Grading digital calipers - Page 2
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  1. #21
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    I see OP has decided already, but anyhow... If you don't need digital MSC (highest list price around) has some 8" dial Mits for $160, so could probably get for $130ish some other places.

    https://www.mscdirect.com/product/details/84477819

    I have these 8" Browne and Sharp that I really like, but holy cow has the price gone up!

    https://www.mscdirect.com/product/de...rItem=72294754

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    When I buy another Caliper, it will be a Mitutoyo. If they are anything like their DRO's it will be a bargain.
    It would be a good idea to hang them around your neck on a chain, too. That's because, once they are dropped on a concrete floor, they all read about the same.

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    Company I work for bought a few of the "budget" quality of calipers. They worked fine...for a bit. Then they basically fell apart. Even when new they had that "squishy" indecisive feel about them. In a nutshell....never again.
    I have done decent on some of the "Marketplace", C'List type of sites for basic things like calipers, indicators etc. Someone leaving the trade and/or someone that never got through the schooling but had the tools. 50% is usually a decent price to start at for good condition stuff.
    I avoid the pawn shops because they always seem to think they have the last known specimen in captivity.

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  5. #24
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    Calipers are like condoms- they need to work when you need them, and if they don’t work(correctly) you might not know until later.

    If the measurement matters use a mic, if it doesn’t matter that much use a quality caliper, if you think the measurement can be taken with a cheapo caliper-use a ruler


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Griffing View Post
    I will get flamed for this, but the Chinese Brand Shahe is quite good. I have several and recommend them.
    I second these guys, very nice measuring equipment and recommend. Far much better than my junky Starretts are and hold up better than my $150 pair of Mytotyo I bought twenty five years ago.

    https://www.ebay.com/sch/shahemeasur...88.m1543.l2654

    Ken

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    Travers Tool is having a caliper sale today. The promo code is MADNESS. 6" standard Mitutoyo Absolute Digimatic (500-196-30) is $117.49. Not as good a deal on the 8" at $174.99. IP67 6" (500-753-10) are at $165.59.

    Not associated with Travers, just passing this along.

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    IMO caliper quality is more to do with the overall fit-n-finish and construction than their advertised repeatibility specs, but that has more to do with how we use them. We have a number of "beater" import calipers that were bought on sale and are going in the can eventually. We used to buy them with the idea that they can get tossed when you drop stuff on them, but I've gained the opinion that if you try to take care of them, the better quality calipers are worth some extra money and are repairable if something does go wrong. The decent ones we have are all older Starrett, Mitutoyo, and Brown & Sharpe. I know the OP was looking for a short term solution, but I like being able to service tools for the long haul. I'm biased, but it seems that this years "good" import brand tends to disappear and get replaced by someone else.

    If I didn't have it in the budget for a new pair of better calipers, I'd buy a used pair off Ebay and if it's no good, send it to a local instrument shop for repairs. We've had a few done like that for $150 or so. Often it's simple stuff like broke needles, missing end plates, etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4GSR View Post
    I second these guys, very nice measuring equipment and recommend. Far much better than my junky Starretts are and hold up better than my $150 pair of Mytotyo I bought twenty five years ago.

    https://www.ebay.com/sch/shahemeasur...88.m1543.l2654

    Ken
    "Shenzhen Pride Instrument" would be another reasonably good chinese maker. There was topic on metrology subsection where I wrote my observations about Shahe and "Shenchen Pride" quality, finish and battery consumption measurements. But seems like the thread is gone (possibly since some madman deleted all Gordons postings)

    Battery lifetime is often annoyingly short in these chinese calipers. Shenzhen Pride (at least some models) seem to be exception to the rule, the high resolution (0.005mm) version I have has about 6 years battery life based on my measurements. Gives run for the money even for mitutoyo in that aspect.

    edit: Found my ramblings on home shop machinist:
    ShenPRIDE instruments digital caliper -

    The Home Shop Machinist & Machinist's Workshop Magazine's BBS

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1974 View Post
    I see OP has decided already, but anyhow... If you don't need digital MSC (highest list price around) has some 8" dial Mits for $160, so could probably get for $130ish some other places.

    https://www.mscdirect.com/product/details/84477819

    I have these 8" Browne and Sharp that I really like, but holy cow has the price gone up!

    https://www.mscdirect.com/product/de...rItem=72294754
    wtf does a dial caliper compare to a digimatic? the mti 6" is the standard . about $111 shipped , from
    a real mti seller . the 8", about $180 from the same . i doubt there's a surplus .

    here's a link:

    Keoki’s Donkey Balls - 59 Photos & 42 Reviews - Desserts - 75-5744 Alii Dr, Kailua Kona, HI - Phone Number - Yelp

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4GSR View Post
    I second these guys, very nice measuring equipment and recommend. Far much better than my junky Starretts are and hold up better than my $150 pair of Mytotyo I bought twenty five years ago.

    https://www.ebay.com/sch/shahemeasur...88.m1543.l2654

    Ken
    I bought six or seven directly from China. Takes a while, but cheaper. All were quite good. I bought the SS ones.

    SHAHE Precision Electronic Digital Caliper 300 mm Electronic Digital Caliper Steel Vernier Caliper Paquimetro Digital-in Calipers from Tools on AliExpress - 11.11_Double 11_Singles' Day

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Griffing View Post
    I bought a 200mm pair IP57 calipers and two inside groove/bore calipers, 150 and 300mm. Very impressed with the internal groove calipers, get used for checking ID O-Ring grooves and snap ring grooves, too. Ken

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    Quote Originally Posted by tnmgcarbide View Post
    wtf does a dial caliper compare to a digimatic? the mti 6" is the standard . about $111 shipped , from
    a real mti seller . the 8", about $180 from the same . i doubt there's a surplus .

    here's a link:

    Keoki’s Donkey Balls - 59 Photos & 42 Reviews - Desserts - 75-5744 Alii Dr, Kailua Kona, HI - Phone Number - Yelp

    WTF is with your response?? I clearly said IF YOU DON'T NEED digital, here is a link for (relatively) cheap mit dial calipers... And also stated the OP had decided already so...

    Not to mention, some people still like/use dial calipers, as well as people still using verniers so GTFO!

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    The thing with measuring equipment is that you don't know if its not working right. If you get cheap inserts or crappy tool holders you'll be able to know quickly that they aren't any good. With a caliper (or any other measurement device) the only way you will know they are faulty is if you double check it with another caliper. And then if you do and they don't match, which one is wrong?

    With a measurement tool you need to be able to trust that what it is saying is right. Are you going to trust a chinese caliper? Or are you going to be constantly questioning it?

    I generally think you can get great quality calipers out of china, I've got a couple "Neiko" ones that work great, have good battery life and have always seemed pretty accurate. At the end of the day though, if its something that matters, I'm getting out the Mitutoyo's though.

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    TNMG in one corner, Mike in the other, fair fighting. No biting, head butts or flame throwers.

    Quote Originally Posted by jaguar36 View Post
    The thing with measuring equipment is that you don't know if its not working right. If you get cheap inserts or crappy tool holders you'll be able to know quickly that they aren't any good. With a caliper (or any other measurement device) the only way you will know they are faulty is if you double check it with another caliper. And then if you do and they don't match, which one is wrong?
    Jaguar, if that is where you get stuck......good luck. Try some 1-2-3 blocks, just to get you started. There are literally 100 things wrong with the above statement.

    R

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    Quote Originally Posted by jaguar36 View Post
    The thing with measuring equipment is that you don't know if its not working right. If you get cheap inserts or crappy tool holders you'll be able to know quickly that they aren't any good. With a caliper (or any other measurement device) the only way you will know they are faulty is if you double check it with another caliper. And then if you do and they don't match, which one is wrong?

    With a measurement tool you need to be able to trust that what it is saying is right. Are you going to trust a chinese caliper? Or are you going to be constantly questioning it?

    I generally think you can get great quality calipers out of china, I've got a couple "Neiko" ones that work great, have good battery life and have always seemed pretty accurate. At the end of the day though, if its something that matters, I'm getting out the Mitutoyo's though.

    Never heard of a standard?

    I keep a 1" standard in the box with my Mic and check my tools against it before using them each morning.

    Of course, my tools are calibrated yearly anyway, but I'm just paranoid.

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  22. #36
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    Yeah...err? Gage blocks? Standard? Anything you've actually measured with a micrometer first?

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    um,,the title of this thread ,"grading digital calipers"
    would purport.... that the discussion here would be about mti,
    DIGITAL calipers . if someone were to start there own thread
    about mechanical , non-digital calipers, sold as fakes, on
    amazon .....so be it. knock yourself out.....

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    I buy my Mitutoyo tools from Zoro.com when they are having a 25% off sale. I can get an 8" digital caliper delivered for less than a 6" goes for normally. Great calipers. Zoro has regular 20% off sales. Fairly regular 25% off sales. An very occasional 30% off sales.

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    I am also retired and 75 YO with my own shop. I have collected a number of calipers over the years, starting in my teens with a German made, Helios 6" Vernier. I have 6", 8", and 12" ones; the one Vernier, some dial, and most digital. Perhaps 8 or 10 in all, but no Starrett or Mitutoyos in the batch.

    None of mine are coolant proof and I have NEVER had a problem with that. No novices in my shop.

    Frankly all of them check out against my shop blocks. NONE of them show more than a 0.001" error over their entire range.

    My main complaint with any of them, including the German made Helios, is with the fit between the main bar and the sliding head. Almost any caliper can have some slop in this fit and that slop can and WILL translate to variations in the readings depending on just where the object being measured is in the jaws and how well the adjustment screws are set.

    I have developed techniques for using any caliper that minimizes this error. For outside measure, I do not use the thumb of my right thumb on the thumb rest or thumbwheel provided on most calipers. That would introduce an "off center" force that would tend to cock the movable jaw. Instead, I use my left hand to complete the closure of the jaws on the object. I place my fingers on the two jaws directly in line with the center of the area of contact between the jaws and the object. That gives me a balanced, in-line force that keeps the jaws as parallel as possible.

    For depth measurements I open the calipers beyond the expected measurement and then place them at the hole or ledge, closing the jaws from that action. Since the depth probe is inside the main beam, there is no problem with cocking of the jaws.

    Inside measure is more problematic and I fear that there is no cure for jaw cocking there.

    As for my preference, I have had a pair of Reid, imported, digital calipers for over 10 years now.



    They are my "go to" calipers and I use them for almost everything. As I said, they check out quite well against my shop blocks. They are a bit larger then the 6" models and seem to be a bit higher in quality than them. The fit between the sliding head and the main beam is as good as on the Helios calipers which are probably the highest quality of any that I have. The battery life is very good.

    It has been a while, but IIRC, they cost around $30 or $35.

    Of course I go to the 12" ones for larger objects and the 6" ones when the 8" size is too clumsy.

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    The consensus seems to be that Mits calipers are top notch. I agree - I have a couple of them, That said, I think any of the Shahe calipers I own are the equal of MIts.

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