Best Digital Calipers 2020

Digital calipers are a popular tool used to generate precise measurements of an object. The digital caliper is usually the tool of choice due to their ability to provide measurements as precise as to the nearest 0.01mm. This means that there really aren’t many situations when calipers will fail to give you an accurate reading of whatever you need to size up. When working on intricate projects a standard tape measure is not enough and this is when a digital caliper becomes invaluable.

 

At Wonkee Donkee we have gone ahead and handpicked our favourite digital calipers to save you all the legwork. As always we are keen to ensure that we have something for everybody, so we have picked a range of different digital calipers for various needs. Some of the digital calipers we have reviewed were picked as budget purchases, whilst others are more expensive but offer higher and more scientific functional features. Finally, some we have included just because we think they are some of the best digital calipers available.

There’s a lot to like with this digital caliper. For a start you can see the quality from the stainless steel it is made out of. This material of the VINCA DCLA-0605 is not only strong it has a smooth finish which both looks good as well as making the action of sliding the tool into place to take accurate measurements effortless. We love the fact that no calibration is needed, this is a massive benefit if you are new to using digital calipers as you can get accurate measurements without the complication of calibrating the tool first.

 

Saying this, it’s not just a great choice for beginners. It is built with quality and has the ability to consistently make accurate measurements making it a practical tool for contractors and experts too. It also is a pretty flexible digital caliper in comparison to others on the market, allowing you to increase your measuring range in tight places. In addition, the digital display is clear and easily visible especially when you are in awkward positions to make sure you get your measurements perfect. Finally, the VINCA DCLA-0605 digital caliper comes with an additional battery which is convenient as well as giving more value for your money.

Our Verdict

The VINCA DCLA-0605 digital caliper is slightly old fashioned in the sense that it is no-nonsense and just gets the job done. At Wonkee Donkee we like these types of tools because, at the end of the day, do digital calipers need to be spectacular? This model does exactly what it says on the tin and provides very accurate measurements, very easily, every time.

 

The simplicity of design allows you to measure even the most awkward spaces and its self-calibration won’t slow you down. If you are looking for a simple to use good digital caliper then this may be for you. Alternatively, if you are looking for something a bit fancier with extra features then read through our other digital caliper reviews. 

 

Mitutoyo 500-196-30 Digital Caliper

This Mitutoyo digital caliper model has been available for a while but it is still one of the most advanced digital calipers available on the market. The 500-196-30 model includes a range of cutting edge technology such as the on the built-in ‘On-Site Sensor’. This incredible innovation lessens the chance of measurements being inaccurate due to dust, liquid or debris from the surrounding environment.

 

It’s high-resolution digital display is clear and picks up measurements within 0.01mm accuracy. One thing that we did notice was that the range of this digital caliper is from 1 to 6 inches, which means it is good for measuring most small to medium sized objects but probably not the tool for you if you regularly find yourself measuring larger objects. Saying this, it does include a very clever zero/ABS function that makes it easier to measure similar-sized objects as comparisons rather than having to use the range a standard.

 

Our Verdict

This is a great tool for professionals who will really appreciate all of the additional technological features. We have picked this out as one of the best digital calipers if you are working on large building projects. But, at the same time, it doesn’t over complicate things so it is simple enough to be used by beginners. We think at Wonkee Donkee that if you are looking for a very accurate very reliable digital caliper that is reasonably priced in comparison to similar models then the Mitutoyo 500-196-30 Digital Caliper should definitely be taken into consideration.

 

Neiko 01407A Electronic Digital Caliper

At Wonkee Donkee we are really impressed with the Neiko 01407A digital caliper and is a great choice if you regularly switch between measuring metrics. The most commonly used are obviously imperial and metric measurements, these can be easily switched between each other at just a push of a button. This is a great feature as it means you don’t need to make the calculation yourself, saving you time.

 

The Neiko also offers up to 0.02mm/0.0001inch precision which allows you to get very accurate measurements which is great for making repair jobs a lot easier. The design including a surprisingly large LCD screen is very practical too allowing you to clearly read measurements regardless of the tight and awkward places to find yourself in. Adding to that the design is also comfortable and practical allowing you to get on with the job at hand.

 

Our Verdict

Amongst all of the digital calipers we have reviewed this has to be one of our absolute favourites for taking the most precise measurements of smaller objects. The quick conversion feature is also pretty useful. It doesn’t matter whether you naturally feel more comfortable using imperial or metric measurements as the easy switch feature does all the hard work for you.

Rexbeti Digital Caliper Measuring Tool

If you are looking for a highly precise digital caliper then straight away the Rexbeti digital caliper stands out. This tool provides you with accurate results within 0.0005inches. Although the standard measurements are taken on an imperial scale it can quickly be changed into metric measurements on the display. Rexbeti have also taken care in their design process with its stainless steel body making it dust resistant as well as water-resistant to a certain extent.

 

Another great feature we noticed was the ability to configure the digital display to show you what you need. Including the inside and outside diameter measurements of an object. The Rexbeti digital caliper is also energy efficient with an automatic on and off switch which causes it to power down, saving the battery life when not in use.

Our Verdict

If you are looking for a digital caliper that is both accurate to fine detail and very practical then this Rexbeti model ticks all the boxes. It is also more than affordable and is great value for money with its sturdy stainless steel design. We are struggling to find something not to love about this digital caliper with its precision combined with some other practical functions making it a great choice.

EAgems Electronic Measuring Tool

At Wonkee Donkee we spoke to the team at EAgems responsible for designing this digital caliper and they told us how a lot of effort was focused on solving the problems that cheaper and lower quality digital calipers tend to have. These include problems like sticky or jumping movements of the sliding arm as well as weak batteries. Their work at EAgems has really paid off too with this digital caliper not experiencing any of these typical issues as well as delivering plenty of functionality.

 

This model can also be easily switched between millimetres, inches and fractions which makes the conversion of metrics effortless for the user. In addition, it is light enough to hold in one hand and it contains depth blade that can be extended making it great for measuring in tight spaces. As with most digital calipers the jaws measure both inside and outside dimensions with ease, making it a great tool for beginners and professionals alike.

Our Verdict

When it comes to reviewing tools sometimes we inexplicably gravitate towards certain tools and it’s hard to explain why. This is how I feel about this digital caliper from EAgems. It is true that a lot of its functions and capabilities are similar to most other models on the market, but when you package them all together this digital calibre seems to really work. To us, it is functional, accurate and reliable and we can’t find a reason not to like it.

iGaging IP54 Electronic Digital Caliper

As soon as you pick up the iGaging IP54 digital caliper you can feel the durability of this tool. It’s no surprise when you find out that it has maximum resistance to dust, debris, oil, water and any other liquids that might get into contact during use. It is also as accurate as any of the competitors on the market with its granular measurements reaching as precise as 0.01mm. iGaging have also not messed around with the design of its display screen which is both large and clear for enhanced readability.

 

The attention to detail in this digital calipers design and it’s high-quality assembly also means there is minimal space between components. In addition to this, the jaws of the caliper remain stable when in use without moving or feeling sticky as some competitors models do. This stability added to the large display screen makes this a contender for the best digital caliper to use in tight spaces. 

Our Verdict

As an all-round digital caliper iGaging have really created something special here. It is easy to use and stable which makes it great for beginners. The large display and highly accurate measurements provide you with unrivalled precision, with its strong build and resistance to all liquids and debris making a great first digital caliper if you are working on projects that require precision measuring.

Hornady 050080 Digital Caliper

The unique thing about the Hornady 050080 digital caliper being included in our best digital caliper review is that its original use was to measure bullets and cartridges, as opposed to being a tool for DIY enthusiasts and professionals. The migration over to being a tool used in workshops is due to it being so effective at measuring smaller objects. This amazing reliability when making consistent measurements of smaller object in particular have seen many professionals and DIY’ers alike adopt this tool into their arsenal.

 

The digital display that is built into the measuring jaws is really effective and it’s clever design that incorporates a simple 3-button system means that you can use this with only one hand. Saying all this, the Hornady digital caliper is not just a one-trick pony. It does actually extend out measuring up to a total of 6 inches without losing measuring accuracy.

Our Verdict

Although the Hornady 050080 digital caliper was not originally built to be used as a handy tool for projects, its ability to complete a range of different tasks makes it hard to ignore. If you find yourself looking for a digital caliper to help with measuring small objects regularly then why not choose a tool designed exactly to do that.

Fowler 54-101-150-2 Cal Electronic Caliper

At Wonkee Donkee we really like the 54-101-150-2 digital caliper made by Fowler. It has a simple design with a focus on allowing the user to make precise measurements quickly without the fuss that comes with some other digital calipers. The distinctive wrench-like shape of this caliper stands out from competitors as it cuts out unnecessary bulkiness making the tool lightweight but still robust.

 

The design is also intelligent as it is slick, the jaws used for measuring can be moved quickly without any sticking or being too slippery as some other digital caliper models do. Another great feature we like is the automatic turn off when not in use to save battery. This is a simple feature but can really make a difference to how regularly you need to purchase replacements.

Our Verdict

The Fowler 54-101-150-2 digital caliper epitomises simplicity. If you are after a handy battery-powered tool that allows you to take accurate measurements quickly without any fuss then look no further. It is solely designed to get the job done and that is why we have a soft spot for this digital caliper at Wonkee Donkee. 

GlowGeek CD-6-150 Quality Vernier Caliper

If you are looking for a more technical digital caliper then the GlowGeek CD-6-150 might just be what you are after. It has a range of extra features allowing you to get exactly what you want by just pressing a few buttons. Its main feature is easy calibration function that allows you to get on with the job and measure objects using the three different measuring modes on offer. This digital caliper is also energy efficient with an automatic energy-saving mode that increases the life of the batteries.

 

The GlowGeek CD-6-150 also allows you to switch between units with the press of a button. All of which can be done with one hand, thanks to its lightweight structure. The GlowGeek is the exact opposite of bulky with the majority of the weight of the tool coming from the large LCD display screen.

Our Verdict

When we first took a look at the GlowGeek digital caliper we could not believe how light it was considering the power it contains. The large LCD display screen adds to the attraction of this model allowing you to easily read measurements even in the tightest of spaces. If you find yourself regularly in a position where you only have one hand to measure then you cannot go wrong with the GlowGeek CD-6-150 digital caliper and you should definitely take it into consideration.

Starrett Electronic Digital Caliper

We should probably say off the bat that the Starett electronic digital caliper is probably not the best digital caliper if you are a beginner or are inexperienced with using this type of measuring tool. However, if you are experienced with taking measurements with digital calipers then it won’t take long for you to get to grips with this model. As standard with most digital calipers the LCD display screen is accompanied by buttons that make changing the measuring metrics easy. As well as resetting the position to 0 to quicken the process of comparing measurements.

 

The back of the digital caliper includes a thumbwheel which makes it easy to adjust with one hand. The rest of the features are also well designed to make a one-handed measurement easier in confined spaces. The rest of the design is pretty standard as a digital caliper and leads to it being relatively easy to function. If you are a beginner then there is nothing stopping you trying the Starrett digital caliper it might just take a little longer to get to grips with.

Our Verdict

For people with past experience of using digital calipers its design is not too dissimilar from other models available meaning that you can get to grips with this tool fairly easily. What stood out to us with the Starrett digital caliper when we were testing it was the complete functionality you have when operating it with one hand. In addition, we were impressed by how quickly it could be altered and used to take measurements allowing for tasks to be carried out with no fuss.

Digital Caliper Buying Guide

If you have never purchased or even used this type of measuring tool then this digital calipers buyers guide is definitely for you. The reason we have written this guide at Wonkee Donkee is to let you know what to look out for when you are buying digital calipers to make sure that you make the right choice for you. The first thing you need to realise is that some digital calipers need calibration. Most models available on the market today self-calibrate and this is important if you are inexperienced in using digital calipers. It also saves a lot of time even if you are an expert. A good quality digital caliper with self-calibration allows you to make measurements quickly without the fuss, as well as providing you with peace of mind that results are accurate.

 

Another issue that occurred with early digital calipers was slight inaccuracies when converting between measuring metrics. This has mostly been stamped out and when we tested all of the models in this best digital caliper review, we found no discrepancies. However, as you are working with such precise measurements you should always test your digital caliper first to ensure that it is full in working order. You do not want to risk ordering the wrong size item due to a technical malfunction. At Wonkee Donkee we have put our heads together to make a list of all the things you need to consider and why before you buy a digital caliper. This is what we came up with:

Calibration

As we previously mentioned it is difficult to tell how well digital calipers are calibrated are unless you are experienced in the calibration process. We advise you to read up on the specific calibration process for the model you purchase on the manufacturer’s website to be best informed. At Wonkee Donkee our recommendation is to buy digital calipers that calibrate themselves allowing you to use them straight from the box. This is one major advantage of using digital calipers over standard vernier calipers which can be time-consuming to calibrate every time you need to use them.


The importance of ensuring that your digital caliper is fully calibrated is to ensure that your measurements are as precise and accurate as possible. If not, you can find yourself in tricky situations where inaccurate measurements lead you to order the incorrect size materials or inaccurate cuts which are potentially detrimental to your intricate projects. Another advantage of purchasing self-calibrating digital calipers is the legal protection you have if the tool works incorrectly. This is rare but can provide peace of mind that if the tool malfunctions and causes potentially expensive issues in projects you will be covered. 

Measuring Accuracy

The measuring accuracy of digital calipers is another obvious consideration that you need to take into account before you make a purchase. Digital calipers vary in their measuring accuracy, with some measuring to different decimal points. The reason people use digital calipers is for intricate measurements so the decimal points really do matter. If you are using a digital caliper for DIY or personal projects then a decimal place of 0.1mm may be suitable for you. However, if you are working professionally on contracts then the extra precision a 0.01mm digital caliper can provide is necessary. The different measurement scales available is something else you should take into account. Most standard digital calipers (including all of the ones included in our best digital calipers review) provide measurements in both metric and imperial values. In addition, most good digital calipers provide an easy to use conversion button that allows you to quickly convert between measuring scales.

 

This saves time converting measurements yourself if you are following instructions or ordering parts in different scales. It should also be noted that some digital calipers offer additional measuring scales such as fractions. What scale you want to measure in and what scales you need is something only you know, so make sure you think about this before you make your choice. The final thing to take into account when you’re looking at the measuring accuracy of digital calipers is the ‘Zero Setting’ that some models feature. This allows you to make quick comparisons between measurements effortlessly. If you regularly measure intricate objects and need to make comparisons, then a digital caliper that offers this feature would definitely be of benefit.

Measurement Types

While being able to measure the distance between two points is important, there’s not only one way to do this – ideally, you’ll want calipers that can measure both the inside and outside of a chosen section. Some will also have a step measurement feature, and there are specific designs that use a pull-out depth-measuring stick for judging how deep a hole or dent is in a surface. Not all of these are necessary, especially if you’re only planning on using your calipers for a very specific purpose, but they can make a big difference if you’re into DIY or need them for a professional job.

 

Being able to measure in more ways opens up more opportunities to check for mistakes, improving the quality of whatever you’re building without forcing you to buy entirely new tools. A zero setting can also make a difference since it allows you to compare two measurements without needing to record them separately. While it’s not particularly challenging to do this, it still saves plenty of time and can help you avoid measurement mistakes by showing you the comparison directly. Wonkee Donkee Tip – some digital calipers that offer the ‘Zero Setting’ feature sometimes use the same button to reset. If you are having difficulty in doing this, then move the caliper’s jaws back to the 0 position and press the button again to reset the tool.

Durability

We all try to do our best to keep our tools away from the elements but when you are working on projects its not always possible. It is a standard problem with metal tools that wear, oil and rust can affect performance, these factors can cause inaccuracies in measurements which renders calipers useless. It is important to assess the durability of digital calipers before you make your decision, especially if you are a mechanic for example where it is impossible to keep your digital caliper away from oil.

 

The reason we have chosen the 10 digital calipers in our review is due to the fact that they are all well built and durable. Our recommendation is to buy a stainless steel digital caliper due to the resistant properties of this material. This should mean that your typical water, oil, dust and debris can easily be cleaned from the caliper without having a negative impact on performance. In addition, extra durability is sometimes worth extra expense as one high-quality digital caliper that has a long life is cheaper than buying several cheaper versions.

What is a digital caliper?

Digital calipers are commonly made up of jaws that are connected to a beam which has a marked scale. They can give both inside and outside measurements which can be particularly useful depending on what you are measuring. In addition, most digital calipers have depth probe slides on the beam which gives you an extra depth measurement (usually up to 6 inches).

 

This type of measuring tool works through placing the fixed part of the digital caliper around an object and using the other jaw to slide into the opposite side of the object you need to measure. Once the sliding jaw is in the correct position, the digital caliper will take an electronic reading of the measurement and present it on the high-resolution digital screen.

 

As we previously mentioned, digital calipers are typically used to measure the thickness of objects but the added measurements you can make can be really useful. Probably the second most taken measurement by a digital caliper is the inside measurement of an object. To take this measurement, place the fixed side of the vernier caliper against the inner side of the gap and slide the jaw of the caliper out against the opposite side of the gap. By switching the digital caliper to read outside measurements as opposed to inside measurements you will then get your precise measurement reading displayed on the digital screen.

 

A digital caliper is also a great tool for easily measuring in different metrics too. The days of trying to quickly convert metric and imperial measurements back and forth are behind us. A quick press of a button on your digital caliper will allow you to switch between various metric units with ease. So now you’re up to scratch on what digital calipers can do and how they work you’re ready to read our review of the best digital calipers.