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[Metrology] Calipers with 4 decimal places- Annoying.

rwm

Active User
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#1
It seem like most of the new calipers now have 4 digits to the right of the decimal point (Imperial.) Usually the last digit only displays 0 or 5. The older caliper used to have the last digit half-size so it was easy to ignore. I never expect to measure to the 10th with calipers. The problem is I cannot help making math errors with this extra digit! I have already screwed up several projects. I do all my work in thou so it really screws me up.
Is any one else annoyed by this or am I crazy? Hey, save some money in manufacturing and drop this useless digit! The darn caliper changes length by that much if your hand warms it. What a joke.
Is there a good manufacturer who makes one with just 3 ( or 3 plus a small digit?)


I have this Mitutoyo and I put tape over the last digit. Problem is when you switch to metric you lose the .01 digit which you need!
Robert
 
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darkzero

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#4
I had no idea Mitutoyo changed the look on that model caliper. I guess they needed to due to all the China clones now.

I have 3 older digital Mitus, they read just like yours with the full size digit but they're not that old. I guess I'm used to it, it never bothered me, not even on my DROs or digital mics. IIRC the only digital calipers I personally have owned that had the small digit was a pair from Harbor Freight.
 

rwm

Active User
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#5
I'm just not smart enough to do the math in ten-thous. I can only think in thous.
R

Edit:
Hey I think I have a winner!

 

darkzero

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#6
Just an FYI in case it matters to you. But the Starrett 799 series are made in China. Probably no big deal as they should be manufactured to Starrett's standards. I don't mind China tools to some extent & sometimes have no choice but for me personally I think they're overpriced for being made in China, buying new anyway. I paid less for my Mitus.
 

JimDawson

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Staff member
Director
#8
It seem like most of the new calipers now have 4 digits to the right of the decimal point (Imperial.) Usually the last digit only displays 0 or 5. The older caliper used to have the last digit half-size so it was easy to ignore. I never expect to measure to the 10th with calipers. The problem is I cannot help making math errors with this extra digit! I have already screwed up several projects. I do all my work in thou so it really screws me up.
Is any one else annoyed by this or am I crazy? Hey, save some money in manufacturing and drop this useless digit! The darn caliper changes length by that much if your hand warms it. What a joke.
Is there a good manufacturer who makes one with just 3 ( or 3 plus a small digit?)


I have this Mitutoyo and I put tape over the last digit. Problem is when you switch to metric you lose the .01 digit which you need!
Robert
Put a piece of tape over the 4th digit, then you can't see it. I had to do that for a woodworker friend of mine, it was causing him to make errors also. I just grabbed his calipers and some masking tape. He was a happy guy!:grin:
 

rwm

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#9
But then you have to take the tape off for metric! I actually thought about disabling the digit internally.
Robert
 

Wreck™Wreck

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#12
Do what everyone in a machine shop does, ignore the last digit with calipers.

Or just use dials unless you are less confident with a dial, equally as accurate, cost less and are immune to coolant ingress, the one you have pictured is not IP 6X and will stop working when coolant gets on the beam. This is not a permanent condition as they will work fine once they dry out.

I use both but with an enclosed lathe there is almost always coolant dripping from the top of the enclosure so I use dials there.
 

pstemari

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#14
... a dial, equally as accurate, cost less and are immune to coolant ingress, ...
And for immunity from chips get yourself a vernier caliper ;-)

You can get Starrett master vernier calipers on eBay for quite reasonable prices and the jaws are much, much stiffer than any of the electronic or dial calipers. You will also never worry skipping a tooth on the rack again.

B&S/Tesa/Etalon dial calipers are better because they have a shield over the rack

Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk
 

Bill Gruby

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#17
Put a piece of black electrical tape over the last digit and it won't bother you again. Out of sight, out of mind.

"Billy G"
 

FOMOGO

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#18
I have a similar Mitu, and as said above, it never really bothers me. Just disregard it when doing the math. I don't do metric, but may have to start as it is so prevalent. Probably be good for what's left of my softening brain. Mike
 

Hidyn

Active Member
Active Member
#19
I have to admit, reading about your frustrations is making me literally lol :)

Maybe you can machine a very tiny stainless door that sits inside the recess, where it covers the last digit but can pop open when you need it? :p
 

Bob Korves

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#20
I have to admit, reading about your frustrations is making me literally lol :)

Maybe you can machine a very tiny stainless door that sits inside the recess, where it covers the last digit but can pop open when you need it? :p
;)
 

darkzero

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Staff member
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#21
I have to admit, reading about your frustrations is making me literally lol :)

Maybe you can machine a very tiny stainless door that sits inside the recess, where it covers the last digit but can pop open when you need it? :p
Good one! Or put a piece of polarizing film over that digit. Then get some safety glasses with polarized lenses (you do wear safety squints right?) & when you do need to see the digit in that location tilt the calipers 90° or tilt your head. ;)
 

rwm

Active User
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#23
I can't do it. I try but I just can't ignore the last decimal. I must find a better caliper....search continues.
R

Oh yeah...that Starrett showed up different than the one pictured and it had 4 DECIMAL PLACES! Went back. Maybe Shars.
 
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intjonmiller

Active Member
Active Member
#24
I agree completely with this frustration. But I've actually had worse. I saw a set on sale at Harbor Freight one day for like $7. "Composite" calipers. Plastic is fine for what I had in mind: throw it in the tool bag for checking drill bits when they do it get put away properly, and other rough construction tasks ("what size is that pipe"; "hugging... looks like 2.5", but it's hard to tell with my tape measure"). But I didn't realize that it only had two digit precision! It's funny enough when a common fraction like 3/16" gets abbreviated as 0.188", but to take that to 0.19" makes things much more confusing for the main purpose for which I bought them.

Incidentally I was playing around on the Banggood app the other day (Banggood, for those who don't know, is a Chinese site that is trying to take on Amazon, and doing a pretty good job of it), and they had at least a dozen different digital caliper models in the 4-6" size range, all of which made Harbor Freight seem expensive. I ordered some for making simple readouts for my drill press, lathe tailstock, etc. There are video reviews of them on YouTube. Might be worth checking out??