http://www.woodcraft.com/product.aspx?ProductID 8564&FamilyID 516
be more useful than this:
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)?
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
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
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).
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.
<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
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
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.
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.
I bought the LeeValley for $19.95 when it first came out and that was a
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.
Add these to the mix (Hartville Tool seems to have good pricing)
Beall Tilt Box
Wixey Digital Angle
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