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 In Shop Blog

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I’ll probably get in trouble for this one, but here goes. Don’t waste your money on the digital indicators that people strap to their planers, drum sanders, drill presses and routers. They are just silly and useless in most woodworking situations.

I have a couple decades of experience with them. I’ve tried to love them. But they are just not worth the plastic and aluminum they are built with.

Here are some of their problems:

  1. They aren’t really accurate or precise. When used on machines such as planers or drum sanders they are unable to deal with the wear that occurs with the tooling or the abrasive. Sure, you can measure to .001” with the things, but you really don’t have a true zero reference point. The target is always moving.
  2. Inexpensive digital indicators don’t deal with the inherent slop of a screw-driven adjustment mechanism. All mechanical screws have play. And these screws wreak havoc with digital indicators. The head might move .006”

 

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