I am struggling trying to find one fractional dial caliper that is not cheap Chinese junk. Reading the reviews on Amazon, a few reviewers will reveal the truth about any fractional dial caliper for uner $100: they seem to be of poor quality.
But, though I can find dial calipers made in the USA or Japan, which I presume to be of higher quality, I can not find a fractional dial caliper.
I have a Starrett bought in the 1970’s that works very well and is accurate - but I also have a Sentora B-26 (made in China) that is 20 years old and it is also accurate- but not as smoothly finished as my old Starrett.
I know that Stuart (who runs this blog) has sometimes opined (over on his ToolGuyd blog) that Starrett quality may have slipped in recent years - so I have no way to gauge if the new 1202F is any good.
The other China-Made ones that I’ve read about like the Oshlun MTDCF-06 (got a nod on Garage Journal) and the IGaging 100-164 and the Anytime Tools AT203185 do seem to get mixed reviews on Amazon
Thanks for the info. I did a lot of research and the ones you named seem to be the fractional ones on amazon. The Starret fractional is made in China, though they still make many US made dial calipers.
I ended up buying the Shop Fox (where to the Chinese get their names?). It seemed like the best quality from the pics (machining, etc.). The reviews for that and the igaging were close. I liked the way the locking thumbscrew stuck up higher, the way the bezel was more finely machined, and the general look.
This was the first time I wanted a quality tool and had no choice but Chinese made. That kinda rocked my world.
Actually that’s not true. Last year I wanted some really high quality files. In the end, I went to Ebay and bought old NOS Nicholsons to get real quality file. That is sad. It is a way world economics is bringing about the downfall of American industry, and pride.
I have a pair of the chinese ones that Fred linked to. They work and they’re okay. No where close to as nice as my daily driver Mitutoyo IP67 digitals. I also have a pair of iGaging IP67 calipers that display inch, fractional inch and mm which are somewhere inbetween the chinese and the Mitutoyo as far as quality goes.
I actually use the iGaging quite a bit because the fractional mode is super handy in certain situations were you just quickly want to know the nearest size to 1/64th. My main gripe with them is that the screen could be nicer with a wider viewing range.
I think your biggest issue is that fractional isn’t popular in the machining world and most calipers with any quality and fidelity are made by people geared toward the machining world.
To that end I suspect you won’t find any with high quality and I would argue you might not really need them. when you consider the span of a 1/64 vs the span of 0.001. If that makes sense. Last fractional caliper I saw only did 1/128ths. which is 0.00781. or 7 thousandths. and most corse gear calipers can hit that with relative ease.
as opposed to a quality calipers with smoother gear that are made to be within 0.003 or less.
Does that make sense.
Meanwhile there are a few digital calipers out there that might offer fraction display. I use a set of decimal dial calipers.