View Full Version : Electronic Mic Selection

02-19-2005, 07:37 AM
Greetings Guys and Audrey too!

I'm considering purchasing an electronic 0 - 1 inch outside mic and want on that will measure in both inch as well as metric. This will be for home shop use only and not subjected to coolant, nor do I need output features.

I'm wondering if anyone has any suggestions or experience with these they might be willing to share with me?


John B

02-19-2005, 08:07 AM
Most will do what you want, try Enco(what I have),Travers,even H/F and most will have .0005 res.

[This message has been edited by IOWOLF (edited 02-19-2005).]

02-19-2005, 08:42 AM
I have a Mitutoyo, one generation back from the current offerings. Resolution on many/most is now 0.0005". Mitutoyo battery life has been decent. I wouldn't consider a Starrett without asking around due to the poor battery life on their digital calipers.

One thing on batteries, I've found it necessary to twist the lock on the mic to prevent it from turning on when moving and reaching for other tools. This eats batts. Den

02-19-2005, 09:40 AM
I just looked in the Enco catalog and didn't see an electronic mic under their name brand. Possibly I'm misinformed but it was my impression that these types of mics could be changed from inch to metric measurement simply by pressing a button.

Dan's comment on the Mitutoyo is appreciated and would love to have one, but I need to pinch pennies to keep SWMBO from going ballistic.

John B

02-19-2005, 09:59 AM
John, you might want to keep an eye on these:




Most on them sell for $60 to $100 on eBay, for Starrett, Mitutoyo, or Brown & Sharpe.

Barry Milton

02-19-2005, 01:52 PM
John, They all (AFAIK) switch from inch to metric with a button press, as well as zeroing out, which is also handy. The Mitutoyo (and I think Starrett) also have hi-lo limits which can be programmed for pass/fail inspection and a HOLD button which helps when you're standing on your head to get the reading http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//wink.gif Den

Tom CPM10V
02-19-2005, 10:05 PM
I have the latest Brown & Sharp [made in Switzerland, I believe], and it is a honey -- a far better mike than I will ever be as a mike user. Has auto shut-off after a few minutes, and the current battery has been in there for 15 months plus..

02-19-2005, 10:31 PM
I have used both and I like the Mitutoyo better than the starrett because the starretts we use always lose their zero if they are shut off or if they time out from no use, the mits doesn't do that. The newer starretts may not do that either but it gets real annoying having to reset them all day long.

[This message has been edited by japcas (edited 02-19-2005).]

02-19-2005, 10:44 PM
The Starrett calipers do the same thing and it is more than annoying. If you pick them up after they've shut down and aren't paying adequate attention, you'll have a whopping error due to them having re-zeroed at power up (from motion).

Tom, That's awesome battery life on the B&S. I was looking at an image of them at Enco. How do you switch inch/mm, abs/rel, zero, etc. with that one (visible) button ?

02-20-2005, 06:13 AM
Thanks for the feedback guys. Acutally I've been leaning towards the Mitutoyo or the B&S, just haven't made my final decision.

John B

02-20-2005, 06:31 AM
I've no feedback on any of the makes and only question if you really need an electronic type. They're easier (this changes with practice) to read granted but they're too bulky for me to use for the most part. They're great for documentation download but that's all I see. Can somebody here enlighten me to the advantage? Not trying to be a smart aleck, just don't see what the strong point is. More fragile, not easily repaired, more expensive, battery life, bulk, and resolution all cloud my judgement.

[This message has been edited by roninB4 (edited 02-20-2005).]

02-20-2005, 09:53 AM
FWIW, I've got a new Starrett (made in China!) and it seems to retain zero when it's shut off. Reads out 0.00005" resolution. Seems well made but not quite as nice a feel as my older Starret manual micrometer.


02-20-2005, 11:17 AM
Ronin, agree with your comment about bulk. The main feature I like is the ability to zero anywhere in the range. Say you have a shaft and you need it 0.7506" (for a bearing press fit). Open mike up to 0.7506", hit "origin", and now that point reads 0.00000". When you mike the shaft, you read how many thousandths to remove to get to the desired size. Helps prevent expensive mistakes.

Barry Milton

02-20-2005, 11:29 AM

I have Mitutoyo - great mikes. SOme claim to read to 50 millonths, and with gauge blocks you can prove that, but don't expect it for day to day use (ain't needed rarely use past .ooo1" even for critical work.

I don't like Starretts at all - batteries die way to fast in their crap and (in their digitape) the battery is $18 wholesale and only last about 4 months. I told Starrett that they were retards with I returned my first digitape (LCD died) for picking an oddball battery that is very dificult to find and pay for - they should have used the common Lithium coin cells used on computer MoBo's - they are uder $2. I don't think they liked my comment...