In simple terms, a Vernier Caliper or a stainless steel digital caliper is a laboratory instrument that is used to measure the dimensions of small objects. It is a very handy instrument to measure the diameters, side edges, or length of small-scale objects to precision.
A lot of fields like Mechanical Engineering, Carpentry, Physics, and medicine have extensive use of the Vernier caliper across all their years of study. It can be used as personal equipment as well as laboratory equipment.
A Stainless-Steel Digital Caliper is a fairly newer invention in the field of measurement when it comes to calipers. The basic difference between an analogous caliper and a digital caliper is that the digital caliper has an electronic display that will accurately show the measurement of the object.
The understanding of a Stainless Steel Digital Caliper
For all of you who don’t know how a stainless steel digital caliper works, you need not worry. The basic functionality of the measurement remains exactly the same.
The difference comes when you have to see the measurement of the value. Rather than using a normal model of a rack and a pinion, a linear encoder is used, which shows the values automatically as a numeric value.
There is an option to switch the measurement metrics from centimeters to millimeters, thus making life easy for anyone who is looking to use this.
How do you use a Vernier Caliper?
As discussed before, A Vernier Caliper is an important tool in measuring the dimensions of a particular small-sized object. In order to get the measurement to the best of precise values, you need to understand how to place the object, how to keep the measurement indexes, and how to read the values.
We have described in detail how the measurement aspect goes.
- First, understand which side/part of the object you want to measure. This becomes very important as you don’t want to be measuring a different measurement of an object as opposed to the one you should be measuring. For example, you might want to measure the height of a certain object while you end up measuring the breadth.
- The side which needs to be measured must be placed perpendicular to the measuring parts of the Vernier caliper. It is absolutely necessary as keeping it perpendicular makes the measurement precision.
- Hold the object in a perpendicular fashion against the static side of the Vernier caliper and slide the movable measuring index across the scale to bring it to the other end of the measuring side. This will hold the object between the two measuring indices.
- As you bring the object into a touch between the two measurement sticks, read the value of the screen to know how much is the measurement.
- Remove the object from the Vernier caliper.
It is a fairly simple way to measure things, given you know how to hold the Vernier caliper right, apply the right amount of pressure, and are skilled enough to read the measurement right.
How to read the measurement correctly?
There is a specific formula that is used to read the measurement of the dimensions of the object you want to measure. The formula is given below.
Actual Reading = Main scale reading + Vernier Scale Reading – Zero Error
The benefit of a digital Vernier caliper is that you do not have to go through the difficulty of applying the formula every time you need to take a measurement. The instrument directly gives value to you.
A deeper understanding of the digital caliper
A stainless-steel digital caliper is the latest innovation in the field of digital calipers. Along with making things simpler, it also provides an option to zero the display at any given point in the measurement. This makes sure we have the same features of zeroing the error that we have with the dial calipers.
Sometimes, digital Vernier calipers may contain a feature called Reading Hold. This helps the user to hold the Reading for a longer time and in places where it might be difficult to check for the measurements. This feature has been of great help to doctors and physicians in particular.
More advanced digital Vernier calipers contain a capacitive linear encoder. What this essentially means is that the Vernier caliper user bar codes are printed under the scale and on the printed circuit board on the slider to get measurements. The steps involved are as follows:
- When you put together both these circuits, we get two variable capacitors – capacitors with variable capacitance.
- When you keep moving the slider, the capacitance keeps on changing accordingly.
- The measurement is found by the circuit, which counts the number of bars that have been overlapped and converting it into a numerical form.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about Stainless Steel Digital Vernier Caliper
Around the world, there are a lot of people who get introduced to the instrument at some point in their life. One might have a lot of doubts as to what goes into using a digital-style Vernier caliper.
We have got some of the most frequently asked questions covered here for you.
1. Why would you want to use a digital caliper when you can use a micrometer?
There is a very fine line of difference as to when you can use a micrometer and when you can use a digital Vernier caliper. Micrometers are used for measuring extremely precise measurements, which might occur inside measurements, the measurement between two points or dimensions similar to that.
On the other hand, a digital caliper is not as accurate as a micrometer. It is used to measure outside measurements like height, width, etc.
One should also keep in mind that calipers are easier to use as compared to a micrometer. The lesser the precision of measurement, the easier it becomes to use a particular instrument.
2. How much can we rely on the measurement by a digital caliper?
Digital Calipers are usually precise when it comes to measurements of outside dimensions. The other advantages lie in the fact that they can easily convert one measurement metric into another with the touch of a button, making it easier to take a task forward.
Since they are the latest technological innovation in the field of calipers, their level of accuracy as compared to the dial calipers stands on the higher end. They have a display screen which makes it nearly error-free to read the measurements.
3. How does one calibrate a digital caliper?
One of the most important steps in using a digital caliper after you have bought it is to calibrate the caliper. This helps in getting the caliper into the right measurement shape.
If you are working on research and it is absolutely necessary that you have the closest precise measurement that is possible, calibrating your caliper comes in handy.
You can use the following steps to calibrate your digital caliper.
- Keeping the contact surfaces clean makes sure that the part in contact with the object is the caliper and not a third object on the measuring surface. Since we deal with extremely low margins and errors, this step is very important.
- Please unblock the locking lever on the static contact pad. This step is essential towards calibrating.
- Make sure that the caliper is completely closed. Move the moving contact pad as far as it can go. Once both the pads are in contact, make sure you lock the locking lever to keep the static pad in its place.
- Right after this, you need to press the reset button so that all the readings come to zero.
4. Which digital caliper is recommended?
There are a lot of companies in the market which sell good quality digital stainless-steel calipers. We recommend that you use The Adoric Digital Caliper, Mitutoyo Digimatic Caliper, and the one from Fowler Electronic.
Out of the mentioned brands, Mitutoyo caliper stands as the most used digital caliper in the world.
However, you might also want to check which digital calipers are sold in your local area before you go forward to make a decision.
5. Are digital calipers expensive?
You need to keep in mind that digital calipers are very handy instruments that you can use for a very long time. The return of investment on a single caliper might be manifold if you are into a profession that uses tools regularly.
On that front, an average digital caliper costs somewhere between 90$ to 110$. This is the optimal range of the cost of a caliper.
6. Where can I purchase the best digital calipers?
There are various places on the internet as well as outside where you can purchase digital calipers. We recommend you buy from Amazon/Walmart if you are buying for the first time.
This helps you to understand the customer reviews of a particular seller and helps you analyze the different Vernier calipers that are available. You could also opt for a refund or an exchange policy if the piece turns out to be faulty.
7. How do I know what size of the caliper to buy?
You can buy either one of these calipers – instruments with the measurement range of 6 inches, 12 inches, or 24 inches if you have a requirement where you would need to measure things that might be slightly larger, go for the 24-inch caliper.
You need to keep in mind that if you a beginner in this field, get yourself acquainted with the use of a caliper by using the short one. This helps you hold the caliper better before you can get used to the longer ones.
8. How long can we use a specific caliper?
If you use your digital caliper with proper maintenance and care, it will give you a service for as long as five years.
You must be careful and keep calibrating it regularly. You must be particular enough to keep the contact pads without damage.
9. Can I modify the caliper by myself, like inscribing something on it?
The answer is No. Please do not modify anything in the caliper or engrave anything on it.
It is a measurement instrument, and it should be treated as such. Once you change anything in a given digital Vernier caliper, the whole dynamic of the instrument changes.
You might have to spend extra bucks to recalibrate and adjust the whole thing again, or in worst-case scenarios – buy a new caliper. Please do not paint the contact pads of the calipers, too, as it might result in changes in measurements later.
10. Where do I learn how to use a caliper?
There are different ways in which you can learn to become a professional in using a digital caliper. If you are a student and you have access to a laboratory near you, it is always better to approach a lab technician and ask them to teach you.
If you do not have a laboratory in your proximity, you can learn the inside out of using a caliper from different tutorial videos available online. We posted some useful and helpful links below in the article, which you might find helpful.
Resources that might help in using a digital caliper
For those of you who do not know how to use a digital Vernier caliper, we have posted a link here to a YouTube video that might help you get the basics right.
You might also consider having a look at this video in order to understand how different shapes and objects could be measured using a digital caliper.
Stainless Steel digital calipers are very important tools that help you in precisely measuring the dimensions of a lot of small-sized objects. If you are in the field of research or academics, you might want to know how to use this tool, as it will come in handy at some point in time.
It is of prime importance that you know where to use the caliper as the efficiency of results also matter on which surroundings you use the caliper in. Make sure you are in a steady environment without any disturbances
We hope you have a better understanding now. Get going!