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Digital Caliper

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Post by Nopro 7/23/2023, 11:03 pm

First topic message reminder :

What's a good, accurate, reasonably priced digital caliper to buy? 6" to 8" under $100

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Post by Jack H 7/25/2023, 1:17 am

Calipers I have are a Starrett dial, Mauser dial (made in France), and a cheap digital that cost maybe 40 bucks.  All are standard size. All zero perfectly.  All measure perfectly on my 1" standard (also Starrett).  That's good enough for my minute of case crimp needs.
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Post by Froneck 7/25/2023, 6:44 am

If they are supposedly NIB then they probably are! I buy a lot of Starrett micrometers on ebay, also Lufkin. I think Starrett copied Lufjin! I'm always looking for the Starrett specials, a micrometer, or other measuring tool that were made by Starrett for a company with special needs so as to measure something that can't be done with standard tools. If I see a Standard tool cheap I buy it, have gotten quite a bit of Starrett stuff cheap that looked as it were new when I got it! Also some companies have a system set-up that they replace measuring tools after some determined use. For example they might find that after a year of use their Digiial Caliper is no longer as accurate as they need so they have trade-in arrangement. I doubt if it's for one but possibly 10 or more a year. The tool company probably sells them to a dealer using ebay or might sell on ebay too. Quite a few sellers don't know what they have, some sell junk thinking it's worth a fortune while others sell it cheap not knowing the true value. That is why you will see stupid listings like a Digital Vernier Caliper or 8, 14, ,26 on up that are 2" bigger Starrett 123 Vernier Calipers that Starrett ever made! Those seller are wrong about the size but don't know it!

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Post by shootingsight 7/25/2023, 7:17 am

I thought ebay was cracking down on counterfeits?  For $50 it is either not new, or it is fake. 

Another option is Fowler.  They are a cheaper brand, but they are cheap enough that there are not likely fakes out there.

For digital stuff, the accuracy comes from the scales that are embedded in the sticker.  Unlike dial calipers, where you needed machining precision to make the rack correctly, the digital scales are photo etched, so I would guess any of the digital scales are pretty good.

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Post by james r chapman 7/25/2023, 7:56 am

Found on eBay, worked fine for me. Probably $70-100

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Post by Froneck 7/25/2023, 9:23 am

Simply put the digital scale is like lipstick on a pig. Starrett sells a 6"Vernier Caliper model 125 that looks like the Digital 797, 798 and 799 models for about $150, adding digital doesn't make it more accurate!. Like putting a Digital Readout on a mill that has .0005 or .0002 display, a new mill form BridgePort will not nor never can be that accurate! Lipstick on a pig! Now I have a Moore Jigbores with .0001 display and it will be that accurate! Starrett did make a 799 that looked quite a bit like the 123 Model Vernier Caliper that was quite accurate, had thumb screw fine adjustment not thumb wheel. Was about 5X the price of the thumb wheel type! Then jump up to the 5000 series which is more expensive but remember you may not get what you paid for but it will never be more!
 I seen a Youtube (I think) video on Mitutoyo fakes. They were quite good, if I recall plastic color was different, possibly the font for Mitutoyo also. Overall it was a very good lookalike!  Mitutoyo is good quality, I prefer Starrett but have a few Mitutoyo items because Starrett don't make like the 143-121 caliper type.

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Post by javaduke 7/25/2023, 9:26 am

Here's a pretty good video about fake Mitutoyo on eBay for half the price:https://youtu.be/KG6I2gNGVwM


Last edited by james r chapman on 7/25/2023, 11:08 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Made linkable)

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Post by Froneck 7/25/2023, 11:17 am

Yeah, that is the video I seen quite a while ago. I'm thinking the Fake caliper is of the cheapest available. I did purchased a Neiko cheap on ebay to keep in my home desk draw. Display dims as the battery gets weaker, uses more batteries than the Starrett I have in the shop. Not sure if the Neiko self turns off so I turn it off, don't seem to change battery life. However it will turn on automatically so if it's bumped in my draw it probably turns on. Starrett in my shop office desk gets used 20X more than the Neiko! But it seem to be as as accurate as a typical Digital Caliper plus it was very cheap!
 Just remember if you want to measure to .001" a $200 of less Digital Caliper will not do it! Get a micrometer on ebay for a heck of a lot less! But it will have a range of only 1". I do have a nice Lufkin 1" micrometer in the home desk too.

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Post by james r chapman 7/25/2023, 11:35 am

Unless you can buy a good, older, used, from a toolmaker who has retired and the kids aren’t interested in them.

Kind of like buying guns.
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Post by Froneck 7/25/2023, 12:08 pm

When I see a cheap Starrett micrometer I buy it if the photos indicate it was cared for. I only want those with satin chrome sleeve and thimble!.  I have to say I got quite a few that are in perfect condition! A few were if not new are dam near! Came in the Starrett box, with the papers and wrench! I have a 1" mic next to my 4 small lathes, each of the 3 mills and at least 2 jig bores. Not to mention the near perfect and high accuracy ones in my Oak tool boxes! If it looks bad I don't buy it. Some think because another is selling a New Starrett mic their beat-up junk is worth the same. Look at the photos, most will have all the views. Be careful if a view is not shown, that indicates the seller is trying to hide something! Quite honestly old toolmakers don't like selling their stuff, gets sold after they pass! Other brands are good too, I like Lufkin, old Brown&Sharpe is good too, don't like the new stuff from other side of the pond!

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Post by fc60 7/25/2023, 12:12 pm

Greetings,

I have purchased Mitutoyo digital calipers via eBay.

Model 500-196-20 (six inch capacity with Absolute function)

Yes, there are counterfeits. Do some Googling and you will soon learn what to look for. Mainly the way the characters display between inch and millimeter.

A lot of "bargains" can be had. Consider a student that purchased a set for a class and decided to go a different path. The calipers are often like new and they only want some quick Beer money.

Then, there are Estates. Person buys a new set of calipers then "tips over" a week later. The family has no use for the calipers and sell them cheap.

I "think" you can contact Mitutoyo to verify the serial number as being Genuine. If it turns out to be a fake, politely file a claim with eBay and get your money back.

Personally, I like the Mitutoyo caliper. Well made, accurate, and the battery seems to last 1-2 years even if you forget to turn them off.

Calipers, digital or vernier, are good for +/- 0.001" use. Anything finer requires a good micrometer and an educated "feel".

I would avoid the ones made in Communist China.

Cheers,

Dave
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Post by Froneck 7/25/2023, 1:11 pm

Dave; I have top of the line Starret Digital caliper and Mitutoio, I will not trust them +/-.001!!! They are too flimsy! The Starrett model 123 Vernier will measure to .003 reliably but they are quite expensive! If someone gets a good micrometer with ratchet stop, 3 clicks are what is advertised as needed to get proper tension, friction thimble too but I don't like friction! I do get ratchet stop but don't use it but at least it will not be friction! Quite often I check something in my office with the digital caliper (Starrett 797) have older models but they sit in the tool box, kinds like to eat batteries, been at least 3 years since I replaced the battery in my 797! Later when checking actual size with a good micrometer I find the Digital Caliper is always wrong at least -.002 to .003". That is OD on less than 1", Holes are another story!!! Depth is almost a waste of time unless rough measurement is good enough! I also find micrometer easier to use and very reliable! That is why the Digital Calipers are in my office!!! Starrett 123 Verniers I use then inside mic, telescope gauge or dial bore gauge to finish if I need accuracy! Smaller than 1/2" I use split ball or gauge pins.

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Post by Froneck 7/26/2023, 12:53 pm

Up- date; Being others can measure "accurately" with the Digital Caliper I tested my 3. Using gauge blocks I found that measurement was -.001, some times the display would change between -.0015 and -.0010 indicating it was near -.0013 or .0014 I guess. Seems long flat surfaces work best! I tried in on gauge bins that were checked for actual size using a Starrett 239 with carbide face and tenths vernier micrometer using 3 clicks on the ratchet stop! Measuring the pins near the end of the knife edge I get -.0025 but the actual difference between the reading and pin was -.0013 reading would change to -.0020 again indicating it's near the .0005 edge.. As diameter tested got bigger so did the error! Moving up to the middle of the flat area reading got better by .0005. Gauge pin actual diameter was .3116, Gauge block was .3125.However in measuring I knew the size, found it difficult to determine correct "feel" so I was using very light pressure. Plus as size got bigger so did the error, Caliper I have will not measure round larger than about 3.2" If anyone wants to know I have Mic standard beyond 6" so using them I can get error to the 6" range by inch increments Also can stack gauge blocks. Starrett was the most accurate and dimensions used, Neiko least but readings were .0015 to .0010 different due to .0005 changing back and forth. Setting Zero on the Caliper, I squeezed the jaws together enough so when released zero didn't change, I did not use the thumb wheel, noticed zero would change unless very light pressure used.
 Micrometer is different applied pressure is directly under the screw and measurement scale. Bow is very rigid dam near impossible to bend by hand, Digital caliper is thin, sliding surface is large distance away from pressure point, I would suspect that Digital Caliper will get worse over use with no means to correct. Micrometer is somewhat correctable unless it was repeatedly used to measure one size then that size can be corrected but all others will be off. Micrometer will last for a long time, I have a few that I've had over 40 years yet still are accurate! I got a deal on ebay for a few mics, one was like new (the one I wanted) another was well used, old steel not satin chrome and was slightly rusted. I check it and it measured accurately! I gave it to a friend of mine. The other one in the pile was slightly better in condition, accurate, gave it to my son!
 So I repeat my warning, if greater accuracy than .0015 t0 .0025 is needed get a Micrometer! Gauge pins are cheap unless you buy the set, get a few near the size you need that way you can check measurement. In my shop there are times I need to duplicate shaft diameters when making a replacement shaft, I don't worry about accuracy! I can duplicate shaft diameter to less than .001 on a .001 reading micrometer as long as I use the same micrometer for all measurement even if the mic is way off, lets be stupid and say -.005, the shaft I measure will be .005 bigger and the one I make will be .005 bigger than measured size -.005 and +.005 = .000!!! Another way to put is if I use an un-tested mic. as long as I use the same mic both measured broken shaft and made shaft will be the same size if the reading is the same for both!

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Post by james r chapman 7/26/2023, 1:47 pm

What is your planned usage? Measuring loaded length of cartridges?
Crimp?

Nothing too critical there.

If you stay within .005-.010 you’ll be fine.
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Post by Froneck 7/26/2023, 2:20 pm

I agree! Get the measurement method that is accurate to what is needed! You don't need a Pardini, AW93, Hammerli 208 or other high end.22 if you intend to shoot cans at the local dump 15 yards! Simply put a tape measure is good enough if used in the measurement that 1/16" accuracy is all that is required and something that exceeds that accuracy will most likely make the measurement difficult and expensive!
 I have them all and use what is necessary for the accuracy I need to measure.
 What I'm trying to get across is avoid Lip Stick on a Pig!

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