|Review by Nils||posted 01-14-2008 01:23 AM||4457 views||0 times favorited||6 comments|
(January 22 2009 update) I’m sorry for not updating this review sooner. I did contact Peachtree on April 5, and by April 25 they had a new one in the mail to me. I did have to send the non working one back. The new unit seems to be working fine ever since. I’ve accordingly updated the star rating.)
(March 16 2008 Update: I went to use the gauge the other night, and it had stopped working! Stuck on 0.0 degrees. I tried replacing the battery, and also did some strategic shaking and tapping on it, but no go – it’s dead. All it’s done is sit on a shelf for a few months – nothing that should cause it it to freeze up. So for now, I’m going to lower the rating. I’ll be calling Peachtree about this – if they treat me right, I might raise the rating again, because I love the idea of the gauge, and as I mention below, it definitely proved useful for the first few months of its short life.)
I bought the Dixie Digital Angle Gauge last November at the Peachtree Woodworking booth at the Woodworking Expo in San Mateo, CA. I was using it the next day, and would have been hard-pressed without it. I had been considering the purchase of a digital angle gauge for a while. To use a digital angle gauge you “zero” it to a reference surface, such as a table saw table, then accurately measure or track the angle of another surface to the reference, such as the table saw blade. Set your table saw blade to a 37.5 degree angle for a compound miter joint? No problem. Make sure your jointer fence is exactly 45 degrees to the table? Simple. No need to rely on the inaccurate scale on the saw, or use a protractor or a drafting triangle to set the jointer fence.
I selected the Dixie because of its “Hold” feature. Like the Wixie, to which it is very similar, the Dixie has “Zero” and “On/Off” buttons, as well as rare earth magnets to stick it to any steel surface. But, in addition, it has a “Hold” button which allows you to pick up the unit and view its most recent measurement.
The hold feature is useful if your measurement is in a location that is difficult to get your face to – too low, too high, or on the opposite side from the light. For example, I used the gauge to help me point a DirecTV satellite antenna. My ladder wasn’t long enough to let me view the gauge for one particular angle setting, so I simply set the gauge onto the vertical antenna standard using the magnets in its base, let the measurement settle, and clicked the Hold button. Then I could bring the gauge down to head level to read it. Result: 95’s on the signal strength meter – an unequivocal quantitative result!
I recommend the Dixie gauge highly!
The Dixie gauge is $39.99 from the Peachtree online store, although I’ve seen it on sale in their email newsletter.
-- Nils Davis, Menlo Park, CA