Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 12

Thread: Experiences/info on Grizzly precision measuring tools???

  1. #1

    Post Experiences/info on Grizzly precision measuring tools???

    OK, I'm making progress on cleaning up and installing the Craftsman lathe and drill press I mentioned in my previous post, 'Newbie needs Advice.' I got several replies on that one, and their suggestions have been very helpful. I'd like to thank them.

    One person says he's sent me a copy of the owner's manual - I'm really looking forward to it.

    Now I'm going to buy a set of precision measuring tools, specifically;

    Set of micrometers, 0-4"
    Micrometer stand
    Depth micrometer set,0-6"
    Set of telescoping gauges
    Dial indicator
    Dial indicator stand

    I can't afford Starrett, but I notice that a lot of people sell inexpensive precision measuring tools these days, from several sources. Grizzly is just up the road in Bellingham, and I can easily go up to their showroom and see for myself, but I don't really know what to look for. Does anybody have any experiences, good or bad, with their tools? Their prices are hard to beat, and it might be a case where these are good tools and other brands are overpriced. It could also be a case of 'you get what you pay for.'

    Does anybody have anything to share?

    Thanks, again

    [This message has been edited by Steve Rundell (edited 06-20-2001).]

    [This message has been edited by Steve Rundell (edited 06-20-2001).]
    Thanks;

    Steve

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Posts
    29

    Post

    I SUGGEST YOU SLOW DOWN A BIT AND ATTEND A COUPLE OF LARGE FLEA MARKETS AND ANTIQUE ENGINE SHOWS. YOU'LL BE AMAZED AT THE NIFTY(US MADE) STUFF THAT YOU CAN BUY AT 5 TO 10 CENTS ON THE DOLLAR.I HAVE EQUIPPED MY ENTIRE SHOP W/ALL SORTS OF GOODIES FROM THESE SOURCES.
    YOU'LL MISS A COUPLE OF BARGAINS, BUT DON'T RUSH IN WAVING LARGE AMOUNTS OF COR (COIN OF REALM) AND IF YOU HAVE AN EXPERIENCED FRIEND W/YOU, WHEN HE TELLS YOU TO BUY, AND KICKS YOU IN THE ANKLE-BONE TO EMPHASIZE,PAY ATTENTION!!!

    ------------------

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Posts
    2

    Post

    Steve,

    I have a couple of tools from Grizzly, and find them to a great value, and accurate. You might also want to check J & L, they often have tools on sale, and are most likely from the same source as Grizzly tools.

    Good Luck
    Robert


    <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Steve Rundell:
    OK, I'm making progress on cleaning up and installing the Craftsman lathe and drill press I mentioned in my previous post, 'Newbie needs Advice.' I got several replies on that one, and their suggestions have been very helpful. I'd like to thank them.

    One person says he's sent me a copy of the owner's manual - I'm really looking forward to it.

    Now I'm going to buy a set of precision measuring tools, specifically;

    Set of micrometers, 0-4"
    Micrometer stand
    Depth micrometer set,0-6"
    Set of telescoping gauges
    Dial indicator
    Dial indicator stand

    I can't afford Starrett, but I notice that a lot of people sell inexpensive precision measuring tools these days, from several sources. Grizzly is just up the road in Bellingham, and I can easily go up to their showroom and see for myself, but I don't really know what to look for. Does anybody have any experiences, good or bad, with their tools? Their prices are hard to beat, and it might be a case where these are good tools and other brands are overpriced. It could also be a case of 'you get what you pay for.'

    Does anybody have anything to share?

    Thanks, again

    [This message has been edited by Steve Rundell (edited 06-20-2001).]

    [This message has been edited by Steve Rundell (edited 06-20-2001).]
    </font>
    Robert Hood
    Arizona

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Portland Oregon
    Posts
    234

    Post

    I should think that Grizzly's measuring tools are the same as or similar to Chinese tools from other sources, and in my experience, they are surprisingly good. I use a $20 digital mike (mechanical, not electronic) at work daily, and I trust it to tenths, just as I do the NSK and B&S that I keep at home. I've checked a few dial calipers with gage blocks and they're accurate to a portion of a thou over their whole range, and have fairly sophisticated antibacklash and antishock mechanisms, similar to B&S. (I've dismantled a couple of damaged ones to try to repair them. Pointless, of course, on a $20 item, but still fun and educational.) They're perfecty adequate, but don't feel quite as nice as the really good stuff. I really like my Mitutoyo Digimatic, and the most popular dial caliper where I work is the B&S. It really is very nice, good feel and very rigid. Squeeze hard or squeeze light, you get the same reading. Very confidence inspiring. The dial gages are accurate, and at $7 (frequent sale price at Harbor Freight) you won't cry if you drop it.

    Consider, though, that with a modicum of care precision tools last a very long time. The initial cost of a fine tool amortized over the rest of your life is a bargain if it will look nice, feel nice, and make you feel good every time you use it. So here's another idea: Buy a few essential Chinese tools now (6" dial caliper, 0-1" mike, maybe a dial gage), then slowly build up a collection of nice stuff as budget and opportunity (I mean bargain hunting) allow.

    Now a few warnings. The Chinese depth mikes that I've seen, while accurate, have very annoying domed ends on their spindles. It's impossible to measure a narrow step with them. I have one, but I went to the bother of very carefully grinding all the spindle ends flat, and recalibrating the thimble. Also, the Chinese combination square sets are pretty iffy. I can't figure out how a machinist could be satisfied with a rule that is graduated only in fractions, and this is the only way I've Chinese units. I need 5R or 16R graduations, and that means Mitutoyo, Starret, or other quality brand. (Just to be clear, you really should get a nice combination square set.)

    Hope this is helpful, Randy

    P.S. For $10 a pair of 1-2-3 blocks is surprisingly handy.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    6,698

    Post

    I'll second the idea of thinking about "good used American" equipment.

    I'd also suggest you at least think about getting a Starrett 0-1" micrometer, used or new. You will use it a *LOT*, so why not get a good one.

    Thre are other good U.S. brands, too. A friend of mine swears by Lufkin micrometers. They aren't even made any more, but they are top-quality. If you can find a "good used" one, it ought to serve you well.

    As far as the Chinese stuff goes: some of it is surprisingly good...when new. But in my (limited) experience, it tends to wear out fairly quickly. And some of it is surprisingly bad, even when new.

    Personally, I think you'll do better to buy GOOD equipment, used or new, even if it takes you a while to save up the money. You will never regret buying a Starrett micrometer, or anything else. You'll also never wear it out, unless you are hopelessly abusive to your tools, in which case buy the Chinese crap because you'll never know the difference anyway.

    Regarding your list of equipment: I have a set of micrometers 0-4", but I bought them over a period of 20 or more years. I got the 2-3" and the 3-4" used, when the opportunity presented itself. I hardly ever use them.

    You will use a 4" micrometer about once every three years, if my experience is any indication. For now, buy a GOOD 0-1" micrometer (did I say you'll use it a lot?) and a GOOD 0-6" dial caliper. That will take care of your measuring needs for now. Then, as opportunities (or a well-defined need) come along, get the larger micrometers.

    I wouldn't bother with the depth micrometers, unless you have an extremely clear and well-defined reason for getting them. After 22 years, I have yet to think I need one. A depth gage, maybe, but even that is somewhat superfluous.

    Why do you think you need a micrometer stand?

    Telescoping gages? Yes. And get GOOD ones. Starrett. Their use depends heavily on "feel," and with Starrett you can feel what you're doing. The imports are more clunky and aren't as good. I know Starrett telescoping gages cost a lot. They also work beautifully and you'll never be sorry you bought them.

    Dial indicator? Yes. With a magnetic base. Be careful of buying a used dial indicator. I've bought a couple that have seemed fine on first inspection but have been well and truly worn out, as I discovered when I actually tried to use them. If you buy used, see if you can get an option to return it in 10 days if it turns out not to be satisfactory.

    Once again, Starrett, Interapid, etc. are GOOD. The Chinese ones are probably good initially but will likely wear out quickly. Buy a good one, once, and be done with it.

    You'll also want to get a set of small hole ball gages. Like the telescoping gages, they are extremely dependent on "feel," and it's worth getting good ones.

    ----------
    Try to make a living, not a killing. -- Utah Phillips
    Don't believe everything you know. -- Bumper sticker
    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects. -- Will Rogers
    There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory. - Josh Billings
    Law of Logical Argument - Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Posts
    484

    Post

    hello,

    I'll have to agree almost wholeheartedly with SGW, tools that you use a lot get the best!

    This is true with any vocation, if you use it every day get the best you can afford.

    I have seen one set of import telescope gages I really liked and they were Fuji's Mit. are probably OK, I own several Mitutoyo mikes and calipers, nothing at all wrong with them, new they are about the same price as Starrett, used they seem to go a bit cheaper.

    Brown and Sharpe are the best as far as dial calipers go, in my opinion. The cheap imports are amazingly good for the price.

    Don't buy cheap telescope guages, cheap mikes work fine, cheap telescope guages though aren't good for nothing.

    I like the single end Starrett over the double end.

  7. #7

    Post

    Not to get caught up in a "buy US" argument, because I agree with the concept. BUT, is metalworking your vocation or hobby? If vocation then buy Starrett and Mitutoyo. If it's your hobby, than starting out with a basic setup from Grizzly is just fine. The Chinese precision measuring tooling is really pretty good for the money and if you break it during the learning process, you are not out hunderds of dollars. If I lived close to a Grizzly outlet, there would be no question where I would buy stuff. Much better than Harbor Freight, and Grizzly backs up their products.

    Get catalogs from MSC, Enco, Travers, J&L, etc. and study the prices for new quality precision tooling. THEN go to flea markets and eBay and shop wisely. Don't learn the hard way that just because it has Starrett on it, it's not automatically worth $100+.
    Acquiring good high quality measuring tools will take a considerable amount of time and effort, but as many have said, the deals are there......just the timing is not always right.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Posts
    6

    Angry

    I also agree with SGW , but for other reasons than he stated.

    Sorry, I don't care how accurate Chinese precision instruments are. None of my cash will be used to make these million / billionaire corporate traitors wealthier, not to mention, help fund Red China's ever growing military machine.

    Even if it's more expensive, it has to be made in America for me.!!

    Steve L.
    Steve L.

  9. #9

    Post

    IMHO there are a few things being overlooked. I have some TESA mic's - absolutely beautiful and I can count on them even as the day warms up because the frames are carbide.
    These are top end Swiss tools - but I make my living with them!!! I have a few el cheapo tools too.

    I would suggest cheap and find someone not too far away (in a shop most likely) who will show you how and allow you to use their gage blocks to regularily check your tools. We found a mic at work that was accurate at the '0' measurement but sure wasn't inbetween (a Mitutoyo) but as its probably 15+ years old we'll just get a new one.

    Make the mic stand - its more fun!! Then use your budget as a guide!!

    Hope this helps :-) .

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Posts
    4

    Post

    &gt;&gt;&gt;
    ..None of my cash will be used to make these million / billionaire corporate traitors wealthier, not to mention, help fund Red China's ever growing military machine.

    Even if it's more expensive, it has to be made in America for me.!!
    &gt;&gt;&gt;

    The head-in-sand paranoid isolationist approach is old school, it's a world economy now. I'd wager your home is already full of Chinese-made things, look closely at the labels.

    Chinese measuring instruments are accurate and an incredible value.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •