The Best Micrometer Sets: Review and Buying Guide
You’ve found the ideal location for a micrometer set. This blog post reviews the best micrometer sets on the market and includes a buying guide. Workshops need micrometers. They can measure the metal thickness and screw diameter. So, a micrometer set is a must-have tool, whether you’re a professional mechanic or just someone who likes to do DIY projects around the house.
When it comes to analog micrometers, nobody does it better than Starrett. Accuracy is the most crucial feature of a micrometer, and these Starrett microphones provide some of the most accurate and reproducible measurements.
You can expect the measurements from your Starrett micrometer to be accurate to .0001″. Even though other manufacturers have created tools with the same accuracy, few come close to the build quality of a Starrett micrometer.
It can be hard to know how good a tool feels. These mics think right. They’re not too heavy and have a good balance that never gets in the way of your work.
The frame and sleeve of the micrometer have always been of excellent quality. The knurling on the friction thimble and ratchet provides the perfect amount of grip.
Starrett has been making these micrometers for a long time, and it hasn’t changed much. If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.
The quality of these micrometers comes at a price. Suppose you need more accuracy and can live with a smaller measuring range. It might be worth considering the best digital micrometer set in that case.
You can also choose to use a used tool. It is a good choice because all of the tools mentioned here- from both Starrett and Mitutoyo- have been quality measuring tools for many years. They have not changed much in the past few decades.
As a side note, the case with the micrometers is also made very well.
These micrometers from Mitutoyo are accurate and reliable. They are also well-made and consistent. However, they are not quite as good as the Starrett set. The Starrett set is a bit more accurate but also more expensive. The Mitutoyo set might be a better value because it is less costly than the Starrett set.
The Starrett micrometer set is like a Rolls Royce, while the Mitutoyo set is like a Cadillac. This difference is reflected in the prices of the two sets. The main difference between them is the feel of the mics–the finish of the Mitutoyo set is nice but not as luxurious as that of the Starrett set.
Mitutoyo micrometers are good but not as good as Starrett micrometers. However, they are much better than other micrometers on the market and come with a smaller price tag.
Mitutoyo Digimatic micrometers are the most accurate normal micrometers. Other micrometers might be more precise, but they will be more expensive and harder to use.
Digital micrometers are a great choice when working in both inch and metric units. They are easy to switch between units, which saves time and helps to prevent any conversion mistakes.
The batteries in the Digimatic micrometers seem to last forever. It is an excellent feature because you don’t have to worry about changing the batteries often.
They did not provide the best overall micrometer set because it contains fewer micrometers and only measures size up to 4″. If this isn’t an issue for your applications, consider closely looking at the Mitutoyo Digimatic mic set. They are unquestionably the best set available.
In recent years, some Chinese micrometer manufacturers have increased the quality of their products. Anytime Tools is an excellent example of this. They have created very accurate and high-quality tools but at a fraction of the price of traditional micrometers.
The quality of micrometers made in China has improved a lot. So much so that some American tool manufacturers are now outsourcing their tools to other countries.
They advertise that their micrometers are accurate to .0001″ as you would anticipate from a decent instrument. They aren’t always there in reality. It’s reasonable to expect .0002″ precision. If you want more than that, double-check their accuracy when you get them.
The Anytime Tools set includes the usual micrometer set accessories, including reference standards for accuracy verification and a wooden case. The case is not as lovely as what comes with more expensive sets, but it is just a box, after all. It holds all the included mics and closes to keep out the elements. It makes a perfectly acceptable storage solution.
This set isn’t as lovely as Mitutoyo and Starrett’s, but the price is much lower. If you also buy a set of gage blocks to verify their accuracy, the total cost would still be much lower than other quality sets.
This micrometer set from Anytime Tools is an excellent starter for hobbyists or people just starting in the machining trade. It might meet all of your current and future measurement needs.
Considerations When Buying a Micrometer Set
How Big of a Set To Get
You will need to use different sizes of micrometers for other measurements. The most common size for most measurements is 0-1″. The next most common size is 1-2″ and so on.
The sizes of micrometers get larger, and they will be used less. A 5-6″ micrometer or 11-12″ micrometer is rarely used in a high-use environment.
You don’t want to buy a set of micrometers if you’re not going to use them. They can be expensive, so make sure you’ll use them.
Choose the 0-6″ set if you’re unsure. Most people should start here, but if you can go smaller, do so. It’s better to buy a 0-3″ set than a 0-6″ set missing 4-6″. Never use microphones.
The essential qualities of a micrometer are accuracy and repeatability. A wide variety of accuracies are available in micrometers, especially when it comes to older used tools.
You should look for a micrometer with an accuracy of .0001″ or better. Above, I’ve provided a cheaper, less accurate set. However, you should only purchase that set if affordability is your primary concern and you are confident that the drop in precision is acceptable for your measurements.
Analog vs. Mechanical Counter vs. Digital
Analog microphones always work, so you don’t have to worry about the battery dying. They are also less susceptible to contamination than digital microphones.
Digital micrometers are easier to use, faster to take measurements, and let you choose the measurement unit. Additionally, they let you decide where the “zero” is. It is helpful when taking comparison measurements. Digital micrometers make it easy to get the measurements without manual calculations quickly.
They introduce another mechanism that has the potential to fail and does not deliver enough of a benefit to justify its use. Electronic digital micrometers are comparable in price to mechanical counter counterparts.
Choose either a standard analog micrometer or a solid digital version. Do not choose the mechanically-prone counter varieties.
Cases are necessary for protection. When it comes to cases, you don’t need anything too extravagant. The usual wooden case that most micrometer sets come with is more than enough for storing your tools.
The case protects the micrometer from the weather and keeps it safe from being dropped. It’s an excellent place to put it when you’re not using it. Micrometers often get knocked off workbenches, which will help prevent that from happening.
Make sure to put your tools away safely when you are finished using them. It will help keep them in good condition so they can be used for years.
Carbide vs. Steel Tips
Carbide-tipped micrometers are more resistant to wear and tear. However, it is important to note that they can be more brittle. It means they might chip or break if not handled carefully.
The main reason to use a micrometer with a carbide tip is if you need to measure something that is very abrasive. Most users will find that steel and carbide tips are more than adequate for their needs.
Calibrated or Not
Calibrated micrometers are available from a variety of manufacturers and retailers. However, this is not an item that is worth paying extra for.
The micrometers should be accurate from the start. If they are not correct, you can fix them by calibrating them. It will ensure that your tool is accurate by checking it against a reference standard connected to a national database. If you require this level of precision, You almost definitely have a set of calibrated blocks that allow you to calibrate yourself.
Shipping companies can be rough on your packages, so it is important to remember when deciding whether to pay for calibration. If the package gets shocks during shipping, the calibration could be voided. Skip the calibration upcharge and verify your micrometers on your own.
Choosing a micrometer set is not easy. Even the cheapest options cost a lot of money. The most important things to consider are how accurate the measurements are and how many different sizes you need the micrometer set to have.
Learn more: How to Use and Read an Outside Micrometer
Frequently Asked Questions About Micrometer Sets
To read the micrometer in thousandths, double the number of visible vertical divisions on the sleeve by 0.025.”And then add the number of thousandths indicated by the line on the thimble that lines up best with the long central line on the sleeve.
Micrometers typically measure between 25mm and 1 inch. For example, metric versions measure 0-25mm, 25-50mm, 50-75mm, etc., and imperial versions measure 0-1 inches, 1-2 inches, 2-3 inches, etc.
Inside micrometers measure the inside dimensions of things like holes or tubes. There are two inside micrometers: caliper-type inside micrometers and tubular and rod inside micrometers.
The carbide anvil is the part of the micrometer that stays still while the measured object is placed against it. The anvil is directly connected to the micrometer’s frame. It has a different shape depending on what type of measurement is being taken.
The Vernier caliper least counts formula is determined by dividing the smallest major scale reading by the total number of vernier scale divisions. LC of the vernier caliper is the difference between the smallest reading of the main scale and the smallest reading of the vernier scale, which is 0.1 mm or 0.01 cm.
Different types of micrometers have different measuring ranges. The ranges are between 25mm and 1 inch. The micrometers can measure in increments of 0-25mm, 25-50mm, 50-75mm, and so on. The imperial versions have the exact measurements but in inches instead of millimeters.
The ratchet thimble on Mitutoyo’s mechanical outside micrometer helps deliver a smooth, constant measuring force on the spindle to ensure accurate, repeatable measurements.
Outside micrometers are used for measuring the outside of the components. Outside, micrometers have a ratchet-stop or a ratchet to prevent uneven pressure on the measuring surfaces.