Digital chess clocks are an essential tool for serious chess players. They help to keep track of time and ensure that each player has an equal amount of time to make their moves.
With so many options on the market, it can be challenging to choose the right one.
Thinking about just the DGT options, you can get the all-around DGT North American, the incredibly advanced DGT Pi, and the unique Limited Edition option. Also, the Chess Armory is a good option for simplicity and portability, while the ZMart Fun II is the best option for a fun aesthetic.
In this article, we’ll review the top 5 best digital chess clocks available in 2023.
Top 5 Best Digital Chess Clocks
The DGT North American digital chess clock easily makes it to the top of our list as it’s an all-around option.
It comes with ten built-in algorithms to cover any range of timing choices. If you don’t like the pre-set options, you can easily program the settings manually with the fast and intuitive interface.
You can set delay controls for up to three time periods, turn the move counter on or off, and correct both move count and time.
The North American has an appealing aesthetic with its blue body and contrasting red buttons. Also, the white buttons on the top are easy to press and complete the look.
This digital chess clock comes at less than $50, which is quite the bargain.
Chess Armory is ideal for someone looking for a basic and efficient digital chess clock.
It comes with standard chess time and includes a bonus and delay. You can still adjust the delay for each opponent or customize the timer to suit your preferences.
It runs on a single AAA battery and is incredibly lightweight. So, if you’re looking for a portable option that does the job, it’s a viable choice.
The ZMart Fun II digital chess clock stands out with its vibrant, neon blue lights. Just as the name suggests, it’s a fun clock to use whenever you’re tracking game time. It doesn’t even have to be chess as you can use it with other Friday night games like Charades.
It may not be the most durable option on the list, but that’s justified by the reasonable price. If you’re a casual chess player, you probably wouldn’t need anything more.
The first thing you’ll notice about the DGT Pi is probably its price tag. It’s undeniably high, yet, it’s worth it.
To make the best out of it, connect it to your DGT eBoard and turn it into a fully integrated device for playing chess.
The clock comes with eight chess engines, each offering different strengths and playing styles to suit whatever your style is. The engines are Claudia, Cinnamon, Floyd, Zuichess, Rodent II, Arasan, Texel, and StockFish.
When you connect the DGT Pi, you can view the computer moves on the large display. This makes it an excellent practice tool, especially if you’re looking to analyze your games and the different positions to cook up the best strategy.
It’s not a full top chess clock list unless there are multiple DGT clock options. The DGT3000 is a unique, limited edition variant of the DGT digital clocks.
It comes with a big screen that presents more info, the ability to connect to all DGT electronic chess boards and 25 pre-set timing systems. On top of that, there are five slots to customize your own settings.
Not to mention, the timer is incredibly advanced as it comes with blitz timing, tournament modes, action chess, and other delay settings (Fischer, Bronstein, and US Delay).
Unlike most other digital chess clocks, the DGT3000 shows you the seconds from the start and not only when the time is about to run out.
The clock comes with a 5-year warranty, which makes it a pretty safe choice. It also comes with the batteries included.
What Makes a Digital Clock Different Than Mechanical?
Unlike traditional analogue chess clocks, digital chess clocks use electronic components to measure and display the time.
They’re more accurate and reliable, and they usually come with a bunch of features that make them more versatile and convenient to use.
That’s why a digital clock can have an advantage over analogue clocks—even quartz ones. Make no mistake, however, the accuracy isn’t a rule of thumb.
To clarify, digital clocks are typically the more accurate option—until they aren’t due to a circuit or battery malfunctions.
At that point, mechanical clocks take the cake, until their inner mechanisms become worn out and they begin being inaccurate by default.
Features to Look For
When choosing a digital chess clock, there are several factors to consider. Here’s a list of the most important ones to keep in mind:
What you’re getting the digital chess clock for makes all the difference. For one, if you’re getting the clock for practicing, you might not need one with all the bells and whistles.
On the other hand, you’ll need certain time settings to suit specific game types like Blitz, Classical, etc…
Digital clocks have an edge over analogue ones thanks to the number of settings and features they offer. Some of these include:
- Multiple time control modes: You can program digital chess clocks to run on many time control modes. These include Blitz, Rapid, and Classical (slow). This allows you to choose the mode that best suits your playing style and preferences.
- Increment and delay modes:These modes either add extra time to a player’s clock after or before a move has been made.
- Pre-set time controls:Digital chess clocks come with pre-set time controls that you can typically use in tournaments and competitions.
Design, Display, and Sound
The clock you opt for should be easy to use. Look for an intuitive design and simple instructions so that you don’t have to waste time figuring out how to operate it.
Not to mention, the display should be large enough and easily readable. Not to mention, having a clear and audible sound allows you to focus on the game and get an alert when your time is about to run out.
Power Source and Battery Life
Finally, the power source and battery life and important factors to consider when choosing a digital chess clock.
Look for an option with a long battery life so you don’t have to worry about the clock dying in the middle of a game.
Not to mention, getting a clock with a reliable power source such as an AC adapter or batteries is a safe bet.
In summary, when choosing a digital chess clock, consider the features, precision, ease of use, display, and sound, as well as battery life or power source.
By keeping those factors in mind, you’ll end up with the ideal choice to help you focus on your game and improve your performance.