3 Best Uses for a Vernier Caliper

A Vernier caliper being used to measure an outside diameter.

A Vernier caliper is a precision instrument that measures internal dimensions, outside dimensions, and depth. It can measure to an accuracy of one thousandth of an inch and one hundredth of a millimeter. The caliper has two sets of jaws, one each on the upper and lower portions. Each set has a fixed jaw and a movable jaw. The upper set is designed to measure inside dimensions, while the lower is designed for outside dimensions. It also has a depth probe at the base or on the rear part, which functions as a depth measuring tool.

Types of Scales

There are two scales on a Vernier caliper. The main scale is typically found on the length of the caliper, and it functions much the same way as a ruler. This scale is fixed on the device and cannot be moved. The caliper also has a movable Vernier scale which is the secret to the instrument’s precision. It is divided into 10 sets, each of equal length.

Where it Is Used

The Vernier caliper is typically used in scientific labs and engineering schools where precise measurements are a must. High precision instruments like the Vernier caliper do not leave room for many errors. It is also a great addition to a woodworker’s tools since it comes in handy when working with different projects that require careful and precise measurement. Below are the best uses for a Vernier caliper.

1. Measuring Inside Dimensions

The upper set of jaws on the caliper can be used to measure inside dimensions, such as the diameter of a hole on a piece of wood or metal. Measuring the precise diameter of holes in pipes, cylinders, and other hollow objects is very important to many projects or applications. To get a precise measurement, the jaws will just be slid into the hole and the measurement taken from there. The caliper can also be used to measure holes of different shapes, e.g., square, rectangular, cylindrical, or hexagonal. Lastly, the upper jaws can be used to measure the distance between two objects, which can be done by putting the jaws between the objects.

2. Measuring Outside Dimensions

Outside dimensions include things such as the outer diameter of a cylinder and total length or width of an object. For measuring the outer diameter of something with the lower jaws, you will simply clamp them around the object. However, to measure length or width, you will place the object between the caliper jaws.

3. Measuring Depth

As previously mentioned, the Vernier caliper has a depth probe on the rear part. This probe can be extended from the edge of the hole through to the other end for a measurement.