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Fake Mitutoyo Digital Callipers on eBay

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Mike Crossfield28/09/2014 12:09:11
258 forum posts
36 photos

Having been recently "conned" myself, I wanted to warn others about counterfeit Mitutoyo callipers currently being offered at bargain prices on eBay (and maybe elsewhere).

The items in question are advertised as Mitutoyo 6 inch digital callipers part 500-196-20. They look quite convincing, and come in apparently correct packaging together with instructions and test certificate. On closer examination, however, they can be seen to be fake. In particular in Inch mode the display only shows 3 digits, not 4, after the decimal point, the serial number on the calliper does not match that on the test certificate, the button functions are not as described in the instructions, and the batteries supplied are not Mitutoyo brand SR44 silver oxide parts. There are other giveaways which you can find on Google if you search for "fake Mitutoyo callipers".

Obviously you can't easily check these points if you are buying mail order, so my advice would be to avoid 500-196-20 callipers being advertised by Chinese suppliers, not least because of the hassle involved in returning counterfeit items and getting a refund.

Incidentally, Mitutoyo has recently introduced an improved version of the 500-196-20 which has better contamination resistance. This has apparently not yet been counterfeited. The part number for the improved product is 500-196-30.


Hopper28/09/2014 12:57:50
5505 forum posts
137 photos

Watch out for knock-off Mitutoyo dial test indicators too. Giveaway is point type bearing on the finger pivot instead of the Mitutoyo ball bearings. And different bezel.

If they are too cheap to be true -- they are!

I lucked out and bought a cheapo generic Chinese indicator from Asia for about $25 and when it arrived it was all dressed up in Mitutoyo packaging with Mitutoyo written on the dial etc. But quality of the dovetails gave the game away immediately so I looked it up on the net and there is a Mitutoyo sheet on differences to look out for.

So far the $20 knock off works just fine -- but I would not have wanted to pay genuine Mitutoyo price for it!

ronan walsh28/09/2014 14:32:28
546 forum posts
32 photos

Has anyone contacted mitutoyo and put them on to these fake products ? I doubt they would take it lying down.

clivel28/09/2014 19:06:20
321 forum posts
13 photos
Posted by Mike Crossfield on 28/09/2014 12:09:11:

Having been recently "conned" myself, I wanted to warn others about counterfeit Mitutoyo callipers currently being offered at bargain prices on eBay (and maybe elsewhere).


You should report the listing to eBay, they are responsible for taking down listings offering pirated products,


Posted by ronan walsh on 28/09/2014 14:32:28:

Has anyone contacted mitutoyo and put them on to these fake products ? I doubt they would take it lying down.

No doubt Mitutoyo are well aware that their products are faked. Unfortunately the scale of the piracy is so large that policing becomes impractical especially as it seems as if the Chinese government has little enthusiasm to put a stop to it at source.

The only recourse that most manufacturers have is to report pirated products at the point of sale. For example a local woman's accessories shop that sold fake high-end, name-brand handbags, purses etc was shut down after the owners' of the affected trademarks reported the shop owners to the authorities.

Unfortunately the proliferation of pirated products cuts across all markets, I recently had an expensive torch completely ruined when the "Duracell" batteries I had fitted leaked after a few weeks. A web search soon revealed that counterfeit Duracell batteries are widely distributed. Regrettably as I had long since thrown out the packaging and receipt I couldn't recall where I had bought them.





Edited By clivel on 28/09/2014 19:08:01

Jens Eirik Skogstad28/09/2014 19:25:56
400 forum posts
22 photos

How to check the Mitutoyo instruments is fake: **LINK**

Here is the possible to see difference between original and fake Mitutoyo digital calliper:


Michael Gilligan28/09/2014 19:32:43
18350 forum posts
872 photos
Posted by clivel on 28/09/2014 19:06:20:
I recently had an expensive torch completely ruined when the "Duracell" batteries I had fitted leaked after a few weeks. A web search soon revealed that counterfeit Duracell batteries are widely distributed.



I'm sad to say that I have had more leaky Duracells than any othe Alkaline cell I have used.

... Dating back more than 20 years, and with the apologetic replies from Duracell [so, presumably, not fakes].




Edited By Michael Gilligan on 28/09/2014 19:33:06

I.M. OUTAHERE29/09/2014 08:55:36
1468 forum posts
3 photos

I had a quick look at the one i bought a few months back and luckily i seem to have the genuine item but what was throwing me off was the battery cover as it is the same as the fake unit shown in the link . After a good long search through my local suppliers websites that are Mitutoyo dealers it seems that the 500-196-20 has the same type as shown on the fake item and the 500-196-30 has the one shown as genuine so maybe a modification for the newer model.

Now i'm worried about the Starrett unit i have !


Edited By XD 351 on 29/09/2014 08:56:58

Howard Lewis30/09/2014 17:42:27
5049 forum posts
13 photos

Fake, or not, my experience of supposedly "genuine" Duracells is that they seep and crystallise at the base. Competitive make batteries don't; so Duracell lost my business. Sad


jim'30/09/2014 19:32:47
72 forum posts
6 photos

20140607_120737[1].jpgi've got a Mitutogo DTI

Edited By jim' on 30/09/2014 19:33:21

Robert Van Staalduinen27/03/2015 10:34:27
3 forum posts

Well, I just purchased 3 of these fake calipers for the price of one genuine when on special (NZ$60ea) using AliExpress. I was sent a message from the supplier before they were shipped and he said that they were made in china but very good product...

So, they turned up today and aside from a few things out of place, it is a very good caliper, not a geniuine mitutoyo, but a good fake. Internet searching has shown 2 distinct types of fake and I seem to have this type **LINK**

It is easily distinguishable by having a small 4th decimal when in Imperial mode. The plastic casing doesn't fit the best and the gib adjuster screws are not central to the plastic casing holes. All 3 had a broken tab on battery cover, apparently another tell tale sign. The certificates had matching serial numbers (all 3 were different) but the rest of the inspection certificate is a straight copy, from the issue number to the errors in readout at set lengths.

I tested these calipers against 2 different micrometers and another caliper all Insize brand. My test piece was a Harold Hall inspired cylindrical square I made, Measuring 24.964 digital mic, 24.97 std mic and 24.97 on the caliper.

The 3 fake Mitutoyo calipers measured the piece at either 24.96 or 24.97 depending which one it was, they repeated their measurement everytime without any numbers dancing, only really hard pressure would cause it to change and they returned to 0.00 every single time. I then performed speed slide test for a long time and yet again it returned to zero every single time, so they might actually be 'absolute' workings. Oh yeah and the slide action is very smooth, but not quite as good as genuine.

I will be checking them against my 25-150mm micrometer standards, and 5mm & 25mm I.D. standards I have at work. That will give a better overall indication.


While disappointed they are not genuine items, as I kinda knew they wouldn't be. I wanted a set for home, a set for work and the 3rd set was to get a 20% price break and maybe sell to a coworker (with full disclosure). I am happy with the product, happy with the price. Far better than any other made in china caliper I have ever used.

My coworker apprentice has a hand me down genuine mitutoyo digimatic, he was upset to find they were out by a mile (0.2mm per 50mm Jaws still good) when we were comparing things. So even genuine gear needs checking once in a while.

Andrew Moyes 127/03/2015 12:20:27
142 forum posts
23 photos

When I lived in Hong Kong, I repaired my washing machine with a new belt which I thought was a reputable make. When it shredded itself with just 6 months of use, I looked more closely and found it was a Mitsuboshi. Crafty.

Andrew M

Vic27/03/2015 12:41:25
2854 forum posts
7 photos

I won't be buying any more £9.99 specials. The Mitutoyo's will stay indoors as usual but I'll be getting something like the iGaging calipers for the workshop.

Tony Pratt 127/03/2015 13:57:40
1583 forum posts
8 photos

The procedure is when you receive a fake item bought through Ebay open a Paypal dispute and put down 'not as described'

You should get your money back & also keep the goods.


Mike Crossfield27/03/2015 15:13:04
258 forum posts
36 photos

This procedure didn't work for me.

When I raised a dispute, eBay told me I had to return the fake caliper to the vendor in China, which I did at a cost of £12. When the vendor wouldn't provide the promised refund, despite acknowledging that they had received the returned item, eBay paid up. However, they wouldn't cover the return postage cost. Ebay say that they can only claw back the original Paypal payment. They suggested that I should leave negative feedback!!

I was never offered the option of keeping the fake item.


Tony Pratt 127/03/2015 17:58:01
1583 forum posts
8 photos

Hold on that's not right! The seller should have paid the return postage as per distance selling regulations.


Mike Crossfield27/03/2015 18:10:03
258 forum posts
36 photos

That's as maybe, but who is going to enforce these regulations on a vendor in China? Not Ebay. They say they can only reclaim the amount initially paid, and say that any refund of return postage is up to the buyer to negotiate with the vendor. If the vendor won't communicate, as in my case, this is a bit difficult. And as for Ebay taking action against the seller for supplying fake products, Ebay says that if they get enough complaints they will look into it….


Tony Pratt 127/03/2015 19:41:56
1583 forum posts
8 photos

I'm pretty sure you can do a chargeback against Paypal for the purchase cost & postage? I know If I was in your position I would make damm sure I would find out the legalities of the situation.

It doesn't matter where the vendor is located, Ebay has their bank details etc.


JA27/03/2015 20:14:55
1184 forum posts
73 photos

After reading all this I have a moral dilemma.

A friend decided he wanted good digital calipers, looked at what was available, sort advise and bought a set of Mitutoyo calipers off eBay. He is very proud of his purchase (most people who buy stuff off eBay are). Should I explain to him they may be a fake?


Edited By JA on 27/03/2015 20:15:41

Oompa Lumpa27/03/2015 21:58:58
888 forum posts
36 photos

I really wouldn't lose any sleep over a couple of pairs of fake Mitutoyo calipers and if you are buying them "on the cheap" from a Chinese ebayer well, what do you expect?

As for claiming the postage, life is just too short to start a High Court action over a couple quid postage from someone in China. If you want to worry about fake goods - worry about the Condoms!


DMB27/03/2015 22:47:29
1124 forum posts
1 photos
When you talk about chargeback against Paypal, I think you will fail.
I see a lot of customer complaints in ComputerActive magazine about purchases that went wrong and it seems that if you pay your dosh to Paypal that is where your "contract" is and they will quite correctly say they have done nothing wrong. They have carried out action of passing your dosh on to vendor so nothing to do with them. What I would like to know is how Paypal get away with that when your CR or DR card issuer cannot?
I try to avoid using Paypal whenever possible and use my cards so I stay in control of my money.
One site did not appear to give me a choice other than Paypal so I cancelled order and went elsewhere.

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