Updated August 22, 2019 by Rafael Perez

The 6 Best Marking Gauges

video play icon
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive

This wiki has been updated 9 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 picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best marking gauge on Amazon.

6. Red Oak Tools 105

5. Bora Footprint Series 1876

4. Woodriver 154340W

3. Crown Hand Tools 143

2. Rockler 26452045

1. Crown Hand Tools 154

Editor's Notes

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.


Rafael Perez
Last updated on August 22, 2019 by Rafael Perez

Rafael Perez is a doctoral candidate in philosophy at the University of Rochester. His primary focus is the metaphysics of time and the philosophy of mind, with a particular interest in artificial intelligence and antirepresentational models of the mind. He has extensive experience as a mechanic, a construction worker, and a general repairman. This has allowed him to gather a wealth of knowledge on automobile repair, auto parts, carpentry, masonry, welding, and the tools used in those trades. In his spare time, he enjoys playing guitar, woodworking, and fishing.


Thanks for reading the fine print. About the Wiki: We don't accept sponsorships, free goods, samples, promotional products, or other benefits from any of the product brands featured on this page, except in cases where those brands are manufactured by the retailer to which we are linking. For our full ranking methodology, please read about us, linked below. The Wiki is a participant in associate programs from Amazon, Walmart, Ebay, Target, and others, and may earn advertising fees when you use our links to these websites. These fees will not increase your purchase price, which will be the same as any direct visitor to the merchant’s website. If you believe that your product should be included in this review, you may contact us, but we cannot guarantee a response, even if you send us flowers.