Dial Indicators - Brand Name Comparison

Found this. Didn't write it. Don't know if it's correct.
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Karl
Reply to
kfvorwerk
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Jeez, someone has taken a lot of time to analyze dial indicators.
FWIW, there is a lot of junk on the market because, worldwide, there isn't much of a market for dial indicators anymore. Mitutoyo built a little plant to make them in the US (some suburb south of Chicago; I forget which) because the US was just about the last market in the developed world that would buy them. The rest of the world uses digitals.
I have both and prefer dial test indicators for on-machine use and for comparison measurements, although I like digitals for off-machine gaging applications.
-- Ed Huntress
Reply to
Ed Huntress
I've been to that site Karl and mostly agree with it. I have found in my own experience that Mitutoyo makes the best 1 inch travel indicators. Over time they have been the most accurate and robust indicators I have used. However, for test indicators the SPI and Brown & Sharpe, which are the same, are the best overall. Interapid indicators are a close second. Starret Last Word indicators are best left in the box. Eric
Reply to
etpm
Thanks for the reading Karl, very interesting. As far as my shop I have a lot of Sunnen (The standard for engine machining) and Starrett, Brown & Sharp, Mitty. It's too bad to see a report card like this when we spend a LOT of money on good indicators and the Harbor Fright (intentional sp) ones may indeed be just as good in the long run. I have some from Heckler &Koch (A gun maker) that are German, and work great. Can't find them any more. The digital ones seem to chew batteries fast, why I don't know but I was really shocked to see the Starrett stab. I have a LOT of Starrett everywhere. Looks like I'm going to get the standards and granite base out this week and do some testing. Thanks again.
Respects,
Rob Fraser
Fraser Competition Engines Chicago, IL.
Reply to
Rob Fraser
I'm pretty fond of my Mitutoyo test indicator (0.0001") with a sub dial to let you know you buried it. Company provided but some day I'll buy my own for the garage shop.
Wes
Reply to
Wes
Greetings Rob, Certainly Sunnen makes great bore gauges and setting fixtures. Soaked in oil all day and still accurate. It's also true that Starret makes crummy indicators. And it's really too bad. I would like to buy their products their prices are too high and the quality too low. Remember when the steel tools they sold had a nice mottled bluing on them? I know, it's been a long time since they do that. In fact, the last items I bought from them were some screw jacks that were beautiful in the catalog but were in fact just black oxide coated. I called Starret about it and they basically told me to shove it. They said that they didn't care if I stopped buying their products. So I did. Eric
Reply to
etpm
Karl, thanks for finding and posting that.
I generally agree with their opinions. It is hard to go wrong with Brown&Sharpe, Mituroyo, and most Starretts. Federal has long enjoyed , along with Compac and Standard, a reputation for good, servicable equipment.
SPI, AMTOS, CDI, and PhaseII are basically second-line. They ARE repairable, but often by cannibalization, as parts are not readily available.
No experience with Scherr-Tumico's dial gages, but their "tubular micrometers" are quite good, in all sizes, up into the 72" range. Starrett's big OD mics (from 48" to 72") also exceptionally good.
I do agree with the "throw-away" comments on some of the cheap import indicators, but if you haven't actually *broken* something, most of them are repairable, after a fashion.
However, the longislandindicator web page mentions rack-teeth breaking off in the indicators. I never found that an issue; but BENT racks, especialluy on 2", 3", & 4" indicators get to be expensive. The best:Mitutoyo. Next: Federal. Ease of repair primarily, with parts availability second.
Much of what passes for gages currently is plastic.
Flash
Reply to
Flash
The web site was created by a company that repairs dial indicators. I guess they were tired of telling people that repairing a Chinese dial indicator was a waste of time...
Reply to
Maxwell Lol
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It looked work posting.
Reminds me of when I bought a General Tool automatic center punch and my friend liked it so much he bought a Starret one because we thought it would be better. It had weaker springs and only worked if you kept it oiled. Very annoying to pay a premium price for lower quality. Karl
Reply to
kfvorwerk
Yeah, I know (or knew) those guys. I still think they took a lot of time to organize and write all that stuff.
-- Ed Huntress
Reply to
Ed Huntress
I prefer InteRapid, but I don't see them on the site.
David
Reply to
David R.Birch
I like my Starrett tools. They are in the same boat as everyone else, The foriegn stuff is getting better and cheaper. Pretty soon none of us will have a job.
Reply to
Dan H
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote in article ...
Reminds me of when I bought a General Tool automatic center punch and my friend liked it so much he bought a Starret one because we thought it would be better. It had weaker springs and only worked if you kept it oiled. Very annoying to pay a premium price for lower quality. Karl
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You don't suppose that the closer tolerances of the Starrett made it more sensitive to improper maintenance (regular oiling), do you?
Reply to
*
There's nothing magic about Starrett. They were quite ordinary, serviceable, reasonably-priced tools. B&S was always the better brand but it was generally high priced.
However, Starrett has benefited from two things. One is that they're American-made, at a time when we've become skeptical of any hand tools that are not. Second, they're the beneficiaries of bracket-creep. They didn't get any better; the market just got filled with crap.
-- Ed Huntress
Reply to
Ed Huntress
Possibly but the weaker spring's really annoying when marking concrete so the bit won't drift. Kar
Reply to
kfvorwerk
That should go on the Vibrator thread......
Reply to
Gunner

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