Types of Dial Indicator

Dial indicators, one of the most widely used measuring instruments in today’s world. We know dial indicators are used on the object surface. We use this instrument to measure the relative position of the contact point.

However, all dial indicators are actually not identical in terms of their working principles. In this article, we are going to discuss the difference and the types of the dial indicator. We will explain the differences between them.

Before we go further, make sure you are familiar with some basic terms of the dial indicator, its body parts, and the structural components inside the body. They are important as we will be talking a lot about them.

3 Things to Differentiate Them

We need a dial indicator to find a bigger range. Sometimes we don’t need a bigger range. Even, we also look for the easiest way to save our consecutive values. But sometimes we don’t. Sometimes, we can’t measure the position at perpendicular to the surface. Therefore we will need a dial indicator that can measure at some of the required angles.

Therefore, we have lots of circumstances while measuring the position. Can we use the same dial indicator? Of course, No, right? That’s why there are many kinds of dial indicators are available on the market. The following are the categories based on which we can classify each of the dial indicators.

There are three main basic terms on which we can classify the dial indicators.

  1. Inner Dial Face
  2. The contact point.
  3. The working mechanism.

In the following, we will briefly discuss each of the types and demonstrate some examples.

Dial Indicators based on the Inner Dial Face

The inner dial face is located right after the crystal. It is the bigger circular scale that has a pointer on it. Normally a standard DI’s inner dial face has a graduation of 0.001″. And normally has a range of 0 – 0.01″.

So, based on this dial face we can classify the dial indicators into two types. One is the balanced dial indicator while the other one is the continuous dial indicator.

1. Balanced Reading Dial indicator

In this type of dial indicator, the dial face has the equal division of the markers on both side. That means if we have 10 scores of the main division, the positive and negative scores will be balanced equally. On both the positive and negative sides there will be 0-5 main division. There are three types of balanced dial indicator.

  • One Revolution: This type of dial indicator can rotate one complete rotation on either the positive or negative side. There are few examples of them such as Mitutoyo 513-504T, KHCRAFT Professional Dial Test Indicator, TESA Brown & Sharpe 74.111370 Interapid 312 Dial Test Indicator, etc.
  • Multi Revolution: This type of dial indicator can rotate more than one complete rotation. If the pointer finished one complete rotation, the outer dial hand goes to 0.01″. In this way it can measure up to 0.1″. For example, Gold plus white, etc.
  • Reverse Phase: Reverse balanced dial indicator is opposite to the normal balanced dial indicator. They have their positive side on the left and the negative side on the right. Similarly, they have one revolution, multi revolution types of the dial indicator. But these types are very rare in the market.

2. Continuous Reading Dial Indicator

This type of dial indicator has the values on the dial face that is continuous. There are 10 divisions of the range. Similar to the balanced dial indicator it has also three types. They are:

  • One revolution: This type has continuous values where the pointer can go one complete rotation. The examples are: HHIP 4400-0025, Starrett 81-211J, etc.
  • Multi revolution: This type can be used to measure a bigger range than 0.01″. There is a outer dial face which is very small in size comparing the main display. It measures the range more than one complete rotation of the pointer. The examples are Mitutoyo”2416S”, Starrett 25-441J, Accusize Industrial Tools, Fowler 52-520-109, etc.
  • Reverse Phase: As Usual, this type is opposite to the normal continuous dial indicator. The positive side is on the left and the negative side is on the right. Normally they are very rare in the market.

Dial Indicators based on the Contact Point

We can find a stem rod below the dial face. It has a contact point at the lowermost part of the rod. Based on this contact point we can divide the dial indicator into two types. They are:

1. Plunger Contact Pointed Dial Indicator

This type of dial indicator has a stem rod perpendicular to the object surface. This type cannot be used at any other angle. Normally they have a plunger-type contact point. Normally they are termed as the dial indicators. For example: HHIP 4400 – 0025, Mitutoyo 2416S etc.

2. Lever Contact Pointed Dial Indicator

This type of the dial indicator can be set at any angle on the object surface. They have a lever-type contact point. Normally they are termed as test indicators. For example Mitutoyo 513 – 504T, KHCRAFT Professional, TESA Brown & Sharpe 74.111370 Interapid 312, etc.

Dial Indicators based on the Mechanism

There are other types of a dial indicator, their mechanism is different from each other. With the flow of technological advancement, There are 2 kinds of dial indicators came to the market. They are:

1. Mechanical Dial Indicator

This type of dial indicator is fully built with mechanical pointer and gears. Both the dial indicator and dial test indicator have this kind. For example Fowler 52-520-109 AGD, Mitutoyo 2416S,etc.

2. Digital Dial Indicator

This type of dial indicator has a digital LED display, and fully powered by a battery. This type of dial indicator is very convenient to save consecutive results. For examples: Mitutoyo 543-783B Absolute Digimatic Indicator, Fowler 1”/25mm Indi-X Blue Electronic Indicator, Rhinoco DTI Digital Dial Indicator, etc.

Most of us may get confused with the dial indicator and dial test indicator type, please learn their differences here.

Summary

Those are the common basic types we find in today’s market. The easiest way to differentiate them is by observing their inner dial face, contact point, and working mechanism. You can observe their structure by entering the link attached to the example.

We hope this article will make it easy to understand their types and differences. If you are on a project, and then the project asks you to use a dial indicator, we suggest reading this article first.

Finally, by means of this page, we hope that you could make your research easier, so the best of luck on your project.