In reloading, you are in full control of how your ammo equipment will be. What’s more, you are sure to get the exact measurements that you want. Let’s admit, even those products that claim to have ‘precise’ measurements may fail to deliver. Plus, doing this will save you a lot of money in the long run.
As exciting as it sounds, you need to invest in a few gadgets for you to reload your ammunition successfully. One of which is a digital or dial caliper.
In this article, we have reviewed the calipers for reloading. We also included a buying guide to help you in choosing the perfect model for you.
Reloading Calipers Comparison
Last update on 2021-12-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Best Calipers for Reloading Review
With all the calipers available in the market, it might be overwhelming to choose which model will work. We selected these products for you and listed their pros and cons.
1. Mitutoyo 500-196-30 Advanced Onsite Sensor (AOS) Absolute Scale Digital Caliper
This model will impress you with its accuracy. In reloading, you want your caliper to measure as accurate as 0.02 millimeters, but this caliper goes beyond that. It can measure materials from 0 to 6 inches, incrementing it to 0.0005 inches or 0.01 mm!
On the other hand, the advanced onsite sensor technology will make sure that no dirt or grease will affect the model’s accuracy. Say goodbye to false readings!
In terms of the battery’s life span, it claims to last for at least 3 and a half years. This is a decent life span, although the SR44SW battery, unfortunately, is not readily available in the market.
The digital LCD screen is very easy to read. You just need to press the on and off button if you want to use it and press the zero button if you want to zero it out—no calibration needed. All in all, we can say that this unit is one of the best digital calipers for reloading.
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2. EA Gems Stainless Steel Electronic Digital Caliper
Are you a reloading enthusiast who’s tired of using dial calipers? Why don’t you give this product a try?
The price of this model will not break the bank. Plus, the stainless-steel body is made to last you for decades of use. It will also give you a better grip. What’s more, this product is IP54 water resistant!
In terms of accuracy, this product will not fail any ammo enthusiasts out there. The measurements are generated electronically, and they are in increments of 0.01mm—perfect for reloading!
The on/off switch on the model helps save its battery life. If you need to measure in inches, you just need to press the button—no need to use your calculator or phone to convert.
Since it’s made from thick steel, expect that this will weigh a little bit more than your usual calipers. But still, it is one of the greats for reloading.
3. VINCA DCLA-1205 Quality Electronic Digital Vernier Caliper
Who does not want higher quality at a lower price? This is what Vinca claims to offer with its DCLA-1205 digital caliper.
In reloading, we need to use other measurements, not just in mm. This model comes with inch, mm, and fraction conversion! What more can you ask for? It is perfect to be used by professionals and reloading experts.
Looking at the model, you won’t believe that it comes at an affordable price. It is made from stainless steel and is finely polished. Plus, the dioptometer’s groove is very smooth to glide.
For accuracy, this product can measure in increments of 0.04mm. Well, we have to admit, this is not the ideal for reloading, but it still depends on the reloader’s expertise. To each their own, right? It comes with a massive measuring range of 12 inches. The extra-large LCD will let you know the measurement in an instant.
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4. Mitutoyo 500-197-30 Advanced Onsite Sensor (AOS) Absolute Scale Digital Caliper
This model takes pride in its versatility, but it is not the only thing we liked about it. For starters, the product measures depth, inside and outside length, and step values. You can surely use this caliper for a lot of activities.
Its accuracy is also impressive. The unit can measure in increments of 0.0005 inches or 0.01 mm—the perfect accuracy you need for reloading. Also, the large digital LCD screen will let you know the measurements instantly.
We also loved how easy it is to use this product. It comes equipped with an on and off button, zero out button, and a button to convert from inches to mm. What’s more, the slider is ergonomically designed and will fit your thumbs just right.
The product is enclosed in a beautiful protective case and comes with an extra SR44 silver oxide battery.
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5. iGaging ABSOLUTE ORIGIN 0-6″ Digital Electronic Caliper
What is the best caliper for reloading? Many reloading enthusiasts will answer with this product for sure. This iGaging digital caliper has been on top of the caliper game for years.
Once you turn the device on, the actual sensor position will already be projected by the LCD screen, and that’s how fast it is. Adding to the ease of use, you don’t need to calibrate it if you want to zero it out. You just need to reset the device once, and you’re good to go.
Another highlight of this product is its IP54 protection. This means that you can use it without any problem in case it is exposed to water and dust—no need to worry about rendering inaccurate measurements.
The caliper can measure up to 6 inches of material in increments of 0.02 mm or 0.001 inches. Just what any reloading enthusiast needs. In terms of battery life, it can last you up to two years.
6. Mitutoyo 500-752-20, Digimatic Caliper
Sometimes, it can be hard to keep a clean working area. A lot of dust can be around us, and it can affect our calipers’ accuracy. But not with this product. This 500-752-20 caliper from Mitutoyo is coolant proof to IP67. Neither dust, water, oil, nor coolant can affect how amazing its performance is.
It comes with an automatic on and off feature, and a beautiful stainless-steel finish. The LCD readings are very large and easy to read, as well. Accuracy is superb, as we should expect from Mitutoyo. It can measure in increments of 0.001 inches or 0.02 mm. You can switch between these measurements in just a click of a button.
As much as we want to, batteries will not last forever. This model features easy removal of the battery cap in case you need to replace it. Also, the stainless-steel construction is made to last for years.
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7. Starrett EC799A-6/150 Electronic Caliper
Starrett is another brand that is known to provide the market top of the line calipers. A lot of hand loaders and reloading enthusiasts will tell you that this is the best electronic digital caliper for reloading.
The model can measure up to 6 inches of material in increments of 0.0015 inches or 0.02 mm. It’s the perfect accuracy every reloader needs. This is great for starters that wish to enhance their skills—no need to read the small symbols on dial calipers.
You will love how sleek and modern the product looks. It also is very comfortable and easy to use. Moreover, it is made with stainless-steel that ensures durability.
The product is designed to have a slim and streamlined profile for a better grip. You also get a large LCD screen. On top of that, the caliper comes with a nice plastic case.
8. Brown & Sharpe 599-579-5 Dial Caliper
This is the only dial caliper in our review, but it will impress you as much as the other digital calipers did. It comes with a rotating dial that is 1.25 inches in diameter. The product has the capacity to measure materials up to 6 inches.
Moreover, you can use it to measure inside dimensions, outside dimensions, and also depth and step. It is an all-around tool and can be used not just for reloading. Speaking of reloading, let’s look at its accuracy, shall we? It features precise dial graduation of 0.001 inches or 0.02 mm.
You may think that digital calipers are much better than dial calipers, although we believe this to be true, we cannot deny the fact that digital ones will work only as long as there is battery life. That said, it will not hurt to have a backup dial caliper in case you can’t get a hold of a battery replacement right away.
9. Mitutoyo 500-474 Digital Calipers
One key consideration of choosing a caliper, as for digital models, is the battery life. We will mention this in our buying guide. Some models in this list failed our expectations, and some impressed us. Well, this model from Mitutoyo is way different from the rest.
The 500-474 caliper model is solar powered! It will ensure continued use without having to change the battery at all. The product comes with hard-coatedsolar panels that will protect the cells that store energy. It also comes with a large LCD screen that displays either in inches or in millimeters.
Reloading enthusiasts will like how accurate this product is. It is rated + or – 0.02 mm. The rolling thumbwheel and thumbscrew locks are very easy to use. In terms of versatility, it will not fail to impress.
It can make inside, outside, depth, or step measurements. The product is made from stainless steel and is protected by a plastic case.
10. Fowler Euro-Cal IV Electronic Caliper
This digital caliper has an accuracy of +/–.0015 inches or .03mm with 0.0005 inches or 0.01mm resolution. Plus, the hardened stainless-steel frame used to construct this model will ensure that no corrosion will take place. This is one of the products that you know will last you for decades.
The single value LCD is large and easy to see. In just a click, you can choose between inches, millimeters, or even fractions—no need to convert. For reloading enthusiasts who are a bit clumsy, this is the product for you. It is certified to IP54, meaning splashing liquid and dust will not affect its performance.
This caliper can measure up to 12 inches of reloading material. You can use this product to take inside, outside, and step measurements. It also comes with a fitted case for better storage. The battery lifespan is also nice and will last you for long.
Features to Look for Before Buying Caliper
Without the proper knowledge or idea on what factors make good digital calipers for reloading, you might end up with a product that will not perform the way you want it to, and it will just be a waste of time and money.
To help you in preventing that from happening, here are some points you should consider before you make your purchase.
Precision and Accuracy
Without a doubt, precision and accuracy are the most important factors to consider. This is why you are purchasing a caliper in the first place. For you to be able to take the measurement you need for reloading, your caliper should have an accuracy of 0.001 inches or 0.02 millimeters.
To get the best out of your digital caliper, it should feature different measuring modes. When reloading, you mainly measure your materials by millimeter, but sometimes, you also need to measure by fractions or inches. No one wants to take a pad or calculator and convert, right?
Quality of Materials Used and Overall Construction
You want your caliper to last you for years. This will be determined by what materials were used and how it was put together. Always choose a model that is made from top quality stainless steel.
One downside of digital calipers is that they need a source of energy to work. That said, look for a model that is equipped with long-lasting battery power. The last thing you want is to replace your battery every month or for it to stop working in the middle of your reloading activity.
Ease of Use
If you have decided to go for a digital scale, maybe it’s because you want something easy and quick to use. Look for a model that generates measurements quickly and has a large display that can easily be seen in a glance.
Digital Calipers vs. Dial Calipers for Reloading
Still, contemplating on whether to upgrade to digital calipers or not? For us, dial calipers are good, but considering digital caliper’s advantages, we’ll choose digital over dial calipers. Let us list them one by one.
Advantages of Digital Calipers
Much Easier to Use
They can show you the measurements in almost an instant. No need to read the small figures in the dial that can take too much time, especially for those with poor eyesight. It saves a lot of time, and of course, little to no effort is needed.
The large LCD screens that most models are equipped with are even bigger than your digital watch, so even those who don’t have a perfect vision can use it.
Another thing is that it’s very easy to convert measurements. Most digital calipers feature a button for this very purpose.
Very Easy to Calibrate
One of my favorite features of digital calipers is that you just need to press a button to zero it out. No need to perform any calibration! Talk about saving time!
Accuracy and Precision
Digital calipers are very sensitive and will offer you high accuracy readings. What’s more, do you know how hard it is to rely on a dial caliper’s measurement after it was accidentally dropped?
The rack and pinion on the inside will most likely be misaligned, making it difficult to calibrate.
Since digital calipers do not use the rack and pinion system, you don’t need to worry about it. We must say that digital calipers are shockproof in this case.
Disadvantages of Digital Calipers
Needs Battery to Work
Like any other product, digital calipers also have their cons. Although we must say that the only advantage of a dial over digital calipers is that they don’t use batteries.
No Weather Proofing
Unfortunately, they can be vulnerable to being destroyed when used in extreme weather conditions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Any mishandling of any firearms or ammunition is dangerous. But as long as you follow the reloading instructions carefully, and have a reasonable amount of attention to detail, you are good to go.
You sure do. When you are reloading cartridge or using a new set of die, your caliper will help you get the most accurate measurements. Accuracy is key to come up with the best rifle cartridges.
It depends on how much you think is expensive. We recommend sticking with the models in this list and allot a bit more money than buying cheap ones that will not perform well.
In terms of maintenance, there’s nothing much you should do. You just need to brush off any dirt before using and keep a note of when to change the battery.
Unfortunately, extreme weather conditions will greatly impact your caliper. What’s worse, it will destroy it.
The temperature condition should be around 20°C when you’re using it.
Which of these calipers for reloading did you choose? I’m sure that your reloading skills will improve a lot with your pick. Just remember to use your ammo properly. Good luck!