Digital Calipers, Dial Calipers, & Vernier Calipers

Calipers are one of the most popular precision measuring instruments because they are relatively inexpensive and versatile tools. Calipers are used to measure the distance between two opposite sides of an object. They are available in Digital, Dial, and Vernier styles with features such as SPC Output, Solar, and Waterproof and Dust Resistant. Calipers provide measurements of length, depth, inside diameter, and outside diameter - known as ID and OD. MSI Viking sells all the most popular brands of calipers, including Mitutoyo, Mahr Federal, Starrett, Brown & Sharpe, TESA, Fowler, and many more. Calipers should be frequently checked for accuracy. They are more susceptible to damage than other tools. Both the inside jaws and the outside jaws need to be calibrated, as well as the depth rod and the step measurement, if these are used. To check for wear in the jaws, do this: clean them and close them. Then hold them up to the light and if they're worn you'll see light shining through the gaps. You can continue to use the calipers if you measure with the unworn surfaces. For total reliability, however, you'll have to send the calipers for servicing. The surfaces can be ground flat again. To calibrate the inside jaws you may use a set of ring gages, but you may also set a calibrated .0001" micrometer to 1" (and higher, if possible) and then use the inside jaws to measure this distance. Since the micrometer has a discrimination ten times that of the calipers, you'll get an accurate reading. For the outside jaws it's a simple matter of inserting a series of gage blocks between them and recording the caliper readings. They must not deviate by more than one graduation (.001") over the first 4" of range. From 4" to 8" the error may be .0015" (one and one-half graduation). From 8" to 12" the error can be .002". Accuracy may vary among different models and the manufacturer's specs should be consulted for this information. Take readings at 1-inch intervals. Three gage blocks of 1", 2" and 3" sizes will be all you need. Repeatability means the dial hand or digital readout returns to the same reading on different attempts to measure the same gage block. If this fails, then you'll have to have the calipers serviced.
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