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Digital Calipers

Posted by ajayre 
Digital Calipers
May 29, 2012 04:01AM
I'm looking for digital calipers to help me with my build and calibration (UK). I bought a highly rated set from Amazon that almost everybody likes and... well... they are rubbish. Constantly introducing errors making it impossible to use them (I've cleaned it, replaced battery, etc.). Perhaps a defective set.

Looking around at other low cost digital calipers I suspect they are all made in the same factory and rebranded.

My current idea is to get used Mitutoyo calipers off ebay as that is a name I am familiar with.

Can anyone recommend a specific set available in the UK that they use and works properly?

Thanks, Andy
Re: Digital Calipers
May 30, 2012 11:21PM
Just get the $10 Harbor Freight ones aka digital scribers. I must have 7 pairs of these things laying around. They work just as good as Mitutoyo if you know how to use a pair of calipers and you don't have to shed any tears when you drop them or the wife knocks them off the bench. Test them out on a few nominally sized items before you go inspecting rocket parts. If you get a bad pair (this happens) you can send them back til the cows come home. I've had to get out the whetstone to hone the tips even before but for $10 who cares. Honestly, I have a nice pair of Brown & Sharpe dial calipers that I love (very smooth sliding) and I won't use them if I have a cheap HF pair around. The measurements come out the SAME either way but you just don't have to worry about your wallet if something bad happens to the cheap ones.
Re: Digital Calipers
May 31, 2012 04:04AM
Thanks! Yes, I know Harbor Freight but it doesn't exist in the UK unfortunately. Good recommendation for others though!

Andy
Re: Digital Calipers
May 31, 2012 10:58AM
fopec: I'm new to using calipers. You said
Quote
Test them out on a few nominally sized items before you go inspecting rocket parts.

Where can 1 find a list of items that are great to test your calipers with?


__________________________________________________________________________
"I like to be, what I like to see, in you and me.
I am the Stallion, Mang."

ISTAR Scope Club
Re: Digital Calipers
May 31, 2012 07:11PM
I have calipers from Aldu and Lidl at £8 each, I checked them against .5" and 1" standard test blocks tht I have and one was checked against slip gauges owned by a mate. They were as accurate as a Moore & Wright that I have and a borrowed Mitutoyo.
Not as many bells and whistles as the posh one though but £8, what can i say. Change the batteries once a year and your away.

TC
Re: Digital Calipers
May 31, 2012 07:36PM
Yep I'm going to agree, the cheap ones work pretty well, the 4 inch one I use regularly seems to have "issues" when measuring over 3 inches, but what I paid for it I can't complain.
Re: Digital Calipers
June 02, 2012 09:57AM
Change the batteries in your existing set,
I've had a few cheep ones now and the batteries shipped with them are always crappy
New set of batteries and they work just as well as my Tesla work set
Rob
Re: Digital Calipers
June 02, 2012 11:31AM
ajayre Wrote:
> them (I've cleaned it, replaced battery, etc.).

Already tried that. I've obtained a set of Mitutoyo digital calipers off ebay. Thanks for responding!

Andy
Re: Digital Calipers
June 07, 2012 08:16AM
I think I just ordered those same highly rated Amazon calipers, hopefully I have better luck with mine!
Re: Digital Calipers
June 19, 2012 10:06PM
I bought a pair of highly rated Amazon calipers. The other users must have only used them in Inches mode.
My calipers work excelent when in Inches mode.

But if you switch to MM mode, watch out! It does this thing where it will be approaching a measurement value and then the value jumps by several mm. It seem like it is a mm convertion issue.

It is easy to work around, but we shouldn't have to. I gave it a 1 star rating on Amazon when I hit the bug.
Re: Digital Calipers
July 09, 2012 05:38PM
BoriSpider
Quote
fopec: I'm new to using calipers. You said Quote Test them out on a few nominally sized items before you go inspecting rocket parts. Where can 1 find a list of items that are great to test your calipers with?
If you don't have access to measuring standards you have some options. If you have access to a 6" steel rule this is usually a good, cheap item to test out the full measuring scale of 6" calipers. Just measure the full length of the rule. New drill bits work pretty good to test standard sizes IF you know how to measure the TIPS properly. The size of the shank (drill motor end) of a 1/2" drill bit may be .003" smaller than the actual .500" drilling tip measured across the CUTTING EDGE. I put cutting edge in bold letters because you have to rotate the drill until you are actually measuring the maximum diameter of the cutting edge. The shanks of end mills are usually a nominal size (1/4", 3/8", 1/2", etc.) if you have access to them.

You can pick up SPI micrometer standards from places like Enco for around $10-$20 if you really want to know how accurate your calipers are. Basically digital calipers are a very nice convenience. If you really need to measure tight tolerances you need a calibrated micrometer. RepRap printers are not ultra precision machines with tight tolerances.

Being new to using calipers you should know that there is an element of feel to using them. Get a piece of round rod and measure it with the thick part of the calipers closest to the display and not the thin tips. Now measure the same spot with the tips of the calipers and exert the same amount of pressure as you used to measure the spot the first time. You should get the same reading. This is a good practice exercise to get used to not exerting too much force when measuring.

Hope this was helpful.
Re: Digital Calipers
July 20, 2012 12:06PM
fopec: Tnx for the reply. I'll try some of your suggestions.
I also looked up coin wikis to see,like, what the thickness of a
quarter is then measured that. I think my Home Depot $30 calipers
are good.


__________________________________________________________________________
"I like to be, what I like to see, in you and me.
I am the Stallion, Mang."

ISTAR Scope Club
Re: Digital Calipers
July 27, 2012 03:49PM
You might check out www.screws4u.com they have many calipers and all are sold at a discount.
Re: Digital Calipers
August 07, 2012 03:57PM
hmmm yum yum ... digital calipers ... *scurries off to ebay again*
yes the first few hundred listed in ebay seems all from the same factory LOL

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/07/2012 04:00PM by redreprap.
Re: Digital Calipers
August 10, 2012 05:57AM
I have just bought a pair of Duratool digital calipers from Farnell for £12.63+VAT. They are carbon fibre, so not sure how durable they'll be.

Will let you all know once I have been using them for a while on my Prusa Mendel build - the (not quite complete) kit has arrived from thereprapkitstore!

Lee
Re: Digital Calipers
August 15, 2012 04:06AM
Well, the calipers certainly seem to work. Accuracy seems good for small parts (based on measuring feeler gauges), repeatability is good (measuring the same object several times), and the resolution is 0.1mm.

Not bad for a smidge over £15 including VAT.

Lee

Radiocode Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I have just bought a pair of Duratool digital
> calipers from Farnell for £12.63+VAT. They are
> carbon fibre, so not sure how durable they'll be.
>
> Will let you all know once I have been using them
> for a while on my Prusa Mendel build - the (not
> quite complete) kit has arrived from
> thereprapkitstore!
>
> Lee
Re: Digital Calipers
August 15, 2012 09:24AM
my analogue dial-based calipers arrived today

its a fowler (avoiding running out of battery situations)

whoopie !
Re: Digital Calipers
August 05, 2013 03:59AM
Hello Everyone,

This is Andy from China. We can offer best quality digital with best price. Our product have good comments from Long Island in USA.

Regards
Andy
www.anyimeasuring.com
Re: Digital Calipers
August 05, 2013 03:03PM
I always buy at least two of the cheap digital calipers in case one of them is bad. I have destroyed a couple of them and I'm now down to three of them. My best one I take good care of it and the other two are beaters. The good one works good but the other two have zeroing or battery problems.
Re: Digital Calipers
August 05, 2013 03:46PM
You basically have 2 choices - Good ones or cheap ones. The cheap ones are all about the same - some have been sitting around a long time, so suspect batteries first. I believe all can be zeroed. If you want to calibrate at extension, you can buy gauge block sets from a variety of sources at a variety of prices, depending on the amount of accuracy you need. I'd not suggest a $600 gauge block set to test a $10 caliper. I once seriously overbuilt a circle guide with a 9 foot diameter for a router. Turns out it made for a pretty decent caliper when I went to gut my frame parts. You could do something similar by drilling a hole through each of 2 square blocks to accommodate a piece of straight rod (linear not critical) of at least 3/8 diameter, and securing the rod with a perpendicular hole tapped to accept a finger screw knob thingy (what ever they're called). This does not give necessarily accurate measurements, but does allow for exact repeatability, and can be made for just a few dollars.
Re: Digital Calipers
August 08, 2013 10:55AM
I got a pair of these on Amazon and they have been working great for me. Amazon
Re: Digital Calipers
May 13, 2015 04:50AM
Hi,
I hope this is gonna help you. Im going to share a website that talks about mitutoyo vernier calipers and many more. I did not go through the website but i hope this will going to make your day. I found this website by google search engine. Click the Link mitutoyo vernier calipers.

Have a good day.
Re: Digital Calipers
May 13, 2015 06:18AM
Two years later I doubt any post is going to be of any help to the OP...
Re: Digital Calipers
April 11, 2018 02:03PM
It looks that i am tooo late, found this topic while searching for the same. Will any please update the thread with current info?

Regards
Re: Digital Calipers
April 11, 2018 02:33PM
There are now Chinese counterfeits for most of the reputable brands. The fakes are quite obvious if you've used the real thing, but purchasing online is more of a risk.

Cheap digital calipers perform fairly well, the main inconveniences are that they drain battery quite quickly and use an incremental encoder. The incremental encoder forces you to zero the calipers quite often, and if you move the jaws too quickly they will "slip" and you won't know the readings are bad until you close the jaws and discover it no longer reads zero.

Higher quality digital calipers (of which Mitutoyo is the most popular) have absolute scales and the battery will last years.

It can seem hard to justify a $140 caliper when the $10 ones also work, but if you are using calipers regularly it makes a big difference. In a machine shop a slightly inaccurate pair of calipers can do thousands of dollars in damage.
Re: Digital Calipers
April 11, 2018 03:40PM
These iGaging calipers, sold via amazon.com for $40 are very good. Long battery life, and they don't have to be rezeroed.

The $10 harbor freight units are junk, have to be rezeroed or at least checked for every measurement, eat batteries, and you will lose or break the battery cover very quickly.


Son of MegaMax 3D printer: [www.instructables.com]
Ultra MegaMax Dominator 3D printer: [drmrehorst.blogspot.com]
Re: Digital Calipers
April 13, 2018 04:32PM
Quote
691175002
There are now Chinese counterfeits for most of the reputable brands. The fakes are quite obvious if you've used the real thing, but purchasing online is more of a risk.

Cheap digital calipers perform fairly well, the main inconveniences are that they drain battery quite quickly and use an incremental encoder. The incremental encoder forces you to zero the calipers quite often, and if you move the jaws too quickly they will "slip" and you won't know the readings are bad until you close the jaws and discover it no longer reads zero. Best Front and Rear Dash Cam 2018 - best dash cam for truckers

Higher quality digital calipers (of which Mitutoyo is the most popular) have absolute scales and the battery will last years.

It can seem hard to justify a $140 caliper when the $10 ones also work, but if you are using calipers regularly it makes a big difference. In a machine shop a slightly inaccurate pair of calipers can do thousands of dollars in damage.

Thanks for your help.
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