Harbor Freight dial caliper - Page 2 - Router Forums
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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-14-2014, 09:26 AM
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I've found that in most cases something 1.25" long is actually 1.25" long - regardless of the brand of the instrument. Calipers are not made to be durable in rough situations - they are not prybars, nor should they collect dust - I think that's what the little plastic boxes are for. Check 'em when new and take care to treat them like a lady and they will last forever - I have several brands and all tell me the same answers! I've been in some shops where there are every expensive brand of calipers, protractors, etc. one can think of and they still turn-out crappy work. It's not the BRAND of instrument as much as how you use it. I go for whichever has easily read markings. If I cannot read the markings, it does me NO GOOD.

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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-23-2019, 10:43 AM
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The 6" analog dial face caliper I've used for the last 22 years is from Harbor Freight, bought back when the father who started the company was still running the company, and stores were few and far between. In over two decades of service, it hasn't let me down.

I also bought a 6" digital caliper about 10 years later. I rarely use it. Not sure why. Could it be I'm mesmerized by spinning dials? I do find it more informative to observe the approach, departure, and deviation swings in the measurement. The amplitude of these variations is easier for me to track by observing a swinging needle over flashing LCD segments.

All in all, these dial calipers, and other "CenTech" branded measurement products (Harbor Freight's house brand for "precision instruments") have not disappointed. I do wonder however, if the dial calipers that HF sells today match the quality of what they sold 22 years ago.
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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-23-2019, 01:07 PM
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Quote:
the battery compartment lid. It keeps coming loose
Duck tape it! DT will fix anything!

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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-23-2019, 04:06 PM
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I have 3. One analog 8" that reads in 1000ths for machining purposes, one analog 6" that reads in fractions and millimeters, and a very expensive Starrett digital that reads whatever I ask it to. I almost never use the Starrett. The analog with fractions gets used about 100 times to one for either of the other two.
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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-23-2019, 04:46 PM
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I've been using my Mitutoyo digital for years but I have looked at these as a back up. Glad to see they get good reviews.

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post #16 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-23-2019, 07:17 PM
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All my digital measuring devices with flat batteries are ALWAYS dead when I need them. I prefer dial gauges, I also like seeing the deviations from 0 as I run this up the fence.

The more I do, the less I accomplish.
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post #17 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-23-2019, 11:01 PM
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GO Harbor Freight !!!!!!
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post #18 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-24-2019, 12:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jw2170 View Post
Do you have a fixed source to check the accuracy?

Mine is digital, I have not used a dial caliper.
I have compared my HF and Grizzly "cheap" dial calipers to my calibration standards that came with my Starrett and Mitutoyo micrometers and calipers and they are surprisingly accurate and repeatable for the price.
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Last edited by kp91; 03-24-2019 at 12:20 AM. Reason: Wow, this is an old thread!
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post #19 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-24-2019, 01:34 AM
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I have 4 of them 3 with batteries and one W/O, I do very little metal working, and they are all more than accurate enough for wood working. I do like the dial one the best that measures in fractions, I can relate to that for wood working,where 1/64" is way beyond my skils and 1/32" is the max I need. I like the depth feature on them too .
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post #20 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-24-2019, 10:57 AM
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This is the gauge I use for measuring boards when I'm planing: https://www.amazon.ca/Taytools-46931...SIN=B07DCC8HYP Because the scale arm is 2 to 3 times as far from the fulcrum as the jaw tips are it multiplies the scale so that it winds up being very accurate despite its crude looks. I've checked it against my calipers and mine is dead on.

It's also a good example of how ridiculous prices on Amazon Canada can be. I bought mine at a woodworking show for $5-10.
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Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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