DRO, Digital Position Readout, or just Digital Readout delivers a numerical display that helps in showing the position of the machine components. It is a crucial machinery that accelerates work processes to a great extent.
Even though DRO is highly beneficial for Lathe, I am well-aware that choosing the right DRO for the machine can be a difficult experience.
Trust me, I know because I have gone through that phase. But you might be thinking about whether or not you need a DRO in the first place.
Actually, you do need it, as it will mount right on the compound rest and cross slide to deliver you the correct depth of the cut readings.
To know which Digital Position Readout (DRO) you should opt for, I have reviewed some of the best DRO for lathe that you must take a look at.
iGaging Digital Readout DRO Set
5 out of 5
ToAuto 3 Axis Digital Readout
5 out of 5
BH Global 24” Digital DRO Large LCD Readout Scale
4.5 out of 5
Our Recommended Best Dro for Lathe
1. iGaging Digital Readout DRO Set
iGaging is a company that is well-respected in the market for its DRO set. With the help of their readout, you can instantly upgrade your Lathe, router table, table saw fence, milling machines, and a planner into a digital reading.
iGaging has designed its digital readout with the utmost care, and it will display any axis within the machine tool movement easily. The best thing about this DRO set is that you can mount it on any surface without any hassle.
Apart from that, the Digital Readout DRO set will provide you with flawless linear measurement capabilities. The DRO also comes with a depth control floating zero, through which you can set “ZERO” within the operating range.
To do so, all you need to do is push the button. I can assure you that this particular digital readout is high-performance, and it will operate or function without causing any error or stopping in the middle.
This DRO set is the latest version that comes with three important units. These units are measure range: 0-6”, measure range: 0-12”, and measure range: 0-24” and also come with pre-set functions.
Being the best dro for lathe, it can be cut to fit with any application, super large, and comes with an easy-to-read LCD.
Features of the Product:
- Can be used in horizontal, vertical, and other positions.
- Carries an accuracy of 0.002” per 6”.
- You can set the fraction resolution to 1/128, 1/32, and 1/64.
- Has an AC power port.
2. ToAuto 3 Axis Digital Readout
ToAuto is a company that has never failed to impress me with its outstanding Digital Readout products. The company delivers what they promise, and I guarantee it that their products are one of the best in the market these days.
You might be thinking, why am I so excited about this product?
Well, once you get to know about its functions and features will become excited too. This 3 Axis Digital Readout comes with a travel length of 350mm + 450mm + 950mm.
It displays the English language and comes with backup data if there is a power failure. Apart from that, this 3 Axis Digital Readout comes with a lifetime of 5 million times, and it will also provide you with a power signal and source that will resist the disturbance.
The product is not just ideal for lathe, but it will work perfectly on millers, grinding machines, boring machines, EDM, and many more. The DRO is highly resistant to vibration and anti-interference resistance as well.
Moreover, you will face no difficulty when it comes to the installation part. It might seem a bit complicated at first, but mounting it on the lathe is pretty simple.
If you do not know how to do it (You might have forgotten how to install DRO), you can take the help of the manual.
Features of the Product:
- Has a calculator.
- Comes with a resolution of 5um.
- Consume power around 15VA.
- The relative humidity is less than 90%.
- Weight around 1.2kg.
3. BH Global 24” Digital DRO Large LCD Readout Scale
When you are looking for a cheap dro for lathe, MH Global will provide it to you. The company has received plenty of positive reviews due to its 24” Digital DRO Readout Scale.
The product delivers high-quality service and comes with a big LCD screen, and can be used horizontally and vertically. Otherwise, you can also use it in any position.
It comes with 5 mounting functions, such as setting fractional reading to 64th, on/off, absolute/incremental, mm/inch, and zero.
The LCD is pretty easy to read. 24” Digital DRO Readout Scale has one end of the wire attached to the Micro USB Monitor and Connector, and the other wire is welded on the electronic ruler. It also comes with a Digital Signal Input Terminal, which stands out as the micro USB interface.
You will not experience any difficulty when using it nor require any extra knowledge. It will be much better to check the manual once, before doing anything. The manual carries all the related-information about the readout scale.
You will not find any batteries with the product, but you do require one. Make sure you get a battery (2) 3VCR2032. The product comes with mounting hardware, which you can use for mounting the product.
Features of the Product:
- Carries a tolerance range of 0.002/0.05mm.
- The maximum measuring range is 24”/600mm.
- Available at an affordable price range.
- The shipping weight is around 12 Ounces.
Top DRO for Wood Lathe List on The Market
Accuracy Of the Product
iGaging Digital Readout DRO
0.002” per 6”
Magnetic remote display, preset function, etc.
ToAuto 3 Axis Digital Readout
Equipped with intelligent functions, has a calculator.
BH Global 24” DRO Large LCD Readout
LCD Display, has 5 button features, can be used in any position, etc.
Ways to Buy the Right DRO for the Lathe
If you are an individual who has never used a DRO before, finding the right might be a bit challenging for you.
You will come across numerous digital readouts available in today’s market, with a price of hundreds or thousands of dollars.
When you want the best-quality DRO for lathe, there are several ways that you need to follow that will lead you towards the right one.
That is why I have listed some of the ways through which you can get yourself the best DRO. Check the information below.
1. The Resolution And Accuracy
Digital readout devices stand out as precious measurement devices. The overall resolution and accuracy within these devices are the most important characteristics.
The resolution and the accuracy heavily depend on the scale selection. But on certain occasions, many individuals overlook the fact that the console itself can cause plenty of errors.
This type of error takes place in two ways. Firstly, when some low-end DROs use less expensive and older micro controllers, which give birth to errors during division.
Lastly, when there are missed pulses within the scales, which leads to a build-up of error. So, when you are shopping for a DRO, make sure to check whether the unit can handle the expected traversal speed.
2. The Usability
One of the biggest reasons to add a DRO to your lathe is to enhance the usability of that particular machine. But this is a neglected parameter when it comes to the digital readout device.
The digital readout unit must carry a consistent and intuitive user interface. You will come across some low-end DRO that has the menus and user interface cobbled up together to check the sales box within the sales brochure.
During the time of your purchase, you must choose a DRO or a digital readout that shouldn’t be much confusion and must carry a natural feel.
Take my advice and first download and study the manual of the DRO unit. You can check whether the functions that you wish to use are accessible or not.
3. Protection from Dust
All DROs or digital readout units are used within a hostile ecosystem of a machine shop for which they are subjected to grime and dust. To survive in all environments, go for a DRO that comes with some level of protection.
If you have a flood coolant that needs to be used regularly, it will be much better to have IP65 protection. Otherwise, IP68 or IP67 will also do.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What are the Types of DRO Interfaces Available in Today’s Market?
The digital readout units have been around for over seven decades but underwent numerous changes. These changes have given birth to various interfaces, such as Basic 7-Segment DROs, PC Based DROs, LCD Based DROs, Tablet-Based DROs.
2. Does the DRO Require to be Shock and Vibration Resistant? Why?
In short, yes. It’s because an average digital readout is subjected to vibration when used during the machine.
When the circuit present inside the unit does not carry vacillation resiliency, it might fail to function because of a cracked solder joint. That is why getting a DRO with vibration and shock-resistant features is highly important.
3. What Will the Digital Readout Help Me?
The DRO or digital readout will help in simplifying your work, save time and energy. It will also help in lessening all the costly mistakes and enable you to deliver exacting and accurate parts.
When there is no DRO system, you have to count all the handwheel revolutions that will enable you to determine the exact of the tool.
When you add a DRO to a lathe will stand out as an excellent investment. Even though your budget is an important factor, when buying the DRO make sure to check the usability, resolution, accuracy, and many other things. To get the best DRO for lathe, you can check the information, which is provided in this article.
I can assure you that the information I have provided on this lathe DRO review article will get you the right and best DRO for your machine. Make sure to go through all the details and then make the final call.
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