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Everything I wanted in a digital caliper

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Review by Woodknack posted 04-14-2015 04:12 AM 5816 views 0 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Everything I wanted in a digital caliper Everything I wanted in a digital caliper Everything I wanted in a digital caliper Click the pictures to enlarge them

Sold by the same folks who sell the Accuremote digital inclinometer. I chose the IP54 after watching a thorough review on Youtube by Gadget Class. Inside the retail box was a decent plastic case that held the caliper, two batteries, the instructions, and a random piece of brown waxed paper (no idea why that was in there) but it was 0.004” thick. Both batteries were good. The plastic case that came with mine is slightly different than the picture on Amazon.

Of course I set out to measure all sorts of things that needed measuring like the scrap of brown paper in the case, various doodads and whizzbangs lying around. Precision was excellent. I tried measuring with the full length of the jaws then just the tips and each time the measurement was within 0.0005”. Then I checked it against the only semi accurate things I own, drill bits. All my 1/4” drill bits were undersize and within 0.001” of each other, either 0.247” or 0.248”. What does that mean? Nothing I suppose. I lack any set up blocks or anything made to a high degree of accuracy. Printer paper is supposed to be 0.004” and this agreed, that’s the best I can do. My needs are modest, I’m not a machinist, so I’m sure these are plenty accurate for my purposes. The caliper itself felt well made, has good weight and no obvious defects. The thumb wheel moves freely. The display is large and numbers are easy to read under fluorescent lighting. Overall I am very happy with these. During the last few weeks I keep finding uses for this in my woodshop. It has become something I use on every project.

Update 9-19-16, I’ve gone through one battery in one year plus of ownership, pretty good. The longer I have it, the more uses I find.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/




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Woodknack

11150 posts in 2289 days



15 comments so far

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Tennessee

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#1 posted 04-14-2015 12:13 PM

I was going to say you overpaid until I saw it also displays in fractions, up to 128ths of an inch. Nice unit.
Most of the time I use MM, but that is a nice feature.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

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WoodNSawdust

1417 posts in 1086 days


#2 posted 04-14-2015 12:15 PM

Thanks for the review.

-- "I love it when a plan comes together" John "Hannibal" Smith

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terryR

7079 posts in 2218 days


#3 posted 04-14-2015 01:45 PM

Another big Thanks, Rick, I’ve wanted a decent digital caliper for a while. Hard to justify the price of Starrett for woodworking. I’m terrible about leaving numbered drill bits laying everywhere after use, so need calipers to tell which is which.

And my bits seem to be slightly under as well.

-- tr ...see one, do one, teach one...

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Desert_Woodworker

1309 posts in 1124 days


#4 posted 04-14-2015 01:56 PM

$29.99 on sale from Amazon.

-- Desert_Woodworker

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Notw

614 posts in 1663 days


#5 posted 04-14-2015 02:03 PM

I have one of these as well and couldn’t agree more, great value. And i sleep better knowing all the whizzbangs in my shop have been measured :-)

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MrRon

4639 posts in 3153 days


#6 posted 04-14-2015 06:25 PM

I hate to burst your bubble, but Harbor Freight has one for $9.95. I have two of them and they read as precise as my Starrett and Mitutoyo vernier calipers and micrometers. They also have one that reads in fractions for $15.99.

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Woodknack

11150 posts in 2289 days


#7 posted 04-14-2015 07:44 PM



I was going to say you overpaid until I saw it also displays in fractions, up to 128ths of an inch. Nice unit.
Most of the time I use MM, but that is a nice feature.

- Tennessee

I’ve been using MM often and like it.

I left out the price, $26 shipped. Something else I forgot to mention and a factor in choosing this caliper over the many cheaper clones, is the extra large display. I’ve hit the age where I have to keep a pair of reading glasses in the shop and I can easily read this display without glasses.

Here is a really good video review of this compared to a number of other calipers.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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HillbillyShooter

5811 posts in 2202 days


#8 posted 04-15-2015 12:36 AM

Thanks for the review and reference video.

P.S. By the way and FYI: that brown paper is probably rust inhibiting VCI paper which is comply wrapped around precision metal to prevent rust ( http://www.amazon.com/Daubert-Cromwell-UW35MPI36x100-Corrosion-Inhibitor/dp/B00ANUNWTI ).

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

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Grumpymike

2217 posts in 2225 days


#9 posted 04-15-2015 10:18 PM

All my 1/4” drill bits were undersize and within 0.001” of each other, either 0.247” or 0.248”. What does that mean?
Oh man, you struck a nerve there pal.
I built a cabinet with the adjustable shelves and went to the big box to buy the shelf brackets, you know the 1/4” pins with the ‘L’ bracket on one end, and drove the 14 miles back home to find that even though the package said 1/4” they were not! they measured .234 or .235 … What the heck??? ... Well after a while it dawned on me that that is 6mm, and 6mm is not 1/4”(6.35mm would be very close to 1/4”.)

Back to town again another 14 miles to the other big box to find some real 1/4” shelf pins, but wait … this time I took my caliper with me and found the same thing.
Off to the hardware store, and to another, then 30 miles to one of the Wood Worker Stores to find a true 1/4” shelf pin … Now 44 miles back home with a very short attitude.

Lumber jocks Unite! look around your shops and find extra tapes and rulers, we all have a few spares, lets send China our extra rulers so that they too can tell how big 1/4” really is.

-- Grumpy old guy, and lookin' good Doin' it. ... Surprise Az.

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woodenwarrior

225 posts in 2104 days


#10 posted 04-16-2015 12:44 AM

I too have a set of digital calipers and pretty much love them, but…......I’m no mathematical whiz and dividing fractions has never been a strong point of mine let alone converting them into decimals or vice versa. So I created a chart that is super easy to use and takes the guess work out of both dividing fractions and decimals. It’s graduated in 1/16ths up to 1 inch and cross references for whole,3/4,1/2,1/4 and 1/8 of what ever you’re trying to divide up. Each fraction has its decimal equivalent underneath. It makes using calipers much less frustrating. I know there are apps that will do the same thing but I loathe taking my iPad or phone out to the shop where it’s dusty and easily damaged. I tried to get it published in both WOOD and Fine a Woodworking but neither publication bit. So I’m offering it to all of you, whomever would like to use it. I keep a laminated copy in my shop apron and use it constantly. If you would like a copy send me a PM with your email address and I will zip it to you.

-- Do or do not...there is no try - Master Yoda

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Woodknack

11150 posts in 2289 days


#11 posted 04-16-2015 05:29 AM

I just try and avoid fractions. There are fraction to decimal to mm charts available aplenty on the internet. Here is a nice big one for printing:
http://www.sw-steel.com/images/Inch-Conversion%20Chart%20001.jpg

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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Grumpymike

2217 posts in 2225 days


#12 posted 04-17-2015 12:31 AM

Ok, Now lets all be seated class and pay attention here, as this will be on the test come Friday …

This is so easy it scares people.
In math, ’/’ is the symbol for divide, so using the fraction 3/4 you do what it says; 3 divided by 4 …
(Using your $5 calculator punch in 3 divide by 4 and press = or enter and it will show .750).

This works for any and all fractions.

Rick You are so right.

woodenwarrior Thanks for the effort and the post. I find a conversion on the internet that I like, there are many, many on there, and print it. Then I take the printed paper copy to the shop and tape it to the wall. I have copies in a drawer and stuck here and there in case one gets coffee stains or what ever.
That way my TI-86 and the laptop stay dust free …

-- Grumpy old guy, and lookin' good Doin' it. ... Surprise Az.

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mandatory66

202 posts in 2040 days


#13 posted 04-17-2015 01:51 AM

I have this unit as well and find it to be accurate, I checked it against a starrrett micrometer. I find it to be very useful. I also have one that reads in fractions of an inch which gets a lot of use as well. Most fun is measuring the thickness of your plane shavings to see how low you can go or does this blade need sharpening or is this plane better than the others. I find the best I can get is .0005 and still get a full shaving. You do this after you measure everything in the shop.

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woodenwarrior

225 posts in 2104 days


#14 posted 04-17-2015 01:51 AM

Grumpymike, and I would absolutely agree with you. Simple fractions are very easy to divide. What happens when you need to know 3/4 of 9/16ths? Let alone its decimal equivalent. I never claimed to be a math whiz….the chart just makes it easier, without the need for a calculator. I’m neither promoting nor selling anything. I just made something I thought might be useful to others.

-- Do or do not...there is no try - Master Yoda

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BurlyBob

5250 posts in 2175 days


#15 posted 04-19-2015 06:12 AM

Hey Top, I’ve got a conversion chart in a three ring binder in my shop. Here’s a really pathetic story. several years back I worked in a wood products plant for a short while. They had a test that potential employee’s were required to pass. It involved being able to read a tape measure. I guess they had a pretty good failure rate. I don’t recall the percentage rate. If it ain’t digital I guess today’s kids can handle it!

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