Vernier Calipers are used to measure the thickness of things,
especially things that are would be hard to measure with something like
There's three important steps for using Vernier Calipers:
(1) Take a "zero reading". In theory, the vernier calipers should
be perfectly calibrated. In reality, they usually aren't. With the jaws
totally closed, measure how far apart the first lines on the top and
the bottom scale are. You'll have to add or subtract this from the
measurement you get at the end.
(2) Place the jaws around the thing that you want to measure and
close them tightly. The distance between the jaws is the distance that
you're trying to find.
(3) Read the measurement. Now measure the distance between the
first lines on the top and bottom scale again. Add or subtract out what
you got in step (1) and you will find out how far the bottom scale
moved when you spread it open around the object. This distance is the
width of the object.
For a great site all about how to use Vernier Calipers, check out this link to The Crescent Girls' School
. They even have a video of someone showing and explaining how to use a set of these.
(republished on 07/19/06)