vernier Calipers do not have an electronic measurement mechanism or an LCD screen.

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Inside Caliper:

Inside caliper is an instrument for determining an object's internal dimension. The design of a pair of Inside calipers is made up of a pair of curved arms with their curves pointing outwards. To take measurements, place the device inside the item to be measured and adjust the arms until the tips of the arms come into contact with each side of the opening. You can then read the measure of the Inside caliper. Some calipers feature adjustable and locking screws that allow individuals to remove the caliper from the item being measured after it has been taken to read it more easily.

It's crucial to consider the potential sizes of the items being measured, as the tool won't measure if it won't fit. Machinists who need to take extremely accurate measurements and operate within tight tolerances frequently utilize this equipment.

Outside Caliper:

Outside calipers are used to measure an object's exterior dimension. This tool can give a high degree of precision and reproducibility if its limitations and usage are understood. Outside calipers are capable of measuring anything from an egg to a pipe used in plumbing. The same observations and techniques as for the Inside caliper apply to this type of caliper. Outside calipers are made up of a pair of arms or jaws that bend inwards. People can extend their arms and then tighten them around the measurement object. The calipers inward curving tips grasp the object, and after it's evident that they're in place, you can obtain a reading. On the other hand, inside calipers feature outward curving arms and are used to measure inside diameters.

Outside calipers work best when they are properly maintained. It is critical to ensure that the device is not bent or twisted, as this might cause errors in measurements.

Digital Caliper:

Digital calipers are the most recent advancement in caliper technology, with a digital readout that shows the measurement in the units requested. The technology employed makes it more expensive, but the precision and accuracy exceed this disadvantage. A slide rule-style digital caliper has a fixed jaw on one end and a sliding jaw on the other, corresponding to the fixed ruler scale. Physical distances are converted into electronic information on Digital Vernier caliper equipment via capacitance. Digital Vernier caliper units, commonly powered by batteries, are simple to use and work consistently. It can quickly transition between centimeter and inch systems, and with a complete count in either direction, it may simply change to 0 at any time.

Calipers: FAQs

Here are some commonly asked questions regarding calipers to help you learn more about them and add further to your knowledge!

Q. What are Calipers used in?

A. Calipers are used in a variety of sectors for a variety of purposes. They are used in laboratories for scientific research, surgeries in the medical sector, manufacturing and measuring components in the machinery industry, educational purposes, etc.

Q. What's another name for Calipers?

A. A Caliper is also known as a Gauge or a measuring device. However, the term 'Caliper' is the only prominent word utilized.

Q. What is the difference between Caliper and Vernier?

A. A caliper is a measuring tool used to measure an object's dimensions such as length, height, or breadth. In contrast, Vernier, a type of caliper, which is a secondary scale with finer graduations.

Q. What is the formula of the Vernier caliper?

A. Least Count Formula:

The least count of a Vernier caliper is determined by using the below formula:

Smallest reading on the main scale divided by the number of divisions on the Vernier scale


1mm/10 divisions = 0.1mm

Length determination Formula:

The length of the object is determined by using the formula:

Length = MSR (VSR x L.C)


MSR is the main scale reading

VSR is the Vernier scale reading

L.C is the least count of the Vernier caliper