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Mitutoyo vs Neiko calipers | Is the 500-196-30 or 01407A better?

Updated on February 17, 2016
Mitutoyo 500-196-30 vs Neiko 01407A digital calipers
Mitutoyo 500-196-30 vs Neiko 01407A digital calipers | Source

Which is better for you?

The Mitutoyo 500-196-30 or Neiko 01407A digital caliper - which is better for you? Find out here before you buy.

When one, the Mitutoyo, is roughly about 5 times more expensive than the other, surely there must be a good reason for that big gap in the price. Obviously the more expensive gadget is better but should you part with your hard earned cash for the more expensive one?

I am going to present the facts to you so that you will be able to make an informed decision after reading through this hub. You can then decide which is better for you.

 Vernier Calipers
Vernier Calipers | Source

General types of calipers

Depending on the type, a caliper is basically used to precisely measure things accurately up to 0.0005" or 0.01mm.

They are used for applications as diverse as manufacturing inspections, metal working, carpentry, arts and craft, music and even in the field of medicine.

There are many types of calipers but I want to briefly highlight the 3 general types which are more commonly used.

Vernier Calipers - This is the very basic of all the calipers with no dial or display. You must calculate the readings on the lined increments on caliper body. As such it is the hardest to read and often results in misinterpretation.

Generally they are quite resistant to shock and tend to be accurate if you read it correctly. They are also the cheapest of the three.

A Dial Caliper
A Dial Caliper | Source

Dial Calipers - As the name suggest, these calipers have a lined dial that shows the measurement. You don't have to do any calculations with the dial calipers.

All you need to do is add the slide measurement to the dial measurement and you will get your result. The dial will display up to a 0.001" or 0.025mm accuracy.

With the dial caliper you must add the dial display to the inch/mm measure on the caliper body to get your final measurement. It is mildly shock resistant and is relatively easy to use.

A Digital Caliper
A Digital Caliper | Source

Digital Calipers - This is the simplest of all to use. The display show you exactly what the measurement is and can display measurements accurately to 0.0005" or 0.01mm with an absolute and incremental measurements with the zero button.

As it is digital, it is the most susceptible to damage from a shock. If there is oil or dust on the caliper way you may find that the reading may not be accurate.

You will also need batteries for it to work.

Mitutoyo 500-196-30 vs Neiko 01407A Calipers
Mitutoyo 500-196-30 vs Neiko 01407A Calipers | Source

Mitutoyo 500-196-30 and Neiko 01407A

I have used the different types of calipers mentioned above but I guess I am getting lazy.

The reason I require a caliper is that I need an exact measurement for the many things that I do and I find that I cannot go wrong with a caliper with a digital screen showing the readout.

In fact I started off with the manual type but find myself preferring the digital over the manual ones as I find digital calipers to be easier and more convenient to use. It is just like the good old days when you have a choice between the manual and automatic cars. Automatic cars are more convenient to drive! It is matter of preference but I will not drive a manual car if I can help it.

Likewise with the digital calipers.

Both the Mitutoyo 500-196-30 and Neiko 01407A are digital calipers and here are the features of both placed side by side so that you can easily see the differences and similarities.

Similarities and differences

Mitutoyo 500-196-30
Neiko 01407A
Measuring range
0 to 6" (0 to 150mm)
0 to 6" (0 to 150mm)
0.01mm/0.0005" incr
0.01mm/0.0005" incr
Display inch or metric units
Display inch or metric units
Advanced onsite sensor (AOS)
Battery Type
SR44 silver oxide battery
LR44 alkaline battery
Approx Cost
Manufactured in
Calibration Cert
Auto off
After 10 mins or so
Mitutoyo 500-196-30 vs Mitutoyo 500-196-30 Digital Calipers
Comparing apple to orange? Not really...
Comparing apple to orange? Not really... | Source

Which to pick?

Are we comparing apples to oranges when we compare the Mitutoyo 500-196-30 against Neiko 01407A?

No not really.

This is because if you look at the table, there seems to be not much of a difference between the main features except for the price, battery price and auto shut off function.

However if you look closer at each of these two calipers, you will notice many subtle differences that will help you decide if one or the other is a better caliper for you.

Display panel readings on the Neiko 01407A
Display panel readings on the Neiko 01407A | Source

For example LCD screen of the Neiko 01407A appears darker than the Mitutoyo 500-196-30. For people with sharper eyes, this should not pose any problems.

However some not so young people find it easier to read on the Mitutoyo 500-196-30 with its brighter screen.

The Neiko 01407A also only have a big first two digits with the rest about half the size of the first digit for the "inch" reading. The Mitutoyo 500-196-30 on the other hand has a consistent readout digit size.

Some people find that the sliding action on the Neiko 01407A is not as smooth as that of the Mitutoyo 500-196-30 and it takes a bit more force to move the calipers. Again this is very subjective as other people don't find this a problem.

Some owners found that their Neiko 01407A calipers does not last while others found it to be well machined with good precision and it fits together very well when closed. They also find the moving parts operate smoothly.

Silver oxide SR44 and Alkaline LR44 batteries used to power the calipers
Silver oxide SR44 and Alkaline LR44 batteries used to power the calipers | Source

As far as the auto turn off feature is concerned, it is nice to have the auto turn off feature that comes with the Neiko 01407A calipers.

However I find that I don't have a problem with my Mitutoyo 500-196-30 even if I forget to turn it off.

Apparently Mitutoyo had designed the Mitutoyo 500-196-30 to consume very little power even if you forget to turn it off. The Mitutoyo 500-196-30 consumes less than 1/4 the power that many other digital calipers use while "Off". By the way the "Off" is really just an illusion as they consume power while "Off".

The silver oxide SR44 battery typically last longer than the alkaline LR44 that comes with the Neiko 01407A. However if you can also use the SR44 if your LR44 runs out on your Neiko 01407A calipers.

When to buy the Neiko 01407A Electronic Digital Caliper

  1. If you are on a budget. The Neiko 01407A in general is a well constructed piece of equipment even it is made in China. Most of it are good unless you are unlucky enough to get a lemon
  2. You don't need a very precise measurement for the work you are doing. It can give you exact internal and outside measurements with an accuracy up to .001-Inch
  3. You need a spare caliper for "rough" use
  4. A caliper that can instantly convert from imperial to metric and vice versa
  5. A display that can be zeroed at any point on the slide

When to buy the Mitutoyo 500-196-30

  1. The Mitutoyo 500-196-30 has an advanced onsite sensor (AOS) electromagnetic inductive sensor for resistance to dirt, oil, and water. If you work in an environment which has dirt, oil or water then this is a plus point
  2. High quality made in Japan product with a large display, good contrast, responsive, good feel at the thumb wheel. The readout is four decimals for inches, two decimals for millimeters
  3. Solid construction with no wobble or shake
  4. Smooth action with stable and repeatable readings and provides an accurate, reliable measurement when it's needed the most
  5. Don't have to constantly re-zero this caliper. No play and they move very smoothly
  6. If you intend to use a caliper for a very long time without replacing it
  7. A caliper that has a very long battery life

Mitutoyo 500-196-30 Advanced Onsite Sensor (AOS) Absolute Scale Digital Caliper, 0 to 6"/0 to 150mm Measuring Range, 0.0005"/0.01mm Resolution, LCD
Mitutoyo 500-196-30 Advanced Onsite Sensor (AOS) Absolute Scale Digital Caliper, 0 to 6"/0 to 150mm Measuring Range, 0.0005"/0.01mm Resolution, LCD
High quality made in Japan caliper with big display and long lasting battery power. This is the one to go with if you don't mind spending a little more for a high quality caliper that can last you a long time.

Which of the digital caliper is better for you?

See results


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