Ways To Maintain Your Calipers For Longevity

Have you ever experienced the frustration of a caliper breaking down in the middle of a crucial measurement?

Or worse, have you ever had to replace a perfectly good caliper because it wasn't properly maintained?

As someone who works with dimensional measurement, you know how important it is to have accurate and reliable tools.

That's why it's essential to take care of your calipers to ensure their longevity.

Not only will this save you money in the long run, but it will also prevent unnecessary stress and delays in your work.

In this article, I'll explore some simple yet effective ways to maintain your calipers and keep them in top condition.

Key Takeaways

  • Calipers are versatile tools used for making precise measurements of distance.
  • There are different types of calipers available for dimensional measurement.
  • Calipers are widely used in industries such as metalworking, safety, and MRO.
  • Proper care and maintenance are essential to ensure accurate measurements.
  • Calibrating and storing calipers correctly can prolong their lifespan.

Types of Calipers

Vernier Calipers

These were first introduced by French mathematician Pierre Vernier in 1631. They consist of two jaws, one fixed and one movable, and a main scale and a vernier scale that allow for precise measurements.

Digital/Electronic Calipers

These are the latest innovation in caliper technology. They use a digital display to show measurements and are more accurate than traditional calipers.

Spring Joint Calipers

These consist of two legs with pointed ends that are joined by a spring. They are used for measuring the inside diameter of objects.


These are more accurate than calipers and are used for measuring small distances, typically up to several inches. They consist of a spindle and anvil that are moved together by a screw mechanism.

Dial Calipers

These are similar to vernier calipers but have a dial that displays measurements instead of a vernier scale. They are commonly used in machining and engineering applications.

Jenny Calipers

These are similar to spring joint calipers but have a curved shape that allows them to measure the diameter of round objects more accurately.

Common Problems with Calipers

Calipers can experience various issues that can affect their accuracy. Some common problems include wear and tear, error due to Abbe's principle, damage to the jaws, inconsistent measurements, and difficulty in taking depth measurements.

Tips to Maintain Your Calipers

  1. Inspect your caliper for wear and tear, such as burrs and scratches on the jaws.
  2. Store your caliper properly and avoid dropping or throwing it.
  3. Do not exceed the measurement range of the caliper.
  4. Do not use a caliper as a substitute for other tools.
  5. Clean the calipers after use and wipe the measuring faces before measuring.
  6. Return the caliper to its storage case when not in use.
  7. Only use your caliper on stationary parts.
  8. Lubricate the caliper to prevent corrosion.
  9. Avoid sudden shocks or impacts that can damage the caliper.
  10. Keep the jaws of your caliper flat when taking a measurement.
  11. Inspect your caliper for wear and tear regularly.
  12. Wipe off rust proofing and dirt from measuring surfaces and slide before using the calipers.
  13. Avoid pushing against the slide without pressing the thumb lock.

Cleaning and Maintenance Best Practices

  1. Clean the calipers after use and wipe the surfaces with a clean cloth.
  2. Store calipers properly in a dehydrated place or a specific container to prevent rust.
  3. Do not use calipers as a substitute for other tools.
  4. Brush off any dirt or dust before using the caliper.
  5. Lubricate the calipers appropriately to prevent corrosion.
  6. Check the accuracy of your caliper before every use.
  7. Inspect your caliper for wear and tear regularly.
  8. Follow the cleaning recommendations provided by the manufacturer.
  9. Store the caliper in a suitable environment away from vibration and movement.
  10. Avoid sudden shocks or impacts that can damage or miscalibrate the caliper.

Calibration Guidelines

Calibrating your calipers is important to ensure accurate measurements. The calibration frequency can vary depending on the manufacturer's recommendations and the level of accuracy required. It is recommended to calibrate Vernier calipers at least once every 12 months, but more frequent calibrations may be necessary for critical measurements.

Signs Your Calipers Need Calibration

  1. Inconsistent measurements
  2. Jaws not sitting flat
  3. Loose performance tolerances
  4. Need for accuracy
  5. Full range of the instrument
  6. Short-range indicator
  7. Calibration interval

Safety Precautions

While using calipers, please take certain safety precautions to avoid damage and ensure accurate measurements. Some dos and don'ts include not dropping or throwing the caliper, not exceeding the measurement range, not using it as a substitute for other tools, and storing it properly.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

  1. Clean and dry the surface before measuring.
  2. Check for wear and tear on the jaws.
  3. Verify critical parameters of the measuring tool.
  4. Understand the required tolerance levels.
  5. Ensure the jaws sit flat when taking a measurement.
  6. Inspect the jaws for damage.
  7. Calibrate the calipers for accuracy.
  8. Store the calipers properly.

By following these tips, you can maintain your calipers for longevity and ensure accurate measurements.

Final analysis and implications

So, we've talked about the various ways to maintain your calipers for longevity. We've covered everything from cleaning and lubricating to proper storage and usage. But what if I told you that there was another aspect to caliper maintenance that you might not have considered before?

Dimensional measurement.

Yes, you heard me right. The way you measure dimensions with your calipers can actually affect their longevity. How, you ask? Well, if you're not careful with how you use your calipers, you could be putting unnecessary strain on the measuring surfaces. This can lead to wear and tear over time, which can ultimately shorten the lifespan of your calipers.

So, what can you do to avoid this? First and foremost, make sure that you're not applying too much pressure when measuring. This is especially important when measuring softer materials, as they are more prone to damage. Additionally, be sure to clean your calipers after each use to prevent any debris from getting stuck in the measuring surfaces.

But here's the thing: dimensional measurement is not just about maintaining your calipers. It's also about accuracy. If you're not measuring correctly, you could be getting inaccurate readings, which can lead to costly mistakes down the line. So, take the time to learn how to use your calipers properly. Practice measuring different materials and get a feel for how much pressure you need to apply.

In conclusion, maintaining your calipers for longevity is not just about the physical maintenance. It's also about how you use them. By taking care to measure correctly and avoid unnecessary strain on the measuring surfaces, you can ensure that your calipers last for years to come. And who knows, maybe you'll even become a pro at dimensional measurement in the process. So, go forth and measure with precision!

Looking for a caliper?

Choosing a caliper can be very difficult if you know nothing about them.

So I created this quick, newbie guide to help you:

The best caliper and how to choose one for you

Links and references

  1. Measuring Tools Book
  2. How to Read a Caliper: 15 Steps (with Pictures) wikiHow
  3. How to Read Calipers The Spruce
  4. PreLab: How to Use a Vernier Caliper
  5. Measurements Purpose Equipment Discussion UTSA

Related articles:

Different Types of Calipers and Their Uses

Tips for Accurate Caliper Measurements

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Using Calipers

What Are Calipers and How Do They Work?

The History of Calipers

The Importance of Calipers in Engineering and Manufacturing

Introduction to Calibration Tools

Self-note: (Article status: first draft)

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