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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking at getting some tools for school. I'm starting my machine tech classes here in a few weeks. Anyways I'm looking online at some digital clipers and it lists two different prices. the more expensive ones come with an SLC*

*Calipers marked " W/SLC" include redemption card for Standard Letter of Certification

So what is that? Do i need/want it?

I have a whole list of tools I need to get.
 

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I'm looking at getting some tools for school. I'm starting my machine tech classes here in a few weeks. Anyways I'm looking online at some digital clipers and it lists two different prices. the more expensive ones come with an SLC*

*Calipers marked " W/SLC" include redemption card for Standard Letter of Certification

So what is that? Do i need/want it?

I have a whole list of tools I need to get.
I dunno why you'd need the SLC for school.

I'd personally look to the Mitutoyo IP66 or IP67's first. You can get the 6" IP66 in the Enco Hot Deals catalog for about $120, and if you look in something like the Home Shop Machinist you can usually find a code for 10% off. Otherwise I've got some free shipping codes, too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well I dont know what SLC is. I never said I wanted it. Please explain.
The list I was given were mostly starrett part numbers. I went to a local supplier and they quoted me almost 4K!!

I know these can be substituted for other brands etc. But keep in mind I HATE cheap tools. I would rather spend a little more and not have to worry about replacing it in a year or two. But I dont want to throw money out the window either.
 

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Unless you plan to "Calibrate" your gages, a certification letter is not required, especially in school shop.
Mitutoyos are excellent measurement tools, from their non-digital to their high end digital verisons. That is all I had and have purchased during my professional life as an Engineer.

The digital versions, if they get really damaged during a drop, you most likely would need to send it out to be repaired. Most manual versions, you can fix yourself.
 

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I used to buy the expensive 6" calipers. But they get dropped, bent from being dropped, dirt in the rack, the face gets scratched, etc etc.
Now i buy the cheap $20 calipers and when they get wore out i buy a new pair. A thousand's is a thousand's no matter where its made.
I wouldn't bother with SLC for school. When you go to work for a employer and they require it, then you have to do it.
 

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Most of the people I've been working with the last 17 yrs aren't too fond of the Starrett calipers. Their micrometers are good though. Mitutoyo is the hands down favorite for calipers, be it digital or dial. I also love my Mitutoyo micrometers, but like everything in life everyone has a different opinion on what's the best.
 

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Most of the people I've been working with the last 17 yrs aren't too fond of the Starrett calipers. Their micrometers are good though. Mitutoyo is the hands down favorite for calipers, be it digital or dial. I also love my Mitutoyo micrometers, but like everything in life everyone has a different opinion on what's the best.
^yes^ Do not buy Starrett calipers, do not pay for SLC, or SPC unless you really need it.
 

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I used to buy the expensive 6" calipers. But they get dropped, bent from being dropped, dirt in the rack, the face gets scratched, etc etc.
Now i buy the cheap $20 calipers and when they get wore out i buy a new pair. A thousand's is a thousand's no matter where its made.
I wouldn't bother with SLC for school. When you go to work for a employer and they require it, then you have to do it.
Well, the $20 Harbor Freight caliper thousandths really ISN'T always the same as the good brands. Not to mention that when you drop them, they tend to lose accuracy or break before the good stuff. This is from personal experience, I just started at a shop almost a year ago and bought some cheapie $20 calipers thinking I wouldn't need good stuff. Wrong. If you would extend them all the way out to 6" 10 different times, the needle would be sitting on about 5 or 6 different hash marks when you brought it back. This was after a couple pretty good drops.

I now have an old pair of Fowler 12" (when they were still US made), a Mitutoyo 12", and a Brown and Sharpe 6" (these have been abused way more than the cheap ones were and are still fine, I damaged the ID edges so they are permanently set up with groove measuring pins). the shop sets are either Mitutoyo or Starrett.

One thing I don't like about Starrett calipers is that they don't always come with the depth attachment.:confused: I mean, you are already paying a premium for them being made in the US, then you have to shell out more $$ for the depth attachment, which EVERY other brand has? No thanks.

Personally, I would recommend buy everything Mitutoyo. It is really nice stuff, on par with Starrett and decently cheaper.
 

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Buy cheap dial calipers. if you are measuring within .001 with calipers then you are stupid or have them on a jig.

I bought expensive calipers when I started 12 years ago, 3 months later they fell off something and now I use them at home and replaced them with a 6" and 12" pair that I got for 30 bucks. I still have the 12" but have wasted the 6" 2 or 3 times since.

Get Starrett these:
Micrometers
Solid square
Combination Square set

Alot of other good stuff made by starrett, but those 3 things are almost standard in any good toolmakers box.

I also personally use a Starrett scale both a 6" and 12" with graduations in thousandths (lines are at .020), and a depth mic set. I've used a better depth mic, but it was a Lufkin and they are no longer making machinists tools.

If you want to put up your list of exact needs I'm sure that myself or the other pros can throw our feedback as to what to spend money on, and what not to.

My cheap tools quick-list: parallels,123 blocks,calipers, tape measure (lufkin still makes these, they are nice) tap handles, punches/stuff hit with ball peen.

Avoid digital. Really. Mechanical is reliable, accurate,consistent, and like stated before easily repaired.

"Money" tools: indicator. Get a Interapid. after that mics, squares, depth mics, edge finder, (I like the brown and sharpe 1/2 double sided with .200 on 1 end and .500 on other) drill set. Get a good set of drills. The big set made in USA and not gold and shiney. HSS in black will be +$120.00 for the set with letters and numbers. Save up for it and keep it in good condition. You will put holes in things I promise. Shops have drills, but yours are YOURS. You know what they do, if they don't YOUR fault. and get a Drill. DR. hahaha
 

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Avoid digital. Really. Mechanical is reliable, accurate,consistent, and like stated before easily repaired.
Get a good pair of Vernier Calipers. I have a set of "VIS" made in Poland.
They were inexpensive, and 20 years later still in daily use. Only thing that has changed is my eye sight, but many mechanical dials have come and gone during that time. Ya. 0.001" accuracy, 6" scale.

Tom
 

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Fairly long list. :eek:

If you are taking this class and don't plan on being a toolmaker/machinist/engineer/moldmaker type career then I would get as cheap as possible.Across the board. You could easily have couple grand into that list, if you plan to have these tools for a living then a couple G is worth it.

Quickly I would stand by my previous post of tools...1 good indicator will last a lifetime, but having a couple cheap ones are handy as anything, My SPI stuff is expendable. Alot of thread measuring tools on that list???....manual thread cutting is not commonplace. CNC and dies will cut your common threads efficiently as any human. Measuring and knowledge of threads and how they function is a primary skill to a toolmaker, but specific threading tools for measuring them to a fine degree of accuracy will be supplied by a shop if that is what they "DO."

I need goals. is tooling/machining/ etc. a back-up?? I can also give a medium.

Many of the numbers listed can be found in a Starrett catalog, but they also cross-reference to other brands.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I'm sure a lot of work can be done without some of these tools. But its like books for a class. If thats what they want me to get then I guess thats what I need to get. :) And I'm not sure exactly what specific area of machining I want to get into. I've always been interested in it. And I love hands on stuff and love to be constantly learning something new. I also like to know all aspects of a job. Starting from when its put on paper until the part is made. So I guess as I get further into this class I will have a better idea of what I want to do. But for now I'm not 100% sure. But I am taking these classes for a career change.
 

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Well, the $20 Harbor Freight caliper thousandths really ISN'T always the same as the good brands. Not to mention that when you drop them, they tend to lose accuracy or break before the good stuff. This is from personal experience, I just started at a shop almost a year ago and bought some cheapie $20 calipers thinking I wouldn't need good stuff. Wrong. If you would extend them all the way out to 6" 10 different times, the needle would be sitting on about 5 or 6 different hash marks when you brought it back. This was after a couple pretty good drops.
The cheap calipers from McMaster Carr cost $28.97 and measure a .001 just fine. I've never got a rejection because of a caliper maulfunction.
 

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I like Brown and Sharpe calipers , keep them clean and they will almost never skip on you , let them fill up with chips and it doesn't matter what kind you get they will be junk ,fast .

I agree with Solarpower on the rest of the tools
 

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Starret calipers suck balls. Their mics are decent.

We mainly use mitutoyo, but we did just buy a 6 and 12" set of digital fowlers and they are pretty nice.

Just personal preference but I prefer a dial over digital. Sucks when the battery dies and you dont have a spare.
 

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SLC = Standard Letter of Certification

I believe this is just proof of accuracy and calibration. Most likely only important if the shop you're working in is ISO compliant. Then you need all tools calibrated on a yearly basis.

For calipers, I also vote for Mitutoyo. I think they're the standard. At my machining school we just use the cheap Chinese made stuff that goes for $20 from Enco.
 

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Wow, digimatics on a first tool list. I remember when my dad threatened to put his foot in my ass for buying dial calipers. :D "But Dad, I can measure tenths now!" :laughing:

Mitutoyo makes decent digital calipers, go for those. If you want a nice set of dial calipers, buy Etalon. Test Indicator, Interapid.

I don't calibrate any machinist's tools, my system disallows personal tool use for final acceptance. I run an ISO9001 / AS9100 registered shop.
 
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