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Favorite 6" dial caliper?

Discussion in 'METROLOGY - MEASURE, SETUP & FIT' started by Redmech, Mar 14, 2017.

  1. Redmech

    Redmech United States Active Member Active Member

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    I own a Starrett Vernier 122 6" caliper, a few digital cheap import 6" calipers, I'm interested in treating myself to a nice pair of dial calipers. I'd like them in inch, not metric. Through research it seems the Starrett ones are not USA made anymore, then watched a YouTube video that ranked dial calipers and the Starrett were ranked 7th. Are they that bad? Don't really know how valid that video was. I'm not interested in a cheap pair that will get me by, I already have that. Please recommend something that is in current production.

    In your opinion, who makes the nicest dial calipers.

    I had searched the forum and couldn't find a thread where people posted their favorite calipers.

    Thank you for your time and thoughts,

    Ross,
     
  2. bill stupak

    bill stupak United States Active Member Active Member

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    Last edited: Mar 15, 2017
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  3. mikey

    mikey Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I would buy a Tesa. They are identical to the Brown & Sharpe or Etalon calipers but they have a thumb wheel and this makes all the difference. Long Island agrees - this is the Cadillac of calipers.

    I just bought one to supplement the four others I already have - don't ask - and it is, by far, the best of the lot. It reads in 0.001" increments but has dots in between the tic marks to read 0.0005". I checked mine with gage blocks and it is balls on accurate. Hardened jaws, smooth as silk, repeats every time.

    If you have the money, a Tesa depth base is nice to have.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2017
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  4. bfd

    bfd United States H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    the best I have are the etalon. bill
     
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  5. RandyM

    RandyM United States Global Moderator Staff Member H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Two Brown and Sharps here also, a 6 inch and a 12 inch.
     
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  6. Redmech

    Redmech United States Active Member Active Member

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    I fondled a Brown and Sharpe 6" dual caliper today at the Grizzly showroom in Springfield Missouri today. Very nice, felt great. From reccomendations here and today's experience with them, I'll be ordering a pair. Also fondled quite a few mills I need.

    Thanks fellas
     
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  7. tertiaryjim

    tertiaryjim Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    The old Starrett calipers are nice and the Mititoyo but I haven't any experience with most of those spoken of.
    Do you mean dial calipers or digital calipers. The digitals are nice but I prefer the dials as I like to read between the lines.
    Not meaning to start a conversation of the accuracy of instruments and hope nobody is offended by my heathen practice.
     
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  8. RandyM

    RandyM United States Global Moderator Staff Member H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I am with you on preferring the dials. My take on the digitals is they are just another item that requires battery changes. I hate changing them and they can leak.
     
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  9. chips&more

    chips&more United States Active User Active Member

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    I have an old 6” Starrett dial caliper and also a new one. As said, I believe the new one I have is an import. When I compare the two. The surface finish on the newer one is not a good, but I’m splitting hairs. The stand out difference is I can feel the rack and pinion gearing a lot more when I translate the movable jaw on the newer one. Both calipers are accurate so I use them and don’t worry about where they came from…Dave.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2017
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  10. bfd

    bfd United States H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I also have other calipers, brown and sharp, mitutoyo, starrett, fowler they all work well but I like the etalon most. the story behind this: my dads woodworking shop was next to a shop in Stanton ca calles micro masters. I went over to visit and the owner was throwing away 1000's of pins he just made. I asked what was wrong and he said they were .025" short, why I asked and he showed me his calipers that were .025 off. he taught me how some calipers can skip a tooth. but he has found that the etalon didn't skip. I was just an apprentice at the time and he was running his own machine shop making all kinds of parts. so I believed him. now this was 40 years ago and I never questioned it. for what its worth bill
     
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  11. Redmech

    Redmech United States Active Member Active Member

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    Thanks for all the info. Seems the etalons will save me some money versus getting a pair branded Brown & Sharpe or Tesa.

    I'll let you guys know when I get a pair coming. Just blew a chunk of change on shop lighting today.
     
  12. Rockytime

    Rockytime United States Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    FWIW, my all time favorite dial calipers are HF. Laugh if you must but......They are CHEAP, I have them everywhere. They are all over my shop, at every machine, every desk, on my assembly benches. Also they are adequate for the work I do. I have a couple of Mititoyo electronic calipers as well and I like them because the flip from imperial to metric conveniently but since I HATE metric, did I mention I HATE metric, imperial dial calipers work well for me. I do however, have a fond admiration for nice micrometers of which I have several.
     
  13. EmilioG

    EmilioG United States Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Does the Tesa only come in 6"? I have an 8" Mitutoyo and find that to be the perfect all around size for my work. The Tesa does like nice. I may get one even in 6"
    How much did you pay for it if you don't mind? I see they're going for $175 and up. It's nice that the Tesa is dead nuts, but calipers are not really super precision tools.
    Like all calipers, the amount of pressure used will determine accuracy. I can get repeated measurements with my Mit digimatic 8 with light, even pressure but it will never measure .0623" :)
     
  14. mikey

    mikey Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I think they only make it in a 6" but I'm not sure about that. It is the exact same caliper as the Etalon and B&S caliper except it has a thumb wheel; for me, this is important for feel. I paid $200.00 shipped for this one. It was brand new and came with the depth base. I only went for it because it belonged to a guy who died and his brother was selling his tools. Normally, I would look for a better deal but if you look at used Tesa's, they run over $100 for a well used one.

    It is a 0.001" caliper with 0.0005" inter-unit markings and the thing is very accurate. The only caliper that I have that comes close is a Mitutoyo vernier caliper with a fine-feed wheel and that one is super-accurate. You're right; dial calipers in general are not for close tolerance work but I am convinced that no finer dial caliper exists.
     
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  15. EmilioG

    EmilioG United States Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I own an 8" digimatic but would like to buy a good dial caliper. I didn't know too much about the Etalon. I like the idea of a find adjust thumb wheel.
    The dial caliper may live longer than electronic, although Mitutoyo makes a great product. Etalon makes super accurate tools, so it's worth a look.
    For $200, you did well. Especially since it is new or mint, with the base no less. Thanks.
     
  16. EmilioG

    EmilioG United States Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Ebay has a listing for new Etalon 6" dial calipers with the depth base for $149.00 ($5.00 S&H), which is a great deal.
    Amazon is selling them for $184 w/o the depth base. The Ebay listing is Brown&Sharpe but it's an Etalon. New in it's sealed package and paperwork. TESA Etalon B&S
    I couldn't resist, so I bought one from the Ebay seller. Returns are accepted, but if this is a new caliper, I don't see any problems.
    There are two left. http://www.ebay.com/itm/322270746493?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT


    I needed a back up in case my Mitutoyo quits on me. (6 years still going strong).
     
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  17. T Bredehoft

    T Bredehoft Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I have a Brown & Sharp and a Tesa, The Tesa has a thumbwheel for rotating the dial to set zero, the B &S has a screw to release so you can rotate the dial to set zero. Other than that and the B & S is silver and the Tesa is black plastic they are identical. Even in smoothness of operation. I have a small number of "Pittsburgh" from HF, at $10.00 each which lie around the shop being handy to wherever I am. The B & S and the Tesa live in a drawer in a Kennedy box. If they come out, they go back. I got the HF models to keep the too good ones from damage. Batteries are online for 10 for $3.98 free shipping.
     
  18. mikey

    mikey Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Same exact calipers except no thumb wheel. I'm sure you'll be happy.
     
  19. EmilioG

    EmilioG United States Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Last edited: Apr 28, 2017
  20. mikey

    mikey Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Then I'm absolutely sure you'll be happy!
     
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