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Thread: Mitutoyo Dial Indicators Recommenation

  1. #1

    Mitutoyo Dial Indicators Recommenation

    I currently have a digital dial indicator with resolution of .001. I was thinking about going to an analog and a better indicator. Batteries are always dying and analog just seems easier to use. I was looking at the Mitutoyo indicators.

    My application will be jointer/shaper tooling setup initially.

    I see there are .001 resolution dials that have resets on them so you can zero them out, and there are other dials with resolution of .0002 but don't appear to be resettable. Few questions:

    1. It seems like .001 is enough for woodworking? The .0005 or .0002 is attractive but it seems like it might be overkill.
    2. How important is the ability to reset? (I'm assuming the .0002 analog etc can't be reset).
    3. The ruby tip seems nice, any thoughts?

    Anyone have any specific recommendations? I saw several threads that recommended HF.. It seems like a shame to spend $150 on a holder and $20 on the actual indicator, but I don't want to waste money either.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Derek, I'm a firm believer that you get what you pay for. The repeatability of the HF is probably iffy. I'm sure the .001" would be fine for woodworking, but I'd prefer a .0005". I'm not sure if you're looking at a dial indicator or a dial test indicator so I'm not sure I understand the "reset" feature you're asking about.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Lisa Starr View Post
    Derek, I'm a firm believer that you get what you pay for. The repeatability of the HF is probably iffy. I'm sure the .001" would be fine for woodworking, but I'd prefer a .0005". I'm not sure if you're looking at a dial indicator or a dial test indicator so I'm not sure I understand the "reset" feature you're asking about.
    Hi Lisa,

    Thanks, thats because I don't understand really what I'm doing I was referring to the stopwatch type setup. I assumed that allowed you to "reset" the dial to zero. I'm really just looking for a recommendation on a good model for Jointer setup with appropriate accuracy.

    719c1HRl+GL._SL1500_.jpg

    The .0005 looks like this

    61dW1nn58KL._SL1162_.jpg

    They don't indicate that these are dial indicator or dial test, I'm assuming they have different applications.

  4. #4
    I've had a Mitutoyo analog model for about 40 years, it still works fine. .001" grads, the dial rotates to set zero. Sorry, don't have a model #. A button tip is more useful for knife setting than a ball tip. A holder with fine adjustment is worthwhile. I have never regretted paying for quality measuring devices.

  5. #5
    You want the first one (the 0.001" version), not the second.

    I like nice measurement tools (and have several Mitutoyo calipers, etc), but for a relative-indication measurement like this, a cheap dial will work just fine...

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    .001" analog is plenty for machine setup. You can easily read to .0005" and better with one. A noga (or clone) indicator stand is nice to have. I have a few in the woodshop.

  7. #7
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    Derek,

    The first one is a Dial Indicator, the second one is a Dial Test Indicator. You want the Dial Indicator. Zero is set by rotating the outer bezel ring on this type of indicator, no matter what graduations the face has.

  8. #8
    Thank you for the help and information.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Jenness View Post
    I've had a Mitutoyo analog model for about 40 years, it still works fine. .001" grads, the dial rotates to set zero. Sorry, don't have a model #. A button tip is more useful for knife setting than a ball tip. A holder with fine adjustment is worthwhile. I have never regretted paying for quality measuring devices.
    Good point. I will get a model with some different heads.

  9. #9
    Order #2 for sure. That way you'll be guaranteed from the instant you take it out of the box that every piece of equipment you own will be catastrophically flawed and that you'll never produce a single finished piece to your satisfaction. It may guarantee you never even get to the stage of plugging in your equipment.

    Any work you do get to produce you will eternally be disappointed because it, nor do your machines, satisfy that dastardly pointer on the indicator. This will all of course be endlessly interspersed with driving every manufacturer of equipment you purchased absolutely and utterly insane because of said #2 indicator. (These manufacturers will more than likely default to sending a covert, black ops crew, to your shop in the darkest of night to either destroy, damage, or internally re-calibrate your precision .0005" indicating equipment in an effort to stop your endless calls and protect their livelihoods from bankruptcy).

    I would advise hiding all your ultra precision test equipment in a high security location to keep it away from the black ops, and hopefully make it as hard as possible on yourself to access said equipment.

    You can read endless tests on-line and youtube with regards to Mitutoyo, all the way down to Horror Freight or worse. Its not to say the Mitutoyo and its equals are not the creme'de la creme' but they are far from necessary for most anything in this world. I have a few nice Starrett and Brown and Sharpe indicators and mic's and a couple pairs of Mitutoyo calipers I have landed on for pennies at auctions but they are used in the wood shop on rare occasion. I keep a half dozen pairs of inexpensive dial caliper and digital calipers scattered around the shop to make regular measures. Several indicators on mag bases. None of the shop dial indicators are anything remotely close to the mitutoyos.

    You can read tenths pretty well on a .001 indicator even an el-cheapo. The point is, if you let yourself into that rabbit hole, you may as well just stay in bed.
    Last edited by Mark Bolton; 01-17-2022 at 2:02 PM.

  10. #10
    That was hilarious, Mark

  11. #11
    Join Date
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    My digital Mitutoyo indicator has had its battery changed only once in the 15 years I've had it. Unlike some of the cheap digital calipers I have (the $15 ones) that eat batteries regularly the dial indicator seems to last forever. If you find analog easier to use of course you should go that way.

    Budget for a good, sturdy magnetic base. That may be more important than the indicator you choose.

  12. #12
    For anyone else referencing this thread:

    Screen Shot 2022-01-17 at 12.38.53 PM.png

  13. #13
    Join Date
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    My other "hobby", beside woodworking is engine building. Race applications. I have a need for instruments that read in tenths, so that's what I buy. I am old school, and prefer clocks, so I do not have any digital devices, although - as my eye sight continues to degrade, digital is starting to apeal to me.

    I prefer Mitutoyo and Starett devices. I have some older Brown and Sharp, as well, but newer stuff isn't as nice.

    These are nice dials. I have several. You can get others that read in half thou that are a bit less exspensive. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B002SG7PJI...v_ov_lig_dp_it

  14. #14
    Join Date
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    I don’t like the super cheap dial indicators they are too twitchy. I have several from China that came with other stuff.
    I have a indicator from this company https://www.shars.com/products/measu...ial-indicators. They are pretty darn good.
    It still like my federal the best it’s so smooth.
    Last edited by Andrew Hughes; 01-17-2022 at 5:21 PM. Reason: Spelling
    Aj

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by derek labian View Post
    What is your problem exactly?
    Derek,
    I think Mark is sensitive tot he fact some of us tend to get "analysis paralysis" and go down the proverbial rabbit hole on the possibilities which, although worthy of consideration, can effectively stop forward progress in actually making anything. I may have veered into that trap on occasion, but a tight fitting joint is more from experience doing it and getting used to the actual things that influence the end result . . . such as cutting to the knife line, sawing at the correct angle, using a bench hook or other jigs, etc. Accurate measurements are important, equipment set-up is important, but there is a balance which is sometimes elusive. My tools are all pretty darn good, but there are many people on this forum who can make better furniture than me, and many with "lesser" tools. The difference is that they have done it so much that they see the big picture of how it all fits together in the "real world." Another consideration that comes into it is moisture content, seasonal movement, etc., . . . . once we play with those, the accuracy to 0.001 seems a bit pointless. Bottom-line, i think Mark was just trying to encourage you to start making sawdust. Best, Patrick

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