How To Read Digital Calipers In Inches | All You Need To Know

Working with a digital caliper is one of the most challenging tasks; however, nothing is impossible if you follow the right instructions and precautions. 

Nowadays, most people prefer to use a digital caliper instead of a vernier caliper since they are simple to use and you don’t have to interpret the vernier scale. Moreover, there is no need to add zero error in the calculation since most digital calipers can calculate the reading automatically. 

Hence, digital calipers are one of the most effective measuring tools on the market. It also comes equipped with a display; therefore, you can check the reading in decimal points. Besides this, the device is capable of converting data to various units of measurement such as metrics, millimeters, centimeters, inches, and many more. 

On that note, we have put together this article to help read the digital caliper in the most effective way possible so that you get accurate measurements all the time. 

What Is A Digital Caliper?

Digital caliper measuring door sills
Ⓒ Architecture Lab | Anton Giuroiu

Unlike traditional caliper devices such as the vernier caliper, where you have to calculate the measurements manually, a digital caliper is more efficient and reliable. Vernier calipers require measuring the diameter of the object by using a vernier scale. 

However, digital calipers come equipped with an in-built computing system that does all the calculations which is the main key difference between the two measuring scales. 

A digital caliper usually comes with a fast and efficient LCD screen which allows the users to read the measurements displayed without any difficulty. In addition, they are capable of measuring objects in inches and metric value. 

Nevertheless, you must keep in mind that all digital calipers use batteries to supply power to the electric components; hence, you must always replace the battery whenever they die. 

How To Prepare The Digital Caliper For Reading?

Before using the digital caliper to measure the objects, you must make the following preparation: 

  • Always clean the surfaces of the object with a clean cloth and soap water ( this will ensure that the dust doesn’t interfere with the readings). 
  • Once you have cleaned the object, it is recommended to clean the battery cover with a clean cloth. 
  • You can then proceed to loosen the locking screw of the digital caliper 
  • After you have completed the previous step, you can proceed to clean the right and left side of the jaws. 
  • Close the digital caliper once you are done with the cleaning and turn on the power button. 
  • If you notice that the reading is measured 0, then the caliper is fully calibrated, and you are good to go. 
  • In case you don’t get the zero reading, you can clean the jaws till it reaches the zero position. 
  • You can also move the slider to check if the LCD works properly. 

How To Read A Digital Caliper? 

Now that we have covered all the necessary preparations required before measuring an object, we can proceed with the main process. Here is a list of steps you must follow when you read a digital caliper

  • Before measuring any object, you must always turn the on/off button of the tool. 
  • By long pressing the on/off button, you can select the desired unit of measure (in this case, we will go with inches). 
  • You can then proceed to push the zero button to set the reading on the LCD as zero.
  • From here on, you can place the object between the upper and lower jaws of the digital caliper and adjust it accordingly (this is ideal for recording outside diameter).
  • In case you want to record the inside dimensions, we recommend placing the jaws in between the closed position. 
  • Once you have completed these steps, the caliper will display the reading on the LCD screen (rounded off to the nearest decimal point).
  • Typically, you can calculate the perpendicular and depth of the surface by using this device. 
  • After you have recorded the correct measurement, you can turn off the device and clean it nicely for the next time. 

How To Read Digital Calipers In Inches Final Words

With that, we have reached the end of this guide. Before logging off, we would like to share a few tips while working with a digital caliper. 

For starters, always make sure never to apply voltage while you calibrate digital calipers since it can cause them to overload. This can result in a damaged circuit system; hence, you might have to buy a new device. For example, using an electric pen on a certain part can damage the main component. 

Secondly, always turn it off wherever you are not using it. By doing so, you can prevent the battery from dying fast. Lastly, you should properly place the object between the caliper jaws if you want precise measurements. 

That said, we are signing off. See you next time! 

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