Parts of the Vernier Caliper

Written by jay leone
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Parts of the Vernier Caliper
Calipers for measuring length. (Image by, courtesy of alikins)

A vernier caliper is a simple measuring device that is available in standard as well as metric measurements. They are usually employed when precise measurements are needed down to hundredths of a millimetre or one thousandth of an inch. There are several parts that are common in all vernier calipers.


There are several common parts that are needed to make up a vernier caliper. The main parts of a vernier caliper include two pairs of fixed and movable jaws, retainers or locking screws, a vernier scales in inches and millimetres, a rail and a depth probe.


Vernier calipers are usually L-shaped in which the long portion is the bar that contains the scale of measurements, the short portion is the part of the jaw that is fixed. The movable jaw has a vernier scale for standard and metric measurements. Some level of clamps are usually used on the movable jaw to fix it into a position when needed. Adjustment nuts for fine tuning are also common on most vernier calipers.


Vernier calipers are used to measure distances between two symmetrically opposing sides. They are equipped to measure internal dimensions with one of the pair of jaws that are part of any vernier caliper. The other jaws are used to measure external dimensions. If a particular set of vernier calipers is equipped with a probe that moves through the centre of the caliper, depth can be measured.


Vernier calipers are traditionally a very accurate measuring tool. Many vernier calipers can be accurate up to hundredths of a millimetre or just around one thousandth of an inch. Vernier calipers are available with digital or manual readouts. It is recommended that people with impaired vision or bad eyesight employ the use of a digital vernier caliper to assure accuracy in readings.


There are several different types of vernier calipers available by several different manufacturers. Tresna Quality & Precision Measuring Instruments offers a standard vernier caliper for £9. A thumb clamp vernier caliper from the same company will cost around £14.0. Gear tooth vernier calipers can cost around £61.4. A dental vernier caliper is available by Tresna for £57.7.

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