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  1. #1
    BEHOLD! THE MANTICORE! rotharpunc's Avatar
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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=

  2. #2
    Randomhead
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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

  3. #3
    brain damaged bovine muccapazza's Avatar
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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.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    My dial calipers haven't needed a battery in 40 years!

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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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.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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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.

  7. #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.

  8. #8
    Senior Member kknh3's Avatar
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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

  9. #9
    Senior Member squirtdad's Avatar
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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.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Nessism's Avatar
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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.
    Becareful buying/selling bike parts on-line. I learned the hard way. :(

    Good/Bad Trader Listing

  11. #11
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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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.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

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

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  12. #12
    Senior Member RobbieTunes's Avatar
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    Good advice all around.
    I just got a metric tape measure, and thought I was high tech.

    Robbie ♪♫♪...☻

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  13. #13
    WNG
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    Spin Forest! Spin! WNG's Avatar
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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.
    “You meet the nicest people on two wheels!"
    "Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow." ~Albert Einstein

  14. #14
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobbieTunes View Post
    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.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    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

  15. #15
    Disraeli Gears Charles Wahl's Avatar
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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.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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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.

  17. #17
    Holy Spokes it's Batsman! Glennfordx4's Avatar
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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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  18. #18
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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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.

  19. #19
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
    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

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    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

  20. #20
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
    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.

  21. #21
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
    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
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    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

  22. #22
    Randomhead
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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 01:28 PM.

  23. #23
    phony collective progress x136's Avatar
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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.


  24. #24
    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
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    Quote 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!

    Last edited by JohnDThompson; 02-21-09 at 02:21 PM.

  25. #25
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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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!
    How do you keep an idiot in suspense?

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