We report a calibration-free method for the determination of chiral indices (n,m) of single-walled carbon nanotubes from their electron diffraction patterns based on Bessel function analysis of the diffracted layer lines. An approach has been developed for confident identification of the orders of the Bessel functions from the intensity modulations of the diffraction layer lines, to which (n,m) are correlated. In particular, we critically evaluate the effect of nanotube inclination on the validity of the method and show that the layer lines governed by high-order Bessel functions tolerate higher tilt angles than those of low-order Bessel functions and thus are favored for (n,m) evaluation. The method is of particular significance in that it considerably enhances the precision of chiral indexing and makes possible the analysis of high-order Bessel functions, especially when EDPs are of relatively low pixel resolution. The technique can be extended to structural analysis of double-walled carbon nanotubes.