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Best Scientific Calculators for the HSM

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  • Best Scientific Calculators for the HSM

    I need to buy a Scientific Calculator that I can keep in my tool chest for when a computer is not readily available.
    I'm primarily interested in Geometry, Trig, Sq. Root and math typically used in the machine shop. A graphic display is ok or at least a couple of text lines.
    I like simplicity and would rather not have the clutter of calculus, sadistics, statistics and math for astro physics.
    Any recommendations or favorites.
    P.S. Reverse Polish Notation drives me bug nuts!

    Thanks in Advance

    Tom M.

  • #2
    I've got an old programmable TI scientific I've had since college. It runs off coal and steam, but once the boiler is hot, it does all that is needed. All I need is decimal math for stack up along with basic trig for angle calcs.
    Master Floor Sweeper


    • #3
      A texas instrument scientific solar is what I like. batteries suck and I never do math in the dark.

      About $14 gets a good one.


      • #4
        I like my Texas Ins. TI-34 II. Two line display with large characters and biggish buttons. They say it is solar but I think they screwed up. It hasnt been outside in years and still works. I think the florescent lights are energizing it. They outta call it light charged or sompthin JRouche


        • #5
          I like my TI 89 and TI 83, especially since they are programmable, make your own programs for doing quick calculations.


          • #6
            Since the HP41CV died, I have been using TI30 solar calcs.... they do most anything, including rectangular to polar conversions.

            I don't like the newer versions as well, some things are either gone, or put where I can't find them.....
            CNC machines only go through the motions.

            Ideas expressed may be mine, or from anyone else in the universe.
            Not responsible for clerical errors. Or those made by lay people either.
            Number formats and units may be chosen at random depending on what day it is.
            I reserve the right to use a number system with any integer base without prior notice.
            Generalizations are understood to be "often" true, but not true in every case.


            • #7
              I just hopped on eBay and bought the cheapest HP full function scientific I could find. I don't even remember the number, but it was dirt cheap and does every imaginable thing.

              I often use it as a sort of "notepad/DRO". When turning to a diameter, I'll enter the start point and subtract out the depth of each cut as I go rather than remeasuring with calipers all the time. Works great.



              Try G-Wizard Machinist's Calculator for free:


              • #8
                No RPN? Ooo!

                I'm absolutely sure I'm exhibiting no prejudice when I declare there's no such animal as a good basic trig calculator without RPN.

                As far as I was concerned the best pocket calculator for the shop was the HP11. I wore out several and nearly destroyed one. Then they (sob!) quit making them. I'm using an HP 33S but I really don't like it as well as the 11C's I used for years.


                • #9
                  I've got an old TI -81 in my tool chest. A friend got a TI-89 and gave me his old TI-81. He thought it didn't work but all it needed was a replacement battery (the small one hidden behind a little plastic cover). It works well - not as well as the 89 or 83 but great for shop stuff.


                  • #10
                    Well, ya pays your money . . .

                    Tom M --

                    A Casio fx-260 gets my vote for "best" simply because it fits in a shirt pocket so very well. At 2 3/4 inch x 5 inch x 1/2 inch thick, it neither sticks out enough to fall out (like the TI-30), nor falls to the bottom (like the cellular telephone), it's simply "right there" the many times a day I reach for it.

                    Mine is so old it was made in Malaysia, a current Chinese-made fx-260 sells for around US$ 8 at most office supply or discount stores.



                    • #11
                      I think I am using a casio fx-220 - mostly cos that's what I had left over from school/uni. Can't remember what it cost, but its is an excellent calculator. I have a TI-85 but I don't use that much in the workshop - it seems overkill! It is also a pita changing between the TI and the casio as the interface is slightly different!

                      As a side note, I recently sold my dad's HP-25 on eBlag - complete in it's box etc for quite reasonable money - it would appear there is a market for the older stuff! My mum was planning to chuck it in the skip...



                      • #12
                        HP calculator

                        What Bob Warfield talkes about is HP 20S Scientific calculator. It is dirt cheap and IT DOES NOT USES RPN NOTATION! It is even programable. It does not display any graphics, but I really do not see that when you are standing next to the lathe or the mill you will be doing any graphics, if ever. They are so cheap I have a couple around the house. I had over the years many calculators and the HP wins hands down. TI vs HP=Pinto vs Cadillac. The only problem is you cannot go to Staples and buy one, they do not carry it. I got it on the Net. Vic Smagovic


                        • #13
                          I've got a little credit-card-size Casio I bought about 35 years ago that is still going strong. It has all the trig functions, etc. I like it because it fits easily in a shirt pocket. I don't think it's made anymore though.
                          Try to make a living, not a killing. -- Utah Phillips
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                          Don't own anything you have to feed or paint. - Hood River Blackie


                          • #14
                            Anything HP, except those weird non-RPN models. Or a Post Versalog.


                            • #15
                              I came across this Machinist's Calculator with Speeds and Feeds buttons for $38:

                              I have all the typical feed rates calculations in an Excel spreadsheet on my PDA, but I don't like getting it near swarf

                              The Machinist Calculator (MC-20)

                              The easy-to-use MC-20 Machinist Calculator is a compact, hand-held device programmed with built-in formulas making it easy and quick for machinists to establish speeds, feeds and time without the guesswork or clumsy conversion charts.

                              Pressing any one of the five Function keys: Revolutions Per Minute (RPM), Surface Feet Per Minute (SFM), Inches Per Minute (IPM), Feed Per Tooth (FPT), Cut Time (CT) activates a built-in prompter that takes the user through a calculation step-by-step.

                              The Machinist Calculator comes with a User’s Guide and other features include a Conversion Center Function, a Stop-Watch/Timer Function and a Standard Math Calculator.

                              The MC-20 Machinist Calculator is useful for Machinists, Programmers, Inspectors, Estimators, Supervisors and Students. A protective cover is included.

                              Functions & Formulas:
                              The following functions are built into the MC-20:

                              RPM (Revolutions per Minute)
                              SFM (Surface Feet per Minute)
                              IPM (Inches per Minute)
                              FPT (Feed per Tooth)
                              CT (Cut Time)
                              "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."