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Gary Wooding22/01/2018 14:04:16
732 forum posts
192 photos

Last April I purchased a digital calliper from Proops to compliment a similar one I'd purchased when they still had a presence at ME shows. I was disappointed to find that the battery in the new one lasted only a few months, compared to the old one which lasted for well over a year, and the display on the new one was very blotchy.

I contacted their Customer Service department and, with no fuss, they sent a replacement by next post.

That's what I call SERVICE.

By the way, the old one is still in daily use.

Roger Provins 223/01/2018 10:09:14
344 forum posts

Yes they're a very good company. Before retirement I worked at a school and we used them a great deal - never had a problem.


Matt Harrington23/01/2018 11:32:06
120 forum posts
6 photos


Gary, just for info, if your caliper uses LR44 type batteries, try using SR44 ones (Silver Oxide) They are a little more expensive but are much more durable in these calipers. I learnt this from my Fowler micrometer that ate alkaline ones until I was told to use the SR44. (mine is always on!)


not done it yet23/01/2018 13:26:25
4746 forum posts
16 photos

I often buy cheaper cells from epay or L*dl, so i don’t expect them to last as long. They do have a shelf life, even though quite a long period for some cells.

That is good service. The blotchy display was likey a well documented fault. Good of them to replace without quibble and in short time, too.

We have found Proops to be fairly cheap, but of reasonable quality. Their prompt action will certainly encourage us to order from them in the future.

SillyOldDuffer23/01/2018 14:18:08
5937 forum posts
1282 photos

Bit of a tendency to jump to the conclusion that cheap / Chinese calipers eat batteries. I think it's true only some of the time. As NDIY hints you also need to consider the batteries themselves, for example:

  • All things being equal SR-types have higher capacity and better shelf-life than LR types
  • Cells have a limited shelf-life, which assumes room temperature
  • The quantity of chemicals loaded into a cell by the maker isn't standardised. Cheap cells are likely to contain less energy than expensive ones
  • Cells made using pure chemicals have more capacity and a much better shelf life than cells made from impure chemicals

When you buy cells, have a good look at the best-before date. This isn't the date at which the cell suddenly fails, its the point at which internal degradation becomes noticeable. Cells should be consumed well before the best-before date, don't expect much from old batteries.

Unfortunately it gets worse. Cells are often mis-sold, for example by repackaging genuine but out-of-date cells, or by packaging inferior cells with a counterfeit brand-name. For that reason, check the packaging and be suspicious of bargains.

Also bear in mind that a cheap digital caliper is unlikely to come fitted with a top-quality cell. More likely it's a low-capacity variant with a short life. Don't be surprised if the first cell doesn't last long.

Finally, beware cold damp workshops. They are unkind to batteries.



Edited By SillyOldDuffer on 23/01/2018 14:20:21

Peter G. Shaw23/01/2018 16:41:01
1121 forum posts
44 photos

I think you will find as well that the Silver Oxide cells are a slightly higher voltage than the Alkaline cells, 1.55v as against 1.50v. Also, according to the Wikipedia entry on button cells, Silver Oxide maintains a flatter voltage throughout their life. Certainly I have found that the Silver Oxide cells do last considerably longer than Alkaline, especially in digital calipers.

Another problem is that shop keepers do not understand the difference between them and will claim that there is no difference! And even get somewhat shirty when you tell them otherwise.

Peter G. Shaw

mechman4823/01/2018 19:42:55
2691 forum posts
421 photos

I use SR44 for all my measurement tools, they definitely last longer than LR44, I initially bought cheapo equivalents from pound shop ( usual disclaimer ) but the working life differed quite noticeably from one cell to another.


Michael Gilligan23/01/2018 19:56:12
15886 forum posts
693 photos

Product, and ebay seller, both recommended:


Edited By Michael Gilligan on 23/01/2018 19:57:39

V8Eng23/01/2018 20:46:18
1447 forum posts
28 photos

Always try to pick up my SR44 cells from Machine-DRO (who advertise on here) at exhibitions, good quality/price and long shelf life.

Proops, I used to love their shop (Tottenham Court Rd I think) great place to browse and buy all sorts of parts to experiment with in my youth.

Edited By V8Eng on 23/01/2018 20:53:41

Lambton24/01/2018 09:19:04
694 forum posts
2 photos

+1 for Proops old shop in Tottenham Court Road alas gone many years ago.

Proops took over K R Whiston of New Mills Stockport and added Whiston's wide range of surplus items to their catalogue. They probably still have some of the more obscure items left.

Originally Whiston had a folksy way of describing items that made the most obscure look useful. Along these lines; " I don't know what its is for but it has two shafts at right angles on a flat base, must be of use to experimenters or inventors"

I still have a copy of a late catalogue Noii4 from 1986 which lists all sorts of new and surplus fasteners, bar stock, pulleys, tools etc. with fewer folksy descriptions. Included in the catalogue is a pre-printed labile for your order envelope! The prices would be unbelievable today.

Todays Proops sell a wide range of inexpensive tools etc. most of which appear to be made in India.

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