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The General No. 142 6-inch dial caliper does direct reading of .01″ (outer scale) and 1/64″ (inner scale) on its dial (plus mm readings on the bar scale, but — without getting into that whole metric thing — I don’t find this “feature” very convenient). It can do inside, outside, depth, and step measurements. Its fiberglass-reinforced plastic body makes it a good choice for damp/wet environments. You can pick one up for around $24.

There are many alternatives (TM has covered calipers a few times: in and , for example) and some are less expensive (HF or the General 141), but I especially like this model for woodworking.

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