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Thread: Helios calipers
12-13-2008, 06:05 PM #1
I bought a 6" dial calipers made by Helios today at a yard sale for $10. Never heard of the brand. hardened stainless steel with a fine adjustment mechanisim. Somewhat awarkward to move with no rolling wheel. Is the brand any good, seems well made but I do not know much about fine instruments. Odd that the beam has both inch and Cm scales but only one needle on the dial. So it is inch only for precision but Cm is good enough to measure a shaft or bearing to replace.
12-13-2008, 06:13 PM #2
12-13-2008, 08:07 PM #3
First dial calipers I owned. The price was right. I found them in the trash during the apprenticeship at P&WA (11/64 - 8/68). Needed a new dial lense and TLC. Hand made the new lense. Wonder if I still have these.
12-13-2008, 10:27 PM #4
Those are fine German calipers. I have 150 mm vernier, 150 mm digital and 300 mm verniers that I use all the time at work. Most of our calipers at work are Helios, they certify with no issue year after year.
12-13-2008, 10:37 PM #5
I have a 13 inch set.Stainless,made in Germany,still in wood case,still in cardboard box with Fowler printed all over it.0 to 100 to 0. 200 per rev on dial.1968, can't buy anything this good today.
12-13-2008, 10:41 PM #6
Purchased at J.W. Donchin tool supply,4841 W Chicago Ave.Chicago Ill.The good old days.
12-14-2008, 12:31 AM #7
Yes, my first pair of dial calipers.
12-14-2008, 03:08 AM #8
I have an 8" heavy duty and a 4". Both are as accurate as a non-vernier mic if you are careful with your measurement.
12-14-2008, 07:18 AM #9
Long Island Indicator say they're German copies of the old Etalon, IIRC they were made in the old communist East Germany. I've a Russian 35mm SLR camera fitted with a Helios brand lens and those in the know say their lenses were nearly as good as Ziess.
12-14-2008, 09:42 AM #10
The first caliper I owned also was a 6"/150 mm thumb lock vernier made by Helios. I bought it around 1966. It was several years before I found out the manufacturer because mine was bought from Sears. It's a Craftsman 40161.
It sits on my desk all the time and is used for quick measurements. One day about a year after I bought it another apprentice came in with a Helios that was exactly the same.
Since then I have obtained a small collection of Helios measuring tools but I have never run across another Craftsman caliper made in Germany by Helios.
12-14-2008, 03:35 PM #11
09-18-2014, 06:23 PM #12
My first was a 6" Helios, model UR68 in a wooden case, made in Germany. I got it around 1961. I paid $45 for it new. I still use it. Great caliper.
09-19-2014, 06:27 AM #13My dad has a Helios vernier caliper that is older than dirt.
Stamped Kurval Tool, Buffalo, N.Y. in a border, "made in Germany" below.
Not 100% positive, but someone a few decades ago suggested it was Helios.
09-19-2014, 06:37 AM #14
My first dial caliper. It was 1976 and I was told they were the best at the time. Guess they are long gone I haven't heard that name in years.
09-19-2014, 12:01 PM #15
helios tools are very high quality . i have many - indicators , adj parallels , mics - they're as high quality as any brown and sharpe or starrett tools i've used ..... that said .....the calipers i have are ANCIENT , so they suffer the same shortcomings as most other 1960's models -
the 14" dial caliper has a .200/ dial , my 6" vernier caliper's 0-25 vernier is only 5/8" long and difficult to read unless it's under a very bright light .....(no provision for
step measurement , either )
the best tools in the world aren't much use if they're difficult to read. ( B+S and other old calipers had tiny verniers too )
09-19-2014, 12:27 PM #16
09-19-2014, 04:29 PM #17
Been a while since I bought or saw Helios calipers but they were excellent quality. As to still being Made in Germany then that's another question. Most companies making that kind of thing outsource.
11-09-2014, 05:53 PM #18
I inherited a dial calipers from a Beckmann-Spinco line engineer neighbor. Mine, too, has both cm (top) and inches (bottom) but it has a rolling wheel. There appears to be a lock for the dial adjustment, but I cannot seem to get it to lock the adjustment ring. Does anyone know the trick?
If I don't bump the dial adjustment, the reproducibility of the reading is bang on and it agrees with my Starrett micrometer, unlike my Starrett (made in China) dial caliper which I bought not long before I inherited the Helios. The Starrett is fine for measuring a screw and then selecting a drill to cut a pilot hole in wood.