Measurement tools: analog vs digital

@Rayman said:

Digital is way better

@Roy Eltham said: "Here is a dual unit analog"

@potatohead said: "I make sure I have one good analog tool and perfer them in most cases"

Before we clog @Ken Gracey thread, I thought we might have a tool chat.

Comments

  • Well, as the subject of the initial excitement over not having a battery for my digital calipers, I'd like to say I'm a fan of the digital, battery-powered tools. Aside from this battery fiasco, why would one want to go backwards? I'm a bit lazy, need quick results, and it's much faster to read a digital display than line up small engraved lines. . .unless I don't have a battery.

    Ken Gracey
  • My own tastes vary. I prefer analog measuring tools in the majority of scenarios.

    Digital ones tend to update slowly. This is fine for static measurements, but not so great for dynamic ones.

    Batteries... yeah, they go dead. Cheap o calipers tend to have high standby current.

    Analogs need care and feeding.

    No perfect answer. For me, I love always on. Sort of in the same way paper is always on.

    Paper does not have downtime, nor do analog tools.

    Go!
  • I own and use a digital one. I just saw the link to the over $200 analog ones that were sae only and wanted to see if there was a cheaper alternative that also did metric.
  • potatoheadpotatohead Posts: 10,070
    edited 2020-07-09 - 02:30:29
    I have used those. Frankly, I prefer digital in a mixed unit scenario, or single unit analogs. (Just will convert)

    The dual unit analogs never felt quite right to me personally.

    I bought a $200 ish 12" caliper in 87. Love it, still use it. And I know that tool well.

    Have owned a few digital. The one I have now has good standby. I use it for metric measurements sometimes. I like it.
  • Cheap autozone digital caliper has served me well for almost 10 years. Only 2 sets of batteries. does the job. SAE and Metric.
  • Not completely on topic, but I used a micrometer as a C-Clamp once...I learned a few new words that day from the owner.
  • LOL

    Been there done that.

    @frank freedman you got a good one. Around the shop here, there are a few analog tools. Mine mostly.

    One good digital unit. I like and use it regularly. Several cheap ones that hog down batteries!

    One case I like a lot are analog dial indicators. Move them over a surface, for example, and one gets a high fidelity map. The refresh rate and need to mentally compute / convert flashing numbers to geometry is lacking.

  • If you have a 3D printer, there are designs available that make a small widget that plugs into the battery compartment and cuts off the trickle drain.
  • Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi) Posts: 22,691
    edited 2020-07-09 - 19:31:38
    I've used the same 8" Mitutoyo analog calipers for more than 30 years. (They were gifted to me for measuring Dungeness crab in the field.) So they're obviously reliable, and I don't have any trouble reading the scale. But many, if not most, digital calipers are dual-mode: English/metric. To convert to metric, I have to have my calculator handy. (25.4 is as emblazoned in my brain, as 256.) Otherwise, I'm happy with the analog calipers and expect to use them until they become part of my estate -- along with the calculator. :)

    -Phil
  • I've used the same 8" Mitutoyo analog calipers for more than 30 years. (They were gifted to me for measuring Dungeness crab in the field.) So they're obviously reliable, and I don't have any trouble reading the scale. But many, if not most, digital calipers are dual-mode: English/metric. To convert to metric, I have to have my calculator handy. (25.4 is as emblazoned in my brain, as 256.) Otherwise, I'm happy with the analog calipers and expect to use them until they become part of my estate -- along with the calculator. :)

    -Phil
    ... and the Faber Castell Slide Rule :)
  • I'll see your Faber Castell and raise you a yellow on aluminium Pickett 1010ES with black leather belt loop hard case.....
  • Cluso99Cluso99 Posts: 16,380
    edited 2020-07-10 - 14:49:40
    I’ll see your Pickett 1010-es and raise you a set (booklet) of log tables :)

    Truth be told I no longer have my original tables but I do have my slide rules (two sets)

    I still have a set of 3 miniature screwdrivers in pouch that IIRC came on a 1960’s Radio and Hobbies magazine. Use them often as in yesterday on a P1 pcb! Work great when soldering a set of pin stakes reverse way around, then cut the excess, turn over to top of pcb and pry the plastic retainer off the pin header to leave a short set of pins to take the small shunts.
  • frank freedmanfrank freedman Posts: 1,664
    edited 2020-07-11 - 00:24:36
    @Cluso99 ,

    I guess we should be happy we are not sitting on park benches having this kind of discussion about our medical issues 😎 ...........
  • Cheap digital metal jawed caliper does for home machining and 3d printing. The low battery life is annoying but can be fixed. There is a 3d print available to make a tiny insulating wedge. Remove the slide out panel for the computer link and push wedge in there. It simply isolates one side of the battery fromt he spring terminal. Could be cut and filed out of plastic sheet too. I've had the same battery in for 3 years. I like analogue meters for electronics where a trend needs watching, digital for precision.
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