THE VERNIER CALIPER - MANUAL VERSION

V. Ryan © 2004 - 2021

The Vernier Caliper is a precision instrument that can be used to measure internal and external distances extremely accurately. The example shown below is a manual caliper. Measurements are interpreted from the scale by the user. This is more difficult than using a digital vernier caliper which has an LCD digital display on which the reading appears. The manual version has both an imperial and metric scale.
Manually operated vernier calipers can still be bought and remain popular because they are much cheaper than the digital version. Also, the digital version requires a small battery whereas the manual version does not need any power source.

HOW TO READ A MEASUREMENT FROM THE SCALES

EXAMPLE 1: The external measurement (diameter) of a round section piece of steel is measured using a vernier caliper, metric scale.

MATHEMATICAL METHOD
A. The main metric scale is read first and this shows that there are 13 whole divisions before the 0 on the hundredths scale. Therefore, the first number is 13.
B. The’ hundredths of mm’ scale is then read. The best way to do this is to count the number of divisions until you get to the division that lines up with the main metric scale. This is 21 divisions on the hundredths scale.
C. This 21 is multiplied by 0.02 giving 0.42 as the answer (each division on the hundredths scale is equivalent to 0.02mm).
D. The 13 and the 0.42 are added together to give the final measurement of 13.42mm (the diameter of the piece of round section steel)

COMMONSENSE METHOD
Alternatively, it is just as easy to read the 13 on the main scale and 42 on the hundredths scale. The correct measurement being 13.42mm.

EXAMPLE 2: (To zoom in to see the scale - right click mouse and select zoom)