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Caliper: An Essential Tool for Your Garage

When opening a car repair shop, having a caliper is essential to taking accurate measurements of linear dimensions. By doing so, you can ensure quality work is performed and make precise adjustments.

How do you use a calliper? Why is it essential to have one? Keep reading this article to find out more about this instrument.



What is a caliper?

Calipers are ruler-like measuring instruments with a graduated scale and a movable head equipped with a fixed jaw and sliding jaw.

The jaws can be adjusted to the surface of the object to be measured, allowing the distance between them to be read on a graduated scale.


What are Calipers used for?

Calipers are used to accurately measure the internal and external size of objects, as well as depth.

This instrument is used by professionals in car repair shops to measure various components, such as the diameter of pistons, the thickness of brake discs, and clearances, among others.

Measuring these components allows mechanics to ensure the correct performance and safety of vehicles.


How does a Caliper work?

A calliper is used to measure by using a sliding system of jaws on a graduated scale.


What are the Units of Measurement Used on the Caliper?

The most common units of measurement are millimetres (mm) and inches (inches).


What Types of Calipers are there?

There are two different models of calipers: mechanical and digital.


Mechanical Calipers

Mechanical calipers are the most commonly found and can be used to carry out internal, external and depth measurements accurately. Plastic models with a metal rod can be found; however, the most common are made of stainless steel.


Digital Calipers

Digital calipers are fitted with digital readers and have the advantage of being error-free, so they are ideal for maximum control.

Either one or other are excellent options for any car repair shop.


How do you use Manual and Digital Calipers?

Follow these instructions:

  1. Position the tool around the object you want to measure. The jaws must be aligned with the opposite surfaces of the object;
  2. Check that the fixed jaw is in firm contact with one side of the object;
  3. Slide the movable jaw towards the other side of the object until it is in firm contact with the opposite surface.

If you use an analogue calliper, align the graduated scale with the sliding ruler and note the measurement on the scale.

If you use a digital calliper, the reading is displayed directly on the digital display in different units, such as millimetres or inches, depending on the scale used by the equipment.



How Accurate is a Caliper?

The accuracy of a caliper can vary depending on the model and brand, as well as the instrument’s specifications. Under these circumstances, accuracy relates to the maximum allowable error in the calliper reading.

For example, a calliper with an accuracy of ±0.02 mm means that the calliper reading can have a maximum error of ±0.02 mm relative to the actual measurement.

It is important to note that accuracy can be affected by the operator’s ability to read and apply proper pressure to the jaws to ensure firm contact with the object being measured.

In addition, it is essential to regularly calibrate callipers to ensure they remain accurate over time.


How do you Calibrate a Caliper?

Calibrating a caliper is important to ensuring it maintains its accuracy and reliability. As such, you should follow these instructions:

  1. Ensure that the tool is clean;
  2. Carry out a visual examination of the instrument to ensure that no damage has been done to the jaws, ruler, graduated scale, or other components;
  3. Use a reference standard with known, reliable dimensions, such as a calibrated ruler;
  4. Place the reference standard between the jaws of the instrument and carry out the measurement;
  5. Compare the readings obtained with the reference standard;
  6. If there is a significant difference between the readings of the equipment and the known value, you’ll need to adjust the tool;
  7. Once adjusted, repeat the measurements using the reference standard to verify that the readings meet the accuracy desired.


What Care and Maintenance Does a Caliper Require?

In order to ensure the accuracy, durability, and consistent performance of a caliper over time:

  • Clean the tool with a clean, dry cloth after each use;
  • Avoid using harsh chemicals that could damage the coating or graduation marks;
  • Keep it in your toolbox or a clean, dry location away from moisture, dust and corrosive substances;
  • Regularly examine your calliper to check for deep scratches or misaligned jaws;
  • Periodically check your calliper accuracy using reliable reference standards;
  • Where necessary, readjust the calliper according to the manufacturer’s instructions or with the help of a qualified professional;
  • Avoid dropping your calliper, hitting it, or misusing it, which may cause damage to the jaws, graduated scale or sliding mechanism;
  • Keep your calliper away from excessive moisture, as moisture may damage metal parts and affect the accuracy of measurements. To do so, store it in a tool cabinet.


Which Calipers are Available in the KROFtools catalogue?

To ensure you keep your customers happy and maintain their loyalty, it is important you have the best tools in your car garage.

As such, you’ll find several models of callipers with varying characteristics in the KROFTools catalogue.

Find out which, below.


Vernier Caliper with Scale in Millimetres



A steel calliper that is 150mm long, it can be used to measure car components.

Click on the image to find out more about our Vernier Calliper with a Scale in Millimetres (Ref. 1301).


Vernier Caliper 200mm Scale



If measuring larger parts, you can count on this large steel calliper with a millimetre scale that is accurate to 0.05 mm. It also has an inch scale.

Click on the image to find out more about our Vernier Caliper 200mm (Ref. 1305).


Vernier Digital Caliper 150mm 



This digital calliper can measure up to 150mm, and measurements are displayed on the screen.

Click on the image to find out more about our Vernier Difital Caliper 150mm (Ref. 1310).


How much does a Caliper cost?

A caliper can cost tens of euros. However, some callipers can reach hundreds of euros depending on their functions and characteristics.

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