View Full Version : Anyone drop a Dial Caliper and lost the Zero?

07-15-2012, 12:51 PM
I had a butterfingers moment this morning as I was resizing some 9mm. Coffee had yet to set in.

It's a Kanon dial caliper I found on ebay. The dial, which was at the 12 oclock position, ends at the 6 oclock when the caliper arms are completely closed. I disassembled it and tried to center the needle by adjusting it to the grooves in the rail. The needle now gives different readings when the arms are closed.
It'll read .003 at zero then .001, then -.003, all at consecutive readings.
Should they be tossed and replaced, or can it be re-calibrated?

07-15-2012, 1:16 PM
You should be able to twist the dial to match your zero position. Sounds like it landed on the fingers and it is bent slightly (just a guess )

07-15-2012, 1:20 PM
If you stripped or bent a few teeth on the rack, its junk. If it is not returning to zero, its junk.

07-15-2012, 1:37 PM
I have one that has been droped a couple times years ago. you can zero it, open it, close it and it will be .003 off, do it again and it might be .002 the other way. Depends on how fast you open and close so I think as stated above the gears are stripped or skipping a little. I keep it in my shop for general rough measurements. My friend that has been a tool maker for 20+ years says if you ever drop a caliper on concrete it is done.

Dutch Henry
07-15-2012, 8:34 PM
If it's junk, you might want to check out Harbor Freight for a replacement. I've been using a dial caliper that I bought from them 10 years ago for less than $20. It still works great and is dead on.

07-15-2012, 8:38 PM
Most calipers will let you set 0 by turning the case. Your's has no such adjustment?

07-15-2012, 8:48 PM
Crazy that same thing just happened to me with calipers I've had for 20 years. I was so bummed. Now varies +-.003 close enough for 9mm but not Match .308.
Picked up a digital one from Harbor Freight $30 reg on sale for around $15.

Vita Brevis
07-15-2012, 8:53 PM
In short, your calipers are junk now. Don't toss 'em just yet, though. +/- .003 or so from zero is close enough to use them to scribe lines and get quick rough measurements.

07-15-2012, 9:04 PM
Stick a paperclip down the little slot behind the dial.Push lightly and this disengages the gear from the rack. After pushing down, slightly open the calipers and it should be back to 12 o clock position

07-15-2012, 11:28 PM
Guys, while his title is misleading by implying he can't zero the dial, in fact, as described in the body of his post, is that the dial no longer returns to the same spot with repeatable accuracy. Slipping the gears on the rack or rezeroing the dial is not the issue. The pinion gear and/or rack is damaged. The calipers are junk.

07-16-2012, 1:56 PM
Possibly as simple as the needle has come loose from the shaft, carefully remove the dial cover and lightly press the needle onto the shaft.

X2 for the Harbor Freight ones mentioned earlier. The digital ones use the same measuring head as Dillon for about 1/3rd the cost.