OT dial calipers or vernier, easy to read?
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    Default OT dial calipers or vernier, easy to read?

    Ok, not too long ago there was a (sponsored?) article here saying verneir calipers were easier to read than dials, NOW there is a new article stating the opposite?? WTF!? haha

    Dial Calipers: Pros, Cons and Best Models - Practical Machinist : Practical Machinist

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

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    Digital for the win the bunch of luddites!

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    Digitals are the easiest to read. Also the easiest to mis-read when you don't notice it's zeroed wrong or that it skipped a bit due to coolant. I find I get the best readings from dials, until chips get in the gears.

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    Each has their place IMO. Digital takes the least brains to read, but batteries die and corrode, seals leak. They seem to be the most prone to bad things happening DESPITE your best care.

    Verniers take the most brains to read, but will survive punishment from those with the least brains.

    Dials are a nice but tend to still be fragile in my experience.

    In the end, I think "easiest" is entirely subjective. Use the style that works best for your level of quick math and ham-fisted metrology. IMO that's what these things are best used for anyway.

    I always thought it odd that the mechanical-digital thimbles that occasionally came out on micrometer models never took hold in calipers. Might be a good compromise between easy to read and being able to survive an EMP.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mhajicek View Post
    Digitals are the easiest to read. Also the easiest to mis-read when you don't notice it's zeroed wrong or that it skipped a bit due to coolant. I find I get the best readings from dials, until chips get in the gears.
    You need waterproof digital!

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    Quote Originally Posted by M.B. Naegle View Post
    Each has their place IMO. Digital takes the least brains to read, but batteries die and corrode, seals leak. They seem to be the most prone to bad things happening DESPITE your best care.

    Verniers take the most brains to read, but will survive punishment from those with the least brains.

    Dials are a nice but tend to still be fragile in my experience.

    In the end, I think "easiest" is entirely subjective. Use the style that works best for your level of quick math and ham-fisted metrology. IMO that's what these things are best used for anyway.

    I always thought it odd that the mechanical-digital thimbles that occasionally came out on micrometer models never took hold in calipers. Might be a good compromise between easy to read and being able to survive an EMP.
    Going a little OT from my own post LoL..

    I don't understand the hate for trusting a caliper to be accurate to .001-.002" ...? I mean, do people not know how to use them properly? If you take a micrometer and rapidly spin down the thimble, ratchet thimble or friction, you will likely not have an accurate measurement. It works the same way with calipers, squeeze the crap out of them and you don't get an accurate reading - don't make sure they are at zero with the jaws clean and closed, you don't get an accurate reading - leave them next to the surface grinders all day with the rack exposed, well you get the point.

    Sure, I am not going to fill out an inspection report with calipers on that +/-.001" dim (common sense) but I will likely get my first measurement with a caliper, then confirm it with a micrometer with tenths.

    I posted this in another thread, but I just recently checked my 12" china brand calipers to a 4" gage block and it was right on the money. I even tried to really squeeae them and could still only get them to read 3.999". And yes, I do the whole "don't look at the dial while measuring so it's as un-biased as possible".

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1974 View Post
    I don't understand the hate for trusting a caliper to be accurate to .001-.002"
    I can trigger Gordon and as9100d by saying I spent 5 and a half years making parts for Bell where 85% of my part checking was done with a Central brand dual dial caliper with a little bit of a no name 0-1 Chinese mic that I both got from a pawn shop when I started out. I had no trouble holding down some of Bell's ludicrous tolerances with my calipers. An old school inspector would come around and double check my work with his trusty verniers that were probably older than our manager.

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    They have their place, for sure, and it's not always in the hands of Bubba. But I've known guys that don't like Vernier calipers because you can't see .0005" variance like you can with their digital....

    Everyone has their personal preference, and if the part matches the print, that's all that matters.

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    One does a blind gage R&R and you know what to trust and any such question is answered.
    It is not rocket science.
    What is scary is the number of "machinists" who do not know what it means or have never done it.
    Part of the job is knowing the trust band in the numbers you get while working.
    No measurement is absolute, everything is my number is x and the real number could be from here to there.
    Bob

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    Quote Originally Posted by CarbideBob View Post
    One does a gage R&R and you know what to trust and any such question is answered.
    It is not rocket science.
    What is scary is the number of "machinists" who do not know what it means or have never done it.
    Bob
    I wish I had kept some of my paperwork of ISO standards and metrics, etc so I could banter with you, but I have long forgotten most of that stuff (good riddance!). I think the problem is those are mostly relevant to ISO /medical / aero shops. The majority of places I have worked, a mic checked against a gage block was "good enough"... as well as it should be IMO for non life threatening work.

    I don't know the correct name / terminology, but it was along the lines of if your process is super well controlled and is staying right in the middle of the tolerance band, you should tweak it for cycle time (more or less) - for example take one finish cut instead of a finish and a spring cut etc....

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    I am a home shop machinist, most of my tools were inherited. Have dial , Vernier and a 4" digital that I bought. Most of the time I use the dial calipers. Digital one for quick readings ,then mike the part. The Vernier calipers are in a drawer, almost never used.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1974 View Post
    I wish I had kept some of my paperwork of ISO standards and metrics, etc so I could banter with you, .....
    This stuff and the math/stats way predates ISO and is more gauge maker rule of ten.

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    Why is this "OT" ?

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    I have all 3 in my box...I use the digital all of the time unless I need the 12" dial mits. If I need more accurate I hit up the mits digitals. I also have a mits digital 18" height gage with .001 and .0001 dial test indicators on a 18x18 starrett granite plate, calibrated every year

    What am I going to use a vernier or dial caliper for

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    Why the question other than maybe confused.
    And then digital which I wonder if really do out run dials.
    As least on a dial I can interpolate or guess between marks. Digital does not give me that option.
    Every measuring tool every made has a use. Sometimes a tape measure or six inch scale is fine and dandy.
    Some people make really nice six to eighteen inch scales that with the aid of a loupe get you to a number inside .005 with ease.
    Bob
    (I'm just being an ass and adding fuel to the fire, have the stats among many users over time and know the 6's on all my measuring tools.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by CarbideBob;3447747[B
    ]Why the question other than maybe confused. [/B]
    And then digital which I wonder if really do out run dials.
    As least on a dial I can interpolate or guess between marks. Digital does not give me that option.
    Every measuring tool every made has a use. Sometimes a tape measure or six inch scale is fine and dandy.
    Some people make really nice six to eighteen inch scales that with the aid of a loupe get you to a number inside .005 with ease.
    Bob
    (I'm just being an ass and adding fuel to the fire, have the stats among many users over time and know the 6's on all my measuring tools.)
    It wasn't really a question on my part, other than questioning how we got two different articles, about 1 month apart, stating opposite views (dials are easier to read / verniers are easier to read)...

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    I'll pitch in

    Manufacturing specifications for calipers (vernier, dial and digital) have dial and digital equally precise. Vernier is slightly less accurate.

    Vernier and digital are available in long lengths.

    As to which type is preferred I think it's probably more due to habit and age of the user than wanting "accuracy". At technical schools here time is still spent teaching students how to read a vernier caliper. Never a dial or digital.

    That most digital calipers can switch between inches and metric with the push of a button is to many a huge plus. The caliper manufacturers of digital calipers never has to think about destination or what the user prefers.

    All in mm but 0.01mm is 0.0004". A digital caliper that displays in 0.01mm displays in steps of 0.005".

    YouTube

    Those are my hands.

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    I use digital, dial and vernier but prefer digital. To me it is all about having backup measuring devices. If your battery craps out and you don't have a spare on hand then it is really important to have something else you can use.

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    My old Helios verniers can be trusted for .001 and will work with no batteries. My B&S digital is better because it can go from imperial to metric and for some work on a good day I trust it for a rough .0005.
    Dials are quick, mostly to .001 but I never cared for them.

    Calipers are handy because one can do so many kinds of measuring with one tool.

    Still I would not/rarely ship a part +- .0005 or +- .001 trusting them only.

    Jaws can wear out so a throw away tool/caliper is handy for rough work many costing under $30..but one has to remember to chuck it at the at first fail.

    Qt Gordon[At technical schools here time is still spent teaching students how to read a vernier caliper. Never a dial or digital.] Perhaps because dials and digitals don't need much/any teaching to understand. Still all should be taught or at least tried. ImHO.

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    Verniers are antiques, they are not useful in a money making enterprise. Digitals in long lengths are cheaper now

    I use dials almost exclusively because you can see more quickly your own misuse. When quickly checking parts at the machine you can see the dial dip quickly, where the digital readout one must read the number, and it is possible to miss undersize parts.

    I don't see that issue for inspection since one is generally moving at a slower pace.

    the majority of the error in calipers is in how you use them.

    I prefer Etalon/B&S dials as I find they repeat perfectly.

    If I am really measuring down to less than 2 thou, I am using mics


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