In the olden days, a chess player can take his own sweet time in contemplating what their next move would be. Back then, chess was a game not only of wit but of patience and extreme forbearance as well. People thought that a game lasting for more than 9 hours was excessively impractical, so the use of the chess clock was introduced.
Along with a chess set, the chess clock has now become an essential part of the game. Whether you are a beginner or a pro who wants to improve the tempo and calculation speed of your game, you need to get yourself the best chess clock you can find. Here is a list of the best chess clocks on the market today to make it easier for you to choose the one to suit your game:
Chronos Digital Chess Game Clock
A popular sight in most chess tournaments, Chronos is considered the gold standard in chess clocks. They can accurately handle any time control you can think of, has a sturdy build, and comes with a large, easy to read display. There is a learning curve when using this clock, but once you get the hang of it, it is very simple and easy to use.
- Housed in a strong metal case
- Comes with 70 pre-programmed time controls
- Can store up to 12 user-defined time controls
- Easy to read
- Touch sensitive buttons
- A bit difficult to set
- Needs a screwdriver to change the batteries
DGT North American Chess Clock and Game Timer
At just under $37, the DGT North American Chess Clock and Game Timer is one of the most affordable clocks you can find. It is inexpensive but comes with high-quality features that even the most demanding players can appreciate. It is lightweight and very easy to use, and it comes with many time controls used in Canada/US standards.
- Quick and easy setup
- Comes with 16 contrast settings
- Large display
- Has soft and easy to press levers
- Has a low-battery signal
- The instruction manual is very hard to read
- Needs to be turned off and on again when resetting
Saitek Competition Digital Chess Clock
Ideal for both fast and slow plays, Saitek Competition Digital Chess Clock gives you three custom time controls that allow you to program them to have the regular (G/90m + 30-second increments) and active (G/25m + 5-second increments) time controls as well.
- Very clear and large display
- Has multiple preset time controls
- Equipped with warning indicators when someone is running out of time
- Has a broad base with rubber stoppers
- The toggle button has lights to indicate whose turn it is
- Instructions are hard to read
- The buttons are not as smooth
ZMart Fun II Digital Chess Clock
The ZMart Fun II Digital Chess Clock has a good and solid feel to it. It uses red LED numbers that are large and easy to read. It has audible feedback on the button press that emits a pleasant, beeping sound. It comes with touch sensors that are made of stainless steel and can be used for chess and other two-player board games.
- Equipped with stainless steel buttons
- Has delay, increment, hour-glass, and Byo-yomi timing modes
- Easy to program menus
- Comes with sound and light on and off options
- Has programmable tournament modes with moves counter
- The display is unreadable when used in broad daylight
- Not suitable for serious tournament play
Ckeyin174 Digital Chess Clock
One of the best chess clock on the market today, the Ckeyin174 Digital Chess Clock is a basic, but an excellent choice for chess players and other game board players. It is inexpensive and works as a count-up and countdown timer with its large numbers that are easily visible.
- Lightweight and portable
- Easy to set and operate
- Housed in environmentally-friendly ABS shell
- Comes with an alarm function when a game is over
- Easy to pause and reset, stores last game setting
- Suitable for casual players only
- Not recommended for outdoor use
Factors to Consider When Buying the Best Chess Clock:
Consider Your Budget
Getting the best chess clock for you can be a big challenge, so you need to know how much money you are willing to spend on one. This will narrow down your choices and let you choose from those that are within your price range. It is highly recommended to look primarily at those affordable models rather than the higher-end ones to avoid disappointment.
However, you can definitely find great options in any price range. A low price tag does not necessarily mean poor quality; you just need to dig a little deeper.
If you are a serious player and want a chess clock that has all the bells and whistles, Chronos is a good choice as this brand is one of the most popular names when it comes to serious chess tournaments. There are many good name brands of chess clocks out there, so choosing one solely depends on your specific needs.
Know What Features You Need
This all depends on how you play your game. If you regularly join tournaments or planning to join one, a delay function is a feature that you should be looking for. Also, ease of use should be one of your main considerations, you want to concentrate on your game and not have any distractions such as resetting or checking for accuracy in your chess clock.
Where to Buy
Where you are going to buy the best chess clock is also important. You might not think this is a major factor, but it is. If you have retail outlets in your area, chances are the choices they can offer you may be limited. Shopping online gives you the widest range of chess clocks you can think of, and you get to see online reviews of people who have actually bought and used the products.
There are hundreds of chess clocks on the market today, and you can easily find one that you like. However, getting the best chess clock is different, and this list will make it easy for you without going through all those brands and models out there.