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Best Dial Calipers for Money

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

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  1. Triumph

    Triumph Member

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    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).

    Thanks
     
  2. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    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 Member

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  4. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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

    chris in va Member

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    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 Member

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

    leadchucker Member

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    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 Member

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    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 Member

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

    dsm Member

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    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 Member

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    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 Member

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

    savanahsdad Member

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    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 Member

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

    10 Spot Terminator Member

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    Another vote for Mitutoyo here.
     
  16. dubbleA

    dubbleA Member

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    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 Member

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

    Clark Member

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    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+
    http://www.use-enco.com/CGI/INSRIT?PARTPG=INLMKD&PMPXNO=8505015&PMAKA=307-3602
     
  19. Zeke/PA

    Zeke/PA Member

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    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 Member

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    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.
     
  21. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    99% of measuring for reloading just isn't that demanding. I use a HF digital for most things because they are easy to read and work just fine. I use my Mitutoyo dial calipers out by the lathe. I break out my Brown & Sharp dial caliper once in a while to double check something or if I just want to feel that silky smooth movement and check out the beautifully marked lines etc. No comparison in quality, but the HF calipers work just fine for .001. Heck, if we are off .001, or .002, we aren't making ball bearings here, or fitting one part to another part.

    Buy quality and you won't be sorry. Buy cheap (Smart cheap) and it will work for you.
     
  22. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Member

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    ^^ The best bang for the buck in calipers is in digitals. They're inexpensive, easy to read, accurate enough, and completely reliable as long as one manages to keep a couple of spare batteries on hand.
     
  23. eam3clm@att.net

    eam3clm@att.net Member

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    I am at the point that I have given up on th harbor freight calipers. I have gone through three digital calibers. They started out fine. but over time their accuracy grew to unacceptable levels. I then switched to their dial type. The first one worked fine for a while, but it the pointed finally gave out. I bought a pair to replace it, and I kid you not between .000 and 1.00 on the body, it reads 3 4 5 6 7 1 2
     
  24. jcwit

    jcwit Member

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    I think what many forget is that calipers are not a tool, they are a precise instrutment.

    They should be handled as such.
     
  25. Triumph

    Triumph Member

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    Can you help me with a model #?
     
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