Woodpeckers recently announced new 7″ and 12″ bevel gauges that combine modern engineering with a classic design. The new bevel gauges are one-time-tools, but we hope that Woodpeckers opts to make them permanent additions to their measuring and layout tool lineup.
Update: The bevel gauge was brought back for a third round of ordering, ending 7/18/2016. This post was originally published 2/28/12, and republished 7/18/16.
These bevel gauges feature stout stainless steel blades, CNC-machined aluminum bodies, stainless steel hardware, and a vise-style sliding blade-lock thumbscrew.
I had a chance to handle (and drool over) the 7″ bevel gauge at a recent Woodworking Show, and my goodness, it felt fantastic. I’m a regular fan of Woodpeckers’ USA-made tools, but the bevel gauge felt even better built and looked more elegantly designed than I expected.
The Woodpeckers bevel gauge absolutely puts to shame the <$10 Empire model in my tool box. The plastic-handled gauge I’ve been using has a large thumbscrew on the front near the pivot, making it impossible to flip over and prone to slippage. The Woodpeckers design, on the other hand, features a locking thumbscrew at its end, enabling the tool to be used on either side.
Notice that the blade is asymmetrically positioned between the two sides of the handle. I feel that this was done so that you can use the gauge with a wider range of workpiece thicknesses.
Price is $70 for the 7″ bevel gauge, and $100 for the 12″.
Pricing is $110 for the 7″ and $130 for the 12″. There’s also a handy laser-etched angle reference plate for $40.
Maybe costs went up in recent years, but Woodpeckers has also picked up sales and distribution partners in the 4+ years since these tools was first sold. Perhaps that resulted in increased costs, since Woodpeckers cannot undercut their retail partners. These prices are the same as when the tools were brought back for a second round of ordering in 2014.
Order Deadline: 7/18/2016
Shipping ETA: November 2016
Buy Now (via Woodpeckers)
The woodpeckers stuff is always high quality, but since cost and quality go hand in hand, I usually find their stuff beyond my needs. Too often though the other option is purchasing something so cheap that its grossly inaccurate or prone to breakage. I wish there were more options of tools that were in between Woodpeckers and Harbor Freight from a quality standpoint. And the answer isn’t the big box stores- their products seem to be getting closer and closer to HF quality every year.
Lee Valley Veritas is another great source for quality woodworking tools and accessories. Many of their tools are made in Canada, and their customer service is superb. Veritas prices vary, but many of their layout tools are quite affordable.
The best value in t-bevel gauges is the Japanese Shinwa at $25-$30. It locks and holds it’s angle unlike the Big Box Stores junk and better than pretty wood ones from Veritas and the English makers in it’s price range.
Not as pretty but sure looks just as functional. Added to my Amazon wish list.
Ah, i’ve had a full set of Empire’s true blue stuff from HD for a while now. 2 speed squares, an 8 foot rip guide, 4 foot level, T bevel, carpenter square, etc. All US made, and still priced decently. I know they used to make some lesser quality stuff apparently, but their newer line of stuff is perfectly acceptable imo.
plenty of options that will work great and won’t cost a fortune like these do. Just have to look a little.
Other than rust hunting (which has it’s own costs), there are NOT “plenty of options” that are less expensive than this puppy, at least not decent ones. And by “decent”, I mean one that will hold it’s setting and not have the locking mechanism interfere with use. There are two – Veritas (which has the locking mech on one side, not the bottom) and the Shinwa, both of which are substantially more expensive than what is sold in the average hardware/big box store.
There are two additional options, both MORE expensive than the Woodpecker’s unit. The Vesper, which is the Rolls-Royce of bevel gauges, and the brand new Blue Spruce, which is a hair more expensive than this Woodpecker’s.
My old Stanley #18 looks a lot like the Shinwa SB-8 – and has the advantage that I kept it from rusting over the 40 or so years that I’ve owned it.
Thanks for the heads up on the Blue Spruce – they make nice stuff – albeit priced accordingly.
My 7″ bevel gauge and angle plate arrived yesterday. Awesome quality stuff. Although I’ve worked with their products before, this was my first personal purchase of Woodpecker’s one-time tools. SO glad that I pulled the trigger because it was totally worth the wait.
I hesitated on the dovetail marking gauges and missed the order deadline… hoping that they do a second run of them. If anybody (Stuart… are you finished with that review set yet?) wants to sell me theirs, PLEASE let me know.
Does anyone know where I can buy either the 7″ and/or the 12″ Woodpeckers bevel gauge? I know it was a one time tool & I have left feedback on their website. Thanks!
So if you really want to drop some serious cash on a bevel – take a look at the Australian-made Vesper Tools – they make Woodpecker’s look utilitarian and inexpensive by comparison.
In my shop – I have a Starrett #47, and a pair of old Stanleys #18 and #25TB. I use a Sutherland bevel setting gauge from time to time.
I would buy maybe 1 or 2 of the General Tools models of device and pocket some dollars for another purchase. Or find an stanley model. I think they still make then. I have my grandfathers I do believe.
the offset sides is a nice feature though.
I gave up on bevel gauges in favour of a decent quality digital protractor because (1) all the bevel gauges I could I be are cheap pieces of crap and (2) I find it easier to just measure an angle and set my mitre saw than to mark the piece, especially if I’m actually doing a mitre and need the half angle.
Angle dividers used to be a bit more ubiquitous in the days of the hand backsaw miter box. Stanley had their #30 and General made their copy (#853). Some years ago Nobex came out with a modern update/enhancement they called their Multifix Miter Square. You can still buy inexpensive ones like the Big Horn 19050 or Promax 79050 ($18.49 or $17.42 at Amazon) or expensive ones like the Festool 494370 that sells for $171. For setting a miter saw – like you I prefer a quality protractor – but I also like to use the bevel gauge and a striking knife for shop woodworking tasks.
I think they are setting themselves up for failure by bringing items back, especially for a THIRD time. People are paying the premium (and then some) price because it’s a limited run item. Why do that if you know it will again be available for purchase?
I think that the limited availability does play into the price and peoples’ willingness to pay it.
I’m tempted to buy it, as I was the first 2 times, but then I remember that for as often, or rather as infrequent, as I use my cheapo bevel gauge, I wouldn’t really make good use of this.
Most of my Woodpeckers purchases have been for unique tools that provide better functionality.
Once I run out of things to buy, these will be at the top of my list!
It sounds like you’re describing a collector mentality. Which is fine: if you’re a collector you want limited-run items to remain rare. But as someone in need of the tool I’m glad they’re offering it again so that I can order it now.
Nice but I’m super happy with my Japanese Shinwa. I love tools but I feel woodpeckers is priced well above their true worth. I will not be ordering
I see that Woodpeckers has another one-time tool out now:
I mentioned these over on the ToolGuyd Community Forum site – and also linked to the somewhat smaller set sold by Lee Valley (who are doing free shipping 7/19 to 7/20)