A Vernier caliper is an instrument for making very accurate measurements, introduced in 1631 by Pierre Vernier of France. A vernier caliper is a measuring device used to precisely measure linear dimensions. In other words, it measures a straight length between two points.

Vernier caliper utilizes two graduated scales:

A main scale of vernier is similar to that on a ruler and an especially graduated auxilliary scale, the vernier, that slides parallel to the main scale and enables readings to be made to a fraction of a division on the main scale.



Vernier calipers have both a fixed main scale and a moving vernier scale. The main scale is graduated in either millimetres or tenths of an inch. The vernier scale allows much more precise readings to be taken (usually to the nearest 0.02mm or 0.001 inch) in comparison to a standard ruler (which only measures to the nearest 1mm or 0.25 inch).

Vernier calipers have both a fixed main scale and a moving vernier scale.
The main scale is graduated in either millimetres or tenths of an inch.
The vernier scale allows much more precise readings to be taken (usually to the nearest 0.02mm or 0.001 inch) in comparison to a standard ruler (which only measures to the nearest 1mm or 0.25 inch).

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Mitutoyo digital caliper is the new generation of vernier calipers which display the reading directly onto the screen without calculations and effort. The digital vernier calipers have helped reduce errors and time taken for measurements.

What is the Vernier scale?


Nice question. It’s essentially for accuracy. It has the normal larger scale but also a scale within that main scale that allows for clearer resolution and accuracy, which removes any potential of human error.

The reason why this works so well is because it’s based around what is known as vernier acuity. The human eye is very good at detecting if two lines are aligned or misaligned. So this two step process plays into making it accurate and more importantly, the more you practice the more accurate the eye gets.
Vernier calipers usually show either imperial or metric measurements, but some measure in both.

Vernier Caliper Range

The range (sometimes called maximum capacity) of a vernier caliper is the difference between the largest value and the smallest value that the caliper can measure. It is equal to the length of the main scale. Most vernier calipers have a range of 6 inches (300mm), although calipers with smaller and larger ranges are also available.

Least count of vernier caliper

The least count (or vernier reading) of a vernier caliper is the smallest distance that the caliper can measure. The least count of imperial vernier calipers is usually 0.001 in, whereas the least count of metric calipers is either 0.05mm or 0.02mm. A caliper’s least count is indicated at the end of the vernier scale.
The least count of imperial vernier calipers is usually 0.001 in, whereas the resolution of metric calipers is either 0.05mm or 0.02mm.A caliper’s least count is indicated at the end of the vernier scale.

Instrument Error or Tolerance






Vernier calipers, like micrometers, are the tools more commonly used for low tolerance measuring. Low tolerance measuring tools provide very accurate measurements, with a small margin for error.
The instrument error of most vernier calipers is +- 0.03mm (+- 0.0015 in), making the tool very useful if you are looking for a high level of precision in your measurements.
Most verniers are capable of measuring outside dimensions, inside dimensions and depth. Some calipers, which incorporate quadri feature, can also be used to take step measurements.


Applications  of vernier caliper :


  1. Machine Shops
  2. Medical Instruments
  3. Research Applications
  4. Locksmithing
  5. Educational Institutions etc.

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