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Old 02-21-09, 01:18 AM   #1
rotharpunc
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Digital Calipers

As this seems to be a frequently needed tool, especially in the C&V world, can anyone suggest a good digital caliper for a reasonable price? I was trying to compare these, but don't feel I know enough about them to make a decision:

http://search.harborfreight.com/cpis...PerPageBottom=
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Old 02-21-09, 01:50 AM   #2
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I'd go on ebay and buy one of the mitutoyo calipers. I like the ones that use a solar cell for power
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Old 02-21-09, 02:09 AM   #3
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I wouldn't be caught dead in C&V with digital calipers. Get some Vernier calipers from a ahrdware store for $10.00. They're especially hardcore if your eyes are going.
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Old 02-21-09, 04:32 AM   #4
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My dial calipers haven't needed a battery in 40 years!
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Old 02-21-09, 06:27 AM   #5
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Harborfrieght has a few sales a year where they sell the 12" Centon digital calipers for $9.99. If I had known just how inexpensive that was, I would've bought 5.
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Old 02-21-09, 06:36 AM   #6
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Best quality out there are from Mitutyoto, Starett, Brown and Sharp. I am a design engineer and have had my pair of starett for 15 years..............calibration has been dead nuts on everytime.
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Old 02-21-09, 06:53 AM   #7
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I have a pair like those in your link for $16.99. Sometimes they are even a little cheaper. While not the best quality [ some plastic in the frames ] I have used them for about 6 years with no problem.
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Old 02-21-09, 07:01 AM   #8
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I have these from Home Depot. They are fairly inexpensive and work great. They read out in decimal millimeters along with decimal and fractional inches.

Fractional Digital Calipers
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Old 02-21-09, 07:21 AM   #9
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one great benefit to digital calipers is that you can easily get both mm and inch....and yes simple math will get the same....but in this case I appreciate the electronics.
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Old 02-21-09, 07:24 AM   #10
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I have two sets of those $17 HF calipers. They work fine but don't expect the stock batteries to last very long.
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Old 02-21-09, 07:57 AM   #11
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With bifocals and a failing mind...or is that the a bipolar mind and failing eyesight.... I find digital calipers to be a godsend. I bought mine from Velo-Orange on the most recent order. The last pair I had were from HF or Northern Tools. They died and new batteries didn't work, so I grabbed the set from VO.

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Old 02-21-09, 08:20 AM   #12
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Good advice all around.
I just got a metric tape measure, and thought I was high tech.
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Old 02-21-09, 09:21 AM   #13
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I prefer the dial calipers myself. No battery concerns for the last decade with my low cost all steel HF model. Also picked up a micrometer, highly recommended. Both are cheap $ and reliable enough for occasional use.
One should also have a stainless steel machinist's rule in both fractional and metric.
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Old 02-21-09, 09:31 AM   #14
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Good advice all around.
I just got a metric tape measure, and thought I was high tech.


Those things can be hard to find. I did finally get a high quality one from my son in the UK. All I could find around here in the US were the super cheap ones that would break the first time you pulled them out of the case.

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ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

"Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
_Nicodemus

"Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred
Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
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Old 02-21-09, 09:36 AM   #15
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I have two 6"/150 mm mechanical dial calipers, one English (Brown & Sharpe, in fantastic shape) and one metric (Mitutoyo, whose lens/ring lock doesn't work). The English ones are quite reasonable on eBay, because every machinist in the US had one, but metric ones are much more expensive, and the Starrett ones are even more expensive than Mitutoyo. English isn't bad if you don't mind converting everything. They're both accurate and reliable, in my experience.
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Old 02-21-09, 10:06 AM   #16
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I have a Mitutoyo and a Starrett dial caliper, both English and both very consistent. I also know how to read a vernier. Even if they're English rather than metric, you can always convert from metric to English using the 1"=2.54 centimeters conversion factor.

Go with Ebay, get a metric dial caliper.
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Old 02-21-09, 10:07 AM   #17
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I have a good set of Digital calipers that I got from my snap-on dealer a few years ago and have a cheap set of plastic ones that I got from a Honda repair seminar I attended many years ago and I was surprised of how accurate the cheap plastic ones I got were, so for bicycle stuff my cheap ones work fine,and I have used them in a pinch when setting up a motorcycle transmission.They do both US and metric too.
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Old 02-21-09, 10:09 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post


Those things can be hard to find. I did finally get a high quality one from my son in the UK. All I could find around here in the US were the super cheap ones that would break the first time you pulled them out of the case.

Aaron
I have a Stanley 2 meter/ 6 foot tape, called a PowerLock. I've been using it for 7 years or so now. Plus Ace Hardware house brand has metric/English.
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Old 02-21-09, 10:14 AM   #19
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I have a Stanley 2 meter/ 6 foot tape, called a PowerLock. I've been using it for 7 years or so now. Plus Ace Hardware house brand has metric/English.
Stanley Power Lock is what my son got for me. Closest Ace is the Place is over 25 miles away

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ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

"Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
_Nicodemus

"Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred
Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
_krazygluon
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Old 02-21-09, 12:38 PM   #20
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Stanley Power Lock is what my son got for me. Closest Ace is the Place is over 25 miles away

Aaron

Ok, we have three Aces in town. Didn't mean to twist the knife.
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Old 02-21-09, 12:46 PM   #21
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Ok, we have three Aces in town. Didn't mean to twist the knife.
Two things that don't survive well around here...high end stores and mom and pop franchises like Ace. We have had a couple over the years, but they can't seem to make it.

If you want Walmart (and sucky ones at that) I got ya covered. There are not 1 or even 2 but 7 Walmarts within a 30 mile radius of my house. Things like old fashioned hardware stores and LBS's are few and far between. Thank God for internet sales!

Aaron
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ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

"Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
_Nicodemus

"Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred
Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
_krazygluon
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Old 02-21-09, 02:24 PM   #22
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I only have dial at home -- two Chinese and one Mitutoyo. I have a couple of verniers, but it's not worth making a mistake. I wouldn't buy the chinese digital, but there are many of them out there working fine.

our Ace managed to put itself out of business by keeping to hours from 10-5. Don't know what they were thinking. I do miss them. We're down to big box stores now.

Can't think of how many times I stopped by there after work only to find them closed. Now it's less annoying because I know they are closed for good.

Last edited by unterhausen; 02-21-09 at 02:28 PM.
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Old 02-21-09, 02:52 PM   #23
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Don't be a chump like me. I bought a Park digital caliper a while back, and it's the exact same thing as those Harbor Freight calipers, except blue and $20-30 more. D'oh.

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Old 02-21-09, 03:16 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
My dial calipers haven't needed a battery in 40 years!
My Vernier calipers haven't needed a battery at all!


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Old 02-21-09, 03:24 PM   #25
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Yes - a search on amazon.com will find you the exact (minus the Park name) digital-calipers Park Tool has for $35 - $50 (depending on the seller) for around $10. I checked the digital-calipers with my fancy dial one that's extremely accurate. The readings were exactly the same. Go for it!
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