Harbor Freight Digital Caliper Discussion


Toolmonger is having an interesting discussion about the quality of Harbor Freight’s inexpensive digital calipers.  They aren’t too impressed but everyone else seems to be. [Editor’s Note: They lost a lot of comments because of a hard drive failure.]

4 comments to Harbor Freight Digital Caliper Discussion

  • Brian Carter
    November 28, 2011 at 3:56 PM | Reply

    I have two samples of the 6″ caliper purchased in a three year interval. The first purchase has worked exceptionally well, and I am surprised at its repeatability through its hard life. The second unit is significantly poorer in construction and no longer features fractional readings. For most of my work, these two units are fine, however as my work improves or the requirments increase, I could imagine the need for a higher quality device.

  • Rob
    November 29, 2011 at 2:04 PM | Reply

    I have at least four different inexpensive 6-inch digital calipers that I’ve bought from Harbor Freight and Grizzly. They all seem to be very accurate although I sometimes wish they had a better resolution than .0005-inch. They differ mainly in how easily they slide and the size of their display.

    The one I dislike the most and almost never use is a cheap $10 one you can sometimes still get at HF for that price. Its jaw moves a little stiffly, it has a small display and it eats batteries fairly quickly.

    My favorite is a $20 HF caliper that also displays fractional inches. It has a much bigger display and it works silky smooth. I’ve been using it regularly for almost 3 years now. I’d like to buy another to keep as a spare but Harbor Freight doesn’t seem to carry them anymore.

    I bought another brand with an even bigger display at Grizzly Tools last year for $20 on my way to Cabin Fever. It also works very smoothly but one of its buttons is located so that I keep hitting it accidentally and switching from inches to millimeters. So it doesn’t get used very often.

  • Bob
    April 13, 2013 at 9:59 AM | Reply

    Why are the third and fourth position smaller numbers?

    Thank you for your time

  • rleete
    April 17, 2013 at 10:03 AM | Reply

    Older models had that. I believe the latest ones have the numbers all the same size.

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