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How to Use the Mitutoyo Digital Micrometer

Brad Chacos

In 1934, Yehan Numata created a company focused solely on the simple micrometer, aiming to develop an inexpensive, quality tool to allow factories of various budgets to precisely measure the thickness of objects.

Since then, Mitutoyo has expanded both in size and scope, becoming the largest metrology company in the world and offering over 6000 different models of measurement tools. Mitutoyo began offering cutting-edge digital or electronic micrometers in the 1970s. More expensive iterations include coolant-resistant electronics or ports for computer synchronization, but the basic functions of Mitutoyo digital micrometers remain the same.

  1. Wipe both the object being measured and the micrometer's anvil and spindle contact surfaces. Remove any debris or residue from any surfaces being used in the measurement.

  2. Rotate the thimble on the top of the micrometer clockwise until the contact faces of the anvil and spindle gently touch one another. Do not apply force to the thimble to try to get the micrometer to close further.

  3. Press the power button on the micrometer. The micrometer's LCD display should turn on and read "0.000". Press the "Zero" button on the micrometer if the display reads any number other than zero.

  4. Rotate the thimble counterclockwise to raise the micrometer spindle and create a gap between the anvil and spindle wider than the object being measured. Set the object on the stationary micrometer anvil, then lower the spindle until it rests gently but firmly against the object.

  5. Press the "Hold" button on the digital micrometer to lock the measurement on the display. Raise the spindle and set the object aside. Read the measurement on the LCD display.

  6. Press the "On/Off" button to turn the micrometer off, or close the micrometer and press "Zero" again to prepare the micrometer for another measurement.

  7. Tip

    Some digital micrometers are also equipped with a standard mechanical display as well. Use the mechanical display to double-check the accuracy of the digital readout. If possible, measure and compare the micrometer against a calibrated standard, such as a gauge pin or block, before taking any other measurements. Other specialized versions of micrometers measure the diameter of holes or the depth of steps or slots, but the basic-use principles and digital display are the same.


    Avoid getting digital micrometers wet.