The Best Scientific Calculators To Buy for School and Work

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Technology in classrooms may be evolving, but one item that has remained a constant is the best scientific calculators. Scientific calculators continue to not only be a valuable aid in completing complex math equations but also in providing an additional teaching tool in the classroom and at home.

Scientific calculators have several features, including helping students and professionals do floating-point arithmetic, logarithmic functions, exponential functions, trigonometric functions and giving fast access to several commonly used mathematical functions, like Pi.

Scientific calculators are often grouped with graphing calculators, but we’ve focused specifically on non-graphing scientific calculators. You might wonder why you’d choose a scientific calculator over a graphing calculator, which is capable of performing far more functions. There are several key reasons.

Scientific Calculators Vs. Graphing Calculators

Scientific calculators are less expensive, so if you don’t need all the functions of a graphing calculator,  you might opt to save money by sticking with a scientific calculator. There are also places you can’t use a graphing calculator, such as during some tests. For example, the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) engineering exam permits several scientific calculators, but no graphing calculators. There are other school tests where this may be the case as well. We’ve included several of the approved NCEES calculators on this list, including the HP 35s, as well as models from Casio and Texas Instruments.

From junior high to college students, as well as professionals in the medical and surveying field, finding the right scientific calculator suited to your needs can make a huge difference in one’s success. Here are the best scientific calculators that fit the bill.

  

1. HP 35s Scientific Calculator

BEST OVERALL

With over 800 memory registers and 100 built-in functions, the HP 35s Scientific Calculator is ideal for high school and college students, as well as professionals working in medicine, engineering, surveying and various scientific fields. The HP features 30 KB of power and has an adjustable contrast with two lines and 14 characters. It can be used for specific SAT, ACT, PSAT and PLAN exams. This calculator is more expensive than some other options, but it’s one of the only programmable options on this list.

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HP Scientific Calculator

$56.00
  

2. Casio fx-115ESPLUS2 2nd Edition Scientific Calculator

TEXTBOOK DISPLAY

This is the second edition of Casio’s advanced scientific calculator with a price and functionality that’s sure to satisfy students and professionals alike. The 16-digit four-line display makes it easy to see your calculations in full, the same way they would appear on paper. There are 280 different functions. The calculator has a sturdy build and a solar panel for increased battery longevity.

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Casio Scientific Calculator

$14.99
  

3. Texas Instruments TI-36X

TRUSTED STANDARD

Texas Instruments TI-36X Pro is one of the most trusted and widely used calculators for students. It’s approved for exams by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying, making it a great test-taking calculator where a graphing calculator might not be accepted. The calculator has a four-line display for easy legibility. This calculator also has a solar cell for a longer-lasting battery.

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TI 36X Scientific Calculator

$22.99
  

4. Casio FX-991EX Engineering/Scientific Calculator

SPREADSHEET DISPLAY

The FX-991EX is a great option if you’re looking for a slightly more advanced Casio calculator. It has a natural textbook display for easy legibility and a bigger memory with more functions. The display can show spreadsheets and matrix calculations, and it can even generate a QR code to modify your calculation from your phone. This calculator also has a solar-powered panel.

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Casio Scientific Calculator

$17.97
  

5. Sharp EL-501XBGR Scientific Calculator

SIMPLE DISPLAY

The 10-digit LCD display screen and ergonomic design make the calculator easy to use. The Sharp comes with 131 functions already preset and one variable statistic. The lightweight and durable calculator is designed for academic and personal use.

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Sharp Scientific Calculator

$18.11
  

6. Casio FX-260 Solar II

MOST PORTABLE

If you’re looking for a basic and intuitive calculator, the Casio FX-260 is a great option to get. It’s an affordable and compact option with a single-line display, making it a good option if you prefer a simpler display. This calculator is also solar-powered and it comes with a sliding case to protect it.

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Casio Scientific Calculator

$7.97
  

7. Texas Instruments TI-30XIIS Scientific Calculator

TWO-LINE DISPLAY 

The TI 30X series is on the approved list by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying, and it’s an affordable calculator with a simple two-line display showing the entry and result at the same time, making it easier to double-check for errors or mistyped equations. The solar and battery power ensures you won’t run out of juice mid-exam.

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Texas Instruments Scientific Calculator

$11.97 (Sale)
  

8. Helect 2-Line Engineering Scientific Calculator

ALSO GREAT

This calculator comes with 240 scientific functions and can be used for one- and two-variable statistical calculations. Degrees, radians and grads make up the three angle modes that are possible with the Helect, which can display functions in scientific/engineering notation mode. A hard, sliding case keeps the Helect protected when not in use and the inside of the case provides examples of how to use the two-line digital display.

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Helect Scientific Calculator

$10.97