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Does not do its only job!

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Review by Cole Tallerman posted 05-20-2013 01:12 PM 3070 views 0 times favorited 45 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Does not do its only job! No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

So let me start off by saying I was really excited to get this on sale for $20. I had been wanting the wixey but no local stores had it so it would have been $35+shipping. Out of the box this thing feels really good. Its nice and heavy, and it feels of good quality. I popped it out and turned it on. I set it on the Cast iron of the table saw a few inches from the blade, hit the “calibrate” button and placed it on the blade. I was really impressed on how the measurement changed as I gave 1/32 of a turn on the hand wheel. So i was really happy about this new gauge as I really dont have any accurate means of measuring angles. I was excited, so I went to go make a mitered box out of some walnut, and for some reason, the corners weren’t even close to lining up. I checked and rechecked everything and it seemed fine but I still couldnt get it. I gave up, and i made a cutting board. Thats when I realized that the strips weren’t even close to square! The gauge had me off by a visual 3 degrees! after playing around with it I still couldn’t get an accurate reading from it and there was nothing to be done.

I guess it makes a cool looking $20 paperweight.




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Cole Tallerman

392 posts in 935 days



45 comments so far

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2399 days


#1 posted 05-20-2013 01:31 PM

thanks for the review. I have a few things to say about these gadgets in regards to woodworking:

1. Generally speaking – you get what you pay for. in some cases, the cut corners are not a necessity, so the savings are actually legitimate, in other cases, it really isn’t worth the trouble.

2. For woodworking, I rarely rely on numbers and measurements. I find that gauges and fixtures are KING! I use the dials and measurements just as a rough estimation to get me close enough, but then run a few test cuts to sneak up on the actual angle/size. that’s how you can make gauges and fixtures that you can then use to setup your machines for a 1-cut operation without fussing with dials, numbers and has anything changed in the universe that can throw you off.

3. to be specific to your case – maybe you got a lemon? HF has a good return/exchange policy – I would use that to get a unit that worked , or return it for a refund.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

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Blackie_

3661 posts in 1263 days


#2 posted 05-20-2013 01:48 PM

Anything that has to do with precision, I found out a long time ago not to buy cheap and certainly not from HF. I’ve already been up this road with HF and no longer but that doesn’t discourage me from buying HF I am selective on what I buy as they do have needy things. That being said I do have the Wixey and its awesome

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at http://www.facebook.com/randy.blackstock.custom.wood.designs

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

11534 posts in 1440 days


#3 posted 05-20-2013 02:17 PM

I assume you zeroed it on the saw table before you put it on your blade? If so, take it back and try another. I have the Wixey from Woodcraft. Very worthwhile and cost about the same as the HF model (on sale).

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

4506 posts in 1130 days


#4 posted 05-20-2013 02:19 PM

I’ve been wanting a Wixey but after reading a lot of reviews on it and similar products it seems like they have about the same failure rate. Take yours back and try another, might get lucky.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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PurpLev

8476 posts in 2399 days


#5 posted 05-20-2013 02:40 PM

from what I read – they all share similar fault rates, makes me believe they are all made to similar specs…

as for the ”Anything that has to do with precision, I found out a long time ago not to buy cheap and certainly not from HF. ” quote – I have to agree but not entirely. Precision wise, I have found many lower-cost alternatives that offer just as precise results as the higher cost options. they usually just don’t work as smoothly (machining at lower qualities), but that does not affect their output. To add to that, HF has a fantastic digital micrometer that offers ridiculous precision and works great at an insane low cost. it may not last as long as a starrett I’ll give it that, but it is doesn’t lack any precision of functionality. do your homework, and get what works best for you, but know the options, and know the limitations of each.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View poopiekat's profile

poopiekat

3735 posts in 2485 days


#6 posted 05-20-2013 02:55 PM

Harbor Freight preys on its trusting customers, like a circus side show barking to the rubes who pay money to see a ’man-eating chicken’.

I don’t see how such a device can EVER be used satisfactorily on a table saw blade. How do you ensure that the body of this tool is perfectly perpendicular to the table top? you can’t, unless you have a second DAF to calibrate the first.

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112932 posts in 2327 days


#7 posted 05-20-2013 03:05 PM

purchasing from Hf is a hit and miss process. Here’s the low cost way to set your blade at 45 Degrees. Thanks for the review.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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poopiekat

3735 posts in 2485 days


#8 posted 05-20-2013 03:07 PM

@aiJim: Ummm, that’s a 30-60-90 degree triangle you posted. It won’t help him, bud!

Jim’s triangle^

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

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a1Jim

112932 posts in 2327 days


#9 posted 05-20-2013 03:11 PM

As Roy Underhill says”well you get the Idea” LOL

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View poopiekat's profile

poopiekat

3735 posts in 2485 days


#10 posted 05-20-2013 03:13 PM

Ok, but I don’t conduct woodworking classes….YOU do.

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View YanktonSD's profile

YanktonSD

190 posts in 1282 days


#11 posted 05-20-2013 03:37 PM

ok that was to funny. not to laugh at you but we all do make mistakes.

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

4506 posts in 1130 days


#12 posted 05-20-2013 03:41 PM

Inexpensive digital calipers are another item that are mass produced nearly identically and sold by a variety of companies. From my reading it appears all of them below the price of a Mitutoyo are the same other than maybe a facelift and have about the same features, problems, and failure/error rate. For products like that, you might as well buy the HF model which will be exactly the same as one costing 3 or 4 times as much. If you really need a good one then you have to shell out the $115+ for a Mitutoyo, B&S, or Starrett.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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ic3ss

262 posts in 1527 days


#13 posted 05-20-2013 03:57 PM

I bought the Wixey a couple of years ago and what I found is not that different from your HF one. The big problem with these electonic angle finders is that they are just not reliable without double checking with a square. Afer calibrating it and setting my blade with Wixey to either 45 or 0, when I check with a triangle and a square they both show an error big wnough to put a several thousandth feeler gage through, but sometimes the error is not bad and sometimes it’s dead on. If youre doing precision work, you have to do a precision setup. Garbage in, garbage out.

I set mine on a shelf the day I bought it and never used it again.

Wayne

-- "I am endeavoring, ma'am, to construct a mnemonic memory circuit using stone knives and bear skins."

View oldnovice's profile

oldnovice

3869 posts in 2118 days


#14 posted 05-20-2013 04:05 PM

I have a Mitutoyo digital calipers (given to me by a former colleague) and I really like it. I also have one from iGaging but it’s battery life sucks. I have a dial type and a vernier version from my uncle in Germany.

I use the vernier model the most as it has fewer things that can go wrong with it and it’s from my uncle!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View don1960's profile

don1960

214 posts in 1437 days


#15 posted 05-20-2013 04:48 PM

Gotta weigh in here about accuracy with tools bought nowadays.

I’ve been in the Tool & Die business for over 40 years. Watched reputable measurement companies (Mitotoyo, Starrett, Brown & Sharpe, etc go downhill for years. Used to be, you ordered Starrett micrometers as the standard. Never even thought about them being inaccurate. The last five years, we have a 95% failure rate on Starrett tools unless you ask for certification papers with them, and even then, 1 out of 10 are useless. Damn shame.

It’s an epidemic in every industry. I think. 40 years ago, I bought my first 6” dial calipers. Paid, if I remember correctly, $45 for them. That’s what, something like $200 in todays money. Nobody wants to pay that now, so we get crap. It’s getting hard to buy quality, even if your willing to pay for it.

OK, rant over….

I have one of the Wixey digital angle gages, and I’ll try to remember to bring it in to the shop tomorrow and check it out at various angles. I didn’t bother when I got it, as it seems pretty good, but it will be interesting to see how it performs where it can be measured.

Oh, and as far as HF, one of their must have tools is the 4 sided diamond block they sell. It’s what I use to sharpen all my Kitchen knives. (ok, not woodworking, but it is a good product, and really cheap)
http://www.harborfreight.com/4-sided-diamond-hone-block-92867.html

-- -- Don from PA

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