As personal trainers, it is our job to track the progress of our clients in their journey to losing weight and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. We need to provide our clients with an estimation of their body composition since body fat directly correlates with health outcomes.
The most traditional and widely used tools by personal trainers today to measure body fat are skinfold or body fat calipers. These tools are easy to use, affordable, and provide decent results.
To make your search for the best body fat caliper a bit easier, we have assembled and reviewed four of today’s top-performing products. We will also reveal which one we’d recommend for personal trainers like you. Let’s dive right in.
The Best Body Fat Caliper For Personal Trainers In 2020
1. Lange Skinfold Caliper with 5-Step Calibration Block
The Lange Skinfold Caliper is an instrument specially designed for simplicity and accuracy in terms of skinfold measurement. The Lange line of body fat calipers are made by Beta Technology, a company widely accepted by fitness and medical professionals as a leader in the field.
Lange Skinfold Caliper with 5-Step Calibration Block
- High quality
- 99.00% accuracy
- 1 mm dial graduation
- All critical pivot points have low friction bearings
- Easy to read scale that measures skin folds up to 60 mm
- The tips will automatically pivot to achieve parallel measurement
- Sustained standard pressure of 10 grams per sq. mm made possible by spring-loaded levers
- 1-year warranty on defective parts
- Comes with an instruction book
- Attractive hard shell carrying case
- Made from steel with anti-corrosive coating
- 5-step calibration block included
- Extremely durable
- Made in the USA
- Excellent build quality. The sturdiness and high-quality construction of the Lange brand of body fat measuring devices are some of the reasons why it is highly recommended by fitness professionals and even medical professionals worldwide.
- Outstanding accuracy. There’s no doubt that the biggest selling point for the Lange brand of skinfold calipers is accuracy. The company even added the 5-step calibration block to ensure precise body fat measurements are maintained.
- High price point
While there might be an overwhelming number of satisfied customers for the brand, the actual number of verified buyers is low. One reason could be the surplus of inexpensive competitors. However, this does not necessarily indicate imperfections in the product.
You can expect to get what you pay for with the Lange Skinfold Caliper. The price for this device might be high but it makes up for its impressive construction and outstanding accuracy.
2. Harpenden Skinfold Caliper with Calibration Dowel
The Harpenden Skinfold Caliper is the most distinguished skinfold caliper available with near-perfect accuracy. It was designed in 1958 in cooperation with D.J.M. Tanner, a renowned figure in the use of skinfold measuring devices for body fat measurement.
The brand has set the industry standard from the late 1950s and up to this day. It is the only skinfold caliper brand with the CE mark. The Harpenden Skinfold Caliper is recognized as a class 1 ‘medical device with measuring function’.
Harpenden Skinfold Caliper with Calibration Dowel
- High quality
- 99.9% accuracy
- Measuring range: 0 mm to 80 mm
- Measuring pressure: 10 gms/mm2 (constant over range)
- Repeatability: 0.20 mm
- Dial graduation: 0.20 mm
- Made from stainless steel
- Rubber handle
- Hard carry case
- Body fat measurement booklet
- Includes a calibration dowel
- Made In UK
- Unparalleled accuracy. The most accurate body fat measuring device in existence.
- Bonus steel calibration dowel. For consistent accuracy, you can use the calibration dowel to validate the calibration of your Harpenden Skinfold Caliper. The cylindrical dowel ensures a more accurate measurement since it secures proper alignment of the tips.
Skinfold Caliper Calibration Dowel
While it is completely clear that this product is catered to health professionals, you can still use it if you want to keep an eye on your clients’ progress as much precision as possible.
The high price of this premier skinfold caliper reflects its superior quality over other body fat measuring products. Consider it as a once in a lifetime investment if you plan on purchasing this device.
3. Sequoia Fitness TrimCal 4000 Body Fat Caliper
Another fantastic choice in the market of skinfold calipers is the Fitness TrimCal 4000 Body Fat Caliper from Sequoia. It is excellent at achieving its purpose, which is to measure body fat percentage of any age and gender. This device is perfect if you want to do daily skinfold readings wherever you are as its convenient design makes it easy to carry around.
Sequoia Fitness TrimCal 4000 Body Fat Caliper
- Affordable, accurate, durable, and easy to use
- Body fat graduations for measuring up to 80 mm of thickness
- Spring-loaded arm brings the jaw back to its original position
- Dual spring calibration ensures better clamping and accuracy
- Comes with a body fat percentage chart for both men and women
- Meets all of the specifications for jaw pressure and accuracy
- Comes with a 2-year warranty
- Gun-shape design for better grip and control
- Made from ABS plastic
- Made in the USA
- Consistent measurement. The additional spring attached to the arm provides accurate and consistent readings without relying on any additional digital devices.
- Ergonomic shape. Despite its larger size, the Fitness TrimCal 4000 is specifically designed so you can carry and use it wherever you go. Moreover, its gun-shaped design allows for convenient single-handed operation.
- Inexpensive. The forgiving price tag for this skinfold caliper is just right compared to other brands. It may be less expensive but it consistently delivers with decent accuracy.
- No locking mechanism
- Made of ABS plastic material
- Not as durable as other products
Since it is designed like a gun, you will operate this skinfold caliper just like you would with a real one. To measure your body fat, you’ll need to place your finger on the trigger instead of using your thumb and forefinger.
One problem with this device is that you’ll find reading the measurements a bit awkward. But then again, it still does it’s job.
Another thing you should watch out for is that most websites that feature the Fitness TrimCal 4000 will warn you about California’s Proposition 65. The plastic material in which the skinfold caliper was made might contain chemicals that cause cancer.
What makes this body fat measuring device highly affordable is that it comes with no frills or gimmicks. However, there may be shoppers out there who would prefer cheaper alternatives but with lesser features and accuracy. Nevertheless, the price of this device is justified.
4. Accu-Measure Body Fat Caliper
The protractor-look of the Accu-Measure Body Fat Caliper is a departure from the gun-like design of other skinfold calipers. Moreover, it is made from high-grade Delrin polymer, making it extremely durable with unmatched longevity. As a fitness accessories manufacturer, Accu-Measure is widely-praised and is one of the most recognizable brands today.
Accu-Measure Body Fat Caliper
- World-class quality
- Recommended by Body-For-Life
- The ball socket feature provides a noticeable feel
- Makes a “clicking” sound loud enough to let you know a specific limit is reached
- Cost-efficient BMI measurement tool
- Gives quick results without any extra effort on your part
- Extremely lightweight
- Comes with a lifetime guarantee
- Made in the USA
- Easy to use. It doesn’t have a lot of add-ons or gimmicks. Lightweight and highly-portable design. You can carry it anywhere you want without any hassle.
- Accurate. The device can give accurate readings on body fat measurements especially with the help of an instructional booklet.
- Progress Tracker. It comes with a dependable fitness progress chart.
- Relatively affordable.
- Plastic overall build.
- A bit flimsy compared to similar devices made of metal.
- Faulty clicking auto-feature – measurement slide does always not stay in place, losing the reading upon release
According to reviews from hundreds of individuals who used this product, their overall opinion is that the Accu-Measure Body Fat Caliper may not be necessarily the most accurate, but it does deliver consistent results.
Don’t let the modest price of the Accu-Measure Body Fat Caliper fool you. While the whole construction is made of inexpensive plastic material, it is designed to give consistent results with decent accuracy, the low cost is a steal.
The body fat calipers from four different brands on our list are an affordable option compared to the hydrostatic body fat testing available.
Although we pointed out earlier that we will select the best body fat caliper for personal trainers, we also want to make things clear that there is no single skinfold caliper that is perfectly designed to work for all of us.
The best performing skinfold caliper won’t work if it doesn’t meet the specific needs of every individual. Being the best product in the market doesn’t mean it is the best option for YOU.
With that out of the way, the product we recommend is the Lange Skinfold Caliper.
When we need to track our progress, we need a device that’s very accurate, extremely durable, and has the best value.
With that said, we need something that has a high level of accuracy. Moreover, we need something extremely durable because we will be using it over a while. Furthermore, The Lange Caliper works just as well as the premium Harpenden Skinfold Caliper but a bit more affordable.