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which digital caliper

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Forum topic by dbw posted 06-22-2022 08:23 PM 624 views 0 times favorited 37 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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dbw

729 posts in 3128 days


06-22-2022 08:23 PM

Topic tags/keywords: digital calipers

I need to replace no-name 6” digital caliper. I purchased it 6+ years ago for $15. It has worked very well up until recently. Now it shuts off every time I move the jaws apart.

I have looked at new ones. They range in price from $16 to $200+. It seems as though there isn’t one among them that someone doesn’t poo-poo for one reason or another.

I’d like to hear which calipers you folks are using. Perhaps this will point me in the right direction.

-- Woodworking is like a vicious cycle. The more tools you buy the more you find to buy.


37 replies so far

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Lazyman

9759 posts in 2879 days


#1 posted 06-22-2022 08:34 PM

The cheap ones are all about the same from what I have seen. My Harbor freight digital one is about 7 years old and going strong but I actually prefer an analog fractional caliber like this one. It never has to be reset and since I usually use fractions for wood working is just easier, IMO.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

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Notw

1264 posts in 3245 days


#2 posted 06-22-2022 08:47 PM

I have the igaging ones and haven’t had any issues out of them

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SMP

5383 posts in 1397 days


#3 posted 06-22-2022 09:30 PM

I also prefer the analog fractional caliper for woodworking. I have others for other purposes but this one is my go to for wood. HF and igaging and all other chinesium ones seem to be made in the same factory so whatever one you can find in stock:
https://www.harborfreight.com/6-in-fractional-dial-caliper-63655.html

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dbw

729 posts in 3128 days


#4 posted 06-22-2022 09:41 PM



I also prefer the analog fractional caliper for woodworking. I have others for other purposes but this one is my go to for wood. HF and igaging and all other chinesium ones seem to be made in the same factory so whatever one you can find in stock:
https://www.harborfreight.com/6-in-fractional-dial-caliper-63655.html

- SMP


I looked at HF. I may go buy the one for $23. I’m also considering the igaging dial caliper. Quite frankly I’m tired of replacing batteries and finding creative ways of keeping the battery cover in place.

-- Woodworking is like a vicious cycle. The more tools you buy the more you find to buy.

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MrUnix

9044 posts in 3691 days


#5 posted 06-22-2022 09:54 PM

I have a couple of the really cheap HF all plastic ones… have had them for years and never had a single issue with them other than having to change batteries now and then. I paid $1.99 a piece for them back in the day with a coupon… now they are $9.99 :(

Cheers,
Brad

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

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Rich

8266 posts in 2081 days


#6 posted 06-22-2022 10:21 PM

I have two of these. It has mm, in and fractions. What I particularly like is that it maintains zero wherever the head is when you turn it on. Many brands, I believe iGauging is one, zero out when you turn them on, so they need to be closed when you do. The PE maintains zero until you choose to reset it.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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pottz

26546 posts in 2476 days


#7 posted 06-22-2022 10:29 PM



The cheap ones are all about the same from what I have seen. My Harbor freight digital one is about 7 years old and going strong but I actually prefer an analog fractional caliber like this one. It never has to be reset and since I usually use fractions for wood working is just easier, IMO.

- Lazyman


same here i have both but rarely use the digital one.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

10186 posts in 2066 days


#8 posted 06-22-2022 11:31 PM



I have the igaging ones and haven t had any issues out of them

- Notw

If I was to pick a brand for a new one, and didn’t want to put big money in it, I’d go there too. Either that or something from Harry J Epstein like this General Analog.

The thing about cheap measuring tools, is how do you know when they are accurate or crap? You are using them to decide. It is actually kind of true all through measuring tools, but you see it rear it’s ugly head on the cheap stuff a lot more often. What do I know I have a 12”, and a 6” Mitutoyo. :-)

-- Think safe, be safe

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controlfreak

3868 posts in 1093 days


#9 posted 06-23-2022 12:07 AM

The cheap HF one needs a wood shaving placed in the battery compartment to apply pressure on the battery. I bought a second that was the dial version because I was tired of dead batteries. Some jackass swapped the covers so now I have two digital ones. I gave up and bought a sleeve of twenty batteries.

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pottz

26546 posts in 2476 days


#10 posted 06-23-2022 12:23 AM



The cheap HF one needs a wood shaving placed in the battery compartment to apply pressure on the battery. I bought a second that was the dial version because I was tired of dead batteries. Some jackass swapped the covers so now I have two digital ones. I gave up and bought a sleeve of twenty batteries.

- controlfreak


yeah seems everytime i go to use the digital one it’s dead.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

9759 posts in 2879 days


#11 posted 06-23-2022 04:29 AM

Some of the older cheap digital one didn’t have an auto shut off and eat batteries.

Also, I have a digital one that show fractions and hate it. It makes me calculate in my head what the nearest “normal” fractions to whatever it measured to the nearest 128th of an inch. That can vary depend upon whether you need 32! 16ths, or 8ths of an inch. With the analog one you can glance at it and know about where you are. Something else to watch out for is that a few of them are plastic but at a glance may look like metal in the package.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View MPython's profile

MPython

434 posts in 1304 days


#12 posted 06-23-2022 04:43 AM

I use an inexpensive analog fractional caliper for 95% of my woodworking tasks. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Several years ago, I was doing some detail work and needed a digital decimal/metric caliper. In a weak moment, I bought a Starrett. They make great stuff and this caliper is no excepion, it’s perfect. One caveat that I think applies to all electronic calipers: they eat batteries. I’ve learned to remove the battery from my Starrett when it’s stored in my drawer and put it in when I need to use it. If I leave it in, it’s guaranteed to be dead the next time I need it.

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gdaveg

557 posts in 694 days


#13 posted 06-23-2022 04:56 AM

I have a Husky digital, it measures in inches, mm and fractions of an inch. I too wondered how accurate it was, it says “xxx.xx so it must be xxx.xx”. The engineer in me needs to be sure.

If the battery is getting low it is a pain, turning off, needing to be re-zeroed upon each use. I have spare batteries now.

I have recently been drilling a variety of holes of various diameters. Some of my drill sets are missing various bits. So I have my fall back, a titanium coated Numbered bit set that was my dad’s. Got 3 rows of all sizes from tiny to about 1/4”. When putting them back in their case I used the calipers to decide if it was 0.104” or 0.110”. so I used the Husky digital and both those numbers came up so that is the hole I put that bit back in.

Got more confidence now.

-- Dave, Vancouver, WA & Tucson, AZ

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

10186 posts in 2066 days


#14 posted 06-23-2022 05:40 AM


With the analog one you can glance at it and know about where you are.

- Lazyman

Absolutely. I wouldn’t have one of the “digital” wonders. Analog all the way. :-)

-- Think safe, be safe

View Madmark2's profile

Madmark2

3485 posts in 2080 days


#15 posted 06-23-2022 05:43 AM

Splurge, get an 8” instead of a 6”.

With yours, try bending the prongs under the coin cell a hair. Clean ‘em with an eraser to take off any futz on the wires. Go EASY as the prongs are FRAGILE—Don’t say you wern’t warned. Clean first, then bend slightly up.

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

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