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Outside micrometers are used for measuring the thickness or outside diameter of small parts or fittings with high accuracy. Similar in appearance to a C-clamp, the object to be measured is clamped between the anvil (the stationary end of the clamp) and the spindle (the moving part of the clamp). The clamp opens and closes by turning an internal screw. On analog micrometers, measurement is calculated by reading the lines and numbering system that appears on the thimble and sleeve.
Dial indicators are capable of measuring small distances between two surfaces that a standard gauge cannot reach. These precision instruments translate the small linear distance into rotational movement and display the measurement on a continuous dial numbered clockwise around the face. Also known as test indicators, dial indicators are frequently used to measure machinery calibrations and equipment tolerances.