A digital caliper is a useful tool in any workman’s kit. Anyone who has worked with a CNC machine or cut materials to fit together will know how frustrating it is to find out that the sizes do not fit.
You don’t need to worry if you are on a budget because you can still get the best digital calipers under $50. These fairly inexpensive tools are ideal for hobbyists or novices who want to learn and familiarize themselves with precision measuring.
Whether you’re working on a project at home or need one to bring along at work, the products on this list are worth considering. Woodworkers, machinists, and other jobs that need precision cuts will find great use for a reliable digital caliper.
Digital Calipers Under $50 Comparison in 2021
Last update on 2021-11-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Best Digital Calipers Under $50 Review
Having a good caliper can save you time and keep you from being frustrated at uneven and wrong measurements.
When choosing the right digital caliper, it is important to take note of the build quality, the display, and other features that will help ease your job.
1. Neiko 01407A Electronic Digital Caliper
To begin the list, let’s look at a caliper that can measure from 0 to 6 inches or 150 millimeters.
It has a 0.005-inch or 0.01-mm resolution, and an accuracy of 0.001-inch or 0.02-mm which are as close as possible, so you can expect this digital caliper to be reliable and accurate.
This caliper is made of stainless steel which helps in keeping this tool sturdy and precise. Stainless steel is known for its use in precision instruments in the medical field and in other industries as well.
The large LCD screen displays the data clearly. You can switch the readout from inches to millimeters and to fractions with a press of a button. This is a convenient feature because you don’t need to convert these manually anymore.
The jaws are made from brushed stainless steel, and you can measure the outside and inside diameter with them. You can also measure the depth and the step using the respective gauges on the caliper.
This runs on an LR44 button cell battery, which helps in keeping it light and convenient to carry around. It also has a carrying case for organization and extra protection.
Related Guide: Best Digital Caliper for Woodworking
2. iGaging IP54 Electronic Digital Caliper
This is a professional-grade caliper that provides accurate and reliable measurements for not a lot of dough. You will be surprised at the quality of the measurements it provides.
Among its great features is the IP54 rating, which keeps it from being damaged by accidental spillage and resists dust from damaging the product. It is solid in construction with hardened stainless-steel components.
Using the jaws, you can measure the outside and inside diameter of an object. You can also measure the depth and step using the extra features on this caliper. All measurements will be displayed on the LCD.
It has a large LCD screen that is clear and easy to read. There is a button to switch the display from inches, millimeters, and fractions. You can also reset the measurement or zero it at any point, which is handy when using differential measurement.
More so, it has a power-saving mode, which turns off the LCD if it’s idle for a while.
The range of measurement you can get is up to 6” or 150mm and has an accuracy of 0.001” or 0.025mm.
For a caliper at this price range, any hobbyist, woodworker, or machinist can enjoy precision measuring without spending a lot.
3. EAGems Digital Caliper
If you want a digital caliper that will provide you the bang for your buck, this one will be on top of that list.
It features all the things that will give you peace of mind when measuring things for your project.
External jaws measure the outside diameter of the object, and the smaller jaws measure the inside diameter. This part also doubles as a step gauge. You will also get a depth gauge with this as well.
The measurements you will take will be displayed on the LCD screen. You can easily switch the unit from inches to metric, and to fractions by just pressing a button.
On it is a zero button that resets the measurement to zero any time you need it. This can be used for differential measurement or if you simply want to calibrate the digital caliper.
For stability, it has a set screw that keeps the last measurement you took and a thumb roller that can be used for added accuracy when measuring.
Lastly, this comes with a carry case for security when storing and when bringing it to your workplace
Related Review: Digital Calipers for Machinist
4. Kynup Digital Vernier Caliper
If you are on a tight budget and need a digital caliper that can perform just right, this is worth considering at its price point.
It comes with all the features to provide you with the measurements you need. The jaws measure out the internal and external diameters of the object or item. And the LCD will read out either inches or millimeters. You can switch the display with a press of a button.
For added accuracy, it has grooves that give additional grip when measuring. The overall feel of this caliper is smooth and stable enough for use by DIY aficionados.
The construction is made from plastic and stainless steel, which makes it lightweight and easy to bring around. It is powered by a button cell battery, which can be easily replaced when it is drained.
All in all, this caliper will get the job done. This is ideal for beginners and novices who want an entry-level digital caliper for their weekend projects.
5. VINCA DCLA-1205 Quality Electronic Digital Vernier Caliper
This caliper is great for parts manufacturing because of the precision and versatility it offers.
You will get a longer measurement as this goes up to 12 inches or 300 millimeters. This is plenty of room for anyone in any industry that needs precision measuring.
The measurement will read out in inches, millimeters, and fractions, which comes in handy in different applications. You can switch between these measurements by pressing a button.
Additionally, it has a thumb roller and a set screw, which helps to provide a stable measurement. The stainless steel construction of the ruler and the jaws facilitate a closer and more accurate measurement every time.
For anyone who needs to record the measurement to a computer, you can buy the separate data transfer port, which automatically saves all your measurements in real-time. This is a practical feature that will save time and effort and add efficiency to your workflow.
It uses an LR44 battery and has a power-saving or auto-off feature that allows the device to last a long time, even with regular use.
6. Neiko 01407A Electronic Digital Caliper
Accuracy and precision are always important, especially in the manufacturing industry. Having a reliable tool is essential and will help get the right measurement and reduce the risk of waste of time and effort.
This digital caliper has a large format LCD screen that displays the measurement in inches, millimeters, and fractions. It features a resolution of 0.0005” / 1/128” / 0.01mm, and the accuracy is 0.001” / 0.02mm.
The body is made from brushed stainless steel, which gives it a sturdy build as well as providing smooth operation. This is powered by one LR44 button cell battery.
With this versatile digital caliper, you can measure the inside and outside diameters of the object as well as the step and depth. It displays all the measurements on the LCD for easy and fast readings.
For added accuracy, it has a set screw that you can use to hold the jaws in place if you need to, a thumb roller for better grip, and a zero button. Plus, it comes with a sturdy carrying case that’s ready to follow wherever you go.
7. Hornady Digital Caliper
If you need a reliable and straightforward digital caliper with no fuss, this one’s for you, especially if you’re on a budget.
This is a simple and efficient caliper. You will get a caliper that is able to measure the outside and inside diameters using the stainless steel jaws. Furthermore, you can also see the depth and step using the appropriate gauges as well.
You will see the measurement on the LCD screen and can alternate between inches and millimeters with a press of the button. This helps in reading the measurement conveniently.
With the set screw, you can keep the measurement in the last position if you desire to do so. The adjustment wheel will help you get the most accurate measurement every time you operate this caliper.
The readouts are accurate to .001″/.02mm, which is a reliable accuracy for any hobbyist and general purposes of measuring.
This comes with a plastic case that can be used to store the caliper and offers protection when carrying it from one place to another.
8. iGaging Angle Gage Backlit Digital Electronic Magnetic Level
This magnetic level attaches to any metal surface and accurately measures the angle using digital components to a close proximate.
Using digital measuring components, you can do away with the guesswork when setting your table saw, jointer, bandsaw, or drill press. It is easy to operate as it turns on with a press of a button. This way, you can get more time working and less time guessing the angle.
It also has a zero button, which resets the measurements that can be used to calibrate the device or adjust to your desired angle.
The display is a large backlit LCD display and measures in +/– 0.2-degree accuracy with a resolution of 0.05 degrees at a range of +/– 90 degrees. It is made from alloy and is manufactured in the USA.
9. Neiko 01407A Electronic Digital Caliper
This digital caliper is made from polished stainless steel that makes it all the more precise in every measurement.
Stainless steel is best known to be used in various industries that need precision, which is why this caliper will provide an accurate measurement every time.
You can choose the measuring modes from inches, millimeters, or fractions. This can be set with the dedicated button on the face of the caliper. It has a measurement range of 0 – 6” and 0 – 150mm; a resolution of 0.0005” / 1/128” / 0.01mm; and an accuracy of 0.001” / 0.02mm.
With the jaws, you can measure the inside and outside diameter, and with the depth and step gauges, you can measure out the depth and step accordingly. All the measurements can be read on the LCD screen.
To help with accuracy, it has a set screw and a thumb roller, both conveniently placed in practical locations on the caliper.
All in all, this is a great caliper for the price.
10. VINCA DCLA-0805 Quality Electronic Digital Vernier Caliper
Last on this list is a no-nonsense digital caliper that will surely be on top of your list.
One reason is that this can measure up to 8 inches or 200 millimeters, which can be used for a wide variety of applications.
As a digital caliper, you will instantly get a readout of your measurement on the LCD screen. This includes the outside and inside diameters, which you can measure using the jaws and the depth and step using the appropriate gauges.
This caliper is made from polished stainless steel for precision and prevention of rust buildup. Powered by a LR44 battery, it is a fairly lightweight unit that will be a joy to operate.You will also appreciate the auto-shutoff feature that will save power on your tool.
Lastly, you can purchase a separate data transfer port, which will automatically record any measurement you take directly to the computer.
What to Look for Before Buying?
There are quite a few factors to consider before buying a digital caliper. All these are important because they affect the way the sensor inside the caliper will work.
Environment Where the Caliper Will Be Used
The capacitors work well in dry environments and may lose accuracy in very humid areas. One thing to keep the accuracy right is to look for a digital caliper with an IP rating of at least 54.
This way, you can be sure that it will be resistant to water as well as dust.
Nature of the Task
Before buying a caliper, look at the applications you will use it on. The more complex and the more measurements you need to take, the more versatile your caliper will need to be.
Different materials have been used for Vernier calipers. Some of them are stainless steel, nylon plastic, carbon fiber, and composite materials.
Depending on the materials, they can range from cheap to expensive. But it is most recommended to find one that has a stainless steel build as it balances stability, precision, and durability without being too expensive.
Since it’s a digital tool, you rely on the battery to keep it running. Check what type of battery it uses and how long it lasts.
Ease of Use
Thanks to technology, most digital calipers are now easy to use. But don’t just pick one off the shelf without examining the minute details. What’s important is that it should feel comfortable when you’re actually using it.
The standard sizes of digital calipers are 6”, 8”, 12”, and 24”. You have to know where you will use the caliper and what’s the appropriate size for it so that you will not have to buy a separate one if you need that extra length.
Frequently Asked Questions
Stainless steel is the most practical material because it provides good durability and accuracy without being too expensive.
It is an international standard for enclosures. The first digit means how high the protection against the intrusion of, for example, dust and the second digit tells how high is the moisture protection.
Yes. There are great digital calipers that work well, even if they are priced fairly.
While most inexpensive digital calipers do not have a calibration certificate, you can do so by closing the jaws and then resetting the caliper to zero.
An occasional cleaning and checking of the caliper will suffice as long as you don’t subject it to abusive uses.
Having a good digital caliper is a great experience because you will easily get your desired measurement fast, and you can be sure that it’s accurate and precise.
With these best digital calipers under $50, you have plenty of options available for you, even if you are on a rather tight budget. Find one that will fit your workflow and give you the motivation to continue finishing project after project.