One More Time - Caliper Recommendations
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  1. #1
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    Default One More Time - Caliper Recommendations

    As per the title I am looking for advice as to which caliper to purchase. I've done a search, but the newest thread on the subject is at least a couple years old. I currently have Starrett 120 6", a Mitutoyo 505-689 6", and a handful of unmentionables.

    Both the Starrett and the Mitutoyo have been damaged over time. The Starrett has apparently been dropped and the gear at the back of the dial is missing a tooth, and the Mit looks like someone got it too close to an end mill in that one of the measuring anvils has a nick. I can still use the Mit If I position the work properly, but it's beginning to be a PITA. The Starrett on the other hand is DOA. I've contacted both manufacturers, and they say both can be repaired. However the cost to repair is only slightly less than the price of new ones.

    I like both, but would say the Mit has a slightly better feel. I'd like to get another of the same model, but so far all the vendors I've contacted say they are out of stock, even though their websites say differently. As for the Starrett even though there is currently a model 120 in the lineup it's considerably different than the one I currently have.

    The other consideration is a digital. All the unmentionables are digital, and do seem accurate. Keep in mind none are used for final measurements. I always use the micrometers for final measurements. I do like the fact that they can change from Imperial to metric with the push of a button. The possible downside is battery life. My current ones seem to last a couple years at minimum. However I've heard complaints on this board about various brands that tend to "eat batteries". I'm not sure what the expectations are, but if they do last at least a couple years I'm OK with that.

    I don't need some of the features available on some digitals, like communication with a CAD system, machine, or DRO. I'm looking for a quality stand alone tool.

    Thanks in advance.

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    I think a shop hard on tools should buy a $35-$40 digital caliper and toss them often.


    https://www.amazon.com/iGaging-ABSOL...s%2C322&sr=8-8
    https://www.amazon.com/Fowler-54-101...656552&sr=8-10

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    Mitutoyo digital is easily the best bang for the buck. Batteries last forever, and they are scarily accurate. I have some that are about 18 years old now, still measure bang on on gages.

    If you want "best", then it's more a matter of aesthetics and feel. I know guys who swear by Tesa, but I prefer Mit. There are also details like thumbwheel, coolant proof, output.

    But you can't go wrong with Mit. Buy from a real vendor, the fakes are getting hard to spot.

    As for vernier, I have an Etalon that's almost magic both in feel and accuracy. I do use them too- figure why not while my eyes hold up, and it keeps me out of the woods when doing open tolerance work.

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    Mitutoyo digimatic coolant proof. One and done.

    I've had my caliper and mic for 8 years, since I started at this shop and they were assigned to me. I think I've replaced the battery in each twice, or at the worst, 3 times.

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    Don't think I would trade me Brown $ Sharpe for another brand..

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    Quote Originally Posted by michiganbuck View Post
    I think a shop hard on tools should buy a $35 digital caliper and toss them often.
    Both the damaged calipers are in the 40 year old range. Both were used in the shop where I worked. Unfortunately that's where both got damaged. It's possible I knocked the Starrett of a mill and it got damaged when hitting the floor. At the time it was my go to caliper, and was used on a daily basis. I stopped using it and just put it in the drawer when I started getting erratic readings. It's been setting there for years, and I finally decided to take a look at it. At first I thought it might be just dirty, but on closer inspection found the damage.

    I'm not sure how the Mitutoyo got damaged, I know for certain I didn't do it, but at the time I didn't have a problem with loaning out tools. I fear in this case my ignorance cost me. Now that I'm the only person in my shop, and lending is a no no I haven't had to replace any tools due to damage or loss. A few have been replaced due to the fact that they've just plain worn out, or are so obsolete it doesn't make sense to use them.

    I would expect a quality new tool would last at least as long as I would be interested in using it. Even if it only lasts half as long as the ones I currently have I'm guessing it will be functional long after I'm not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TeachMePlease View Post
    Mitutoyo digimatic coolant proof. One and done.

    I've had my caliper and mic for 8 years, since I started at this shop and they were assigned to me. I think I've replaced the battery in each twice, or at the worst, 3 times.
    I have the same ones and they are amazing. Way better feel than the basic black and yellow Mitutoyos that lots of people have, plus the automatic on/off is nice. If mine broke today I would go buy the exact same pair.

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    Stand by for the master of all he surveys.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TeachMePlease View Post
    Mitutoyo digimatic coolant proof. One and done.
    Quote Originally Posted by Screwmachine View Post
    But you can't go wrong with Mit. Buy from a real vendor, the fakes are getting hard to spot.
    As far as I can tell they don't makes fakes of the coolant proof models. I bought a used 500-672 off of ebay for that reason.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Screwmachine View Post
    Mitutoyo digital is easily the best bang for the buck. Batteries last forever, and they are scarily accurate. I have some that are about 18 years old now, still measure bang on on gages.

    If you want "best", then it's more a matter of aesthetics and feel. I know guys who swear by Tesa, but I prefer Mit. There are also details like thumbwheel, coolant proof, output.

    But you can't go wrong with Mit. Buy from a real vendor, the fakes are getting hard to spot.

    As for vernier, I have an Etalon that's almost magic both in feel and accuracy. I do use them too- figure why not while my eyes hold up, and it keeps me out of the woods when doing open tolerance work.
    Count me as one of the Tesa fans.

    I used Mitutoyo digitals for years until a group of us got Tesa calipers as freebies on a metrology course. I'd be hard pushed to go back to Mitutoyo.

    I have some other very good quality ones from Sylvac and Mahr also, but the Tesa just feels the best, and has nice big digits on the screen.

    Regarding battery life, all the good brands have exceptionally good battery life - one thing that trips people up frequently is mistakenly thinking that SR44 and LR44 batteries are the same thing, they are often sold as such so it's a forgiveable mistake. However, instruments that are designed for SR44 batteries (most of them are) will have very poor battery life if LR44 batteries are used instead.

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    Quote Originally Posted by projectnut View Post
    As for the Starrett even though there is currently a model 120 in the lineup it's considerably different than the one I currently have.

    .
    I'll never buy anything other than Starrett for my 12" calipers.
    They do have different variations on the 120 model. They new style is godawful, but they still have the old style. The dial ring seems to be the only visible change from what I can see.

    Here are all of the 6" models, maybe you overlooked some of them?
    Dial Calipers

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    Yeah those are nice too. Never owned a pair, but a coworker had a pair back in the day.

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    I actually bought a cheap harbor Freight digital for my nephew. They are rated as being accurate and he is not using anything else so the repeatability is really all that matters to him. I took all six on the shelf out of the boxes and only two felt smooth in the hand. One of those felt better then the other so I bought just that one. I would have bought a second one for myself but they were too stiff/jerky for me.
    I did later buy a Mit 8" at a pawnshop and it feels more balanced then the 6" to me with my big hands. I think a 4" would also.
    Bil lD
    Bill D

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    Whatever Gordons knocking out cheap this week.

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    +1 on the Tesa, or I am fond of the B&S relabeled ones with the black orange face

    Brown & Sharpe 599-579-5 Dial Caliper; 0-6" Range-Black Dial

    dunno who these are, but they aint Amazon, don't think they need more links

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    Quote Originally Posted by Limy Sami View Post
    Whatever Gordons knocking out cheap this week.
    Were you nicer when drunk?

    I only sell calipers when a customer asks for them. It's up to the customer what make of digital caliper they want.

    Find a cheap caliper on my website.

    Home

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    IIRC it was you who appointed me as head of marketing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Limy Sami View Post
    IIRC it was you who appointed me as head of marketing.

    So you're a barker?

    I always knew you were barking...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Limy Sami View Post
    IIRC it was you who appointed me as head of marketing.
    I'm assuming the Godron can peddle his website so much nowadays because he paid The Don for the metrology big job...

    Ref calipers...
    I was an original Tesa guy for a lot of years for Inspection.
    And had Mittys for general shop use which were strong/good feel.
    I bought 4 of the newer Tesas (big screen made in China half the price of the Mitty) and initially liked them.
    They had the big screen which was nice and they were light.
    Being clumsy when i swung round with them in my hand and knocked them, or dropped them in the machine or the floor...mr clumsy... and the internal blades would dent.
    They're not as robust as the Mittys by a long shot in my clumsy experience....

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