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steve herman
06-25-2015, 11:28 PM
I have many dial indicator holders but the flexbar type seems to be more handy. I don't have one and I cx with ENCO and the name brand runs about 90.00$. the question is: are the cheaper brands just as good ? what is your experience with these?

Steve

paul463
06-25-2015, 11:53 PM
I have a generic one, and I rarely use it. It really doesn't have the range of movement I expected, and the rigidity is nothing special. I like the Noga style knockoffs way better.

LKeithR
06-25-2015, 11:55 PM
...I like the Noga style knockoffs way better...

I agree, I have a couple and they're way better than the flex arm style...

PixMan
06-26-2015, 07:29 AM
The difference between Noga and the copies can be profound. Get the real thing. Better magnet (by far) and smooth action that doesn't move when you snug it up.

boslab
06-26-2015, 09:06 AM
I had a cheap one, the spring thing on the elbow disintegrated, it just fell to bits, wasn't even using it either.
Mark

loose nut
06-26-2015, 09:11 AM
The difference between Noga and the copies can be profound. Get the real thing. Better magnet (by far) and smooth action that doesn't move when you snug it up.

The biggest difference is the price, Noga are bu-cu bucks and yes they are better but.........

Ed ke6bnl
06-26-2015, 09:41 AM
I had a flex arm not as beefy as a Noga that had Hydraulic fluid for tightening and worked well BUT started to drop when sitting in the shop all I did is remove the Knob and stem and added a few drops of hydraulic fluid and is up and running not bad at all. I then picked up a small arm with what seems like a mechanical tighening system works ok but need to tighten pretty good to hold. I just got a Noga with magnet, it was used and it is superior to the others but if I did not get a $145 Noga for $60 with shipping I could live with the others. Then I am only a hobby worker.

Forestgnome
06-26-2015, 09:51 AM
I have an Enco copy of the Flexbar. The machining on the balls are rough, so it doesn't move very smoothly. Also doesn't lock that tight. I thought about smoothing things, but was afraid it won't lock afterwards. I also have one of those hydraulic Noga-style ones. I've had the same problm with temperature changes taking the range out of the locking handle. Pretty sure my next one will be a genuine Noga.

Mcgyver
06-26-2015, 10:12 AM
I've a Starrett, mitutoyo and noga flex arms.....and end of the day a Starrett or Eclipse mag base with rods and snugs is far superior to any of them. Despite having these others (stuff ends up in my boxes somehow) that's what I reach for. If the good ones kinda suck compared to rods and snugs....what do ya think the crap ones are going to be like :)

If you have to have a flex arm, the Noga is head and shoulders above the Mitutoyo and Starrett, which are mostly imo a waste of money.....ever notice how you almost never see them in commercial machinists tool boxes? Useless if it doesn't positively and reliably stay in position.

Rosco-P
06-26-2015, 12:03 PM
I have many dial indicator holders but the flexbar type seems to be more handy. I don't have one and I cx with ENCO and the name brand runs about 90.00$. the question is: are the cheaper brands just as good ? what is your experience with these?

Steve

How many are you going to buy?

Which of these two paths will save money and deliver less frustration and possibly ruined parts: A) purchase a series of bargain indicator bases and arms until you hit the jackpot and find a good one; B) shortcut the process and buy one good quality one.

hephaestus
06-26-2015, 06:21 PM
I've a Starrett, mitutoyo and noga flex arms.....and end of the day a Starrett or Eclipse mag base with rods and snugs is far superior to any of them. Despite having these others (stuff ends up in my boxes somehow) that's what I reach for. If the good ones kinda suck compared to rods and snugs....what do ya think the crap ones are going to be like :)

If you have to have a flex arm, the Noga is head and shoulders above the Mitutoyo and Starrett, which are mostly imo a waste of money.....ever notice how you almost never see them in commercial machinists tool boxes? Useless if it doesn't positively and reliably stay in position.
Here at Allisons the machine repairmen
have Noga holders and you also see
them in the quality rooms.

Mcgyver
06-26-2015, 10:51 PM
if I wasn't clear, it was flex starrett and mitutoyo that I meant I rarely see. The noga is a lot better...still not as good as post and snug imo

lakeside53
06-27-2015, 01:51 AM
I've had the copies.. and now have a noga among a bunch of starrett and mitutoyo. The noga is my favorite.

PixMan
06-27-2015, 08:54 AM
Likewise.

I have two Starrett No.657 (A and AA), a couple of disintegrated import Enco/MSC type, and one smaller Noga NF61003. While the No.657AA is the snug and rod type that the imports had tried to copy and has the longest reach, it doesn't hold a candle to the Noga for ease of use. With the snug and rod style, I'm fiddling with three snugs, sliding and turning rods for orientation. With the Noga, the magnet is remarkably stronger and movements intuitive.

With the Noga and many others, there are choices of fine adjustment at the top (near the indicator) or fine adjustment at base that tips the entire arm assembly. The latter is better when using long travel indicators, IMO. Because I'm typically using my Starrett No.709BZ or Interapid 312B-4 test indicators on the Noga, the FAT moves the indicator only and at a more finely controlled rate. Swinging the entire arm from the base would give me too much motion on a 0.0005" or 0.0001" graduation indictor with the long lever effect.

I do use the No.657AA with my 1" travel dial indicator, and notably because the magnet is weak enough to move the whole base even with the magnet on. When other priorities are out of the way I would look for a sale on the larger Noga DG61003 and sell off one of the Starrett 657's.

Glug
06-27-2015, 10:38 AM
I am a very happy Noga 1361 user. Love it, including the magnet. I paid about $58 on sale.
About a year ago, a member here posted a thread on his efforts to improve a cheap Noga knock-off. It mostly involved smoothing the joint surfaces to improve contact, and he reported the result was a good improvement.

I started to take a peak in my noga and discovered that the tension knob rides on loose ball bearings. That's nice - it reduces friction when tightening, and makes the performance more consistent. When I saw that, I decided I didn't need to worry about improving it for a while. I've wondered if you could cut a groove in the knock off-knob and add some balls to get the same benefit.

I still like post and snug style holders, though I don't own a good one. They have the potential to be much stiffer than one of the single knob style units, and for some things they are better suited. They are also much tougher, especially in dusty environments. I wouldn't want to get dust, especially abrassive dust, in the joints of my noga.

I've seen some claims of strong magnets on imports. If they're really good - and the magnet on/off knob is easy to turn - I might like to pick some up and make some good post and snug holders.

ulav8r
06-29-2015, 11:00 PM
Flex Bar is so named because it flexes. Any other holder is better, even though the cheap knock offs are junk.