10 Best Office Calculators
Calculators are an integral part of any efficient business or office supplies. The significant advantages they bring into the workplace are rather common knowledge. They essentially exist to save you precious time and energy by providing an ultra-efficient tool for mathematical calculations.
For those who are not well acquainted with calculators, choosing the best device can be a puzzle to reckon with. This guide’s purpose is to save you the time and effort of trying to figure out the best device for your needs, and most importantly, to help you be as efficient as possible in the workplace.
Like all electronic devices, calculators need a consistent source of energy to sustain its processes. Earlier calculators relied on bulky batteries or electricity to function properly. With the coming of more flexible and small scale solar technology in the late 1970s, consumer electronics manufacturers started adopting the technology to exploit the superior advantages it offers.
Today, most calculators feature a small solar panel, which is either the sole source of power or part of a dual system, which also involves a battery. Calculator manufacturers then adopted the technology to enable an ultra-reliable power generation system to sustain long periods of use.
The topic will be tackled in three sections. The first section will set the tone by engaging in a brief consideration of how calculators work. This will help us understand the crucial factors affecting the performance and overall function of calculators.
The second section will then seek to explore the factors you need to be aware of before any definitive choices are made. This will set the ground for the third section, which will afford you a look into some of the best calculators available on the market today.
10 Best Office Calculators
300 Step Check
Finance and business functions
Value for money
So How Do Calculators Work?
The microprocessor is a key component of the modern calculator, which gives it the ability to carry out complex calculations while maintaining a portable and practical physical size.
This essential tool was designed in the 1960s, and its advent transformed the previous bulky calculators characterized by multiple chips into the compact and more practical calculators which have evolved through the years to what we have today.
In simple terms, the single-chip microprocessor functions as a complete central processing unit embedded on a single silicon chip. Intel Corp is the company that bears the credit for creating the first single-chip microprocessor having the ability to carry out basic arithmetic functions.
From then on, the microprocessor’s ability has evolved to accommodate more advanced functions, which we see in more sophisticated calculators such as those used for scientific and graphing purposes.
Modern-day calculators are made of a hard plastic casing, which has some openings aimed at accommodating the rubber or plastic keys, which can be pressed in a fashion similar to most remote controllers.
When you press the keys, you essentially complete the circuit, which underlies the key, which then results in the transmission of electric signals within the circuit board.
These electric signals are directed to the microprocessor, which translates the electrical signals and sends out instructions to the display system. Modern-day display systems are typically made of Liquid Crystal Display, which provides more clarity compared to previous versions, which were built with Light Emitting Diodes (LED).
An overview of a calculator’s basic computation process
Calculators are minicomputers, and they execute their processes in a similar way, a basic computer does but on a smaller scale. An input you feed the calculator by pressing the key is interpreted into a binary signal, which is a code that the computer can easily work with to produce a result or output.
Let us consider an example where you want to add two numbers, such as 1+1. This will involve you typing in the two numbers and the mathematical operator, which is the addition sign. Upon inputting the numbers, the calculator converts the numbers and the addition operator to corresponding binary codes.
After conversion, the codes are converted back and sent to the screen for a display to notify you that the input has been processed by showing the character on the screen. After pressing the equals sign, the desired addition operation is executed, after which the appropriate result is displayed on the screen.
Buying Guide: What to Look For
There are six key factors you need to consider before spending any money on a calculator. These include power mechanism, durability, warranty, functionality, display, and keyboard layout. The following few minutes will be spent looking at each of these factors in a little more detail.
A calculator’s ability to sustain its functions through a consistent power supply mechanism defines most of its overall usefulness. Calculators typically use solar panels or chemical energy from batteries as sources of power.
While some employ one of the two sources, most calculators combine them to exploit the benefits of both sources and come up with an almost endless power supply. Calculators that connect solar and chemical sources of energy are considered to have a two-way power supply mechanism.
The build quality and material used in a calculator’s construction directly influence how long it will last. A durable calculator should have a stable and compact construction built with highly resistant plastic material. Some even employ a metallic outer lining, which adds on to the solidity of the overall structure. The keyboard construction should also be evaluated carefully.
In general, the keys should have a sturdy and stable feel when they are pressed, as this indicates a solidly built keyboard base, which translates into a longer keyboard lifespan. Furthermore, it is important to take note of the manufacturers and their licensure. In this case, it is generally safer to opt for well-established brands with an impeccable track record.
Manufacturers who dedicate themselves to ensuring the best quality to their customers always attach a form of warranty to their products. On top of ensuring high quality, this also protects you from any manufacturing faults the product may have upon delivery as it can easily be replaced.
Calculators typically come with a 1-year warranty, which is quite a reasonable amount of time. Therefore it is always prudent to check the warranty specification, with one year as a reference amount of time.
The most convenient calculators make the best calculators on the market. Convenience comes in the form of a range of functions that make the execution of certain important calculations as easy as possible. It pays a great deal to check for some individual buttons which provide for some much-needed shortcuts.
Examples include check buttons, correct, total (MU), auto, and replay. Other more advanced calculators provide a fair share of additional financial tools such as tax and profit calculations. These may go a long way in making your calculations considerably efficient once you get used to them.
The display quality can easily affect your accuracy and comfort when using the calculator. A small screen with tiny characters can cause errors, in addition to forcing you to strain your eyes unnecessarily. Therefore, it is imperative to consider the type, size, overall character clarity, and screen layout.
Good calculators typically use LED displays, which are large enough to read from at least a standard arm’s length distance. The layout of the screen should also be simple and tidy enough so that you don’t easily get lost in calculations.
Office calculators feature a simple keyboard design with fewer keys compared to other more sophisticated types such as scientific calculators. A good keyboard layout is logical and organized, whereby all the keys with related functions are group together.
A standard design usually features a panel of mathematical operators on the right side, numeric keys in the middle, and special functions featured on the left side. The size of the keys also matters as larger keys usually mean more accuracy since they are easier to work with.
1. Casio DJ-240 Plus – Our Pick
Our first slot goes to the Casio DJ-240 Plus, which is part of a long line of products manufactured by one of the world’s largest and oldest manufacturers of electronic devices, Casio. The company is renowned in the industry as the world’s first manufacturer of an electronic calculator, with its first product produced in 1957.
The DJ-240D comes with every superior aspect that the brand stands for since its inception. A powerful set of functional features combined with a solid build seem to be the hallmarks of the device. Let us spend a few moments and look at what it has in store.
- Design and dimensions: The calculator comes in a standard design built for solidity and simplicity, which is typical of office calculators. As illustrated above, it features a metal faceplate lining the keyboard area, and a standard hard plastic casing covering the rest of the device. Regarding size, the device has a length, width, and height combination of 219mm x 146mm x 38mm, respectively.
- Power: The calculator features a two-way power supply mechanism which allows it to switch between solar energy and battery as the primary power source. Battery power kicks in whenever solar energy is insufficient to sustain the calculator’s processes.
- Functions: In addition to essential functions, the calculator features an array of handy functions that should simplify your experience if mastered. These include automatic tax calculations and a recheck function, which allows you to review a total of 300 previous calculations. The device also features regular percent calculations and key rollover function, which allows for the storage of essential operations you have carried out.
- Ultra-durable: The overall quality of construction ensures a highly resistant structure capable of withstanding daily physical stresses. The metal casing, hard plastic, and a coherent keyboard are integral to the calculator’s superior and durable build.
- Impressive functions and performance: The device features a wide array of extra functions catering to different needs regarding calculations. The overall efficiency and effectiveness are hardly questionable, as evidenced by generally positive reviews from both current and former users.
- Sizeable and high-quality display: The extra-large display combined with an LCD screen provides for all the viewing necessities required of an office calculator. The extra-large digits are visible from a standard arm’s length position.
- Comprehensive warranty: A three-year warranty is much more than reasonable, thus guaranteeing the quality it promises.
- Efficient power system: The dual power mechanism ensures a constant supply of the needed energy to sustain all the essential functions of the calculator.
- Much as it provides one of the highest qualities, the calculator comes with a rather hefty price tag when compared with most of the devices on the market. This makes it quite out of reach for those on a stringent budget.
2. Texas BA-II plus Professional Calculator – Sleek Design
Our second slot goes to the Texas BA-II Plus, which is part of another impressive line of products from one of the giant manufacturers in the industry known as Texas Instruments. The calculator combines basic business and advanced professional, functional features, thus making it ideal for both general and advanced use cases.
Its wide array of advanced features provides for almost all the specialized needs for all personnel within the business, accounts, and economics and investment sectors.
It is one of the heftiest calculators as far as the price tag is concerned but still worth serious consideration due to the superior quality it possesses. Let us see if its reputation holds any water.
- Design and dimensions: The device comes in a sleek, all-black design and a solid build expected of all high-end calculators. The compact and sturdy feel it possesses almost guarantees an above-average lifespan. It is 6.1×0.6×3.2 inches regarding length, depth, and width, respectively, as its overall weight lingers at around 1 pound.
- Display: The calculator features a standard LCD that can accommodate a total of 10 digits. Though this is on the lower side when compared with the Casio DJ-240D, it still affords a decent size for a wide range of users.
- Power: Unlike our previous model, the calculator uses a one-way power mechanism which utilizes a single Lithium 2032 battery. To assist with conserving the available power, the device features an automatic power-down (APD) function.
- Special functions: This is the strongest aspect of the device as it features a myriad of special functions for a wide range of professional applications. Some of the functions include calculations for cash flow analyses, mortgages, savings, net future values, depreciation, and internal rate of return values. Additionally, the calculator has a provision for ten user memories hence allowing you to store a considerable amount of data for further review.
- Warranty: It comes with a 1-year warranty with all the contact details included in the package and on the company’s website.
- A superior set of functional features: The device provides one of the most comprehensive sets of features on the market, catering for both basic and advanced users. The wide range of functionalities accommodates all sophisticated calculations related to business and finance.
- Excellent build quality: The solid construction and highly resistant plastic material ensure a longer life span with proper use.
- Display: The device incorporates a high-quality display regarding size and overall character clarity.
- The calculator is still not an ideal option for those on a budget.
3. Casio JJ-120D plus – 300 Step Check
The next few minutes will be spent on another highly acclaimed device from Casio, termed as Casio JJ-120D. Like its superior on our list, it boasts of a commendable feature set to complement a relatively high-placed price tag. Let us dig deeper.
- Design and dimensions: The calculator comes in a minimalistic build, which is characteristic of Casio models by featuring an all-black casing and a prominent display at the top. When it comes to size, the device is 178mm x 111mm x 24.9mm, as a combination of length, width, and height, respectively.
- Power: The device incorporates a two-way power mechanism to guarantee an almost constant supply throughout its lifespan. The system is also efficient in the sense that it uses less energy per unit time, thus ensuring a longer battery lifespan.
- Display: Like our first pick, the device features an extra-large display that can accommodate a maximum of 12 digits, which is two digits shy of our first picks’ display. The LED display, which incorporates black ink, ensures enhanced overall character clarity. It also incorporates a localized number display to enable four digit separator formats.
- Special features: The calculator accommodates some helpful special functions, including check operators, auto review, and mark up functions, which provide for easy calculations of profits and various balances. The check mechanism allows for a 300-step check, which lets you review up to 300 previous calculations.
- Excellent build quality: A solidly built structure with high-grade material allows for a device capable of withstanding daily physical demands.
- Wide and multifunctional display: The sheer size of the LCD allows for enhanced clarity, which is especially helpful when conducting multiple calculations.
- A wide array of functional features: The device allows for a good range of functions to simplify your experience with both basic and fairly complex calculations.
- Warranty: A three-year warranty provides one of the most attractive packages on the market today.
- The price tag is on the higher side when compared to most brands.
- It may not be ideal if you are looking for something which can handle some more specialized business and scientific parameters like some fairly advanced professional calculators would.
4. Bambalio BL-555M 12 Digit Electronic Calculator – Durable
If you are looking for something that comes with a fairly modest price tag but still offers a great deal of quality, the Bambalio BL-555M should stand a good chance of making it on your shopping list. A good array of both functional and structural features have made this model one of the most popular in a wide range of users.
- Design and dimensions: The design is rather basic with the classic all-black construction made of hard plastic material. A sturdy and tidy keyboard with sizeable keys underlies a wide display. It takes the shape of a square with the length and width measuring up to 13 mm each.
- Display and special functions: A large LCD accommodates up to 12 digits and features a check function, which allows you to review up to 112 steps back. Other special features include correct and autoreply functions for easy tracking of your calculations.
- Warranty: It comes with a 2-year warranty package.
- Durable: Both the material and overall build quality rival the best designs on the market.
- Reliable power supply: Like all models with a 2-way power mechanism, the device provides for an ultra-reliable power source to keep you secure with your calculations.
- Adequate functional features for office work: Unless your work is highly specialized, the calculator should handle all the basics and essential calculations.
- Wide display: The display is wide enough for an easy view in all environments with at least adequate lighting.
- It may not be an ideal option for more advanced use cases such as complex accounting and finance operations. Otherwise, there are hardly any deal-breakers to render the device a questionable mid-range option.
5. Casio MJ-12VCB-BU – Good warranty
The Casio MJ-12VCB-BU serves another great office calculation tool offering a combination of affordability and efficiency. It also brings one of the smartest and sleek designs on the table to complement a commendable feature set. Let us see if it’s worth every single penny in its price tag.
- Design and dimensions: The calculator comes in a standard build that is consistent in almost all Casio calculators. The standout feature is the color scheme of choice, which features a combination of white and sky blue and a sleeker surface. It measures 144 x 105.5 x 26.2mm regarding length width and depth. The layout features neatly placed keys which underlie a wide display overlooked by a mini solar panel.
- Power: The device combines solar and battery power in an alternating power mechanism which employs battery power when solar energy supply is insufficient.
- Display: The extra-large display can hold up to 12 digits while providing room for other smaller notifications relating to different functions.
- Special functions: The calculator has a localized number display function capable of producing four separator formats and is also capable of showing a total of 300 steps in retrospect. It also incorporates an auto review function, correct function, and other numeric functions.
- Warranty: It comes with a 3-year warranty package.
- Sustainable power supply: The two-way power supply ensures a well-adapted system capable of sustaining the calculator’s function throughout its lifespan.
- Durable: The calculator has a solid construction made with highly resistant plastic material.
- Wide display: It features an ample display size typical of Casio models.
- Adequate extra features: The calculator features all the necessary shortcuts and functional features for basic office calculations.
- The keys are not as sizeable as most models within its price range.
- It lacks some fairly advanced features for some accounting and finance calculations.
6. SaleOn™ Financial and Business Office Calculator – Compact Design
The Saleon CT-512GC presents another mid-range model that has a lot to offer for its modest price. Its profile demonstrates a device that has every need to provide the perfect support to your calculation needs. Let us look at what its feature set has in store.
- Design and key features: The calculator comes in the usual compact and solid design commonly seen in classic brands such as Casio. The white-colored, plastic body measures 13 x 13mm regarding Length and height, respectively. This is quite smaller when compared with our last model, but it nevertheless provides an ample size for an on-desk calculation device. The buttons also come with Acrylic protection to prevent wearing out of the paint.
- Power: Like most top models, it features a 2-way power mechanism to ensure a constant supply of much-needed energy.
- Display: It features an extra-large liquid crystal display that can accommodate up to 12 digits and additional notifications for various models and mathematical operations.
- Functional features: The calculator features a variety of standard functional features, including auto review, correct, and the check function. The check function can display up to 112 previous calculations. It also features a key rollover capability that assists with the storage of operations in a buffer hence allowing for more efficient and accurate input.
- Warranty: The product comes with a 10-days replacement warranty.
- Top-notch functionality: The product features all the necessary functional operations to warrant a seamless experience with basic office calculations.
- It features solid construction with ultra-durable material.
- Convenient display system
- The device features an extra wide and high clarity display system to provide for easy viewing and hence more accuracy.
- It is not entirely suitable for advanced use cases like finance and economics calculations.
- It comes with a shorter warranty period when compared with other models.
7. Cltzen CT-8814V – Great Functionality
The Cltzen CT-18814V provides yet another exciting brand on the spectrum. The model came in as one of the brand’s new additions in the year 2018 and has faired very well based on the warm reception it received from users of all walks of life. Let us have a closer look.
- Design: The design and layout take an unorthodox shape for calculators by adopting a mini laptop-like body incorporating an adjustable screen and a wide keyboard. A neat and organized keyboard with all the necessary functions underlies an extra-large screen situated just above a solar panel.
- Power: It features a 2-way power supply mechanism.
- Display: The ample display can accommodate up to 12 digits and additional room for extra notifications.
- Functions: In addition to basic operations, it includes other handy keys, including check function keys, autoreply, Grand Total, and percent function.
- Durable build quality: The solid construction enhanced with a metal faceplate renders the device one of the most durable in today’s market.
- A wide range of functions: The calculator provides for a wide range of financial operations, which may come in handy for advanced business and finance professionals.
- Wide display: The size and quality of characters ensure enhanced display clarity.
- The overall size and actual size of the buttons lag a bit when compared with most brands within the category. However, this does not necessarily qualify as a deal-breaker.
- The device lacks a warranty package.
8. ORPAT 400T/400GT – Finance and business functions
The Orpat 440T made it on our list as the best device in the lower price range due to the impeccable value it provides for a device within a modest price range. The combination has made it one of the most popular devices among modern users. Let us at once move forward and consider what it holds in store.
- Design and dimensions: The calculator presents another minimalistic and tidy design that usually comes in grey or white color. The device’s dimensional profile shows a 128.3mm x 133.5mm x 21.5mm combination in length, width, and height. Standard sized keys and a large LCD are built into the hard plastic casing.
- Power: It incorporates a 2-way power mechanism.
- Functions: On top of basic functions, the calculator features the number of finance and business-related functions, including a variety of tax-related calculations such as discount selling price, tax amounts, and margin amount. In addition to the auto-replay function, the calculator also features a check function which is capable of displaying up to 120 previous steps.
- It provides great value for a modest price
- The calculator provides an above-average functionality, which is uncommon with devices in the same price range.
- Durable: The overall quality of construction and the superior material provide for a highly resistant device as far as daily physical stresses are concerned.
- Reliable power supply: The dual mechanism affords a constant power supply throughout the device’s lifespan.
- High-quality display system: The device provides for a wide LCD, which affords top-notch clarity.
- The overall size may not suit those who are looking for a robust machine that is easy to operate in high pressure and a busy environment.
9. ORPAT OT-512GT – Value for money
The Orpat OT-512 presents a great option for those who are looking for a simpler version of the Orpat 400T. It is, in essence, a cheaper cousin of the 400T without the additional financial functions it incorporates in the system. Its simplicity has made it one of the most favored models by today’s consumers. Let us delve in for a deeper look.
- Design and features: The device comes with an all-black body with rugged solid construction, which leaves a strong statement regarding its durability. The overall layout of the keys and the display follows the same standard principle seen in most calculators. When it comes to size, the calculator features a set of broad keys built into a casing, which measures 128mmx12mm in terms of length and width.
- Power: It features a 2-way power supply.
- Display: It has an extra-large LCD display with a capacity for 12 digits, and a good number of notification features.
- Functions: In addition to basic operators, it features special keys for a range of functions, including markup, correct, total, and checks functions. The check function can display previous calculations up to 120 steps.
- Warranty: It comes with a one-year warranty package.
- Durable build quality: The hard plastic case and a sturdy keyboard construction make it one of the most durable models on the market.
- Excellent display quality: The size and top-notch quality offered by the LCD screen provides for a seamless viewing experience.
- Efficiency: The simple design complements a faultless overall functional performance in handling all basic office calculations.
- Lacks extra features for advanced or specialized users.
10. Casio HL820LV – Ultra-Portable
The last few moments of our review will be spent on one of the most but surprisingly high performing models on the market. The rather simple design and functionality corresponding to the highly affordable price tag.
- Design and dimensions: The device comes in a classic, simple design with a flip cover to protect the frontal area. It measures at 7.5mmx127mmx104mm in height, width, and Depth, respectively, and accommodates a screen that measures at about 20.65mmx40.4mm in terms of width and length.
- Power: 1-way power supply (battery)
- Display: It features an 8 digit LCD display with an overall size as indicated above. It also accommodates some notification space at the top.
- Functions: The calculator accommodates all basic arithmetic functions alongside some extra but not uncommon functions such as memory recall function (MRC), All Clear (AC), M- and M+. The calculator also supports regular percent functionality.
- Warranty: It comes with a three-year warranty.
- PROS (What we liked)
User-friendly: The calculator is ultra-portable and straight-forward to operate.
Durable: It has a compact and solid build quality, which rivals more sophisticated models within the same brand.
Great warranty: With a three-year warranty, the calculator provides great assurance for ultimate quality.
- CONS (What we didn’t like)
- The diminutive size makes it not entirely favorable for a fast-paced office environment.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How do office calculators compare to scientific calculators?
Scientific calculators are designed for complex scientific computations, which are mostly irrelevant to basic calculations performed in an office setting. Some of the functions typical of scientific calculations include trigonometric operations, graphs, and advanced mathematical operations like logarithms.
On the other hand, office calculators are inclined towards basic mathematical operations with a degree of business and finance-related operations.
2. Which calculator is best for complex business calculations?
Financial calculators make the best tools for complex business-related calculations. They usually have a comprehensive collection of finance-related operations such as tax, profit, and savings calculations.
3. Do calculators with a metal faceplate offer significantly higher protection than hard plastic devices?
The key ingredient for a calculator’s durability is a solidly built hard plastic body. The metal lining only adds on to the resistance but not with a substantial amount. This is why most calculators only feature a hard plastic casing.
4. Does a higher price imply greater quality?
Much as price directly correlates with the overall quality, the true worth of a calculator derives from the actual difference it makes in your daily dealings.
If a cheaper model affords you the same conveniences as the most expensive one does, then it may well be said that the two afford you the same amount of quality.
Choosing the best calculator for your needs requires a clear understanding of the factors that make an excellent calculator, the available models on the market, and your preference in terms of style.
This guide strived to provide you with the necessary factors before embarking on an expedition through what the best models have to offer on the market today.
Our best picks Casio DJ-240 Plus, Bambalio BL-555M 12 Digit Electronic Calculator, Casio JJ-120D plus were selected based on the balance they provide in terms of quality and associated price tags. In a nutshell, a few moments of research and practice based on the facts presented in this guide should go a long way in assisting you with making the best choice for your needs.