Digital Electronic Caliper

What is a digital electronic caliper?

During planning, setting depths of cutting, or other industrial settings, digital caliper allows users to measure and fit joint with high accuracy. With an LCD display on the caliper, it clearly shows the readings for you. Compared to other types of calipers, the digital electronic caliper is known for its accuracy. If you want to know more about how a digital electronic caliper works and its pros and cons, continue to read for further information.

How does a digital electronic caliper work?

For other types of calipers, like dial calipers or vernier calipers, the biggest features are that they all have a rack and pinion mechanism. A digital electronic caliper uses a series of capacitance sensors to measure objects.

A beam is ejected by the digital electronic caliper to enable the measurement. The sensors run along the beam can help the user to measure the length. How do these sensors work? They detect minor changes in electrical charge when the distance between the jaws changes. Also, there are many rectangular plates that are underneath the scale, which are engraved onto a copper/glass strip.

As the sliding jaw moves along the main scale, the rectangular plates align and misalign, which means that the capacitance between the plates changes. Throughout the process, there are signals sent to the caliper. Later, the display of the digital electronic caliper shows the reading to users.

How to use a digital electronic caliper?

Before starting your measurement, you should know that the process is done by the head and the face of the upper jaw of the caliper. These two parts are what you’re looking for when measuring the depth or thickness of an object. Here are the steps you should follow:

First of all, open your hand tools slightly and place the place sliding jaw against the targeted object. Noted that you should make sure that the caliper head is perpendicular to the edge of the step of the object. Otherwise, you may find that the result is inaccurate.

Use a thumbscrew to open the jaws of the caliper. This step is done until the fixed upper jaw contacts the lower step. Later, you should turn the lock screw to tighten the jaws.

Once the jaws are tightened, you are good to release the object since the jaws have already matched the length or the depth. The last step is to read the measured value.

Pros and cons of digital electronic calipers


Unlike other types of hand tools, the LCD display makes users easy to read the measured result. A vernier caliper or dial caliper requires users to get the result by combining the measurement from the two different scales. Some may make calculation mistakes. But the display on the digital electronic caliper can directly show the reading to users.

The reliability and accuracy of a digital electronic caliper are so high that no other types of calipers can compete with it. With higher-leveled calipers, the accuracy can be up to 0.0001 inches. The laser beam provides a reliable way for measurement.

Automatic zero function is probably one of the biggest features of a digital electronic caliper. It can be zeroed at any point. The microchip in the caliper enables everything without recalibration. It saves time and effort for users since there is no need to calculate the difference between each measurement.

By simply pressing the converting button, the user can easily convert the readings between inch and mm. It saves effort for calculating and increases the reliability of the result. It may be hard to believe, but most errors are induced by calculation mistakes.

The versatility of a digital electronic caliper enables users to work under different modes, including outside, inside, depth, and step measurements. The process of conducting each measurement is slightly different. If you want to find out more, the steps of each can be found in the manuscript.

Most of the calipers are made of stainless steel. The anti-corrosive property of stainless steel effectively prolongs the lifetime of a caliper. Users do not have to worry about if it breaks down easily. 


Unlike vernier calipers and dial calipers, digital electronic calipers require batteries. The frequency of replacing batteries depends on how you use it. Usually, 2 AA batteries last for more than a month with regular use. Of course, there are electronic calipers with solar panels, which prolongs the use of it.

It cannot work regularly under extreme temperatures. Just like other digital instruments, the use of it can be more or less affected by temperature. Avoid measuring with a digital electronic caliper under hot or cold conditions. It may decrease the reliability of the measured result.

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