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The Johnson Level Digital Bore Gauge kit shown here has a large size range that will cover most of everyone's needs. Plus, it is well built and more than accurate enough to make your work better.
Click image to enlarge|

Johnson Level Digital Bore Gauge

When you need spot-on inside measurements

Text, photos and Video by Tom Hintz

Posted - 2-27-2014

There was a time when the only people using a bore gauge worked on engines or machinery. Back in my racing life I also used a bore gauge on engines but once I had this tool in the shop I found other uses for it. Being able to measure between two surfaces so precisely came in very hand far more often than I would have guessed.


The Kit

Today tools like the Johnson Level Digital Bore Gauge (#1456-0000) have become easier to use and more accurate than they were not so long ago. This kit comes with the digital 2" - 6" measuring head, 11 various extension posts, 2" extension, 3 graduated spacers, a 3V CR2032 lithium battery, instruction sheet and a fitted hard case designed to protect your investment and keep all of the components together.


The Basics

The large LCD screen (left) is easy to read and made even more so because you an rotate it 360-degrees for the best viewing angle. The selection of adjusting pins and shims (right) let you be ultra precise, which is the whole point of a tool like this.
Click images to enlarge

The Johnson Level Digital Bore Gauge has a large 2-3/8”-diameter head with an easy-to-read digital LCD display. The control panel bezel rotates 360° so you can read it easily from virtually any angle. The LCD display shows readings in inch and millimeter and features a simple one button calibration procedure.

The Johnson Level Digital Bore Gauge also has an output jack (RS232) that allows data transmission when needed. Data output is often used by a variety of peripherals for analysis, data collection or making a simple hard copy for documentation.


In the Shop

Actually using the Johnson Level Digital Bore Gauge begins with setting up the extension post and any needed shims to get the base range correct or the job. Between the sizing of the posts themselves, the 2” extension and the shims you can set this tool up quickly for any task within its 2 to 6” range. Dial in the preset for the base measurement and you are ready to go.

Put the Johnson Level Digital Bore Gauge into the part being measured and press the “min” button. As you rock the Johnson Level Digital Bore Gauge back and forth to take the measurement the tool captures the minimum reading to show the actual measurement. That eliminates the errors we used to get when we didn’t hold the tool exactly square to the bore being measured. You can cycle between inch and metric readings so you can record the results in both formats.

Using the Johnson Level Digital Bore Gauge (left) is very easy thanks to the electronics that does all of the math. we still rock the bore gauge back and forth (right) but now the Johnson Level Digital Bore Gauge captures the shortest dimension for us.
Click images to enlarge

The LCD screen is large enough and very clear to make reading the dimensions easy and accurate. The whole face of the Johnson Level Digital Bore Gauge turns on the case so you can always read the figures right side up even when the job has you at odd angles.

Once you understand how to set up the Johnson Level Digital Bore Gauge it is very easy and quick to use. The accuracy is built-in so all you have to do is follow the procedures and repeat the measurements just to be sure and your work with the Johnson Level Digital Bore Gauge is more accurate and you just might get done a little faster as well.



The Johnson Level Digital Bore Gauge excels at measuring the inside of circular objects but can be very useful for measuring other inside dimensions around the shop. This is one of those tools that you find more and more uses for once you have it on hand.

The Johnson Level Digital Bore Gauge has a current street price hovering around $320.00 (2-25-2014). Considering the range of finely machined components and the accuracy it is capable of that is not a bad price. You can pay far more for a tool that is less accurate and harder to use. If you need to measure the inside of cylinders or similar shapes the Johnson Level Digital Bore Gauge could be just what you are looking for.


Video Tour

Visit the Johnson Level Digital Bore Gauge product page – Click Here

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