Best Reasonably Priced Digital Caliper

Discussion in 'Reloading Forum (All Calibers)' started by wedgy, Jun 8, 2017.

  1. wedgy

    wedgy Gold $$ Contributor

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    I have finally had enough of the $30 Hornady, RCBS, etc. junk constantly sticking, shutting off, losing zero to where I'm ready to upgrade. Looking for something in the $100-$150 range for a digital caliper. Any recommendations ?
    Thanks
     
  2. waltk

    waltk Gold $$ Contributor

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    I Gaging Origin Cal calipers.
     
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  3. hogpatrol

    hogpatrol Don't criticize the farmer with your mouth full. Gold $$ Contributor

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    Mitutoyo OR use a dial caliper. Calipers are only good for ballpark measurements anyway, i.e. + or - .0005 to .001.
     
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  4. jimbires

    jimbires Silver $$ Contributor

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    I bought a mitutoyo 6" about a year ago . I think they cost $100 - $120 . I'm still on the first set of batteries . I was putting batteries in my other cheap calipers 3 or 4 times a year . I would buy these again .
     
  5. B_Thomas

    B_Thomas Silver $$ Contributor

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  6. Ned Ludd

    Ned Ludd Gold $$ Contributor

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  7. hogpatrol

    hogpatrol Don't criticize the farmer with your mouth full. Gold $$ Contributor

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  8. Delfuego

    Delfuego Silver $$ Contributor

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  9. Raythemanroe

    Raythemanroe Bullet Whisperer Silver $$ Contributor

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    Igaging Absolute Origin

    Ray
     
  10. CharlieNC

    CharlieNC Gold $$ Contributor

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    It sounds like you've had problems with a number of digitals. My cheap Frankford Arsenal model has measured accurately for years, with only one battery replacement. After use I turn it off and place it in the storage case for safe keeping. An occasional cleaning has maintained smooth operation.
     
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  11. Sheldon N

    Sheldon N

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    IGaging absolute origin for budget option. If you want to spend $100 or so then Mitutoyo.
     
  12. Steelnecktie

    Steelnecktie

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    My Mitutoyo calipers went 3 years before battery replacement
     
  13. Richard Jones

    Richard Jones just glad to be here

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  14. hogan

    hogan

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    I have mitutoyo 12" digital caliper that reads to .0005" Its calibration from the factory is reliable. Battery 2032 lasts forever, almost...
    MIght find a nice deal on a used mitutoyo or brown & sharpe dial caliper on Ebay... If you want quality and excellence at a value price, look there.
     
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  15. wedgy

    wedgy Gold $$ Contributor

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    I found this video from the other thread very helpful in showing the shortcomings of the cheap ones and the finer features on the more expensive ones;

    The "best value" list;
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/R2WFU75RPN/?tag=accuratescom-20

    I went with the Igaging IP54 from Ebay for $40, it was ~$60 less than the Mitutoyo
    Thanks for the input !

    PS I tried a search in the forum but didn't get anything, possibly because I was using my phone ??
     
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  16. Matt in Virginia

    Matt in Virginia

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    fwiw,
    I've been amazed by the new Mitutoyo 500-753-20 ($240 minus 25% shipped free from Zoro.com) which is an 8" ABSOLUTE built to IP67 specifications. I actually had a chance to try and drown one set before I bought mine. IMPRESSIVE. To see it do all the same return to zero and hit measurements on the head while under a torrent of water was an eye opener. Dunno what to say on your other choices. I used and still own Etalon Dial Calipers & Micrometers and still consider Interapid Test Indicators the best/though Mit 513-402-10Es on my Accuracy First Concentricity Fixture are impressive(the newest models mentioned below). That being said I have realized two things this year courtesy of my eyes.. The future of metrology is without question Digital and Mitutoyo is the world leader when it comes to digital calipers and mics(imho & fwiw). Especially whey are nearing middle age and need readers like I do...;-).


    Old model with much complained about battery door...
    [​IMG]

    New model with o-ring screw in port. 8", IP-67, .0005". $240 - 25% and shipped for free... 6" version comes out to $120 also IP-67. Most don't need IP-67, however, if you had enough old digital items die from humidity, to say nothing about full immersion, you will likely go home with a set in another black box with orange cover like I did...

    [​IMG]


    THE thing I like about Mitutoyo, other than the deals that Zoro.com runs once a month if you order enough, is that they are CONSTANTLY improving the product. I heard AD NAUSEUM about the "little door" on Mitutoyo Digital Calipers that needed to be improved. Fast forward a few months and there is a new twist in round "hatch" style door with an o-ring that is, obviously, water tight... Water tight like you would not believe. The are so new most dealers have the OLD pictures up. As a matter of fact I have run into that several times with Mitutoyo. Constant improvement. I wound up with two new test indicators this month that I thought were chinese Mit knockoffs as they had different markings than ones made 6 months ago. Mitutoyo USA checked with Mitutoyo Japan and confirmed it was one of the newest indicators that came standard with a graphical certificates of inspection. Who can complain about that?

    Regards, Matt.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2017
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  17. hogpatrol

    hogpatrol Don't criticize the farmer with your mouth full. Gold $$ Contributor

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    Dating myself but back in 1967, I literally destroyed a Mitutoyo dial indicator that was mounted on a magnetic base. It fell off the horizontal rail on a vertical boring mill about six feet to the concrete floor. I sent it to their distributor at the time for repair and received a new one back free of charge. Don't know if those services are still in their culture but it made me a repeat Mitutoyo product customer.
     
  18. spclark

    spclark Gold $$ Contributor

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  19. hogpatrol

    hogpatrol Don't criticize the farmer with your mouth full. Gold $$ Contributor

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    The description states that is an option with additional equipment required. It would feed in to a data base program. This technology has been around for awhile.
     
  20. ireload2

    ireload2

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    Most digitals are not very reliable and many cannot be repaired. Those that can be repaired are expensive, yet not any more precise than a set of $20 Chinese dial calipers.
    If you drop the expensive calipers you will be out over $100 in most cases. If you drop the Chinese dial calipers they might survive and if not you put them in the trash. You can buy 5 or 6 Chinese dial calipers for the cost of one so called premium tool that is not really all that premium.
    I have been using calipers on a daily basis since the late 1960s. The Starrett and other similar heavy duty vernier calipers are by far the most dependable and accurate calipers. However you need 20 year old eyes to read them. In addition to engineering duties at 2 different companies I was responsible for supervising the metrology (mechanical calibration) lab personnel. We found that most calipers were not worth the cost or trouble to repair and they wound up being scrapped when damaged or malfunctioning. That included the highly thought of Starretts.

    Long Island is an old long time repair shop for measuring instruments.
    Here is some of what they think of calipers

    http://www.longislandindicator.com/p11.html
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2017
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