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View Full Version : Kurt, Starrett, quality question



Abner
03-09-2010, 09:13 AM
I have been searching and bidding on Starrett dial indicators the lever(bore?) type on e-bay.
Is Kurt a quality made indicator?

gwilson
03-09-2010, 09:22 AM
The Kurt dial indicators are made in China,I believe. I don't know if they are better than any other Chinese indicator. Though,it is possible that Kurt,like Starrett,has laid out specifications for them.

Bill Pace
03-09-2010, 10:01 AM
I think the first clue (giveaway!) is the cost difference... the Kurt sells in the neighborhood of all the other Chinese clones.

I have one of the Kurts - got it on a close out counter, and its typical Chinese quality, which means its pretty decent, but not Starrett quality.

DaHui
03-09-2010, 12:40 PM
I'd say it depends on the resolution. If you are looking for a .0001 DTI then I'd get a good jeweled one from a reputable manufacturer. If you are just looking for .001 then it probably doesn't matter.

Fasttrack
03-09-2010, 01:10 PM
Sounds like you are looking for a dial test indicator, not a dial indicator.

In that case, I would suggest that (if you need/want a high quality one) you look at Compac, Tesa, Interapid, or Brown and Sharp's BestTest. The Starrett DTI's are not very well liked by many people.

I own an Interapid and really like it but the hand on the dial moves the wrong way! (compared to BestTest and other DTI's that I'm familiar with).

You can read up on them here:

http://longislandindicator.com/p37.html

There is a lot of good info there, if you browse through the index.

macona
03-09-2010, 01:36 PM
I own Interapid, Compac, Starrett, and a bunch of others. Go with the first two. When getting a Interapid get a 312 series indicator as parts are not available for the 311.

PixMan
03-09-2010, 01:52 PM
Hey now, not everyone dislikes Starrett dial test indicators. I have an Interapid 312-BV, a Starrett No.708A, a Brown & Sharpe Best Test and several others.

The Starrett is my preferred indicator because it's got a very light touch on the bezel to rotate it, and the movement is very smooth.

DaHui
03-09-2010, 03:20 PM
No mention of Mitutoyo?

Alistair Hosie
03-09-2010, 03:49 PM
Mitutoyo there now it's been mentioned.:D seriously I rate Mitutoyo way up with the best.Grandpa Alistair

Abner
03-09-2010, 04:53 PM
I was going to ask about Mitutoyo but couldn't remember the spelling.

DRO on my mill is Mitutoyo and it works very well.

Thanks for all the help. .001 is probably all I need, but who knows, maybe I will have to buy more.....:)

Fasttrack
03-09-2010, 07:11 PM
Mitutoyo makes many very high quality products. Their dial indicators and DTIs are not among them, imo. They compare with Starrett: Good but maybe a little overated. I base that off of personal experience and the Long Island Indicator write ups.

FWIW I own a Mitutoyo dial caliper that I love. It is ultra smooth and very reliable (high repeatability). I also own a Mitutoyo 1" travel 0.0005" dial indicator. It works well, but I definitely notice the stiff bezel. Also, Long Island Indicators notes the following:



Mitutoyo (Japan) indicators are reliably accurate throughout their entire range although their construction is often less durable than others. Plastic bezels turn on an o-ring and these can often be difficult when trying to make minute adjustments. New models are redesigned, inside and out, and they contain many plastic parts. Spare parts are often unavailable making this a poor candidate for repairs. The newest models, designated with the letter S, cleverly feature dovetails on the sides of the dial indicator bodies, to which any number of attachments can mounted, including the bezel clamps. Unfortunately, some attachments are also plastic and they break. What else is new?

Fasttrack
03-09-2010, 07:14 PM
I was going to ask about Mitutoyo but couldn't remember the spelling.

DRO on my mill is Mitutoyo and it works very well.

Thanks for all the help. .001 is probably all I need, but who knows, maybe I will have to buy more.....:)

My DTI is 0.0001 but still has 0.008" of travel. I find it very useful, especially when restoring old machine tools.

You might think about getting a DTI with a resolution of at least 0.0005". They are relatively inexpensive and easy to find. Just because you have the ability to measure 0.0005" doesn't mean you need to work to that level of precision (notice "precision" and not "accuracy" ;) )

lazlo
03-09-2010, 09:16 PM
Mitutoyo makes many very high quality products. Their dial indicators and DTIs are not among them, imo.

Agree with Tom -- I love Mitutoyo metrology gear almost as much as their calendar :p, but their DTI's aren't great. I like the black-dial Brown & Sharpe, which are made by the same Swiss company that makes Compac, Interapid, and Tesa.

By the way, the Mitutoyo Digital Dial Indicators are superb. You get the 50 micro-inch model with travels up to 2". Makes an outstanding depth gauge, DTI, ...

oldtiffie
03-09-2010, 09:38 PM
A note of caution here.

A 50 micro-inch digital device has a tolerance of +/- 50 micro-inches and there for limits of 2 x 0.000050" = 0.000100" (ie 1 "tenth") which is ~ 2.5 microns.

A good analogue 0.0005" (half a thou = 5 tenths) indicator will do most jobs very well as if its good enough and smooth enough you can easily interpolate to half (2.5 tenths) or even one quarter (1.25 tenths).

My every-day indicators are either 0.01mm (~0.0004") or 0.001" (yes - I do use "inch" stuff) and they do very well.

An indicated 0.001" on an analogue indicator on a say mill vice is 0.001" as regards alignment and half a thou - or better - is easily obtained.

The same 0.001" indicated on a part in a lathe is actually the Total Indicated Run-out (TIR) but the part eccentricity is only half the TIR. So that 0.001" TIR is only an eccentricity of 0.0005".

LittleMachineShop.com sells some very good and cheap indicators (I have quite a few - and all perform very well) but the "Starrett" range attracts - and is charged - quite a premium over other (Chinese??) items:
http://littlemachineshop.com/products/product_search.php?critFast=indicator&B1=Product+Search

Mcgyver
03-09-2010, 10:27 PM
A

A good analogue 0.0005" (half a thou = 5 tenths) indicator will do most jobs very well as if its good enough and smooth enough you can easily interpolate to half (2.5 tenths) or even one quarter (1.25 tenths).



that's why i like using a tenths indicator....more resolution makes things easier - no interpolation, magnification :D . There's a lot of territory between working to a thou and working to a tenth....for most things i'm somewhere between....but just because a tenths indicator is used to say set up the mill vise doesn't mean one is delusional thinking they're milling to tenths, it's just that the added resolution makes it really easy to get it to a thou or half a thou. I've got probably a dozen of all makes, models, shapes and sizes collected over the years....but my Verdict large dial tenths indicator is the one i grab for first

oldtiffie
03-09-2010, 11:38 PM
Thanks Mcgyver.

I've got one of these:
https://www.machineryhouse.com.au/Products?stockCode=Q223

Looks good - 1 micron (~ 0.00004" ~ 0.4 of a tenth) as per the graduations, but if you look at the specifications the accuracy is 3 microns (~0.00012" ~ 1.2 tenths) and travel is 1.0mm (~0.040") - which is a PITA.

I rarely use that indicator as it really needs to have the job "dialed in" with my 0.01mm (0.0004" ~ 4 tenths) indicator. It really is a "one size fits all" here.
https://www.machineryhouse.com.au/Products?stockCode=Q217

I can't see the need for one of these digital jobs either as it "jumps" at each 0.01mm (~0.0004") - as will all digital indicators.
https://www.machineryhouse.com.au/Products?stockCode=Q219

Here are the costs here in OZ (AU$1 = US$0.90):
https://www.machineryhouse.com.au/Dial-Test-Indicators