Inclinometer (clinometer)

An inclinometer is an instrument used by builders to measure vertical angles of inclination or elevation.

These devices are required for gathering accurate data for surveying land and geographic study.

Inclinometers are also known for a variety of alternative names including:

  • Clinometer
  • Abney level
  • Tilt meter
  • Slope gauge
  • Gradient meter
  • Declinometer
  • etc

While most commonly used inclinometers are handheld, bigger versions of it are known to be used by developers to measure dips on bedding planes and sloping sites.

Mass market clinometer guages often come with an angle range of between -45° to 45°. With tilt indicators made of an air bubble or brass ball.

And the accuracy of the readings depend on many factors including gravity, unobstructed line of sight and temperature, etc.

For building and construction purposes, they can play a critical role in:

  • Informing of an operator that an equipment might tip over
  • Finding degree of deviation from true horizontal or true vertical
  • Measuring movements of walls caused by construction works nearby
  • etc

These days they are also installed into smart devices like cell phones that aid display configuration. Off road vehicles also find it an essential item and have it mounted on the dashboards.