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good/reasonable digital caliper ?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by cajun_chooter, Sep 30, 2012.

  1. 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..
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2012
  2. John43


    Sep 9, 2010
    Murrells Inlet SC
    Just buy a good grade dial caliper, Starrett or Mitutoya.

  3. fx77

    fx77 CLM

    Nov 23, 2008
  4. SC Tiger

    SC Tiger EL GATO!

    Aug 27, 2011
    South Carolina
    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) .

    Sent from my Kindle Fire
  5. Boxerglocker

    Boxerglocker Jacks #1 Fan

    Mar 6, 2003
    Lynnwood, WA
    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.

    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
  6. Colorado4Wheel


    Nov 2, 2006
    Nothing wrong with Harbour Freight Digital. Just keep extra batteries on hand.
  7. FLSlim


    Apr 12, 2010
    FL W Coast
    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.
  8. alank2


    May 24, 2004

    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,

  9. dkf


    Aug 6, 2010
    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.
  10. njl


    Sep 28, 2000
    Get spare batteries and a 6" dial caliper from Harbor Freight for when all your batteries are dead.
  11. IndyGunFreak


    Jan 26, 2001
    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.
  12. ADK_40GLKr

    ADK_40GLKr Adirondacker with a Glock

    Nov 14, 2010
    RFD NY Adks
    Do most digital calipers measure to .01 like mine, or .001?
  13. dkf


    Aug 6, 2010
    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.
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2012
  14. 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.
  15. Can't believe that - sure you're not switched to mm?
  16. Batesmotel


    Apr 5, 2007

    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.
  17. Maybe mine is older - from back in the days when the Chinese built calipers that hold a zero. :shocked:
  18. TheExplorer


    Apr 16, 2012
    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.
  19. Batesmotel


    Apr 5, 2007
    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.
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2012
  20. F106 Fan

    F106 Fan

    Oct 19, 2011
    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.