Angle reader/finder

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Review by Dan posted 01-03-2011 11:14 PM 5277 views 1 time favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Angle reader/finder No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I recently learned how to sharpen my own chisels and plane irons. I was having a hard time when it came to all the different bevels. I bought a cheaper honing jig that works well but it does not measure the angle I am honing. I tried using a protractor and had some success but I still felt I was off.

I was looking at Rockler tools online and saw this item was on sale. It had good reviews and the price seemed good so I ordered it.

The item arrived ready to use. There were no complicated directions or anything I had to look over. It was all rather straight forward. I put it right to use on my plane irons. I took the blades that I had all ready honed and locked them back in my honing jig at the same angle I had honed them at. I then turned this on and placed it on the blade and I was not surprised to see that the angle I had honed the blade at was not what I had thought it was. The angle reader was telling me I was a few degrees off from where I wanted to be. I went ahead and re-honed my blades using the angle reader. After honing the blades I tested them out and got much better results.

After I was done using this on my hand tool blades I decided to check the saw blades on my power tools. According to the angle reader both my Miter Saw and my Radial Arm Saw were slightly off. My table saw seemed to be fine. I readjusted the two saws and got them lined up.

So far that is all I have used this for but it seems to be very accurate. I tested the cuts on my saws and they seem perfect now. I think its going to take some more use in order for me to know if its always accurate. At this point I will assume that this device is correct and I will continue to use when setting up bevels or angles on my tools. If I find any problems I will post again.

For the price I think this is a great tool that is very easy to use and so far very accurate.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

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3653 posts in 3736 days

21 comments so far

View jim C's profile

jim C

1472 posts in 3954 days

#1 posted 01-04-2011 12:16 AM

Nice tool Dan.
I’m sure you’re aware, but I’m going to bring it up anyway. Do you first check the table and if it shows a slight error due to the un-level floor or leg levelers, you need to add or subtract that number from the saw blade reading to get a true 90 degrees to the table.
Just wondering if that was included in the instructions.

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4541 posts in 3930 days

#2 posted 01-04-2011 02:50 AM

Thanks for the good review.

You probably have not had this long enough to know this, but these things are a little hard on batteries. Plan on replacing the battery every 6 months or less. That is not a real problem but it is something people should know.

I think this tool is great for checking the angle on my TS blade and MS blade. I had not heard of using it to get the bevel right in sharpening. Nonetheless, it would do that.

With respect to sharpening chisels and plane irons the issue is not getting the bevel to exactly X degrees. The challenge is being consistent every time you go to sharpen. 24 degrees instead of 25 degrees is just fine as long as you always sharpen to 24 degrees.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View HungryTermite's profile


90 posts in 3905 days

#3 posted 01-04-2011 02:52 AM

I have this and I like it a lot. I use it on my tablesaw to set the blade angles.

@jim C: it has a reference button. You put it on a surface and hit the button and then put it on another surface and it gives you the angle with respect to the reference surface. It will also tell you the angle with respect to true horizontal but I rarely use it that way since I doubt the floor under my tablesaw is level.

-- Good Judgement Comes From Experience. Experience Comes From Bad Judgement.

View papadan's profile


3584 posts in 4224 days

#4 posted 01-04-2011 02:53 AM

Jim C. You zero out the gauge on the table top, then read the blade angle as it is. You adjust the blade to the table, not against level.

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jim C

1472 posts in 3954 days

#5 posted 01-04-2011 03:06 AM

OK Thanks guys, I was just wondering. I’m still using the precision Starrett square.

View Dan's profile


3653 posts in 3736 days

#6 posted 01-04-2011 05:23 AM

Jim- Yes, I did check the table/machine tops first to see if they were level. To my luck they all read level.

Rich- The honing jig that I have came with the measurements for honing at 25 degree for a standard sized plane iron. The main problem I ran into was when honing a secondary bevel and even a 3rd micro bevel. I was doing a secondary bevel at 29 degrees and a third micro bevel at 31 degrees. I think with these bevels its a lot more important to be right on. When I checked the angles with the angle finder I learned that my secondary bevel was like 31 degrees and my micro bevel was like 36 degrees. It made a big difference when I got that fixed.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

View ellen35's profile


2749 posts in 4288 days

#7 posted 01-04-2011 01:41 PM

If you find yourself replacing batteries often, check out National Deals on Amazon. I usually pay ~$4 per battery locally (at my hardware store). I bought 10 for $4.97 with free shipping from Amazon.
Well worth the price.

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View Ken90712's profile


17902 posts in 4044 days

#8 posted 01-04-2011 04:31 PM

Nixe review, I use one as well and like it. I have a wixy….

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View SPalm's profile


5336 posts in 4738 days

#9 posted 01-04-2011 04:34 PM

I love these things.
They work on all kinds of tools too. Even the bandsaw.
Or the tilt of a scrollsaw or bandsaw table.
Or if you temporally clamp your miter guage pointing up in a vise, set the reference to the bar, you can then set the miter angle. Even to weird ones like 20 degrees.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View firecaster's profile


574 posts in 4274 days

#10 posted 01-04-2011 06:28 PM

I received one of these for Christmas. It seems very handy and easy to use.

-- Father of two sons. Both Eagle Scouts.

View bluejazz's profile


56 posts in 3642 days

#11 posted 01-05-2011 01:31 AM

Wow, Thanks. I never knew they had such a thing. I saw this, read your review and ordered one.

-- I'm 58. In my mind, I still feel 28. Until I do something physical; then I feel 78.

View Randy L. 's profile

Randy L.

19 posts in 3795 days

#12 posted 01-05-2011 06:26 AM

I also just purchased the same angle cube. It is nice for certain applications, but as far as squaring up machines, it just can’t get the same accuracyand precision of a engineer’s square.

-- Randy - Milton, WI

View Gator's profile


383 posts in 4532 days

#13 posted 01-05-2011 01:22 PM

I saw these on sale at Rockler and wondered if I would get enough use out of it.. but you have discovered more ways to make it usefull in the shop.
Thanks for the review.. I will have to add it to my “wish list”.


-- Master designer of precision sawdust and one of a kind slivers.

View ZeroThreeQuarter's profile


120 posts in 3913 days

#14 posted 01-05-2011 08:07 PM

I got the wixie one from another site that had it on sale for 19.99… i’ll have to find the link, hopefully it’s still on sale, but this is bar none the best tool if looking for accuracy!!

-- Your mind, much like a parachute, works best when open.

View surfin2's profile


51276 posts in 3992 days

#15 posted 01-05-2011 11:25 PM

The angle cube takes a 9v battery where the wixey takes a 3.0V CR2032 button battery
Thats another reason I went with the angle cube…

-- Rick

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