Today we’re all about the caliper gauge.

Learn the correct reading and other interesting facts.

The reading time is approx. 4:20 minutes.

The caliper is particularly suitable for fast measurement as it is very universal and easy to use.
They are produced for various applications. The dimensions ( from 150mm – 1500mm ) and accuracy class vary.

Nonius caliper Calimax | with depth gauge

The caliper – in general

There is a suitable tool for every problem worldwide – that much is certain. There is also a caliper. Its exact origin can probably never be proven, but the oldest find was found in the Greek Giglio wreck. The ship sank off the Italian coast in the 6th century BC. The caliper gauge was made of wood. Later it was still used by the Romans and the Greeks.

What material are calipers made of?

In the following we list the most common materials from which calipers are made and work out the advantages and disadvantages.

On the one hand, there are the commercially available steel calipers. These are usually hardened with an additive, which has the advantage that the measuring range is less worn out. Here the scale is mostly matt chrome-plated for user-friendliness.

Then there are the metal calipers. These are usually also rustproof. The scale is mainly also matt chrome plated.

And finally there is the plastic caliper gauge. Here, too, the material must be reinforced by a further component.
For this we use glass fibres, of which each of our calipers contains 60 %.
This makes them scratch and weather resistant.

Digital and analog calipers – where is the difference?

Who has the choice, has the agony – or something. At the very least, a suitable area of application can be found on the basis of the specific capabilities and thus the suitable caliper gauge for the respective activity.

Let’s start with the digital caliper gauge. This allows a simplified reading of the measurement result from a display. For quick comparison measurements a zero position in any position is possible. A further advantage results from the manual switching possibilities of the units, cm and mm/ inch. A reliable companion for the whole world. In addition, one can be pleased about a serial interface, which makes it possible to read out measurement data in order to be able to process them directly on the PC. So if you don’t mind buying more batteries or if you don’t always have full protection against water, the digital caliper is probably the ideal and reliable measuring tool for you.

Digital calipers are often used when speed is of the essence, as the numbers on the display can be read easily and without error.

Now we come to the analog calipers. Here we have the nonius caliper and the clock caliper. Both have the advantage that they are virtually indestructible. Splash water and steel water are normally no problem. The caliper gauge has the additional advantage of zeroing in every position. It is also suitable for differential measurement. Electronic measurement data acquisition is not possible with the Nonius caliper or with the clock caliper.

Anyone who has ever had anything to do with the nonius caliper knows that it is not so easy to read!
Because it is important to us that no measuring errors happen to you, a short explanation follows with pictures and texts.

On the leg of the caliper you can see the nonius length scale. It guarantees a very accurate measurement result. For the inch reading, please use the same method with the upper zero line on the measuring leg.

First you measure the target object with your beak. The zero position of the nonius length scale is then your approach. The aim of the reading here is to ensure that the lower line matches the upper line. If the two dashes show a difference at the zero position, you need the nonius length scale. The picture should illustrate this.

As mentioned above, the goal is to achieve an exact match between the nonius scale and the normal scale using a dash.


We hope the pictures were able to give you a better understanding of the application of a caliper gauge. When reading, always ensure that the viewing angle is straight. We quote you a valuable reader contribution as follows: “… with a conventional vernier caliper it can easily come to a “paralax error” ( measuring error by shifting the angle of view ). This may occur if the gaze is not directed directly at the vernier. ”

What is Nonius?

The nonius is a movable length scale for increasing reading accuracy on measuring instruments for lengths or angles. With a nonius caliper it is possible to measure everything with an accuracy of up to 0.05 mm.

Click here to order Nonius calipers online

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