Starrett 708A - 709A - 708B - 709B Test Indicator

"American Made" light weight test indicators by one of America's original gage manufacturers. They're about as American as hot dogs and apple pie.

Do not confuse these with the lower-cost Starrett models (3808A for example) which are made in China. The Chinese versions are decidedly inferior in every way. If there is no country of origin printed on the dial, then they are made in China.

With an easy to read tilted dial similar to Swiss made Interapid indicators. The contact point angle must be held at a 15° angle to the work surface for accurate reading. This feature sets it apart from all other test indicators (except Interapid) and can prove very useful. If your shop uses other brands of indicators as well, be sure to instruct everyone to heed the 15-degree angle requirement. Plastic bezel and crystal ride on a rubber o-ring making these easy to remove and replace without special tools. They can be bought as replacement parts directly from Starrett or from Starrett distributors. Three dovetails can accept any mounting stem or holder even if they are not Starrett. Contact point length can be adjusted for calibration with a simple set screw although this is not needed on new indicators. The right half of the dial is shaded with a yellow-orange stripe for use with a mirrored set-up.

Indicators come supplied with:

  • 2 mm diameter carbide contact point
  • custom fitted box which will also accommodate attachments
  • attachments included for some models (see chart below)
  • certificate of calibration not included
  • single or multiple revolutions (see chart below)
  • assorted dial colors for some models (see chart below)

Attachments (included with certain models, see chart below):

  • dovetail body clamp
  • tool post holder
  • swivel post snug with dovetail indicator clamp snug and rod unit

B709BCZ comes with attachments.


Easy to read tilted dial similar to Swiss made Interapid indicators. The contact point angle must be held at a 15° angle to the work surface for accurate reading.

Range Graduations Point Length Attachments Dial Color Model No. Starrett No. Price US$
.010" .0001" 20 mm none white 708A 708AZ check discount
.010" .0001" 20 mm none red 708A R708AZ check discount
.010" .0001" 20 mm none black 708A B708AZ check discount
.010" .0001" 20 mm yes white 708A 708ACZ check discount
.010" .0001" 20 mm yes red 708A R708ACZ check discount
.010" .0001" 20 mm yes black 708A B708ACZ check discount
.020" .0001" 20 mm none white 708B 708BZ check discount
.020" .0001" 20 mm yes white 708B 708BCZ check discount
.030" .0005" 20 mm none white 709A 709AZ check discount
.030" .0005" 20 mm none red 709A R709AZ
.030" .0005" 20 mm none black 709A B709AZ
.030" .0005" 20 mm yes white 709A 709ACZ check discount
.030" .0005" 20 mm yes red 709A R709ACZ check discount
.030" .0005" 20 mm yes black 709A B709ACZ check discount
.050" .0005" 34 mm none white 709A 709ALZ
.050" .0005" 34 mm yes white 709A 709ALCZ
.060" .0005" 20 mm none white 709B 709BZ check discount
.060" .0005" 20 mm yes white 709B 709BCZ check discount

Starrett Contact Points
for 708A – 708B – 709A – 709B

  • These contact points have 1-64 threads
  • They will not fit Starrett indicators made in China
Length Diameter Ball Material Order No. Starrett No. Price US$
20 mm .015" carbide MTC58-01 21.50 order now
20 mm .031" carbide MTC58-02 19.50 order now
20 mm .080" carbide MTC58-04 PT23914 19.50 order now


According to the Starrett web site, these gages "meet or exceed ISO accuracy requirements" but they do not specify or publish what those accuracies are.


The Starrett 708 and 709 series of test indicators have some idiosyncrasies that can make these repairs challenging. Unless you have experience and tools, we strongly urge you to leave this in the hands of professionals. Only the clear plastic cover (crystal and bezel assembly) and the contact points are easily replaced by the end-user (refer to notes at bottom of this page).

Spare parts are not available from us because we are not Starrett distributors. If you can not find a distributor who is willing to sell parts (there is little money to be made selling parts) then you can contact Starrett directly. Check their web site for a parts breakdown and contact information.

It is important to remember that these Starrett indicators are accurate when the contact point has an angle of about 10 to 15 degrees to the test surface. If, during calibration, you find that you are losing or gaining distance (even though the contact angle is correct) you will need to shorten or lengthen the contact point. The longer the point is, the less travel it will register. To do this, you will have to adjust the set screw which you will see on the opposite side of the pivot. Loosen the contact point first and then adjust the set screw. Now you can tighten the contact point again. Quite a bit of trial and error will get you the results you're after. If this is too much of a headache, next time don't buy Starrett.

Repair hint

If you need to remove the guts from the body you will have to remove adjusting screw #8 first. Similarly, if you need to remove the dial head assembly #11 you will have to remove (or at least loosen significantly) adjusting screw #36 on the cover side. You can only find this screw by removing the cover. A very small jeweler's screw driver will be required.


Q: I am hoping that you can help me out with this. One of our guys picked up a used Starrett indicator. We are trying to get the original contact for it. I ordered the MTC58-04 from your site. From what I could tell this should have been the right one but the threads are different. Would you be able to tell me what tip it needs?

  • Here’s the low-down. Take a look at the Starrett dial and you will see one glaring omission: Nowhere does it say “American Made” or “made in USA”. Guess what? You are the owner of a Chinese indicator! The best approach is to contact Starrett to see if they sell replacement points (which I suspect they do). I would check their web site as a starting point.
More about Test Indicators

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Two things to consider:

  • Amazon product photos sometimes don't match the product description. It's the description that you want to pay attention to.
  • There are imitation gages on the market (specifically Mitutoyo) and you can make sure you are getting the real item by looking for the words "sold by Amazon". If it is sold by a third party, you might want to call Mitutoyo to find out if they are legitimate distributors.

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