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After watching a video of FWW contributor and world renowned hand plane expert Garrett Hack use a digital angle box to set the angle on a blade honing jig I'm starting to see more uses for these than just making sure I get my saw blade and jointer fence back to 90*. Are there any that are significantly better than others or ones to stay away from? There are a lot of them on the market now and a considerable difference in prices from the Chinese no-name ones up to Tiltbox. Wixey, and the Igaging one.
 

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I don't see any point getting something other than a Wixey. They are so cheap that saving a couple of bucks seems kind of silly to risk on no-name Chinesium. Backlights are good but suck power. Definitely get one that takes AAA batteries. While 2032s are nice an small, they are still expensive and a lot less common than good ol AAAs.
 

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After watching a video of FWW contributor and world renowned hand plane expert Garrett Hack use a digital angle box to set the angle on a blade honing jig I'm starting to see more uses for these than just making sure I get my saw blade and jointer fence back to 90*. Are there any that are significantly better than others or ones to stay away from? There are a lot of them on the market now and a considerable difference in prices from the Chinese no-name ones up to Tiltbox. Wixey, and the Igaging one.
I had the Wixey...
gave it away to somebody I didn't think much of...
besides the short battery life it was sensitive to vibration making the numbers fluctuate..
replaced it w/ a Tiltbox...
all is good now...
no regrets...
 

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Theo
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After watching a video of FWW contributor and world renowned hand plane expert Garrett Hack use a digital angle box to set the angle on a blade honing jig I'm starting to see more uses for these than just making sure I get my saw blade and jointer fence back to 90*.
Always has to be someone different. I haven't sharpened a plane blade in I don't know how long. Because I have not been using planes in what I do just now. But were I to start sharpening them again, I would likely not buy anything. Instead, I would make a cutom blade honing jig for each plane, with the exact angle for that particular plane. Would take some time maybe to get one totally accurate, but after that it would be accurate, with no adjustment needed, just put the correct blade for that jig, and have at it. Then I'd use ScarySharp. It's just more fun, making stuff if you can, rather than buying.

I'd also write on the jig, what particular blade it is for, blade angle (in case I had to make another, later), and any other info I think I may need later.
 
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hard to beat these...

 

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I use the Wixey several times each week for all sorts of things. Mine has two AAA batteries and I can't recall when I last changed them - 3 years ago, maybe? And I have a Wixey DRO on my drum sander so place me firmly in the Wixey camp.

David
 

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Theo- the plane blade setting was just an example. If I needed to drill a hole on my drill press at an angle one of those gauges could be handy to confirm the angle since the scale on the table isn't reliable in my opinion. Same goes for tilting a bandsaw or setting up something on my milling machine. I wasn't asking if you thought I really needed one but whether there is any real differences in quality.

The battery issue is a consideration but like Dan I tend to buy ones like that 10 at a time carded in blister packs. Way cheaper. My range hood uses a very small halogen and when one blew at about the one year mark I looked at buying a blister 2 pack and then got 20 of them for less money on ebay. Replaced the one and haven't needed another in the 3 or 4 years since. But I'm ready when it happens.

Anything like a Wixey or Tiltbox I'll probably have to order since the only options locally are probably the same as the Chinese knockoffs. I've looked at the specs among all of them for accuracy and they are all identical so I'm betting there is only one chip manufacturer that they all use.
 
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I've used mine to set the angle of the table relative to the belt on my Ridgid oscillating belt sander as well on the TS and to confirm that my DP table is perpendicular to the drill bit. Like David's approach, I like the one on my belt sander as well.

Guess I'm Wixey fan as well My first one died because of battery leakage. My bad.
 

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Before you buy determine the level of accuracy you want.
IIRC the IGaging is .002 &(don't hold me to this) but the readout is in 2's.

I have the IGaging{9 volt battery} & went & bot a different brand (tavool){2 AAA batteries} to get a claimed higher degree of accuracy.

You'll also find that IGaging has magnets on 3 sides (at least mine does) and most of the competition has magnets on 2 sides.

Then you get into back lighting, rotation of display, battery & associated battery life, etc., etc.

Choose wisely Danielson!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Choose wisely Danielson!!!
That's the reason I'm asking. I know lots of you guys have them already and for long enough to find the problems out. You know the old rule- you never buy a brand new model. You wait a year or two and see what the problems are with them. I appreciate all the feedback.
 

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I have the Wixley that has relative level and absolute level with a flip up screen. The little things works great. I also have the Wixley DRO on my Dewalt 735 planner. I have a couple of other digital height devices and all work fine. They all bring my accuracy up to another level. I have seen some of the generic ones on Amazon and probably all have the same mechanisms inside. Look for the features like both absolute level and relative. Just relative works but sometimes you want to know absolute level.
 

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New Wixies run on two AAA batteries. The older ones ran on the flat battery, which in every other digital gauge I've owned died in a week or so, whether or not they were turned off.

The backlight on the new Wixies is very helpful. I used to have a digital level gauge the operated without setting the zero, but it has disappeared.
 

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Always has to be someone different. I haven't sharpened a plane blade in I don't know how long. Because I have not been using planes in what I do just now. But were I to start sharpening them again, I would likely not buy anything. Instead, I would make a cutom blade honing jig for each plane, with the exact angle for that particular plane. Would take some time maybe to get one totally accurate, but after that it would be accurate, with no adjustment needed, just put the correct blade for that jig, and have at it. Then I'd use ScarySharp. It's just more fun, making stuff if you can, rather than buying.

I'd also write on the jig, what particular blade it is for, blade angle (in case I had to make another, later), and any other info I think I may need later.
Here's one idea for a DIY honing guide, easy and cheap enough that you could make one for each blade. One downside to this particular idea is that the angle depends on the projection of the blade past the front of the jig - I've added a second article, actually showing making a jig for honing a skew chisel, that would be an improvement on this idea as setting the blade in the groove until the bevel touches the sandpaper and then clamping down would set the correct honing angle. The idea of gluing a piece of sandpaper to a block of MDF actually seems like a pretty good (and low cost) idea - cut the MDF, and the sandpaper in 3" strips to get the most economical use out of a sheet of sandpaper, and the cost is low enough that you could have a number of blocks set up with varying grades of paper.
 

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