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Dial Calipers, 6 inch, Imperial, non-digital.

Been using one of each of those, for 30 plus years. They were well used when I acquired them but plenty serviceable and reliable. First to get put up a couple years ago with issues was the Starrett, now the Mitutoyo is having its own issues.

Ordered in a Hornady set for the reloading bench, and they just feel CHEAP. Of course, compared to the price of a new Starrett, or a new Mitutoyo, they ARE. A step up from Harbor Freight trash, but not by much in my opinion. Checking them against my Starrett mics they do check out, sorta, but not like the Starrett or Mitutoyo calipers once did. I'll probably just toss em in with the welding/fab stuff.

Question is, are current production Starretts and/or Mitutoyo worth a f uck these days, or have they gone "cheap" too? I'd like to think a new set of either would last another 30 years or more.


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Have you considered having the old ones repaired?


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IMO Starrett quality remains good. I replaced my workhorse 6" Mitutoyo dial calipers about a year ago and the Starrett tool I bought tracks perfectly along the full range as measured against my gauges. It "feels" nice too, a purely subjective analysis.
I still use a modest collection of a mixed bag of other calipers and mic's (all analog) - Brown&Sharp, Starrett, and a treasured 7", long-jawed, Helios dial caliper which was my first purchase 49 years ago when I was instated as a tool room supervisor. (Imagine that, fresh out of college with no more machining skills than what I picked up in the shadow of my Dad and Gramps and placed in charge of 20 hardnosed curmudgeonly machinists/tool&die makers. I learned about life pretty quickly! I talked a good game to the HR guy and found out it wasn't too daunting, as long as I listened before making decisions.)

Anybody have a use for a couple mint Starrett 36" height indicators? I don't know what I was thinking when I bought them except "Geezuz these are a great deal!"


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Originally Posted by Wildcatter264
Have you considered having the old ones repaired?

I have, and weighing the option against just buying new. I do need something to use while the old ones would be out. Thus the Hornady set.


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Originally Posted by gnoahhh
IMO Starrett quality remains good. I replaced my workhorse 6" Mitutoyo dial calipers about a year ago and the Starrett tool I bought tracks perfectly along the full range as measured against my gauges. It "feels" nice too, a purely subjective analysis.
I still use a modest collection of a mixed bag of other calipers and mic's (all analog) - Brown&Sharp, Starrett, and a treasured 7", long-jawed, Helios dial caliper which was my first purchase 49 years ago when I was instated as a tool room supervisor. (Imagine that, fresh out of college with no more machining skills than what I picked up in the shadow of my Dad and Gramps and placed in charge of 20 hardnosed curmudgeonly machinists/tool&die makers. I learned about life pretty quickly! I talked a good game to the HR guy and found out it wasn't too daunting, as long as I listened before making decisions.)

Anybody have a use for a couple mint Starrett 36" height indicators? I don't know what I was thinking when I bought them except "Geezuz these are a great deal!"

Thank you, good info.

And sorry no, I couldn't afford the table to use those height indicators on even if I had anything to measure like that. Lol.


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I use Mitutoyo in my shop every day. I like them because they can be ordered with carbide measuring surfaces. The set I'm using now are about 5 years old and still excellent. You might be able to find them cheaper but here are some.

https://www.mcmaster.com/2325A48/

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Originally Posted by Jim1611
I use Mitutoyo in my shop every day. I like them because they can be ordered with carbide measuring surfaces. The set I'm using now are about 5 years old and still excellent. You might be able to find them cheaper but here are some.

https://www.mcmaster.com/2325A48/


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Step into the 20th century and buy a digital. They will also be just as accurate and last 30 years. Just sayin.


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Originally Posted by bsa1917hunter
Step into the 20th century and buy a digital. They will also be just as accurate and last 30 years. Just sayin.

The 20th was so last century.

We're almost a quarter of the way into the 21st century now, but that still won't get me away from the analog measuring devices. Thanks anyway.


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Originally Posted by gnoahhh
IMO Starrett quality remains good. I replaced my workhorse 6" Mitutoyo dial calipers about a year ago and the Starrett tool I bought tracks perfectly along the full range as measured against my gauges. It "feels" nice too, a purely subjective analysis.
I still use a modest collection of a mixed bag of other calipers and mic's (all analog) - Brown&Sharp, Starrett, and a treasured 7", long-jawed, Helios dial caliper which was my first purchase 49 years ago when I was instated as a tool room supervisor. (Imagine that, fresh out of college with no more machining skills than what I picked up in the shadow of my Dad and Gramps and placed in charge of 20 hardnosed curmudgeonly machinists/tool&die makers. I learned about life pretty quickly! I talked a good game to the HR guy and found out it wasn't too daunting, as long as I listened before making decisions.)

Anybody have a use for a couple mint Starrett 36" height indicators? I don't know what I was thinking when I bought them except "Geezuz these are a great deal!"

Great story thanks! Still using my Helios dial caliper bought at a yard sale in the early 80s. Came with a leather case with a snap to hold it in.


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i once had a Starrett 136, I think, digital caliper and it went belly up. Starrett told me it was discontinued and I'd have to throw it away. I had a Mitutoyo digital one inch micrometer that died and I ended up giving it to Calibration Specialty in Dallas because they wanted more to fix it than it was worth. About the only thing that goes wrong with dial calipers is the rack can get swarf in it and the little pinion skips and your 0 is no longer at the top. Brown and Sharp are hard to fix but starrett can be fixed without too much trouble. Not sure about Mit. It could be as bad as B&S.

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Originally Posted by rainshot
i once had a Starrett 136, I think, digital caliper and it went belly up. Starrett told me it was discontinued and I'd have to throw it away. I had a Mitutoyo digital one inch micrometer that died and I ended up giving it to Calibration Specialty in Dallas because they wanted more to fix it than it was worth. About the only thing that goes wrong with dial calipers is the rack can get swarf in it and the little pinion skips and your 0 is no longer at the top. Brown and Sharp are hard to fix but starrett can be fixed without too much trouble. Not sure about Mit. It could be as bad as B&S.


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Starrett dial caliper quality has turned to crap. Avoid. Better to buy vintage Mitutoyo in excellent condition.


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I added another 193-211 Mitutoyo .0001 manual with an analog counter and it's just as nice as the other two I've had for 20+ years. Make sure to purchase from a known company as there are some off shore look alikes being sold as 'grey market' Mitutoyos....which they most certainly are not.

I've had on and off luck with Starrett and Fowler.

Scherr-Tumico products have always given excellent service. I have a full set to 5" and every one comes right to the standard every single time.

There's a place for digitals. When close enough is close enough...they're close enough.

The lab quality digitals that will go to a guage block like a manual are the instruments of temp controlled labs and clean rooms. I've had a chance to handle some of these and they are trully impressive. Impractical for what hand loaders need but impressive nonetheless.

Good shootin' -Al


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Originally Posted by Al_Nyhus
I added another 193-211 Mitutoyo .0001 manual with an analog counter and it's just as nice as the other two I've had for 20+ years. Make sure to purchase from a known company as there are some off shore look alikes being sold as 'grey market' Mitutoyos....which they most certainly are not.

I've had on and off luck with Starrett and Fowler.

Scherr-Tumico products have always given excellent service. I have a full set to 5" and every one comes right to the standard every single time.

There's a place for digitals. When close enough is close enough...they're close enough.

The lab quality digitals that will go to a guage block like a manual are the instruments of temp controlled labs and clean rooms. I've had a chance to handle some of these and they are trully impressive. Impractical for what hand loaders need but impressive nonetheless.

Good shootin' -Al

Thanks Al, appreciate the info.

Didn't really want to hear about counterfeit Mitutoyo though...dang it.


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Originally Posted by pal
Starrett dial caliper quality has turned to crap. Avoid. Better to buy vintage Mitutoyo in excellent condition.


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I've had no problems with Mitutoyo equipment. the calipers in the red plastic box are about 45 years old.
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I have a digital fowler on my toolbox at work. I really don't like it as well as my B& S.
All my mikes are B& S or Etalon except one Mito that is 5 decimals that use for certain things and one ball mile that's mito.

I don't believe i have any Starrett stuff anymore except rules


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