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breh
01-29-2015, 03:51 AM
Iam in the market for a new caliper. I went on line to Amazon and there are many to choose from. I want to get a good one and will sacrafice some cash to do so. I would greatly appreciate your comments and recommendations on the best caliper to get. Thanks for your attention to my inquiry.

Breh

REMY
01-29-2015, 05:34 AM
TESA Swiss made

michaelnel
01-29-2015, 05:46 AM
I have these Mitutoyo ones. Lots of folks seem to use them and are very happy with them.

http://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B001C0ZPNO/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

geo.ulrich
01-29-2015, 07:14 AM
TESA Swiss made

Tesa or Etalon

adamsgt
01-29-2015, 08:33 AM
Tesa or Etalon

Analog or electronic?

Dusty Stevens
01-29-2015, 09:07 AM
I like etalon. It has half thousanth marks and a prancing pony on the face

Lee Martin
01-29-2015, 09:19 AM
Analog or electronic?

I like dial calipers, but that's just my preference. As for brands/quality, I've used the full gamut. My dad has some very high-end models in his shop, while my loading bench has your $35 Enco special (fine for general measuring). Really depends on what level of resolution you're after.

-Lee
www.singleactions.com

B.Larson
01-29-2015, 09:24 AM
I`VE BEEN USING THEM FOR MORE YEARS THAN I CARE TO THINK.....here`s my expierience with them,rite now between the shop and basement there are probably 6...or so.....
digital...... no good/batt.powered
gear rack dial most reliable if you keep them clean.
IMHO.....
6" mitutoyo with white face and .100"/rev.
Now for close accurate work.... I will always put the caliper down and use a micrometer.......
bill larson

Boyd Allen
01-29-2015, 10:08 AM
I have a number of dial calipers, which I prefer to the digital ones. They are of various makes, and they all do their jobs. None are expensive, particularly the ones that get used over concrete. The thing that I am seeing more and more of is people not understanding that no matter how expensive, calipers are not micrometers, and while they each have their place, one should not try to substitute one for the other. When measurements to the nearest thousandth are all that is needed, I use a dial caliper. For anything more exact, a micrometer that reads to .0001.

Dusty Stevens
01-29-2015, 10:37 AM
And until you really know how to use a micrometer you can make them read whatever you want so thats a plus when youre creeping up on a measurement. I think butch lambert even said you can use them for a C clamp if you need to.

Boyd Allen
01-29-2015, 10:59 AM
Yes, and technique can play a role in what calipers indicate. A friend, now gone, who was a respected bullet maker, used to send fellows that he was having discussions with, a bullet that he had carefully measured, without telling the recipient what his measurements had been, and ask the person what his were, in order to better understand what he was hearing from that person. That same bullet maker told me that he would measure by feel and then read the micrometer (instead of reading as he made the measurement) to prevent his wishes from influencing his technique.

Lee Martin
01-29-2015, 12:37 PM
There's a reason why they put ratchet stop thimbles on micrometers :)

-Lee
www.singleactions.com

geo.ulrich
01-29-2015, 02:17 PM
Analog or electronic?

I have both but prefer the analog the digital might sat .0005 but there just calipers.

geo.ulrich
01-29-2015, 02:22 PM
There's a reason why they put ratchet stop thimbles on micrometers :)

-Lee
www.singleactions.com

And standards , which a copper and lead bullet is not no matter how good the bullet maker thinks he is measuring.

Boyd Allen
01-29-2015, 04:39 PM
Hi George,
Perhaps I did not explain it well. My friend was not trying to find out whether his or the other fellow's equipment was properly calibrated. They would be having discussions that involved very small differences in bullet dimensions, perhaps involving some bullet that he did not have an example of in front of him , and he wanted to know that the net difference between what his equipment and technique and the other fellow's was. That is all. Of course you probably already knew that. The mention of using known standards to check measuring tools is entirely appropriate to this discussion. Before I had any standards (however coarse they might be compared to the best, that you undoubtedly have) I would compare measurements of the same thing, taken with all of my calipers and micrometers. Back in the day when I had my one and only machine shop class in college, the instructor, a fellow who had come from industry, gave us a pretty good rundown on measuring tools, which I consider myself lucky to have had.
The very first thing that he told us, before handing out the micrometers, was not to treat them like a C clamp, and why. I would say that he did that because experience had taught him what ignorant young men were likely to do.
Boyd

Chism G
01-29-2015, 04:45 PM
Iam in the market for a new caliper. I went on line to Amazon and there are many to choose from. I want to get a good one and will sacrafice some cash to do so. I would greatly appreciate your comments and recommendations on the best caliper to get. Thanks for your attention to my inquiry.

Breh

If you're a machinist with Metal working machines,Lathe/Mill,Sacrifice the cash and buy the best caliper you can afford. (Self explanatory)

If you're a Benchrest shooter with no machinists skills,like me, just buy some calipers to carry with you when you go to the range. I use em sometimes to verify brass dimensions. They are good for loaning to fellow shooters who leave theirs at home.:D

I have Starrett and mititoyo.(sp)



Glenn

Joe Woosman
01-29-2015, 06:07 PM
I started on my first pair of Mitutoyo Digimatic calipers 20ish years ago. That pair lasted a good 10 years till someone stole them. My second pair is now at least 10 years old and I still trust them just as much as brand new ones. I now have a new pair - just because I thought I should. These have been used daily in a machine shop environment and I do trust that half thou digit. I have had at least 20 pairs of these in my shop and have never seen a problem other than jaw damage from misuse.

R. Rains
01-29-2015, 06:17 PM
I like my 6" Brown & Sharpe dial indicator they have never failed me yet.

Ajshooter
01-29-2015, 06:32 PM
I like my 6" Brown & Sharpe dial indicator they have never failed me yet.
I love my brown and sharpe too great calipers

jackie schmidt
01-29-2015, 07:03 PM
I have been a Machinist for just about my entire life. I do not care for digital tools.

As for dial calipers, Mitutoyo, Starret, Fowler, Scher-Tumico, etc, not much difference in any of them.

Pawn Shops are always full of them. For your needs, you can pick up a set for $30 that will do just as good as a new set. Just make sure the needle isn't loose, and all the pieces are there. Set them at "zero" closed, and then with a one or two inch standard. If it reads good, they will be ok.

Do get a set that reads .100 per revolution. Those that read .200 are a real pain. Use them a while and you will understand why.

mwezell
01-29-2015, 07:39 PM
I agree with Jackie and others except, for calipers, I like digital for convenience and simplicity. I put very little value on how accurate a set of calipers is because if accurate measures are what you're after...calipers are simply the wrong tool for the job.

When I got started in tool and die work, you'd literally get laughed out of the shop if you brought a digital measuring device to work. Things have changed since then though, and the accuracy of even relatively inexpensive digital calipers is plenty good enough for anything I'd measure with calipers. But...if precise measurement is needed, put your calipers up and grab your calibrated micrometer. It's simply about using the right tool for the job...I've never seen any brand or make of caliper that is intended to take the place of a micrometer.

People in the trade know this, but on these and many shooting forums, I often get the impression that people in large, have not come to that realization yet. My general rule is that I rough something in to within a few thou with calipers, and put them up...Their job is OVER. Do not confuse resolution with accuracy. Just because calipers often show resolutions of .0005(half thou), means zilch to its accuracy and/or repeatability. IOW, don't trust any set of calipers for critical measurements...Get and use the right tool.

Joe Woosman
01-30-2015, 09:34 AM
I respectfully disagree with the experienced people here with lowered opinions of digital calipers. And I have no problem with good quality dial calipers. (Brown & Sharpe is my preference there). Modern measuring tools do not run on Swiss made rack and pinion gears. The digital technology has come a long ways and in my opinion has surpassed the best of the mechanical tools. Much of the perception of inaccuracy of hand held vernier calipers is due to the old mechanical dial calipers. Think about those little gears running back and forth on a gear rack. Especially in a machine shop environment, the accuracy will only degrade with use. The digital scales in the quality electronics will remain just as accurate for the life of the tool. There are no moving parts!

Here's the important part that I think pertains to non-machinist benchrest shooters. My business makes small, delicate, high precision parts on a daily basis. I've trained countless people how to measure and maintain quality in production environments. People new to the business do not understand how to respect and handle precision measuring instruments. I think most benchrest shooters fall into that category. I need tools that are not only accurate, but tolerant of those less experienced. Drop a pair of dial calipers and really bad things happen. Get some crud in the gears and really bad things happen. I've never seen a pair of digitals break from dropping. The worst that happens is the tips of the jaws need repair due to the impact.

Part of quality control in a machine shop is calibrating tools. I go one step further. I calibrate the person with their tools by giving them a blind test measuring gage pins and blocks with the size markings covered up. I expect them to be able to reliably measure to plus or minus .001" with their calipers. I consistently achieve this with new people with minimal training using the Mitutoyo Digimatics. Most new employees that show up with their dial verniers end up taking them home because they can't pass the test. YMMV

Edit: Battery life in these run nearly two years and I never turn them off.

Boyd Allen
01-30-2015, 11:06 AM
My avoidance of digital calipers is not because of accuracy issues, but rather not wanting to deal with batteries. The only damage that my dial calipers have had was that the tips of the jaws of one getting burred when they were dropped, which I was able to remedy, working very carefully.

A few years ago, I was helping a friend with some reloading for a trip to Africa and told him that he should get some dial calipers because of the battery issue. He laughed at me because he thought that I was just some old guy that was stuck in the past, but he ordered an inexpensive one anyway. Some time after that, late one evening, too late to buy a replacement, his digital caliper's battery went flat, but he had the dial calipers, and so we were able to continue on without interruption.

I think that most of the attraction of those who are not machinists to digital calipers is because users do not have to do any math to read them, and they are impressed with that fourth digit five or zero. Over the years, I have picked up perhaps three used dial calipers, in addition to my first one that I bought from Midway years ago. They all work about equally well, and I check them from time to time to make sure of that.

JerrySharrett
01-30-2015, 01:29 PM
I vote for dial calipers and dial micrometers. Digital gives a false sense of accuracy since most display to the fourth or fifth digit. I have several sets of digital instruments and most times I try to use them their battery is dead....and no two take the same battery.

Some of my Starrett, Lufkin and Tumco are over fifty years old and still hold calibration. One set of lufkin instruments are 59 years old. I bought them when I took Machine Tools for Engineers at Va Tech in 1955.

JerrySharrett
01-30-2015, 01:34 PM
I just looked on eBay and many of their digital 6" calipers range from $10.99 to $12.99 INCLUDING shipping. I'll bet those are real winners!

MilGunsmith
01-30-2015, 01:52 PM
There is no difference between using a digital caliper and a DRO on a lathe or mill, both use the same technology. We use the digital Mititoyo's here, some are over 10 years old. They all pass calibration inspection every year. The battery issue is only a problem if you use cheep batteries. We use silver oxide (SR44?) in them and get at least a year. Just put in new ones every year at calibration. We had too many problems with dial calipers getting fine chips in the rack and jumping. Plus no need for another set for metric work.

Chism G
01-30-2015, 03:06 PM
I am not a machinist and not much of a Benchrest shooter.I never owned a set of Calipers until I started shooting Benchrest. I bought dial calipers for two reasonís. #1, I thought all benchrest shooters needed them. #2, I wanted other shooters to think I knew how to use them.

I sent three pieces of brass to Neil Jones,for him to make some forming dies for an experimental Wildcat cartridge. Neil, called me and told me that every piece of my brass measured differently. I was embarrassed. I measured that brass with my(Expensive to me) dial calipers.

It seemed he understood he was talking to a dummy. He stated that he could build the form dies close enough for my purposes. I donít know how he did it ,but the form dies worked perfect. It was a PITA to make the brass,but I managed to figure it out.

To make things easier in the measuring department,I decided to buy some digital calipers. For me, they are easier to read. Never had a problem with dead batteries. I always keep extra batteries. Same as I do with my flashlight.:):)

As I remember,The instructions that came with the digital calipers didnít say anything about calibration. My measurements may not be perfect,but they seem to work fine for what I do.

I prefer the digital readout. Its quick and easy.


Glenn

Carson
01-30-2015, 07:22 PM
Iam in the market for a new caliper. I went on line to Amazon and there are many to choose from. I want to get a good one and will sacrafice some cash to do so. I would greatly appreciate your comments and recommendations on the best caliper to get. Thanks for your attention to my inquiry.

Breh

Years ago I was in the position you are in plus I knew I wanted a thumb wheel.

I went with a Mitutoyo 505-637. They are solid and still serve me well. Some of the others calipers I checked out at the time were a little stretchy feeling when you altered the pressure applied.

These are almost the same except for the jaws are now pointy.

http://kittstools.securesites.net/store/product4003.html


Years later I went with a pair of Mitutoyo Digimatic Solar Absolute series 500-451 that are solar powered. They can sort of hold you back when your checking parts in the dark...which happens more than you would think it does. Also they are real touchy about getting damp if you work with water soluble coolant.

Similar;

http://www.globalindustrial.com/p/tools/test-measurement/calipers-dial/500-474-absolute-solar-caliper-0-60-150mm-range?infoParam.campaignId=T9F&gclid=CjwKEAiA9KymBRD6g6iOvv2joU0SJAB0vRQydD_lA9Vh hCYO2aXYwOFXeYIcFEpAKx-2ANTTw0oo4BoCyaHw_wcB


There are a lot to choose from now. I've been sort of lucky to have been working in machine shops with lots of other people with different caliper brands to take a look at. Maybe you've got a machine shop supply house near by where you can pick some up and get a feel of them.


P.S. Don't tell anyone but I also have a pair of Midway calipers. They work pretty well..but they sort of growl at me...but they work pretty well. I think they were about twenty bucks.

I don't see any that say Midway on them.

http://www.midwayusa.com/find?dimensionids=12793

martin zuck
01-30-2015, 09:02 PM
When I was a youngster there were no such things as dial or digital calipers. We either used a micrometer or a vernier caliper depending on what we were measuring. One advantage of a vernier caliper was that you didn't need to worry about chips getting in the wrong place. I imagine that most people today couldn't read a pair but I guess there would be no reason too!

doghunter
02-01-2015, 11:31 PM
The accuracy difference between a caliper and a micrometer is well defined by Abbťís principle (Google it).

I own two digital calipers (incorrectly called digital Verniers btw - they have no Vernier scale) and one Mitotoyo dial caliper, a Mitotoyo digital micrometer and a couple of Moore & Wright analogue vernier micrometers.

Guess which one's I trust and use the most?

My trusty old Moore & Wright requires a jeweller's loupe to read between the .0001" lines, but it is repeatable and does not drift, always ready to go and no batteries required.

I do use digital measuring devices and for 99% of shooting related measurements they do a fine job, but for precision I would rather read between the lines than trust the last digit of a digital device which hops to the nearest significant bit.

At the end of the day, it boils down to what you are trying to measure and how accurately, which leads to another question : How accurate and repeatable is your measuring technique?

* doghunter *

jackie schmidt
02-03-2015, 08:40 PM
Hey guys, don't get the idea that I think there is something wrong with digitals. I just don't care for them for my own personal work. It is more of a personal choice.

I love the DRO's on our new lathes, but the old Pratt that I do my barrel work on has a built in dial indicator.

It all comes down to a matter of preference. I don't care what the men who work for me use, as long as the work they do is correct. We have shop standards that the men can check their measuring equipment to, so there is no doubt as to the accuracy being in question.

Wilbur
02-04-2015, 01:15 PM
Just about (just about) anything will work for just shooting - actual benchrest included. As long as you know the accuracy of what you're using you just add that in and you're good. Certainly, if what you're using has a half thousandths inaccuracy you wouldn't want to try to make anything exact. As long as you include the half thousandths inaccuracy into whatever you do I think you're good. I might not get this right but say you are cutting neck thickness and your caliper has a bit of known slop. You have to include that amount of slop into the final measurement to have adequate clearance on all accounts. The rifle will shoot the same, have adequate clearance, but the necks might not last as long as if you cut them dead nuts. What you don't want to do is try to be exact if that's all you have to measure with...and you have to know the inaccuracy....maybe! I suppose you could simply guess at it if guessing made the neck thin enough. There's all sorts of ways to go about such but it's a happy time when you have a good tool!

mwezell
02-04-2015, 03:19 PM
Just about (just about) anything will work for just shooting - actual benchrest included. As long as you know the accuracy of what you're using you just add that in and you're good. Certainly, if what you're using has a half thousandths inaccuracy you wouldn't want to try to make anything exact. As long as you include the half thousandths inaccuracy into whatever you do I think you're good. I might not get this right but say you are cutting neck thickness and your caliper has a bit of known slop. You have to include that amount of slop into the final measurement to have adequate clearance on all accounts. The rifle will shoot the same, have adequate clearance, but the necks might not last as long as if you cut them dead nuts. What you don't want to do is try to be exact if that's all you have to measure with...and you have to know the inaccuracy....maybe! I suppose you could simply guess at it if guessing made the neck thin enough. There's all sorts of ways to go about such but it's a happy time when you have a good tool!

Wilbur, IMHO measuring neck thickness is a good example of when calipers are the wrong tool for the job. For that matter, I prefer to work with loaded round diameter rather than the thickness of the neck, even if measured with a tubing mic. There's less "feel" involved and less stacking of tolerances. Nevertheless, I think a caliper is not the right tool here. Ideally, we want the necks to be as consistent as possible..The blades on a caliper are pretty bad for using as a tubing mic and I still believe loaded round is the best way to go here. FWIW--Mike

Wilbur
02-05-2015, 09:59 PM
I agree - bad example if reading it that way. Don't really know if there was any good there anyway. Just ignore that post so I won't have to delete it.