Calipers

Calipers are instruments with adjustable tips that measure length or distance between an object’s opposite sides with a high degree of accuracy. Used in physics labs, machine shops and engineering applications, types include the Vernier caliper and digital caliper, but the principle of measuring remains the same. Some can provide a reading to the nearest 0.02 millimetres.

What are the main features of calipers?

They’re robust and commonly made from stainless steel. Some only measure the inside, outside, depth or step of an object, but many measure all of these. Calipers can display both imperial and metric measurements, with some featuring an anti-glare or satin finish to make them easier to read.

What are the different types of calipers?

Calipers vary by what they measure and how they can be read. The main types are:

Vernier caliper: Named after their inventor the French mathematician Pierre Vernier, Vernier calipers use a fixed main scale and a moving Vernier scale as a visual aid for measuring between two markings on a linear scale. Particularly useful when measuring something round, the main scale is normally in tenths of an inch or millimetres while the Vernier scale measures to the nearest 0.02 millimetres or 0.001 inches.

Dial caliper: These calipers provide the same level of accuracy as Vernier calipers but use a dial to read the final fraction of an inch or millimetre instead of two scales. Dial calipers are easy to read accurately.

Digital caliper: The digital caliper uses linear encoders to measure internal and external distances. This is shown on a digital display and available with metric and imperial conversions to accurately measure objects with ease.

Spring Caliper: The primary purpose of spring calipers is to measure the internal and external diameter of an object. They differentiate by the measuring edges and get their name by the spring joint that loads onto the nut. You can turn the adjuster clockwise or anti-clockwise to adjust the size of the measuring tips.

Find out more in our Complete Guide to Calipers.

Where are calipers used?

Calipers are found in industrial applications from mechanical engineering and metalworking to medicine and science.


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Description Price Caliper Type Capacity Imperial or Metric Display Type Accuracy Resolution
RS Stock No. 224-5457
Mfr. Part No.DW990
BrandStarrett
MYR217.39
Each
units
Vernier 150mm Metric Analogue ±0.02 mm -
RS Stock No. 224-5429
Mfr. Part No.DW851
BrandStarrett
MYR158.62
Each
units
Spring 150mm Metric - - -
RS Stock No. 224-5441
Mfr. Part No.DW852
BrandStarrett
MYR196.44
Each
units
Spring 150mm Metric None - -
RS Stock No. 224-5413
Mfr. Part No.DW850
BrandStarrett
MYR159.62
Each
units
Spring 150mm Metric - - -
RS Stock No. 224-5362
Mfr. Part No.DW900
BrandStarrett
MYR592.66
Each
units
Dial 150mm Metric Analogue ±0.02 mm -
RS Stock No. 268-9093
Mfr. Part No.DW849
BrandStarrett
MYR123.53
Each
units
Spring 100mm Both None - -
RS Stock No. 269-1119
Mfr. Part No.DW8507
BrandStarrett
MYR128.34
Each
units
Spring 150mm Metric None - -
RS Stock No. 268-9138
Mfr. Part No.DW8517
BrandStarrett
MYR161.95
Each
units
Spring 150mm Both None - -
RS Stock No. 268-9122
Mfr. Part No.DW8513
BrandStarrett
MYR169.16
Each
units
Spring 100mm Metric None - -
RS Stock No. 268-9100
Mfr. Part No.DW8495
BrandStarrett
MYR121.13
Each
units
Spring 150mm Metric None - -