Wixey Angle Gauge: Does it Measure up?

WixcyAngleGauge.jpg

Visit any woodworking forum and you’ll see mention of the Wixey Digital Angle Gauge. We had to see if it measured up.

Along with the usual check of the angle of our table saw blade and the tilt of the jointer fence, we checked the stops on the table saw, the table of the band saw in relation to the blade and adjusted the miter saw to any angle of which we could think.

To use the gauge set the magnetic base to a flat surface, say the table saw, and zero-out the unit with a push of the button. Next move the gauge to the blade making sure to keep the unit perpendicular to the table and read the angle.

How does it work? There is a fixed round circuit board and a rotating circuit board, each imprinted with a pattern. The rotating circuit is attached to a bearing with a counter weight that always points at the earth’s center. As the two patterns pass each other an electrical signal is generated and converted to a displayed angle. The actual electronic method is capacitancWixey-2.jpge based measuring technology.

If you think this is for power tool woodworkers only, think again. You can use this tool to check the angle grind of any chisel in your arsenal. Just make sure to zero out the gauge to the back of the chisel first.

We all wanted one after we had the chance to work with it in our shop. I’ll bet that if you don’t have this fun to use and nearly exact in calculations tool, you’ll want one too. The gauge is $40. For information visit wixey.com

Glen Huey

14 thoughts on “Wixey Angle Gauge: Does it Measure up?

  1. Bob Roos

    I would think that if you "set" it to zero on a leveled surface it then becomes a digital level.

    I have a magnetic dial level that I got years ago where the inner dial floats and a pointer reads degrees from level. This could replace that and be much more accurate.

    I think I have to get one!

    You could use this to set your miter gauge if you turned it on end. Zero it to the miter slot bar and then you can read the setting of the workpiece support.

    Lots of potential uses. Thanks for mentioning it.

  2. murray roblin

    Glenn, I agree that we can be slaves to measuring tools in our shops, and pursue precision that doesn’t make sense for woodworking. However, as this is be sold as a tool to improve our ability to accurately set an angle, it’s reasonable to know how accurate it is.

    After I wrote my comment above, I queried Wixey about the accuracy spec. Mr. Wixey promptly responded that the accuracy is +/- 0.1 deg, same as the units resolution.

    Now that we know the tools performance, informed readers may make their own decisions.

  3. Glen D. Huey

    First let me say that I think we can become slaves of the measuring tools in our shop. Do we need to be within 1/1000" in measuring wood? I have had woodworkers tell me that they have made sure that the thickness of the wood used in their projects is set to that tolerence. (It may be but it is only there for a short period of time because wood moves.)

    Now, given the challenge, we went into the shop this morning and pulled out the tools to check the accruacy of the gauge. We measured the Wixey angle gauge against a Universal, dial bevel and the results were dead on.

    We did notice as we flipped the gauge for a picture that the tool registered a 90.2º reading. Still, that is close enough to satisfy my shop requirements – we’re working with wood, not steel.

  4. Bob Hoyer

    It strikes me that there must be dozens of other uses unrelated to tablesaws. For instance, I am faced right now with replacing a drainage line at Grandma’s place (when the weather improves). I could use it for setting slope on the pipe.

    Thanks for the review. I will be interested in your responce to Dan Gordon regarding accuracy.

  5. murray roblin

    OK Glen,
    Your review describes the device and how it works. But how accurate is it? The point of a tool like this is to allow the user to accurately dial a blade angle relative to a table surface, but if it isn’t accurate, what’s the point of using this tool? Wixey’s site gives some specs, including repeatability, but doesn’t spec out the accuracy of the tool.

  6. Russ Cataldo Sr

    jointer fences-chop saw blades…..the list goes on and on. Looks like a great doohickey worth the money. Will have to see who sells it online.
    Thanks for looking after us and keeping us abreast of new products that come along to make woodworking easier and more productive.
    russ_50@hotmail.com

  7. Glen D. Huey

    The directions on the packaging do make note of keeping the gauge perpendicular to the table saw top. As I place the unit I make sure to have it’s side lying on the table then rotate the gauge against the blade. This will keep the gauge perpendicular.

    As for my million-dollar idea, as soon as I work out the details (or have one) I will be sure to share it.

  8. Jason Beam

    The key to this thing is being able to zero out the unit easily. I hear folks criticize this gadget with things like "Well is your table saw level??". Sadly, these people don’t understand that it doesn’t have to be level since you zero out the device to set your reference surface.

    You DO, however, have to keep the unit perpendicular to your referenced surface. In the photo shown if the blade were to rotate much (i’m interested to see just how much), it would throw off the measurement.

    This is neat for any kind of gravity-based angle readings (mostly vertical). I’m curious to see if there’s a way this idea can be modified to make possible horizontal measurements like my miter guage, my chop-saw’s miter angle, etc. Glen, think outside the box and come up with your million-dollar idea for horizontal angles! I have one idea, but I’m not sure it’d be feasible 😀

  9. Glen D. Huey

    Karl,

    You raise a valid point however, I feel that this is a small investment that could pay huge returns. Building a corner cupboard requires that you set the angle cut to 22-1/2º. While this is easy to get close to, is it easy to set exact? With this gauge you will not wonder about the setting. How important is setting the stops for the TS blade at 90º and 45º? And these are the standard measurements that we all use in woodworking.

    Thinking outside the box is one of my favorite activities. One can only wonder where else in the shop this tool could become useful. I’ll bet that the readers of this blog could add a number of ideas and uses for this tool. Hey, if you don’t want to post them, send them to me via email. I’ll post them when we get a number of them in.

    I think the investment is worth it. I’m also looking at other Wixey products that will help make my work run more smoothly.

  10. Karl Rookey

    Thanks for the review. The technology used in this is very clever, and the tool is neat, but I wonder if this tool would be used enough in a small shop like mine to warrant it? It seems like angle measurement in reference to a fixed surface is a fairly specialized need (or am I missing something)?

Comments are closed.