Cost effective dial indicator...with some aggravation


(Evan Day) #1

Thought I would share my experience recently with an Amazon product:

I bought this dial indicator thinking that it would be cost effective for hobby use as opposed to shelling out for a Mitutoyo, Starret, etc.

Product comes quickly, no issues. You will notice that it is advertised as coming with two stems: a 7/32" and a 1/4". Well the 1/4" would be ideal for using with our Makita or Dewalt standard size collets. Unfortunately, when I received mine it came with a 5/32" and 3/8" stems. Upon contacting the seller (HHIP) to get the right advertised stems, they told me there was nothing they could do, because I bought it through Amazon as opposed to buying from HHIP directly. I tried to explain that I’m not sending it back to Amazon, as how would I know that the correct stems would come at all? So I left a bad review and gave up.

Instead I kept the dial indicator which otherwise works, and bought this universal mount (which I can confirm IS .25" in diameter. Problem solved. Buyer beware.

On the upside I learned some more and now have some idea how to indicate vises and stock. This will be a nice tool for helping me tram my wasteboard when I replace it again.


(Jose Prieto) #2

(mikep) #3

AvE just did a review of these -> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6g_UDKM9nqQ
Surprisingly, not total junk, but some things you need to keep in mind.

That said, this is an appropriate use of a dial indicator (and far easier to mount in this case…a mag base on the z-plate works great), a test indicator is probably excessive precision here.


(Evan Day) #4

The mag base and plunger type indicator (which I have both) sucks when you have the brackets for the Suckit dust shoe attached. You have no real surface on the front of the Z-plate to stick to. That was why I got this one above. I used the mag base and plunger indicator to tram and level my wasteboard on first setup.

This indicator with the universal mount should be much easier.


(Richard Cournoyer) #5

Great tool, and it was one of the first tools I added to my Shapeoko toolbox (I gave most of my machinist tools to my brother 20 years ago)

PS The dovetail is $11 on ebay


(Evan Day) #6

Yes, as you can imagine, its not the cost of the dovetails that bothered me, it was the principle of the thing. Don’t advertise something and then not be willing to stand behind it.


(mikep) #7

What I did was drill and tap a hole in the router bracket that the arm off a mag base can screw into.


(Curtis Potter) #8

This guy is freaking hilarious. I subscribed to him within a minute of this video. Great link!!


(mikep) #9

Between him and “This Old Tony”… https://youtu.be/YBGqknN3gGs