How to Use Height Gauge With Dial Indicator

Using a height gauge basically refers to getting the precision measurement of any object. With the development of technology, height gauges have also evolved over time. Among the different types, the ones with the dial indicators are quite popular. 

But most often we don’t know how to use it correctly. As a result, we end up getting the wrong measurement and stop using the device. 

Have you faced the same problem? Then walk throughout the article to get rid of it once and for all. Below, we are going to talk about all the details of a manual height gauge, its uses, and of course, how to read the measurement of a dial test indicator.

Read on to learn more.

how to use height gauge with dial indicator
Credit: Photo: Amazon.com

What Is a Height Gauge?

It is a measuring machine to measure an object’s height. You can also address it as a measuring tool that precisely marks any specific part of a workpiece to be used in a particular task. However, a height gauge is often known as a metrology device that is widely used in metalwork. You cannot but trust its high accuracy ratio. Read more: Feeler Gauge Sets : Types & Uses Analysis

Though they can be of different types, all of them share some basic construction crafts like a base and vertical shaft along with a proper measuring unit. You can determine the depth of a workpiece using it too.

Types of Height Gauge

Talking of the types, you can divide them into the following four categories-

  • Vernier Height Gauge
  • Dial Height Gauge
  • Digital Counter Height Gauge
  • Electronic Height Gauge 

Vernier Height Gauge

To measure the height distance of two points, a vernier height gauge uses two scales- the main scale and a vernier scale. You can measure any height in between 6 inches and 6 feet by using a vernier height gauge. On top of that, both inch and mm scales are available.

Dial Height Gauge

Need a tool inside a toolbox? Looking for a height-determining device that is conveniently carryable? Well, a dial height gauge is your pick. Because of the small feature, it is one of the most popular measurement tools. 

A dial height gauge consists of a mechanical dial accompanied by a needle pointer. So, it is pretty easy to read a height count simply by reading the dial test indicator. And thankfully the measurement is so accurate that you can count it less than 300mm (12 inches).

Digital Counter Height Gauge

Being very similar to a dial height gauge, a digital one has the same features as a dial indicator and a needle. But what’s more are there? A dual-digit counter. What is it for? To accelerate the measurement process by multiplying the speed and accuracy. Most interestingly, you can add an absolute zero to the measurement system if needed. 

Electronic Height Gauge

Electronic height gauges, also known as digital height gauges, are the most advanced alternatives to manual ones. They replace the analog dials and machine-driven counters with a digital display system.

You can automatically select the measurement units- be it inches or millimeters. However, among tons of other advantages of an electronic height gauge-  inbuilt temperature indemnity, air bearing system, data storage, motorized carriage to simplify measurement process, etc. are a few to mention.

I think the most remunerative structure of a digital height gauge is the automatic assessment that doesn’t require much skill on the operator’s end.

What Is It Used for?

A height gauge, though engineered for determining height, can be used in several sectors. It is especially a must-have in the manufacturing and production industry. By offering the precisest dimensional measurements, they are highly responsible for quality control of the products.

They cover the following fields in terms of uses-

  • Determines height differences of two specific points
  • Measures specifications and tolerance of the subject by assessing its distance from a particular surface
  • Reads center-to-center dimensions
  • Supports 2D measurements 
  • Measures angle, depth, and flatness along with height distinction 
  • Studies the physical characteristics of the subject by measuring whether it is square, straight, vertical, or  perpendicular 

Steps to Use Height Gauge With Dial Indicator Tool

Our study focuses on using a height gauge with a dial test indicator. You have already found that a dial indicator comes with either a dial height gauge or a digital counter height gauge. But how to get the exact reading out of it? 

Well, there are some certain steps to follow. Below, I have summarized the steps which will show you how to accurately use a height gauge with a dial indicator tool.

Step 1: Placing the Height Gauge

First, place the gauge on the subject you want to measure and lock the arm. It will ensure stability while taking the measurements.

Step 2: Turn the Outer Dial Face to Zero

You should not stop spinning the outer dial face until it lingers over zero. Remember, this is a must for errorless calculation. You must ensure that the dial indicator starts the measurement from zero.

Step 3: Taking Measurements 

Now, push the dial indicator against the subject to be measured. Don’t forget to count the revolution numbers to assure accuracy. Either it will count the revolutions or measurement. Note down whatever the number is. Usually, the number on the vertical shaft is multiplied by 0.1 inches.

You should also track down the measurement that the needle points out. Generally, a height gauge with a dial test indicator measures on the scale of 0 to 100. Also, remember that the smaller gauge measures in tenths while the outer gauge counts in thousands. 

Step 4: Calculate the Measurement 

Finally, you can count the actual measurements. To get the exact height assessment of the object, add both the measurements that you got from the vertical shaft and dial indicator. Together they will give you the total height count. 

For example, the shaft reading is 1.3 inches. And the needle of the dial indicator tool is pointed to 52. Then what will be the actual height reading? It will be a combination of both the readings that is 1.352 inches. 

How Accurate Is a Height Gauge?

Now you may ask about the accuracy of a height gauge saying- is it worth using? In answer, I will say, absolutely yes. There are some sectors that need precise measurement. In those cases, you cannot but rely on a height gauge in terms of accuracy. 

A traditional height gauge like a vernier or a dial height gauge is accurate to a thousandth. Talking of the digital/electronic height gauges, they provide accuracy to the tenth.  Depending on the demand of appropriateness, you may choose the types of height gauges.

However, there are some factors that might affect the measurement validity. First of all, the reference surface should be flat enough to lead to an exact measurement. Secondly, the arms of the height measuring tool should be square to the base. Otherwise, the measurement might not be error-free. So, check for these two preconditions before starting a measurement. Hopefully, you will achieve the highest precision possible in determining the actual height of your subject.

Final Words

In conclusion, I hope that this article comes out helpful even for the newbies in using height gauges. Reading the dial indicator properly is the key to a successful measurement. It’s not so easy though, especially for inexperienced people. But it is not rocket science either. 

I really hope the steps above could help you to understand the whole process. If you have any more questions in this regard, leave them in the comment sections below.

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About Gavin Ford

Hi, I am Gavin Ford. I am a full-time power tools salesperson and a part-time mechanic. I help my friends and neighbors with their tools. Which one to buy, how to buy it, how to use it, methods to fix broken tools, and so on. In I will do the same for the rest of the world. You will get everything you need to know about tools for regular and professional use.

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