Stainless Steel Cylinder vs Ruby Cylinder Stylus

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  • Stainless Steel Cylinder vs Ruby Cylinder Stylus

    Hey folks,

    I hope I'm putting this in the right place, please correct me if this question belongs somewhere else.

    I've used a lot of different styli at different jobs, but I've never been in the position of deciding which one is the best use case. I'm at a crossroads where we need to order more cylinder styli so that we don't wind up in a spot with no measuring tool because what we have breaks, gets bent, etc.

    I tried searching online and I found articles talking about best use for ball tips relative to use case, but I couldn't find anything about cylinder styli.

    I'm checking stamped automotive parts. Some are sheet metal thin, some have a bit more heft. I tend to use a ball tip for the thicker parts, and we have plenty of those left from my predecessor.

    What are the pros and cons of using a stainless steel cylinder stylus vs using a ruby cylinder stylus when checking sheet metal parts?

    Thanks again

  • #2
    You must have the cylinder perfectly perpendicular or your data will be bogus. I check sheet metal all day, every day, from 0.020" to 0.475" thick. I use a ball on it all. If you are worried about checking the edge of the sheet metal, do it 'right', use a surface sample hit so that the ball always touches at the exact same depth on an actual part.
    Originally posted by AndersI
    I've got one from September 2006 (bug ticket) which has finally been fixed in 2013.


    • MUlissi
      MUlissi commented
      Editing a comment
      Surface sample hits every time, and I let the software help me decide on the proper angle of approach.

    • William Johnson
      William Johnson commented
      Editing a comment
      Or do 3 sample hits so it will level on surface before measuring.

  • #3
    If you are checking items with low relative material hardness: plastics, glass, copper, brass: a SS or any steel cylinder will work well.
    If you are checking bare aluminum, you need a zirconia or silicon nitride stylus, NO RUBY.
    --If the aluminum is treated (Chemfilm, anodize, etc) you can use ruby. Bare aluminum and rubies apparently produce a reaction and the ruby will collect oxidation all over it from the aluminum.

    If you are checking steel or other alloys: ruby
    There are other stylus materials for other exotics.
    Cast iron is also super abrasive on a ruby, both links below recommend Zirconia (ceramic)
    Some info from the pro's: ,
    Last edited by louisd; 08-09-2019, 10:28 AM.


    • #4
      Hoedmann replies,
      LouisD replies,


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