Gauge-It Table Saw Gauge Review
The Gauge-It Table Saw Gauge is the all-in-one answer for checking blade angle, blade height, miter angles and more. Take the guess work out of trying to read and set clumsy table saw bevel measurements and start cutting right the first time with guaranteed accuracy.
Two styles of the Table Saw Gauge are available. One is designed to work with blades that tilt towards the right such as Ryobi, Grizzley and Delta table saws. The other one is for left tilting blades that are found on Craftsman, Powermatic and Shopsmith. Our particular test saw for this review is a Bosch 4000 Worksite Table Saw. This Bosch table saw features a left tilting 10” blade so we will be focusing mainly on the gauge for left tilting saws.
The gauges come attached to a thick cardboard backer. Printed front and back, the backing shows off the many great aspects of the gauge. For us, the less-is-more packaging is great, none of that crazy plastic to have to saw through to get to the tool. It was a simple task to remove the gauge off of the packaging by undoing a twist tie and removing the adjustment nut from the back.
The Gauge is made of grey plastic, but this is not a bad thing. It is very sturdy and thick and should hold up to most wood shop use and abuse. The lettering for the scale is permanently affixed to the surface and we could not remove or scratch it off with our fingernail (or pocket knife for that matter) so we are pretty sure it will not rub or wear off with normal wear and tear. The rest of the markings are permanently molded into the plastic. There is a locking nut that will allow you to lock the angle armature into place so you can remember the desired angle.
Testing and Use
We pulled out our Bosch 4000 Worksite Table Saw and set the blade to what the saw gauge said was 30 degrees. Just a side note, since we received this table saw, we have never verified the cutting angles or even 90 degrees for that matter, we just assumed it was correct. It is usually a good idea when you get a new saw to always check that it is cutting true before you start a project.
We took the Gauge-It Table Saw Gauge and set the spring. The Angle Armature is spring loaded and since the gauge is not delivered with the spring engaged, it needs to be set in place before it can be used to measure the blade angle. There is a reason that the spring can be disengaged; which we will look at shortly. Next we took the gauge, loosened the locking nut and held it perpendicular to the saw with the pivot point next to the blade. Since there is spring tension, the gauge must be held snugly against the blade for an accurate reading. Once we had even contact against the blade, we tightened the locking nut and took a look at the scale. The angle indicator measured exactly 30 degrees. In our case we got lucky that the factory setting on the blade angle was precisely set, but by using a tool like the Gauge-It table saw gauge, we can always know that we have it set correctly regardless of what the saw may say. We tried several other angles and again, the gauge confirmed that our particular saw’s angle setting was accurate. When using the angle measurement, make sure the blade is up higher than the measuring surface of the guage. Since the teeth are actually thicker than the blade, you will want to make sure that the teeth are clear of the gauge so that an accurate measurement is taken. The Angle Armature is designed to take this into account which is the reason why it has a cut out towards the top so the teeth do not get in the way.
Next we tried using the Gauge-It Table Saw Gauge to measure the blade height. To do this, we first disengaged the tension spring. The reason is that in order to get an accurate measurement, gravity is all that is needed for the height armature to touch against the tooth of the blade. To measure the height, we held the tool parallel with the blade making sure the height armature was above the top center of the blade. Next we adjusted the height of the blade up and down and as we moved the blade the gauge also moved. The critical part of measuring the height is making sure that the measuring gauge is reading off the highest tooth. By hand, rotate the blade back and forth a little to make sure that you are getting a reading at the highest point.
Editor’s Note: It goes without saying (or at least should), but all measurements and use of the table saw gauge should be done with the saw completely off and the blade not moving.
The only gripe we had with the Gauge-It table Saw Gauge was with regards to the locking nut screw. The locking nut works great but many times we had to hold a finger against the screw to keep it from spinning as we tightened the locking nut. A drop of super glue to the screw head would fix this little hitch, but future iterations of this device might find a better solution.
As for other uses, the Gauge-It table saw gauge can be used to measure the distance from the fence to the blade by the 6” scale that is built into the base of the gauge. We have not verified it, but the packaging says that you can also use the table saw gauge to do the following:
- Verify and set miter gauge settings on the table saw
- Set an angle fence on a joiner
- Set the table angle on band saws
- Set blade angles on a radial saw
- Set and record router bit heights
The bottom line is that we liked this tool. It is simple, accurate, and easy to use. If you are a serious woodworker and spend any time using a table saw, this is a must-have tool. According to the Gauge-it folks, they will guarantee the accuracy of the tool and if you find it not up to your specs, they will give you a 100% refund. Since we did have a little trouble with the screw for the locking nut, we felt that is an area for improvement. Consequently, we gave this tool a Professional Rating of 9/10 instead of a perfect score. We are pretty sure that if you add up the combined cost of a quality square, an adjustable protractor or other angle measuring device and a good tape measure you will spend much more than the cost of this tool. We think that given the capabilities of the Gauge-It Table Saw Gauge and its sheer “handiness factor” it earned a 10/10 for our Value Rating.