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best graphing calculators

The Best Graphing Calculator in 2021

Author: Robert Wilson

Electronics & Peripherals Expert

best graphing calculators

The calculator saves you mental arithmetic and is quickly at hand whether you are calculating household costs or checking homework.

What is the best calculator for you? The purchase advice provides you with the most important information.

With the handy calculator you have a useful calculation aid with you. The device can accompany you for shopping or is used at school. The basic models are at least suitable for basic arithmetic operations. The modern pocket calculators from the tests have additional computing functions that should suit your needs. Science and finance calculators offer the relevant types of calculations.

Which calculator is your test winner depends on your work area. Apart from the functions, the format and the operating mode also play a role. Flexible and small calculators often work with batteries or solar power, while larger desktop calculators can be connected to the plug. The size of the device also affects the display, where you can read the numbers and some other information.


The selection of the best calculator is based on the calculation types, size and programmability. Depending on the purpose for which you are using the calculator, these aspects play a more or less decisive role.

Types of calculations: Scientific calculators offer a larger scope

The basic arithmetic operations for the basic calculators are addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Percentage calculation is often possible with simple calculators. A school calculator can also calculate fractions and roots. The calculation types for scientific and financial computers are somewhat more extensive. Here you have the option of converting currencies or calculating physical numbers. The functions of the graphing calculator are even more complex.

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Operating mode: battery or solar powered

Most calculators use solar or are battery operated. The solar-powered devices do not require a lot of light to charge, and the calculator use little energy. In general, it is sufficient to leave the calculator open in daylight. This makes the solar powered calculator particularly energy efficient. A battery lasts for a relatively long time, but it is necessary to change the battery after a certain time.

Display: Graphing calculators offer a large display

The display on the basic calculators is single-line. By default, the small models display 12 characters, but for the representation of long numbers or many decimal places, there should be more characters. In order to show a fraction or complex data, the displays of the scientific calculators are broken into 2 lines. This gives you more space for the invoice and the subsequent display.

Graphing calculators have a particularly large display. As with the simple models, this can have backlighting. In addition to the simple numbers, other data that can be called up in the form of a graphic can be shown on the display with a relatively high resolution.

Programmability: save calculations in advance

Mostly, only non-programmable calculators may be used at school. A programmable calculator can be compared to a computer, because here you can program the calculations as required. You can call up the program later from the device memory. You simply enter the simplified, automated calculation processes using the calculator keyboard.

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Keyboard: Modern calculators also offer a touch display

In addition to the number field, there are function keys with plus, minus and other basic arithmetic operations. The professional calculators have significantly more keys. The best calculators for demanding arithmetic experts have a touchscreen. This is particularly worthwhile for the diagram display and for complex calculations.

When looking at the keyboard, you should pay attention to comfortable operation. This depends on one hand on the size and spacing of the keys, and on the other hand on the speed of reaction. When you type in numbers quickly, you want the keyboard to be as smooth as possible.

The Differences with Calculators

Whether scientific calculator, graphing calculator or simple calculator – all model types offer advantages and disadvantages, which you will get to know in the following section.

The simple calculator

The simple calculator helps you to check everyday bills. In addition to simple calculations, you can use it to perform percentage calculations and, in some cases, save individual numerical values. A simple push of a button is enough to switch on the calculator. Some turn off automatically when they are not used for a while, others have an on / off switch.

The cheap, mobile calculators are easy to use. You can see the symbols for basic arithmetic operations at a glance. The electronics are protected by a stable housing. Depending on the functions, these simple basic calculators are suitable for students. The handy devices are well protected from dust and bumps in a protective cover. They are typically non-programmable calculators.


  • Favorable purchase price
  • Handy format
  • Mobile use possible
  • Partially suitable for school
  • Energy efficient


  • Restricted functions
  • Often only a one-line display

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The scientific calculator

Compared to the basic calculator, the scientific calculator can perform significantly more calculations. It calculates angles, logarithms and statistics. If you enter the relevant data, the calculator will immediately display the result. The important additional functions include saving and editing the calculated numbers. If it is a programmable calculator, it may not be approved for exams. You should definitely clarify this at school or university.

The numerous scientific functions require a certain training period. Often you will only get to know the many possibilities after a while. Then you can use the full potential of functional and high-quality calculators. Based on the current tests and product descriptions, you will find out what each calculator can do and which model is suitable for your purposes.


  • High functionality
  • Larger display
  • For school, university and work
  • Partly programmable



  • Relative expensive
  • Not allowed everywhere (school exams)
  • Training necessary

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The graphing Calculator

Graphing calculators can not only calculate and display simple numbers, but also diagrams. For this, these special models are equipped with a large display. This allows you to look at mathematical curves and other graphics and visualize the formulas. As a subcategory of the graphics calculator, the CAS calculator plays a special role, which makes complicated calculations easier for you.

In addition to the usual computing functions, the graphing calculators are often equipped with other math and geometry programs. The extended range of functions can also be supplemented if necessary if it is a programmable calculator. Compared to the simpler calculators, the graphing variant is often relatively large and not so handy. Nevertheless, they prove to be relatively mobile and practical calculators.


  • Diverse complex computing functions
  • Often programmable
  • Large, clear display
  • Graphic representations possible
  • Suitable for scientific work


  • Expensive
  • A bit unwieldy
  • Long training period


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Calculators in comparison: This model suits you

The practical basic calculator for students and for everyday use

Your robust, basic calculator is always with you in everyday life and at school. At the petrol station, quickly type in how many kilometers you drove with the last fuel load and immediately know what your car used. If you enter the prices for rolls and cakes at the bakery, you have good control over the total bill. Even children know how the simple calculator works. After all, the numbers and the most important computing functions are clearly understandable.

Mental arithmetic trains the brain muscles, but in certain cases you want more security. The simple calculators are also approved in school and are even recommended from a certain age. Once the students have mastered basic arithmetic, complex calculations are on the curriculum. Long series of numbers can only be traced with a calculator.

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The scientific calculator for demanding students and professional users

For difficult calculations and numbers with many decimal places, you need a scientific calculator that accompanies you in many situations. Mathematicians, engineers and technical experts need powerful calculators with extensive functions. If you are pursuing a scientific education or a degree, the high-quality calculator is essential. The best calculator for advanced users is relatively large and just as robust compared to the simple model.

You can quickly get the scientific calculator out to check test series and for certain calculations. You can easily enter the numbers and functions using the keyboard. On the clear display, which should have at least 2 lines, you can recognize all important data immediately. If you are traveling a lot, you should always keep the calculator in a protective case. This is already part of the original scope of delivery for the best models.

The graphing calculator for math students and scientists

In some professional areas, the focus is on complex mathematical work. These can only be carried out using a highly functional computer. However, a computer is too bulky, so you need a practical, mobile calculator with a graphic display. Then read off the calculated number series or check a statistical chart display. In unfavorable lighting conditions, you benefit from an illuminated display.

The transition from scientific to graphing calculators is fluid, as the current tests and comparisons show. With a graphing calculator, you can rely on the large, clearly visible display. The higher the resolution, the more detailed the display. The models with a backlit, colored graphic display with touch function are among the test winners. Some manufacturers offer these computers including a stylus and the original case

Calculators: That’s how much you have to spend

A small, inexpensive calculator is sufficient for everyday use, but as a student, financial expert or scientist you need a high-quality, expensive calculator. Which price range your individual test winner comes from depends on your requirements. The following breakdown will help you plan the budget.

Cheap calculators: $5-$20

Simple everyday calculators with battery or solar power are sufficient for everyday use and for intermediate level. You can sometimes get these compact computers for less than $5. The restricted functions enable intuitive operation. This makes the basic models ideal for beginners and schoolchildren. The practical calculator is also quickly at hand for your everyday bills. The solar calculators, for which you don’t even need a battery, are particularly economical.

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Functional calculators: $20-$50

In the intermediate or advanced level you need a calculator with more functions and a large display. From around $20 or $25 you can get a cheap scientific calculator with a colored and backlit display. Most of the time you don’t use the many functions immediately. Only with the necessary practice can you use the potential of the high-quality computers.

Financial calculators are also available in the price range of $20 to $50. These offer functions such as rounding, floating / fixed point, VAT and profit margin calculation as well as a correction button. With such a computer, difficult calculations can be carried out and important results saved.

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Professional calculators: $50-$200

For graphing calculators, you normally pay at least $5.. The most powerful test winners offer over 2,000 functions and some of them can be expanded. The integrated system and high storage capacity make the best calculators scientific instruments. The models with high technology often cost between $100 and $200. Sometimes the prices are even higher and even reach $400. The professional computers for scientists are worth this high price because they are, so to speak, small computers.

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Conclusion: The best calculator for you

A look at the many functions and features helps you to find the best calculator for everyday life or for your job:

  • A cheap basic calculator for $5 to $25 is sufficient for everyday use
  • For school, there is a calculator with many functions that you can buy from around $20
  • If you want to calculate financial or scientific figures, you need a calculator with special calculation types, which you can find in the price range from $25 to $50
  • There are graphing calculators for around $100
  • The more computing functions you need, the more the calculators cost: Depending on your area of ​​application, you sometimes have to invest $200 and more
  • A graphing calculator can display statistics and charts and has a correspondingly large display
  • A solar pocket calculator does not need any other energy source and can always be left on the desk.


Select your test winner from the range of pocket calculators and rely on the practical, reliable calculator.

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Last product update on 2022-09-30 | Source: Amazon Affiliate