By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more
Forum sponsored by:
Forum sponsored by Allendale July 23rd

Digital Calipers

"One instinctively knows when something is right."

All Topics | Latest Posts

Search for:  in Thread Title in  
Neil Wyatt02/08/2018 20:16:35
avatar
Moderator
16293 forum posts
681 photos
74 articles

Regular MEW readers will know that a year or so ago I did a comparative review of several sets of digital calliper, my old ones and some new ones from Allendale/Machine DRO.

I recently discovered which, of the several pairs I have that I use most.

The battery went flat in the Mitutoyo Absolute Digimatic caliper. After a week of picking up the Mitutoyo then irritatedly searching out Moore and Wright Digitronic 'Value Line' pair, I stomped off to find an AG13 to resurrect the Mitutoyos.

Nothing to do with accuracy (both beyond my ability to find fault) or even that one is a 'mid range' and the other top notch. It's not even practical things.

It's not that the Mitutoyo doesn't auto off and the M&W does (which is irritating) because the Mitutoyo occasionally loses its 'absolute' position and the M&W doesn't (that I can recall), which is equally irritating. The M&W has a slightly larger, clearer display.

No it's simply that the Mitutoyos feel so darn nice to use. It's very subtle, like the difference between a coin that's been in circulation for a while versus a brand new one. You can't really see the difference, but it feels more pleasant in the hand.

I should also give an honorable mention to my cheap old Proops pair, probably now 18 or 19 years old. They are still my everyday 'hack', usually used for 3D prints while the other two live in the workshop - a situation that is presently reversed for no reason I can think of!

All other pairs only get used when I can't find one of the 'top 3', other than a little left hand pair from Arc which are really handy for awkward things held in the lathe.

Neil

Michael Gilligan02/08/2018 20:32:45
avatar
13592 forum posts
587 photos
Posted by Neil Wyatt on 02/08/2018 20:16:35:

... I stomped off to find an AG13 to resurrect the Mitutoyos.

.

Please show due respect, and fit SR44 ...

MichaelG.

Bill Phinn03/08/2018 00:57:23
189 forum posts
38 photos

I've got one of the Mitutoyos with carbide-tipped jaws as well as a "Max-Measure" Chinese made cheapo. When measurements really matter I sometimes decide I need to measure with both calipers consecutively. The readings are always either identical or one or two hundredths of a mm apart, with the cheaper one always the one that reads shorter (when it does).

Which is the more accurate I have no idea. The nice thing about the Mitutoyo is that the sharp edges of the bar have been very slightly "taken off" to give a wonderfully smooth feel in the hand. The Max-Measure's sharp edges have not had the same aesthetic treatment but it's still been a perfectly acceptable workhorse for the last four years. The only neg. so far is that it seems to gobble batteries at about five times the rate of the Mitutoyo. The Mitutoyo's main neg. was the price.

Michael Gilligan03/08/2018 07:50:16
avatar
13592 forum posts
587 photos

For those who might only vaguely recall the advert in Neil's subtitle: **LINK**

http://www.hatads.org.uk/catalogue/record/4f75737d-980d-4e67-9e29-7b417de5fd7a

MichaelG.

JasonB03/08/2018 07:57:55
avatar
Moderator
15787 forum posts
1663 photos
1 articles

I find the same the Mitutoyo feels so much smoother as the head is slid along the bar and the thumb wheel light yet positive. All the others seem agricultural by comparison.

Andrew Johnston03/08/2018 08:42:45
avatar
4724 forum posts
532 photos

Wot? No micrometers?

Andrew

Ron Laden03/08/2018 08:56:05
avatar
1215 forum posts
200 photos

I have a Mitutoyo Digimatic which I just worked out is 35 years old, it is still as smooth as silk and just feels right. I also have a cheapie version and though it is 9 years old and still working it just doesnt feel the same. Thinking about it, I guess that nine times out of ten I pick up the Digimatic rather then the cheapie.

roy entwistle03/08/2018 09:05:13
1005 forum posts

Andrew How about proper calipers and a two foot rule ?

Roy smiley

Douglas Johnston03/08/2018 09:14:05
avatar
590 forum posts
32 photos

The first cheapie I bought about twenty odd years ago is still going strong and has always had a very good feel to it. I recently checked out a couple of similar ones and they felt awful with a very rough movement. At the price they churn them out at I can't help feel that standards may have slipped.

Doug

Barrie Lever03/08/2018 10:06:37
323 forum posts
1 photos

Mitutoyo every time. In certain market areas there are better producers of very fine measuring equipment but across the whole gambit of measuring equipment Mitutoyo can not be beaten IMO. My digimatic 6" caliper is relatively new at 16 years old, still works like new, paid £55.00 for it and it is actually made in England not Japan or China. So it is costing me about £3.50 per year, why would you not buy this type of product, I will say that it is about total cost of ownership.

Likewise a 0-1" 0-25mm Digimatic micrometer brings a resounding confidence to that measurement range, got two of those and they are brilliant.

I have very good Moore and Wright micrometers from the 70's and I think these are equal to Mitutoyo but not across the whole product range including digital instruments.

Regards Barrie

JasonB03/08/2018 10:13:37
avatar
Moderator
15787 forum posts
1663 photos
1 articles

Don't use a micrometer very much, maybe on something like a crankshaft that has to go into a bearing. I only have 0-1" as I have not found a real need for any larger ones as the caliper seems to work for me. All those engines with bores larger than 1" seem to make good compression and run as do the smaller bores also measured in the same way so I'll stick to the caliper.

Think mine must also be about 35yrs old as my brother bought it, same with the Micrometer that he bought when he started out as a mechanic for measuring tapper shins etc. Now it's me he phones up when he needs something making from metal.

Mick B103/08/2018 10:29:37
1128 forum posts
62 photos

Gordon Bennett. What is all this talk about silky smoothness of movement? This some kinda jewellery fondle-fest or summink worse? laughcheeky

The things are a means to an end.

I use a M&W valueline, mercifully OK'd by the MEW review of a year or two back, but it was already maybe 3 years old by then. By now it's well-scarred, broken off its thumbwheel, and fallen on the floor a good deal more than once - but it rarely needs a rezero, doesn't eat batteries and still delivers readings within half a thou that I can't fault with the Mitutoyo Vernier mic that I bought in 1976 (back when they were called "Jap-crap", remember?). Got another M&W kept for new in case it does fail.

Edited By Mick B1 on 03/08/2018 10:31:02

Andrew Johnston03/08/2018 11:46:14
avatar
4724 forum posts
532 photos
Posted by JasonB on 03/08/2018 10:13:37:

I only have 0-1" as I have not found a real need for any larger ones as the caliper seems to work for me. All those engines with bores larger than 1" seem to make good compression and run as do the smaller bores also measured in the same way so I'll stick to the caliper.

Ah well, that probably means that my overly precise traction engines will never work. sad

Andrew

Andrew Johnston03/08/2018 11:58:56
avatar
4724 forum posts
532 photos
Posted by roy entwistle on 03/08/2018 09:05:13:

Andrew How about proper calipers and a two foot rule

Yes and yes; coincidentally here they are in use this morning machining a piece of tooling plate to 500mm square as my micrometers only go up to 18"/450mm. Not looking for great precision, better than 0.1mm is fine:

calipers_me.jpg

Not shown is the tape measure I use for parts bigger than 600mm. wink 2

I've got a set of small plain Mitutoyo calipers somewhere. No idea where as I haven't seen them for months. Nice to use, but I prefer micrometers in the workshop. If nothing else I find micrometers better for depth and large bore measurements. The small calipers are mostly used when I am modelling OTS parts for incorporation into 3D CAD assemblies.

Andrew

Barrie Lever03/08/2018 12:04:55
323 forum posts
1 photos

Gordon Bennett. " I bought in 1976 (back when they were called "Jap-crap", remember?)."

Well the unwise had not seen the facts about Jap crap by the mid 1970's !! anyone with half a brain would have seen what was going to happen from the early 1960's. Just think about Honda race bike engines, Shinkanshen (bullet train), Sony colour TV's etc. Not saying anyone in this thread has a half brain by the way.

Silky smooth also tends to go with higher levels of precision, however measuring down to the half thou (10 micron area) is the limit of the caliper type measuring equipment, I don't think I have seen a digi caliper that measures to better than 0.01mm the reason is mechanical more than anything.

1/2 thou is tight in some model engineering cases but loose as hell in others, glow plug and diesel aero engines need much better sizing on pistons than 1/2 thou, and these tight requirements are being meet on model engineering equipment, typically good lathes such as Myford and Emco with the top slides angled at about 1 degree, in feed cuts made on top slide.

Regards Barrie

SillyOldDuffer03/08/2018 12:19:29
4540 forum posts
972 photos

Is it only me who finds it amusing that the proud owners of expensive instruments rarely bother keeping them calibrated?

Can it be possible that any hard-headed engineer thinks a designer label is more important than accuracy and precision? Surely not!

smiley

Dave

Vic03/08/2018 12:36:15
2175 forum posts
10 photos

I really like the Mitutoyo digital calipers I bought about 25 years ago. They’re still working but every now and then there feels like there’s a bit of swarf trapped somewhere in it. Are they difficult to take apart and clean? Failing that does anyone know how much Mitutoyo are likely to charge to service them?

Clive India03/08/2018 12:44:13
avatar
180 forum posts
Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 03/08/2018 12:19:29:

Is it only me who finds it amusing that the proud owners of expensive instruments rarely bother keeping them calibrated?

Can it be possible that any hard-headed engineer thinks a designer label is more important than accuracy and precision? Surely not! smiley Dave

Silky feel etc. - makes me dream of things gone by. Perhaps the non-calibration comes from the perception of digital must be accurate and correct - the fact that something digital reads to 6 figures gives the perception of great accuracy - despite the measurement being built on sand. All digitals tell lies.

Back to the prologue and a related matter.
I bought a caliper with fractions as well as mm and in., thinking it would be helpful - not sure why now.

For me it is just about the most useless thing in the world. Measuring something nearly always comes out at 128ths. The next thing is to wonder just what that is. Increase until you get to 64ths and then 32nds and so on.
Clever, but mainly useless.
Anyone else found one of these useful? Am I missing something?

Interesting thread though.

 

Edited By Clive India on 03/08/2018 12:46:55

Neil Wyatt03/08/2018 12:57:19
avatar
Moderator
16293 forum posts
681 photos
74 articles

I have a 25mm carbide bar that came with my 1-2"/25-50mm mike. Testing test equipment with the test bar test is the most testing test worth applying to my workshop devices.

Neil

Barrie Lever03/08/2018 13:03:54
323 forum posts
1 photos

I don't really think that Mitutoyo or Moore and Wright could be described as designer labels !! More a work horse label. I guess that a few of the Swiss manufacturers might fall into the designer label. Regarding calibration, I usually find that I can befriend the inspector in a local engineering company to run the more important measuring devices over traceable standards and give the device an appropriate stamp, intermediate checks to a known standard suffice in most cases. I have to say that treated with respect most quality measuring equipment drifts very little.

Regards Barrie

All Topics | Latest Posts

Please login to post a reply.

Magazine Locator

Want the latest issue of Model Engineer or Model Engineers' Workshop? Use our magazine locator links to find your nearest stockist!

Find Model Engineer & Model Engineers' Workshop

Support Our Partners
TRANSWAVE Converters
Meridienne Sept 2019
Ausee.com.au
Eccentric Engineering
Eccentric July 5 2018
ChesterUK
Warco
Advertise With Us
emcomachinetools
Allendale Electronics
Subscription Offer

Latest "Wanted" Ads
Get In Touch!

Do you want to contact the Model Engineer and Model Engineers' Workshop team?

You can contact us by phone, mail or email about the magazines including becoming a contributor, submitting reader's letters or making queries about articles. You can also get in touch about this website, advertising or other general issues.

Click THIS LINK for full contact details.

For subscription issues please see THIS LINK.

Digital Back Issues

Social Media online

'Like' us on Facebook
Follow us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter
 Twitter Logo

Pin us on Pinterest