Re: Digital Caliper Recommendation

Daniel A. Mitchell

The PFM HO caliper is an all metal conventional Vernier caliper (not a "dial”). It’s of excellent construction and reads in both HO inches and 1/000”. It’s easy to use once you learn how to read a Vernier. It’s a great HO modeling tool.

While dial calipers have largely superseded Vernier calipers, being easier to read, they are more delicate and subject to errors from the gear-rack.

Today digital (electronic) calipers are popular and have some advantages. I use them, but it seems that every time I need one the battery is dead or has lost contact. Then it’s grab the dial caliper. Or reach in the toolbox and drag out the trusty old Vernier. There’s just nothing to go wrong with them (short of physical destruction).

Dan Mitchell

On Oct 17, 2020, at 9:33 PM, James SANDIFER <steve.sandifer@...> wrote:

General makes a plastic dial cal that has HO readout. I use Harbor freight digital in the train room and Mitutoya dial cal in the shop. The Harbor freight is inexpensive and good. 
J. Stephen Sandifer
From: <> On Behalf Of Jon Miller
Sent: Saturday, October 17, 2020 1:39 PM
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Digital Caliper Recommendation
On 10/17/2020 11:22 AM, Gene Semon wrote:
PFM had a dial caliper in plastic & metal versions years ago that measured in in HO scale.

    The only PFM one I have seen (not saying there were not others) was not a dial caliper, was metal, and is going for in excess of $100.

    Low cost metal dial (or digital) calipers can be had at Harbor Freight.  Twenty bucks and if you can get a monthly handout usually 20% off.


eBay item number:
    $6.80, looks to be the same as HF?
Jon Miller
For me time stopped in 1941
Digitrax  Chief/Zephyr systems, JMRI User
NMRA Life member #2623
Member SFRH&MS

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