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Old 09-30-2012, 12:45   #1
cajun_chooter
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good/reasonable digital caliper ?

anyone have a lead on a good/reasonable 6" digital caliper ? i have one now.. but everytime i go to use it the battery is dead... so i am looking to buy a new one..

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Old 09-30-2012, 12:58   #2
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Just buy a good grade dial caliper, Starrett or Mitutoya.
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Old 09-30-2012, 13:11   #3
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Solar powered never needs batteries...here is a start many models are available

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Old 09-30-2012, 13:15   #4
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Just buy a good grade dial caliper, Starrett or Mitutoya.
This, or even a Vernier if you have the eyes for it (they can be difficult to read if your vision isn't very good) .

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Old 09-30-2012, 14:06   #5
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Originally Posted by cajun_chooter View Post
anyone have a lead on a good/reasonable 6" digital caliper ? i have one now.. but everytime i go to use it the battery is dead... so i am looking to buy a new one..
I've used a Harbor freight 6 inch digital cost me $12 on sale and have changed the battery once in 3 years. I always have a spare in the drawer as I do for any and all my consumer electronics products.

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Just buy a good grade dial caliper, Starrett or Mitutoya.
For standard pistol reloading the expense is overkill... I have them all in my aviation toolboxes and though vernier calipers do have the advantage of not needing batteries. The fudged factor is actually greater. Much easier and faster to read a digital, if you not actually reading off the ogive of the bullet it doesn't matter being up to 0.003 for pistol.

If you paying to have
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Old 10-09-2012, 11:57   #6
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I've used a Harbor freight 6 inch digital cost me $12 on sale and have changed the battery once in 3 years.

Same here, but I only got 2 years on first battery.

Look at all the brands offered, the one I bought at HF is the exact same as many out there - the exception is color and price. Natchez has the RCBS on sale for $63 - excat same as HF, but I paid $10

Use the HF caliper for all reloading chores, including long range rifle. See no reason to replace it at the moment.

Just buy the one that makes you happy!
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Old 09-30-2012, 16:14   #7
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Nothing wrong with Harbour Freight Digital. Just keep extra batteries on hand.
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Old 10-01-2012, 18:01   #8
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Nothing wrong with Harbour Freight Digital. Just keep extra batteries on hand.
Bull.

Bought two this year for my son. He needed them for an engineering class in high school. The six inch will not return to zero when closed. You need to manually zero each time. And both of them can vary each measurement. He has to measure three times and take an average. He only needs them for a few of the assignments so he is making due. Other kids had the same problem.
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Old 10-01-2012, 18:08   #9
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Bull.

Bought two this year for my son. He needed them for an engineering class in high school. The six inch will not return to zero when closed. You need to manually zero each time. And both of them can vary each measurement. He has to measure three times and take an average. He only needs them for a few of the assignments so he is making due. Other kids had the same problem.
Maybe mine is older - from back in the days when the Chinese built calipers that hold a zero.
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Old 10-01-2012, 18:26   #10
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Maybe mine is older - from back in the days when the Chinese built calipers that hold a zero.
The new ones they sell suck. They were even covered with grit from being made. It took a lot of cleaning to get the grit out without dismantling them. The teacher had not had problems in the past but this year we got burned.
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Old 10-01-2012, 18:46   #11
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Bull.

Bought two this year for my son. He needed them for an engineering class in high school. The six inch will not return to zero when closed. You need to manually zero each time. And both of them can vary each measurement. He has to measure three times and take an average. He only needs them for a few of the assignments so he is making due. Other kids had the same problem.
I haven't been thrilled with the two I bought. I thought they would be a little handier than the dial calipers I have had for many years. I have the same issue with zero and just plain wrong measurements. Sure, they're only off 0.001" or so, but it's still wrong.

For OAL, no problem. A thousandth here or there simply doesn't matter. The bullets aren't that accurate.

But, for precision rifle and dealing with neck size, neck size bushing diameter, bullet diameter, etc., the inexpensive digitals aren't the way to go.

I finally broke down and bought some very nice micrometers. But this is a specialized application. For pistol loading I image they are fine.

Unfortunately, the digitals are buried in my toolbox and I'm back to using my dial calipers.

Richard
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Old 09-30-2012, 18:03   #12
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I have a Frankford that had the same issue with batteries. Some months ago, I got a Kobalt (all metal) at Lowes and it has been great.
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Old 09-30-2012, 18:11   #13
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Hi,

The one they run on sale at Midway or Harbor Freight has never failed me. Usually it blinks the display for a long time when the battery is low while it still works. I think you can buy a card of 24 batteries for it for $4 at HF too.

Good luck,

Alan
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Old 09-30-2012, 18:30   #14
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A caliper is worth spending the extra money on IMO. I have 4 electronic Mitutoyo calipers from 4"-12" and they are well worth the money. My favorite is the Absolute Coolant Proof IP67 calipers. They automatically turn off after a few minutes to save the battery so they last for years even with every day use.
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Old 09-30-2012, 19:06   #15
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Get spare batteries and a 6" dial caliper from Harbor Freight for when all your batteries are dead.
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Old 09-30-2012, 19:36   #16
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I have a set of 12in digital's from HF, and a pair of 12in dial calipers that I tossed on an order from Midway one time, because they were on sale.

I like them both. Both are accurate, easy to read, and weren't expensive at all (I think when they are not on sale, the dial calipers from Midway would run about 35, where I got them for less than half that).

The digital calipers (6 or 12) will do you just fine.
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Old 10-01-2012, 17:33   #17
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Do most digital calipers measure to .01 like mine, or .001?
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Old 10-01-2012, 17:36   #18
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The resoloution on all mine are .0005" however a 6" is really only accurate to +-.001" at best. Some companies even make electronic calipers that can be switched to different measurements, like fractional.

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Old 10-01-2012, 17:51   #19
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The resoloution on all mine are .0005" however a 6" is really only accurate to +-.001" at best. Some companies even make electronic calipers that can be switched to different measurements, like fractional.
My $15 Harbor Freight digital is .0005 resolution - 3 full digits to the right of the decimal point and a small sub-5 digit and can be switched between inches and millimeters.
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Old 10-01-2012, 17:54   #20
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Do most digital calipers measure to .01 like mine, or .001?
Can't believe that - sure you're not switched to mm?
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Old 10-01-2012, 18:17   #21
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I use the HF one as well. Three years on original battery. I even test it every so often and it's still spot on.
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Old 10-01-2012, 22:32   #22
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For the record my Harbour Freight are accurate and work fine. If they didn't K would return them not keep them. I don't understand why people keep something they think sucks.
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Old 10-02-2012, 06:16   #23
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cajun_chooter,

I guess you'd start with Starrett pretty much top of the line IMO anyway, made in the USA but they are not cheap! A 6" stainless steel dial caliper will set you back $120 (give or take)... No batteries needed... ever! Their are a lot of high end calipers but I think that kind of money is unnecessary for our purposes.

From there you can pick up an RCBS, Hornady, Lyman, frankfort arsenal, Craftsman or Fowler all of these are around $50 to $25.

Harbor freight offers a pretty good selection of dial & digital calibers for under $20. It pretty much depends on your pocket book and tolerance for changing batteries and perhaps quality becomes an issue at this range. Although they do offer some very inexpensive 6" calipers that work very well - "Cen-Tech" comes to mind.

Stay with the 6", this will handle most anything you will run into.

Good luck.
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Old 10-02-2012, 07:31   #24
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Seating dies are only accurate in about a .003 range. Dial calipers pretty much measure AOL. It's hardly worth spending a ton of money for that. I would buy a better micrometer and save money on the dial calipers. But frankly measuring to. 001" is normally a waste of time. When I have done it I have brought it over to a machinist friend. He rolls his eyes because he knows for reloading its pretty much a waste of time. But it does generate some epic threads.
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Old 10-09-2012, 10:49   #25
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I use a ruler .
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