The Johnson model 750 pitch and slope locator is about as explanatory as tools come, and it’s also a compact angle finder that can be used in other applications.
There’s an angle finder on one side, with measurements spanning from 90° left to 90° right in 1° increments, and a pitch and slope gauge on the other side that reads in inches of rise per foot.
The layout tool is made in the USA with a high-impact housing and ultrasonically-welded cover.
Johnson says theirs is the ideal tool for identifying roof pitch, stair slope, drainage angles. conduit bend angles, or for making general angle measurements.
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Sure, you can buy digital angle finders, digital levels, and I’m sure there are apps you can load onto your smartphone. But, sometimes it’s nice to use a tool that doesn’t use batteries, can be dropped without much stress or repercussions, and can handle uncertain environmental conditions.
I don’t know much about Johnson’s 750 angle and slope finding tool, but it’s been on my wishlist for a while, and for the aforementioned reasons. I do enjoy using good digital tools, but sometimes they don’t provide the best visualizations or can be clumsy to use. This little gauge by Johnson looks *just right* for a lot of different types of quick angle measurement tasks, or for when you need quick pitch or slope measurements without breaking out a calculator.
The reason I haven’t purchased one yet is because I splurged on a digital angle finder for woodworking machine use. I plan to order one eventually, should my digital angle finder ever give me trouble, I need quick outdoor pitch and slope measurements, or my curiosity finally gets the best of me.
If you regularly use this or other angle-finding tools like it, what kinds of tasks does it come in handy for? Would you swap yours for a digital tool, or are you happy with its analog markings?
The first ones of these that I recall seeing were made by Dasco. They still sell some variants:
We used them for checking pipe slopes. But for really foolproof setup – a Checkpoint magnetic base level equipped with the appropriate slope pin was hard to beat. But apparently they were not big sellers – because they no longer seem to be made.
Mike (the other one)
Nice. I like that it doesn’t have a digital display. Simple and effective.
We used one for years, on a shovel for estimating embankment slope angles, for engineering inspections.
We upgraded to a digital Bosch one after a while, but this is great as it doesn’t run out of batteries, can be dropped and you don’t worry about it in the rain.
Handy, inexpensive and accurate.
I’d go for one that included a V-groove for centering on pipe. I think it’s going to be easier finding flat stock to work around that feature if it gets in the way than to keep track of an accessory if it’s not there.
I don’t have a sense of scale but if it’s anywhere near the size of an ID card, that really ought to be its footprint. There’s your flat accessory in a pinch.
Dasco, Johnson and Starrett all make ones with V-Grooves.
We use items like that one – but I don’t know exactly who makes ours. Anyway you will commonly see one double side taped to an aircraft flight control (flap, alerion, elevator or other bits) for calibration and coorelation of the aircraft flight data recorder system. Yes some do use digital devices now – we have a few.
but I used to use one like you picture. And no magnetic doesn’t help on an aircraft – usually.
And I’ve used one to set plumb and square on a fence post years ago because I had one handly. I admit I like the 3 or 6 vial post leveler better but this works in a pinch.
I use a cheap digital. It’s very compact, the accuracy is stunning in the flip-flop test, the features are useful, and I’m on the same pair of AAA batteries for almost 3 years. Only thing is, you have to get used to it “hunting”, which is analogous (NPI) to an analog type “settling down”. I gotta tell you, I’m so obsessive about accuracy I will never go back to analog, unless the dial is very large and you can resolve .1 degree.