Plicometro Adipomero Harpenden

Scientific Skinfold Calipers

A scientific skinfold caliper will be more durable, precise, and expensive than cheaper calipers.  For the majority of professionals, we recommend the Lange caliper because of its price, excellent reputation, durability, availability in the USA, compact size and hard case.  The prices are approximate prices in the United States.

Compare Professional Scientific Skinfold Calipers


Price $215 – $235  The Lange is used by professionals and researchers, and it features a compact metal body and pivoting pincers, and a hard case. The Lange is the best selling professional caliper in the USA and is used in schools, universities, clinics, gyms, etc.  It has been manufactured since 1962 with that same basic design and can be used for decades if properly cared for.

  • Range: 60 mm
  • Accuracy: 0.5 mm
  • Graduation: 1 mm


Price $350-375  The Harpenden is the preferred caliper for researchers and professionals in the United Kingdom.   It is considered the most accurate skinfold caliper in the world.  It includes a hard case.

  • Range: 90 mm
  • Accuracy: 0.2 mm
  • Graduation: 0.1 mm
Skyndex Digital Skinfold Caliper


Price $400 – $400  The Skyndex is a digital caliper with a built-in calculator that allows for quick calculations.   It is programmed with either Jackson-Pollock, Durnin, or Slaughter-Lohman formulas.  The more expensive model is programmed with two of the formulas.  It includes a hard case, instructions, an A/C power adapter, and a calibration test tool.

  • Range: 60 mm (estimate)
  • Accuracy: 0.5 mm
Cescorf Skinfold Caliper


Price $500 The Cescorf is made in Brazil and distributed in South America.  It has a design very similar to the Harpenden.  It comes with a durable case.

  • Range: 88 mm
  • Precision: 0.5 mm
  • Graduation: 0.1 mm
Holtain Caliper


Price $400  The Holtain is made in the United Kingdom and distributed in Europe.  It was designed in collaboration with the London University Institute of Child Health.

  • Range: 46 mm
  • Accuracy: 0.2 mm
  • Graduation: 0.2 mm
Sanny skinfold caliper


Price $300  The Sanny is a newer caliper made in Brazil with limited distribution in the USA and Europe.  It is a highly-accurate skinfold caliper, and it is an less expensive alternative to the Harpenden skinfold caliper at a lower cost. The Sanny caliper has the same range and constant pressure as the Harpenden

  • Range: 90 mm
  • Accuracy: 0.5 mm
  • Graduation: 0.1 mm
Lafayette Skinfold Caliper


Price $100 – $120  The Lafayette-II is the most advanced plastic caliper, with a scale up to 100mm (compared to 50-60mm), floating pincers, and a lightweight, durable design. The original Lafayette caliper was developed by Dr. Andrew S. Jackson, who co-developed the Jackson-Pollock formula.

  • Range: 100 mm
  • Accuracy: 0.5

[learn_more caption=”Common Skinfold Caliper Comparisons”]

  • Lange vs Slim Guide
  • Lange vs Harpenden
  • Slim Guide vs. Accu-measure
  • Lange vs Jamar
  • Lange vs Graham-field
  • Lange vs Baseline

[learn_more caption=”Studies that compare skinfold calipers”] Schmidt PK, Carter JE., Static and dynamic differences among five types of skinfold calipers. Hum Biol. 1990 Jun; 62(3):369-88. Five caliper types were compared: Harpenden (HRP), Lange (LNG), Slim Guide (SG), Skyndex (SKN), and Lafayette (LF) – in terms of dial accuracy, downscale force, and pressure at jaw openings of 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50 mm, using measurements on four thicknesses of foam rubber. Jung E, Kaufman JJ, Narins DC, Kaufman GE., Skinfold measurements in children. A comparison of Lange and McGaw calipers. Clin Pediatr (Phila). 1984 Jan;23(1):25-8. This study compared Lange and McGaw calipers in a pediatric population. Biceps and triceps skinfold measurements were made in 240 pediatric patients ranging in age from 2 weeks to 18 years. Skinfold measurements McGaw calipers were 12.6% lower than with a Lange . They concluded that McGaw and Ross plastic calipers would be an adequate substitute where cost prohibits the use of Lange. [/learn_more]