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Attention: KMart shoppers. What do we like for Calipers? Login/Join 
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Picture of erj_pilot
posted
Good morning all,

My mother gifted me a Midway USA certificate for Christmas and I was thinking about putting it toward a decent caliper set. I have a the Hornady Dial Calipers and they're OK. I do have to calibrate back to zero fairly often, but for my non-precision shooting it has served my purpose.

I would like to get a really nice set though. Whether it's digital or analog/dial, what say you for quality calipers around or less than $150?



"If you’re a leader, you lead the way. Not just on the easy ones; you take the tough ones too…” – MAJ Richard D. Winters (1918-2011), E Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne

"Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil... Therefore, as tongues of fire lick up straw and as dry grass sinks down in the flames, so their roots will decay and their flowers blow away like dust; for they have rejected the law of the Lord Almighty and spurned the word of the Holy One of Israel." - Isaiah 5:20,24
 
Posts: 3803 | Location: NW Houston | Registered: April 04, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of lyman
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quote:
Originally posted by erj_pilot:
Good morning all,

My mother gifted me a Midway USA certificate for Christmas and I was thinking about putting it toward a decent caliper set. I have a the Hornady Dial Calipers and they're OK. I do have to calibrate back to zero fairly often, but for my non-precision shooting it has served my purpose.

I would like to get a really nice set though. Whether it's digital or analog/dial, what say you for quality calipers around or less than $150?


Starrett


however I have a set of Midway and Lee that do just fine for reloading



www.chesterfieldarmament.com
 
Posts: 5926 | Location: Beach VA,not VA Beach | Registered: July 17, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Of the list of Midways digital calipers I'd pick the Starrett. However I do highly recommend the Mitutoyo 500-196-30 AOS Absolute Caliper available at MSI Viking Gage. Advertised as the best selling caliper in the world. Recently bought one an love it. Sells from $90-$120 but worth it. Don't buy from Amazon as I read that many Mitutoya calipers are fake Chinese copies? Most of the digital calipers at Midway will do ok. One thing to note is that a lot of inexpensive, cheap, calipers do not turn off but only the display turns off. Next time you use them the battery will be dead or weak. Battery eaters. To save batteries you have to remove the battery between uses. My one cheap Home Depot digital works well but eats batteries. Buy once. I recommend the Starrett digital or buy something else with your gift certificate and buy a Mitutoya from MSI Viking Gage.
 
Posts: 92 | Registered: May 05, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I bought my Mitutoyo 500-474 digital at Amazon some years back. That's the one that's solar powered. I got tired of changing batteries in my other caliper, the one from Frankford Arsenal. Of the ones at MidwayUSA, and for around $150, the Starrett 799 that's out of stock, would just fine. I don't use the caliper often, but when I do, I like it to work and not have to dig for a battery. I like digital.
 
Posts: 2650 | Location: Texas | Registered: June 20, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Avoiding
slam fires
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I have several sets,don't like the Scarrets,never held zero.
I have sets from midway and hornady that are dial,they do hold zero.
 
Posts: 21121 | Location: Georgia | Registered: February 19, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Blue68f100
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I have the Mitutoyo Absolute Caliper, Don't recall which model they are. I've had them since 2003. The battery had to be replaced last year, so they hold up very well. I also have a old pair of Starrett's 120 which are a dial caliper. These were great till they got knocked off the bench. Frown I need to send them in for service along with a dial indicator I have, for I really liked them.


David

P229R 9mm, Nitron, Beavertail Frame, Night Sights, DA/SA, SRT & Short Reach Trigger
 
Posts: 3407 | Location: Piney Woods of East Texas | Registered: November 08, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I like the feel of Brown & Sharpe the best, they are the smoothest. Mitutoyo would be a closer second to Starrett.

If you don't have any standards, I'd rather have a $10 set of harbor freight calipers and a quality set of standards close to the lengths I intend to measure.



After all if you want to measure with "real" precision a caliper is not the correct tool anyway, a micrometer is a better tool accuracy wise. Even so, a decent set will also come with standards as well.



A caliper is just a much less expensive more universal tool than specialized micrometers, for people that don't need the same level of precision, perfect for us reloaders.

Like measuring ID's or wall thickness would require more mic's than your normal set would come with.


 
Posts: 421 | Location: DFW | Registered: May 03, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Really appreciate all the input and suggestions!!! Thanks a 'mil, folks!



"If you’re a leader, you lead the way. Not just on the easy ones; you take the tough ones too…” – MAJ Richard D. Winters (1918-2011), E Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne

"Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil... Therefore, as tongues of fire lick up straw and as dry grass sinks down in the flames, so their roots will decay and their flowers blow away like dust; for they have rejected the law of the Lord Almighty and spurned the word of the Holy One of Israel." - Isaiah 5:20,24
 
Posts: 3803 | Location: NW Houston | Registered: April 04, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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j morris is right-on. You need at least a few jo-blocks, or the like, so as to be able to check.

I have had difficulty with electronic calipers. Use a 0-1 inch and 1-2 inch micrometer. Batteries not needed. Love digital for almost everything else.


Mac in Michigan
 
Posts: 347 | Location: Below the Bridge in Michigan | Registered: July 04, 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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It's awfully sad that the same product Made in the U.S.A. cost $100 more than crap made in China. But I guess that's what you're paying the extra $100 for...avoiding Chinese crap.



"If you’re a leader, you lead the way. Not just on the easy ones; you take the tough ones too…” – MAJ Richard D. Winters (1918-2011), E Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne

"Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil... Therefore, as tongues of fire lick up straw and as dry grass sinks down in the flames, so their roots will decay and their flowers blow away like dust; for they have rejected the law of the Lord Almighty and spurned the word of the Holy One of Israel." - Isaiah 5:20,24
 
Posts: 3803 | Location: NW Houston | Registered: April 04, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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It's awfully sad that the same product Made in the U.S.A. cost $100 more than crap made in China


It's even worse when it's the same made in China product and sells for more because it has a brand name sticker placed on it.

FWIW B&S are Swiss and Mit is Japan
 
Posts: 421 | Location: DFW | Registered: May 03, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I bought Mitutoyo 500-196 AOS from MSI. A member here provided a link to them when they were being discounted last year. They are ver accurate and I've had no problems with them.


________________
"Qui desiderat pacem, bellum praeparat; nemo provocare ne offendere audet quem intelliget superiorem esse pugnaturem".
(Whosoever desires peace prepares for war; no one provokes, nor dares to offend, those who they know to be superior in battle.)
-- Flavius Vegetius Renatus,
 
Posts: 3444 | Location: N. Texas | Registered: May 21, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Avoiding
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JMorris,that is one nice set of mikes,I have a small set but nothing like that.
 
Posts: 21121 | Location: Georgia | Registered: February 19, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by P320Mac:
j morris is right-on. You need at least a few jo-blocks, or the like, so as to be able to check.

I have had difficulty with electronic calipers. Use a 0-1 inch and 1-2 inch micrometer. Batteries not needed. Love digital for almost everything else.


Yes but not you need the blocks that are smaller sub set. I have a HF set of calipers. If you measure in 1" or x.1" they are right on. But if you measure like x.x64" it will be off 0.002". The scales are corrected for the main division but not the smaller sub division. If I get a chance I will post a picture of whats going on. I found this out when I knocked of my pin gauge set. I figured it would be faster measuring them than trying to read the small print. That is when I ran into the problem. My pin set starts at 0.060" and goes up to 0.250" in 0.001" steps.

Then I disliked when they powered them self off that your zero you set was last.


David

P229R 9mm, Nitron, Beavertail Frame, Night Sights, DA/SA, SRT & Short Reach Trigger
 
Posts: 3407 | Location: Piney Woods of East Texas | Registered: November 08, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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If you measure in 1" or x.1" they are right on. But if you measure like x.x64" it will be off 0.002".



If you are saying you have a set of calipers that are reading correctly at 1.000, 2.000, 3.000, 4.000, 5.000 and 6.000 but are off at 1.060, 2.060,... That would indeed be odd. Errors in measuring instruments are almost always cumulative. This is why he more accurate micrometers, for example measure such a short range.

That said, the reason I suggested standards is because there is a "feel" to getting the correct reading with a set of calipers. That's why folks that are "untrained" get go/no go gauges vs measuring tools for QC.

Just pass a part around to several people that are not accustomed to using them and ask them to measure a given dimension and see how much the results differ.
 
Posts: 421 | Location: DFW | Registered: May 03, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Nullus Anxietas
Picture of ensigmatic
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Originally posted by rg1:
Of the list of Midways digital calipers I'd pick the Starrett. However I do highly recommend the Mitutoyo 500-196-30 AOS Absolute Caliper available at MSI Viking Gage.

Just pulled the trigger on one of these from MSI-Viking. They're on sale, right now, for $89.95. With $12.84 in shipping via UPS Ground (for me), that brought the total to less than the price on Amazon and, while I won't get it as quickly as I would with AP, at least I'll know I'm getting the Real Deal.

I really wanted one with inch fractions as well, but, in the end: Having a caliper I felt I could trust was more important. I'll still have the cheap set I bought, for inch fractions.




"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system,,,, but too early to shoot the bastards." -- Claire Wolfe
 
Posts: 11881 | Location: S.E. Michigan | Registered: January 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of henryaz
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Originally posted by ensigmatic:
quote:
Originally posted by rg1:
Of the list of Midways digital calipers I'd pick the Starrett. However I do highly recommend the Mitutoyo 500-196-30 AOS Absolute Caliper available at MSI Viking Gage.

Just pulled the trigger on one of these from MSI-Viking. They're on sale, right now, for $89.95. With $12.84 in shipping via UPS Ground (for me), that brought the total to less than the price on Amazon and, while I won't get it as quickly as I would with AP, at least I'll know I'm getting the Real Deal.

I really wanted one with inch fractions as well, but, in the end: Having a caliper I felt I could trust was more important. I'll still have the cheap set I bought, for inch fractions.

Easy enough to learn your inch-->decimal conversions. Once you have the major fractions down, it's just a matter of subdividing.
 
 
Posts: 7034 | Location: South Congress AZ | Registered: May 27, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of fredj338
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You are not machining anything to a tolerance of 0.001". I find any S dial caliper will be fine for the reloading bench. I prefer them to digital because they always work. I don't need to be hunting batteries when I need to be making ammo.


IF YOU AREN'T HANDLOADING, YOU AREN'T SHOOTING ENOUGH!
NRA Instruc: Basic Pistol & Met Reloading
 
Posts: 7646 | Location: ca, usa | Registered: February 17, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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BTW, if you are measuring tighter than 0.001", you need a micrometer, not calipers.


IF YOU AREN'T HANDLOADING, YOU AREN'T SHOOTING ENOUGH!
NRA Instruc: Basic Pistol & Met Reloading
 
Posts: 7646 | Location: ca, usa | Registered: February 17, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of henryaz
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Originally posted by fredj338:
I don't need to be hunting batteries when I need to be making ammo.

Speaking of which, I used to have an entry level Starrett digital calipers, and it ate batteries. The same entry level Mitutoyo's are much kinder on batteries.
 
 
Posts: 7034 | Location: South Congress AZ | Registered: May 27, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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