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Best Dial Calipers for Money

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Triumph, Feb 21, 2013.

  1. Triumph

    Triumph Well-Known Member

    I don't like digital calipers because I never seem to get the same reading twice. Also, don't like the batteries.

    Can you guys give me suggestions on the best dial calipers for the money.

    I am thinking RCBS because of their spectacular customer service (from what I hear).

  2. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Well-Known Member

    I bought some Midway labeled ones 20 years ago and have no complaints. I think Midway still selling them, just with Frankfort Arsenal on them.
  3. bds

    bds Well-Known Member

  4. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Well-Known Member

    Ain't no 100 buck calipers at my house. They 20 buck model works for me.
  5. chris in va

    chris in va Well-Known Member

    Agreed, my $25 stainless dial calipers work great. If they're anything like digitals, most come from the same factory regardless of price.
  6. cag215

    cag215 Active Member

    6 inch Mitutoyo Stainless Steel dial caliper....good stuff that will last a lifetime.
  7. leadchucker

    leadchucker Well-Known Member

    A good used dial caliper is the sort of thing you can find for cheap on evilbay if you're just a little patient. I found a nice older used Mitutoyo dial caliper with case there for around $20.
  8. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Well-Known Member

    For the vast bulk of reloading chores, the $20-$30 digital calipers from a variety of sources will be more than adequate.

    OF course, if you insist, there are more expensive ones out there.
  9. Jesse Heywood

    Jesse Heywood Well-Known Member

    Best bang for the buck is the Harbor Freight when they are on sale for $10-12.
  10. dsm

    dsm Well-Known Member

    Another vote for Mitutoyo digital...mine are several years old, same battery and never once drifted or inconsistent results.
  11. .22-5-40

    .22-5-40 Well-Known Member

    Bought a 6" stainless Starrett dial caliper new in 1974..been my constant companion as machinest..then tool & die maker. Bought another about 15 years ago for home/reloading use. Only have to buy quality once!
  12. 280shooter

    280shooter Well-Known Member

    i bought a Lyman over 30 years ago. its a dial. No batteries.. its works just great,
  13. savanahsdad

    savanahsdad Well-Known Member

    Starrett, Mitutoyo, Brown&Sharp.

    most others don't make them they just slap there name on them , on the low end I'd go with General tool.
  14. mike.h

    mike.h Well-Known Member

    Yep, I got mine at harbor freight, they work fine
  15. 10 Spot Terminator

    10 Spot Terminator Well-Known Member

    Another vote for Mitutoyo here.
  16. dubbleA

    dubbleA Well-Known Member

    I have a 6 inch Starrett digital, a 6 inch Starrett dial and a 6 inch Mitutoyo dial. The Starrett dial probably sees the most use, dont really know why they just do.
    My dad gave me a 6 inch vernier caliper made in Germany by Helios last year. They have sentimental value as the are appx 50 years old and are the what I cut my teeth with.

    My father always told me growing up....."son, you might as well start out with what your going to wind up with" and I have always tried to abide by that.

    Buy quality, it willl pay off in the end.
  17. Otto

    Otto Well-Known Member

    Mitutoyo Digimatics are all I use.
    I can see why cheap Harbor Freight calipers would turn someone sour on digital calipers.
  18. Clark

    Clark Well-Known Member

    I got some of those 15 years ago and they were freakishly good.
    I own a lot of calipers.
    My cousin has the patent on coolant proof calipers.
    He uses a 3 phase magnetic position sensor.

    The only way I have found to get calipers as good as those old Midway made in china calipers is buy Mitutoyo.
    It is going to cost $90+
  19. Zeke/PA

    Zeke/PA Well-Known Member

    I bought my first set of Starretts about the same time and still have 'em after all this time in the same trade.
    Got a set of 12 inchers too plus a set or two of digitals.
    Greatest thing since Instant Mashed Potatoes!
  20. 7075-T7

    7075-T7 Well-Known Member

    I have a pair of 6" dial calipers from Harbor freight and Mitutoyo. The HF are fine, the Mitutoyo are just better made and more repeatable.

    I use the Harbor Freight at work and the Mitutoyo for reloading.

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