VINCA DCLA-0605 Digital Caliper Review

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Pros

Great price
Has features not normally seen in its price range
Excellent customer service

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Cons

Unusual display

Features

The VINCA DCLA-0605 0-6” digital caliper is nice little measuring tool. It is made of stainless steel and is capable of taking measurements in inches, metric and fractional units with an accuracy of +/- .001”.

The VINCA like many other calipers is able to take external, internal, step and depth measurements.

We tested those capabilities by measuring various size gauge blocks over the total measuring range of the tool and found them to be accurate to the manufacturers specs in all instances.

VINCA digital caliper display mm
Metric measurements
VINCA digital caliper display fractions
Fractional measurements

The DCLA-0605 comes with a large, easy to read display. One thing that does take some getting used to is that the first two digits are larger on the display. 

This allows the fractional units to be displayed. An odd choice when most will use the caliper in either inches or millimeters, but definitely not a deal breaker.

VINCA digital caliper display mm
Battery compartment shown

The VINCA caliper comes with an LR44 button cell battery installed along with  two spares. While the battery life isn’t as good as something like a Mitutoyo, it isn’t awful either. The caliper has an auto shut off feature for the display when not in use which helps it from draining all the juice.

The screen also flashes when the battery is low to let you know it’s time to swap batteries. Some digital calipers have been known to behave strangely when their batteries are low so this is a welcome feature.

VINCA digital caliper in case unwrapped
Nice protective case

The DCLA-0605 comes with a protective case which is a nice bonus that some cheaper digital calipers don’t have. 

VINCA digital caliper data port
The RS232 data transfer port - DO NOT plug a USB cable in

Another feature not commonly seen on lower priced digital calipers is an RS232 port.

This will allow you to hook your caliper up to a computer to record measurements. It is worth noting that you should NEVER try to use a USB cable to hook the caliper up to a computer as this can cause the battery to explode. There are warnings all over the case and on the backside of the caliper to remind you.

Make sure to use the manufacturers recommended cable to connect your tool.

VINCA digital caliper rust on bar
Some rust on the frame

This VINCA caliper comes with a 1 year warranty and it is worth noting that by all accounts the company’s customer service is excellent. Considering my caliper arrived with some rust on the backside slot where the depth rod sits, that is probably a good thing. 

I am not planning on testing it for a budget level caliper, but they are noted as being quick to respond and offer solutions to any issues that are encountered. Maybe if there had been issues with the accuracy as a result.

VINCA digital caliper measuring 4 inch block
Accurate measurements across the board

The overall build quality of the tool is good. It isn’t the smoothest sliding caliper I have used but it does slide freely and it doesn’t catch or hang up at all. 

The fine adjustment wheel works well too and helps make those critical measurements as accurate as possible.

Verdict

VINCA digital caliper packaging
The packaging looks cool

The VINCA DCLA-0605 digital caliper is an excellent budget tool. It has accuracy on par with other calipers in its price range.

The addition of a nice protective case, a couple extra batteries and an RS232 port make it a great choice especially for those looking to record their measurements directly to their computer.

The 1 year warranty and noted excellent customer service make this VINCA caliper a great budget friendly digital caliper.

Digital Caliper Reviews

Ultimate Guide to Digital Calipers

Digital calipers are one of the most versatile measuring tools available. Used by machinists and hobbyists alike, they have found a home in many toolboxes around the world.

Whether you need to learn a little more about how they work, what they are capable of, or maybe you simply want to find the best digital caliper for your application. 

No matter what you seek, we have you covered. Check out our top digital caliper related posts below and drop a comment below if you don’t find what you need. We will be sure to add to our extensive list of posts.

A Beginner's Guide to Digital Calipers

Everything you need to know about calipers. A comprehensive guide for anyone looking to learn all about calipers.

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Digital Calipers Buyers Guide

Find out which digital calipers top our best of list. Includes tips and things to consider when looking for a quality measuring caliper.

Digital Caliper Info Guides

Dive into a selection of articles specifically chosen to help you learn all about digital calipers.

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Digital Caliper Reviews

Check out the latest digital caliper reviews from brands such as Starrett, Mitutoyo, Fowler and many more.

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EAGems 0-6″ Digital Caliper Review

EAGems Caliper with case
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Pros

IP54 protection rating
Two year warranty extended to three if registered
Responsive customer service

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Pros

Stainless steel jaws

Features

The EAGems 0-6” digital caliper is a good value for the price. Made of stainless steel, it takes measurements in inch, metric and fractional units. The fractional unit mode is especially useful for those looking to use this caliper for woodworking inspection. Boasting an accuracy of +/- .0005”, .01mm or 1/64th of an inch, the EAGems caliper is in line with most other tools in the price range and even some that are more expensive. The included thumb roller on the tool makes it easier to take measurements. Often calipers in a cheaper price range such as this one will lack this feature. Combined with the measurement lock feature, this competes with much more expensive digital calipers such as the Mitutoyo 500-196-30 0-6” Digital Caliper. The EAGems (which is short for Edward Allen Gems) caliper is capable of taking inside, outside, depth and step measurements to the noted accuracy.

EAGems caliper display

The large, easy to read display takes a little getting used to because the fractional display makes the last two digits smaller. The display has an automatic on/off feature which is designed to save battery life. Depending on the level of use, the typical battery will last about a year. Speaking of batteries, the caliper comes with an extra battery to give the user approximately 2 years of battery life out of the box.

EAGems caliper features

Battery replacement for the caliper is a simple task. To replace the battery of the caliper, use the included screwdriver to remove the screw from the back of the tool and swap out with the included extra battery or another purchased battery.

ingress protection (IP) ratings solids description
ingress protection (IP) ratings liquid protection

One of the best features of the EAGems caliper is the IP54 rating. Uncommon for a tool at this price point, the IP54 rating means that the caliper is protected against dust but not completely dust tight and protected against splashing water. Practically, this means the tool is resistant to most forms of normal contamination such as a coolant splash.

Verdict

For the price, the EAGems 0-6” digital caliper is a great tool. If you are looking for a quality measuring tool that won’t break the bank, keep this one in mind. While a caliper made by brands such as Mitutoyo might have a more proven level of reliability, this caliper is almost as good for about a third of the price. Don’t overlook the importance of the IP54 protection rating if you are going to be working in a very dusty environment or around splashing coolant. This is a valuable feature not included on many calipers that cost much more.

A Beginner’s Guide to Calipers – Dial and Digital

tesa dial caliper

What is a caliper?

A caliper is a measuring tool commonly used to check precise measurements in a variety of applications. The biggest strength of calipers is in their versatility. Calipers come in many forms, including digital, dial and vernier. They are commonly used to take measurements to an accuracy of .001″ or .01mm. Metric measurements can be made down to .01mm or .001mm.

Below is a list of the most common caliper uses:

  • Inside measurements – hole sizes, slot widths
  • Outside measurements – lengths, widths, diameters, thicknesses
  • Depth measurements – depth of holes, slots, step locations

How to use a caliper

Before using your caliper, check to make sure that the measuring tool and surface to be measured are free of dirt, debris, chips, etc. The body of the caliper should slide freely along the scale or bar. For an outside measurement, slide the jaws of the caliper open until they are far enough apart to be placed over the part to be measured. Now proceed to close the jaws while trying to keep the jaws perpendicular to the surface being measured. Multiple measurements should be taken to verify that the caliper has yielded the true reading. For example, if a measurement is taken where the jaws of the caliper are not perpendicular to the surface being measured then the reading obtained can be larger than the true size.

Note: Do not exert a large amount of force on the caliper in the direction of measurement. This can cause the tool to flex and distort the true measurement. It is best to place the same amount of force that is used to zero the caliper.

How to zero a digital caliper

To zero a digital caliper, close the jaws and check the reading of the caliper. If it reads all zeros great, you can stop here. Don’t be fooled into thinking that means your caliper is accurate, but it’s a start. For more info please see the how to calibrate your caliper below. If your caliper does not read all zeros then while in the close position press the zero or origin button. This button may have a different name based on the manufacturer of your caliper. If you are unsure of the proper button to use then check the manufacturer’s website. 

How to zero a dial caliper

To zero a dial caliper, close the jaws and check the reading of the caliper. If it reads all zeros great, you can stop here. Don’t be fooled into thinking that means your caliper is accurate, but it’s a start. For more info please see the how to calibrate your caliper below. If your caliper does not read all zeros then while in the close position, loosen the bezel screw nut. Spin the bezel until the caliper reads zero. Now tighten the bezel screw nut. Verify that the caliper still reads zero after tightening the screw.

How to read digital caliper

Reading a digital caliper is easy. The digital readout display clearly shows the measurement value obtained. Digital calipers are far superior to dial and vernier calipers in this regard. Digital calipers have the ability to quickly switch between metric and inch readings with fractional measurements available on some but not all digital calipers. The biggest downfall of this is the ease at which the zero setting can be changed on a digital caliper. Because of this it is best to check your zero setting at minimum each time you use the tool and if you are making a multitude of measurement, check the digital caliper occasionally during use.

If you need more help understanding the reading, see our article on Understanding Machine Shop Numbers & Values

How to read a dial caliper

Reading a dial caliper is easy, though not as easy as a digital caliper. Because costs have come down substantially in recent years, I recommend purchasing a digital caliper if possible. If a digital caliper isn’t in the cards either because of budget or because you are working with an inherited tool then keep reading. Dial calipers come in multiple varieties but most have their measurement read in the same way. Dial calipers usually have graduations along the bar that are in increments of .100″ or one hundred thousandths of an inch. Often the 1,2,3, etc whole inch increments are marked with a number and the .100″ increments will be marked with a line. To read the caliper combine all the visible whole inch and .100″ increments on the bar with the dial reading. Example: if you can see the 2 and 3 of the .100″ lines and have a reading on the dial of 46 then your caliper reading would be 2.346″.

If you need more help understanding the reading, see our article on Understanding Machine Shop Numbers & Values

Uses for a caliper

Calipers have multiple uses. They are commonly used to verify measurements in machine shops all over the world for a variety of products. Calipers are also utilized by home mechanics and businesses alike to perform specific tasks such as critical engine measurements. Calipers are a great all around measuring tool. More than any other precision measuring tool, they are capable of performing measurements on a large variety of parts. They have a larger measuring range when compared to micrometers and indicators. They are quicker to perform measurements when compared to micrometers or indicators. Go/no go gages are the only measuring tool that can take measurements faster but go/no go gages are very specialized.

What makes a good caliper

Whether digital, dial or vernier, a good digital caliper needs two things: precision and accuracy. Some adjustments can be made with most calipers to account for small errors in accuracy but nothing can be done to fix a tool that isn’t precise. A quality caliper will move smoothly without any drag. This is the telltale sign of a good tool. If your caliper ever feels like it is rubbing or dragging then it is most likely the result of damage from being dropped or contamination exposure. Unfortunately if you caliper isn’t moving smoothly there isn’t usually much that can be done besides oiling the tool and sliding back and worth. Then wipe off the oil and repeat the process over again. Make sure to consult the manufacturer’s instructions before performing this operation as calipers can vary and only use machine tool oil such as this one by Starrett.

Where to buy calipers

Calipers are available from a number of online retailers. For a more in depth guide of which calipers are best for your situation, please see our reviews section. Some general advice, as usual for most products Amazon has a number of good options available. Harbor Freight has a couple good options that are reasonably priced and well reviewed. Home Depot and Walmart both sell calipers but we do not recommend any that they currently offer. 

Are cheaper calipers as good as expensive ones?

While some of the cheaper (made in China) type calipers have gotten much better than they were in years past, they are nowhere near the same quality that you will see in a tool from one of the tried and true manufacturers such as Starrett or Mitutoyo. A caliper is the type of tool that is best to purchase once. In most cases it can be more beneficial to search for a used option on Craigslist or Facebook marketplace. For more information on the best calipers to buy for your application see our Best Calipers article.

How to calibrate a 0-6" caliper

  1. Verify that the caliper is clean.
  2.  Visually examine the caliper for any condition that could cause errors in the calibration.
  3. Close the caliper by sliding the body of the caliper until the outside jaws are closed.
  4. Hold the caliper to a light source and visually examine for light showing between the jaws. If the jaws are not parallel, light will show between them.
  5. Check accuracy of outside jaws of the caliper at various locations within the tool’s measuring range. Gage blocks which have been calibrated themselves should be used for this operation.
  6. Check the accuracy of the inside jaws of the caliper at various locations over the measuring range. This can be done by locking a micrometer that is calibrated at a know location and checking the gap.
  7. Check the accuracy of the depth rod (if applicable) using gage blocks to set the caliper on and extending the depth rod down to the surface plate.
  8. Adjustments can be made at this step as needed. Different calipers have different procedures for adjustment. Consult manufacturer documentation for instructions regarding the adjustment of your caliper if needed.
    1. Dial calipers are most often adjusted in the zero position by loosening the dial lock and spinning the dial until the tool reads zero.
    2. Digital calipers are most often adjusted in the zero position by pressing the zero or origin button. This button can vary between manufacturers so check your instruction manual if you have one. If not, don’t worry it is usually very easy to figure out what button zeroes the caliper.
  9. After adjustments are made, the tool should be checked again to verify the adjustment worked.
  10. Calibration results are commonly recorded in a register or database for traceability of measurement history

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