Top 10 Best Digital Calipers 2017

Name  
Lujii 200mm Digital Calipers
Digiwise Digital Caliper
Lupo Digital Caliper
Am-Tech Digital Caliper
Mitutoyo Coolant-Proof Calipers
Measuring the tiniest thicknesses has always been an essential part of engineering – as well as many other areas of industry – and the digital age has brought us the technology to do so more accurately than ever before. Digital calipers – or digital micrometres – make life a lot easier for a wide range of people, and are essential for accuracy. There are those people who still use the old fashioned, manually adjusted micrometre – and that’s all very well as they can provide good results – but there is no doubt that the digital version offers greater accuracy and ease of use.

You may not be aware that, in fact, the micrometre caliper has been around for a long, long time. The earliest types were actually used in telescopes, in order to measure the distances between stars and other celestial bodies; they are still used for this purpose today, in much-modified and more modern form. The first engineering calipers were bench-mounted devices, and the first hand-held model is recorded in around 1848 in France. The modern manual caliper is little different to those early portable models, as the concept and requirement is exactly the same.

Digital calipers came to be in the 20th century, and are now widely used throughout industry. They can measure incredibly small thicknesses and distances, and are very easy to use. You take the reading from a digital screen so it is easier to see at a glance than the graduations on a standard caliper, and it is astonishingly accurate. So, less of the chat; before we look at the top 10 digital calipers, let’s have a look at what they are, and how they do what they do.

 

The Top 10

1: Lujii 200mm Digital Calipers

The problem with approaching reviews such as this, meaning those that are reviewing items that have one specific purpose, is that you will find very little in terms of difference between the different models. Don’t be surprised, then, if we repeat certain facts and figures throughout, as they will be the ones that make the difference! This model, from Lujii, is absolutely typical of the breed: it’s a neat design with a sliding rule that carries a conversion table, has both digital and imperial measurement options, and is powered by a battery that will last up to three years.

Made from stainless-steel, it is a durable and neat device that comes with a handy hard case – perfect for protecting against knocks when carried around the workplace – and it can measure between 0 and 200mm, with accuracy of 0.02mm, which appears to be the industry standard. A locking screw keeps the jaws in place for reading and is easy to use, and it can be set to zero at any point. All in all, a good model, and at around £20 it is sensibly priced.

Pros
  • Stainless steel
  • Conversion chart
  • Two measurement options
  • Accuracy
Cons
  • None that we can see, it’s hard to fault at the price

2: Digiwise Digital Caliper

This model is a 150mm one – the one above offers up to 200mm – so is pretty standard, but it’s quite a nice device that offers ease of use and accuracy. It is accurate to plus or minus 0.02mm, as is usual, and comes with the standard slide rule that offers a metric to imperial conversion table. It is suitable not just for measuring very thin items, but also diameter, depth, length and width – which is the purpose of each of these very neat and accurate items.

This one is also made with stainless-steel and feels sturdy and well-built, and it has a nice large screen that is easy to read. It can be set with one touch back to zero at any point within the measuring range for added versatility, and is supplied already fitted with a battery. This model also comes with a heavy-duty hard case so is great for carrying around, and is superbly simple to use with a smooth action. The one thing we don’t understand is how they can do this for a tenner – it’s well worth that!

Pros: accurate, stainless steel, slide rule converter, large readout

Cons: None, which we suspect may become a familiar answer

 

3: Lupo Digital Caliper

It’s not often we find it hard to say new things about an item this early in the review – it’s not the fault of the item, but the fact that they do what they do, and that’s it! This one, from Lupo, is another steel model with the usual factors involved. It works as the above two do – in a linear measuring fashion – and is very simple to use with a large readout and both imperial and metric measurements. In short, it does what you want a digital caliper to, and it does it perfectly well.

You get accuracy of plus or minus 0.02mm, the usual standard, plus a conversion table on the back of the slide rule, and you can set it to zero at any point within the measurement scale. It has a locking screw to keep the reading in place, and it is suitable for measuring up to 200mm in diameter, width, or height. It’s a good micrometre that comes with a handy box and a full set of English language instructions, and it’s less than £10 – how do they do it?

Pros: 0.02mm accuracy, easy read-out display, comes with box and battery, steel construction

Cons: we looked for some, we really did! None.

 

4: Am-Tech Digital Caliper

Here’s another one, of the very same design; of course, if it works, why mess with it? Am-Tech is a manufacturer of power tools and security devices – and digital calipers – with a good reputation, so this is as good as any other. It’s stainless-steel so robust and easy to use, and comes with a hard case so is great for carrying around. It has the usual LCD read out that is easy to see and lockable with a small screw, and is accurate to the usual 0.02mm or 0.001inch, plus or minus either way.

You can change from metric to imperial with the push of a button, set it to zero at any point within the measurement zone, and it can be used for the full range and variety of measurement options, so it is a very usable and practical device. In fact, so similar are these items so far, we suspect they may all be the same thing, under a different brand name. Or we would, if the price differential wasn’t so high: whereas the above is priced at less than £8, you won’t get much change for £40 from this one – but what extra do you get for the money?

Pros: accurate, steel, slide rule function, easy to read

Cons: none, but why is it so much dearer?

 

5: Mitutoyo Coolant-Proof Calipers

At last, we reach a model with something different to offer. Compared to the above four, you can tell this one is slightly different at first glance, as it features some neat details in the design front. It’s almost as if the above follow a set format, whereas this one is destined to stand out. It has the usual LED read-out for easy reading, and the locking jaws so you can keep the reading, and is a slide rule design with both imperial and metric reading capability. It is notably finely engineered, too, with a smooth movement.

You get accuracy to the usual 0.02mm/0.001inch, and it can be changed between the two measurements at the push of a button. It can also be set to zero at any point, and is easy to use, and it comes in a nice hard box for protection. So, what is different about it? It is made to be resistant to coolants, oil, dust and water, so is perfect for industrial use. For that, however, you will pay almost £120 – that is considerably more than even the most expensive so far – so you really have to want this one to justify it.

Pros: Very accurate, coolant and oil resistant, precision engineering

Cons: It’s great, but at that price?

 

6: Goscien 150mm Digital Caliper

Back to the standard design with this one, but it’s a decent item nevertheless. This one, from Goscien, is another steel model with the usual factors involved. It works as the above two do – in a linear measuring fashion – and is very simple to use with a large readout and both imperial and metric measurements. In short, it does what you want a digital caliper to, and it does it perfectly well.

You get accuracy of plus or minus 0.02mm, the usual standard, plus a conversion table on the back of the slide rule, and you can set it to zero at any point within the measurement scale. It has a locking screw to keep the reading in place, and it is suitable for measuring up to 200mm in diameter, width, or height. It’s a good micrometre that comes with a handy box and a full set of English language instructions, and at a little over £10 it is certainly good value.

Pros: 0.02mm accuracy, easy read-out display, comes with box and battery, steel construction

Cons: No, we can’t find any.

 

7: Mitutoyo ABSOLUTE Digital Caliper

This one is another from Mitutoyo, who are a maker of fine precision instruments, and it is similar in function to the one we reviewed from them above. It has the usual LED read-out for easy reading, and the locking jaws so you can keep the reading, and is a slide rule design with both imperial and metric reading capability. You get accuracy to the usual 0.02mm/0.001inch, and it can be changed between the two measurements at the push of a button. It can also be set to zero at any point, and is easy to use, and it comes in a nice hard box for protection.

It comes with the manufacturer’s unique and interesting ABSOLUTE feature: This allows you to set the origin point at any point you wish and, no matter how often you turn the device off and on, it will never lose that origin point – you only ever have to set it once. Of course, it can be changed at any point, but this is a useful feature if you are measuring exactly the same thing repeatedly. The only thing we don’t like is that it is about £80, but that’s what you pay for quality in precision instruments.

Pros: Fine engineering, accurate, ABSOLUTE measuring system, steel

Cons: none, but you will pay more for it than for others

 

8: Mitutoyo 500-196 ABSOLUTE

This nicely made model has all the usual features; it has the usual LED read-out for easy reading, and the locking jaws so you can keep the reading, and is a slide rule design with both imperial and metric reading capability. You get accuracy to the usual 0.02mm/0.001inch, and it can be changed between the two measurements at the push of a button. It can also be set to zero at any point, and is easy to use, and it comes in a nice hard box for protection.

Like the one above, it comes with the manufacturer’s unique and interesting ABSOLUTE feature: This allows you to set the origin point at any point you wish and, no matter how often you turn the device off and on, it will never lose that origin point – you only ever have to set it once. Of course, it can be changed at any point, but this is a useful feature if you are measuring exactly the same thing repeatedly. The only thing we don’t like is that it is about £80, but that’s what you pay for quality in precision instruments.

Pros: Accuracy, quality model, ABSOLUTE measuring system, steel

Cons: none, but you will pay more for it than for others

 

9: Louisware Digital Caliper

Another return to the standard design, this one is very similar to numbers one to four, and is a neat and simple caliper with all the regular features. You get accuracy of plus or minus 0.02mm or 0.001inch, and an easy to use sliding rule movement, plus hardened stainless-steel construction for durability. You also get a hardened case for carrying it around, and a large digital readout plus a sensible guarantee and battery life.

It will also remember the origin point when switched off, and that can be set at any time to zero, while the auto on/off feature is also a handy one. There is absolutely nothing special about this model, but that’s not a bad thing: these devices are designed to measure accurately, and they do just that with no fuss and little messing around. This one is just under £15, so makes for good value for money.

Pros: cheap, stainless steel, easy to use, accurate

Cons: None, it’s a decent model

 

10: J-Bonest Digital Caliper

So we come to the last of our selection, and it’s very much like most of the others! You get accuracy to the usual 0.02mm/0.001inch, and it can be changed between the two measurements at the push of a button. It can also be set to zero at any point, and is easy to use, and it comes in a nice hard box for protection. You can change from metric to imperial with the push of a button, set it to zero at any point within the measurement zone, and it can be used for the full range and variety of measurement options, so it is a very usable and practical device.

If you want a no-nonsense, no frills digital caliper, you have this one and many others on this list to choose from, so it may not be the easiest choice you have to make! Nevertheless, this one is perfectly decent, although at about £17, you can find one from this list that has identical specifications for less money.

Pros: Neat standard design, ease of use, large readout,

Cons: none, but there are others that do the same for less money

That’s your ten digital calipers, then, so which should you choose? Before we sum up, let’s have a look at the important features to consider.

Important Features to Look For

There is a slight problem with this section of the review, and it’s this: to a large degree, each of these calipers does exactly the same thing. One or two are very slightly different, but they all provide accurate measurements of diameter, width, length and more. They are all good at what they do, and they vary in price quite considerable. As the functions are identical, there is only one real feature to look out for, and it’s this:

Cost: if you want to pay £130 for a device that does pretty much the same as one that costs £10, it’s your choice, but we’re not sure it’s worth doing. However, the more expensive models are very finely engineered, so bear that in mind.

How It Works

Using a manual set of calipers means turning the screw so that the two measuring pins or heads come together; then you have the thickness of the metal, paper of other material you are measuring as accurately as can be. With digital calipers you get a much higher level of accuracy in double quick time, and they are not expensive items at all. The manual caliper uses a screw that exaggerates the actual distance or thickness being measured; think of it as a type of gearing that allows you to see very small measurements.

The digital caliper is easier to use for many reasons: battery powered, it uses two finely-engineered points to determine the width of the item being measured, and displays the results on a screen that simple to read. The level of accuracy achieved can vary between models, but they are very accurate indeed and provide stunning results. It is not uncommon for those who use them regularly to carry a set of calipers in a case for instant use, and they should be calibrated regularly if perfect accuracy is required.

Who would benefit from a set of digital calipers? Anyone from a technician in a machine shop to a model-maker trying to achieve accuracy to scale. They are surprisingly useful items to have around at work – and sometimes in the home – so it’s worth checking them out if you think you might use them. So, that’s all we can say about this item; now it’s time to get down to get down to reviewing the top 10 best digital calipers available right now.

That’s it then, let’s wrap thing up!

Let’s Wrap It Up!

How do we recommend one from a list of ten that do the same thing? We can’t, so what we will say is this: the models at the upper end of the price scale are very fine devices, but for accurate measuring and portability, there are plenty of cheaper ones to choose from. Have another look, decide what you want to spend, and buy yourself a cheap micrometre caliper that will do the job!