The best height gauge is important and a very helpful tool for machinists. It is used for measuring the height of small parts, comparing the heights, and marking them. You can use it to measure the difference in height of 2 points as well.
A high spec electronic height gauge is able to carry out various measuring tasks such as center-line distances, internal/external diameters, and step heights. For your information, an electronic height gauge is precise up to .001″ & claims consistency of .0001″.
You can choose the vernier or dial or digital model. The vernier model makes use of vernier scale to provide the measurement reading, while the digital one displays the reading on an LCD screen. The use of a digital height gauge is surely very intuitive and easy. In comparison, you need to learn how to read a vernier scale (like reading a vernier caliper) when using the vernier height gauge. The dial scale is pretty intuitive and straightforward as well.
A height gauge measures the height from a certain reference, commonly the base itself. Therefore, it requires a flat and level surface to stand on. It should be a carbide surface plate so that you can eliminate any possible error during the measurement.
The main parts of a height gauge include a rigid base, a beam with the main scale, a slider with the display reading (vernier scale or digital LCD), a lock nut, a measuring and scribing stylus, a stylus clam, and some fine adjustment screws. The typical measuring range of height gauges is about 6″ but you can find the longer ones.
It comes with a carbide scribing stylus that can mark the height of that object. In some situations, you can clamp a dial test indicator to the height gauge for measurements of squareness, flatness, straightness, roundness, etc.
Top 10 Best Height Gauges in 2023
1. Taylor Toolworks DHG Digital Height Gauge [Best Overall]
If you are looking for a durable height gauge with a very rigid base, this one can be a good choice. It has a solid and substantial cast base and a hardened stainless steel base. This high gauge is digital and offers a range of 6 inches or 0 -150mm. The accuracy of the height gauge is 0.001 inches per 6 inches.
Using the buttons on the display unit, you can quickly convert from inches to metric scale and vice versa. Another very good feature of this tool is that it switches off after 5 minutes of inactivity, which saves its battery. You get a 3-volt CR2032 battery that can last up to a year.
- Durable structure
- Auto turn-off feature
- Stainless steel beam
- You have to reset to zero every time before using
2. Mitutoyo 570-312CAL Absolute Digimatic Height Gauge [Accurate Model with Certificate of Traceability to NIST]
If you are looking for a height gauge for professional purposes, its accuracy must be valid. That said, you have to buy an instrument that has a certificate of traceability to NIST (if you live in the USA) to ensure its accuracy can be traced to the world-agreed standard of length. In this case, Mitutoyo 570-312CAL is present to answer your need.
For the specification, this Mitutoyo digital instrument offers you a range of 12″ which is taller than the usual models, a resolution of .0005″ which is good and an accuracy of .0015″. It has a high-quality display unit that displays the measurements in both inches and mm. You get a hand-operated feed wheel on the gauge that allows you to make fine adjustments manually.
The scriber of this height gauge is a carbide tipper and, as a result, lasts longer. In the package, you get a certificate of traceability to NIST, and it meets the standard of ISO/IEC.
- Certified by Mitutoyo’s American Association for Laboratory
- Long battery life
- Easy to use
- A bit pricey
3. Mitutoyo 506-207 Vernier Height Gauge [Metric Model]
You don’t need the fancy one and familiar with a vernier scale, we recommend Mitutoyo 506-207. We can assure that Mitutoyo is a well-known brand for making top-quality machinist and engineer’s tools.
The Mitutoyo 506-207 offers you a range of 0-200mm with maximum permissible error is ±0.03 mm. This premium vernier model has very fine graduations. It comes with a hand-operated slider on it for making fine adjustments.
Furthermore, this height gauge is very lightweight, which makes it easy to carry. You get a carbide tip scriber that allows excellent height marking and lasts a long time.
- Satin chrome finish for no glare
- Allows fine adjustments
- Metric graduation; limited users
4. Mitutoyo 570-227 LCD Absolute Digimatic Height Gauge [Metric Model]
The next best height gauge is also from Mitutoyo, but it is the digital version. The measuring range of this Mitutoyo 570-227 LCD is also 200 mm, and it offers you an maximum permissible error of ±0.03 mm. The display unit of this gauge has high contrast and sharp figures, making viewing much easier.
In the package, you get an SR44 battery that powers the display unit of the height gauge. The SPC statistical process control output can transfer the results to a mini Mitutoyo processor or a computer.
- Easy to use
- Comes with a carbide scriber
- Fine and uniform slider adjustment
- Metric only
5. Fowler 54-175-006-0 Z-Height-E Jr. Electronic Height Gauge
Nicely, since it’s digital, you are instantly easy to change the reading either to an inch or metric through the button. The hold function allows you to freeze the reading.
This height gauge is very durable and has a satin chrome finish that prevents it from rusting and makes it glare free. Furthermore, you get a carbide-tipped scriber and relative and absolute measuring functions.
- Hand operated slider
- Hold key to freeze the reading
- 2 Batteries included
- Hard to read display
6. Wixey WR200 Digital Height Gauge with Fractions [For Woodworking]
The Wixey WR200 height gauge offers you an accuracy of .001″. You get a display unit on this tool that displays large digits that are very easy to read. You can get the measurements in both inch, fractions, and millimeters. Due to fraction reading, this one is suitable for woodworking projects.
Another incredible feature of this instrument is that it comes with a magnetic base that allows you to position it easily. The manufacturer also offers a one-year replacement warranty with it.
- Affordable price
- Sturdy structure
- Comes with a one-year warranty
- Great for woodworking
- Offer a comparatively lesser range
7. Wixey WR25 3″ Mini Digital Height Gauge [for Hand Routers, Router Tables, and Table Saws]
The Wixey WR25 3″ Mini Digital Height Gauge is very different compared to the traditional height gauges. It is a small self-standing gauge with magnetic feet. On the gauge, you get a low profile for back fence adjustments. It allows both horizontal and vertical measurements. It is ideal for hand routers, router tables, and table saws.
You get a CR2032 battery in the package to power the display unit. You get a locking rule in it as well to repeat measurements.
- Can also measure bore and slot depth
- High accuracy
- Easy repeatability feature
- Offer a comparatively lesser range
8. Starrett 3751AZ-6/150 Electronic Height Gauge
Surely, like many digital measuring instruments, the reading can be set to be an inch or mm. You can also set the zero point at any point you want.
This premium quality height gauge comes with a high contrast display unit. It works powered by CR2032 battery. Aside from that, you get a steel scriber for marking. You will also get a fine adjustment thumb roll feature as well.
- Easy to read
- Hold slide position feature
- Auto turn-off feature
- Scribe is not carbide tipped
9. Shars Digital Electronic Height Gauge
The Shares Digital Electronic Height Gauge comes with a range of 12″. You get a high-contrast display screen to easily view the measurements. You get a carbide scriber for marking the measurements. The accuracy of this height gauge is .0016″, while its resolution is .0005″. It is precisely ground and hardened with stainless steel.
- Fine adjustment
- Includes carbide scriber
- High accuracy
- Hard to view readings
10. Fowler 54-192-340-0 V3 Digital Height Gauge
Last but not least, we have the Fowler 54-192-340-0 V3, which features an electronically adjustable measuring force to help you measure the height easily. You can measure height, diameter, central line, and perpendicularity with this height gauge. You get a vast range of accessories with this heavy duty instrument, which makes it very versatile.
The base of this gauge is made from cast iron which gives it extra stability. Taking readings with this gauge is very easy as the display unit is user-friendly.
When buying this model, you are buying the Trimos V3 series, ruby ball for measuring insert, charger, etc.
- User-friendly interface
- High Accuracy
What Is a Height Gauge?
A digital height gauge uses high-quality, hardened stainless steel as the material. It consists of a solid cast iron base that is robust to ensure its rigidity and stability.
Then, there’s a beam that extends from the base up including a printed scale in imperial & metric formats.
Usually, imperial digital scale ranges from 0 – 12” whereas the metric scale ranges from 0 – 300 mm. Even more, they can measure up to 80”.
Generally, an electronic gauging slider is equestrian on the beam. Besides that, it features a few buttons for Power ON/OFF, HOLD, TOL, SET, MM/INCH, ON/OFF/ZERO, and ABS.
In addition, the slider has a carbide scriber tip on the jaw. Furthermore, the slider and the attached scriber are able to slide up/down along the scale. You can also lock both in place.
Then, use a fine-tune thumb-wheel to make the final adjustments and lock it in place with a second locking screw.
You can also find a port of data output where you can send the data to a printer or computer via a special cable.
Things To Consider Before Buying A Height Gauge
When it comes to choosing the best height gauge for yourself, there are some really important features that you need to consider before buying.
You will find two main types of height gauges, i.e., the digital ones that come with an LCD to display the readings and the analog ones which you can use to manually take all the readings. If you are someone who needs a tool that is more convenient and gives you very quick results, then the digital ones are a good choice. You will also see featured electronic height gauges that offer electronically adjustable measuring forces to make the task even easier.
The range of height gauges may vary a lot, but generally, it’s between 200 mm to 300 mm. But you will also find height gauges that have ranges less than 100 mm, which might limit you from measuring the height of objects that are slightly bigger. Alternatively, there are height gauges that offer a range up to 500 mm. So, always keep in mind that you have to check the range before buying depending on its use.
Clear and crisp graduation will surely aid in making your task of taking readings much more manageable. Fine and prominent graduation is also an indicator that the height gauge is premium quality. So, go for the one that has clearer graduations.
The quality of your results entirely depends on the accuracy of the height gauge. A minor error can lead to more significant faults. You should always check the accuracy of the gauge before buying it. Make sure that the gauge has an accuracy of at least 0.03 mm.
Measuring the heights of small objects and parts of a machine can be tricky sometimes. And if you do not have the right tool for it, you can end up with much more frustration. That’s why you should choose the right height gauge. We hope that you have now decided which tool suits your job, but if you are still not sure about it, we have some suggestions for you.
As the best overall option, we will recommend the Taytools digital height gauge, as it is a premium height gauge with a rigid base and offers high accuracy. You get a sturdy hardened stainless steel scriber on it. If you want to buy a digital height gauge, then you should get the Mitutoyo 570-312CAL, which comes with a high-contrast digital display and a hand-operated slider.