Table Saw 101– Digital Angle Gauges— How To Woodworking

Table Saw 101– Digital Angle Gauges— How To Woodworking

Why I don’t like to rely on digital angle gauges with my woodworking tools. I explain when and where I use these gauges, and what you should use to properly align your blades and fences.

Woodpecker square:
Multi-angle gauge:


  1. Nicolas Simard on May 24, 2023 at 11:42 am

    The only thing you convinced me, was to buy that so expensive but oh so great looking Woodpecker square ! Thanks for that video 👍

  2. UncleSarkis on May 24, 2023 at 11:43 am

    When making an end grain cutting board that half a degree can really make a difference.

  3. PhotographybyVincent on May 24, 2023 at 11:47 am

    Works by gravity, need to be sure your table is perfectly level.

  4. Miles McGrew Woodworking on May 24, 2023 at 11:50 am

    I think the digital gauges are a good step up over a a Home Depot square, within a reasonable price. They are what, $30, give or take? The vast majority of us, if we are just at the point of upgrading from a home store square, aren’t about to drop bank on a Woodpecker, yet. Hell, I have been selling stuff for 2yrs and my "nicest" measuring tools are a 6in PEC blem combo square, and an iGaging digital gauge. I don’t have a jointer, and have to do all my edge jointing with the table saw, or router, though mostly the table saw, and honestly I have never had any serious issues gluing up panels. One day I will get high end measuring stuff, but I think it is a bit much to discourage people from using them, given that most of your viewers are likely people who have jobsite saws, and other tools where getting high end accuracy, that even stays put, is going to be a struggle with, or without, a Woodpecker square.

    My recommendation is to buy an angle gauge until you are at a point where you are serious enough, or rich enough, to buy a Woodpeckers square. The gauges are better than cheap squares, of that I have no doubt from my own experience.

  5. Morokei Boethia on May 24, 2023 at 11:50 am

    I bought the Klein digital level (the newer model). My Klein digital level has been very accurate, however if I use it to calibrate my bevel angle on my 12" Ridgid miter saw (blade : saw table) it matters where and which side of the blade you attach the level to using the magnets on the level. Always attach your dig level as close to the center of the blade as possible. The weight of the level makes the blade tilt slightly if you put it near the edge of the blade. If you keep it very close to the center the blade won’t move tilt due to the weight of the level. On my saw if I attach it to the right side of the blade it causes the blade to tilt no matter where I attach it and I get a bad reading. If I attach it to the left side of the blade and near the center as possible, I get a steady reading and then I use the set screw to fine tune my bevel to 0.0. If I attach the level to the left side of the blade after I get it locked down, it will read 0.0 but if I attach it to the right side of the blade, for some reason the blade can tilt from the weight of the level and it will read 0.1-0.2 – no matter where I put the level so you just have to figure out where the steady spot is on your blade.

  6. Lawrence Beckner on May 24, 2023 at 11:50 am

    You don’t need to buy expensive squares. You just need to know someone who has one that you can compare your cheap squares to. I found that 2 of my harbor freight squares are dead on.

  7. edwin pante on May 24, 2023 at 11:53 am

    Thanks for the info.accurate square like starret and woodpecker is more reliable.or its the incinimeter your using?are all incinometer same?

  8. Billy Smether on May 24, 2023 at 11:56 am

    It’s hard to use a right angle gauge on those table saw inserts and get a good measurement. Been using the digital now and happy with it.

  9. Shawn Murray on May 24, 2023 at 12:00 pm

    Good info but… even 0.2 degrees is more than accurate enough for all but advanced hobbyist, semi-pro, & professional wood workers on small parts.

    For the most part, digital gauges are not generally used to find 90 degrees… but are generally used as a more accurate angle guide for table saw / miter saw where an in-between angle is needed. Some digital gauges claim an accuracy rating of +/- 0.1 degrees and there’s also a digital angle gauge that claims an accuracy of +/- 0.05 degrees DXL360. However, for the price difference & what I need, 0.2 degrees off is fine.

  10. David on May 24, 2023 at 12:00 pm

    There are other paths to accuracy for less money. I agree 100% with your assessment of the digital angle finder. In fact, mine is not even square from the bottom to the sides of the case, further complication accuracy. Mine is also very slow to respond near 0°/90°. The Kinex flat machinist squares from Taylor Tools ( are machined on all surfaces and are about 0.2" thick. They’re available in two levels of precision based on the German/European DIN standards and they’re far more affordable than Woodpecker or Starret. They don’t have all of the nice features of the Woodpecker squares but they’re accurate.

    I’m just an intermediate woodworker. I also do metal working that requires better precision. I found that when I got better squares and started refining the setup of my woodworking tools with them the quality of work improved without any changes in the process. Every saw, fence, miter gauge and sander should be checked and refined with a good square. "Magically," all four corners of a drawer now touch a flat surface. No, 0.2° is not close enough for cabinets, drawers and fine joinery because the errors compound.

  11. Jarrett Clemons on May 24, 2023 at 12:00 pm

    Doesn’t it matter if your Table Saw/ jointer is level

  12. ME First on May 24, 2023 at 12:01 pm


  13. Teddy R on May 24, 2023 at 12:03 pm

    Ditch that digital angle gauge. There are other brands that has better precision, down to 0.09 or better. Yes, I checked. And even at 0.1 swing either way, it’s good enough for me.

  14. unknow mysteries on May 24, 2023 at 12:04 pm

    New to wood working period. I don’t understand use on angle you won’t notice. But glued edges etc. I’m not understanding the difference. Would it be the same result?

  15. James Lund on May 24, 2023 at 12:04 pm

    Like I heard somewhere, good enough for the girls I hang out with.

  16. Zach Eiriksson on May 24, 2023 at 12:04 pm

    For all those woodpecker squares you could of got much cheaper much more accurate machinist squares lol

  17. coplini on May 24, 2023 at 12:05 pm

    Square is one of the most important aspects of building anything. Knowing your tools and having confidence in them is the basis on which consistency is built. 1 in 5 is not good enough for me but it may be for others. If that is the case keep filling your joints with epoxy and glue.

  18. D A on May 24, 2023 at 12:06 pm

    Did you assume zero runout of the blade? Did you re-cal gauge to table and was the square set in the same spot on the table? Do you believe one square is perfect or if two agree both are perfect? The accuracy of gauge is .1 degrees at 90, not .2. Is any of your wood perfectly straight such that less than perfect 90 matters?

  19. purrungas2012 on May 24, 2023 at 12:07 pm

    What if you would use the square to calibrate the angle finder? Lots of these videos they zero off the angle finder" from any table or window without a good reference point…

  20. Capt I on May 24, 2023 at 12:08 pm

    Inexpensive and very accurate solution: For my table saw, to set 90 deg, you don’t need either expensive squares or electronic gauges. I use 2 pieces of hardboard that are laminated to 3 layers thick to provide dimensional stability. They are dimensioned 14” x the max cutting height of my blade (on an old 10” Unisaw). Importantly, mark them to keep track of the orientation of each. Using your bevel gauge, run them through the saw to just lightly trim one end at full blade height. Key point here is to gang cut them. The test of square is to then place each piece with the cut ends on a clean, flat surface, and orient them with the edges that were down on the table saw are against each other. This doubles the error. Backlight it. If there is a gap at the top, you need to move your blade counterclockwise, and vice-versa. You can get it within a couple of thousands of an inch over the length of the pieces which is very good for precision woodworking. Replace the boards when they eventually get down to about 12” long. …. for the jointer, square really doesn’t matter if you run your project boards through such that you have the top face of one board against the jointer fence and the top face of the other is away. The angle inaccuracy cancels out on the glueup. You do, however, need to keep track of what piece was oriented which way. That being said, I do keep mine as close to square as I can get! …. For 45 deg on the table saw, you can do something similar and check against a good square to see how close you are to making 90 deg with the cut faces against each other. That’s essentially a test cut which you should do anyway. …. BTW, I do have Starrett squares (12” and 6”) as well as an electronic gauge and I totally agree with your comments!!!

  21. ME First on May 24, 2023 at 12:08 pm


  22. John App on May 24, 2023 at 12:12 pm

    Thanks for your comments about digital gauge mediocre accuracy. I’ve been annoyed with them as I require 90 degree accuracy for most of my work and find that I am daily checking my table saw for 90 degrees. I thought these digital gauges would make life easier ( I’ve tried 3 different brands) but they just frustrate the heck out of me instead. I thought it was me and learned that inexpensive ones just can’t deliver

  23. Bob Weiram on May 24, 2023 at 12:14 pm

    Wood is NOT dimensionally stable! It is constantly changing its dimensions due to humidity and temperature. Many wood species can be easily compress by a few thousands just using finger pressure. There’s no point in trying to achieve anything better than 0.2.

  24. Prince Prince on May 24, 2023 at 12:16 pm

    its just amazing to me with all the tech we have no one can manufacture a perfectly straight square.

  25. Evrain Brandigan on May 24, 2023 at 12:16 pm

    So, basically, 3:44 to tell what even a novice woodworker like me can quickly realise: digital angle gauges come into play when the bevel is NOT your average 45/90° but an arbitrary one – else, I could just use one of the random, precise and boringly cheap squares one can find around.
    There’s little use for an oh-so-cool-and-bloody-expensive super perfect Woodpeckers square if your angle is not 90°…

  26. Nicolas Landry on May 24, 2023 at 12:17 pm

    The words "good enough" make me cringe when applied to woodworking. Having said that, all of my tools were passes down from my father and/or his father (yes I need to invest). I wholly agree with the scientist who recommended understanding the variance and accurately compensating for it.

    As a general rule, I trust mechanical tools over digital tools.

  27. oned4metwo on May 24, 2023 at 12:17 pm

    This comment might bump the algorithm a bit. I was taught to use the edge of the blade on my square instead the of flat part of the blade. Turning the square at a slight angle gives you a finer line to visually inspect better.

  28. Philip Catuogno on May 24, 2023 at 12:18 pm

    @1:48, there is a gap at the bottom with the Woodpecker(?)

  29. MrKockabilly on May 24, 2023 at 12:19 pm

    Digital gauge maybe accurate but the problem may be its small footprint that attaches to the fence. Any specks or a slight wave on the surface could have more dramatic effect on it compared to a foot-long square that "sees" the whole length.

  30. Hunedog on May 24, 2023 at 12:20 pm

    In all honesty, if I ever get to the level of woodworking where this is an issue, I’ll be happy.

  31. Gino Asci on May 24, 2023 at 12:23 pm

    what you say is spot on. it depends on what you’re doing.
    excellent video

  32. ClayOgre on May 24, 2023 at 12:26 pm

    I’ve heard the Wixey can have accuracy issues, so I got a Beall Tiltbox, which claims to be more accurate. Alas, I haven’t used it much, but the few times I have, it seems to do pretty good. I also recently acquired a cheap set of WEN angle blocks, which I haven’t had a chance to use, but those are another alternative to the digital gages/precision squares. My main reason for wanting these is to be able to cut oddball angles for things like stave construction or segmented turning.

  33. jon be on May 24, 2023 at 12:29 pm

    From an engineering perspective this test (demonstration) was completely useless. Stick to woodworking youre good at that.

  34. John Ryan on May 24, 2023 at 12:30 pm

    Thanks, very good video.

  35. Victor Hunsaker on May 24, 2023 at 12:30 pm

    Coffee table for give away. Also really like the change up of wood. Do you think cedar wood for a table wood look good?

  36. UncleBob on May 24, 2023 at 12:32 pm

    Agree that digital angle gauges are not that accurate. You used two tools that I am very familiar with – Starette has been around a l on g time. Learned about them from an old Master Tool & Die maker that built 16” cannon barrels for battleships in the 30’s and 40’s.

  37. Franco Stacy on May 24, 2023 at 12:33 pm

    I would do it as you as well, but even squares made out of metal with high prices have a tolerance, just like the digital meter. I used to work with navy metcal and we checked for calibration of squares and flat guides that were made out of metal or solid surface or stone. Those items had to be checked on a regular basis, the cal cycle depended on the type, manufacturer and was based on historical data, so nothing is in cal one time and never needs checked again and everything comes with tolerances. Tight tolerance means more money so its efficient to determine how much you need or how much variance your project can tolerate. I would ask, if your cheap square is always matching your expensive square, then why did you purchase it?…and as others noted, it appears like there were some light showing through the squares and then we must ask, are our eyes calibrated LOL

  38. Michael Gallagher on May 24, 2023 at 12:33 pm

    Isn’t this an add for woodpecker square and nothing to do with digital angle gauges

  39. Ping Pong on May 24, 2023 at 12:33 pm

    I bought a cheap Chinese knock off – it was TERRIBLE… you couldn’t even ZERO it fully – it would go to 0.10 degrees at best and if I put it on a regular 2 ft level, I could move it 1/4 inch and it would give me a totally off reading… I really need to try a high quality one with a +/- 0.01 accuracy.

  40. Mustafa Naser on May 24, 2023 at 12:34 pm

    Thank you .. your explanation very good especially as you write some sentences when you speak. 👍👍👍

  41. jactac on May 24, 2023 at 12:34 pm

    The instruction manual clearly states to calibrate the tool every few occasions, you trials did not show if you calibrate before or during the trials !

  42. my dream on May 24, 2023 at 12:35 pm


  43. Mariano _ on May 24, 2023 at 12:36 pm

    You need to reformulate this video. It’s misleading. You can see there’s a gap at 1:46 at the bottom part of the red square. So the reading from the digital protractor is actually close to accurate. That fence is leaning into the table. After your correction the digital tool shows a closer to square number and the squares show no gap…

  44. Alastair Wernham on May 24, 2023 at 12:36 pm

    Just out of interest, did you calibrate yours before you took the 90 deg measurement? You didn’t say in your video. On my one, it says that before you (say) want to check an angle, you should firstly calibrate it to the horizontal surface you’ll be measuring off and zero the device. You then need to turn it through 180 degrees. Only after this is done should you then check check an angle.

  45. Tomeka Pompey on May 24, 2023 at 12:37 pm

    Woodglut scripts contain most of the woodworking plans you can find.

  46. chris johnson on May 24, 2023 at 12:38 pm

    Depends. Coming from an engineer, .2° varies quite a bit depending on the thickness of the wood you are cutting.

  47. MPart on May 24, 2023 at 12:38 pm

    Hmm, as a retired scientist/engineer we were always taught to know -and use- your measurements appropriately; and this includes the math of using them. So … you make a good point here. I would want precision in making fine furniture, esp. glue joints for sure. As my father always said People may no see everything but they will notice so do your best and pay attention to the details. Question: Do you calibrate your $500 squares often ? (butt 2 together or flip one against itself?) Take care🙏 -Mike
    p.s. I’m on a quest to enter your 1 Million Subscriber giveaway. hehe
    p.p.s I saw this vid and having just bought a used 10" contractor saw set up as a 4′ cabinet saw I was cosidering a digital angle gauge … a woodturner doesn’t need too great a precision in a table saw !!

  48. Mike Liles on May 24, 2023 at 12:39 pm

    Bought a set of "machinist squares and a one I from Lowes. The one from Lowes was more accurate than the machinist Square. The Digital one I have reads spot on with Lowes. I guess a blind hog get an Acorn every now and then.

  49. Minds Eye productions on May 24, 2023 at 12:39 pm

    I must giggle to myself when metal working accuracy is implemented in woodworking. John Cobb and William Vile and the like are just rolling in their graves. When more emphasis is placed in the tools rather than than the makers wisdom and skills and their final product being released.

  50. Unie Cintia on May 24, 2023 at 12:40 pm

    *Just completed a big trim project on my house **MyBest.Tools** Performed very well. Also appreciate how easy it is to move, set up and store with the integrated stand. No more cutting wood on my knees.*

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