Dial indicators and dial test indicators are used for comparison measurements i.e. when the read value does not indicate the absolute measured value but a relative (incremental) measured value. The deviation from a master or a gauge block combination is read. With a digital indicator however the absolute measured value can be preset which simplifies the reading. The dial indicator can also be used together with a bore gauge for bore/hole measuring, or using a measuring fixing device.
Dial test indicators are used in places where access is difficult, such as inside a bore/hole. By moving the feeler pin of the dial test indicator along a surface roughness and eccentricities can be read. The feeler pin of the dial test indicator makes a circular movement unlike the movement of the dial indicator which is linear. Therefore it is important to hold the feeler pin perpendicular to the measured surface.