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Thread: Rant: Starrett disappointment
08-26-2009, 06:52 PM #41Cast Iron
- Join Date
- Dec 2001
- Middleton,WI USA
I have two Mitutoyo digitals that i purchased back in the 80's and still work great every day, never cared much for the Starrett digital but used the traditional manual every day and very happy with them.
08-27-2009, 05:01 AM #42
Have NOT had the battery life issue with the Starrett shop knock-around calipers aty work... I forget the model number, it's one known to be sub-standard, I understand.
BUT, they definitely DO act up. The display lags the movement drastically, setting to a known dimension is hard. The lower digits flutter a lot.
Once you know what they do, you can use them, but if you forget and treat them like any other normal type, they will give you bad data.
08-27-2009, 11:42 AM #43Titanium
- Join Date
- Dec 2008
- UNITED STATES
- New York
Starrett tool quality
Give Starrett a break. if you got any electronics tools over 3 years ago forget it about durability.
......... Not only is it hard enough to design and build stuff in the USA, even if they bought the electronics from somebody outside the USA, give them a break. Maybe stuff from outside the USA still uses lead solder and they do not have to follow USA law.
......... Now with lead free solder growing tin wiskers and shorting out after awile I would say get use to electronics not lasting much longer than 3 years.
......... You have to remember the greatest way foreign companies compete is not labor rates but minimum quantity. If you got a big enough company backed by the government it is easier to make 10,000 minimum of anything cheaper. They factor in, building a new factory designed from the start to mass produce the cheapest most efficient way with the latest newest tools....
........ Starrett I would think like any USA manufacturer does not think that way. They would worry too much about getting stuck with 10,000 tools and not being able to sell them fast enough. Now a days even keeping stuff in a warehouse gets taxed but if it is being delivered from outside the USA it can sit in places under consignment and not have to pay tax. Manufacturing in the USA is being taxed too much. In China often the business is in partnership with the government. It does not get taxed at all just pays a percentage of the profits, if there are even any profits at all, for many companies do not care as long as the factory stays in production. This means it is in the interest of the government to help non profitable businesses. Even in Japan for many decades the government has worked with businesses.
.......... I am not aware of many places in the USA where government works with business other than where a local government is begging a Japanese company to build a factory in a small town to help bring jobs to a small USA town or city. I have not heard of many local government begging any established USA companies to build a new factory in their town. Sometimes it seems it is better for a USA company to demolish there old factories and build a new factory at least 1000 miles from the old one. Or in a place where I worked everyone was laid off and only 20% were rehired after applying for new jobs where no one was considered an expert so every one started at lower wages often 1/2 of what they were getting paid before at a new factory (old factory was destroyed). Whoever did not like was encouraged to be the 80% leaving.
08-27-2009, 12:15 PM #44
I'm not giving anyone a break who make crappy products and sells them for prices as if they were top quality.
08-27-2009, 01:10 PM #45I'm not giving anyone a break who make crappy products and sells them for prices as if they were top quality.
Also, fwiw, I try to keep these rant and rage threads in context and perspective. Starrett undoubtedly has sold many tens of thousands of these calipers, and what is represented here are the users who have had bad experiences...so obviously the company is represented in a bad light. I'm certain there are many more tens of thousands of satisfied users that have no problems and are satisfied, or the company would discontinue the line. They constantly discontinue tools.
I have hundreds of Starrett tools and instruments, and buy new regularly. I can say with complete certainty that 98% of the Starrett tools I own and use are Grade A or better in quality and performance.
Again, All fwiw
08-27-2009, 02:22 PM #46Aluminum
- Join Date
- Jan 2006
I gave them a break. I broke the crappy Starrett calipers I had and bought a set of Mitutoyo's. I have several thousand tied up in Starrett hand tools and like them all except for the electronic calipers. I have several Mitutoyo electronics tools (mics, calipers, indicators) and they are well over three years old and going strong.
08-27-2009, 04:06 PM #47
08-27-2009, 04:49 PM #48
08-27-2009, 07:02 PM #49
Before this goes off in a direction more appropriate for the political forum..
The first generation Starett digital stuff was designed around already obsolete technology, and it just eats batteries.
Supposedly Starret's newer, Chinese made digital stuff is better, at least in the battery department.
I wouldn't consider buying a Starett digital anything. I own and will continue to buy Starett mechanical & hand tools (but not their value line).
Many times Japanese companies have a leg up on US companies, because the newest electronic parts are available in Japan & the Pacific area long before they make it to the US, sometimes these electronic parts don't ever make it to the US. Hitachi is well known for this, many times the Hitachi parts can't even be looked up in an English-language catalog. The legacy of Japanese electronics also gave Mitutoyo etc. a great head start.
The lead free nonsense is quite recent, older equipment made before 2005 or so probably doesn't have this latent built-in defect. I have been seeing more of my products (electronic test equipment) come back with totally unaccountable problems that go away when we re-reflow the PCB's. My products do work in a tough atmosphere, high temperature seems to make the tin whiskers much more troublesome. Lead-free solder can also work harden and develop micro cracks, leading to more possible trouble spots. The ROHS directive is going to be great for electronics manufacturers when all this great stuff starts failing, no doubt consigning much more electronics to the dump than before.
08-27-2009, 07:28 PM #50
The calipers are Starrett 721, if I have remembered correctly.
They do not eat batteries.
They do not work consistently correctly either. They were fine today, a couple days ago they were being a bastard and fluttering / freezing while the head moved, etc.
09-07-2009, 09:50 PM #51
09-08-2009, 04:59 AM #52
FWIW, I visted them and both my non-working tools were fixed. The No.734 micrometer was disassembled, repaired and returned to me as I stood there in the repair department on Tuesday of last week. My No.753 digital depth gauge showed up at my door on Friday, working perfect.
Much to my frustration, my No.721 6" caliper that I carry around with me in it's plastic case has a problem now. I went to use it and it was dead. No signs of battery power at all. OK, so I go to CVS and get two new CR2025 batteries. Nothing. I then stopped at a brand new CVS store many miles away thinking maybe the ones I bought earlier were just dead on the floor and the "new store" would have fresh stock. No difference.
It is very frustrating to me to find that in my short less-than 3 year history of owning Starrett digital electronic tools, every time the batteries die it seems I have to send the tool in for repair! I have one other caliper, a rare 9" No.723 and it was still working as of Thursday evening. When I go back to work tonight I'm going to take a risk and try my new batteries in my working caliper and see if in fact the No.721 have failed electronics. So frustrating.
My two 6" Mitutoyo calipers have NEVER had such problems, and in 10+ years I've (successfully) replaced batteries ONCE in each.
09-08-2009, 08:13 AM #53
09-08-2009, 09:38 AM #54
I just talked with a knowledgeable person in Starrett's repair department and learned that my "mint condition" No.723 caliper is no newer than 1994. That's when they stopped making this model.
The only reason I want to try and save this one is that the display on it (when it works) is like no other in the marketplace. It has 3 digits following the decimal point, and instead of the 4th being a "0" or "5", it has a bar graph counting tenths. Can it really measure tenths? Yes. Is it really repeatable enough to rely on those measurements? Not likely. It's a caliper, not a micrometer.
One more time I'll have their repair department try to save it for that one feature I really like. If not, I will trade up to a current No.797, which is made in the US, is IP65 rated and has SPC output. Their No.799 is the Chinese made one without SPC, and I don't want that.
From what I was told on my visit there last week, the big difference between the Mitutoyo and theirs when it comes to SPC output is that theirs displays the "0" or "5" but actually outputs the tenths value. The Mitutoyo displays only "0" or "5" for the tenths, and outputs the same based upon a rounding up or down. Interesting. Starrett changed the display due to market pressure to "be like the others", but at least kept the full output electronically.