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The vernier caliper provides the three basic functions of inner, outer and depth gauge. In all cases the measurement is read from the same scale. The vernier caliper is first set over the object to be measured with the caliper shut so that it is firm but not tight.
The scale is then read by first taking note of where the zero mark on the vernier scale falls on the main scale. This is the number of complete divisions on the main scale. This is the whole number that should be noted. The fraction or decimal is then read from the vernier scale. This number is taken as the line on the vernier scale that aligns with any line on the main scale (see the two following examples).
This reads 3.3
This reads 5.6