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Hi, All - I need to replace a pair of dial calipers I got literally 50 years ago next month in college. It was a good German set, but years of dust have taken its toll and they are losing their accuracy and repeatability. I am debating between the electronic calipers and another set of dial calipers. I have no problems with the idea of dial calipers. Mine did yeoman's duty over the years. I can read them without a problem.

Many of the calipers available now days are the electronic versions. Nice big numbers on the indicator and hard to misinterpret the readings, but I am not a huge fan of replacing batteries. And some appear hard to read in dim light. Do they hold their accuracy over the years?

Does anyone have any opinions (preferably based on facts :rolleyes:) one way or the other?

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I have one cheap 6", and one Mitutoyo.  I also have some dial calipers, but can't remember wanting to use them since I bought the cheap digital ones.  There's something comforting about those extra places beyond 1 thou.  I can't remember how old the cheap ones are, but they still work as good as they ever did.

The Mitutoyo is some better, all the way around.

The cheap one does eat batteries faster than you would want, but I haven't had the Mitutoyo long enough to see how long the batteries last.  

I bought the Mit because a friend borrowed my cheap one, and I thought that would probably be the end of it, but he brought it back.

Picture is the cheap one, some years ago.

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I have a digital calipers (not sure of the brand) but I went bought a pair of Starrett a couple years back becuase I got tired of the batteries being dead when I needed them. Mine have a light yellow back so very easy to read. 

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I have an inexpensive HF digital caliper, and a couple of nice dial calipers, inherited from my machinist FIL. The HF unit seems solid and accurate, for the price point, but the batteries are ALWAYS dead. Doesn't bother me much, I mostly use them to transfer dimensions directly from part A to part B.

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I think dial are a good way to go.

I needed a good caliper for something a while ago and bought one of these. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00IG46NL2/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1 My order date on amazon says Apr 18th, 2015 and I have yet to change the battery.

This is interesting on digital calipers.

 

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I have a digital caliper (can't remember the brand) that I really like, but just sitting in the case, the battery will die in month or two. Fortunately, the battery easily slides out, so I just remove it when I put it away.

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Calipers are not a daily-use tool for me.  I had an inexpensive digital model, but as others have said, the battery always seemed to be dead when I needed it.  I picked up an iGaging 6" dial caliper a year or two ago (~ $25) and have been happy with it.  It has both a fractional scale and a decimal scale on the dial - one registers 1/64" and the other 0.01".  The fractional scale is the outer ring on the dial, and so it's easier to read - and I'd generally prefer to work with the fractions anyway.

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Echoing what’s said above. AvE (bothers me after short periods) showed that many of those battery units draw as much current off as they do on. Pulling the battery works for me. 

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I like the wixey version. They are a bit more expensive, but have a large screen, decent battery life, and they show both decimal and fractions at the same time. If it's too far from the nearest fraction (5 thousands, maybe?) then only the decimal is shown. I use them constantly, not because I need the precision, but just because I find them so handy for thickness and inside measurements.

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Thank you all for the input. I think I am going with another set of dial calipers. I actually use them to measure thousandths, so I want a good pair. My old Helios calipers won't repeat to that level. Now I get to figure out what I want. 

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