Digital vs Analogue Gauges

Learn why the advent of digital gauges hasn’t killed the old technology

When it comes to hydraulic maintenance and troubleshooting, digital gauges offer many benefits. But does this mean you can swear off analogue gauges entirely? Probably not! This brief comparison of digital vs analogue gauges will tell you why.

Benefits of Digital Gauges

Digital vs Analogue GaugesThe primary advantage of digital gauges is their improved accuracy and versatility. Most digital gauges can display maximum and minimum pressure values in your choice of units. They can even record pressure spikes, which are virtually impossible to measure with traditional gauges. If you are interested in this functionality, remember that the lower the gauge’s scanning rate (meaning the lower the time between readings), the more precise the pressure-spike detecting ability will be.

Digital gauges are also a lot more convenient to use in many respects than analogue gauges. First there is the fact that one digital gauge can replace a whole set of analogue gauges. This is a huge benefit to hydraulic technicians because they can be prepared to take any reading from vacuum to 600 bar with just one device in their pocket. Most digital gauges have backlit screens that make them easy to read in any environment, and some have wireless connectivity which is very convenient for data collection and monitoring.

Benefits of Analogue Gauges

There are some scenarios where it is actually better to have an analogue gauge than a digital one. For example, if you need to take readings at-a-glance and from a distance, or monitor several pressure readings at once, you will find that it is much easier to check a needle on an analogue gauge than to read and interpret the number on a digital display.

The movement of the needle in an analogue gauge is also ideal for situations where you need to observe dynamic pressure changes. Again, it is much easier for the eye to follow the needle rather than having to watch digits whiz by and calculate what kind of change they represent.

Analogue gauges can also be helpful in spike situations, because they will dampen the spike and produce an average reading. With digital gauges, you would have to calculate the average yourself and avoid getting tricked by potentially confusing variable readings.

Finally, analogue gauges are much more affordable than digital equipment and give more reliable performance. There is no risk of having your battery go dead or having the system overheat if you’re using an analogue gauge.

Bottom Line? Keep Both in Your Toolbox

Because both digital and analogue gauges have their own advantages, it is wise for any hydraulic technician to have both kinds of gauges on hand for taking pressure readings. If you need a new gauge or any other type of hydraulic parts or hydraulic equipment, stop by Bernell Hydraulics today.

Posted on July 26, 2015