woodworking marking gauge

Best Mortise Marking Gauge

Anyone with much enthusiasm for woodwork would be thrilled to have a powerful mortise gauge for their activities. These tools are particular types of marking gauges that carpenters use to set marks on woods for the mortise to cut it through.

Mortise gauges have varying features and designs depending on your budget size. Most of them are made of hardwood, especially rosewood.

This guide’s purpose is to highlight the best mortise gauges to consider in the market.

Top Picks : 5 Best Mortise Gauge

Top 5 Best Mortise Gauge Reviews- 2021

Take a look at the top 5 mortise gauges for your woodwork activities. 

1. Woodworking marking gauge

Woodworking Marking Gauge, Ebony Mortise Square Gauge 6' Sliding Mark Scraper with Brass Screw Type Adjustable Head Meter Carpentry Marker Measuring Tool

If you consider high-quality tools for your intense activity, you might want to select the Woodworking marking gauge as your purchase choice. The sturdy item has different materials; wood and brass.

The wood marking gauge measures around 6.5 by 2.6 by 2.2 inches. Let us check more of its features, benefits, pros alongside cons.

Features & Benefits: 

  • Good quality tool: The item has powerful ebony and fine brass. The lightweight item has a longer lifespan. You can easily carry it around. Also, the Woodworking marking gauge has an ergonomic design structure for gripping. The tool is resistant to rust, making it a lower-maintenance mortise gauge.
  • Perfect for craft: The Woodworking marking gauge has an incredible surface for polishing. It is smooth for you to work on with your daily activities. You can easily take suitable time to do your tasks.
  • Special item: The Woodworking marking gauge has a razor-blade tip for marking your nails. It also has an enormous fixation screw that contributes to the sturdiness of the woodworking tool.
  • Multi-purpose mortise gauge: You can use the item for several purposes, including marking and scribing. It is suitable for your DIY projects. The Woodworking marking gauge has a significant adjustable component ranging from 6 MM to 100 MM. 

Pros: 

  • Higher accuracy.
  • Easy to use for your woodwork activities.
  • Cheaper marking gauge.
  • The guide has a tight lock and runs smoothly. 

Cons: 

  • Pins might be loose.
  • Its pins might have different sizes. 

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2. iGauging Mortise gauge

iGaging Mortise Gauge + Wheel Marking Gauge Micro-Adjust Precision Woodworking 1/32nd Inch & 1 mm Scale

iGauging mortise gauge gives you an excellent hairline layout over your wood grain. Its edge wheel produces awesome lines that do not rip up your wood material while marking.

Some of its features include:

Features & Benefits:

  • Unique design: The 7.2-ounce tool has an effective structure that is suitable for a single operation. It has a balanced experience with a brass head of a 6″ steel shaft.
  • Multi-purpose tool: You can use it as a depth gauge. It is most suitable for faster measurements.
  • Perfect structure: The item has a brass-made body with a knurled lockout. Also, it has one millimeter, or a 1/32 inch graduated measurement for a quick reference.
  • Adjustable feature: The iGauging mortise gauge has a fine tiny adjustable feature. You can set different widths when doing the marking. You can loosen the set screws and make the preferred move.

Pros:

  • High-quality mortise gauge.
  • Ease to use.
  • Maximum accuracy.
  • You can easily adjust to your best requirement.
  • Higher customer satisfaction.

Cons:

  • Lacks a user manual guide.
  • The cutting wheels might be blunt.

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3. Clarke Brothers Wheel Marking Gauge

Clarke Brothers Wheel Marking Gauge - Woodworking Marking Scriber Kit With 2 Replacement Cutters - Wood Marking Tools With Graduated Inch & MM Scale - Solid Metal Bar Wood Scribe Tool For Carpenter

The most precious benefit of having the Clarke Brothers Wheel marking gauge is its time-efficient feature. You can easily complete your woodworking tasks with fewer hurdles. It is one of the best mortise gauges to include in your shopping cart.

Features & Benefits:

Maximum precision: The Clarke Brothers wheel marking gauge with a high-end wheel enables you to bring out parallel lines on the wooden material. It provides a clear indication of where to cut on the wood.

The superior graduation leaves marks on the bar that are both in imperial and metric versions. They might range from 150mm, which adds convenience to your woodworking tasks.

Durable material: The Clarke Brothers wheel marking gauge has an 8-inch lengthy graduated bar made of a solid brass and steel or aluminum alloy material. It does not support corrosion on its surface. The marking gauge has a non-marring brass face that safeguards it when not in use.

One-handed operation: It is a quick and simple to use tool for all of your woodworking activities. The exemplary cutting wheel component takes out all the fuss from your woodworking tool. The Clarke Brothers wheel marking gauge has a balanced structure that will cause fewer strains on your arms.

Pros:

  • The cutting wheel comes with maximum value.
  • Quick cutting equipment.
  • Heavy-duty wood scribe marking gauge.
  • Accurate wood cutting.
  • Worthwhile the price.
  • Attractive look.

Cons:

  • It might not be easy to see the markings.
  • It might have blunt blades.

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4. Newkiton Dovetail Jig Wheel Marking Gauge

Newkiton Dovetail Jig Wheel marking Gauge Set with 1 Bearing Wheel Cutter 1 Locked Up Wheel Cutter 1 Screwdriver

The Newkiton Dovetail Jig Wheel marking gauge comes in great handy for your woodwork projects. It has a fine thickness and ease of use feature suitable for both experienced and beginners. The item might serve as a perfect gift for the woodwork passion.

Features & Benefits:

  • Different proportion types: The Newkiton Dovetail Jig Wheel marking gauge has four different proportions suitable for both hardwood and softwood surfaces. It has the 1:5, 1:6, 1:8, and 1:10 precise sizes.
  • It also has a graduated imperial measurement range on each side of the marking gauge item. The Newkiton Dovetail Jig wheel marking gauge also has a single cutting technique making it easy to mark the wood fibers. Its material is made up of a solid sense of aluminum.
  • Multi-purpose components: The Newkiton Dovetail Jig wheel marking gauge has double cutters that might match your creative needs. One of the cutters is an 8-inch steel rod with a 1mm inch for quick referencing. On the other hand, there is the 1.57-inch diameter brass face with a gliding against your woodwork for easy marking.
  • Precise marking: The mortise gauge has an indispensable marking component and a knurled lock nut. It might be simple to form accurate dovetails for woodwork activity.

Pros:

  • Perfect design; the shaft, dovetail jig, etc.
  • Clear markings on the scales.
  • Appealing finishing and quality.
  • Highly accurate and durable.
  • Ideal for dovetail beginners.
  • Worthwhile the costs.

Cons:

  • The graduations might have less contrast.
  • The cutters might need often tightening.
  • Its blade has little sharpness.

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5. Wood Marking Gauge

Wood Marking Gauge, Stainless Steel Woodworking Marking Gauge Double Head Mortise Gauge Scriber Ruler for Carpenter Indoor Industrial Wooden Cabinet

The wood marking gauge is well-performing for woodwork tool enthusiasts. It has a relative dimension measurement of around 7.87 by 5.91 by 2.36 inches. The wood marking gauge weighs around 9.2 ounces and has red coloring surfaces.

Some of its additional features and benefits might include the following:

Features & Benefits:

  • Excellent tool: The wood marking gauge tool has a perfect surface material that you treat with oxidation. Also, it has a perfect grip that does not support wear and scratches. The item is, therefore, durable and can remain in good condition for a longer lifespan.
  • The high-quality stainless steel material is sturdy and does not get rust easily.
  • Time-efficient marking gauge: The Wood marking item is simple to handle and assures you of incredible performance. The high-end marking gauge will not take much of your time when undertaking your woodwork activities.
  • Good scaling: The wood marking gauge has a clear precision that makes it simple for maneuvering. All carpenters will die to have such a powerful tool in their workshops or homes.

Pros:

  • Good-quality tool.
  • Easy to use for beginners.

Cons:

  • Graduations might be illegible.
  • Its blades might be a bit blunt. 

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Buying Guide

mortise gauge use

Getting a mortise gauge is quite simple. You might acquire it from your local store or purchase it online. However, this task might be daunting for most beginners. They might be confused about the right features and designs to consider when purchasing a mortise gauge.

With this guide, you will get insightful information on the fundamental concepts to have at your fingertips when purchasing a mortise gauge. Take a look.

Pins vs. discs

As we earlier mentioned, mortise gauges have different designs and features. Concerning structure, some mortise gauges might have pins while others might have discs. Both structures will assist in meeting your needs.

However, discs might be a little more brittle, therefore, a shorter lifespan. They are moreover tedious to sharpen and even worse once they break.

It would be wise to get yourself a combination mortise gauge that is a hybrid of both a marking and a mortise gauge.

Costs

Depending on your budget, mortise gauges have different price tags. Some might be more expensive due to their additional features and quality, unlike others. If you are within a tight budget, you might consider purchasing a second-hand mortise gauge.

Be it a new or a used marking item, be cautious on the pins’ conditions. You might confirm if they have equal lengths for increased performance.

Features

Instrument features play crucial roles when deciding whether to purchase a mortise gauge. Some might come with a bundle of additional designs that ease the tool performance.

For instance, a modern mortise gauge might come with a removable cutter with an increased woodwork quality. Others might have already-placed independent cutters quite adjustable to set your preferred width on the wooden fibers. 

How to Use a Mortise Gauge

veritas mortise gauge

Now that you know the different factors to consider when buying a mortise gauge let us check on the different techniques on how to use one.

With the vast misleading information online, it might not be easy to get the most useful resources on handling a mortise gauge.

Some of the steps involved when using a mortise gauge might involve:

You might begin using your mortise gauge by first assembling the right tools needed, including a ruler, the mortise gauge itself, a pencil, or a chisel. Set out the gauge and plan out your measurements before estimating the dovetails.

Then, position your fence and adjust the right setting.

Curl your hand over the fence and beam. You might want to tilt the gauge and settle it on the lengthy-edged corner of the beam. It is the corner that is far distant from you.

Add some pressure on the fence to ensure a tight bond between the gauge and the wood. You can tilt the gauge towards your direction with the beam corner tightly attached to the wood.

The technique includes much pressure on the fence and beam edge. It is, therefore, less important to control the exerted pressure on the mortise gauge pin. However, you can apply less force when dealing with a softwood surface. It might leave clear marks that you easily see. Or, you might opt to employ increased pressure for a rough wood material to assist with the mark visibility.

Then, set a gauge some distance away from you. Ensure the lengthy beam edge is on the word. It would be helpful to set the gauge far away for you to see your current activities easily. Do not worry about the tilting of the pin. It will not dig much into the wood.

It might not be easy to control around when the gauge goes off at the board end. You might avoid it by halting the marking before the end of the line. You can redo the process from the other side of the board. Ensure to make a tilt on the gauge towards your direction this time.

It is quite helpful and crucial to have a light pencil mark rather than one with a denser contrast. In case you are having issues with the scribe marking, you can opt to pass your pencil through the groove. The pin sharpness entirely depends on your personal preference.

Have a firm hand and stop with the rush. The lines are critical in this activity. Creating unavoidable mistakes at this stage might affect your performance.

Before cutting out your word, ensure the measurements are ideal. It would be wise to redo the measuring several times. 

FAQs 

  • What is a mortise gauge used for?

A mortise gauge is a particular category of a marking gauge that you can use to create wood or metal work operations lines. The ultimate purpose of the gauge is to scribe lines that are perpendicular to the wood surface. Most of the involved operations are joinery and metal activities.

If you plan to use a metal surface, you might consider using a more reliable mortise gauge. Otherwise, it might be problematic to scratch a softer working surface such as normal steel. 

  • What is the difference between a marking gauge and a mortise gauge?

It is simple to confuse a marking gauge with a mortise gauge. The two items, however, have ideological differences in their designs and features. The key difference between the two items is the number of present pins. A marking gauge tends to have a single pin, unlike a mortise gauge with double pins in its structure.

With a mortise gauge, you can scribe on both sides. That is why they are sometimes called combination mortise gauges. If you fail to confirm the pin’s length, you might have more hurdles when using a mortise gauge.

  •  Do I need a mortise gauge?

It is not a must to have a mortise gauge. However, if you actively spend hours on woodwork activities, it would be best to get yourself at least a single mortise gauge. It is a suitable option to include in your toolbox.

Or, you can use a marking gauge as an alternative solution over a mortise gauge. The tool will still bring out the marks on your wood surface. It has a chisel component that measures the width. 

  • How do you set up a mortise gauge?

Sometimes, it might not be easy to set up a mortise gauge for beginners in their first projects. Setting up a mortise gauge is quite simple. The initial step is to make holes and to adjust your twin pins or the tips.

You can then lock your screw for the pin to have a tight grip. The next step is to position your gauge on the wood surface and make accurate estimates of the pins’ length.

You can then apply little pressure on the wood fiber pins after getting an accurate preferred adjustment. Try the exercise on both sides to ensure the markings come out well. You can assess the pins centering position on the gauge to ensure a higher performance. 

  • What are the types of gauges used in carpentry?

There is a pool of various options when it comes to carpentry. They might include panel gauges, wheel marking gauges alongside the cutting gauges.

A panel gauge is a lengthy carpentry gauge with a beam feature. With this gauge, you can move to several feet depending on your woodwork project. One of the primary use of a panel gauge is to scribe wood boards to the precise widths.

Conversely, a cutting gauge is a unique carpentry tool with a knife instead of a pin when making marks on the working board. Most individuals prefer it when undertaking bigger projects. In contrast, a wheel marking gauge is a modern design with a metal rod and a ring. It is more expensive and higher performing than the cutting gauge. 

Conclusion

Mortise gauges are the go-to equipment for carpenters and individuals passionate about woodwork activities. They bring out your marking lines effectively with much precision before cutting out your wood surface.

With the diverse options of mortise gauges, it might be difficult for a beginner to select the smart solution during purchase. The guide has detailed out a useful piece of information to help you through with your purchasing decision.

One of the best mortise gauges is the Woodworking marking gauge tool, with vast benefits and features to meet your design needs. A beginner might consider it a bucket list item to enjoy its ease of use and increased quality. Also, the article has laid out a solid buying guide and step-by-step procedure on mortise gauges.

You can now comfortably purchase and set up your mortise gauge. Get your favorite mortise gauge and go on with what you love.

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