The 10 Best Digital Height Gauges
This wiki has been updated 18 times since it was first published in October of 2016. Used either for determining the height of objects or for the marking of items to be worked on, these digital gauges are capable of performing a range of measuring tasks quickly and reliably, and are indispensable in a number of applications, including metalworking, woodworking, and metrology. We've included models in a variety of designs and at prices to suit every need. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
May 04, 2020:
While most of our previous selections made it through this round of updates, we did remove the Taytools DHG due to availability issues, and also replaced the Mitutoyo 570-313 with the Mitutoyo 570-314 – which is virtually the same tool as the 570-313, but with a larger measurement range. Further new additions this time around included the Starrett 3754-24/600 –a professional-grade instrument with a 24-inch measurement range, and the Fowler 54-175-006 – a six-inch offering that’s priced quite affordably, given its high quality.
A few things to look for in this category:
Measurement Range: This can vary drastically between gauges, so make sure to pay close attention to it. While most applications for precision instruments can be serviced with a range of six inches – as is offered by the Starrett 3751AZ-6/150 and the Fowler 54-175-006 – other instruments – like the 3.2-inch Wixey WR25 and two-inch iGaging Snap Check –are capable of significantly less, although that will be fine for the purposes of some users. The most impressive options featured in our rankings, in terms of measurement range, are the Mitutoyo 570-314 and Starrett 3754-24/600, which both feature a 24-inch range.
Unit Display: Most options in this category seem to be capable of displaying both metric and imperial units, although the AnthroFlex Stadiometer – an option designed to measure human height, and not intended for the same precise work as the bulk of this category – is only capable of displaying metric readings, so go wide of that option if you’re an imperial loyalist. Other models – including some of our budget-friendly picks like the iGaging Snap Check and Wixey WR25 –are capable of displaying imperial measurements by fraction, as well as both styles of unit by decimal place.
Storage Cases: This often becomes an afterthought when shopping for tools, but it’s always worth considering, especially in a category like this that deals with delicate instruments that you don’t just want bouncing around inside a miscellaneous tool chest. With that in mind, I was disappointed to see how uncommon storage cases for height gauges are.
Sure, given their rock-bottom pricing, you could argue that this is to be expected from some of our budget models, but that didn't stop the extremely affordable iGauging Multi from coming with a case. And from top-end companies like Starrett and Mitutoyo, throwing a storage case in with their instruments seems to be the least they could do. Mitutoyo seems more guilty than Starrett in this respect, as the Starrett 3751AZ-6/150 does come with an aluminum case, and they do offer wooden cases for their large models like the Starrett 3754-24/600 on their website – while original-equipment cases from Mitutoyo don't seem to be readily available.
The Fowler 54-175-006 is a quality six-inch option worth considering, and it comes with a molded case.
October 22, 2018:
We've expanded the number of digital height gauges on our list to include models for both DIYers and professionals. We've also included some models that double as depth or thickness gauges without compromising their ability to produce accurate height measurements, such as the iGauging Multi. Despite sometimes being off the mark by a few thousandths of an inch, we felt the Taytools DHG still deserved a spot on the list due to its many other useful features.
Starrett This company is known to make some of the best measuring instruments on the market. Unfortunately, in spite of their intimidating price tags, they don't always come with a serviceable case for storage. However, wooden cases for their height gauges are available separately through their website. starrett.com