VIS ( Poland ) instruments ( in this case, thread micrometers ) - What gives?
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  1. #1
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    Default VIS ( Poland ) instruments ( in this case, thread micrometers ) - What gives?

    Was recently looking around for some new screw thread micrometers and keep coming across these, seemingly everywhere suddenly. What gives?

    They originate in Poland, and overall Polish stuff can be very, very well made in my experiences. However, this specific brand seems to get confusing after looking around. Accepting for the normal and almost universally accepted practice of re-branding/re-badging, they are found under the Fowler name, the Ralmike's name, currently the SPI name, and their own ( VIS ) name. What's more, they can range wildly in pricing. I have seen the theoretically same model shown for $279.95 and also for $49.95. And, while I cannot find the specific example right this minute, I am positive that I have seen a Tesa that was identical looking to the VIS branded one. Did they copy Tesa? Make them for Tesa at some point?

    Is the brand regarded as poor? Or decent? Or....? I've not held one to know, one way or the other. Is it a legitimate choice for a working shop? I usually limit my current day purchases to Starrett, Brown & Sharpe, Tesa, Mitutoyo and the like. But this has raised my curiosity. At the moment, I'm leaning toward Mity or Tesa, but obviously if I can find suitable/similar quality for less money, it'd be welcomed.

    I'm tired of fiddling with wires on little threads. ( M3/M4 and similar ) Want something easier and like thread mics from prior experiences.

    Thanks.

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    The trade school I attended in the mid 90's had a lot of what I believe to be VIS micrometers and other tools. They were not actually marked VIS, only "Made in Poland", with no other maker mark, and had the green, hammer tone enamel frames . These were good quality, I always thought. I was used to B&S, Starrett, Mitutoyo, but these seemed to be on par and held up well in a less than perfect environment of a school.
    I don't know about all the rebranding that goes on. I'd take my chances on the VIS stuff, and I've always found anything badged with Ralmikes to be at least ok quality, maybe I've just been lucky. I stay away from SPI, Fowler, and Shars nowadays, seems like most of it is China junk.

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    I've been satisfied with VIS micrometers and levels, but I'm sure I heard several years ago that VIS had closed its doors for the last time. It would be interesting to know if the new VIS is the original VIS, or if it's a resurrection of the brand . . . and if so, where the products are being made.

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    I have a 0-12 set of Vis OD mics. They are branded "Toolmex". Good quality. I like them.

    I have two Vis precision levels. Very well made, hand scraped base, .0005/10 vials. I have seen them branded as Fowler.

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    I've visited VIS twice just over 20 years ago and in fact bought from them. Their best digital calipers had Sylvac electonics and had both VIS and Sylvac written on them.

    Even at that time the factory looked very run down and many windows only had broken glass in them. I was shown around the factory first time I was there and to my surprise, saw well known French height stands being made. France wasn't the only country getting their products made at VIS. Sadly VIS closed 20 years ago. I still have a couple of their calipers and they still work perfectly. Use a 2032 3V battery.

    visp.jpg

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    That's a shame. I've used " VIS " equipment in the past and I thought they were OK. Not the best but better than a lot of stuff out there and very good for the price.

    Regards Tyrone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyrone Shoelaces View Post
    That's a shame. I've used " VIS " equipment in the past and I thought they were OK. Not the best but better than a lot of stuff out there and very good for the price.

    Regards Tyrone.
    I think how good their "stuff" was depended on what it was. I remember their production manager proudly showing me a digital caliper (and this was over 20 years ago) that had a display that showed 0.001mm. As to how accurate it was I never did find out.

    The quality of the calipers (1,000 pcs.) I bought were excellent. They were specially made for me. No internal jaws or depth rod and Sylvac electronics.

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