Digital Caliper - Mitutoyo 500-196-30 ?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by spin10k, Feb 12, 2018.

  1. spin10k

    spin10k Long timer

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    #1
  2. rapidoxidationman

    rapidoxidationman Easily trainable

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    Unless you need the ability to read SAE and Metric in a single gauge, a dial readout won't ever have a dead battery...
    Mitutoyo is the goods though.
    #2
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  3. spin10k

    spin10k Long timer

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    Yeah, I figured one digital would be better than two dial calipers.

    Re batteries, they do have solar-powered models, but those are in the $200 range.
    #3
  4. RVDan

    RVDan Long timer

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    I have a very similar model. I have to keep a stack of batteries in the house for it because it's constantly dead.
    #4
  5. spin10k

    spin10k Long timer

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    Roger that. I'll check on the expected battery life for this model before getting it.

    Thanks

    Edit: I don't know how objective they are, but the Mitutoyo web site says:

    Battery life: Approx. 3.5 years under normal use
    #5
  6. PaulTim2000

    PaulTim2000 Been here awhile

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    I have one which is used infrequently, not changed battery in 5+ years
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  7. Newportcycle

    Newportcycle Adventurer

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    Are you a machinist by trade? If not I'd suggest you go to harbor freight and save yourself some bucks.
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  8. spin10k

    spin10k Long timer

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    I'm not, but machinists are not the only ones out there who every now and then want to have semi-decent dimensions of stuff.

    Re: HF - I already have one of those, and have decided that a better one will be more useful.
    #8
  9. PunkinHead

    PunkinHead Moobless Adventurer

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    Those will be great calipers. The cheap Chinese calipers eat batteries, but those won't. And there's no comparison between those and HF calipers - these won't randomly lose zero mid-measure and they'll be smooth as butter, rather than feeling like they're covered in sand. I keep a cheap set of HF calipers around for scribing bend lines in sheet metal but for day to day use a quality pair like those Mitutoyos are the cat's ass. I have two pairs of Mitutoyos and a couple pairs of Brown & Sharpe. All excellent calipers. The Brown & Sharpes I've had for over 25 years. One of the Mitutoyos is over 15 years old. They all work like new.

    Chinese tools have tended to get better over the years but, strangely enough, calipers have been getting worse. They've always eaten batteries but 10 years ago they seemed to measure OK and the slide wasn't too awfully rough. Now they feel like dog shit and the measurements are unreliable. Like I said, I keep a pair for "rough work" like scribing lines and also keep a set in the tool bag I carry when I'm working in Mexico. When they die or get stolen I head to HF for another pair and they've been getting steadily worse. One thing for sure - close and rezero them before every measurement. They like to randomly jump zero.
    #9
  10. local1

    local1 Long timer

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    I use that very set at work everyday. I haven't had any battery issues? My opinion is that they are as good as or better than any other on the market.
    #10
  11. PineyMountainRacing

    PineyMountainRacing Oops....

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    I have that Mititoyo, original battery is 5 years old and going strong. I keep that one out in the shop. I also have a couple of these

    http://www.igaging.com/page12.html

    Keep one at the house and one at the airport, the OriginCal is on par with the Mitutoyo, and less money.
    #11
  12. PineyMountainRacing

    PineyMountainRacing Oops....

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  13. ydarg

    ydarg Miscreant

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    For a 0-6 vernier, you can't beat it.

    I worked at a sealing products distributor in college and had the same pair for 6+ years on the same battery. It got beat up, oily, dirty, dropped a couple of times but always came back from calibration every year perfect. Used daily in the office, in the field when I did technical calls and at a sales counter. If you need it for work and need something that will last, the Mitutoyo is good.

    If you need something for your toolbox at home for occasional use, it's probably a bit much.
    #13
  14. RVDan

    RVDan Long timer

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    I think a heated shop will make the battery last a normal amount of time. Mine is unheated and the batteries go dead without use.
    #14
  15. sailah

    sailah Lampin' it

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    I have that exact pair of Mitutoyo calipers. I never turn mine off, battery life seems unaffected whether on or off. I have numerous other pairs of calipers like Starrett and B&S. The Mitutoyo are most useful because I am constantly going back and forth with metric. Sometimes I even machine things in metric because I'm too lazy to switch back and forth in my mind.

    The Harbor Freight or sub $50 calipers are not in the same league as these, the smoothness, repeatability, build quality are all superior on the Mits. I use mine daily and they still work great. If you want the cheapest possible tool for measuring stuff then there are plenty of $10 calipers out there, but the high end ones are *almost* micrometer-level accurate for my needs which is serious garage machinist. When I need tenths or bearing fit I switch to micrometers which is rare for me.
    #15
  16. nickguzzi

    nickguzzi Long timer

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    I have a Mitutoyo vernier I bought years ago.
    [​IMG]
    By the time I retired, the etched markings and my eyesight had crossed on the graph.
    I no longer had a "need" for frequent use, so I bought a $10 calliper which has worked well for what I need for the last 10 years at least. Still on the original battery - mine has an auto off function - which is just as well as I would always forget.

    A Mitutoyo is on the list if I ever win the lottery, but I have several sets of micrometers for accurate stuff.

    Boltr/AvE has a review of a Mitutoyo vs a cheapo.

    Guess which one wins?
    He's Canadian, so it must be true...
    #16
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  17. tbas3

    tbas3 Been here awhile

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    I have a mitutoyo caliper that looks like the one in your photo. If I remember right I bought it around 2000. It has been extremely reliable. The batteries last for years. I use it for mechanics and machining. It was expensive at the time but has been flawless in its performance. I can't recommend it highly enough. Its one of my tools I have never had the slightest regret about its price.
    #17
  18. justlookin

    justlookin Been here awhile

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    I also use the Mitutoto digital calipers both at work and at home every day. Regarding battery life, I notice the calipers at home go through a battery at least every year and the ones at work last much longer. Only difference between the two is the shop at home is unheated when not being used.
    #18
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  19. dtysdalx2

    dtysdalx2 PITA but useful

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    Yep. #metoo
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  20. spin10k

    spin10k Long timer

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    Thanks to all for the feedback.

    I do consider myself a bit of a cheapskate, but good tools are one thing I don't mind spending a bit more on to get quality.
    #20
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