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Solid on the outside, issues with accuracy and precision

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Review by Woodknack posted 04-14-2015 03:50 AM 3938 views 0 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Solid on the outside, issues with accuracy and precision Solid on the outside, issues with accuracy and precision No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

From the outside in … The packaging was attractive and consistent with other products sold by iGaging (makes no difference but shows the company takes some pride in their products). Inside the retail box was a sturdy white cardboard box that contained the inclinometer, a nice storage pouch, the instructions, a 9V battery, and a tiny screwdriver. I expected the AccuRemote to be made of plastic but it’s actually a cast metal, possibly zinc, quite sturdy and heavier than expected. The battery compartment is accessed by removing four dinky Phillips screws that jump to the magnets as you pull them out, an unintended but welcome feature as they would be super easy to lose and very difficult to find. The dinky screws + battery cover are too 1970’s for me, there are better ways to cover a battery but including the screwdriver was a nice touch.

The inclinometer was easy to use, I didn’t bother with instructions. I spent awhile measuring angles everywhere then going around checking the machines in my shop. I tried testing for accuracy the same way you would test a level, by flipping it 180 degrees, but got inconsistent results. According to this, after setting my table saw blade with an engineer square, I was 0.20 of a degree out. So pretty close but if this thing is accurate then it’s nice to get that extra precision especially when cutting miters or segments for turning. My miter saw was dead on perpendicular, as I believed. My band saw was off .5 degree which I suspected.

It turned out, the case is not square to the bottom on all sides. So if you zero the device then turn it on it’s side, it should read 90 degrees. The left side read 90 degrees, the right side read 89.70 degrees. Since I have a right tilt saw and would be using the bottom and right sides most often, being off by .30 degrees would just be annoying. I was also bothered that rotating the device 180 degrees does not give the same or reciprocal reading. And I had issues with precision (repeatability) when the daytime temperature was under 60 degrees Fahrenheit. So I sent the inclinometer back to Amazon. Based on the many reviews of this and similar products like the Wixey, I believe it is luck of the draw whether you get an instrument that is accurate and precise. The Wixey and other brands under $50 all have similar negative reviews, and many positive reviews. So I wouldn’t say iGaging makes poor instruments, just that digital inclinometers in this price range suffer poor quality control. The summary is I can not recommend for or against the product.

-- Rick M, http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/




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Woodknack

12373 posts in 2529 days



14 comments so far

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Rob

704 posts in 3220 days


#1 posted 04-14-2015 05:09 AM

Thanks for the review! I was looking at the Wixey Type 1 and Type 2 digital angle gauges a month or two ago and decided to pass. Apparently the Type 2 is accelerometer-based and is no more accurate or precise than a smartphone app. The Type 1 is more accurate and more precise, but it is “always reading” even when the display is off, so it depletes its battery every 6 mos. or so regardless of whether you use it.

-- Ask an expert or be the expert - http://woodworking.stackexchange.com

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Tennessee

2880 posts in 2664 days


#2 posted 04-14-2015 12:17 PM

That also seems to be the problem with my HF that I bought. Seems highly accurate, but also seems to be measuring even when the unit is off, and it is a battery hog.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

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doubleDD

7710 posts in 2193 days


#3 posted 04-14-2015 12:46 PM

You are right about these. You can check the accuracy 5 times in a row and get a different reading. I wish I had checked this when I first purchased it.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

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WoodNSawdust

1417 posts in 1326 days


#4 posted 04-14-2015 01:06 PM

Thanks for the review. My Wixey has the same problem with the sides not being perpendicular to the base. I get around this simply by always using the base and adjusting the angle by 90 degrees.

As far as the battery, I learned a long time ago to never leave a battery in a digital measuring device. I have been hoping that they had solved the battery drain issue, but it does not sound like it.

-- "I love it when a plan comes together" John "Hannibal" Smith

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terryR

7351 posts in 2458 days


#5 posted 04-14-2015 01:32 PM

Thanks for saving me some money, Rick! I’ve wanted one of these tools to help me cut segments for bowls and whatnot. With my aging eyes, I’ll have to rely on digital measuring in the near future, but I’ll avoid iGaging. Maybe a Wixey1?

-- tr ...see one, do one, teach one...

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timbertailor

1594 posts in 1574 days


#6 posted 04-14-2015 02:23 PM

I have the Type 1 and have had no such issues except for battery drain. I just pop it out when I not in use.

Thanks for the heads up Rick and a very honest review.

-- Brad, Texas, https://www.youtube.com/user/tonkatoytruck/feed

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ChuckC

843 posts in 3084 days


#7 posted 04-14-2015 04:15 PM

Mine is just as bad as yours.

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Woodknack

12373 posts in 2529 days


#8 posted 04-14-2015 07:20 PM

Sounds like my experience is pretty normal.

-- Rick M, http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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Grumpymike

2311 posts in 2465 days


#9 posted 04-15-2015 09:42 PM

I have had a Wixley for about five years now and I have learned to love it. Mine has magnets on the bottom and one side. When I set the ‘0’ and turn it on the magnetic side it will read 90 or maybe 89.9.
If I turn it on the opposite case side it will give a crazy reading that is not 90.
I find mine to be accurate for the wood shop and more accurate than using the machinist square.

Now, if I were looking for more accuracy, like plotting a trip to the moon, I would expect to pay a bit more for the tool, but for the $39 I paid, I’m really happy with the Wixley.

Battery life is about 6 months, and the battery cost is about $2.75, so that’s expendable.

-- Grumpy old guy, and lookin' good Doin' it. ... Surprise Az.

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CharlesA

3341 posts in 1947 days


#10 posted 04-16-2015 06:18 PM

Mike, I’ve had the same experience with the Wixey. I’ve never tried all four sides, but the two magnetic sides only vary by 1/100” of a degree. It’s the kind of thing that would seem absolutely dead-on if one didn’t have the capability of measuring 1/100 of a degree.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

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Woodknack

12373 posts in 2529 days


#11 posted 04-16-2015 08:32 PM

Yeah it seems like I’m being nit picky but if I’m going to have a digital protractor that can measure to a hundredth of a degree, then I want it to be somewhat accurate and precise. Otherwise if close is good enough I can just use a regular protractor or the scale on the saw.

Matter of fact there is a company making a plastic protractor just for setting up table saws, the Gauge-It, it looks pretty cool. The only thing holding me back is the price.

-- Rick M, http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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BobAnderton

283 posts in 2940 days


#12 posted 04-17-2015 10:10 PM

I can vouch that if you leave it stuck on the blade of a Delta compound miter saw and forget about it, when you turn the saw on it’ll hit the ceiling and still work fine afterwards. Just a few scratches on the anodized surface. I was impressed that it could survive my stupidity.

I don’t think Rick fully stress tested his.

-- Bob Anderton - Austin, TX - Nova 3000 lathe, Alaskan Mark III mill, Husqavarna Saw

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NormG

6253 posts in 3153 days


#13 posted 04-18-2015 03:23 AM

I have a Wixey and have been very happy with it

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

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Woodknack

12373 posts in 2529 days


#14 posted 04-18-2015 05:53 AM


I don t think Rick fully stress tested his.

- BobAnderton

Ha! I have to agree. I did not do any stress testing.

-- Rick M, http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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