Learn everything you need to know about the different types of dynamometers, how they work and why they’re critical to your business.

What is a dynamometer?

Dynamometers are tension measurement devices used primarily on cables or wire rope. The dynamometer was originally developed by W.C. Dillon, the great-grandfather of the president and CEO of Dillon/Quality Plus, for the telephone industry to ensure that phone lines’ tensions were consistent with the proper amount of slack. Dynamometers are now widely used across a variety of industries and applications, including military, construction, utilities, and more.

Cables with either too much slack or too much tension are more likely to snap or fail, which can pose serious safety, logistical, and financial risks. Dynamometers are the ideal solution for accurately measuring force load and tension to ensure the highest standards of safety and precision.

How do dynamometers work?

There are two main types of dynamometers: mechanical and digital. When tension force is applied to the bar inside a mechanical dynamometer, internal gauges deflect and adjust to produce an accurate load reading. Digital dynamometers work similarly, but contain no moving parts and use strain gauge technology.


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Why are dynamometers and calibration important?

Accurate force and tension measurement is crucial for ensuring the safety of both personnel and equipment. Both over-tension and cable slack can lead to critical failures, human injuries, unnecessary equipment wear-and-tear, and costly project delays.

It is important to have your dynamometers calibrated by Dillon/Quality Plus every year to ensure they are providing accurate measurements. Our team has been doing calibration for over 40 years and are the best in the business.

What are the different types of dynamometers?

At Dillon/Quality Plus, we stock Dillon “AP” Mechanical and Digital Dynamometers both in the EDjunior and EDxtreme models. We also offer Crosby/StraightPoint Bluetooth Dynamometers & Wireless Load Shackles.

AP Mechanical dynamometers have moving parts and gears. They are less accurate and have a lower capacity than digital dynamometers, but they don’t require a battery and can function accurately even when submerged in water.

Digital dynamometers have no moving parts and use strain-based gauges to measure force. They are more accurate than mechanical dynamometers and can accurately measure up to 550,000 lbs of force. They are also less likely to incur internal damage, and can be used for shock-loading. Digital dynamometers allow users to save and record readings, display measurements on external handheld devices, and can even be configured to sound an alarm when the load reaches a certain level.

Wireless load shackles serve a similar function as digital dynamometers. Wireless load shackles are placed in-line with the load being lifted, and can wirelessly connect to an external display. Wireless load shackles take up less space than dynamometers, making them better-suited for applications with low headroom.

What factors should I consider when selecting a dynamometer?

When determining which brand and type of dynamometer to purchase, consider the capacity you need to measure, the accuracy and precision needed, and the physical environment of the application. If you want to be able to record readings or connect an external handheld device, a digital dynamometer is the best choice.

The experts at Dillon/Quality Plus have decades of experience with every kind of dynamometer. We know the products inside and out, and can help you find exactly the right kind to fit your needs and achieve your goals. We also service and calibrate dynamometers, so we can support you every step of the way.

How much do dynamometers cost?

Dynamometers can cost from $1,500 up to $70,000 depending on capacity and features.

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If you’re ready for accurate, reliable force measurement, learn more about our dynamometers or get in touch with our expert team today.