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Chinese DRO quality

Froneck

Titanium
Joined
Dec 4, 2010
Location
McClure, PA 17059
I've noticed DROs made in China in ebay cheap! Would be nice to put one one my Horizontal Mill though the dials have served me well. DRO would be easier to see and easy to zero. Most of the computers are made in China as well as cell phones. I have a cheap Shinese digital caliper in my home desk draw that seem to work well though I have a top of the line Starrett caliper on my desk at the shop though I hardly use it in the shop. I have a 6" Starrett 123 vernier caliper I use on my lathes but for rough dimensions. Micrometer is most accurate.
Since the cheap Chinese caliper works well as well as my computers and cell phone will a Chinese DRO be worth buying for my Horz. Mill??
 

eKretz

Diamond; Mod Squad
Joined
Mar 27, 2005
Location
Northwest Indiana, USA
I got one to try out. It's decent so far, jury is still out in terms of long term reliability. It's a Ditron D80. My other DROs (3 machines) are Sony, which are almost bulletproof. Those are legendary in my opinion. I've never had anything but good experience with them anywhere that used them.
 

Froneck

Titanium
Joined
Dec 4, 2010
Location
McClure, PA 17059
I have 2 Sony, Anilam and a Sargon that have been working very good, no problem except with last power outage. Sony's still work great, Anilam needed setting change and it's working now too. Sargon is dead but I do have an Anilam Miniwizard I can use.
Might give the Chinese DRO a try.
 

lazz

Stainless
Joined
Feb 12, 2012
Location
The warm desert of Phoenix Arizona
A while back a Grizzly mill followed me home. The dials were unreadable. For $227 plus tax a 3 axis DRO was available. ( jezz its cheaper now than in May)
Some of the included brackets were a mystery to install. And I did have to find a metric tap to make some of the threaded holes usable .
Otherwise it was an easy 2 or 3 hour install.

An Acurite scale on on my Famco died....It was been questionable for some time and finally quit. The single used replacement scale cost nearly as much as a 3 asis set.

I didnt care for the buttons on the ToAuto dro. But the Acu-rite dro takes easily twice as long to boot.
The Asian scale seems to have all the same functions as a Arc-rite . The menus and buttons are different making it weird.

The new owner of the Grizzly mill likes the dro so its a win. Without a picture it didnt happen.

In closing. the Acu-rite scale that died could have been over 20 years old... I dont know. I do know over the years I have installed 4 of the asian DROs with no real problems and they keep getting cheaper.... A 3 axis on a mill is nice for the price. I have not used any of them as long or much as the Acu-rite. And the DRO I have saved to install on my lathe some day is an Acu-rite.
 

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Bill D

Diamond
Joined
Apr 1, 2004
Location
Modesto, CA USA
I think the cheap asian dro's are good enough for most for measurements. I have no idea about how easy they are to calculate stuff like bolt circles, step overs etc.
Bill D
 

guythatbrews

Hot Rolled
Joined
Dec 14, 2017
Location
MO, USA
I have two of the 3 axis on amazon. They have many good calculation functions and are dead on with the 36" mititoyo gage block stackup i have.

I hated to buy them but a lot of bang for the buck.
 

Froneck

Titanium
Joined
Dec 4, 2010
Location
McClure, PA 17059
I want a simple DRO with no bells and whistles. I do have a Anilam Wizard on my Jig Borer that came with the machine but never use the functions other than the direct reading X and Y. Often I get needed dimensions from Auto CAD or calculate polar coordinates and mostly do one ofs.
I simply want .001" resolution, Incremental/absolute, Inch/metric, X/Y readout and nothing else.
 

jackal

Titanium
Joined
May 4, 2006
Location
northwest ARK
I bought a Frejoth mill last Fall.
It's pretty much my drill press.
It seems tight and accurate, also accurate for boring out end bells for electric motors.
I'm thinking of putting one of those DROs on it from Vevor.
A couple of friends are using them and they seem ok for what they are doing.
I do a lot of bolts circles.
Draw it out in CAD, and move to the points.

After seeing this, I'll probably do it.
Usually my bolt patterns are scribed on Dykemfor double checking, anyway.
 

neanderthal mach

Hot Rolled
Joined
Dec 18, 2008
Location
princeton b.c.
Since I'm only at a hobbyist level then maybe I frequent the more hobby oriented forums more than the actual pros here would. So fwiw? There's been a fair amount mentioned on those forums about the bottom tier Chinese DRO's having some random longevity issues around the 2-4 yr mark and usually no product support at all. They could be considered as disposable DRO's when/if they fail I guess. Plus quite a bit mentioning the user manuals being tough to impossible to figure out for anything more than the basic functions. On a horizontal mill then maybe all your wanting is the point to point coordinates anyway. If it were me I think I'd maybe not buy at the cheapest possible price and move up a couple of hundred bucks more with the expectation that's going to get a better manual and hopefully a bit better long term durability. I can't recall seeing any posts about issues with the Sino brand Newman mentioned though. That said I still like my Newall even with it's 10x higher cost.
 

jaguar36

Cast Iron
Joined
May 13, 2015
Location
SE, PA
I ordered this one a few years back. I don't trust it beyond a couple thou but it seems fine for that. What I would love to know is who actually designed it. It's got a million functions that I can't imagine anyone uses these days, and upon opening it up I found the board was all labeled in english. My assumption is that it was designed by a name brand a number of years ago and has since been knocked off.
 

Bill in PA

Hot Rolled
Joined
Jan 25, 2011
Location
Fairfield, PA
I've noticed DROs made in China in ebay cheap! Would be nice to put one one my Horizontal Mill though the dials have served me well. DRO would be easier to see and easy to zero. Most of the computers are made in China as well as cell phones. I have a cheap Shinese digital caliper in my home desk draw that seem to work well though I have a top of the line Starrett caliper on my desk at the shop though I hardly use it in the shop. I have a 6" Starrett 123 vernier caliper I use on my lathes but for rough dimensions. Micrometer is most accurate.
Since the cheap Chinese caliper works well as well as my computers and cell phone will a Chinese DRO be worth buying for my Horz. Mill??
I bought a Chinese DRO from DRO Pros 10 years ago to put on the mill I bought from you. No trouble. Dowel pins always line up with the holes on the mold halves I do on this mill.

Bill
 

Froneck

Titanium
Joined
Dec 4, 2010
Location
McClure, PA 17059
I give one a try. I did make an offer on one, they countered but it said it's out of stock. Thought maybe the counteroffer was to me for the last one but the seller has yet to reply to my question if it was available. But it does have a lot of features I don't want as I mentioned in previous post. Anyone know a DRO available that a simple type. Horz. Mills don't need all the other features.
 

Laverda

Cast Iron
Joined
Mar 24, 2014
Location
Riverside County, CA
No experience with Chinese ones but I do have a DRO Pros magnetic scale one on my lathe that was made in India. After about 5 years, no issues at all. On my Bridgeport I have a Sony which has been working perfectly for 40 years.
 

MrWhoopee

Hot Rolled
Joined
Nov 8, 2017
I give one a try. I did make an offer on one, they countered but it said it's out of stock. Thought maybe the counteroffer was to me for the last one but the seller has yet to reply to my question if it was available. But it does have a lot of features I don't want as I mentioned in previous post. Anyone know a DRO available that a simple type. Horz. Mills don't need all the other features.
AFAIK, they don't make the basic 2 axis no frills DROs anymore. I couldn't find one for my lathe.
 

Froneck

Titanium
Joined
Dec 4, 2010
Location
McClure, PA 17059
Seem odd they don't make them. There are a lot of machines that don't need the bells and whistles like surface grinders and Horz. mills. It's possible they are called something else, maybe I should add surface grinder to my search, actually I would mind having a simple readout on my grinder.
 

winger

Stainless
Joined
Dec 28, 2005
Location
portage county, wisconsin
I just put on a Shars one on my lathe at home. At 18" it is off .002. It can be comped but I haven't done it yet. Since my toolpost and compound get moved I really don't need the multiple tools register. It has absolute and incremental zeros.

My old mill has an old Mititoyo on it, probably over 20+ years old with no issues. My accurite on the grinder is probably the same vintage. Occasionally 1 segment on the led display doesn't light. Same segment on all the digits.

That said, I use an accurite and sony at work. For everyday use, I would spend the money for the Accurite and the graphical display.

Dave
 

Froneck

Titanium
Joined
Dec 4, 2010
Location
McClure, PA 17059
I really don't want a DRO with all the bells and whistles I will never use. Too many have the face of the DRO with so many buttons it makes it hard to use. My Anilam Wizard does have quite a few features but not buttons. For example if you want to find the center edge find one side, 0 then the other push decimal point then 5 and return to display 0, center is found. I also have quite a few DROs of top quality that I removed from machinery I sold only problem the scales are too long for the needed application.
 
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