# Skil Digital Angle Finder: huge mistake!

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• posted on August 7, 2009, 1:31 am
Ok, I may be having a huge brainfart on this, so you tell me.
Skil Digital Angle Finder - Model #2100DAF
I bought this thing and used it this week for some trim work at a studio which has lots of non-standard wall angles.
It measures angles fine. The problem comes in converting miter angles on obtuse angles. Acute angle are fine. If the angle of the corner is 89 degrees, the miter reading displays 44.5 degrees.
But if the angle of the corner is 91 degrees, the miter reading also displays 44.5 degrees. Shouldn't this be 45.5? If it’s 100 degrees the miter reading will display 40 degrees. Shouldn't this be 50 degrees?
I can only guess that the computer was programed to calculate the angle on the other side of the right angle, or between 90 and 180 degrees, instead the obtuse angle.
This makes the devise useless in my book. Now before you go and say, “well, all you have to do it subtract the angle from 180 and blah, blah, blah,” I bought the thing so I wouldn’t have to do the math. I paid 60 bucks so I wouldn’t have to do any math, not even half of it.
Am I losing my mind here, or is this a POS?
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-MIKE-

"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"

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• posted on August 7, 2009, 3:11 am
"-MIKE-" wrote

Yes.
Max

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• posted on August 7, 2009, 5:00 am
"-MIKE-" wrote:

Looks like an over priced bevel gauge to me.
Trying to accurately split an angle with one is a lot tougher than using a compass and a straight edge.
Lew

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• posted on August 7, 2009, 3:48 pm
Lew Hodgett wrote:

Actually, it was very easy/fast to use and extremely accurate on the acute angles.
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-MIKE-

"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"

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• posted on August 7, 2009, 11:48 am
-MIKE- wrote:

180 - 100 = 80
80 /2 = 40
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• posted on August 7, 2009, 12:05 pm

Meant to add, I'd take the thing back.
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• posted on August 7, 2009, 12:11 pm

180 - 91 = 89
89 /2 = 44.5

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• posted on August 7, 2009, 12:45 pm

hey BO - did you not get that he didn't want to do the math. Try reading.

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• posted on August 7, 2009, 2:24 pm
burtwitlin wrote:

No math to do: Supplementary Angles. And folks wonder why kids cannot make change...

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• posted on August 7, 2009, 12:54 pm
Rita and Neil Ward wrote:

As Wally from the Dilbert comic strip said when reviewing the Human Resources phamplet on employee benefits: "It's been a long time since I had to calculate the cosign of anything..."

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• posted on August 7, 2009, 1:19 pm

Upon sober reflection and more coffee, I've changed my mind. Here's why...
My radial saw can cut to 60 degrees right or left, ditto the table saw miter gauge, so either could be set directly to miter an obtuse angle up to 120 degrees. But what about one of 140 degrees? One needs a 70 degree angle, no place to set that.
One would set the saw/gauge at 20 degrees and cut merrily away. One angle on both cut pieces will have be 20 degrees, the other 70 degrees. Same thing in the OP's original post with 100 degrees as the example...the angle finder says to set the cut at 40 degrees, angle is correct as the *other* cut corner will have the needed 50 degrees.
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• posted on August 7, 2009, 4:36 pm

Which gives you the left piece of crown molding protruding about an inch past the right, no?
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-MIKE-

"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"

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• posted on August 7, 2009, 12:44 pm

hey BO - did you not get that he didn't want to do the math. Try reading.

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• posted on August 7, 2009, 1:19 pm
burtwitlin wrote:

He doesn't have to. One would set the saw/gauge at whatever the angle finder says and cut merrily away. One angle on both cut pieces will have be as desired, the other 90 degrees - (minus) desired.

Try thinking.
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• posted on August 7, 2009, 2:30 pm

Depends on whether you're expecting the thing to read the actual angle, or the required setting on a TS, RAS, or CMS to make the correct cut. If the former, it's correct for acute angles and wrong for obtuse angles; if the latter, it's correct for obtuse angles and wrong for acute angles.
Either way, it's right only half the time, which in my book makes it worse than useless, because you have to remember which half of the time it's right, and in which way it's right -- thus compounding the possibility of making a mistake. *Much* easier to measure the angle with a 180-degree protractor and do the math yourself, than to try to use this POS -- which, again, means "worse than useless", as using the tool makes the job *harder* than not using it.

Ummm..... IOW, do the math, which he already said he doesn't want to do. And, as noted above, he would have to remember which way (obtuse vs. acute) the device reads the actual miter gauge setting, and which way it reads (90 - setting).
Worse than useless.

Maybe you should give it a try, too. Setting the gauge at the indicated angle works just fine for obtuse angles, but fails for acute ones. Mike's right, this tool's a POS.

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• posted on August 7, 2009, 3:12 pm
Doug Miller wrote:

Oh, it isn't all that hard. It is always giving the correct setting to cut the angle, doesn't matter whether it is a miter for an acute or obtuse angle.
One *does* have to remember which of the two resultant angles one wants and plan accordingly.
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• posted on August 7, 2009, 4:33 pm
Doug Miller wrote:

I don't mind doing the math (which I ended up doing, anyway). I just don't want to pay for a tool that is supposed to do the math, and have to do the math, anyway.

Just FYI, it's works for acute and not for obtuse. And yes, POS. :-)
Thanks, Doug.
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-MIKE-

"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"

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• posted on August 7, 2009, 4:35 pm

The point is, if you sell a tool that is supposed to, and purported to, do the "thinking" for you, it should do all the thinking for you and not just half of it.
The programmed this thing to calculate the exception and not the rule.
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-MIKE-

"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"

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• posted on August 7, 2009, 8:06 pm
-MIKE- wrote:

It *is* thinking for you...it is telling you where to set the gauge to get the angle you want.
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• posted on August 7, 2009, 8:15 pm
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But only half the time.