another caliper thread- vernier vs dial
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    Default another caliper thread- vernier vs dial

    So seeing one of the sponsored articles about calipers got me thinking. Does anyone agree with the thought that verneirs are easier to read than dial?? That seems to me the exact opposite. Reading a vernier to within a thou or two would be damn near impossible for me now with my eyesight, while dials are just as easy to read as when I first started this trade.

    What say ye PM crowd?

    Vernier Calipers: Best Models and Why You Should Use Them - Practical Machinist : Practical Machinist

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    Yea I don't see it either. You can do a quick glance at a dial and see exactly where you are. Not to mention trying to train somebody new in how to read verniers. It's why I've always kept some handy for when people want to borrow my calipers. You hand them verniers and they stop asking pretty quick.

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    I'm old enough to remember the dials when they first appeared on the scene. Some early models had the rack exposed and they soon clogged with chips and dirt. Then found some Tesa 6" that worked great for about 20 years. Then switched to 8" Digital 20 years ago for my everyday pair but still have a Brown and Sharp 6" dial at my desk and 24" and and 48" Verniers stored away that get occasional use. Had a vernier height gauge for many years then switched to dial then digital that I use today. Verniers are pretty much bullet proof but do take a few more seconds to read. Dials are faster but take a little more TLC. My coolant proof 8" Mitutoyo digitals have been working great for over 5 years. At 71 years of age my eyesight has never been the greatest so it's digital for me. I use Etalon Micrometers for the close stuff.
    Last edited by moldcore; 11-04-2019 at 12:54 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1974 View Post
    Does anyone agree with the thought that verneirs are easier to read than dial??
    I don't see how anyone could say that Verniers are easier to read.
    More accurate? Possibly,but easier no.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mtndew View Post
    I don't see how anyone could say that Verniers are easier to read.
    More accurate? Possibly,but easier no.
    I worked with a pig.. oops, guy I mean that was the biggest slob and he swore by verniers I think because you could leave them in filth and not screw up the rack like on dials. He'd grab them, slap them on the part, then declare "It checks 1.251 and a half"

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    Not only are dials easier to read than verniers I find them easier to read than digital, although good digitals can deal with far more trash getting on them than dials.

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    I am young and I don't like digitals at all... Personal preference I suppose.

    Since I got a 200mm Tesa dial and a 150 and 300mm Mitutoyo I have not looked back. The vernier's are cheaps that sit at each machine for rough measuring.
    The 150mm Mitutoyo is in 0.01mm gradients, I don't trust it to that but if someone does not know how to use it then it really can mess you around.

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    Out of curiosity I took my set of Vernier calipers around the shop and asked all of the guys if they knew how to read them. Anyone who can read a micrometer that is not digital can read a Vernier caliper. They all said they could till a asked them to read the top scale. (Mine are fractional. not metric) Not one person besides myself knew how to read the fractional scale. It's only accurate to .0078 in fractional scale so I don't know who would want to use that option except maybe a carpenter, but when I bought the caliper 30 yrs ago I thought it would be useless to own a tool that I couldn't use 100% of the options available.

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnfalco View Post
    Out of curiosity I took my set of Vernier calipers around the shop and asked all of the guys if they knew how to read them. Anyone who can read a micrometer that is not digital can read a Vernier caliper. They all said they could till a asked them to read the top scale. (Mine are fractional. not metric) Not one person besides myself knew how to read the fractional scale. It's only accurate to .0078 in fractional scale so I don't know who would want to use that option except maybe a carpenter, but when I bought the caliper 30 yrs ago I thought it would be useless to own a tool that I couldn't use 100% of the options available.
    *I can read them, but if someone did that to me I would probably just grab my dials out of my box!

    *Should say with a magnifier as I am sure my vision is bad enough now I'd have trouble with all the lines.

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    I like digital calipers but I also keep dial and vernier handy. If the battery craps out in the digital calipers and I don't have a replacement handy.....I am screwed. The dial calipers always work. I use the vernier calipers more for a rough depth gauge and marking cutoff length. They work great for scratching through dykem too.

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    I am well acquainted with all three types: Vernier, dial, and digital. I have all three types in my shop.

    As for absolute accuracy, a good Vernier will always be more trustworthy than either a dial or a digital. There is almost nothing that can go wrong with a Vernier if it is not mechanically damaged. But small particles of dust or chips can easily throw a dial caliper off and I spent an entire career fixing electronic devices that went south and that should be enough said about that.

    But the question was which is easier to read, Vernier or dial. That question completely leaves out the digitals which are the hands down winner in this respect of readability.

    I would have to say that the dial calipers are a lot easier to read than the Verniers. I find that I can easily read a dial to 1/4 of a division 0.00025". Now, that is not to say that a dial caliper is accurate to that level, just that I can easily read the dial to it. One thing that this means is that, if you are comparing parts and need one that is perhaps a half thousandth larger, the dial caliper may be the best one to use as it would allow comparative readings to that level. The Vernier would not and a half thousandth is usually the least count on a digital caliper and there is that pesky +/-0.0005" spec in every reading made with it so finding a part that is just 0.0005" different would not be an accurate procedure because you would be within the basic error margin of the instrument. See my example below.

    I was introduced to Vernier calipers in my college days by an old physics professor who carried a 10X magnifier with him at all times just so his ageing eyes could see the lines on those Vernier calipers better. Even in my 20s I found that a magnifier does make it a lot easier to find the pair of lines that are aligned. And, with a high quality Vernier caliper, not a cheap import, you can often see that two adjacent pairs of lines are both off in opposite directions. This kind of reading relies on having lines of extremely consistent width and very straight edges and that is why I completely eliminate the cheap imports from this. Also high contrast between the lines and the background is very desirable. And you MUST be aware of possible parallax effects and move your head side-to-side to be sure they are not fooling you. So, at the very best, you MAY be able to read a Vernier caliper down to the 0.0005" level. BUT that is just a reading, not something that is supported by the caliper's specs for even the very best of the Vernier calipers. And it is far more nebulous than the differences on a dial's readings so the dial would still take the championship in readability as compared to the Vernier.

    EXAMPLE of close digital readings: Most digital calipers read to 0.0005". That is absolutely all the digital display can show. There is no dimming or other change of that 0.0005" figure to let you guess to a finer reading: it is either a "5" or a "0", there are no inbetweens. So, let us say we have two parts that are 1.0002" and 1.0003". Our digital micrometer confirms those measurements. A digital caliper that is in perfect working order and perfectly calibrated will read 1.0000" for the first because it rounds that tenth place down and 1.0005" for the second one due to rounding up. In comparing these two parts with a digital caliper we are shown a 0.0005" difference when, in reality, that difference is only 0.0001". So if we choose the second one becaues we wanted a somewhat larger part, it may be very disappointing. A vernier would not be able to show any real difference in those parts and we could only conclude that they are within 0.001" of each other. It would be virtually useless for this comparison. However, a dial caliper that is also in perfect working order and perfectly calibrated, would show the needle at about the same position, approximately 1/4 of the way between 1.0000" and 1.0001" and this tells us that these two parts are within two or three tenths of the same size and perhaps do not show enough difference to be of any practical use.

    Hence, the dial caliper is actually a lot better when making comparative measurements. And this is due to the fact that dial readings are easier to see.

    All that being said, with all three types equally available in my shop, I use an 8 inch digital caliper for 99% of my own measurements. And my most common reason for going to another instrument is because I need the increased accuracy of a micrometer where I also use a digital most of the time. My digital micrometer reads down to 50 millionths so I can be somewhat confident of a reading in tenths with it.



    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1974 View Post
    I worked with a pig.. oops, guy I mean that was the biggest slob and he swore by verniers I think because you could leave them in filth and not screw up the rack like on dials. He'd grab them, slap them on the part, then declare "It checks 1.251 and a half"

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    I agree with most that verniers are accurate. However, I don't see them as easier to read or use. When you have to find OD on large item or largest reading nothing beats the dial. With bottoming feedback of the needle, you can get a repeatable reading under the machine and sideways with a mirror in your other hand. Verniers are great if everything is perfectly square. But try to measure an internal feature and the feedback from the dial wins. Just my 2.

    Best Regards,
    Bob

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    There's a couple threads here where I've espoused the superiority of digital calipers, so I won't repeat that stuff. What I will note is whatever calipers you use, keep some known-good gage blocks and ring gages on hand to double-check your readings, especially when it comes to the "inside ears" on most calipers. These are easily damaged, and checking (at the depth you're using on the part) with a ring gage will help confirm a true reading.

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    They are called "Very Nears" for a reason!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Milland View Post
    There's a couple threads here where I've espoused the superiority of digital calipers, so I won't repeat that stuff. What I will note is whatever calipers you use, keep some known-good gage blocks and ring gages on hand to double-check your readings, especially when it comes to the "inside ears" on most calipers. These are easily damaged, and checking (at the depth you're using on the part) with a ring gage will help confirm a true reading.
    I have several sets I've cut the "inside ears" off because of this....no measurement is better than the wrong measurement

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    In respect to "easier", no I don't think so. But Vernier calipers make you look. I admit that with Dial calipers, I have been off .1" before. Because I only glanced, Verniers make you look.

    R

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    Really like EPA's post.

    Running a lathe Ill make one part and mic it then Ill check it with my dial calipers. I will continue to check with dial calipers on the rest of the parts. If the part starts growing or shrinking by say .0002 I can pick it up on the dials. Much faster than using the mic on every part. I agree with him/her dials aren't good down tenths but using to compare part to part you can easily pick out a couple tenths. Cant say the same about verniers or digitals.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1974 View Post
    So seeing one of the sponsored articles about calipers got me thinking. Does anyone agree with the thought that verneirs are easier to read than dial?? That seems to me the exact opposite. Reading a vernier to within a thou or two would be damn near impossible for me now with my eyesight, while dials are just as easy to read as when I first started this trade.

    What say ye PM crowd?

    Vernier Calipers: Best Models and Why You Should Use Them - Practical Machinist : Practical Machinist
    I have a 24" set of vernier calipers, that I pretty much need to be under good lighting using a 5x eye loupe to read. The guy who used to hand point 1/32 drills on a diamond wheel by naked eye is long gone. Fortunately I rarely have to use those verniers, most the parts I make will fit in your pocket.

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    Quote Originally Posted by turnworks View Post
    If the part starts growing or shrinking by say .0002 I can pick it up on the dials.
    STFU!! You can convince yourself that...not me. If you can "pick up" .0002 with Calipers, why use a Micrometer at all? For the .0001 variation?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1974 View Post
    So seeing one of the sponsored articles about calipers got me thinking. Does anyone agree with the thought that verneirs are easier to read than dial?? That seems to me the exact opposite. Reading a vernier to within a thou or two would be damn near impossible for me now with my eyesight, while dials are just as easy to read as when I first started this trade.

    What say ye PM crowd?

    Vernier Calipers: Best Models and Why You Should Use Them - Practical Machinist : Practical Machinist
    Not the only PM e-zine article that seems like its written by someone who has never even hold a caliper in their hand. Some of the articles look like bad joke for "professional forum"

    This one also:
    The Ultimate Guide to Micrometers - Practical Machinist : Practical Machinist

    "Newer models, the digital micrometers, have a digital display that makes it easier for you to read measurements. In terms of digital vs. an analog micrometer, there is not much difference in accuracy. Digital mics, however, offer two significant advantages: resolution and quick scale conversion.

    The displays on most digital electronic micrometers, in fact, resolve to 0.00005″ and can be quickly converted from imperial to metric and vice-versa.

    Since there’s not much difference between the two models, we usually recommend going with the most convenient option, which is generally the analog one."

    Did the same person write the entire paragraph or was there two writers with multiple personalites working blindly?

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