Digital Protractor vs Angle Guage and which brand

Would this:
http://www.woodcraft.com/product.aspx?ProductID 8564&FamilyID 516
or this
http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=2&pX801&cat=1,43513
or this:
http://www.ptreeusa.com/layout_products.htm#1548
be more useful than this:
http://www.woodcraft.com/product.aspx?ProductID 7281&FamilyIDX94
or this:
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber998
A year ago I nearly bought the "digital angle guage" (square box that shows relative angles), but now the protractor models seems to have more uses (horizontally on miter saw), and comparable accuracy.
Any thoughts on the Lee Valley $25 model vs Peachtree or Woodline's model (Wixey based)?
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coloradotrout wrote:

A couple of years back I bought the MD SmartTool with 48" and 24" frames and their Magnetic Bracket for about $100. One of the best buys I've ever made.
When Lee Valley first offered the Digital Angle Gauge for $19.95 I snapped one up. I liked it so well I bought two more (and gave one to my BIL for his birthday) before stock ran out. It's been another of my best buys.
They do very different jobs. A protractor won't (readily) get you to level, and the level won't tell you much about the angle of your saw blade (unless the saw table is perfectly leveled, which mine probably won't ever be).
--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
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Morris Dovey wrote:

I don't own either, but can't you zero out an angle gauge so your saw doesn't have to be level? Set it on the saw table, zero, put in on the saw blade and now you've got your blade angle? That seems like a obvious feature it should have.
Greg M
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Greg M wrote:

<Morris pretending to be a geometer>
My angle gauge zeros to true level so, at least in theory, I could find the angle of the table and work from there - provided that there is no rotation of the gauge about a vertical axis.
<giving up on the pretense of being a geometer>
It's a whole lot less hassle to lay an aluminum plate flush against the blade and measure the angle between the table and the plate.
What really prompted me to spend the $19.95 was the need to cut both ends of 2.25 inch tubing at /exactly/ 67.5 degree angles (to make a 90-degree turn) on a horizontal band saw, which would have been a horrible set up operation with the level alone (and wasn't all that easy with the protractor gizmo!) Actually I ended up using both tools for that operation - one for the angle of the cut, and the other to make certain everything stayed in one plane. :-p
--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
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Morris Dovey wrote:

After I hit "send", it occurred to me that it might not be obvious how one gets a 90-degree bend out of 67.5-degree cuts. If that seems strange, see the bottom of the bottom drawing at
http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto/Projects/Stirling/Fluidyne.html
--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
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Yeah, I think they all have a zero-out function, in essence to find relative measurements. And afterall, everything is relative. I would generally not be looking for either one to be indicating a earth level. Moreso, I'd be after blade to some fixed object. It just seems the protractor has a larger set of uses. The one negative to the Lee Valley one is it does not have a magnet on the base, but for $25 less I might be able to live without it.
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coloradotrout wrote:

Spend for the tool that's right for what you want to do. A year from now that $25 probably won't make any difference, but the inconvenience would still irritate every time you used the tool.
--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
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coloradotrout wrote:

I have to say that I have a Wixey, and I use it on occasion. We've found an interesting use for the "box" at the bicycle shop. We use it to level high-end bicycles on the "fit stand" to be fitted to the rider.
When it really counts, like when the miters have to wrap around and close perfectly, I prefer my plain ol' bevel guage and "Bevel Boss" plate.
I don't think I'd buy either device again.
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I bought the LeeValley for $19.95 when it first came out and that was a bargain.
It has one really really big design flaw that bites me all the time. The digital read out is often hidden when measuring certain acute angles. You can't read through solid aluminum if the display does not happen to be in the display opening.
I would probably go for the Wixey if I had it to do again and I would get the box gauge also. I have both. IMHO the magnetic box gauge is easier to use when setting up blade bevels on the TS or BS.
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Add these to the mix (Hartville Tool seems to have good pricing)
Digital Protractors http://www.hartvilletool.com/product/12978
Beall Tilt Box http://www.hartvilletool.com/product/12511
Wixey Digital Angle http://www.hartvilletool.com/product/12456
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