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2" Boring Head Showdown: Criterion vs China... Diff. in PICS

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DoogieB

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#1
Last year I was finally able to score a nice used Criterion 2" boring head. Since I already had an import clone, I thought it would be interesting to compare.

boring_1.jpg

The boring head on the left is the USA-made Criterion DBL-202 and the one on the right is the imported 2" clone from Shars. Both are attached to an R8 adapter. I tried to align each at the R8 taper just to show that the Shar's head is a bit longer.

boring_2.jpg

This is the Shars head mounted in the mill and with the dial set to 20. Notice the markings on the dial: it's laser etched. This picture does a good job of showing the legibility of the dial: you can read it but it's not that great even with decent lighting and this boring head didn't see much use either. On my R8 collets, after a few years the laser etching is almost completely gone. Same with some sockets I own.

boring_3.jpg

And here's a picture of a dial indicator measuring the head travel: it's moved a little over 20 thousands. So when you set the dial for 20, you get a hole that is .040" bigger. It's kind of like direct versus radius reading dials on the cross feed of a lathe, you need to know which you have or you will be in for a surprise.

boring_4.jpg

Now the Criterion DBL-202 is mounted in the mill. Check out that dial as it's so much easier to read! As I get older these things become more important. As with the other head, it's set to 20.

boring_5.jpg

And now the dial indicator shows .010" movement (it's also moving in the opposite direction). So when you set the dial on the boring head to 20, you get a hole that's .020" bigger. To me, that seems more intuitive. It's also easier to bore a more precise hole, since each tick represents .001" whereas on the import you might have to split the marks for the same diameter.

The Criterion has a better build quality, especially in the gib adjustments, which makes the head seem much more precise. This is reflecting in the price, but I bought the used DBL-202 for the same price as the Shars boring head. That was, however, a Really Good Deal and took quite a few months to find.
 

4GSR

Iron
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#2
Take the Asian built boring head apart and clean all of the grinding grit out of it. Next, take a Norton wedge stone or equivalent and stone all of the bearing surfaces of the two slides until it is smooth. Reassemble by applying lightly Lubriplate 101 engine assembly grease on sliding surfaces and adjusting screw. You will notice an immediate difference is how the slide operates.
 

EmilioG

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#3
I see that the Shars dial is in the opposite direction of the Criterion. 0-10-20 x 0-40-30... for the Shars.
I like my Criterions. I have 2 DBL 202B's and they are really well made. Smooth, tight movement and accurate.
Glad you finally found a good Criterion. I wonder how it compares to a Chandler?
 

4GSR

Iron
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#4
I.................. I wonder how it compares to a Chandler?
I've tried both, like the Criterion better. Of course, the Chandler is more for facing along with boring holes. You can't take very heavy cuts with the Chandler as you can with the Criterion. When I say heavy cuts, say .030-.035" to the side.
 

4GSR

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#5
That's interested on the direction of the numbering on the dials. Both my Asian built heads, 2" & 3", have the numbers going in the same direction as the two Criterions have. Both of my Asian ones were bought over 15 years ago, may have something to do with it. The 2" Asian one has engraved numbers and lines, the 3" one looks like etched lines and numbers. You can see them quite well.
 

mikey

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#6
A head that gives you 0.021" of movement when you dial in 0.02" with the lead screw is not going to be very user friendly or confidence inspiring. Think I'll stick to my Criterion heads.
 

NCjeeper

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#7
I never rely on the dial and always use a DTI when I move the head for a cut.
 
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