Many machine shops and manufacturing plants depend on precision measuring tools to adjust their machines and fixtures to avoid costly mistakes. These precision measuring tools can be used in many industries, including woodworking, welding, industrial engineering, and metal fabrication.
Precision measuring tools can also be used to build furniture and household items.
The following is a list of ten popular tools that are great for any manufacturer who wants to ensure they have the proper precision measuring devices in their shop or plant.
1. Optical Comparator
A comparator measures the exact distance between two points. Machinists most commonly use them to measure the distance between a cutting tool and the workpiece. With a comparator, a machinist can measure the distance from A to C. For example, if the measuring instrument is set at 1 inch and the workpiece is measured at 2 inches, the machine should move forward 1 inch instead of 0.5 inches. A common mistake in machining is that the machine is moving forward or backward 0.5 inches, which can cause damage to the machine and potentially a significant loss of profit due to wasted material. A comparator helps avoid this type of mistake.
Micrometers measure any distance from 0.0001 inches to 0.001 inches with a resolution of 0.00013 inches. Micrometers make it easier for a machinist to measure the depth of holes by using a microscope or magnifying glass. Often micrometers are used in metal fabrication to gauge the inside and outside measurements for holes for rivets, screws, bolts, and nuts.
Micrometers work by using a screw and a lock nut to hold the heads of the tool. The screw is turned in the same direction and at the same rate to function correctly. Proper threading is imperative for micrometers. There are two types of threading, internal and external. An internal thread can be used to measure across or along with an object such as a cylinder or a bolt, and an external thread works in reverse, measuring along or across an object such as a nut or bolt head.
A caliper is a measuring device used to measure the inside and outside of an object with two parallel flat surfaces, called jaws. It has a movable sliding member, which can be used to measure and read the thickness of the two parallel jaws. Several sizes are available, ranging from 0.001 inches to 6 inches, depending on how accurate your measurement is.
Calipers work by the micrometer principle. They usually have two parallel jaws, with one pair of jaws holding the object to be measured and the other pair moving to either side of the object. If the distance between the jaws is measured, it can be used to measure thickness in mm or inches. Calipers are often used to measure and check tapered holes and holes with various diameters and determine how far or far away two objects are from each other.