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  • electronic micrometers

    I just tossed my electronic mic because it was discontinuous: winding down through .750, it jumped to .733 which explains some of my recent woes.

    Looking on the web, there appear to be only a couple different-looking choices. I plumped for an iGaging mic from Rockler woodworking as it was only $30 shipped. It's much nicer than my old one: it has an on/off button whereas the old one would supposedly shut off automatically unless the battery was weak - kind of perverse, I thought; the new one requires you to hold down the zeroing button for a while so you don't end up accidentally zeroing it while handling it.

    A Starrett piece for a little over a hundred looks just like it. Do you suppose Starrett do anything beyond stamping their name on it, or do they somehow make it less likely to fail in the future? Maybe they have an agreement with the factory to ship them only the kind that don't crap out in a short while.

  • #2
    Micrometer or caliper?

    A assume caliper. I like mitutoyo. Buy a good one and it will last you a long time. Check pawn shops, thats where I found my mitutoyo.

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    • #3
      MIB in Germany also makes good instruments, check them out.

      Maybe that electronic mic has some crud in it if the reading jumped all of a sudden?
      Amount of experience is in direct proportion to the value of broken equipment.

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      • #4
        I have a Fowler and am quite pleased with it. No problems for over a year now.
        Paul A.

        Make it fit.
        You can't win and there is a penalty for trying!

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        • #5
          +1 on the Fowler micrometer.
          I found one in the chip barrel at work,
          and it was funky from being wet with coolant.
          I dried it out, replaced the battery, and it
          has been good to me for a few years now.
          Digital mics are great to readily see tenths of
          a thousandths for close work, which is the
          reason to use a mic. I know vernier mikes
          exist, but not handy to read them around
          the back side when looking at lines.
          --Doozer
          DZER

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          • #6
            If you purchase low end measuring instruments, you will get low end results. Just because some chicom manufacturer makes a micrometer or caliper that "looks just like" a Starrett does not mean it has any relation to Starrett. It is a gimmic to suck the uninformed purchaser in.

            Starrett does make tools in China, but they are manufactured in the Starrett facility under Starrett supervision.
            Jim H.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by JCHannum
              If you purchase low end measuring instruments, you will get low end results. Just because some chicom manufacturer makes a micrometer or caliper that "looks just like" a Starrett does not mean it has any relation to Starrett. It is a gimmic to suck the uninformed purchaser in.
              Amen says the choir.

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              • #8
                And you also need to watch for counterfeit brand name precision tools. Mitutoyo for one has a warning on their website about them. Their almost exactly the same in looks. Lot's of them have been sold on Ebay all over the world. If it's brand new and selling for a unbelievable cheap price? You might want to be real careful.

                Accuracy and dependability costs. That's just a fact of life.

                Pete

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                • #9
                  I do not trust digital micrometers and calipers. Unless each one costs as much as the DRO on my mill I would not trust them and even then I may reach for a manual mic to back up the reading. Thinking that way why would I ever want to use a digital mic or caliper, and your right, I don't and won't. I may trust the $1000+ Starrett mic's because I do trust my DRO.

                  The price is a good indication as to quality and dependability.
                  It's only ink and paper

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                  • #10
                    I really like my Mitutoyo caliper [CD-6"GS], it's great and gets a lot of use. The cheap digitals are good to carry around in my truck to get a so so measurement on something before I get it to the shop. For getting a final size I use a tumbler micrometer. Cheap tumbler micrometers once checked against a standard are fine with me and have never given me trouble, definitely not so with cheap calipers electronic or analogue. When buying a electronic caliper you'll save money buying IP65 coolant proof. Yes Macona your right I also like pawn shop mics I carry a 2" standard in my truck to take "shopping".

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                    • #11
                      I've owned digital micrometers from Mitutoyo (several), Starrett, Fowler, Moore & Wright, and (one) no-name Chinese brand. Of these, the Mitutoyo has been by far the best. Compared to the Chinese import it has about 10x the battery life and updates faster. One of the Mitutoyo's is now ten years old and still going strong.

                      The Starrett looks cool, but requires more expensive batteries which don't last as long. The Fowler I have is so-so. The M&W is so old as to make comparisons not so meaningful. Bottom line -- get a genuine Mitutoyo. The electronics in Mitutoyo digital calipers are also recognized as the best. Again, don't buy a Chinese unit -- the circuit board looks rougher (I've had them apart), the anvils may be slightly out of parallel, and it will likely eat batteries.

                      The upside to a good digital mic is instant US/metric conversion, the ability to do +/- measurements, and easier and faster reading. The only downside is that it is bulkier and will require a coolant proof version in the unlikely event you measure items amidst flood cooling.

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                      • #12
                        +1 on Mitutoyo digital calipers. They have the digital caliper technology nailed. I just bought a new 6" and it is miles ahead of the first model one I bought many years ago. I love the fact that I can turn it off and it still knows where it is when turned back on, no matter where I have moved the slider jaw.

                        RWO

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                        • #13
                          i still dont get it. is this about digital micrometers on digital calipers? oh yes, i have a digital calculator, but it doesnt eat batteries, because its solar.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by rohamm
                            I just tossed my electronic mic because it was discontinuous: winding down through .750, it jumped to .733 which explains some of my recent woes.
                            My guess is that the encoder wheel thing was too far from the sensor thing. You could have opened it up and fixed that.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Carl
                              I do not trust digital micrometers and calipers...

                              Neither do I and I am well versed in things digital and electronic. I much prefer mechanical measuring tools for a number of reasons not the least of which is that the batteries last exactly as long as I will. Trends, splitting the marks and being able to trust the reading are other reasons. The ability to very accurately transfer measurements is another. The ability to read the measurement without having to interpret it is yet another.

                              Last night I was sorting drill bits and I don't have to read the caliper at all. I can very reliably tell the difference by eyeball if the bit is 0.1" larger or smaller than 0.25". If the needle is pointing straight down then it's a 1/4" bit. I don't even need glasses to see that much.
                              Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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