[4]

Mitutoyo and the old fart

[3]
[10] Like what you see?
Click here to donate to this forum and upgrade your account!

mikey

Active User
H-M Platinum Supporter ($50)
Joined
Dec 20, 2012
Messages
5,464
I'm a firm believer in good tools and this especially applies to my measuring tools. I own some of the finest calipers and micrometers made - Etalon, Brown & Sharpe, Tesa, Mitutoyo, etc. I chose them because they are accurate and I only need to use them properly to get the correct reading. I've shunned electronic measuring tools because of a single bad experience with a high end Brown & Sharpe digital micrometer that went bad just a few weeks past the 1 year warranty. B&S offered to repair it for about half what a new one cost - to hell with that! After that, I vowed not to use anything digital. I was happy, too, until I turned 69 ...

Over the last year, I noticed that I had to have really good lighting to see the analog units on my instruments. That is problematic when you're hanging over your lathe, almost upside down and trying to read the stupid dial on your calipers! I thought I needed new reading glasses or something but it turns out I have a cataract in one eye. I don't feel old, I don't think old, but I officially IS old! I discussed this new issue with my Ophthalmologist and he laughed and said that while I don't need a lens replacement yet, he suggested I go with digital instruments. Crap!

So, I decided to listen to him and did a pretty exhaustive review of the field. Turns out that Mitutoyo is still the market leader at the digital shop tool level so I went looking for something with a large display. I ended up with the 0-1" Quantumike and 0-6" coolant proof 500-752-20 caliper. Both have a large display that I can see clearly ... without glasses! Both are beautifully made and as smooth as silk. I checked them on my German gauge block set and they are both well within specs. The nice thing about these tools is that the Chinese haven't figured out how to clone these models yet so they are actually the real thing, and I got each of them for about $100.00 less than retail on ebay.

So many of us are either entering the hobby as we retire or are growing older as we continue to enjoy machining. Age brings changes for all of us and at least for me, I have had to adapt because I damned sure won't quit! I'm posting this to tell you that Mitutoyo's digital displays are really good, and the quality and accuracy of their instruments is outstanding. If your eyes are old and tired like mine, have a look.

290745290744
 

DiscoDan

H-M Supporter - Gold Member
H-M Supporter - Gold Member ($25)
Joined
Jul 16, 2018
Messages
434
I'm not sure what your lighting situation is but better lighting may help. Over the weekend I helped my 80 year old father retto fit LED bulbs in his fluorescent fixtures in his wood shop. Makes a huge difference.
 

BtoVin83

Active Member
Registered
Joined
Aug 30, 2017
Messages
209
OT I thought I needed new glasses as well and went to the doc. She mentioned that I was legally blind because of cataracts, put in new lenses and wow what a difference.
 

darkzero

Global Moderator
Staff member
H-M Supporter - Gold Member ($25)
Joined
Nov 27, 2012
Messages
3,710
I don't have vision problems yet but I still prefer using my Mitu digitals. :big grin: They save a lot of time but I'll still use verniers every so often.
 

bill70j

H-M Supporter - Gold Member
H-M Supporter - Gold Member ($25)
Joined
Nov 9, 2015
Messages
146
Thanks very much for this, Mikey. I am in a similar situation and appreciate your sharing this.

I am now contemplating how to justify spending the $$ with the "Boss."

Bill
 

ttabbal

Brass
Registered
Joined
Jun 12, 2017
Messages
886
Out of curiosity I tried the HF version of the 0-1 mic. It's not half bad, comparing its measurements to a Starrett. I use it for rough measurements and break out the old school mic for more accurate measurements. It's made me keep an eye on prices for a nice one from Mitutoyo or similar.

I figured I might hate digital, didn't want to spring for a nice one in that case. :) I like the look of the mechanical digital style as well, but I haven't used one yet.
 

JimDawson

Global Moderator
Staff member
H-M Platinum Supporter ($50)
Joined
Feb 8, 2014
Messages
7,770

tmenyc

H-M Supporter - Gold Member
H-M Supporter - Gold Member ($25)
Joined
Oct 18, 2018
Messages
216
Mike, I'm a couple years behind you, no cararacts yet. But I've been pretty myopic my whole life, and my pen work requires a lot of small detail vision. I use an optivisor most of the time, and am currently rehabbing a Dazor magnifier lamp. Their optics are pretty amazing. Most of my shop is halogen and LED now, and it certainly helps.
Tim
 

mikey

Active User
H-M Platinum Supporter ($50)
Joined
Dec 20, 2012
Messages
5,464
Thanks very much for this, Mikey. I am in a similar situation and appreciate your sharing this.

I am now contemplating how to justify spending the $$ with the "Boss."

Bill
Thanks, Bill. Yeah, justifying the cost of these things is tough but my wife knows that if I buy something then I need it and she doesn't second guess me. What used to be no longer is and we have to either adapt to it or quit. And we ain't quitting, right?
 
Last edited:

mikey

Active User
H-M Platinum Supporter ($50)
Joined
Dec 20, 2012
Messages
5,464

I have these, very nice.
Mike, I'm a couple years behind you, no cararacts yet. But I've been pretty myopic my whole life, and my pen work requires a lot of small detail vision. I use an optivisor most of the time, and am currently rehabbing a Dazor magnifier lamp. Their optics are pretty amazing. Most of my shop is halogen and LED now, and it certainly helps.
Tim
Yep, I have two Optivisors and I like them. Problem for me is that when I need it, I have to go looking for it and if I put it down then it could be anywhere! And, when I lean over to read a caliper at the lathe, the damned thing falls off my head and winds up in the chip pan. I'll continue to use them but I have to admit that being able to work without that thing strapped to my head is really nice.

True story. One time, I was looking all over my shop for my Optivisor. I knew I put it down somewhere but it wasn't in any of the usual places and I was starting to get ******, throwing things around and cussing. My wife heard me and asked me what was going on. I told her I can't find my Optivisor and she said, "You mean the one on your head?" I had adjusted the head band so well that I didn't even feel it and during the course of the day, forgot that I put it on. Talk about feeling stupid! I know people forget where they park their cars. I know they forget why they walked into the room. That's not me, or I didn't think so until the day I lost my Optivisor ...
 

tmenyc

H-M Supporter - Gold Member
H-M Supporter - Gold Member ($25)
Joined
Oct 18, 2018
Messages
216
great story! I'll think of that every time I put mine on...
Tim
 

mikey

Active User
H-M Platinum Supporter ($50)
Joined
Dec 20, 2012
Messages
5,464
OT I thought I needed new glasses as well and went to the doc. She mentioned that I was legally blind because of cataracts, put in new lenses and wow what a difference.
I meant to respond earlier. My wife is legally blind and I know how huge an impact it has had on her life. Her condition is not correctable but I'm really glad your's was!
 

higgite

Genral Manager - Proofreading Dept.
H-M Supporter - Gold Member ($25)
Joined
Aug 15, 2013
Messages
966
I'm a firm believer in good tools and this especially applies to my measuring tools. I own some of the finest calipers and micrometers made - Etalon, Brown & Sharpe, Tesa, Mitutoyo, etc. I chose them because they are accurate and I only need to use them properly to get the correct reading. I've shunned electronic measuring tools because of a single bad experience with a high end Brown & Sharpe digital micrometer that went bad just a few weeks past the 1 year warranty. B&S offered to repair it for about half what a new one cost - to hell with that! After that, I vowed not to use anything digital. I was happy, too, until I turned 69 ...

Over the last year, I noticed that I had to have really good lighting to see the analog units on my instruments. That is problematic when you're hanging over your lathe, almost upside down and trying to read the stupid dial on your calipers! I thought I needed new reading glasses or something but it turns out I have a cataract in one eye. I don't feel old, I don't think old, but I officially IS old! I discussed this new issue with my Ophthalmologist and he laughed and said that while I don't need a lens replacement yet, he suggested I go with digital instruments. Crap!

So, I decided to listen to him and did a pretty exhaustive review of the field. Turns out that Mitutoyo is still the market leader at the digital shop tool level so I went looking for something with a large display. I ended up with the 0-1" Quantumike and 0-6" coolant proof 500-752-20 caliper. Both have a large display that I can see clearly ... without glasses! Both are beautifully made and as smooth as silk. I checked them on my German gauge block set and they are both well within specs. The nice thing about these tools is that the Chinese haven't figured out how to clone these models yet so they are actually the real thing, and I got each of them for about $100.00 less than retail on ebay.

So many of us are either entering the hobby as we retire or are growing older as we continue to enjoy machining. Age brings changes for all of us and at least for me, I have had to adapt because I damned sure won't quit! I'm posting this to tell you that Mitutoyo's digital displays are really good, and the quality and accuracy of their instruments is outstanding. If your eyes are old and tired like mine, have a look.

View attachment 290745View attachment 290744
I'm way ahead of you on those two instruments, young man. I don't have serious enough cataracts yet to justify them, but being lazy was justification enough for me. :cool: Enjoy'em!

Tom
 

mikey

Active User
H-M Platinum Supporter ($50)
Joined
Dec 20, 2012
Messages
5,464
Young man! That settles it, Tom, you're my friend!
 

MarkM

Active Member
Registered
Joined
Apr 23, 2017
Messages
488
I have been using Mitutoyo for some time and have always been what I go to and trust. I have a few mitutoyo calipers and the digital has always been accurate but I still go to my 8 inch mitutoyo beam vernier caliper when it s a critical dimension. Maybe being on the other side of the century mark makes it harder to trust electronics and the beam scale can t be beat but yes, I squint and know my eyes arent what they used to be so I may have to accept the digital some time down the road. For now i ll stick with the direct reading caliper when it counts!
 

ThinWoodsman

Active Member
Registered
Joined
Jul 8, 2018
Messages
448
I don't have cataracts, but my vision is not what it used to be and I get impatient waiting for my eyes to adjust to near-focus.

I picked up a clip-on magnifying glass online, removed the clip once I saw how weak it was, and screwed in a magnetic base I bought at a local hardware store. Total cost about fifteen bucks.

Worked well enough that I now have one stuck to the lathe compound, one on the mill quill housing, one on a mild steep bar bolted to the shelf above the workbench (to hold magnetic things), and one on the grinder.
 

Bob Korves

H-M Supporter - Sustaining Member
H-M Platinum Supporter ($50)
Joined
Jul 2, 2014
Messages
6,695
Edited for personal privacy concerns...

Now, 14 years later, I am retired and busy in my shop, doing OK, having fun, and working around the annoying handicaps. I do all the work around my house and yard and shop. There is usually a way forward if you do not give up, and keep trying. Unfortunately, the reason I am in my shop is that I can no longer fly sailplanes, my former passion for 30 years. So I make chips instead. Oh, and I am getting married tomorrow, for the first time at age 68, to a wonderful gal I have known for 38 years...

Life is good and I am happy. Never give up. Have passion in your life.
 
Last edited:

mikey

Active User
H-M Platinum Supporter ($50)
Joined
Dec 20, 2012
Messages
5,464
I hear you guys. I am literally going blind ...

Oh, and I am getting married tomorrow, for the first time at age 68, to a wonderful gal I have known for 38 years...

Life is good and I am happy. Never give up. Have passion in your life.
Jeez, Bob, that is some serious trouble you had there. Here I am, playfully whining about getting old and having cataracts, when you have had such life altering problems. I am ashamed. Your strength and character were made clear in your story and I thank you for the inspiration - I will remember. And ...

You're getting married tomorrow - CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!

I wish you and your new wife much joy and happiness, my friend.
 

mikey

Active User
H-M Platinum Supporter ($50)
Joined
Dec 20, 2012
Messages
5,464
I don't have cataracts, but my vision is not what it used to be and I get impatient waiting for my eyes to adjust to near-focus.

I picked up a clip-on magnifying glass online, removed the clip once I saw how weak it was, and screwed in a magnetic base I bought at a local hardware store. Total cost about fifteen bucks.

Worked well enough that I now have one stuck to the lathe compound, one on the mill quill housing, one on a mild steep bar bolted to the shelf above the workbench (to hold magnetic things), and one on the grinder.
Thanks for the tips and links. Having magnifiers right where you need them makes sense.
 

royesses

H-M Supporter - Sustaining Member
H-M Platinum Supporter ($50)
Joined
Aug 23, 2014
Messages
694
Hey Mikey, I am the same age as you and have cataracts and eyball pressure and some optic nerve damage from pre-diabetes. Like my old friend at work used to say, I guess we went to different schools together. I noticed when I go outside in the direct noon sunlight I don't need reading glasses at all. I can easily read the fine writing on business cards. This made me start using the brightest lights I could find in the shop to help with reading mic's and rulers. It really helps with welding also. Blue or daylight bulbs seem to help the most. For welding I use a 500 watt halogen work lamp. Gets kind of warm in the summer though.

Roy
 

mikey

Active User
H-M Platinum Supporter ($50)
Joined
Dec 20, 2012
Messages
5,464
Hey, Roy. Yeah, I hear you, the light really helps. I've been using a big LED lamp near my mill and lathe. As you said, that helps a lot so that I can still function with my analog tools but man, I gotta' admit, those big digital displays are really nice. I haven't used a work light for welding; I'll have to try that the next time I have to fab something - thanks!

Like my old friend at work used to say, I guess we went to different schools together. I like how you said this. We'll grow old together, you and me!
 

jbobb1

H-M Supporter - Sustaining Member
H-M Platinum Supporter ($50)
Joined
Dec 14, 2018
Messages
153
The day after I turned 40, it seemed my eyesight started going down the tubes. I couldn't hold my mics far enough away from my face to read them because I ran out of arm length! Getting glasses was inevitable!
Fast forward to 59 (3 years ago) and I had to have lens replacement due to progressive cataracts. Still making chips which is good!
 

mikey

Active User
H-M Platinum Supporter ($50)
Joined
Dec 20, 2012
Messages
5,464
The day after I turned 40, it seemed my eyesight started going down the tubes. I couldn't hold my mics far enough away from my face to read them because I ran out of arm length! Getting glasses was inevitable!
Fast forward to 59 (3 years ago) and I had to have lens replacement due to progressive cataracts. Still making chips which is good!
59! With you and Bob Korves chiming in, I've realized that I should count myself lucky and stop whining! Lens replacements are a minor miracle, aren't they? As time goes on, I know this is something in my future unless something bigger comes along. Thanks for sharing, Sir!
 

Aukai

H-M Supporter - Gold Member
H-M Supporter - Gold Member ($25)
Joined
Oct 4, 2016
Messages
686
Well Pops, :grin:Doc says I'm at stage 2 cataracts, and to hold off getting lenses for now too. I am now a lightingaholic, along with maybe another one or two other obsessions.
 

ttabbal

Brass
Registered
Joined
Jun 12, 2017
Messages
886
I decided to spring for a new mic and picked up a Mitutoyo digital. Had a $50 Amazon gift card, so went that way. I'm impressed. My first new big name instrument. Very smooth feel, even compared to older Mitutoyo and Starrett mics. I also like that the scale is still there on the barrel so I can use it the old way should the battery die. No tenths that way, but that's okay. And I have a lot of LR44 batteries anyway.

It also weighs about 4x what the HF does. One thing I don't like about the HF is that the battery dies fast, under 1 year. More importantly, it doesn't tell you. It just starts screwing up. Glad I noticed the display flickering, it was the only warning I got before it missed counts. I found myself using it and distrusting it. That's no good. I also never trusted it for better than +/-0.001 and wanted to be able to measure reliably better than that. I also had the occasional loss of calibration. I started winding it to zero and calibrating before any important measurement. That got old fast. Eventually I just used a mechanical most of the time.

Downside, now I want a matching caliper!
 

mikey

Active User
H-M Platinum Supporter ($50)
Joined
Dec 20, 2012
Messages
5,464
Yeah, get the caliper, too. They are bank but are worth it.
 
[5] [7]
Top