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. 841-2518
BrandRS PRO
$87.88
Each
units
Digital 150mm Both Digital 0.03 mm 0.0005 in, 0.01 mm
RS Stock No. 247-206
BrandRS PRO
$97.63
Each
units
Digital 150mm Metric Digital ±0.03 mm 0.03 mm
RS Stock No. 877-1775
BrandRS PRO
$96.91
Each
units
Digital 200mm Metric Digital ±0.03 mm 0.01 mm
RS Stock No. 841-2537
BrandRS PRO
$24.26
Each
units
Dial 150mm Both Analogue 0.4 mm 0.1 mm
RS Stock No. 841-2511
BrandRS PRO
$139.09
Each
units
Digital 200mm Both Digital 0.03 mm 0.0005 in, 0.01 mm
RS Stock No. 248-9168
BrandRS PRO
$97.47
Each
units
Dial 150mm Both Analogue ±0.02 mm 0.02 mm
RS Stock No. 725-5698
BrandRS PRO
$60.96
Each
units
Dial 150mm Metric Analogue ±0.03 mm 0.02 mm
RS Stock No. 464-9952
BrandRS PRO
$119.17
Each
units
Vernier 6in Both Analogue ±0.001 in 0.02 mm
RS Stock No. 841-2530
BrandRS PRO
$67.15
Each
units
Vernier 145mm Both Analogue 0.4 mm 0.001 in
RS Stock No. 841-2515
BrandRS PRO
$260.96
Each
units
Digital 300mm Both Digital ±0.04 mm 0.01 mm
RS Stock No. 683-0703
BrandRS PRO
$24.69
Each
units
Jenny 175mm Both - - -
RS Stock No. 841-2521
BrandRS PRO
$324.58
Each
units
- - Both Digital 0.4 mm 0.01 mm
RS Stock No. 683-0728
BrandRS PRO
$35.73
Each
units
Spring 150mm Metric - - -
RS Stock No. 725-5715
BrandRS PRO
$83.79
Each
units
Dial 200mm Metric Analogue ±0.03 mm 0.02 mm
RS Stock No. 877-1779
BrandRS PRO
$251.43
Each
units
Digital 300mm Metric Digital ±0.04 mm 0.01 mm
RS Stock No. 683-0725
BrandRS PRO
$46.85
Each
units
Spring 170mm Metric - - -
RS Stock No. 247-161
BrandRS PRO
$118.32
Each
units
Digital 150mm Both Digital ±0.03 mm 0.02 mm
RS Stock No. 683-0734
BrandRS PRO
$36.29
Each
units
Spring 160mm Metric - - -
RS Stock No. 136-8103
BrandRS PRO
$301.69
Each
units
Digital 150mm Both Digital - 0.01 mm
RS Stock No. 136-8086
BrandRS PRO
$453.40
Each
units
Vernier 600mm Both Analogue - -
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