The 6 Best Marking Gauges
This wiki has been updated 12 times since it was first published in August of 2019. Marking gauges are woodworking tools that are used to lay out lines parallel to a flat surface to help indicate where material needs to be cut out. They consist of a long beam, a headpiece, a locking screw, and a scribing instrument, such as a knife, a pin, or a wheel. Our selections include a variety of high-quality models that may be used for many different styles of joinery. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best marking gauge on Amazon.
August 21, 2019:
Marking gauges are an essential tool for woodworking that cut down on prep time. Laying out cuts can be time consuming and getting it wrong may be devastating when working on hundred-dollar pieces of lumber. I personally enjoy wheel-style marking gauges like the Rockler 26452045 over the cumbersome pin-style because it is quicker to operate, and the pin-style gauges will often not come with scales. I've used the Rockler gauge for many years and have no complaints. The scale doesn't fade, it is easy to adjust, and the wheel is still sharp enough to mark hardwoods across the grain (I don't think wheels need to be knife sharp). However, double-pin gauges like the Crown Hand Tools 154 are much more useful for laying out mortises than wheel-style gauges, particularly if you're cutting a lot of them and don't have to adjust the pins. If you're laying out tenons, I find the wheel-type gauges a better option because they allow for quicker depth changes.
Working on wood creates fine particles that are harmful if inhaled. Remember to use proper breathing protection to avoid health complications.