Top 5 Digital Calipers for Machinists [Updated 2020]
One of the first tools that machinists mention when asked to name the most important tool in their toolbox is a caliper. Although not as accurate as micrometers, calipers are handy and practical tools that can help machinists take quick measurements of their parts. If you don’t have your own caliper or need to purchase a new one, you should do it quickly.
There are three main types of calipers: Vernier, Dial and Digital. Since one type is not unanimously considered better than the others, the selection is generally based on personal preference. If you don’t know where to start, you can check out our guide to find out the pros and cons of each model.
In this post, we will help you identify the best digital calipers for your needs. Digital calipers, unlike their Vernier and Dial relatives, have a digital display that makes it easier to read measurements.
As we extensively stressed in other blog posts, when it comes to inspection and measurement, having a precise and reliable tool is key. That’s why we always recommend spending a little more by purchasing a tool from manufacturers that are well known for the quality of their products. We understand, however, that sometimes your budget might not allow that, so we’ve included some more affordable models that will also help you get the job done.
We were curious which digital calipers have become the most popular among metalworkers in 2020, so we asked the Practical Machinist community via social media to express their preference. Out of the 200+ responses, there were five brands that dominated the conversation. Those favored models are as follows, in order from least to most recommended.
An affordable option, this electronic caliper includes a sturdy case. Although it is not a high-end tool, this option will be an accurate and reliable addition to your toolbox.
Affordability and accuracy are guaranteed with the Mahr Federal digital caliper. This tool allows both absolute and incremental measurement readings. Product details highlight the durability and reliability of this tool in all types of workshop environments.
If products made in the USA are your top choice, this is your tool! The Starrett digital caliper is coolant-proof and built to protect against dust, water, and oil, so you won’t have to worry about wear. The heavy-duty hardened stainless steel bar provides longevity and corrosion resistance.
Another USA-made option, this tool came in a close second among the community. The Brown & Sharpe model features a smooth and durable stainless-steel frame. Compatible with all work environments, this digital caliper is built to withstand exposure to dust and liquid.
This coolant-proof model was hands down the most raved about digital caliper by the Practical Machinist community. Multiple machinists who have used different brands in their career claimed Mitutoyo was the one who got it right. Accuracy and ease of reading were the two expressed strengths of this digital caliper.
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