At first sight, you might peg the Wixey Digital Angle Gauge as a marginally useful doodad aimed mainly at woodworkers who’ve let a serious gadget addiction leak into their woodshops. But when you think about how much time most of us spend fine tuning angle settings on table saw blades, band saw tables, drill presses and other woodworking equipment, an affordable tool that provides quick, easy and extremely accurate vertical angle readings starts to make more sense.
One of the easiest tools you’ll ever use, this little (2” x 2”) square box works by electronically comparing a reference angle of zero degrees with any angle you set over a range of 150 degrees. To use it, you simply set it on an appropriate reference surface – such as the top of your table saw – and press the zero-out button. After that, you attach it to your saw blade plate using magnets in the gauge’s side and and adjust the blade until the gauge reads the desired angle. If you ask us, that’s an especially attractive and dignified alternative to the ritual of hunching down, squinting and dialing your saw’s bevel-setting wheel back and forth until the tiny sliver of light between the saw blade and your square or T-bevel finally disappears.
The Wixey digital angle gauge works great for checking and calibrating all of the common woodworking angle settings used on your table saw, miter saw, band saw table, jointer fence, drill press table and undoubtedly a few tools that we haven’t thought of. But you’ll really notice how handy it is when physical reality intervenes with angles that don’t add up to the usual 45 and 90 degrees. In actual practice, most woodworkers spend at least as much time making adjustments to angles that are “supposed” to be exactly this or precisely that as they do locking in at pre-set stops and cranking out perfect 45 degree cuts one after another. An angle gauge like the Wixey can be a great advantage. It gives you as many dead-on, virtually infallible reference points as you need for those fraction-of-a-degree angle adjustments that crop up so frequently in the real world.
With the holiday season right around the corner, we’d also like to mention the Wixey’s remarkable gift-ability. If you have a woodworker on your gift list, this is almost a sure thing. It’s a respectable, useful gift, and a lot less expensive than a fancy new saw that sports its own on-board digital displays. Its compact size means that it will ship, store, and hide easily, and it’ll fit quite comfortably ‘neath the boughs of any real or replicated Scotch pine. But what really matters is this: being something of a “luxury item”, the Wixey Angle Gauge isn’t the kind of thing that most woodworkers run out and buy for themselves. Still, almost every woodworker who doesn’t own one, wants one, (whether they know it or not) – and if they get one, will use it all the time. You can take our word for that if you’d like, or for a second opinion, consider these heartfelt endorsements – a sampling from our customer reviews:
"Wow! I have fell in love with it. Now it is a snap to change the angle and get it back to 90 deg. again. Won't be without one ever again. Before I hated to change the blade angle because it was so time comsuming to get the blade back at 90 deg. It is a must have for anyone with a table saw."
Ron McKinney, from Aberdeen, WA
"This is a must have in your shop. I will not set my table saw up with out it."
Jon O, from Cumming, GA
"This gauge works great. Very nice feel, compact and seems well made. I checked my table saw stop and found it to be off only .1 degree; but I found that when I move off 90 and come back, the setting can vary .2 to .3 degrees. This gauge would definitely help getting to 90 every time. I highly recommend this gauge."
Cliff Lindblom, from Ossian, IN
"Simple, fast and very easy to use. If you don't have one, get one. Your going to like it!"
Dewey W. Graves Jr., from Michigan Center, MI