If you’re a chess enthusiast, you probably want to have the full experience by using a chess clock. However, a lot of them seem too expensive for their purpose.
Still, there are plenty of budget-friendly options like the DGT North American or 3000, Chess Armory, Zmart Fun II, or the LEAP one.
So, if you want to enjoy the full experience of a chess match without breaking the bank, here are the top 5 cheapest chess clocks on the market.
Top 5 Cheapest Chess Clocks
Let’s look at the best budget-friendly chess clock options that you can choose from.
1. DGT North American Chess Clock and Game Timer
DGT makes the number one spot on the list, as DGT makes some solid chess clocks for all experience levels and budgets.
It comes with time, bonus, delay, U.S. delay functions, etc. All in all, there are 23 timing options on the DGT North American chess clock.
The North American comes with sudden death, repeating time controls, and Fischer mode. The settings are available in one-time, two-time, or up to three-time controls.
Additionally, the clock has an intuitive interface and a nice blue color with red buttons. The screen has 16 contrasting settings that you can adjust to suit any lighting.
On top of that, it’s a pretty sturdy clock. It can handle a tough tap or two when you get over-excited about your next candidate move.
So, if you’re looking for tremendous value for money, the DGT North American is a good choice.
2. Chess Armory Digital Chess Clock
This clock looks as macho as its name. It has a black exterior with white buttons and the screen displays a digital clock. The design is simple and the system is intuitive. So, you don’t have to waste any time figuring it out.
Chess Armory comes with a standard chess timer too. It also gives you plenty of bonus and delays time features, so you’re never out of options.
You can adjust the delay for each opponent and customize your timer settings as per your needs. Once you’re done, you simply press the big white switch on top and it counts down for your opponent.
A good bonus about the Chess Armory clock is that it’s portable and lightweight. In case you’re looking for a clock to travel with, it’ll suit you quite well. It comes with a single AAA battery, and that’s all you need to get the game going.
3. ZMart Fun II Digital Chess Clock
If you like the big buzzers and feel like they get you in a more competitive mode, you’ll appreciate the two big buzzers on the ZMart Fun II’s top. It’s an excellent choice if you’re looking for a multi-purpose clock that looks fun at a party or a gathering on Friday nights.
Generally, this clock looks quite vibrant, with blue neon digits that contrast its black and silver exterior.
It’s easy to use and read, gives you tremendous value for money, and its durability isn’t too shabby.
Additionally, the ZMart Fun II has an incremental time setting, which adds time to the clock per move.
However, it’s not jam-packed with chess-oriented settings as it’s meant to suit multiple games. It even has “Scrabble” on its box.
4. DGT 3000 Digital Chess Clock
This is another DGT chess clock that doesn’t break the bank as it’s under $100 and has plenty to offer. That said, it’s a little more expensive than the previous options.
The DGT 3000 makes up for this with its huge display. This feature tells you what setting you’re using, whose turn it is, what period you’re in, and how much time remains for each player.
Plus, you’ve got 25 pre-adjusted settings to choose from and you can even add five more to the options.
Not to mention, if you have a DGT electronic chess board, you can connect them to have the most integrated chess game experience. There’s also a limited edition of this clock, which you can get for about $20 extra.
Further, it shows the seconds from the beginning of the countdown. This is unlike other chess clock options that show seconds during the last minute only.
5. LEAP Chess Clock Digital Chess Timer
LEAP’s chess clock’s design looks similar to Chess Armory’s. The difference is that this one has a wooden appearance that makes it more classical.
It’s ABS plastic, however, not actual wood. This material is a bonus as it makes it quite durable and environmentally friendly.
As another plus, it comes with a professional digital timer with count-up and countdown options and a max of 10 hours.
The LEAP clock sends a little alarm when the time is about to run out and comes with plenty of functionalities, including delay and bonus.
It’s easy to set and saves your settings for the next use. Moreover, you can carry it around as it runs on a single AAA battery.
Why Are Some Chess Clocks Expensive?
A couple of factors go into the pricing of a chess clock. They can drive its price higher than expected.
The main reason is mass production. Regular clocks or watches are produced in huge quantities, which isn’t the case with chess clocks. That’s why multi-purpose clocks typically come with lower price tags.
On the other hand, you can’t get a price break for some essential materials used in making chess clocks—unless you buy in bulk. Consequently, this adds to the production cost equation.
For example, you need to buy hundreds, if not thousands, of PCB or PWB units for the price to break even.
While your first guess might have been that you’ll never find a chess clock that doesn’t break the bank, we hope you’ve found one that suits your taste on this list.
Consider the DGT 3000 if you’re looking for something that has a lot of value for money. Alternatively, the North American and Chess Armory are solid choices if you want something that looks stylish, too.