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Classic calipers make measurement easy

Sometimes you just can't fit a tape measure or ruler into tiny place or onto odd-shaped objects. Some tape measures will bend around things, but it can be hard to determine diameter measurements without a little extra help. Calipers are an ancient tool that still gets a lot of use today in many venues, from science and medicine to woodworking and car repair. Different types of calipers work with objects of differing size and shape, and some calipers include measurement markers so you can set your calipers and get a reading right away.

Vernier calipers are a traditional style of calipers that look like two little claws that spread out to fit the item you are measuring. This type of caliper dates back thousands of years but is so useful that builders still rely on it today. Simply open up your calipers and lock them into place. Carry the calipers over to a ruler and measure the distance between the two prongs or claws to get the outside measurement of your item. This is useful when you need to know if something will fit in a confined space such as a drawer or a shelf.

Vernier calipers can also measure the inside of objects. Inside measurement calipers have prongs that face away from each other. You open up the calipers until the prongs touch the inner walls and then lock them into place. When you line up the prongs with the ruler this time, you will read the measurement from the outside of one prong to the outside of another. Both inside and outside calipers are easy to use with bigger items, where you won't have trouble determining the exact measurement on a ruler.

For tiny items that need precise measurements down to the millimeter or nanometer, dial calipers can help you out a lot. Dial calipers have a dial mounted on the side of the prongs that tells you the distance between the prongs as they are opened up. Because a dial device is used, you will be able to see the smaller measurements blown up bigger for precision. This is really helpful when you are repairing a car and need to know the exact size of nuts, bolts and nail heads. These can be hard items to manage since they are so tiny, but a good set of dial calipers will take the guesswork out of your measurements.

As you set up your workshop, you probably know to invest in the bigger items like woodworking drill presses and woodworking clamps. However, woodworking measurement are just as important as cutting and assembly. A good set of calipers will ensure that your projects fit together as well as engineered lumber. If you are looking for a set of vernier or dial calipers, stop by Sears first, will you will find a model to match your personal needs and style.

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