Stopwatches - Stopwatch Buyer's Guide

Are you looking for the best stopwatch? Then, check our reviews and buyer's guide to find the best stopwatches available on the market in 2020.

Stopwatches - Stopwatch Buyer's Guide

Nothing keeps track of your development in the trails better than a stopwatch. It matters little if you're a swimmer, runner, or coach; the accuracy of that little timepiece means a lot to what you're doing. Therefore, it's essential to always go for the best stopwatch available on the market.

But what is the best stopwatch? Even though we won't answer that question point-blank, we'll point out some things that will help you spot it out among many. One of the critical choices to make is between mechanical and digital stopwatch. You should know which type works best for you.

This buyer's guide discusses, among other things, some points you need to consider before buying a stopwatch.

Is a Stopwatch the Same as a Timer?

No. That's the best straight answer you'd get with regards to time tracking methods. However, you could say they all work to help you keep track of time, so they are both timepieces or timers. But the functioning mechanism, use scenarios, and processes differ.

The timer could count only down from a set time interval. But the stopwatch counts the numbers upwards from zero to an elapsed time (some have both the countdown option too).

It goes without saying that both gadgets are used in different situations. You could employ a timer's services in the home like in your kitchen and bathrooms, but the stopwatch is majorly for track and field.

Thus, you could use the timer to ensure your egg is done or other meal preps are spot on, also to time your baths. But the stopwatch is what the runner and swimmer use to track their speed and improvement on the tracks (or pool).

Moreover, the units of a stopwatch are not the same as that of the timer. So, when next you hear the question, is a stopwatch the same as a timer? You know the exact answer to give.

What are the units of a stopwatch?

The units of a stopwatch usually are the parameters with which it's measures time. Stopwatches use these time units when keeping track of time. They are minutes, seconds, and one-hundredth seconds, which could be milliseconds or centiseconds. Some stop clocks have the hour unit too.

Why is a stopwatch used in sports events?

The main reason sports enthusiasts and athletes prefer to track time with a stopwatch is the units and unique features. The units of a stopwatch are much easier to read than other timepieces. Thus, when athletes want to track improvement in timing, they try to achieve a particular target in less time.

Hence, they use the stopwatch as it could render other services like lap and split timing. These features are not familiar with other timing gadgets. More so, the stopwatch could record the previous times, giving you the ability to compare.

Therefore, a swimmer, sprinter, or gymnast gets to keep track of all the time spent on activities. Also, with recent advancements in technology, the stopwatch offers more fantastic features.

Features of Stopwatch

Stopwatches have different features, types, and sizes. To get the best stopwatch for yourself, find out the type that works best as well as fits the size of your wallet. Moreover, if you want to know how to choose the best stopwatch, you should look out for these features before buying.


All stop clocks are built on the precision principle, so there should be no such thing as an inaccurate stopwatch. However, in a world where all things can't be equal, you can't rule out a little lapse in function.

Therefore, try and ask the question - how accurate is a stopwatch? - before buying it. This, however, depends on what and where you intend to use it. You could opt for a low-budget timepiece for kids doing their laps but always go with the best if you're going pro.


It's necessary to look out for durable brands and models to get more extended service. Many elements could disrupt the operations of a stopwatch, so check for dust and shock-resistance too.

It's also crucial that a stopwatch should be waterproof so that sweat, rain, or any other form of moisture won't damage it.

Apart from swimming athletes, the rain shouldn't be a deterrent to your progress on the tracks. Therefore, try and get a water-resistant stopwatch that can withstand the defects of moisture.

Ease of use

This feature is as vital as the watch's accuracy because a stopwatch is used in quick action scenarios. Hence, it will be disheartening if you can't find the lap time or split button at the end of a lap. That's why it's essential to go with stopwatches that have simple buttons and control knobs.

Moreover, the display should be easy to read and large. Thus, you don't have to struggle to tell the lap time from the final elapsed time. A backlight is excellent for low light situations.


Are there other things you could do with a stopwatch? Yes, but mainly in the display. Some stopwatches also show the time, date, day, and month. Hence you don't need an extra timepiece on the tracks; all you need do is to toggle the right buttons.

Do stopwatches have timers? Of course, some brands add the countdown option, which is the primary mechanism of a timer. Most stopwatch-timers can count from 10 hours to zero.

How Do I Find a Stopwatch?

Finding a stopwatch could be as easy as flipping through your smartphone apps or just placing an order online. However, it could also be as difficult as walking to a retail store and scouring through the numerous options available. Let's look at some ways or places to find a stopwatch.

Purchase physically

You can place an order from Amazon or any other online shop for the stopwatch brand and model you choose. Your option will be delivered to you after you've satisfied the payment and logistics processes.

Another option is to buy from a retail store around you. You may want to ask the storekeeper for the features before making a purchase.

Does Walmart sell stopwatches?

Yes. You could get a top-quality stopwatch from Walmart.

Use your phone's stopwatch

In case of emergencies, you might be needing a stopwatch if you have your smartphone with you. Recently, phones come with a stopwatch watch embedded in the clock app. All you need do is to open the alarm and clock application, then tap the stopwatch tab.

Tap the start tab to begin timing and tap on the stop tab at the bottom to end. You can also tap 'Lap' to use the lap function and record lap and split times.

Use an online stopwatch

If you happen to be without a stopwatch or a phone, you may use an online stopwatch on your computer. Once it has a wi-Fi connection, you could log onto the internet to use a stopwatch online. Online stopwatches are also easy to use, accurate, and have lap times, but it ends whenever the computer sleeps.

How Do You Use a Stopwatch for Running?

A stopwatch is mostly used by athletes who want to know and better their timing, and runners are not excluded. Hence, you must click on the respective buttons on the device to get it working.

When you want to use a stopwatch for running, you tap the start button at the beginning of a race. You also click the stop button when it ends. The screen displays the total time used in the activity. Always ensure that you bring the watch to zero before the start of a new race.

You can also record multiple time intervals like a relay race if it has a split/lap button.

Is there a stopwatch on Fitbit?

Yes. You can move the cursor on the vibrating wrist alarm clock to get the stopwatch screen. Then press and hold to start the stopwatch.

Wrap Up

Stopwatches are the basic tools used for the development of every athlete or sportsperson. Their quality is also as important as the device itself. That's why you should only use the best stopwatch available. This stopwatch buyer's guide gives you the best info on how to choose a suitable device. It also mentioned other essential related information.

Frequently Asked Questions About Timers

Here are the frequently asked questions about stopwatches.

What is the best stopwatch?

It depends on the purpose of the stopwatch. If you are looking for a sports stopwatch, check our best stopwatches for track and field list. Alternatively, check our water-resistant stopwatches for swimming stopwatches.

How do you start a stopwatch?

Press the button on its top to start a stopwatch. If it is your phone's stopwatch or an online stopwatch, then just hit the Start button.

How do you read a digital stopwatch?

The first two digits represent the minutes. The numbers after the colon represent the seconds and hundredths of seconds.

How much do stopwatches cost?

Mostly, it varies between 5 dollars and 100 dollars.

Is there a stopwatch on Windows?

Yes, in Windows 10, you can find the stopwatch in Alarms & Clock app.