One thing that sets Digital Calipers apart from traditional analog or battery operated devices is the fact that they can calculate the minimum, the maximum and the area of a particular measurement. But what is the most accurate way to measure an item? It depends on your exact purpose and the details of the measurement. This article explains the different kinds of Digital Calipers available and how they can be used.
The most basic digital caliper is known as the plastic or vinyl variety. Plastic is generally used in cheap digital calipers, although for a bit more you could purchase stainless steel as well. It is more resilient and less susceptible to damage which significantly reduces the accuracy, although it makes for an easy to use option. While usually pictured as having the main plastic jaws used to measure the outside dimensions of an item, in reality, it can also provide the three other ways to take measurements as well.
The plastic digital calipers are easy to find and widely available. They can be stainless steel, chrome or even lasered, giving you the ability to use them with any standard or common measuring devise. Although they are cheap, the only real con is that they may not give you the most accurate results. So if accuracy is important then this is not the choice for you.
Stainless steel digital calipers have no moving parts, so are less likely to be subject to corrosion. They have a very high accuracy rating, which means that you get very precise results. The trade off is that they are much heavier than the lightweight plastic variety and this may increase the risk of damage if you are to carry it from place to place. You can purchase them in different sizes to cater for different measuring needs.
There are various other types of digital caliper available which vary in features and design. The most expensive of this range is the one which has a 3.5 inch LCD screen. Although most people can operate the caliper without the aid of their eye, for precise measurements it is probably best to have the assistance of a visual display. However, the biggest drawback of this is that the cost of the display can soon become outweighing the benefits. You get the best of all worlds though with some models offering a full built in graphing library, which allows you to store and retrieve the readings as well as the relative positions of the measured elements.
The next biggest variation between the different types is the thickness of the plastic tubing that carries the measurement results. The accuracy of the digital caliper will be greatly increased if it is thicker, up to six inches, compared to the four-inch ones. This is mainly because the outside diameter of the tube can easily accommodate digital sensors of different sizes. Therefore the results are more accurate when the tube is a bit wider rather than a bit thinner. Another thing which affects accuracy is the method of transfer of the measurement results.
A digital caliper is a versatile measuring tool, which is especially useful if you are using it for precision work. This is because the ability to read it from a distance is a major advantage. In addition, the ability to measure without actually touching the surface is another major advantage. This is especially useful if you are measuring components like springs or other moving elements. The stainless steel edges are also a major plus point when it comes to using the digital caliper.
Most digital calipers have the ability to change the reading by moving either one or both jaws closer or further apart. This feature makes them useful for measurements involving twisting or vibrating materials. However it can also be a disadvantage as far as accuracy is concerned, as being able to move the jaws closer or further could result in inaccurate readings. Digital calipers are therefore more versatile and have the ability to suit most measuring needs.