How to Calibrate a Caliper Accurately [Dial & Digital] for 2020 – The Absolute Beginner’s guide

These days, there is no substitution of dial calipers and digital calipers for accurate and precise reading. From mechanical engineering to forestry, woodworking to medicine, science to metalworking, calipers are required everywhere!

Before you take the readings with a caliper’s help, you have to prepare or calibrate the caliper.

The days of the Vernier scales are bygones. Today, we will discuss the dial caliper and digital caliper. Let us know how to calibrate a caliper in the proper method to ensure the ultimate accuracy.

The Dial Calipers

Dial calipers are the mechanical calipers that have a dial indicator for easy and intuitive reading. It doesn’t require any battery, and as a result, these are almost maintenance-free.

These only need occasional calibration. The calipers are fluid resistant. However, these have a single unit system, and so you get to measure in either mm or inch.

If the caliper goes through dumps or fall downs, the rack and pinion might break. But, this is an affordable option for accurate and precise readings if compared to Vernier calipers.

Do you know how to calibrate a caliper? Don’t worry; today, we will discuss both digital caliper calibration and dial caliper calibration in detail.

The Dial Calipers

The Step by Step Calibration 

Here, we will go through the steps of Dial Calipers Calibration. The calibration processes of both calipers are different; however, both of them are easy.

Step 1: Remove the Residue 

First of all, you have to go through the gauge blocks’ edges and wipe them out. Make sure you wipe the dial caliper jaws and the flat anvil.

Use a clean cloth for the process. When you are finished, your spindle faced a micrometer accurate to 0.0001 inches should also be cleaned.

Keep in mind that not every caliper will be perfect for you. And so, check Calipers for Reloading Buying Guide and make no mistake in buying the best one for you!

Step 2: Adjust the Measurement 

Now, it is time to calibrate for zero. For this, you have to close the caliper jaws first. The complete closure is essential.

However, we highly recommend you not to apply force. The needle aligns to be checked with the “0” measurement on your dial. In this situation, you might need to loosen the locking screw a bit.

Ensure that the dial is secured, and don’t forget to spin the bezel you get the “0” markings. The more perfect you are, the better. After you reach zero, you have to tighten the screw.

Step 3: Calibrate Specific Measurements

Now, get ready for calibrating, keeping the specific dimensions. First of all, get your hands on the dial caliper’s large outer jaws.

Now, close them gently. However, certify that the closure is firm around the edges of the 1-inch gauge block. Here, you have to keep the caliper measurement to 1-inch.

Re-do the same process keeping the 4-inch and 8-inch gauge blocks. Here, you will see accuracy variations.

In the first 4-inches of your caliper, allow the variations up to 0.0001 inches. In the 4-8-inch range, please keep it to 0.0015, and in the 8-12-inch range, the measurement will be up to 0.002-inch.

Step 4: Measure the Distance

Now, you have to decide the micrometer at 1-inch. Now, get your hands on the anvil and spindle of a micrometer and close it with 0.0001-inch accuracy keeping a 1-inch gauge block.

With the help of gears, you have to tighten the locking screw or dial of the micrometer. Try to keep the spindle locked at 1-inch.

Now, you are free to slip the gauge block free. After this, measure the distance between the anvil and spindle of the micrometer.

Try to use small inner jaws. You will find that at the top of the dial calipers. Make sure the dial caliper measurement is at 1-inch.

Step 5: Repeat the Measurements

You have to go through the 4-8 inch micrometers and test the calipers if the previous ones are unavailable. Go through the same method you used previously.

Watch the video for more info

The Digital Calipers 

Digital calipers, also known as electronic calipers, are the easiest caliper to read. These are available in different jaw lengths and styles. Converting these battery-powered calipers to metric into inches is easy here.

Some models also afford the privilege of data output, and memory features too. The digital calipers are expensive, require a battery, and are sensitive to water, dirt, oil, and magnetic field.

So, it requires careful treatment. But if you want the readings to be the closest to the accurate, just like in the reloading works, the digital ones are the best.

Check Calibers for Reloading Buying Guide to know which the best caliper for your reloading work is.

The Digital Calipers

The Step by Step Calibration 

Though both of the calipers are different, some of the steps of these processes are quite similar. However, using digital calipers are easier than dial calipers. Let us know about Digital Caliper Calibration.

Step 1: Cleaning the Pads 

As you have to measure the extreme degrees of accuracy, you cannot let dirt, dust, and residue ruin the measurement’s accuracy.

All you need is a clean contact surface so that you can measure with accuracy and precision. Just like the dial calipers, with the digital ones, you have to clean the residue and dirt from the surface.

For the process, try to use a clean cloth. Please rely on a lint-free cloth. Wipe off the contact pads carefully for more accurate results.

Step 2: Caliper Closure 

There is a fixed portion of the caliper. Take a look there, and you will see a locking lever. The locking lever usually holds the contact pad by locking it correctly.

All you have to do is unlock this so that you can calibrate the caliper. In terms of the digital caliper, you must close the caliper completely after the unlocking process.

You have to screw down on the adjustment knob. Keep screwing down and wait. Slowly, the moving part of the caliper will move as far as it can move. All you have to do is waiting for the last bit of movement.

Step 3: Swivel the Locking Lever 

Now that you are done closing the calipers, you have to go through the movable part of the locking fixed pad. Keep pressing down and wait until it is firm on the moving pad part.

In this situation, you have to swivel the locking lever to lock the stationary pad in the right position.

This will not happen unless you have to provide the required pressure against the moving pad. Do both of these processes together, and things will be perfect.

Step 4: Reset to Zero 

Now, it is time for you to set the indicator to zero. Make sure that the moving and the stationary contact pads have a firm contact.

They should be locked in their place firmly. Here, you can rotate the knob for getting to Zero. On the contrary, you can press the reset button. Gradually, all the digital readout digits will be set at “0.”

Step 5: Verify the Calibration 

When it comes to the digital calipers, most of them are available in either two calibration rods or three. The caliper’s reading range will be according to the size of the caliper rods.

In the automotive industry, digital calipers can read from 0 inches to 6 inches. If you want to read to 1-inch, you can settle for the smaller digital calipers of 0.5 inches long.

It depends on the caliper rods how many decimal points it will read. In some larger calipers, you might see half-inch calibration rods. In this case, there will be an added 1-inch or 2-inch calibration rod.

Watch the video for more info

Final Words

So, now, you have learned how to calibrate a caliper to obtain accurate readings. The methods we have mentioned above will help you get the right reading without any glitch.

Which type of caliper do you use? Which caliper is easy while calibrating? Please write to us about your experience with the accuracy of the readings!

Other Source: All About Calipers


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