How to Use a Caliper


Sometimes a ruler just won't cut it for the measuring job at hand. When you need to measure many distances, a caliper can save you time and hassle. It's a handy little tool that can be found in any hardware or home improvement store. Of course, first you need to know how to use it.

  • Choose your measurement settings as either inches or millimeters.

  • Shut the caliper jaws all the way, and zero the device according to the manufacturer's instructions. For non-digital designs, this will simply mean shutting the jaws completely and lining up the zero marker with the first mark on the caliper's scale.

  • Situate the larger caliper jaws around your target object to measure the distance between points from the outside of an object. When measuring interior distances, use the smaller jaws, situating them firmly between two edges.

  • The reading will either appear digitally or you will have to read it manually by matching the distance shown on the caliper's ruler.

Tips & Warnings

  • When using digital calipers, make sure they are turned on.
  • Calipers are generally delicate tools and should be treated with care.

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  • Photo Credit Tresna Instruments
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