General Purpose Tools

Best cheap digital calipers

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Accurately measure small parts

These dirt cheap $13 digital calipers come in a plastic case. Mine even had an extra battery included. On the front here you have a power button, a zero button to zero out the measurement, and a toggle between inches and mm.

There are four main ways to measure. You have outside dimension, inside, depth, and step. One main reason to use calipers is because it’s much more precise than using a ruler, especially when you’re measuring something small.

They’re also great for when you want to measure the difference between two things by measuring something, zeroing it out, and measuring the second thing, giving you the difference.

They’re a crazy value at $13. And if you ever want to get into 3D modeling parts that interface with the real world, these are a must.

These same calipers were recommended by John Park of Adafruit in Cool Tools podcast #28. And it’s recommendations like this that make me such a huge fan of the Cool Tools blog and podcast.

-- Donald Bell 11/4/17