Vernier Vs. Dial Vs. Digital Caliper

digital dial vernier caliperWhat are the advantages and disadvantages of vernier, dial, and digital calipers? This is a great question. You may be wondering to buy which one is the best suit for your needs. Since it may be a bit time-consuming thinking of them, here we help you figure it out. On this page, we have a list of reasons why you have to choose one of them.

Vernier Caliper


  • In general, it’s the most affordable compared to the dial and digital calipers
  • Durable, especially those which are made of stainless steel
  • No power source needed, can be used anytime
  • Reliable accuracy as long as having good eyesight and improved caliper material
  • Displayed in both mm and inch
  • Usable in any condition: wet, dry, oily, near magnetic field, etc.


  • Slow reading, takes some steps to get the measurement result
  • The users have to be used with the two scales and figuring out the total reading
  • Potential user error such as improper eyesight angle, mistaken adding, etc.
  • Hard to calibrate, when the zero error happens.

Dial Caliper


  • Easier to read than a vernier caliper
  • It displays the reading (dial indicator shows value) vividly
  • The system works without a power source (battery) so that can be used anytime
  • Easy to zero by rotating the dial
  • The price is relatively more inexpensive than digital caliper
  • Accuracy and precision are reliable


  • More expensive than a vernier caliper
  • Only available in a single unit system either mm or inch
  • The rack and pinion are potentially broken when the caliper falls down, dumps, or crashes
  • A magnetic field may interfere with the reading

Digital Caliper


  • Super easy, instant and fast reading
  • Functional buttons such as conversion button from mm to inch for happier measuring journey
  • Easy zeroing, the zero points can be changed easily as wanted
  • Suitable for them who have trouble with eyesight
  • Reliable accuracy, better resolution than vernier and dial
  • A particular digital caliper has SPC cable slot to transfer data to computers


  • Relatively the most expensive
  • Sensitive to the magnetic field, water, dirt, and oil
  • Not work without a power source (battery)
  • Need careful treatment

Our Verdict

People have their own preference. Suppose that all the types have reliable accuracy and precision, the next consideration is the number of lists above. Our verdict is to choose vernier caliper since it provides all the basics you’ll have during the use of a caliper.

You only need to be familiar with and it takes some practices. Afterward, a vernier caliper becomes your best friend in any situation and condition. Make sure you buy the vernier with the best material in order to perform better rather than cheap plastic or cheap metal ones.

When you need digital caliper? Yap, it’s beautiful stuff you have to take care of. However, it performs nicely. Especially if you buy a high-quality product such as from Mitutoyo (Mitutoyo 293-340-30). It provides reliable accuracy, better resolution relatively compared to vernier and dial caliper, some functional buttons to ease your measuring activity. The high-end model could provide features such as data transfer, durability against wear and tear, and protection against water and dust from being ingressed to the sensitive part.

One thing that people search for from a digital caliper nowadays is its improved resolution. Therefore, they use it for professional purposes. Plus the high end features to enforce the work during the activity to ensure comfort to the users.