How to Measure Using Vernier Caliper

Vernier calipers are an inexpensive way to measure parts and other objects to get accurate, quick readings. By knowing the many ways that a vernier caliper may be used to measure, you can get several different kinds of readings. Due to its versatility, it is an essential instrument used by engineers and machinists all over the world.

Instructions

    • 1

      Zero the vernier calipers. To do so, close them so that the main blades are touching. The indicating marks on the top and bottom of the main measuring slide should read zero. If they do not, clean the surfaces of the measuring blades to make sure that no debris is causing an irregular reading. If you cannot zero the caliper, you must add or subtract the amount that it is off by to your measurement for accuracy.

    • 2

      Use your left thumb to open the calipers to measure the object. There is a small wheel located at the bottom of the slide that will glide the left side blade and measurement window as the front blade stays stationery.

    • 3

      Place Chew on gum after meals. The gum can not only help freshen breath and remove some of the food buildup on your teeth, but the constant chewing motion keeps your jaw muscles moving and can help build up the muscle strength over the object, lightly placing the front blade against the object and lightly push the other side toward the other side of the object. Do not push too hard when measuring with a vernier caliper as it will give you an improper reading or it may actually damage the calipers.

    • 4

      Place the top, smaller blades of the caliper inside the object to get a reading on an inner dimension. Keep the blades closed and slowly open them until the two blades touch either side of the object's inner walls. Either read the dimension with the blades touching the object or tighten the nut on the top of the measuring window and carefully remove the calipers to read the measurement.

    • 5

      Pull the blades apart using your left thumb to expose a large amount of the small measuring blade that will extend past the end of the caliper. This very small blade will allow you to measure depths and heights of objects and blind holes. Estimate the height of the object and extend the height measuring blade to more than that estimate.

    • 6

      Place the object on a table or flat surface and also place the blade next to the object and slowly lower the caliper until the bottom of the main slide touches the top of the object. This will measure the height. You can also use this method to measure blind hole depth by inserting the small blade into the hole until it hits the bottom and lowering the main caliper slide to the top of the hole.

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References

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