Inexpensive Parallel Set

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Well-Known Member
Jul 8, 2007
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I purchase almost all of the tools and machine repair parts at work.

The fabricator asked me to order him a cheap set of parallels for the maintenance room Bridgeport.
I'm good at finding cheap tool! LOL

I also found a MAJOR price difference between vendors.

THIS SET from Enco is identical to THIS SET from Shars Tool.
THAT is a price difference!!!!

However, Enco peels the 'Made in China" sticker off, Shars does not.

These parallels will do just fine for the maintenance shop.
They have been using short pieces of hot rolled flat stock for parallels.

Damn, Rick. That's some difference!!

I've ordered from Shars frequently. Gets here in 2 days versus the 5-7 days for everyone else.

As for the quality, Shars stuff seems to be just a shade better than most. At least for everything I've ordered, they seem to get pretty good stuff even though I'm sure it's the same generic Chinese stuff that everyone has.
Don't know why, maybe they just pick through the piles better.
Or I've just been lucky.
Yep, for us Canadians Shars has the others such as KBC Tools beat hands down on price, and they ship using US Postal service (if you ask nicely after you order!) which is a huge benefit to Canadian home shop machinists as the brokerage and other after the fact fees charged by UPS are obscene!

I actually have that parallel set and for what I use it for it is perfect, plus if I mess up and mangle one I won't go to bed crying!

I have had pretty good success with their tools, I did get one dud but as I bought it and didn't get around to using it for over a year I didn't try and return it when it did fail after using it for 1 day (it was an NMTB 30 ER40 collet holder - the threaded draw bar end snapped off and I found the holder on the mill table in the morning, had me wondering at first if I left it there...)

Also - if your an avid e-bay shopper they have an online store " discount_machine " - sometimes things are cheaper there than their online catalog but I've never tried ordering from ebay and combining shipping with them - YMMV

Back a few years ago Harbor Freight had that same set for about $20. With inflation etc I think
the Shars price is probably good now-a-days. :)
For extremely cheap( free for the taking) thin parralells I use stell strapping material. it only comes in two widths. but it works I do have a similar set as you show from kitts Industrial.
Regular bar and rectangular CRS is quite consistent dimension wise so I tend to use that when I need parallel's, have a few "matched pairs" in different dimensions that I meassured to make sure that the dimensional consistency on the pieces I had was good enough for my use(0.01-2 mm or better).
I use whatever I have on hand at home.
The vice on my mini-mill is 4" wide so raw tool steel blanks are usually my first choice.

I also keep rollers out of any cylindrical or spherical bearings I find in the scrap.
They're precision ground lengths are as good as any parallel set you can buy.

The Kurt mill vise at work is 6" wide.
3" parallels might have worked there, but they would have only been catching on about 1/4" at each end.