Author Topic: digital vernier callipers  (Read 3292 times)

digital vernier callipers
« on: May 20, 2019, 09:15:02 am »
Looking for recommendations for above , mainly for measuring bearing sizes on bikes ect .  Close up vision is not what it was . Are cheaper £15  / £ 25  callipers worth having Thanks colin   
Four wheels move the body, two wheels move the soul  three wheels Nurses !!!

Re: digital vernier callipers
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2019, 09:20:41 am »
the ones from Aldi are very good for the money. They are not super-smooth when they are new but free up with use/fettling. BTW I have owned and used posher ones (e.g. Mitutoyo) and I wouldn't bother with anything like that for bicycle work.

[edit; they are obviously not available all year round but (in last year's version) they  do have big numbers in the display, and have a good (battery saving) auto on/off facility.]



cheers

Re: digital vernier callipers
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2019, 09:23:30 am »
Get one with a metal body. The black plastic ones are too bendy to measure anything even mildly accurately.

Otherwise they’re all pretty much the same.

T42

  • Tea tank
Re: digital vernier callipers
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2019, 09:27:49 am »
I'm happy with my 9€ eBay calliper, e.g. it measures drill shank diameters to within 0.03 of a mm from the stated value, which is probably inaccurate anyway.

Main issue with such callipers is manufacturing tolerances, which you can judge by seeing how consistently they measure the same thing.  I use mine for everything bikish plus luthiery and I've no complaints.

Get one with a metal body. The black plastic ones are too bendy to measure anything even mildly accurately.

Otherwise they’re all pretty much the same.

Not with a bargepole.
I've dusted all those old bottles and set them up straight.

fuaran

  • rothair gasta
Re: digital vernier callipers
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2019, 09:42:12 am »
I've got one from Lidl, cost about £9 I think. Works fine for me.

Re: digital vernier callipers
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2019, 10:55:46 am »
I have a "Powerfix" branded one from Lidldi, I'm amazed how well machined the jaws are, to within .02mm by all accounts. Dated 2010, still 100% OK.

Re: digital vernier callipers
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2019, 11:10:57 am »
the ones from Aldi are very good for the money. They are not super-smooth when they are new but free up with use/fettling. BTW I have owned and used posher ones (e.g. Mitutoyo) and I wouldn't bother with anything like that for bicycle work.

[edit; they are obviously not available all year round but (in last year's version) they  do have big numbers in the display, and have a good (battery saving) auto on/off facility.]



cheers

The ones I bought from Aldi this year were crap, and I took them back because they were unusable due to poor contact problems.
If it ain't broke, fix it 'til it is...

Re: digital vernier callipers
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2019, 11:21:29 am »

The ones I bought from Aldi this year were crap, and I took them back because they were unusable due to poor contact problems.

that is unfortunate, I wonder how common such problems are/were?

FWIW I bought four sets in 2018 and they were all the same; a bit too stiff when new but eased up with use/fettling. I gave one set away and the others I've used/abused in various ways. At that price I don't mind grinding the jaws weird shapes so that I can use them to measure odd things.

One thing that I didn't mention is that IME all basic digital verniers are not at all tolerant of moisture; if they get wet they are usually no good at all, sometimes permanently.  One of the few uses where I'd spend the money on a posh set might be if I were doing more lathe work (with water-based coolant) where a waterproof set would be a significant advantage.

cheers

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: digital vernier callipers
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2019, 11:32:13 am »
My Aldi ones from some years ago arse still going strong (though the hinge of the box has snapped).  They've had at least one fresh battery in that time.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: digital vernier callipers
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2019, 11:58:32 am »
I'm surprised as to how long the battery lasts in my Mitutoyo callipers, given that more often than not they go back in the box still switched on. I've probably had them the best part of 25 years, and cannot remember replacing the battery more than twice.

T42

  • Tea tank
Re: digital vernier callipers
« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2019, 12:58:16 pm »
I just compared my 9€ callipers against true vernier callipers I bought for Frs.lots away back and they agree in the second decimal place of mm. And the digital ones can be switched to imperial, which is useful at times.

I've already gone through one battery in 2 years, but IIRC they came with the battery installed.  A second one was included - nice.
I've dusted all those old bottles and set them up straight.

Re: digital vernier callipers
« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2019, 04:29:29 pm »
I had one of the £10-15 ones that infest fleabay.  It worked for a while, then got increasingly stroppy I think due to poor battery contacts, which I couldn't molish.

Binned them in frustration and bought a set with a dial gauge to 0.01mm. Old tech, works perfectly.  This cheap Chinesium stuff made to a low price is crap.  No surprise there then, but I didn't want to pay £50 or more for something I used occasionally.  Having said that I use my dial gauge calipers several times a week.  They are perfect.

T42

  • Tea tank
Re: digital vernier callipers
« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2019, 04:57:28 pm »
No probs with mine, used a dozen times a day on some builds.
I've dusted all those old bottles and set them up straight.

Re: digital vernier callipers
« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2019, 09:15:44 pm »
Thanks for all the replies , lots of food for thought colin
Four wheels move the body, two wheels move the soul  three wheels Nurses !!!

gibbo

  • Riding for fun, cake and beer.
    • Boxford Bike Club
Re: digital vernier callipers
« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2019, 07:52:12 am »
I believe that you get what you pay for, mostly...

I have a few sets of Mitutoyo calipers with the oldest probably being almost 30 years old (OMG, I just worked that out) that I've used every working day of my life and I've never had an issue with them.

Quick search on eBay yielded this, which does seem to be quite cheap for Mitutoyo: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Mitutoyo-Absolute-Digital-Digimatic-Vernier-Caliper-500-196-20-30-150-200-300mm-/253773449198

Regards,
Gibbo.

Re: digital vernier callipers
« Reply #15 on: May 21, 2019, 08:38:15 am »
I believe that you get what you pay for, mostly...

I have a few sets of Mitutoyo calipers with the oldest probably being almost 30 years old (OMG, I just worked that out) that I've used every working day of my life and I've never had an issue with them.

Quick search on eBay yielded this, which does seem to be quite cheap for Mitutoyo: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Mitutoyo-Absolute-Digital-Digimatic-Vernier-Caliper-500-196-20-30-150-200-300mm-/253773449198

Regards,
Gibbo.

That does seem extraordinarily cheap, if they really are Mitutoyo. 
The Dengzhoushi, China location of the item has all of the red lights on the wall behind me flashing.

Re: digital vernier callipers
« Reply #16 on: May 21, 2019, 08:48:16 am »
 gibbo RE - Mitutoyo absolute digital vernier calipers .Chinese knock off lots of chat about them on engineering forums .  RRP for a 500-196-30  is £ 136.80 . Cheapest I can see from a reputable  uk dealer is £ 73.87. Best solution for a reasonably priced reliable "named "digital caliper off a uk dealer with back up and  a decent guarantee  I think, is the More & wright mw 110 -15dbl from machine dro off ebay for £ 26.47. still undecided if its worth the extra over a aldi / lidl or  ebay cheaper lnstruments   yours in confusion colin
Four wheels move the body, two wheels move the soul  three wheels Nurses !!!

Re: digital vernier callipers
« Reply #17 on: May 21, 2019, 09:43:25 am »
aldi ones have a (three year?) warranty.

cheers

gibbo

  • Riding for fun, cake and beer.
    • Boxford Bike Club
Re: digital vernier callipers
« Reply #18 on: May 21, 2019, 11:38:24 am »
I believe that you get what you pay for, mostly...

I have a few sets of Mitutoyo calipers with the oldest probably being almost 30 years old (OMG, I just worked that out) that I've used every working day of my life and I've never had an issue with them.

Quick search on eBay yielded this, which does seem to be quite cheap for Mitutoyo: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Mitutoyo-Absolute-Digital-Digimatic-Vernier-Caliper-500-196-20-30-150-200-300mm-/253773449198

Regards,
Gibbo.

That does seem extraordinarily cheap, if they really are Mitutoyo. 
The Dengzhoushi, China location of the item has all of the red lights on the wall behind me flashing.

Hmm, didn't look that closely at the location. Agree with your sentiment.

I have a non-digi Moore and Wright at home which I use quite frequently. It's good but of course you have to read the scales rather than a screen. These are obviously cheaper than the digi versions but they never run out of power!

Valiant

  • aka Sam
    • Radiance Audio
Re: digital vernier callipers
« Reply #19 on: May 23, 2019, 01:14:45 am »
Happy with my 6 year old Lidls special, seems accurate compared to the super duper ones of engineering mates. If only it was a little stiffer.
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Re: digital vernier callipers
« Reply #20 on: May 27, 2019, 12:01:39 am »
I got some Moore & Wright ones off ebay last year like this: https://www.ebay.co.uk/i/254217866036?chn=ps. I'm sure they're pretty much the same as the other Chinese made versions but feel nicely machined, decent case, spare battery etc. and appear accurate enough for bike work.

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: digital vernier callipers
« Reply #21 on: May 27, 2019, 09:47:30 am »
Binned them in frustration and bought a set with a dial gauge to 0.01mm. Old tech, works perfectly.  This cheap Chinesium stuff made to a low price is crap.  No surprise there then, but I didn't want to pay £50 or more for something I used occasionally.  Having said that I use my dial gauge calipers several times a week.  They are perfect.
Being an old fart, I.m quiote ahppy using non-digital - what brand hve you got andy?

Can anyone else recommend an "affordable" good quality mechanical caliper?
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

Re: digital vernier callipers
« Reply #22 on: May 27, 2019, 10:15:51 am »
...old fart...happy using non-digital

Really? then you are in the minority of old farts that can effectively use a vernier scale by eyesight, trouble free. Given the quality of even the cheap digital micrometers, it's hard to see the benefit, especially when the guaranteed lifetime of use for the mechanicals now has diminished value.

Re: digital vernier callipers
« Reply #23 on: May 27, 2019, 11:37:33 am »
I think he means the second sort



All three are commonly referred to as 'Vernier calipers' even though strictly speaking only one of them is correctly described thusly.

cheers


Re: digital vernier callipers
« Reply #24 on: May 27, 2019, 11:51:53 am »
I've got a few £5 Wilko mechanical vernier callipers but they don't seem to sell them anymore. And are accurate enough (certainly to 0.1mm) for musical instrument work which is my main use for them.

I prefer them because they don't need batteries, are reliable, are easier to read than dial calipers, and are simple with less bits to go wrong.