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Tool Talk Discussion Forum

6 Dial Calipers

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Steve@Advance

05-23-2014 19:19:44
107.203.134.67



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I'm in the market for a new 6" dial caliper. I just bought what I thought was a good set about a year ago, Fowler brand. It fell off the lathe today, sorta caught it with my foot but hit the floor... Ruined, so much for "shock proof"! LOL

Any favorite brands? Not looking for super precision, but more interested in durability. Looking to spend around $200 or so.

Thanks!




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Bradracer18

05-29-2014 18:26:16
173.215.8.237



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 Re: 6 Dial Calipers in reply to Steve@Advance, 05-23-2014 19:19:44  
I'm a tool and die machinist, and I'd recommend mitutoyo digital. I have 2 sets and they work perfectly every time, and the battery life is amazing. These are on, 8 hours a day, 5 days a week (sometimes I leave them on overnight or weekend here and there) and the battery life its 2+ years so far. Also, they read down the .0005, and seem to be accurate at that too. I don't trust them down to around .001-.002 however unless that's the only method I can use to measure. I've used starrett (not bad but not as good), used cheap fowlers and spi's (both junk), and also used Brown and Sharp dial's (very smooth but not as nice as digital when you use them daily).
I believe if you catch a sale, you can have a 0-6" digital mitutoyo for around $110-120 from MSC. Word of caution, don't shop ebay for them, there are some fakes on there that you can't tell the difference!
Good Luck

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Cliff(VA)

05-27-2014 05:51:12
173.15.198.137



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 Re: 6 Dial Calipers in reply to Steve@Advance, 05-23-2014 19:19:44  
Before I bought my "good" calipers, I went around to everyone in the shop and "felt" their calipers. The Brown & Sharpe ones always felt the best. So I bought a pair.

That being said, I use a Harbor Freight 4" digital for day to day work and there is no crying if I drop them.

Cliff(VA)



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Butch(OH)

05-25-2014 18:35:22
74.135.32.232



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 Re: 6 Dial Calipers in reply to Steve@Advance, 05-23-2014 19:19:44  
None will stand being dropped. I have ruined a couple Starretts the same way. The only bad dial calipers I have ever been around are the very cheapest ones from China and any from India. The better quality Chinese built calipers are right there for quality. I just can warm up to digitals, the dial type keeps my mind working. I cant see well enough to use a vernier any more.



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dr sportster

05-24-2014 09:29:34
68.192.200.103



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 Re: 6 Dial Calipers in reply to Steve@Advance, 05-23-2014 19:19:44  
I can sell you a used set of Starrett for 50 bucks. Comes with case and box .Box has tears on corners of cardboard. Many on eBay also.



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greygoat

05-24-2014 08:10:48
184.158.32.127



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 Re: 6 Dial Calipers in reply to Steve@Advance, 05-23-2014 19:19:44  
My best ones are "MAUSER" brand, made by the old
Mauser rifle works, and purchased in Germany,
when I was in the Service.
For some good choices, and prices, on various brands, try "Victor Machinery Exchange" at:
www.victornet.com. It a Machine shop supply business.



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CAS

05-24-2014 07:12:53
67.240.133.144



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 Re: 6 Dial Calipers in reply to Steve@Advance, 05-23-2014 19:19:44  
I think the older starret's are a little more accurate. Bought a used older starret on ebay a few years ago. For everyday simple work, I use a cheap Chinese one. Have a few around, that I dropped and they are junk. But, I don't have to miss a heart beat over it. Most of the time when I check the Chinese with the starret they read read the same.
I agree if you need it down to less than a .001
use a micrometer. Also make sure the surface is
oil free and very clean if you need that much accuracy.

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SDE

05-24-2014 07:04:27
184.157.219.125



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 Re: 6 Dial Calipers in reply to Steve@Advance, 05-23-2014 19:19:44  
Can you tell us what "ruined" is? If it has a pointer and it does not point to zero any more, that can be re-adjusted. I have dropped my Mititoyo many times and it still is serviceable. I think a cheap one will work just as well for someone who does not need it every day.
SDE



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Russ from MN

05-24-2014 05:24:48
68.235.89.20



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 Re: 6 Dial Calipers in reply to Steve@Advance, 05-23-2014 19:19:44  
I have a Starrett 6" digital that I used to use a lot, now it hasn't even had batteries in it for 4 years! I just loved it, was real handy with inch/metric machinery. Guys used to come to me with unknown fasteners and with it and a thread pitch gauge I could almost always have an answer. I really should just sell it now I guess.



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wile E

05-24-2014 03:59:23
75.128.139.236



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 Re: 6 Dial Calipers in reply to Steve@Advance, 05-23-2014 19:19:44  
I have Mitotoyo Vernier calipers. Nice.....8" too.



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NCWayne

05-23-2014 22:26:41
173.188.169.54



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 Re: 6 Dial Calipers in reply to Steve@Advance, 05-23-2014 19:19:44  
I don"t think shock proof really means much, regardless of brand, as I"ve had Fowlers, Starrett"s, and Mitutoyo"s all ruined by dropping them. I think it"s more in the way they land than anything else as I have also dropped them and they sustained no damage at all.

That said, even ones like the Travers Tool TTC brand are pretty good calipers for general use. I"ve measured, and machined stuff based off those measurements, with a pair of them and never had any issues.

Personally I"d say unless your doing some real precision machining where your getting into the .0001"s, you"ll be just as well off to stay with a $70 set of Fowlers, or TTC brand, than you would paying for the name to get a set from Starrett or Mitutoyo. But that"s just my opinion...

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Spook

05-24-2014 04:44:12
108.66.199.10



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 Re: 6 Dial Calipers in reply to NCWayne, 05-23-2014 22:26:41  
A 6 inch dial caliper really isn't good for anything under .001. You need a micrometer for working in tenth's.



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Eric in IL

05-24-2014 05:33:37
208.124.79.157



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 Re: 6 Dial Calipers in reply to Spook, 05-24-2014 04:44:12  
Agreed, maybe not even good for less than .002 .



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Spook

05-24-2014 08:46:40
99.102.227.12



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 Re: 6 Dial Calipers in reply to Eric in IL, 05-24-2014 05:33:37  
Yup. Plus or minus .001 is probably more realistic. Verinier calipers maybe a bit more, plus a lot of folks can"t read a vernier scale anymore. Not to mention the old eye thing a lot of us have going on. I got to 50, and my arms got shorter. :)



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Don-Wi

05-23-2014 21:01:40
66.87.76.26



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 Re: 6 Dial Calipers in reply to Steve@Advance, 05-23-2014 19:19:44  
I like the brown & sharp dial calipers. I've been burned by digital calipers when the battery starts to go. For that reason I'm very leary of Starrett, and I've seen more than one Mitutoyo loose the lens on the face.

The only time I've had issues with my Brown & Sharp was my fault from dropping it. I'm on my 3rd one. If you watch MSC they go on sale time to time for $109 plus shipping.

Donovan from Wisconsin

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CGID

05-23-2014 20:59:39
71.209.10.53



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 Re: 6 Dial Calipers in reply to Steve@Advance, 05-23-2014 19:19:44  
All the brands mentioned are good and for $200.00 you can take your pick. It will probably boil down to which ones your favorite supplyer offers. Starretts' have an open rack on the theory that sooner or later something will get on the gears and the exposed gears will be easy to clean. The Mit's and B&S have a covered rack on the theory that the cover will keep the gears clean, but sooner or later a chip WILL get under the cover and the cover makes those two tools harder to clean. I think Starrett's dials are the easiest to read. And if it matters, Starrett offers a choice of dial colors.

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John Garner

05-23-2014 20:27:46
71.139.164.7



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 Re: 6 Dial Calipers in reply to Steve@Advance, 05-23-2014 19:19:44  
The Swiss-made Brown & Sharpe are the pick of the litter, but even they are not what they were a few years back.



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Eric in IL

05-23-2014 19:28:01
208.124.79.157



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 Re: 6 Dial Calipers in reply to Steve@Advance, 05-23-2014 19:19:44  
I always liked the feel of Mitutoyo better than Starrett.

Maybe a good set of verniers would handle more abuse ?



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