Tool question - advise needed (NNC)

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Apr 15, 2004
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No Norton Content on this one, but I need advise.

I'm doing the valve adjustment on my Ducati and need to buy a micrometer to measure the shims. Want one with an electronic digital display so I can read it with my bleary middle-aged eyes and also to get the zeroing feature and metric display.

I see evil-bay has some for sale and I could probably save some money over buying new. But is that a bad idea? Might I end up with something broken or out of calibration? Better perhaps to just buy a new one from someone like McMaster-Carr and not worry about it? Just wondering what you guys think.

Oh, and I've heard Mitutoyo and Starrett are good brands?? I assume I should avoid stuff from places like Harbor Freight...


In addition to Mitutoyo and Starrett, you should also consider Brown and Sharpe; they are a quality manufacturer of micrometers and have been around for years. I purchased a Brown and Sharpe verneer capiper off e-bay recently and feel I made good deal. The condition of the caliper was excellent and the price was about half of new.

I also purchased a large OD micrometer from Harbor Freight. The price was way less than the name brand stuff and the quality is OK. I checked it against another micrometer and it seems to be pretty darn accurate, so far.


Check this out... seems to be what you need! :wink:,43513

Tool question - advise needed (NNC)

I have their dial caliper (one dial, 2 indicators: 1 metric & 1 imperial), no complaints. They also carry Starrett.

Ahhh! Adjusting desmo valves! That'll make you appreciate your Norton's simplicity!

I have a Starrett digital caliper and it works great.
you CANT use a dial caliper to mesure duck shims. you need a mic that will fit inside the shim or the duck tool that fits in the shim. if you dont have the tool than take your mic with you to mesure agenst the new shims.


I used to make a living as a machinist and later selling measuring tools. One fall off the bench and a micrometer is ruined forever. It's impossible to tell without handling it.

Best to buy a new or a second hand one you can examine first. The rotation should be smooth, and it should read zero without too much pressure. All the brands mentioned are very good, but for occasional use a Chinese made mic is probably fine and much cheaper.

Good luck.
Mike Provence
Bill & Debby,

Desmo closing shims can be measured with a digital caliper by using a 3/8 X 3/8 bearing roller. Measure the exact length of the roller, drop it into the closing shim, measure the total length of shim and roller, then subtract the length of the roller from the total.

Sorry for the lack of Norton content.
Thanks guys! I'd pretty much decided that buying a used one sight-unseen is too risky. There is an ebay merchant selling new chinese ones at an attractive price. Considering that I'll only be using it a couple of times a year perhaps that's my best bet.

In this case, just replacing the collets should bring the closers down where they should be. I can probably get the bearing element or something similar from the machinst who did my forks. I need to take the tubes back anyway to get the circlip grooves recut.

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