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Adventures in Science: How to Use Calipers

A set of calipers can be an incredibly useful tool for precisely measuring the distance between objects.

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Based on a suggestion by user Sembazuru, we made a video showing you how to use calipers! Digital calipers are fairly straightforward, but it can be a little tricky to read dial and Vernier calipers. Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered.

While they are often found in fields like mechanical engineering and metalworking, calipers have their place in electronics as well. Every now and then, I run across a component that has no datasheet, or the datasheet has incomplete information on the required PCB footprint for the part. If I happen to have the component in hand, I can pull out my trusty calipers to take whatever measurements I need from the component.

Using digital calipers to measure electrical components

Beyond just PCB layout, they are also extremely useful for taking precise measurements to 3D print enclosures for your electronics, like Nick’s Pokédex phone case.

I use a set of digital calipers for quick work, but I also have a set of Vernier calipers for when I need reliability in my measurements. Beyond these, what else do you like to use calipers for? Any tips or tricks you can offer for taking good measurements?

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