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Fractional vs. Decimal Dial Caliper

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  • Fractional vs. Decimal Dial Caliper

    I am planning some projects that will include dadoed shelves, and down the road mortise and tenon joinery. I was looking into getting a dial caliper and came across this one,
    http://www.woodcraft.com/family.aspx?FamilyID=4440

    I have never really dealt with decimals in anything other than math and stats, so a caliper that reads in inches seems very appealing. As I'm a newbe in woodworking I'm looking for opinions on this tool from the more experienced hands and minds.

  • #2
    Why not get a digital calipers - metric and inch reading and provides inch to metric conversion...

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    • #3
      FWIW, Hector, Fine Woodworking just did a comparison of fractional calipers and the WC one came in last due to the adjustment knob. Naturally the Starret came in first.
      I and a buddy just ordered 2 from Hartville Tool. It has fractional and decimal, and has a 'normal' adjustment knob. I've only used mine a few days but so far I like it. It's also $29.95 and you can use the Woodnet discount to cover shipping.
      Poplar Branch Wood Crafts

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      • #4
        Originally posted by KenM
        I and a buddy just ordered 2 from Hartville Tool. It has fractional and decimal, and has a 'normal' adjustment knob. I've only used mine a few days but so far I like it. It's also $29.95 and you can use the Woodnet discount to cover shipping.
        That’s the one that I’ve had for a couple years now and am quite satisfied with it. I calibrated it when it arrived and I was surprised by how accurate it was.

        http://www.hartvilletool.com/product/12171

        Woodslayer

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        • #5
          another option for a caliper

          I use the LEE VALLEY tools 88N70.01 6" fractional caliper $17.50 [page 21]
          www.leevalley.com

          Since I use it in the shop where there is dust etc. I avoided the type with a dial as dust may cause issues.
          the caliper is well made, stainless steel, easy to read, and accurate.

          I have had it now close to 6 years.

          I also have one of their cheap plastic ones for those nasty jobs where the caliper may be damaged and it too works well

          Cactus Man

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          • #6
            Thank you all for the replies. Decisions.... decisions.

            Hey KenM
            If I go with the Hartsville Tool model, how do I get the woodnet discount? I'm not part of the woodnet....do I have to join up?

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            • #7
              Hector,
              Put "Woodnet 15% discount" in the comments box when you check out.

              The discount is applied when your order ships and not when you place the order, so your invoice with your order will show 15% less that the price originaly on your order.

              Ken
              Poplar Branch Wood Crafts

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              • #8
                Re: Calipers

                40+ years of toolmaking and woodworking (hobby) prompt me to tell you get a decimal caliper and use a small pocket calculator that can change fractions to decimals and back if you can't do it in your head. 'no insult intended'. I find that decimals are much more accurate than anything else but metrics and you can convert from decimals to metrics with a simple formula more easily than fractions. A lot of 6" pocket scales (rulers) have the decimal equivelance charts on their backs for quick referance. Wish you well on your final choice

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