Budget Dial Caliper test/review

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Budget Dial Caliper test/review


For review :

The cheapest dial calipers on Fasttech.com

And the cheapest dial calipers from Ebay

Fasttech.com sent me some Fujisan Dial Calipers for test/review and I only thought it fair that I should perhaps compare them to another dial caliper that was also along the lines of budget . So what we have is the cheapest steel dial calipers off Ebay VS the cheapest steel dial calipers off Fasttech.com . In this case we are talking $22 ozzi bananas (Ebay ) VS $21 greenbacks ( Fasttech ) .

I don’t know about other people , but I really dislike reaching for digital calipers and finding they don’t work because the battery is flat ! Yes analog calipers are a little slower to read and a little more difficult , but the batteries don’t go flat ( There are no batteries ) . So if you reach for precision measuring instruments a few times a year , analog calipers just might be the way to go . ( Unless you have other issues like maybe eyesight – in which case those digital calipers might be a God send and just be sure to have a bag full of spare batteries )

Ok , I did a whole bunch of random measurements N stuff and there really was nothing to separate them . So I pulled out a 25mm gauge from my 50mm micrometer ( its pretty much spot on for 25mm ) and used it for some more precise measurements to see if I could separate the two calipers I had . Sorry no is the sort answer . Both calipers were spot on ( don’t worry about the picture , that was on me ) . Both calipers were on the money for the 25mm reading , as well measuring the sides of the gauge ( one side was spot on for 11mm ) both calipers were again on the money . So it would appear that both calipers were giving accurate measurements within the test parameters .

A cylinder from a Super Tigre G15 Internal measurements : 15.02mm With two digital calipers .
Ebay Calipers gave a measurement of 15.00mm ( ID )
Fujisan Calipers gave a measurement of 15.02mm ( ID )

Measuring undersized is correctable , but dangerous as you may hurt the blade geometry ( measuring jaw ) .

So the Fujisan Calipers measure well inside and outside .. ( ID / OD )

Doing some depth measurements ( depth measuring blade ) – 30.26mm measured with digital calipers

The Ebay calipers were all over the place , I got 30.20mm several times as well as 30.22 / 30.24 , even 30.30mm .. I think I the rough action had something to do with it , as to measure depth the calipers have to be very smooth .
Fujisan calipers were also a little tricky ( doing depth measurements requires precision on the part of the operator ) but I nailed 30.26mm more often than not . The Fujisan calipers were just so much smoother and easier to hold just so .

What really separates these calipers is the over all build quality and feel . And here it goes to the Fujisan calipers from fasttech , they are simply better finished , smoother and more precisely ground . *If you look at the pictures you may notice that some one has worked on the Ebay sourced calipers ..

A) Jaws were poorly aligned – I stoned them to bring them into alignment . There is more slop and the feel is a little rough .

B) The face of the jaws ( measuring points ) were terribly poorly ground , I simply can not fully correct the situation . But after some work I was able to create a small flat spot for accurate measuring . ( Looks like I succeeded ) They are not even all the way along . ( Jaw face )

C) The Ebay calipers I got were a bad example and if they are all like this = Better avoided . ( If you want precise measurements )*

So far there have been no issues with the Fujisan calipers from fasttech and all I have done is adjust the two tension screws to remove as much slop from the jaws as possible . What I really appreciate is the lack of any binding or lose spots as you spread out the measuring jaws or bring them back together . The surface grinding is really nice as is the overall fit and finish . I really keep forgetting that they sell for $21 greenbacks as every time I pick them up they just feel more expensive .

If your looking to play the lottery , buy the cheapest calipers off Ebay . If you have the skill you might be able to deal with any issues that show up . On the other hand if you are not a DIY repair guy ( yeah ! I kind of am ) you might want to take a look at the Fujisan calipers from fasttech . At $21 USD I think they are punching above their price class and taking the price into consideration , I would score the Fujisan a solid 9 out of 10 . Are they Mitutoyo good ? , no not really , come on … $21 USD , but to be fair . @ $21 USD they are amazing value . The jaws are really well ground , giving even measurements from top to bottom , which is surprising at this price point .

Bottom line , Fujisan calipers thumbs up and the Ebay calipers get the thumbs down .. ( Ebay calipers needed corrective measures / still do ) ..

 Always remember , the easiest thing in the world to do , is to expel hot air from your lungs and through some vocal chords ..
The resulting sound may , or may not be worth listening too ….