I recently purchased a Starrett Last Word indicator which I think could use some cleaning. I tried and failed to talk to Starred on-line. Has anyone used Starrett repair facilities? How do I contact them? Was your experience good?
If not Starrett, are there other repair and service venders who are reliable and reasonably priced?
Try Long Island Indicator
Believe it or not, the best way to contact Starrett about a repair is to simply call them. You get an actual person answering the phone who connects you to the right person. That customer service rep, seated in Athol MA will tell you just what the process is and where to send it. Assuming you are in the US:
Last edited by PixMan; 11-10-2012 at 01:28 PM.
if it seems "sticky" in operation, that may just be the way it is. I have used old ones, not-so-old ones, new-in-box ones, all were "sticky".
You can improve it generally by solvent-washing the "scroll cam" that is in the body below the dial assembly. ANY oil or whatever on that and it nearly stops working.
I used them and they were prompt. Had to clean and replace the dial crystal. Done at a reasonable cost.
I mistakenly used Boeshields T-9 on some indicators and when it dried the wax it left behind caused massive sticking and had to clean all w solvent.
First I should say that my experience with Starrett service department was at least a couple decades ago so who knows how they do things now, and also that this one experience could possibly be an anomaly, but it was enough that I didn't bother dealing with them ever again.
I had a 6" dial caliper that was worn out. I called them and they were easy enough to talk to, so I sent the thing in with instructions to look it over and repair it only if it could be put into near-new condition for a reasonable price, and if it was too much hassle or the cost would make it more realistic to just buy a new one, then to just let me know, don't spend any time on it and just toss it out. Easy enough to understand. They told me it would be about half the cost of a new one. OK, that's better than buying a new one so it's worth it.
Well all they did was install a new movement but not a new rack, and replace the crystal and generally clean it up a little. No new dial or anything. They charged me half the cost of a new one and sent it back to me. The thing was worn such that the thumbwheel changed position along different positions along the beam and was so bad that it was flush with the beam around 1". This was NOT near new, and was in fact as bad as it was when I sent it in. The movement worked OK enough when I sent it in, i.e it wasn't broken, missing gear teeth or parts or anything. It really didn't need a new movement and didn't improve the function. Since the beam was worn, the gib adjustment couldn't be made correctly enough to make measurement consistent along its length. In a nutshell, it was trashed.
My short note I sent with it was clear and simply said if it wasn't worth fixing, don't bother and I'll just replace it. No big deal. They didn't read it I guess, and they sent me back a caliper that didn't work any better than it did before I sent it other than it wasn't missing a crystal anymore - at half the cost of a new one. A waste of time and my money, and a lousy way to deal with a service customer.
So anyway, I personally have a low opinion on Starrett's service and I won't bother dealing with them again.
Be sure to read Long Island Indicator's write-up on indicators:
I agree with that writeup about the "Last Word" isn't that special of a tool anyway. I own two or three and I never use them, preferring others (especially my BestTest which I have used almost every work day after buying it used from a retiring machinist over 12 years ago). Personally I don't think a "last word" is worth the effort of servicing it. It's OK and certainly better than nothing, but it's not nearly on par with other Starrett instruments in terms of design or reliability.
I contacted Long Island Indicator last year to see about having a Starrett caliper repaired. At that time they must have either had or were in the process of having a falling out with Starrett. The lady on the phone told me they were no longer repairing ANY Starrett tools. She said something about no longer getting quality replacement parts. They had so many come backs due to poor parts they refused to work on them. As for the Last Word indicators I have several of them. By the time they need repair it probably isn't worth it. You can buy a new quality indicator for less than the cost of repairing an old beat up one.
thats too bad...can't speak for service but as a company I've found just them fantastic. Mitutoyo will barely talk to you and insists you buy from dealers. Starrett otoh are friendly and accessible - I've had them say "just come on by it'll be at the counter" and we i get there there was no charge for the small item i needed. Mit forces me to go the through rip off dealers with minimum charges. blehck~!
Originally Posted by tyrone shewlaces
No company can ensure every employee always behaves - might have been worth writing a note explaining this to the "Office of the President". Were I in his shoes I'd want to know.
Be sure to read Long Island Indicator's
write-up on indicators:
but do so with a grain of salt....they are very far from impartial imo.
Last edited by Mcgyver; 11-10-2012 at 07:15 PM.
I only buy "new" in which case any problem is solved by replacement under warranty (either in person or by mail) - my dealer is only 45 Km (say30 miles away) amd my wife can go shopping and we can have a meal "out".
If "out of warranty" and the indicator is "suspect" at all, it gets "binned" and never "put away for later". I don't even bother to try and repair/fix them.
I don't use Starrett as the local (Australia) Starrett branch is limited in what it can/will do and shipping to/from the USA is a non-event.
My Chinese indicators are quite adequate for my purposes and are quite reliable.