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View Full Version : looking for good Test indicator, advice needed



S_J_H
01-30-2009, 01:25 PM
I'm considering a new higher quality T.I.
With choices of Brown and Sharp, Interapid or Mitutoyo.
Has to be .0001" and I see Brown and Sharp has one with divisions to .00005"

Anybody have some thoughts on which might have the best quality or are they all similar in quality?

Steve

madman
01-30-2009, 01:27 PM
I think the interarid in .00005 tolerance is a nice one. I have seen toolmakers using them in shops i have worked at. I myself have around 50 indicators all types I like the Mitutoyas. They make .0001 models also for fussy work, Usually i find having a .0005 indiucator is good nuff.

Roy Andrews
01-30-2009, 03:43 PM
like madman i have a lot of indicators but mainly use my mitutoyo .0001". on reflection its probably because of the Gage size. it is rather large and very easy to read. i did have a problem once in struggling to get consistent readings and after a lot of fussing found that the tip was loose. unlike all my other indicators it doesn't have flats for a wrench to tighten the tip.i gently tightened it between some hardwood in the vice and snugged it down and the world was good again.

BadDog
01-30-2009, 03:58 PM
In a DTI, I prefer most anything to a Mitutoyo. I've got one (large face jeweled, not bottom of their line), and the visible quality as well as feel does not compare to other "premium" DTIs. Over all, I like my B&S very well. Best value for the money in my opinion. I've also got a large face Swiss made "fully jeweled" (so it says) Tesa large face that is my favorite. Also got an Interrapid that I like very well except for 2 features. It has a pin on the back rather than a dovetail, and it works "backwards" to every other brand I've seen. It kept getting me confused on which way the offset was when going from one to the other, so I have completely quit using it. Sad, because it is VERY nice, but it's just too frustrating to deal with the backwards indication and not being able to use the single most common mounting point dovetail...

Fasttrack
01-30-2009, 04:19 PM
Wait a minute madman - I think your talking about a half-thou DTI, as in .0005. The Brown and Sharpe one that SJH is talking about has a graduation of .00005, or half of a 10 thousandth.

.00005 might be cool to have, but not particularly useful. I went through this selection process a few months ago and settled on an Interapid over a BestTest for two reasons. First, it was on sale for less than a BestTest. Second, it had a greater range. I personally like having the larger range, it makes the whole process much easier.

However, whether you go BestTest or Interapid, you will still end up with a really nice DTI. I've used both and I like both equally. Be warned that the Interapid is "backwards" of all the other DTI's that you've probably used. It's confusing at first (the hand moves the "wrong" direction) but you get used to it.

lazlo
01-30-2009, 04:27 PM
I went through this selection process a few months ago and settled on an Interapid over a BestTest for two reasons. First, it was on sale for less than a BestTest. Second, it had a greater range. I personally like having the larger range, it makes the whole process much easier.

However, whether you go BesTest or Interapid, you will still end up with a really nice DTI.

I like the black-dial Tesa/Bestest indicators (5 tenths and 1 tenths), but the Interapids are even nicer (and more expensive).

Great comparison of the various DTI brands here:

http://www.longislandindicator.com/p37.html

lane
01-30-2009, 06:39 PM
I like the black-dial Tesa/Bestest indicators (5 tenths and 1 tenths), but the Interapids are even nicer (and more expensive).

Great comparison of the various DTI brands here:

http://www.longislandindicator.com/p37.html

Same here .Have and use both. the Brown & Sharp is cheaper and that is why I prefer it . Have about 6 of them in different ranges smallest 50 millionths.

Teenage_Machinist
01-30-2009, 06:53 PM
Betstest. Very good and often better than less expensive ones. I got one, a bit ago, and I like it. I think Enco still has them on sale.

oldtiffie
01-30-2009, 07:23 PM
I'm considering a new higher quality T.I.
With choices of Brown and Sharp, Interapid or Mitutoyo.
Has to be .0001" and I see Brown and Sharp has one with divisions to .00005"

Anybody have some thoughts on which might have the best quality or are they all similar in quality?

Steve


Steve,

I bought this one recently - beautiful!! - calibrated to 1um = 0.001mm ~ 0.00004". I would trust/use it at 2um ~ 0.00008" say ~ 0.0001". Needless to say it gets very little use as I use my 0.01mm (~0.0004") indicators most times.

https://www.machineryhouse.com.au/Products?stockCode=Q223

macona
01-30-2009, 08:13 PM
Interapid or Compac

Mcruff
01-31-2009, 12:53 AM
I have used both of my Interapid's .0005 and .0001 for more than 25 years. They have held up quite nicely and are used about 50x-70x a day. I also have a best test that is the same age roughly but I prefer the Interapids travel and post mount over the dovetail only of the B&S.

Fasttrack
01-31-2009, 02:37 AM
I have used both of my Interapid's .0005 and .0001 for more than 25 years. They have held up quite nicely and are used about 50x-70x a day. I also have a best test that is the same age roughly but I prefer the Interapids travel and post mount over the dovetail only of the B&S.

Speaking of the post mount ... did you buy an adapter for it or order one? (Or maybe you didn't bother at all?) The one I bought comes with a metric post and I made a quick aluminum sleeve to adapt it to 3/8 but I really need something a little better. Something almost like a mini collet or something.

vinito
01-31-2009, 02:41 AM
I haven't owned any interapids, but used others' and they seemed to work fine at the time.
I own several different ones and I keep settling on my BesTest (B&S). The only DTI I've dropped a couple times (long ago) was thrown out long ago too, so I don't include that in the mix when I say that I have three Mitutoyo that all act up. They are either sticky, jumpy or temperamental. Having said that, my .0001" Mitutoyo still works fine, but I don't use it much because my BesTest .0005" ALWAYS works and has a greater measuring range which fits what I do most of the time. I have used it almost exclusively for the past 8 years (I think). On top of that, I bought it used so the previous owner got good use out of it for several years too. It's still tight and smooth.

Besides, you can (and should - it's standard practice in even high-school science lab work) estimate where the needle is between graduations anyways. With a .0005" dial you can estimate between the lines within a couple tenths or better pretty easy. That means with a .0001" indicator you can estimate within .00002" and I NEVER have a need to be that close, other than maybe checking 5C spindle nose runout on a lathe once every five or ten years, and I can't honestly say that I really need that either other than to satisfy curiosity. You can practice your estimating skills with a .0001" vernier-equipped micrometer. Estimate where you are between thousandths graduations, then check your estimate with the vernier.

Curious thing... I like Starrett tools as much as anybody, but I never gravitated to their test indicators. Seems like their attachments & such aren't as easy to work with as my BesTest. They just seem kind of clumsy. Could just be due to my own experience with the "favorite" though and your mileage may vary.

lazlo
01-31-2009, 10:33 AM
Curious thing... I like Starrett tools as much as anybody, but I never gravitated to their test indicators.

They just seem kind of clumsy. Could just be due to my own experience with the "favorite" though and your mileage may vary.

Most people I've met don't like the Starrett Last Word indicator. I've never owned one, mostly because just about everyone that's ever had one complains about them :)

S_J_H
01-31-2009, 11:01 AM
Thanks to all for your feedback. I have settled on a Brown&Sharp bestest and also a inexpensive plunger style SPI .0001 DI.
Both on sale right now-
http://www.use-enco.com/CGI/INSRIT?PARTPG=INLMKD&PMPXNO=952325&PMAKA=606-4920

http://www.use-enco.com/CGI/INSRIT?PARTPG=INLMKD&PMPXNO=12387462&PMAKA=326-1170

I have a couple cheaper import .0005" indicators and plenty of .001 DI.s.
Just want something a bit more sensitive as I begin aligning all the axis on the cnc machine I am building. Also be fun to see just how much everything really flexes and moves with the sensitive DI's mounted.

Steve

lazlo
01-31-2009, 11:03 AM
Steve, FYI: everything I've bought from SPI since MSC bought them last year has been mediocre-quality Chicom. About the same quality as CDCO or LMS...

I sent back the SPI dial bore gauge it was so bad...

S_J_H
01-31-2009, 11:10 AM
I'll give it a try and if it's junk I'll return it. I have had decent luck with SPI but horrible luck with Fowler products.
But thanks for the headsup!

10KPete
01-31-2009, 11:14 PM
That link to Long Island Indicator that lazlo posted back in #6 is a good one. There is some really good info in there about the quality of DI's and instruments in general.

They oughta know. They've been fixin' 'em for decades!

Pete

Mcruff
02-01-2009, 01:21 AM
Speaking of the post mount ... did you buy an adapter for it or order one? (Or maybe you didn't bother at all?) The one I bought comes with a metric post and I made a quick aluminum sleeve to adapt it to 3/8 but I really need something a little better. Something almost like a mini collet or something. The posts are 5/32", the same as they have been for at least 50 years. But as a general rule I use my indicator in an Indicol on the mill and I have a surface gage that was built 25 years ago that uses the Interapid specifically.

Teenage_Machinist
02-01-2009, 12:16 PM
LMS sells an odd stepped collet designed to hold an edge finder. perhaps somethign like that?

Spin Doctor
02-01-2009, 02:02 PM
A good DTI is something that is going to last a long time. IMO Interapid is about as good acombination of price, quality and ease of use as anything else out there. For most application .0005" is plenty good enough. Tenth indicators are handy if you do a lot of grinding work, inspection of rotating assemblies or really fussy lathe set-ups. And stay away from Last Words. Not one of LS Starrett's better moments.

Teenage_Machinist
02-01-2009, 09:34 PM
A lot of people seem to hate Last Words. Incidentally the other USA made indicators seem to stink. Which is weird. They stink and they are way more expensive than ones made in blessed land across the sea.

lazlo
02-01-2009, 09:38 PM
A lot of people seem to hate Last Words. Incidentally the other USA made indicators seem to stink.

What other USA Made indicators?

Brown & Sharpe was sold to the Swedish tool conglomerate Hexagon 7 years ago, and even when they were a US-based company, their indicators were Swiss :)

Teenage_Machinist
02-01-2009, 09:43 PM
Other Starrett indicators, for one. And other indicators made before chinese stuff went into full gear.

Also, ones made in developed countries other than Switzerland including Mititoyo and other Japanese, and English indicators seem to have often been not too good.

lane
02-01-2009, 09:55 PM
Nothing wrong with Mititoyo just a little chunky . The old gem indicator like the last word was sorry. And the Starrett 196 is so so Vertect is also so so indicator. Interapid still the best but high dollar . I prefer the Best Test for size and durability, its been thrown across shop more than once and dropped a few times . Like a Timex takes a liking and keeps on ticking.

jkilroy
02-02-2009, 06:25 PM
Got a compac from Long Island Idicator a few years back, both are great, the product and the company selling it.