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Forum topic by tvrgeek posted 02-27-2021 11:54 AM 827 views 0 times favorited 36 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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tvrgeek

1749 posts in 2701 days


02-27-2021 11:54 AM

Been fighting with my cheap HF indicator. Reads OK, but dial is “sticky” so setting to zero is almost impossible.
Sure, a Mitutoyo or Starret would be fine, no doubt, but hoping I can just move above $12 and not to $150

Read a ton of reviews. Almost jumped on several Taytools. Tridon, Fouler, but every time, I find a comment about the same sticking dial issue. Not sure the $25 to $35 are any different except the price.

Any advice? Don’t need carbide tip or jewels. Will never use it enough to need replacement parts.


36 replies so far

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Fred Hargis

6920 posts in 3545 days


#1 posted 02-27-2021 12:19 PM

I think I would learn to live with it. Just use wherever the needle is as “Zero”, and measure from that point.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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tvrgeek

1749 posts in 2701 days


#2 posted 02-27-2021 01:17 PM

Yea, but after about 10 years, my patience has run out. I’ll probably leave it bolted to fence jig.
I decided to jump and go cheap. I fit is balky, I’ll return it and get a Mitutoyo.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08CKP1D2Y/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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75c

208 posts in 79 days


#3 posted 02-27-2021 02:10 PM

I found an old machinist and bought his Starrett mics inside outside dial indicator bases. You name it for not much more that offshore junk. Look for a retired machinist they have to good stuff. They know what they paid and they look after it. Just a thought great stuff at a cheap price!

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Knockonit

793 posts in 1254 days


#4 posted 02-27-2021 02:23 PM



I found an old machinist and bought his Starrett mics inside outside dial indicator bases. You name it for not much more that offshore junk. Look for a retired machinist they have to good stuff. They know what they paid and they look after it. Just a thought great stuff at a cheap price!

- 75c

ditto, filled a chest with machinist tools, reasonably cheap also.
good luck
rj in az

-- Living the dream

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jbmaine

159 posts in 522 days


#5 posted 02-27-2021 02:57 PM

Have you tried a little lite oil on the spindle, working it in, to see if it smooths out? I’m a retired tool and die maker, using lite oil to work out the “gummyness” is a common practice.

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tvrgeek

1749 posts in 2701 days


#6 posted 02-27-2021 02:59 PM

Nope, it is the needle dragging on the face.

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darthford

667 posts in 2976 days


#7 posted 02-27-2021 03:12 PM

Mitutoyo brother, cry once.

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StarBright

38 posts in 338 days


#8 posted 02-27-2021 03:13 PM

Been fighting with my cheap HF indicator. Reads OK, but dial is “sticky” so setting to zero is almost impossible.
Sure, a Mitutoyo or Starret would be fine, no doubt, but hoping I can just move above $12 and not to $150

Read a ton of reviews. Almost jumped on several Taytools. Tridon, Fouler, but every time, I find a comment about the same sticking dial issue. Not sure the $25 to $35 are any different except the price.

Any advice? Don’t need carbide tip or jewels. Will never use it enough to need replacement parts.

Honest advice: That Harbor Freight dial indicator is a frustrating piece of crap. Taytools are almost as bad. What are you really saving with cheap metrology equipment when you’re buying all of that frustration. Unless money is a problem, buy the Starrett or Mitutoyo and you have it for life. It isn’t cheap but you’re only going to have to buy this tool once unless you drop it. If you buy new, make sure you buy the vinyl/steel padded case for it. If you don’t have the money to buy a new one, check on Craigslist or other Internet sites for used dial indicators. Deals pop of frequently and it’s still going to be better than that Chinese piece of garbage.

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tvrgeek

1749 posts in 2701 days


#9 posted 02-27-2021 04:09 PM

I will watch Craig’s. Usually I find Starrett for 110% or retail!

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Aj2

3757 posts in 2850 days


#10 posted 02-27-2021 06:33 PM

I also find the used dial indicator a good way to go. eBay is a good place to look just be sure to check their return policy.
My favorite dial indicators are made by Federal.
My least favorite is anything from China they are just too twitchy. Why anyone would bother but from harbor freight The communist birthplace of the virus weirdo

-- Aj

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tvrgeek

1749 posts in 2701 days


#11 posted 02-27-2021 06:59 PM

HF sells cheap tools. No argument with that. I will say my plastic handle socket wrench is my favorite even over my Snap-On. Went there today and got a couple more clamps, zip-ties, and a set of the metric ratchet box wrenches. I love my SAE ones. Just don’t buy their sandpaper as the glue is terrible.

China can make either junk or the best. You are using a Chinese computer, Chinese phone, Chinese TV…
It is a difference between a $12 instrument and a better one. Setting up my new Harvey table saw. Excellent machine for the price. I could have paid twice as much for a PM, made in the same factory, and it has a little better finish. It is a matter of what you pay for.

We don’t need political snide comments about the pandemic.

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Aj2

3757 posts in 2850 days


#12 posted 02-27-2021 08:52 PM

If you keep supporting horrible freight they will never go away.

-- Aj

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tvrgeek

1749 posts in 2701 days


#13 posted 02-27-2021 09:12 PM

Why would I want them to? I have a lot of perfectly good stuff from them. Not everything I buy has to be esoteric quality. If you are opposed to off-shore manufacturing, maybe you should start up your own domestic iron foundry and steel mill. Maybe a wafer plant. I understand they only cost a couple of billion. You could probably pick up Sparrows Point pretty cheap. It’s not too old.

I have not had the best of luck with some things off E-bay. Many are being sold because they have a problem. Seller will claim shipping or you damaging it.

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MrUnix

8506 posts in 3251 days


#14 posted 02-27-2021 09:17 PM

If you keep supporting horrible freight they will never go away.
- Aj2

True that!! So get out there and support them – a great American company that brings a lot of value if you shop them right!

As for the Dial Indicator… I’ve had a cheap set I bought from Amazon for around $40 that works great. If you price it out, the indicator, mag base and tip set is less than what HF offers. The extra tip set is super useful. I believe my set came from Hartville tool (through Amazon w/free delivery).

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

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SMP

3787 posts in 957 days


#15 posted 02-27-2021 09:59 PM

I have that HF dial indicator i bought probably over 10 years ago. BUT, i keep all of my machinist tools in special drawers lined with that rubber matting in my big tool chest. The needle is still plenty far from the face. Have never had it act sticky.

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