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The Best Scientific Calculator - 2021

Last updated on June 18, 2021

We looked at the top 5 Scientific Calculators and dug through the reviews from 15 of the most popular review sites including and more. The result is a ranking of the best Scientific Calculators.

Best Scientific Calculator

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Our Picks For The Top Scientific Calculators

Show Contents
Our Take
Experts Included
Pros
Cons
  Best All-Purpose Pick

Texas Instruments TI-36X Pro Engineering & Scientific Calculator

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Texas Instruments

TI-36X Pro Engineering & Scientific Calculator

Overall Take

Solar-Powered and MultifunctionalThis natural-display calculator is a great choice for a reliable math and science tool, where full graphing calculators are not allowed.

Experts Included
DWYM Electronics Experts plus BestReviews, The New York Times, The Review Index, Architecture Lab, Eddie’s Math and Calculator Blog. Along with user reviews from Amazon, Best Views Reviews and Walmart.
Pros
" If you want a scientific calculator for use during exams where graphing calculators are prohibited, or if you simply love the feel of real buttons, we recommend the Texas Instruments TI-36X Pro because it has all the standard scientific-calculator functions..."
Cons
"Sadly the percent function still doesn't "work". All it does is divide the number attached to the % by 100. Hence typing 21.99 + 9.75% returns 22.0875, not 24.134025 (what it should be)."
  Best Basic

Sharp EL-501XBGR Scientific Calculator

Sharp

EL-501XBGR Scientific Calculator

Overall Take

Ergonomic and High-LevelFor a trustworthy, no-nonsense scientific calculator that gets the job done, this is a smart pick.

Experts Included
DWYM Electronics Experts plus BestReviews, Best Reviews Guide. Along with user reviews from Amazon and Walmart.
Pros
" Boasts a streamlined build that feels comfortable in the hand, and doesn't add a lot of bulk to bags or book packs. Perfect for algebraic and statistical equations. Falls on the lower end of the price scale."
  We Also Like

Helect 2-Line Engineering Scientific Calculator

Helect

2-Line Engineering Scientific Calculator

Overall Take

Multivariable Equations When you need a real powerhouse that's still permissible in math and science classes, this calculator covers all the bases.

Experts Included
DWYM Electronics Experts plus BestReviews, The Review Index, Helpful Professor. Along with user reviews from Amazon and Best Views Reviews.
Pros
" It’s just about the cheapest calculator you can buy. Great for younger students who are not going to treat it too well, anyway. Nice Button Spacing: Because there aren’t many buttons, they’re really nicely spaced apart and it feels like..."
  Strong Contender

Casio fx-300ES PLUS Scientific Calculator

Casio

fx-300ES PLUS Scientific Calculator

Overall Take

Natural Textbook DisplayIf you're seeking an easy-to-read calculator that looks just like what you see in class, this model has you covered.

Experts Included
DWYM Electronics Experts plus BestReviews, The Review Wire, The Review Index, The Calculator Review. Along with user reviews from Amazon and Best Views Reviews.
Pros
" Casio’s powerful and versatile fx-300ES Plus large screen and patented Natural Display is a perfect choice for middle through high school students in Mathematics and Physics! It’s solar-plus-battery provides long life and dependability in addition to being packed with over..."
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12

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the scientific calculators available to purchase.
5

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products for our team to review.

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15

Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources including: BestReviews, The Review Index, Helpful Professor, The Review Wire, The Calculator Review.

101,764

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including

Our experts reviewed the top 5 Scientific Calculators and also dug through the reviews from 15 of the most popular review sites including and more. The result is a ranking of the best of the best Scientific Calculators.

DWYM is your trusted roduct review source. Our team reviews thousands of product reviews from the trusted top experts and combines them into one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

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The Best Overall

Texas Instruments TI-36X Pro Engineering & Scientific Calculator


Our Expert Score

7.9
5 expert reviews

User Summarized Score

9.6
13,825 user reviews

Our Take

With a discreet solar panel to fuel its generous display, this calculator ensures you don't need to carry a change of batteries. The four-line display can show multiple calculations at once, presented as stacked fractions, symbols, integrals and other textbook-style notations.

What other experts liked

If you want a scientific calculator for use during exams where graphing calculators are prohibited, or if you simply love the feel of real buttons, we recommend the Texas Instruments TI-36X Pro because it has all the standard scientific-calculator functions...
- The New York Times
This calculator can easily help in the conversion of fractions, decimals, etc. into other representations and also can be used to select radians/degrees, Floating/fix number format modes.
- Architecture Lab
The 36X-Pro welcomes a return of the definite integral, something that has been missing on TI non-graphing calculators since the TI-68 (we are talking the late 1980s). In addition, the 36X-Pro adds the numerical derivative, sums (Σ), and products (Π).
- Eddie's Math and Calculator Blog

What other experts didn't like

Sadly the percent function still doesn't "work". All it does is divide the number attached to the % by 100. Hence typing 21.99 + 9.75% returns 22.0875, not 24.134025 (what it should be).
- Eddie's Math and Calculator Blog

The Best Bang For Your Buck

Helect 2-Line Engineering Scientific Calculator

Our Expert Score

7.6
3 expert reviews

User Summarized Score

9.0
9,073 user reviews

Our Take

With the ability to handle one- and two-variable statistical equations and 240 scientific functions, this engineering calculator is a true workhorse. The two-line display shows both the input and 12 digits of output in HD, and has scientific and engineering notation modes.

What other experts liked

It’s just about the cheapest calculator you can buy. Great for younger students who are not going to treat it too well, anyway. Nice Button Spacing: Because there aren’t many buttons, they’re really nicely spaced apart and it feels like you have plenty of space for typing.
- Helpful Professor

What other experts didn't like

When it comes to specializing in financial, geometric, or calculus subjects, this one just won’t make the cut unfortunately. Many online reviews have complained that it broke before long. Keep this in mind when making your purchase.
- Helpful Professor

Overall Product Rankings

Sharp EL-501XBGR Scientific Calculator

2. Sharp EL-501XBGR Scientific Calculator

Overall Score: 8.8
Reviews Included: 6

Helect 2-Line Engineering Scientific Calculator

3. Helect 2-Line Engineering Scientific Calculator

Overall Score: 8.1
Reviews Included: 7

Casio fx-300ES PLUS Scientific Calculator

4. Casio fx-300ES PLUS Scientific Calculator

Overall Score: 7.7
Reviews Included: 7

RENUS 2-Line Engineering Scientific Calculator, 2-Pack

5. RENUS 2-Line Engineering Scientific Calculator, 2-Pack

Overall Score: 6.3
Reviews Included: 3

Our Scientific Calculator Findings


Texas Instruments TI-36X Pro Engineering & Scientific Calculator

Best All-Purpose Pick

What We Liked: With a discreet solar panel to fuel its generous display, this calculator ensures you don’t need to carry a change of batteries. The four-line display can show multiple calculations at once, presented as stacked fractions, symbols, integrals and other textbook-style notations.


Sharp EL-501XBGR Scientific Calculator

What We Liked: This calculator features 131 mathematical, scientific and engineering functions. Large, easy-to-push buttons provide access to the many functions, and a well-designed case can be set on the back of the calculator when in use, and protects the front of the calculator when put away.


Helect 2-Line Engineering Scientific Calculator

What We Liked: With the ability to handle one- and two-variable statistical equations and 240 scientific functions, this engineering calculator is a true workhorse. The two-line display shows both the input and 12 digits of output in HD, and has scientific and engineering notation modes.


Casio fx-300ES PLUS Scientific Calculator

What We Liked: The standout features on this calculator are the four-line natural textbook display and replay ability. With all the standard functions of a scientific and engineering calculator, it also lets you easily review series of calculations without having to redo them, all displayed with the same stacked fractions and symbols as standard academic notation.


RENUS 2-Line Engineering Scientific Calculator, 2-Pack

What We Liked: The two-line, 12-digit display on this calculator accommodates inputs and answers from 240 available functions and a replay feature to go over previous calculations. In addition to the numerous functions, this calculator allows easy unit conversions.

Our Scientific Calculator Buying Guide

Calculators are useful for many common tasks such as balancing a budget or calculating tax. However, for students in math or science courses or for professionals who work in the realms of engineering, math, information technology or computer science, more advanced functionality in a calculator is required.

Scientific and engineering calculators are equipped to handle most operations that students and science professionals will need to perform on a day-to-day basis, though there are a number of factors that are important to keep in mind.

If the user is a student, some calculators may have too much functionality and will not be allowed by the teacher or professor. Many algebra classes, for example, do not allow graphing calculators because part of the course material is learning how to graph equations and functions, so a calculator that does it for the student is barred.

Another functionality that may not be permitted in certain courses is the ability to program the calculator, such as to do recursive or serial operations. Both of these abilities are typically not allowed in standardized testing scenarios. On the flip side, some higher level math classes such as calculus instead require graphing and/or programming capabilities.

Scientific or engineering calculators have a number of advanced abilities and functions such as exponentiation, taking roots, logarithmic functions, calculating trigonometric functions and many others. These features are generally accessed by buttons that have multiple functions each.

When shopping for a scientific calculator, first make sure it has the functionality you need and does not have any abilities that are not allowed in your context. Next, consider ease of use issues. Are the buttons too small or just the right size? Is the writing on the buttons easy to read? If there is additional functionality such as memory or replay capabilities, are they intuitive and straightforward to use?

Another consideration with scientific calculators is the display. Many calculators have single-line displays that show something like 10 digits, which is sufficient for many purposes. However, some calculators have multiple lines used for displaying the input alongside the output or for displaying equations and formulas in a “natural” style similar to how they are written in textbooks and standard notation. This type of display includes things like stacked fractions, radicals, symbols, superscripts, integrals and so on.

Finally, make sure that the calculator comes in a size that comfortably fits in your hand. Many calculators also have protective cases over the front that flip around to protect the back of the calculator when it’s in use.

DWYM Fun Fact

Humans have been inventing and using calculation tools for tens of thousands of years. The history of calculators begins with the abacus first used in Ancient Sumeria and Egypt around 2,000-2,500 B.C.

True advancements in calculation technology began in the 17th century with John Napier’s system of rods and the later invention of slide rules. Mechanical calculators arose soon after, but it wasn’t until the 1930s that electronic calculation technology took root. Since then, numerous advances, such as LED screens and the microchip, shaped the calculator as we know it today.

The Scientific Calculator Tips and Advice

  • If the calculator is for a student or may be used for tests such as the SAT, ACT or GMAT, find out the specifications of permissible calculators before purchasing. What’s required in one context may be banned in another.
  • Ideally, a single calculator will meet all your needs, but some students end up with three calculators: an arithmetic-only simple calculator, a scientific calculator and a graphing calculator.
  • Consider the type of battery and how easy it is to access. Some calculators are solar-powered, but still might have battery backup.
  • Solar power is convenient and reduces battery waste, but can be a hassle if you forgot to charge it (if you left it in a backpack or briefcase, for example) and there is no backup.
  • If there are batteries, make sure they are a common type (such as AA or AAA) and are easy to access without requiring tools.
  • The brightness and resolution of the display can be a deciding factor. Some lower-end calculators have displays that show “ghosts” of numbers not currently displayed and can be hard to read.
  • In bright environments, dim displays can also be a problem. Make sure the display resolution suits your needs and reading preferences, with numbers that are a comfortable size, style and darkness for you to read.

About The Author

Danielle Smyth 

Danielle Smyth is a writer and content marketing expert based in New York. She has been writing on business and finance, home and garden, DIY, travel and tourism, and a variety of other topics for over a decade, and she holds a Master of Science in Publishing from Pace University. Danielle loves working on product reviews and helping others find the highest quality items and the best values, particularly when it comes to electronics and the latest in tech.