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What are the advantages and disadvantages of vernier calipers?

What are the advantages and disadvantages of vernier calipers?

Illustration of using a vernier caliper to measure.

There is a range of different tools available which are able to measure precise distances such as vernier calipers. This article looks at the advantages and disadvantages of using vernier calipers.

Advantages of Vernier Calipers

Accuracy and Precision

Vernier caliper extremely accurate measuring capability.

Vernier calipers provide accurate and precise measurements over a large range.

Integrated Scales

Vernier caliper advantage is that it is more accurate than a tape measure.

As the main scale and vernier scale are built into the tool, another measuring instrument such as a ruler or tape measure is not required.


Range of different measuring capabilities by a vernier caliper.

Vernier calipers can be used to take a variety of different measurements. These include internal dimensions, external dimensions and depth measurements.



Vernier caliper is incredibly accurate at measuring.

Most vernier calipers are made out of stainless steel. Since steel is a very durable material, with proper care, a stainless steel vernier caliper can last a lifetime.


Some vernier calipers can be very expensive.

Compared to other types of caliper, vernier calipers are relatively inexpensive.

Disadvantages of Vernier Calipers

Good Eyesight is Required

Vernier caliper disadvantages include hard to read displays.

The vernier scale of a vernier caliper is quite small, and so can sometimes be difficult to read. It is not difficult to misread the last digit of your measurement. Good eyesight or a magnifying glass is required when taking readings.

Knowledge of Vernier Calipers is Required

Illustration of the measuring scale on a vernier caliper.

As the vernier scale is a unique measuring instrument, users must learn how to read a vernier caliper before taking measurements.

Possibility of Errors

Vernier caliper disadvantages.

Taking a series of measurements one after the other can lead to reading errors, because concentration is required.

More Accurate Tools Available

Vernier caliper with easily readable display screen.

Vernier calipers are not the most accurate precision measuring tool available. For example vernier calipers are not as accurate as digital calipers.

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