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Digital caliper question

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Pcmaker

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#1
I have 2 of these calipers that I bought from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B017KUC6XQ/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

These are my first and only calipers that I've owned and I bought them because of the Amazon reviews being high. I think they're pretty good, but I have nothing to compare them to.

With my limited experience, my only gripe is that even with the caliper turned off, it still drains the battery. That is the major complaint in the Amazon reviews. Battery lasts about 6 months on average.

Do higher end calipers like Mitutoyo have this problem? How about iGaging? Other brands? I want something with an auto off, and it not draining the battery while it's off.
 

JimDawson

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#2
My Mitutoyo calipers go about 2 years between battery changes. They are pretty much never turned off. I have found that the cheaper calipers have much shorter battery life, sometimes on the order of a few weeks. My Starrett calipers eat batteries also.
 

stupoty

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#3
I have a mitytoyo digital "dial" indicator the battery life is pritty epic.

Stu
 

Nogoingback

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#4
My Mitutoyo has never had the battery changed, and it's at least 4 years old. I turn it off when not in use, but it has no auto off.
 

pontiac428

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#5
LoL! That's why Amazon Basics sells button cell batteries so cheap! Don't you just love it when you grab your China digi calipers knowing it's a 50/50 whether you'll have to put in a new battery before proceeding with your work? I still use them, but I go through SR44 batteries like toilet paper.
 

mmcmdl

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#6
I have a set of Mitutoyo 0-6" MyCals but have never opened them up . I don't own any other battery operated measuring tools , seems like just another set of problems to throw into the mix and I just don't trust them for accuracy . JMI .

The package says the battery has a life of 3.5 years under normal operations . ( whatever normal operation means ) ??
 
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ThinWoodsman

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#7
I've had one of those Mitutoyo AOS ones for two and a half years nows. Never changed the battery. I'm pretty good about turning it off, but there have been a couple of times where I've opened the case to find it still on from before I went on vacation.

Somewhat related, I bought a couple of cheap General "carbon fiber" (dunno, looks like plastic to me) digital calipers at the local hardware store. Great for keeping around to do quick sanity checks, plus they display fractional units. At twenty bucks I don't mind leaving them out on the bench, carrying them around in a pocket, etc. Probably what I would be doing with those Vincas if they sold them locally.
 

Bi11Hudson

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#8
I use (now) a dial caliper. Before that, a vernier, but now I don't see that well. I no longer can read a car tag at a quarter mile. I don't like battery operated anything. What happens when on a late Saturday night, the battery craps out? My calipers have been checked with micrometer standards up to three (3) inches. They are good that far, I don't care beyond that. As in, less than .0005 error. Pretty darn good for calipers. The only advantage to battery operated calipers is changing from American to Metric without changing calipers. No biggie, I have a couple of both.

I had put CNC on my hobby machine years ago. And took it off after about a year. True CNC, not this digital stuff you see today. Why? Because I am a hobbyiest, not a production shop. And the CNC had battery "backup" to remember everything. Which it didn't. I had to set up every time I started a project. Hell, it was faster to just cut it by hand.

I am(was) an Electrical Engineer, I designed and built electrical gizmos and contraptions to do whatever. For my own purposes, I now prefer to do everything manual and pay attention to what I am doing. That includes measuring... ...
 

Mitch Alsup

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#9
I am still using a dial caliper that is over 40 YO.

never once changed the battery.
 

Tozguy

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#10
My first and best caliper is a 6'' Mitutoyo with a dial from the 1970s era. It is still going strong.
Second, a cheaper 4'' Fowler dial caliper but it is not as accurate and repeatable as the Mitu.
Ventured into digital calibers first with a cheapo no name that eats batteries (357 size). I do not trust its accuracy. It collects dust now.
Then tried a 6'' iGaging Origin that uses a CR2032 battery. Two years and counting on the first battery. It might have an auto off but I always turn it off manually before putting it away.
The iGaging is fun and accurate. It is my go-to caliper now.
 

higgite

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#11
My experience with my Mitutoyo digital calipers pretty much echoes everyone else’s. I’ve changed the battery once in 4 years. It doesn’t automatically shut off, so I turn it off when I remember but mostly it stays on. I have a dial caliper for a backup if and when I ever find myself needing a battery and don’t have one. But so far, it’s been just that… a backup.

Tom
 

Pcmaker

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#12
What's your guy's opinions on Starrett vs. Mitutoyo calipers? Or Starrett vs. Mitutoyo in general. I'm getting my Christmas bonus soon and I feel like getting something that's high in quality, I have nothing but cheap imports on all my machining tools.
 

mmcmdl

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#13
Here's Mits electronic and Starrett dials . Which do you prefer ? They both do the job . I wouldn't let anyones opinion steer you one way or the other . You the user have to make a choice as what tool is better for the work I'm performing . !
 

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Nogoingback

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#14
I have both Mitutoyo digital and dial calipers, and like and use them both. I've compared them against 1 and 2" standards:
the digital shows on the money while the dial looks like a few tenths out. In other words, fine for what I use them for.
I have no experience with Starrett, but I would buy Mitu's again.
 

derf

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#15
Get the Mitutoyo......the real deal, not the counterfeits that Amazon sells.
 

Pcmaker

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#16
My VINCA digital caliper somehow got magnetized. I gotta find a way to demagnetize it.
 

ThinWoodsman

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#18
I have both Mitutoyo digital and dial calipers, and like and use them both.
Ditto. Supplemented the digital with a dial a year or so ago out of the same concern Bill Hudson expressed. I've been treating the dial as a 'master', i.e. only used on and around the surface plate, but I may have to rethink that based on your note. Time to get out the gage blocks.
 

Winegrower

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#19
The main operational advantage of my Mitutoyo digital caliper is that it knows where zero is, even when turned off. Cheap calipers need rezeroing every time its turned on.
 

mksj

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#20
I have had several digital calipers, I prefer the absolute reading type that always remember the "0" point/position, battery wise the longest lasting is the Mitutoyo > Igaging > everything else. Batteries are cheap, so I always keep a couple around (typically store them in the refrigerator). The Igaging Absolute caliper's work very well, are durable, and moderately priced (around $40 for the 6") . Mitutoyo are 2-3X the cost, there are a lot of counterfeits, in particular on eBay. Comparison with the Igaging, they both have similar accuracy, durability wise they also seem comparable. I had some Fowler digital calipers before these, they literally fell apart and would randomly change readings, it got tossed and replaced with the Igaging. There are also different levels of the Mitutoyo calipers, the cheaper line is significantly less accurate (the 700 series is +/- 0.005" vs. the 500 series which is +/-0.001").

If you want the Mitutoyo, then might look at Zoro, they routinely have 20-25% discounts, so it will run you ~$100. They are very nice, but my beater caliper is the Igaging.
https://www.zoro.com/mitutoyo-absolute-digital-caliper-0-to-6-500-196-30/i/G2660296/
 

Nogoingback

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#21
Ditto. Supplemented the digital with a dial a year or so ago out of the same concern Bill Hudson expressed. I've been treating the dial as a 'master', i.e. only used on and around the surface plate, but I may have to rethink that based on your note. Time to get out the gage blocks.
Since it appears that both of mine are accurate to within a thou', I figure that's good enough for a caliper. If I really need tenths,
I pull out a micrometer.
 
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Nogoingback

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#22
The main operational advantage of my Mitutoyo digital caliper is that it knows where zero is, even when turned off. Cheap calipers need rezeroing every time its turned on.
The other thing I like about the digital is that it converts inch to metric at the touch of a button. Very handy when I'm working with metric
parts.
 

BaronJ

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#23
I have 2 of these calipers that I bought from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B017KUC6XQ/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

These are my first and only calipers that I've owned and I bought them because of the Amazon reviews being high. I think they're pretty good, but I have nothing to compare them to.

With my limited experience, my only gripe is that even with the caliper turned off, it still drains the battery. That is the major complaint in the Amazon reviews. Battery lasts about 6 months on average.

Do higher end calipers like Mitutoyo have this problem? How about iGaging? Other brands? I want something with an auto off, and it not draining the battery while it's off.
Buy the calipers that use a 2032 3 volt battery ! Faster readout and longer battery life.
The ones that use 1.5 volt SR44 or LR44 eat batteries, particularly LR44/AG13.
 

JimDawson

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#24
I would not have digital measuring devices as my only measuring tools. If the batteries die, then you are down. Digital devices are convenient and easy to read, but you can't depend on them like the old school tools. I only have a couple of dial calipers, but my favorites are vernier devices, even if I do have to use a magnifier to read them.

An interesting side story. Yesterday I received an Amazon package addressed to my son, a new Mitutoyo 6'' digital caliper. I asked him why he ordered that. Answer: '' Because I couldn't get the other calipers to work'' (also Mitutoyo). He said he replaced the battery and they still didn't work. OK, so I took a look, opened them up, did a little cleaning, and couldn't find a definitive problem, (maybe the battery contact wasn't quite right), stuffed them back together and put in a new battery out of the package. Now I have a digital caliper to use at my desk. :grin: They work fine. So now we have 3 of them. The moral of this story is: When replacing batteries, use known good ones. :)
 

mmcmdl

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#25
I only have a couple of dial calipers, but my favorites are vernier devices, even if I do have to use a magnifier to read them.
Yep ! B&S beam 24" . Last forever and as accurate as my eyes . :grin:
 

WarrenP

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#26
I agree I like my dial caliper. Dont have to worry about the battery.
 

Dabbler

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#27
So I have 2 vernier calipers I use a lot [Mit 8" and a B&S 24"(!)] bit mostly I reach for my two igaging digital calipers.

why??? well they are more convenient, and cost very low $. If I wear them out, that's okay.

Here's my battery tip: I use them with the battery in during a project - then between projects (often weeks) I take the battery out and put it in the case beside it. I get about 2 years out of cheap batteries that way.

-- that being said, one day I'd love to have a new Absolute Mitutoyo under the Christmas tree!
 
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