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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 10/3/2005 3:49:35 PM EDT
I'm looking for some good quality but inexpensive calipers and micrometers to use for my 1911 tinkering and fitting. Can someone lead me in the right direction. Also, I've never used these before, but I'm assuming they're as simple as they sound. Thanks for the replies.
Link Posted: 10/3/2005 3:51:13 PM EDT
I bought a low-cost mic from Victor Machinery (i think?) for like $25. Worked well enough for what I used it for. Unless you know you need it you don't need to get a $100 starrett. Google for how to use them, also try mini-lathe.com I believe he has a tutorial.
Link Posted: 10/3/2005 3:53:02 PM EDT
Brown & Sharpe are good ones to use for general gun work. I have a 6" dial caliper and a 1" micrometer for use in reloading and general gun work.
You can get them at a MSC shop.
Link Posted: 10/3/2005 3:54:16 PM EDT
Might be overkill for you but I use Mitutoyo mics and calipers everyday. You cant go wrong with them.
Link Posted: 10/3/2005 3:55:09 PM EDT
my choice is starrett... look in pawn shops, sometimes you can get great deals.
Link Posted: 10/3/2005 3:56:17 PM EDT
harbor freight sells a 6" (and other sizes) Digital Caliper
It does Metric/SAE and good to 0.001 IIRC
for about $20 on sale, if they're accurate enough for you, then it's a good deal.

I checked mine against some Starret Standards and they were right on the money.

Now don't get me wrong, I love my Starret measuring tools, I have a collection of calipers, mics and assorted other goodies that started with a couple of gauges given to me by my grandfather. You can NOT replace good quality tools.
Link Posted: 10/3/2005 3:57:36 PM EDT

Originally Posted By cduarte:
my choice is starrett... look in pawn shops, sometimes you can get great deals.



I have been in MANY pawn shops, I have YET to see a good deal on ANYTHING!
Youze guys are lucky or the shops around here just plain suck!
Link Posted: 10/3/2005 3:58:16 PM EDT
Another plus for Browne and Sharp, Starret or Mituoyo.
Link Posted: 10/3/2005 3:59:03 PM EDT
Try www.travers.com/index.asp

They have an inexspensive line SPI brand. Fowler also makes reasonably cheap mics & calipers. Travers Tool carries both brands.
Link Posted: 10/3/2005 3:59:09 PM EDT
Don't go too cheap though. In the precision measurement world you definatly get what you pay for. But then again, I use mine daily so it gets some abuse. YMMV
Link Posted: 10/3/2005 4:06:28 PM EDT
I'm not a pro, but I find that my dial (analog) calipers are faster and easier to use than my digitals. I find it's easier to see "differences" with a dial over digitals (which I have to calculate in my head).

For example, with reloading, I'm doing a lot of case size checking, and with a dial, I just remember where on the dial the needle should be pointing +/- whatever range I need. With a digital, I am constantly calculating how far my reading is off from what range I want and it is much slower.

Just thought I'd throw this in if you need one for similar purposes.

I am not worried about accuracy beyond .00x, so cheapo ones work fine.
Link Posted: 10/3/2005 4:17:20 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/3/2005 4:19:02 PM EDT by twonami]

Originally Posted By desertmoon:
Another plus for Browne and Sharp, Starret or Mituoyo.


+1, get the micrometers with the carbide faces. My B&S and Starrett carbide faced mics are over 25 years old and the faces are clean and scratch free.
I use dial calipers because my eyes never could focus long enough to read a venier caliper

whatever you do don't buy any of that India/Pakistani garbage
Link Posted: 10/3/2005 4:18:46 PM EDT
"Good quality but inexpensive" almost requires that you buy new imported or used USA tools.

The Chinese have gotten much better in the QC area the last several years. I've got chinese mikes and calipers that calibrate as close as my American tools. The main question is how would they stand up to constant usage? I don't know, but they are obviously good enough for casual/part time use.

Get a 1 inch chinese mike(15-20 $) and a 6 inch chinese dial caliper(15-25 $) and use them for a while. This will give you a start and you will probably gain enough knowledge to determine whether you need to move up to the priceier name brand tools. Avoid tools made in India, the ones I have seen are not real good.

The "Buying from Red China " thing is a different discussion.

Don in Ohio
Link Posted: 10/3/2005 9:50:48 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DonOhio39:
"Good quality but inexpensive" almost requires that you buy new imported or used USA tools.

The Chinese have gotten much better in the QC area the last several years. I've got chinese mikes and calipers that calibrate as close as my American tools. The main question is how would they stand up to constant usage? I don't know, but they are obviously good enough for casual/part time use.

Get a 1 inch chinese mike(15-20 $) and a 6 inch chinese dial caliper(15-25 $) and use them for a while. This will give you a start and you will probably gain enough knowledge to determine whether you need to move up to the priceier name brand tools. Avoid tools made in India, the ones I have seen are not real good.

The "Buying from Red China " thing is a different discussion.

Don in Ohio



I'm a precision machinist and agree with Don in Ohio.
While I use Brown and Sharpe, Mittutoyo, and Starrett at work, I use imports at home.
I've even taken all my import stuff to work and had it calibrated by our QC guy and it all checks out fine.
The only other recomendation I would make is avoid the chinese stuff and look at the former Soviet block tools.

I know its not kosher around here, but eBay is a good source for precision measuring tools.
Also, when getting a set of 1" micrometers, spend a few more bucks and get some that measure to .0001", you won't regret it.
Link Posted: 10/3/2005 10:08:08 PM EDT
Personally, I have no legitimate use for a micrometer. I have three calipers that get used all the time. I have a micrometer that just sits and sits and sits,.....
Link Posted: 10/3/2005 10:36:08 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Mike_Mills:
Personally, I have no legitimate use for a micrometer. I have three calipers that get used all the time. I have a micrometer that just sits and sits and sits,.....



I have plenty of uses for a micrometer. I just got done measuring the width of my pubes, and after I get done peeling a coke can into slivers, I'm going to measure that too. I tried measuring boogers once, but they are far too squishy to get an accurate reading.

It's all about your priorities.
Link Posted: 10/3/2005 10:39:50 PM EDT
Just jumped back in here to agree with Donith.

Get your micrometer with .0001 resolution, the extra cost is very little.

"Former soviet block tools" , I understand that the Polish micrometers compare very well to Starrett , Brown & Sharpe and other "name" manufacturers. They cost more than the Chinese types but still much less than the industry standards. I believe ENCO has these listed on thier website.

Don in Ohio

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