View Full Version : Mitutoyo digital caliper

06-02-2013, 12:26 PM
I have been using Mitutoyo digital calipers for about 15 years and never had a problem, till now. A guy I work with inherited a bunch of tools and he gave me a 6" digital, same type I've been using for a long time. Thing worked fine for a couple months, then nothing, no error code, just a blank screen. Figured it was the battery, tried a half dozen of them, checked the batteries, am certain it's not that. Last time I took a tool in to get it repaired it cost about $10 more than buying a new one, so I doubt I'll do that again. Just figured I would see if anyone has any experience with this before I pitch it. Thanks

06-02-2013, 02:51 PM
I had a similar experience. The Mitutoyo I had has been in use almost continuously for over 30 years without a problem. Unfortunately, one of the buttons fell out, and disappeared under the bench. After a careful assessment, I took into account that the screen was getting pretty nasty, making it hard to read, and its accuracy might be in question due to the hundreds of times I dropped it, or knocked it off the bench. I went to the Mitutoyo web site, and looked through my options. Since I'm close to the west coast, and Mitutoyo has a repair facility in Los Angeles, I called them, and was told to pack it up, in the original case, and ship it to them. I got a quote from them for replacing the button, the screen and a thorough clean-up and calibration. It seemed like a reasonable price. A week after sending it in, I got an e-mail from Mitutoyo. In it, they told me that my caliper was obsolete, and parts were no longer available for it. My options were to replace the caliper with an equivalent new one, or pay the postage and they would send my old one back. I decided to go with a new one and was quite pleased to find it delivered a day or two later. New everything, including the case and a calibration card. It performs as well or better than my old one did, and the price was reasonable....so I'm happy. Hopefully, the new one should last another 30 years.

06-02-2013, 03:00 PM
I had one do that abruptly after about 7 years of daily use.They can be fixed,but only if they are the same as the current production model.It's a matter of replacing the reader head ($70ish) and installing a new battery.However unless yours is a current production model(which it isn't) your out of luck.

I had the same luck with mine,but after 7 years in daily use I figured I got my moneys worth and bought a new one.Catch Enco on one of there %30 off sales they have been having recently would be my advice.

06-02-2013, 04:24 PM
I love my mitutoyo however it almost always errors out around 3-4". I can take it apart and clean it perfectly and it will work again for awhile but then it will start erroring out again first at like 5" and then shorter and shorter till I clean it again. Right now it is erroring at 3.5" and has a bad spot where it jumps back and forth .020" at .680".

I wonder all the time, what does the actually reading in the caliper? What should I be cleaning the best to get a good reading and avoid the errors?

06-02-2013, 06:03 PM
I had a pair of 6" Mitutoyo Digitals that lasted about 15 years.
Then it died, just as you described.
I decided to go with Dial calipers, and I'm a lot happier with them.

Bob Fisher
06-02-2013, 08:20 PM
I like dial calipers! No batteries and easier and quicker to read. Only drawback is no metric reading. My old Brown &Sharp calipers are 50 ish yrs and as good as new. Bob.

06-03-2013, 07:09 AM
I like crank starting my model T Ford.
Sometimes I leave the timing advanced just prove my machismo.


06-03-2013, 08:15 AM
Budz, keep it for spare parts for yours.
Doozer, I like propping old planes with no starter.
You have to have everything set just right.:rolleyes:

06-03-2013, 08:51 AM
I am with you
I have a digital vernier it seams every time i pick it up it dont read. That never happens on a standard dail. I also have one in metric a mauser need a lense for it, clumsy me droped it

06-03-2013, 11:47 AM
I too am with Bob. I have two dial calipers (one a Mitutoyo given to me at a 1965 machine tool trade show which is still working well) and one digital caliper. Somehow I keep using the dial calipers and the digital one keeps resting in its box. The dial calipers just keep on keeping on. And don't laugh about hand cranking a car. Years ago I owned a 1957 MG-A. The MG came with an emergency hand crank you put through a little hole in the chromed front bumper. It saved me more than once with dead batteries. And I used to enjoy occasionally hand cranking just to entertain my friends and get curious looks. Planeman

Lew Hartswick
06-03-2013, 12:00 PM
:-) I have a Horrible Fright dial one I've been using for about 15 years with
no problems either. The digital ones are always dead when I go to use them.

06-03-2013, 12:06 PM
One of my flaky buddies out in California used to drive an old Renault Dauphine. A totally hideous little car, that was actually not designed to drive faster than 50 mph. The car was rear engine, and the radiator was mounted on the differential, in front of the engine. It drew air for cooling from a grille below the back window. And therein lies the problem. At speeds above 50 mph, the air passing over the car forms a "dead spot" directly below the rear window. The cooling air can't get to the radiator, and it promptly overheats. This flaw probably killed more Renaults than any abuse American owners could have ever inflicted on them. Anyway, my buddy, who incidentally only paid $25 for his Renault, was notoriously cheap, when it came to car maintenance. When the tiny six-volt battery finally died, he used the 8mm wire bumper jack crank to crank the engine. Since the engine was only a 635cc four cylinder, it didn't take much to spin it over....He eventually traded the Renault "even up" for a condemned house trailer and a decrepit Ford pickup, with broken gears in the transmission....and.....I think he got the better end of the deal.

I've got a Brown & Sharp 6" dial caliper that's still quite accurate, and probably older than I am.

06-03-2013, 12:11 PM
"I have a digital vernier it seams every time i pick it up it dont read"

im not surprised this "digital vernier" dont read. must be a rare animal, really.

i have plenty of aldi digitals and see no difference to the expensive ones i have.

06-05-2013, 12:10 AM
Send those dead Mitutoyo calipers to "Instant Gage Repair Co" 9863 N AlpineRd Machesney Park Il 61115
(815) 877-2555. They are North of Rockford IL.

Those digital calipers all die the same way. Check the measuring tips for wear before you have the DRO repaired.

06-05-2013, 09:34 PM
About 4 years ago, I accidently cracked the crystal on my circa 1975 Mitutoyo 6 inch dial calipers, model 505-623. I did an internet search, and came up with several places that claimed to have replacement parts . However, when I tried to actually order a crystal, one by one they all backed down and revealed that they didn't actually have the right crystal. Finally, I found a 505 caliper on eBay that was junk, except for a nice crystal. I bought the caliper for about $10, and swapped crystals. I more recently bought a HF 4 inch digital caliper, for taking out of my shop in my pocket. It works ok, but eats batteries. I have to remove the battery before putting it back in its case, or the battery will be dead the next time I go to use it.

06-06-2013, 08:10 AM
I have to vote for the dial caliper also but then I'm no pro. I have an older B&S dial caliper and several digital calipers, a couple of cheapies (which seem to work just fine BTW) and an almost new Mitutoyo waterproof that I paid $200.00 for but still I go to the old B&S because it just feels right! But hey I still got $200 worth of "Gee Whiz" factor when my tool box is open. :D

06-06-2013, 08:19 AM
Any one know where i can get a lens for a mauser dial vernier? The lens is 1 5/16 in Dia. Mauser dont make calipers anymore

Dr Stan
06-06-2013, 08:32 AM
When I was still working on the shop floor many companies banned dial calipers. If there was dirt, a small chip, etc. between the rack and the pinion it could skip a tooth and be off .025" or .050". This would lead to measuring errors and the scrapping of parts.

Yes they are convenient, quick, and do not require batteries. However due to the above I've never owned a dial caliper. Started with verniers (very-nears) and eventually bought a B&S 6" digital. I still have my 8" vernier calipers and my Starrett 12" vernier height gage. The 8" just occupy tool box space for the most part, but the height gage still gets used, primarily for layout work. Setting it is easy if you use gage blocks.

06-06-2013, 09:30 AM
I started with a used Mitutoyo dial calipers that I picked up at a flea market. I had several "incidents" where dirt or something got in the rack and threw the measurement off enough to go undersize on a part before I noticed the problem. I've gone to the HF digital, and have had no such similar incidents even though I've been using the digital longer than I ever used the dial calipers. I'm not excited about replacing batteries, but they're cheap compared to trashing parts.