My bride found me a very nice 'saddle' type square for my birthday. <<<she may or may not have had help finding it....:grin:>>>
It is very similar to my old standby that I have been using for years, but I wanted to share a few plusses of each one. I spent a little while playing with them both today, they are both great tools.
I have had a Woodpecker's 6 inch saddle square from their very first issue a long time ago. I was looking at another as a gift for someone, and was amazed at how much the price went up from when I bought it. It's a great tool to have, especially if you have a hard time figuring out which of those little lines you need to make a mark next to. I liked it more than the Incra scale which was also very popular at the time, so I grabbed one. I have never regretted it.
I first saw the Mirock and was intrigued by the clear blade, as well as the hardwood faces of the square. To be honest, it looked nice and I wanted it. But I can admit that I have a problem with that...
The biggest difference in the two is the materials. The aluminum Woodpecker square is big and strong, where as the acrylic Mirock is much lighter and does have a more delicate feel to it. The woodpecker weighs 8.3 oz to the Mirock at 1.3 oz, so that gives you an idea of how beefy it is.
The anodized aluminum blade with white marks is a little easier to read, but the clear blade is very handy (and I think the best feature)
The etching on the Mirock is on the bottom side, and it reads very well on darker woods. On lighter wood it is a little harder to read unless you have the light at the correct angle. The etching is crisp, but not incredibly deep into the blade. I will have to see how it fares over time
I have had the Woodpecker for several years, and it still looks brand new. I am pretty careful with it, that has probably helped. There are rub marks on the bottom side from dragging it across wood, but nothing to affect it's performance. How will the acrylic blade hold up? We'll have to see.
The Woodpecker blade is nearly twice as thick as the Mirock, but it does taper down to a nice thin edge, unlike the Mirock. This makes it easier to use it as a measuring tool as opposed to the square blade on the acrylic square. Being thicker, in order to use the holes in the blade you have to extend the lead of your mechanical pencil out pretty far, which means you break a lot of leads if you are anything like me.
The Mirock is a little different, for the graduations of 1/8" or bigger you can use a regular pencil (in fact they work better), but for the smaller graduations you barely need to extend the lead from your mechanical pencil very far. Also, for the smaller marks, there is a slot, not just a hole. This means you can make your mark without moving the entire scale.
The Woodpecker saddle is about 3/4 inches, meaning if you are using thinner stock you have to lift the piece off of the bench.
The Mirock has a saddle piece a little over 1/8" thick on both sides of the blade, which lets you measure thin stock easily, but gives you something substantial to hold on to.
The woodpecker is about an inch longer and 3/8 inch wider
The mirock has common angles etched into it, so you can lay out 30,45,60 and 90 degree lines, but I would probably use a triangle anyway.
The Mirock actually includes a hole for hanging it up, which is actually a nice feature in my opinion.
The current prices for the two are $75+ for the woodpecker, or $25 delivered for the Mirock.
From what I have experienced with these tools, I would recommend them without hesitation. I am hoping the acrylic blade holds up in the long run,