Most tools we review are ones woodworkers are directly familiar with (table saw), or an innovation to an otherwise common idea (the Festool Domino is a hybrid of a doweling jig and biscuit joiner). The M1 Caliber doesn’t really fit into any specific archetype though- it’s a digital measurement tool, for your miter saw, that measures the length of the board on the right-hand side of the blade. And while it may sound complex, in practice it’s quite simple. Just slide the edge of the board up to the saw blade, reset the M1 Caliber, then slide the piece through to your desired length and cut. Still confused? This video from the manufacturer should help:
I found that it took a bit of a leap of faith to trust this new gadget when making cuts for a project, especially with the current price of lumber, but I was consistently impressed. Reekon quotes a +/- 0.02″ accuracy, which is more than enough for the type of woodworking I tend to do (Tim Celeski types might want to look elsewhere). I also had some initial concerns on the usefulness of the M1 when I have a perfectly good tape measure. However, I had never actually realized how much time adds up to measure, mark, align to the blade, and then do one last double-check for each individual board cut. Using one tool to both measure the cut and place it correctly on the saw also eliminated opportunities for errors when transferring measurements or reading the wrong line on the tape measure.
The downsides are few; it does take some time to get dialed in exactly to your saw, and it’s not the most intuitive process especially without the help of the manual. It also came in an over-elegant, non-recyclable case that feels unnecessary for something that is going to spend most of its time clamped to your miter saw fence. There’s a compliment hidden in that criticism though- if I didn’t think it worked well I would have put it right back in the package instead of giving it a permanent space in my shop. And at the end of the day, that’s the highest praise I can give.
Here are some supplies and tools we find essential in our everyday work around the shop. We may receive a commission from sales referred by our links; however, we have carefully selected these products for their usefulness and quality.