1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. PLEASE: Read the FORUM RULES BEFORE registering!

    Dismiss Notice

I can't believe how much better a good dial indicator is!

Discussion in 'METROLOGY - MEASURE, SETUP & FIT' started by jmx66, Jul 8, 2017.

  1. jmx66

    jmx66 United States Active Member Active Member

    Likes Received:
    29
    Trophy Points:
    18
    City:
    Marin County
    State:
    California

    -Return to Top-

    I've had a cheap dial indicator for awhile and won an eBay auction for this vintage (?) Japanese-made Enco.
    It looks unused. It is so much nicer to use! Smoother, more repeatable, needle doesn't jump around.
    Just wanted to share and encourage anyone getting frustrated with their cheap indicator to think about an upgrade. :)
    [​IMG]
     
    royesses, 4gsr and mikey like this.
  2. mikey

    mikey Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

    Likes Received:
    2,141
    Trophy Points:
    113
    City:
    Honolulu
    State:
    Hawaii

    -Return to Top-

    I had a similar experience, JM, but watch for an Interapid or Compac DTI. Using that will give you the same jump that you noted when going from Chinese.
     
    4gsr, Ulma Doctor and jmx66 like this.
  3. Bob Korves

    Bob Korves H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

    Likes Received:
    3,394
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    USA
    City:
    Sacramento
    State:
    California

    -Return to Top-

    Or a B&S BesTest. Swiss made. I have three of them, large dial .0005 and .0001", and a small dial .0005" set with accessories. I actually prefer the Interapid ones, but they are all close and excellent. Compac is also very good. Any of the three, B&S BesTest, Compac, or Interapid are about as good as DTI's get. The prices also match the quality, at least new. I have about $50 total in my three BesTest DTI's, bought used, and they all work just fine. Sorry, lovers of America's best. I feel that Starrett indicators are not even close to as good as the best Swiss indicators. I have several of them collecting dust... I have some old Federal indicators that I actually like more than the Starretts, mostly because they seem to be bulletproof...
     
    Ulma Doctor, mikey and jmx66 like this.
  4. mikey

    mikey Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

    Likes Received:
    2,141
    Trophy Points:
    113
    City:
    Honolulu
    State:
    Hawaii

    -Return to Top-

    A good Swiss indicator is rather expensive when new but these instruments can last for decades with care. One of the most useful in the Compac line is the 214GA; reads in 0.0005" increments over a 0.06" range with large units so they're easy to see and is smooth as silk. They have stronger bearings than a comparable Interapid, which makes them a bit more forgiving on the shop floor. Brand new, they went for about $300.00. Here is a used one that should clean up nicely for under $60.00:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Compac-Tesa...457523?hash=item361c4413b3:g:tvYAAOSwyWZZTU3n

    I have three of these (you gotta' have back ups, right?) and they are my most used indicators. One of mine is brand new and I cannot tell the difference between the new and used ones.

    There are also several 215GA's on ebay going for $135-160.00 or so. These are 0.0001" indicators. Useful when you need the resolution and also very smooth.
     
  5. jmx66

    jmx66 United States Active Member Active Member

    Likes Received:
    29
    Trophy Points:
    18
    City:
    Marin County
    State:
    California

    -Return to Top-

    Y'all are gonna get me in trouble with the wife. ;)
     
    mikey likes this.
  6. benmychree

    benmychree United States Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

    Likes Received:
    310
    Trophy Points:
    83
    City:
    Saint Helena
    State:
    California

    -Return to Top-

    Say what you will, but I have been using a Starrett "Last Word" indicator for about 50 years now (yes, the same one) and have never had any sort of problem with it, only occasionally adjusting the pivot screw to take up for wear; they are so simple as to be bullet proof and will fit into smaller places than their Swiss cousins, and exchanging different probes is exceedingly simple.
     
    4gsr and mikey like this.
  7. benmychree

    benmychree United States Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

    Likes Received:
    310
    Trophy Points:
    83
    City:
    Saint Helena
    State:
    California

    -Return to Top-

    Say what you will, but I have been using a Starrett "Last Word" indicator for about 50 years now (yes, the same one) and have never had any sort of problem with it, only occasionally adjusting the pivot screw to take up for wear; they are so simple as to be bullet proof and will fit into smaller places than their Swiss cousins, and exchanging different probes is exceedingly simple.
     
    Ulma Doctor likes this.
  8. mikey

    mikey Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

    Likes Received:
    2,141
    Trophy Points:
    113
    City:
    Honolulu
    State:
    Hawaii

    -Return to Top-

    My Last Word is now over 30 years old and works well, too. Starrett tools take a lot of verbal abuse nowadays but their older tools are still going strong and I wonder if a cheap Chinese indicator will still be alive after 5 years.
     
    4gsr and Ulma Doctor like this.
  9. ddickey

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

    Likes Received:
    355
    Trophy Points:
    63
    City:
    Red Wing
    State:
    Minnesota

    -Return to Top-

  10. Ulma Doctor

    Ulma Doctor Infinitely Curious Active Member

    Likes Received:
    2,723
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Ethereal Plane
    City:
    Tracy
    State:
    California

    -Return to Top-

    I'm stuck on B&S and Mitutoyo
    but i do own, use, and like Starrett and Federal
    i use cheapo import indicators where the possibility of potential destruction exists and then verify with more accurate means if necessary
     
    booker likes this.
  11. benmychree

    benmychree United States Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

    Likes Received:
    310
    Trophy Points:
    83
    City:
    Saint Helena
    State:
    California

    -Return to Top-

    Another thing that I like about the Last Word indicator is its mounting method with the friction swivel connectors; it sets up and adjusts easily with a minimum of parts. I do have a B&S, but use the Starrett much more.
    The screw adjustment (under the feeler) has an effect on slop, as the arm does not fully engage with the spiral slot in the pointer shaft if it (the screw) becomes loose.
     
    Bob Korves, 4gsr and Ulma Doctor like this.

Share This Page