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Harpenden Skinfold Caliper / Software

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The Harpenden Skinfold Caliper is the only skinfold caliper CE marked under the Medical Devices Directive 93/42/EEC for a Class 1 Device with Measuring Function and is calibrated using masters traceable to National Standards.

Also available - The Harpenden Skinfold Caliper Software version 12. 

  - Harpenden Caliper 10mm Measurement Block (a 10mm metal block to periodically check the measurement of your caliper).

Please note that the Special Offer Price is a Website Exclusive Price. Orders must be placed through the website to qualify.

Product Name Price Qty
Harpenden Skinfold Caliper

Regular Price: £250.80

Special Price: Excl. VAT: £149.00 Incl. VAT: £178.80

Harpenden Skinfold Caliper Special Kit with Tape & Block

Regular Price: £197.78

Special Price: Excl. VAT: £155.00 Incl. VAT: £186.00

Harpenden Body Assessment Software Version 12
Excl. VAT: £68.70 Incl. VAT: £82.44
Harpenden Caliper 10mm Calibration Check Block
Excl. VAT: £9.99 Incl. VAT: £11.99
Harpenden Skinfold Caliper Kit - Caliper & Software

Regular Price: £261.24

Special Price: Excl. VAT: £199.00 Incl. VAT: £238.80

Harpenden Skinfold Caliper / Software Zoom


This original Harpenden Skinfold Caliper manufactured by Baty International is made from high quality stainless steel with a rubber gripped handle. The Harpenden Skinfold Caliper complies with the industry standard for quality and accuracy and is a market leader among mechanical calipers for determining the amount of body fat in humans, and has been in use within medical circles and recognised as the industry standard for nearly 40 years. It is used all over the world in applications including diagnostics and research, nutrition/malnutrition, obesity, eating disorder assessment (especially in sport) and juvenile growth disorders.


  • Dial Graduation: 0.2mm
  • Measuring Range: 0mm to 80mm
  • Measuring Pressure: 10gms/mm2 (constant over range)
  • Accuracy: 99.00% - Repeatability: 0.20mm.
  • Comes in a wooden box with spaces for the HaB Anthropometric Tape and either a body marking pencil or the calibration check block. (Sold separately).

A Booklet is included and contains the following information: 

  • The evaluation and meaning of body composition
  • Setting and using the Harpenden Skinfold Caliper
  • Taking Skinfold measurements
  • Maximum preferred/desired fat levels
  • Tables for body fat % versus Skinfold thickness in males & females of all ages based on the Durnin & Womersley systems
  • Body density equations

The Harpenden Skinfold Caliper Model is CE marked in compliance with the medical Devices 93/42/EEC for class 1 Device with measuring function and calibrated using masters traceable to national standards.

Harpenden Skinfold Caliper contains:

Harpenden Skinfold Caliper
A wooden box with spaces for the HaB Anthropometric Tape and either a body marking pencil or the calibration check block (sold separately).
Instructional Box

Also Available is the New Version 12 user friendly Harpenden Body Assessment software for body fat assessment using either the 4 Site Durnin & Womersley system or 3 site Jackson & Pollock system which shows:

  • BMI - Basal metabolic rate
  • % Body fat content
  • % body fat preferred level
  • Lean body mass
  • Fat mass - Min/max weight guide
  • Child BMI growth charts
  • Subjects data can be printed in graphic or plain text formats. 

Please note that the software is only compatible with PC's, not Mac's. Minimum Windows operating system is XP with DotNet2, but Windows 7 is recommended as it already has DotNet2 included.


Harpenden Skinfold Caliper – Proper Technique:

Harpenden have established specific guidelines for taking accurate and repeatable skinfold measurement.

  1. Measurement should be taken on healthy undamaged, uninfected dry skin. Moist skin is harder to grasp and can influence the measurement.
  2. Do not use the Caliper on broken or infected skin.
  3. Instruct the test subject to keep the muscles relaxed during the test.
  4. Take all measurements on the right side of the body. An exception might be where a deformity or missing limb would necessitate using the left side.
  5. Mark the skinfold site using a pen with water soluble ink. Use a tape measure to accurately find the mid-points.
  6. The skinfold should be firmly grasped by the thumb and index finger, using the pads at the tip of the thumb and finger. Gently pull the skinfold away from the body.
  7. The Caliper should be placed perpendicular to the fold, on the site marked, dial up, at approximately 1 cm below the finger and thumb. While maintaining the grasp of the skinfold, allow the Caliper to be released so that full tension is placed on the skinfold.
  8. The dial should be read to the nearest 0.50 mm, 1 to 2 seconds after the grip has been fully released.
  9. The Caliper should not be placed too close to the body or too far away on the tip of the skinfold. Try to visualise the location of a true double fold of skin thickness, and place the Caliper there.
  10. A minimum of two measurements should be taken at each site. If repeated tests vary by more than 1 mm, repeat the measurement. If consecutive measurements become increasingly smaller, the fat is being compressed. Go to another site and come back a little later and recheck the problem site.
  11. The final value recorded should be the average of the two that seems best to represent the skinfold fat site.
  12. Record each skinfold as you measure it. It is easy to forget the first measurement if you try to keep it all in your head.
  13. Experience is necessary to grasp the same size skinfold in the same location consistently. Practice these techniques until you get consistent results.

Evaluation and meaning of body composition:

The underwater or hydrostatic weighing technique is the most accurate estimation of body composition.  This method does place restrictions on both convenience and practicality, and the alternative basis of skinfold thickness measurements is used therefore  in all but the most stringent of requirements.

Over the last 40 years the use of skinfold calipers in the performance of skinfold thickness measurements to derive estimates of body fat, has been well established and documented. 

These thickness measurements do not measure overall body fat mass or its percentage directly but rely on validated equations that describe the relationship between measures of skinfold fat as well as other body dimensions and the measured body density. Body fat percentage is determined from the estimate of body density. 

Various experimenters have put forward equations which are used with either skinfold thickness alone or in conjunction with other measurements, for example body circumference or limb lengths. Two of the most common sets of equations used are attributable to Durnin & Womersley (skinfolds alone), and to Jackson & Pollock (skinfolds and body measurements). The result obtained from the equations (that of body fat density) is subsequently used in the Siri equation to calculate the body fat. 

Tables are included that show the fat percentage based on the Durnin and Womersley system. Values are shown for both females and males across the whole age range based on the sum of four skinfold measurements and the results shown for each 2mm increment of skinfold thickness.

When taken correctly, skinfold measurements correlate very highly (0.83 to 0.89) with hydrostatic weighing, with a standard error of about 3 or 4 % only. In comparison, the correlation of height and weight charts is much lower at about 0.60.

Additional Information


Technical Information

  • Range              80.00mm
  • Resolution       0.20mm
  • Repeatability   0.20mm
  • Accuracy        99%

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