Common uses for Micrometers

Accuracy matters. For this reason, micrometers offer a high degree of accuracy and repeatability unmatched by other precision tools in the toolbox.


What are The Most Common Uses For Micrometers?


Micrometers help measure short distances or angles. In addition, people can use them to measure the thickness of thin materials such as paper, plastics, foil, etc. The most common use for a micrometer is measuring sheet metal thickness.


The micrometer has been around since at least the 18th century. Invented by French engineer Pierre Jaquet-Droz (1755–1826.) In 1784 he created his first model, consisting of a screw with an attached dial on one end. He later added more features, including a spring-loaded lever mechanism, a ratchet system, and a removable head. His invention became known as "The Mechanical Engineer."

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Today, the micrometer has become a versatile measurement device with many different models available. Many micrometer manufacturers now offer a wide range of new designs and improvements to take different types of precise measurements. Among the most common micrometer include:


Depth Micrometers 

These micrometers measure the depth of sheet metal holes. This micrometer consists of a threaded rod that screws into the hole getting measured. A dial is then placed onto the rod and turned until zero registers.


Digital Micrometers 

Digital micrometers are usually smaller than traditional analog micrometers. They are also easier to read. Most digital micrometers come equipped with a built-in LCD digital readout display.


Ball Micrometers 

Ball micrometers are similar to digital micrometers, but instead of using a dial, they use a ball. There are two types of ball micrometers, single ball, and dual ball. Single ball micrometers consist of only one ball, while dual ball micrometers contain two balls. Both types of ball micrometer will register zero when the ball touches the surface getting measured.


Caliper Micrometers 

Caliper micrometers determine the diameter of objects. Unlike other types of micrometers, calipers do not require any special equipment. Instead, they use two adjustable arms connected by a hinge. As the Vernier calipers get adjusted, they move closer together or further apart depending on how much pressure is applied. When the arms reach their maximum distance from each other, the object getting measured is at its largest dimension.


Mechanical Micrometers 

Mechanical micrometers are similar in design to calipers, except mechanical micrometers have no moving parts. Mechanical micrometers are often preferred over calipers because they are less expensive and easier to operate.

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How Do I Choose The Right Micrometer?


Multiple factors must get taken into consideration before buying a micrometer. First, you need to know what kind of micrometer you want or need. Do you want a digital or analog micrometer? Is your application large or small? Are you looking for a handheld or benchtop version? What level of accuracy do you need readings to be? What size hole do you need to measure?


By answering these questions, you can better narrow down your options and choose the best product for you.


You might also want to read:

What Is A Micrometer?

Common Types of Micrometers

Phil Wiseman

Phil Wiseman

Phil Wiseman is Chief Marketing Officer at Alliance Calibration. He earned a B.S. in Chemical Physics from Centre College. Phil is an ASQ Certified Quality Auditor and ASQ Certified Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence.

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