Rutlands digital wheel marking gauge and digital sliding bevel first look

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Sru

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Well, being the sucker for the incessant Rutlands emails, these two actually looked useful. I kinda hate my exiting crappy marking gauge (another "buy cheap" failure) and, being a geek, anything digital is appealing. I paid for these myself and do not receive anything from anyone except cups of tea and cake from the missus.

Sliding Bevel

A rather plastic copy of the regular woodworking sliding bevel. Basic functions to zero the readings when in it's default position (or elsewhere I guess), hold a reading and to calculate reverse angles. The body feels rather flimsy and really not sure how it will take my usual clumsy usage. Locking mechanism is good, when tightened it is hard to move the blade but can still be loosened easily.

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This is the blade in it's resting slot - I guess this is where you are meant to zero it before use. However, the registration was poor and can give a plus or minus reading of more than a degree. I resort to placing that face on a flat surface before resetting. The blade itself is flat and has no warp.

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Accuracy, happy with that. I know from my other tools that this triangle is a perfect 45 degree - I could repeat the measurement to within it's spec multiple times. Same for the 90 degree measurements. You can definitely pick it up cheaper on banggood etc. and I'd probably recommend it as I see no extra value added here by Rutlands aside from ease of return. Now used it for a few weeks and have no real complaints aside from the build quality. But have yet to break it so maybe all is good :)

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Digital wheel marking gauge

Now this was much more interesting to me. I just love my digital callipers and they get used every day. Marking wood with my exiting wheel gauge always felt too hit and miss (partly due to it's crappy construction I warrant).

This Rutland edition has a very solid feel. Maybe not quite Mitutoyo level but far better than some of the no brand callipers I have had and broken. The display is large and the sliding mechanism exhibits no play at all. Moves freely and precisely, it is simple to get get the required depth. The wheel is sharp and does not wander. The locking knob registers with sufficient force to stop any movement while still being able to unlock without pliers.

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This is not an absolute measurement device, it does not return to zero guaranteed. You set zero by placing the face of the gauge onto a flat surface and letting the wheel drop. Repeating this over and over, the error was +/- 0.01 mm, maybe this will get worse with use but thus far it has remained well within my accuracy requirements. Referencing alongside my Mitutoyo confirmed the unit measures well within spec. The actual printed scale .. no idea on it's usefulness .. guess just there to look good'ish?

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The registration face is a perfect (for me) size making it easy to move the gauge down wood with no wandering. A thumb rest on the edge of the unit gives good, positive grip.

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The wheel is sharp and leaves a crisp and clean line even on difficult grain.

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Overall, extremely happy with this - been using it extensively for 2 weeks with no complaints at all. Maybe the face could be a touch wider but not sure how that would compromise it's use. I know many tools from Rutlands are just rebadged imports but this I am happy with (unlike their crappy router bits ... grr). Your mileage will vary of course.

Mike
 

Jacob

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Best of luck with them!
I've never seen the point of these digital things (with a few exceptions perhaps).
I've always used; a normal wooden-handled sliding bevel and cheap plastic school type protractors and set squares for angles.
2 or 3 wooden marking and cutting gauges dirt cheap from ebay. Actually I've got about a dozen it's useful to have a collection
A normal cheap vernier calliper is good enough for woodworking. Mines a Draper. Had it about 30 years.
I've also got a posh stainless steel vernier calliper accurate to 0.001" which I never used unless I lose the other one!
Not trying to put you off but I definitely recommend anybody to try it the traditional way!
 
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Sru

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<grin> I bow to the old time tool users. A traditional vernier calliper melts my poor aged brain. Maybe if I had taken it up years ago I'd feel different :)
 

Jacob

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<grin> I bow to the old time tool users. A traditional vernier calliper melts my poor aged brain. Maybe if I had taken it up years ago I'd feel different :)
Vernier calliper is a clever thing and some people praps don't quite get it until it's been well explained a few times. The Draper is much easier but less precise than the SS posh job but good enough and it does do mm and fractions of inch. The SS does thousandth inch which are no use to me at all!
For woodwork 0.1mm or 1/64" are about as far as you need to go i.e. to the limit of what you can see.
 
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