How To Use An Engineering Calculator | Engineering Supply - EngineerSupply

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How Do You Use an Engineering Calculator?

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Also called a “scientific calculator,” an engineering calculator has a series of built-in trigonometry functions, which are used in a variety of science and math disciplines. You might know all the math and science formulas. But if you don’t know how to use this kind of calculator, you’ll never get the right answer. your first need to know how calculators differ from one another. There are three main types of calculators: basic, business, and scientific. You can even find a construction calculator with functions that are specific to this profession, but each one will have a set of functions that cater to a specific type of user.

Blog online engineering calculator

You don’t want to perform engineering or scientific calculations on a basic or business calculator, because they don’t have the necessary functions to do trigonometry and other mathematical operations. An engineering calculator can do exponents, logarithms, and a variety of other trigonometry functions. And these functions are important if you’re working with scientific notations or any type of geometry component. Basic calculators can add, subtract, multiply, and divide; while business calculators have buttons for calculating interest rates and other functions. But they tend to ignore the order of operations.

Functions of an Engineering Calculator

The labeling on each button will vary between manufacturers, but there are some common functions that are on every engineering or scientific calculator. In addition to the standard arithmetic operations (which are included in every calculator), there are functions that can help you to calculate any of the following:
  • Exponents
  • Square roots
  • Natural logarithms
  • Sines
  • Cosines
  • Tangents
  • Inverse tangents
There are also functions that will allow you to store numbers for later use, which can come in handy if you’re performing complex operations.

Using an Engineering Calculator

The most obvious way to learn how to use a calculator is to read the manual. But if it didn’t come with one, you should be able to search for the model number online so you can download an electronic copy. If you don’t read the manual, you’ll either have to do some experimenting or enter the right numbers only to get the wrong answer. This is because different calculators process the order of operations differently. You need to know which keys to press and when to press them. If you want to calculate the square root of a number, you should find out if you need to enter the number before the square root key or if it’s the other way around.

If you’re working with angles, you need to know if the answer is expressed in degrees or radians. You also need to find out if you need to enter the angle before you press cos, sin, tan, etc. You might be able to switch from degrees to radians by pressing the MODE key on the calculator, and there’s usually an indicator written along with the number to let you know what you’re getting.

If you’re looking for a scientific, engineering, or construction calculator, be sure to look at what we have at Engineering Supply. We’re sure you’ll be able to find the right tool for your specific needs.

Online Engineering Calculator

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Difference Between an Engineering Calculator and a Standard One?

Blog online engineering calculator

An engineering calculator can still perform all the basic math functions of a basic model. Additionally, it has various trigonometry functions that are necessary for construction and similar professions:
  • Exponents
  • Logarithms
  • Sine, cosine and tangent functions

Who Uses Scientific Calculators?

A student in an upper-level math course may use a scientific calculator to perform functions that require a certain amount of memory, and that's only the beginning. Engineers, architects, contractors and people in other technical professions also use advanced functions on a regular basis and need a tool that can handle them.

How Do You Use an Engineering Calculator?

Not every engineering calculator is the same, even if they perform similar operations. It's important to always read the manual that comes with your calculator to know what it can do. Once you familiarize yourself with your particular model, you will likely find that it's easy to get the calculations you need.

How Do You Choose the Right Calculator?

The calculator you used as an engineering student may not do everything you need it to do once you reach the professional level, so the first thing you should check out is who the product is designed for. You should also take compatibility into consideration. For example, if you use a total station on the job, you need a construction calculator that can communicate with it.

How Much Do Engineering Calculators Cost?

For advanced models with all the bells and whistles, you can typically expect to spend up to $200. The most expensive option isn't necessarily the best, though. Engineer Supply offers a good deal on a variety of choices that allows you to pick the engineering calculator that meets your needs.
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