How to Read a Dial Caliper ? Step by Step User Friendly Guide

A Dial Caliper is an essential tool for professionals working with automotive and machine applications as they require precise measurements. This handy tool comes with an easy-to-use interface; however, you should be a little careful while using it as it requires patience some basic knowledge first. If you are a new user, then here we will explain to you how you can read Dial Caliper in real life.

For the beginners who have not used a dial caliper, we have prepared a step by step guidelines to use this tool like a Pro. It is important for you to know how to read it to achieve 100% accuracy with the measurement of the tools and parts in the production house. Let’s get on to the guide.

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Reading a Dial Caliper- Step by Step Guidelines 

Step 1:

Understanding the Parts of a Dial Caliper 

Just like other measurement tools, the Dial Caliper also includes a number of parts which work together to give you the accurate measurements. Here are the parts which come with the Dial Caliper unit. 

  • Inside Jaws
  • Outside Jaws
  • Bezel Nut
  • Lock Nut
  • Reference Edge
  • Dial Indicator

The first thing you need to check whether there is some extra space in between the jaws or not. For that, you need to first close down the caliper’s jaws. Take it to the light and see if you could see the light between the jaws. If not, then the Caliper is in good condition and you can use it. 

If you could see some light between the jaws, then you need to clean the jaws first. This is the first thing you need to check even before using the Dial Caliper. 

Step 2:

Now, you need to focus on the clamp of the dialer. It should be closed while you are using it. The bezel nut should be loosened so you can operate it easily. You can twist the dial to take the needle to the Zero. Once the needle is on Zero, you can snug up the nut using your hand.

While measuring a part of anything, make sure that it is thoroughly cleaned. When you keep the object clean, it will give you perfect measurement without any errors. 

Step 3:

This is the most crucial tasks as it involves the final results of the measurement. To measure any part, this involves either inside jaws or outside jaws. Let’s see what these Jaws can do. 

Outside Jaws can measure the width, length and thickness. While the Inside Jaws can measure holes and depth of an object. 

Depending upon your needs, you can use any of these Jaws which are associated with the dial caliper. 

Step 4:

To start with the measurement of a part, you need to first open the jaw. If you are measuring the thickness, you need to open an outside jaw of the caliper. 

Put a part or object in between the jaw and main dialer and close the jaws manually. Make sure that it is closed properly and snug feel. You should also make sure that the part should be moved outside easily while the jaw is still there. 

Once you are good with it, you can tighten the screws of the jaws, this will lock down the jaws to its position so you can read the measurement easily. 

Step 5:

Now, you need to understand the markings of the Dial Caliper. Let’s get some useful details on it. 

10 Marks is equal to 1Inch I.e. 2.5 Cm

1 Mark is equal to .1 Inch 

These are the numbers where the dialer’s needle will rest and show you the measurement. The mark you read on the caliper should be multiplied with 0.001 to get the right measurement. 

The needle rest on the numbers must be expressed in thousandths. For that reason, whichever number an indicator indicates, should be multiple by 0.001. 

Example: If the needle is resting on 12, the measurement of the dialer is 0.012 Inch. This is a part of the measurement. 

Step 6:

Final Measurement is just a step away. You need to focus on the indicator here. The Dial Indicator should show you the mark of the needle which will help you to measure the size of an object or part. Take note and note down everything you see on the dial caliper’s indicator. 

That’s how you can read a dial caliper. It’s an easy task for those who use it regularly. However, it will be a little difficult for users who haven’t used it before. It needs some patience and practice and you will be good to go with its reading. 

If you are a new user, you better be with someone who is already aware of the marks and indicator. He will guide you more about how you can get an accurate measurement of something using a dial caliper. 

Since you are a beginner, here we have enlisted some tips which you should know while using a Dial Caliper to get the accurate measurement. 

Dial Caliper Tips and Tricks 

The edges of the dial are used to measure the inside and outside of the object. The inside faces of the caliper used to measure outside of the object and the outside faces of the caliper used to measure inside of the object. 

The dial comes with a pointer or needle, this needle lets you see the accurate mark on the dialer. You can then use this mark to determine the accurate size of an object. 

The needle is used to measure up to ten-thousandths of an inch. 

In order to get the accurate result or measurement, make sure to set the dial at Zero. You can use the jaws to set up and the Dial Lock button to lock down the needle to Zero. 

Keep an eye on the reference edge to know how many tenths of an inch the object is. This will give you the perfect ratings and will help you to determine the right measurement. 

These are some of the tips or use of its parts which you should understand before using it. There are some users who make some mistakes while using a dial. Make sure you do not repeat these mistakes while using this handy measurement tool. Here, we have listed down the most common mistakes that users of a Dial Caliper make while using it. 

Common Mistakes

  1. Not Zeroing the Dialer

This is the first and the most common mistake that Users are making. As mentioned in the above steps, the first thing you need to do is set the needle to a Zero in the dialer. This is a simple task to do but still, users are not focusing on it. As a result, they will get an inaccurate measurement.

  1. Using the Base of the Faces

Another mistake most users make is using the base of the outside faces of the Caliper. When you use the outside faces, it will show you an inaccurate result. 

  1. Not tightening the Dial

The Dial Caliper features a lock to tighten the inside and outside jaws for the perfect measurement of a part or an object. While measuring an object, most people forget to use this lock button which also gets them an inaccurate result. Make sure you use this lock while measuring. 

  1. Avoiding Reference Edge

Reference Edge is a useful section on the Dial Caliper which shows you the reference results with the object that you are measuring. Make sure you also focus on the Reference Edge while measuring objects or parts using the tool. 

Final Words: 

A Dial Caliper is a useful handheld tool which is used for measuring parts and objects which require 100% accuracy. This tool comes with handy design and can be used by anyone with little knowledge. Hope the above information has helped you to understand the basic use of the Dial Caliper tool.

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