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Thread: Dial Calipers

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    Dial Calipers

    Like Glenn i am tackling my to do list. One thing i have on the top of the list is buying a new caliper. I am going back to analog dial indicators. Had enough of the zero digital nonsense and not knowing if it is or inst.

    So I know Starret is the ultimate and i am seriously looking at this one

    http://www.starrett.com/metrology/pr...lipers/1202F-6

    But LV also has this one

    http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/pag...513,43546&ap=1

    And naturally price is way difference.


    What i really would like is a dial that does metric and imperial but i aint seen any. Does anyone know of a unit that does fractional and metric on the same dial ?


    Anyone got any experience with either the Starret or LV version of the Starret.

    Thanks all comments would be welcome .
    cheers

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Poway, CA, near San Diego
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    Rob,

    Click on the pdf button on the Starrett caliper page. Then scroll down and look at the tail of the caliper. It says "L. S. Starrett Co. China"
    I'd bet that theirs and the Lee Valley one were made in the same factory. Starrett has a long history making very fine measuring tools. They
    seem to have caved to market pressures like everyone else.

    Bob

  3. #3
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    Jun 2008
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    Thanks Bob here i thought i was gonna put my money where my mouth was and buy American and support the local boys. Darn it gets my goat when they hide stuff like that. I can understand them doing it but then the price needs to follow the origin like LV. I bet they the same manufacturer just different color dials.
    cheers

  4. #4
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    Mine is Draper brand, made in Japan. I paid about $25.00 five or six years ago. It looks no different than the high priced ones on the market and I couldn't ask for better.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    No, not all of SoCal is Los Angeles!
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    The endless discussions of things being made in the same factory with the same machines BUT, to very difference tolerances aside , I have one of the Lee Valleys, one of the Woodcraft (was on sale for about $30 awhile back) and a Peachtree. The Woodcraft is 7 or 8 years old and has been great. The Lee Valley and the Peachtree look very similar with a vast difference in fit, finish, smoothness of actions etc. I made a big mistake buying the Peachtree unit; it is so rough in motion that I just stuck it to the top of my planer with a magnet and use it for roughing out stock . Its accurate, just not pleasant to use.

    Be that as it may, a good analog caliper marked in fractions and decimals is one of my most used measuring tools. I have one near the DP for checking drills, screws, parts, etc. I have one in the drawer at the bench for . . well . . . almost everything. They are really handy for me in checking M&T joinery, plugs, holes, etc.
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 09-25-2012 at 01:03 PM. Reason: sp
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  6. #6
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    I have the Starrett one and it's been excellent. It's decimal and fractions (of inches). I got it on sale quite a while ago and paid $50+ for it. I see they're a lot more expensive now.

    I don't have any experience with the LV but LV normally has quality stuff and this one looks pretty good in the picture.

    Mike

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Decatur, Alabama
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    518
    I think you'll find very little difference in the accuracy of any decent caliper. Calipers are typically accurate to .001" and the fractional one you linked only displays .01" graduations. Typically they're .1" per revolution, fractional calipers are 1" per revulation. Anything but a junk caliper will be that accurate.

    At work I use starrett and mitutoyo, both are great measuring tools. The nicer mics will tend to have a good finish, smoother movement, harder steel to hold up longer, etc. I wouldn't be to concerned about quality of a starrett china product either. The ones I've seen at work are still top notch tools. (subject to change of course, but so far they seem just as good as the old stuff) At home I just use a harbor freight caliper and check it against a standard every now and then.

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
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    don't ask me. I'm still using vernier calipers, including a couple of plastic ones that are surprisingly accurate and adequate for most of my needs.
    Cheers,
    Roger


    The other member of Mensa, but not the NRA

    Everyone is a self-made person.

    "The thing about quotes on the internet is that you cannot confirm their veracity" -Abraham Lincoln

  9. #9
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    Well thanks guys Mike you the person that got me making notes of that Starret you have. Glenn i share your experiences on quality of smoothness of operation. Thats whats making me think twice about the LV unit and want the one Mike has. Its getting stale fussing with my digital caliper that has a tough to move movement.
    I am gonna look to find the starret at a place where i can feel it over the counter rather than order online. May be tough to do though. Thanks for the input.
    cheers

  10. #10
    I'm a little late but I have a 6" dial caliper from Harbor freight that I paid $6 for 20 plus years ago and they are just as accurate and smooth as the starret they were checked against.

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