I use calipers extensively, dial calipers for hand measuring and digitals converted to DROs on my lathe and milling machine. This is professional use, and may not apply to your needs, but perhaps help in making your decision.
Electronic calipers require zeroing most every time they are used after they are shut off if they are being used for absolute measurement. This is an extra step which i find annoying. As a DRO (digital read out), i use them for relative measurements and am zeroing them often, which is an asset essentially eliminating a step in my process. Their batteries are not the most environmentally sound waste product, and should be disposed of properly and not in standard trash. Also, unlike some others, many of my batteries have gone dead and on more than one occasion, cost me a trip to replace. If this is your choice, be sure to buy one with an auto shut off as some of the bargains do not have this feature.
The dial calipers are easy to read with a few minutes of getting used to. They should be periodically checked for zero, but it is rare that i have had a problem with shifting. They are dead on accurate to spec, even the cheap ones that i have used though i have strictly stayed with stainless and not strayed to plastic. they must be kept cleaner than the digital, and they will need a conversion chart if you are measuring in units that the calipers are not designed for (inches/metric), the digitals oftentimes have a switch that converts.
I have dial calipers that are at least 15 years old, none of my digital have lasted more than about 2-3 years of fairly heavy use (secured to a machine).
gabriel romeu chesterfield new jersey usa
On 2:59 PM, John Thompson wrote:
> On 02/23/2010 04:01 PM, FujiFish1@aol.com wrote:
>> Probably six or so years ago, I bought two sets of digital calipers from
>> Performance Tool for about $20 each (one for upstairs, and one for the
>> basement shop), and neither has given any indication that their original battery
>> is showing signs of weakening. So, there may be headache replacing
>> batteries every many years or so, but to me, that is a LOT easier than trying to
>> read the mechanical calipers by eye, over and over again, every time I use
>> it. And of course, they get most of their use on our beloved on-topic
>> bikes and components. I can see zero reason to pick mechanical over digital,
>> and that has nothing to do with being vintage minded, in my opinion.
> True enough! Once my Vernier calipers wear out I'll buy a digital set... :)