T Nation

Fat Calipers

I am looking to buy a Fat Caliper. Which brands do you all use? Does anyone know a web site where i can buy a super accurate caliper?

Any other ways to measure fat which are better?

I just asked this the other day and nobody responded. I saw a ton of them on the yahoo shopping listings. I was curious as to whether the digital ones are as accurate as a regular calipers. Ah well, guess I’ll just have to pick one.

I have a digital and a manual caliper - I’m pretty happy with the digital (Fat Track), but the main drawback is that it doesn’t let you select different test points and compare the results. If your fat isn’t evenly spread (like mine - I carry very little “pinchable” fat on my legs, and a lot on my waist) having the ability to choose different test points is nice. On the other hand, most of the digitals seem to be designed to use points you can test yourself - the manual caliper I have requires someone else to do the testing, as all the different tables require either a back skinfold or one on the arms where you can’t do it one-handed. I don’t know if the absolute BFP reading is all that accurate, but at least you’ll get a good sense of changes as long as you’re consistent on technique. Don’t get one of the the electric-impedance scales, where various factors like hydration make getting consistent readings almost impossible. I’ve stopped using my Tatana because the readings are (a) way too high (the thing says I’m at 32%, when the calipers say 18% - I used to be over 32%, I know what it looks like, and I’m NOT there!) and (b) the readings change from hour to hour depending on whether I’ve drank anything, used the toilet, etc.

I have a Slimguide. It’s a manual spring loaded plastic caliper but I found it is nearly as accurate as a Lange caliper. Plus, the Slimguide is $25 versus $275 for the Lange. Hunt around the web for athletic/fitness sites as they should sell calipers. Usually they come with a calculation chart, or you can again find those on the web .

The Industry standard is the Harpenden Skinfold caliper. They differ from all the digital ones though because you have to have technical skil to use them. If you want accuracy, Harpenden is the most accurate of all the calipers out there. They also run $400 Canadian so %250 american funds.

I have the Fat-Track digital calpiers. I don’t trust the % displayed at all, however they’ve done a great job of tracking changes, which is all I really wanted. I have a reading of 3.1%, does anyone else get absurd #'s like that with their digital Fat-Track calipers?