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BCM
Durkin Tactical Franklin Armory
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Posted: 5/4/2003 5:07:56 PM EST
I need to buy a Dial Indicator. I can't find any stores around that sell one, so i'm gonna get one online. There seems to be two types, cheap($10-$40) and expensive($100-$150). For now I need to to measure backlash in my rear end, but I plan on using it in the future (once i get my mill and lathe) so I don't mind paying the $100 extra to get an expensive one if they are worth it. I'm 24 and plan to live about 50-70 years more, so i'm sure i'll use it alot.

My question is...is there really a difference? will a cheap one just fall apart or give bad readings?

Thanks for any advise.
brownells
Link Posted: 5/4/2003 5:20:31 PM EST
[#1]
Link Posted: 5/4/2003 5:22:07 PM EST
[#2]
get a cheap one.  I used to be a machinest and bought some real expensive tools and some real cheap tools.  I bought a cheapo dial indicator and was perfectly happy with it.

The difference between a cheap and an expensive one is the smoothness of the action.  
Link Posted: 5/4/2003 5:27:13 PM EST
[#3]
see if you can find one at a pawn shop. I don't know about VA, but here in CT the pawn shops generally have a nice selection of used precision measuring equipment/lathe and mill tooling at very reasonable prices. I'm not talking about junk here, I'm talking the really nice stuff like Starrett and Mitutuyo(sp).
Link Posted: 5/4/2003 5:31:52 PM EST
[#4]
If you plan on keeping and using it a lifetime buy the best one you can afford.  I have a older Lufkin with mag and chain holders from the 60's that still works great.
Link Posted: 5/4/2003 5:38:12 PM EST
[#5]
You will be fine in buying the cheapo stuff if you don't use it every day. The cheap dial indicators work fine for general machine shop useage, but must be replaced more often. Don't skimp on the magnetic base though, the jap/chicom are complete junk, one drop and bye bye mag base.
This is kind of like the choice of buying a leapers or leupold scope. If your going to use and trust it, buy leupold, if your going to use as a hobby buy a leapers.
Link Posted: 5/4/2003 5:47:47 PM EST
[#6]
Quoted:
You will be fine in buying the cheapo stuff if you don't use it every day. The cheap dial indicators work fine for general machine shop useage, but must be replaced more often. Don't skimp on the magnetic base though, the jap/chicom are complete junk, one drop and bye bye mag base.
View Quote


Ditto!! Only buy the Mighty Mag bases, the $10 DI's are fine, even the Chicom DTI's are o.k. When you get a mill & lathe, you'll need several DI's and you'll want some cheap ones. If you want to spend money, buy a good DTI, mic and dial calipers. BTW, stay away from the digital dial calipers for machine work, I have both and the digital are good for clean work, the dial is better when your checking you work on the lathe & mill. MHO
Link Posted: 5/4/2003 5:49:02 PM EST
[#7]
[url]http://harborfrieght.com[/ur]

has a good one.

I use it, no problems yet
Link Posted: 5/4/2003 5:57:40 PM EST
[#8]
As a machinist  I'm still using had some fairly inexpensive made in Japan 1" travel indicators I bought 25 years ago. I'd had couple of made in China indicators last only a month or so. Cheap Japanese beats Chinese hands down.
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