Despite what your first-grade teacher might have told you, calculators are an essential tool for solving mathematical equations. But as your problems get more complex, the calculators you need to solve them get more expensive.
Scientific and graphing calculators can cost hundreds of dollars. If you don’t have the money to get these kinds of calculators, there are free math calculator options for you.
And even if you just need help factoring or solving a simple quadratic equation, there are free calculator options for you too. Let’s go over 9 of the best free calculators you can use for a variety of applications in mathematics.
1. Graphing Calculator by MathLab Apps
Buying a new graphing calculator like a TI-84 can cost well over 100 dollars. This really isn’t necessary with apps like Graphing Calculator by Mathlab Apps.
This particular app is only for Android users. It provides one of the best designs and visuals of free graphing calculator apps. It has the same functions as a physical graphing calculator with arguably better-looking graphs and visuals.
You’ll be able to calculate complex scientific equations (square roots, logs, trig functions, inverse functions, etc) along with advanced graphing options (graph multiple functions at once, parametric functions, polar graphs, etc).
You’ll also have access to statistical functions, algebraic equation solving, and more with this free app. If you have an iOS device, a comparable option is the Free Graphing Calculator app.
2. Wolfram Alpha
Wolfram Alpha can be accessed on any computer and it has a mobile app as well. You can type in almost any mathematical function or question and Wolfram Alpha will give you details on the formula, a solution, and a simple step-by-step explanation on how to get the answer.
You can even ask Wolfram Alpha questions on other topics like biology, physics, and even history.
If you want to upgrade to the pro version, you can see more detailed explanations on solutions.
3. Trigonometric Functions Calculator
While our other two calculators on this list so far have been a bit more complicated, this simple online trig calculator will help you find the sine, cos, tan, cot, sex, and csc with a simple click of a button.
You can get the answer in either degrees or radians.
Photomath is an awesome little app that really uses the power of current technology. It’s available free on both iOS and Windows products, but not quite yet for Android.
Using your device’s camera, you can scan almost any mathematical equation and Photomath will show you the solution. It doesn’t work very well with handwritten equations, but typed equations it does in a snap.
It does have its limits: it only really works with simple equations like arithmetic and basic algebra. But for those who need a quick solution, or for those just learning these things, Photomath is an awesome free algebraic calculator.
5. Quadratic Equation Calculator
This is another simple app that’s great when you need to solve something quickly. It can be great for checking your work as you learn about these equations as well.
As the name suggests, it only solves quadratic equations like those in the format ax^2 + bx + c = 0. This free calculator will give you the solution while also going over the basics of solving these equations on your own.
6. Unit Converter
Converting units is a key part of many math problems, especially word problems. You might have to change miles to feet, seconds to hours, etc. This could be the main part of the problem you’re being asked to solve, or it could be just one step in a longer problem you’re working through.
Whatever the case, understanding unit conversion is essential in math and other math-driven subjects like chemistry and physics.
The free graphing calculators we mentioned earlier do have unit conversion functions in them. However, there are free calculator apps with the sole function of converting units.
Both Convert Units for Free for iOS and Unit Converter for Android devices will allow you to quickly convert any type of unit, whether that’s weight, power, temperature, etc.
7. Free Factoring Calculator
Factoring is a large part of solving algebraic equations, but it can be a difficult art to master. Thankfully, there is a great free online factoring calculator you can use to instantly find the factors of an equation.
8. Solve4x App
Let’s continue on this algebra train. The Solve4x app is free on iOS devices.
It allows you to enter in algebraic equations and, well, solve for “x.” You can also simply take a picture of the equation you’re trying to solve for an even faster way to use the app.
While you don’t want to overuse this app (you still need to learn how to solve things yourself!), it’s a great way for you to check your work. Parents also love using it to check their child’s homework without them having to break out a pencil and paper themselves.
After going over all of those more complicated calculators with special functions, let’s go back to the basics: a good scientific calculator. SpeedCrunch is a desktop calculator that is fast, easy-to-use, and provides you with all the basic functions you want out of a free calculator.
It will show you results as you type the expression, which shows just how precise and fast it is. It also has over 80 built-in scientific functions, including:
- Basic arithmetic
- Absolute value
- Trig functions
- Statistic functions (mean, median, standard deviation, etc)
- Complex number functions (imaginary numbers, polar form, unit conversion to degree/radians, etc)
SpeedCrunch provides all of this for free with an option to upgrade. Its interface is easy to understand and even easier to use. It’s available for Windows, Mac, and Linux devices.
9 of the Best Free Math Calculator Options for Students: Wrapping Up
Math, despite not being loved by many students, is an important subject for us all to master. It has applications in almost every career along with use in finances, budgeting, travel, and our everyday lives.
These free math calculator options make math a bit easier and more accessible. Hopefully one of these will work for you.