Gunsmithing  Need new calipers

NY700

Sergeant
Full Member
Minuteman
May 23, 2009
859
232
Dallas
My digital calipers from husky died. Just wondering what most folks are using digital or analog? No frills store brand or harbor freight specials or are you dropping the money on starrrets or mitoyo?


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Rthur

Philomath
Full Member
Minuteman
  • Apr 16, 2010
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    Not Chicago, Illinios
    Have these:
    500-752-10.jpg


    And these:
    brown_and_sharpe_dial_caliper_inch_metric_599-579-4_599579-5_599-579-14_5.jpg


    Both have been great tools.

    R
     

    Natestreo

    Full Member
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Feb 15, 2017
    255
    27
    I'm using the iGaging Absolute Origin 0-6" Digital calipers from Amazon. They're very smooth and measurements have been very accurate. I'm impressed compared to the other digital calipers i've used in the past.
     

    kansas

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    Minuteman
    Jul 27, 2012
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    I have Mitutoyo dial calipers I bought used off Ebay and they work great. I take care of them. We use Mitutoyo digitals at work and they go through many hands and have NOT been taken care of yet keep working and are accurate and repeatable.
     

    ZiaHunter

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    Minuteman
  • Nov 25, 2012
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    Brown & Sharp TESA Digital and Starrett Dial. Both are well made and accurate and find myself using the digital ones more often.
     

    Waorani

    Comfortably Numb
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    Feb 14, 2017
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    Another vote for Mitutoyo. I've got 3 6" Digimatics with the oldest at least 10yrs and still going strong. Watch out for counterfeits though - lot of them on ebay, etc.
     

    whatsupdoc

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    Minuteman
  • Dec 12, 2017
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    Absolutely no reason not to use digital calipers, much faster to read the display than a dial. My 25 year old Mitutoyo with duct tape for a battery cover still works perfectly. My newer Mitutoyo that does NOT have to be zeroed every time it is turned on cost me around $110 well worth the money.
     

    GottMitUns

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    Feb 13, 2017
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    VIctoria TX
    I am not a fan of digital, just personal preference. I use 12" Mitutoyo daily and have 3 or 4 sets around the shop. anytime i can buy a set right in a pawn shop I do.
     

    moosemeat

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    Jun 21, 2009
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    Depends what your using them for. If your trying to use them to replace a mic (bad idea) buy the best you can. I run Mit at work for rough measuring. If it needs to be closer than .005 i always grab a micrometer. I like digi and run digi micrometers to but bought a used 1-6" set of starett at a flea market for $100. Best moneybi ever spent. They all check out within a tenth or so.
     

    300sniper

    Gunny Sergeant
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    Minuteman
    Jan 17, 2005
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    Greenwood, Ca
    I've got a B&S 599-579-4 and a Mitutoyo 505-742. I feel the B&S is much better made but I like the Mit better because of the drive wheel.
     

    Bandaid

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    Mar 7, 2017
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    34
    AZ
    At work I use Mitutoyo digital calipers and Starrett dial calipers (same ones mentioned by Clark). They are excellent quality and I can trust that they read right every time.

    I also bought a set of iGaging digital calipers for use at home on the reloading bench and to be honest they are the best cheap set I have ever bought and wouldn't recommend anything else to someone on a budget. They are very accurate and have no slop. I have been using them for about a year now and couldn't be happier.

    https://www.amazon.com/iGaging-ABSOL...igital+caliper

    In my opinion dont bother with the harbor freight, frankford arsenal, hornady or any of the other digital cheap ones they are all crap out of china and usually dont read the same from the top to the bottom of the jaw.

    Also, watch out for ebay "mitutoyo" that seems to be too good of a deal as they are likely Chinese counterfeits.
     

    FishDr

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  • Apr 10, 2014
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    I like digi when using a comparator for headspace or ogive measurements. For most things, however, it is the Mithtoyo dial calipers. Very good equipment.
     

    mcameron

    Two Star General
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    Minuteman
  • Nov 17, 2011
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    honest question......what are you using them for? and how much accuracy do you really need?

    Mitutoyo calipers are fantastic....and are pretty much "the standard"....but unless you are doing a lot of precision work....theres really no need to be dropping $300 on calipers.

    90% of my measuring is done using those plastic calipers they sell at HD for $15......and they work great......i initially picked them up because i was doing a lot of work with magnets, and needed something non magnetic.......and ive just stuck with them........
     

    Luke

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    May 29, 2002
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    I loathe digital calipers because of the 3 different shops and labs I've worked in, the stupid batteries are always going dead, and the tool is completely useless at that point. Taking an extra 3 seconds to read a dial is always faster than picking up a caliper with a dead battery, and then going off to look for a replacement, or running over to Walmart to buy another one. I own a Mitutoyo, but usually reach for my $25 stainless steel Cabela's branded dial caliper. I've compared both calipers on gage blocks and consistently get equal measurements, and the Cabela's caliper has been in my toolbox for close to 15 years.
     

    HoustonB77

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    Minuteman
    Jan 28, 2014
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    Nixon TX
    I have two sets. Both are lymans. One is digital and the other is a old school dial. Both seam to serve the purpose but I use the digitals most often.
     

    Tazman308

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    Jul 3, 2014
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    Hate digital stuff and ALWAYS prefer US made. Just ordered a pair of Starett 120a-6 from ZORO. With the discount code they were $150 delivered. My 35 year old cheapies have been acting up. These should last me the rest of my life so I bit the bullet, so to speak.
     

    J!m

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    Minuteman
    Aug 25, 2017
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    Connecticut
    www.drivetheglobe.com
    Mitutoyo mechanical and a cheap-ass digital from Harbour Freight for me. Avoid the mechanical HF calipers, as I have been through five or so in two years. I use them on the lathe for rough measurements making tooling etc. They are crap. Tightening the rack helped some, but one of them had a fouled rack out of the box and it would jump a tooth on every stroke.

    One important detail for both: Get a calibration standard close to your intended work range. Maybe 2" or so for cartridges. Zero the gage there.

    The HF digital is nice because it does inch and MM conversions with the touch of a button. I use it predominantly with my watch making stuff for that reason. Accuracy (repeatability) of a caliper is less than a micrometer. Understand the repeatability and tolerance of the instrument you are using. Develop a consistent "feel" for how much pressure you apply when using it. A good tool used poorly is just as bad as a poor tool used well. Get a good tool and use it properly.

    I've been working in Aerospace for over 30 years now.