If you've ever wanted to try a wheel marking gauge....

  • Advertise with us
Review by Tedstor posted 03-18-2011 08:04 AM 4226 views 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
If you've ever wanted to try a wheel marking gauge.... No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I always wanted to try a wheel marking gauge. However, I never wanted to spend $30+ for a tool that I wasn’t sure I’d even like. I mean, a pencil seemed to do a fine job marking workpieces, so I couldn’t really justify buying a tool that I didn’t actually need. However, a few weeks ago, Rockler had these marked down to $7.50 with free shipping. It appeared to be fairly well made and had most of the features found on the expensive gauges. So I pulled the trigger. My thoughts are:
1- I like marking gauges. Marks are definitely more consistent and takes out a lot of potential for human error.
2- This particualr products is well-built. I’m certainly not an expert, but I can’t find any manufacturing shortfalls.
3- My favorite feature is the fence. It has a recession built into it that shrouds the marking blade when not in use.
4- My least favorite feature is the graduations on the beam. Its graduated in 1/8ths. 1/16th would have been way better. Not a deal breaker, but now that I’m a permanent memeber of the marking gauge fan club, I’ll probably look at other models with finer graduations.

None-the-less, this tool was a great buy at $7.50. I’d definitely recommend it when on sale. Heck, its probably well worth the regualr price of $15.

View Tedstor's profile


1691 posts in 3487 days

7 comments so far

View AUBrian's profile


86 posts in 3525 days

#1 posted 03-18-2011 02:31 PM

I don’t know about yours, but I have the same gauge and was a bit disspointed with the wheel and connection. On a wheel marking gauge, as I understand it, the wheel itself is supposed to be tight, and not turn. On mine, not only is the wheel loose, it actually has a little play, so I’m concerned about getting a straight line. Not only that, I’ve tried to tighten it up, and the screw is either too tight or bottomed out, so it won’t get any tighter.

That being said, I do like the weight, the graduations, and if I could get the issues with the cutting blade worked out, it’d be quite nice.

View Ken90712's profile


17902 posts in 4042 days

#2 posted 03-18-2011 05:50 PM

I have one that is chrome with no incraments or markings and has served me well for a cpl yrs. Thx for the review.

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

View Bsmith's profile


330 posts in 3524 days

#3 posted 03-18-2011 05:52 PM

I too purchased the same one and am very happy with it. Thanks for the tip (3) to protect the blade. I didn’t realize that and kinda wondered how I would protect it. Keep sharing.

-- Bryan

View RandyMorter's profile


228 posts in 3544 days

#4 posted 03-18-2011 08:49 PM

I picked the unit up as well and like it. I have used others in the past with a fixed marker (for metal machining). I think I like this better in wood since it leaves an indentation whereas the fixed unit would cut or scrape the wood. That is, as long as there’s no play. Mine doesn’t seem to have play in the marker.

I agree with the graduations. I wish it was easier to set them too, like if there was a window in the head with a pointer, or better yet if there was a digital read out. That said, I tend not to use the graduations for the final mark anyway. I get it close, mark a test piece, then measure the mark, adjusting as necessary. Then I can transfer the marks as necessary. It’s great for making multiple marks on many pieces.

My other complaint is that it’s sometimes hard to see the marks.

But for the price, I was glad to add this to my shop too!

Thanks for the review.

-- Randy Morter, Phoenix, AZ

View Luke's profile


290 posts in 3541 days

#5 posted 03-19-2011 12:16 AM

I too have this marking gauge and my cutting wheel is also very loose with no more room for the screw to tighten.

I notice that when I use it though it doesn’t seen to produce a wavy line but rather a straight line despite the wheel having a wobble.

View Jimi_C's profile


507 posts in 4089 days

#6 posted 03-19-2011 01:31 AM

This is another item I’ve had for over a year, and it suits my needs well. I don’t mind the graduations, because I never measure – I always set the depth based on whatever board’s I’m joining.

@Luke – most likely because the bevel on the cutter causes it to pull away from the fence when cutting, keeping it tight against the screw.

-- The difference between being defeated and admitting defeat is what makes all the difference in the world - Upton Sinclair, "The Jungle"

View ic3ss's profile


399 posts in 3630 days

#7 posted 03-21-2011 03:57 AM

I looked at this same gauge at Rockler and the two things that kept me from buying it were the movement of the fence on the shaft was not smooth at all, and the screw holding on the cutting wheel is a button head. This makes in impossible to take an accurate measurement from a 90 degree surface. Veritas makes this same gauge and have both of these issues solved. The cutting wheel is beveled to accept a counter sink screw so the wheel’s cutting surface is at the outtermost edge of the shaft. The movement is also much smoother. The Veritas costed me $36 plus shipping, but it’s a better tool. The Rockler for $7.50 is not bad, it just didn’t work for me.

Made in China. . . . . sigh.

-- "I am endeavoring, ma'am, to construct a mnemonic memory circuit using stone knives and bear skins."

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics