|Review by knotscott||posted 03-13-2009 03:20 AM||5798 views||0 times favorited||8 comments|
The V27 is Incra’s entry level basic gauge retailing at about $60 and is constructed primarily of sturdy steel with some well placed nylon trim pieces. The bottom of the steel protractor head glides on a nylon pad that rides along the table surface. The Incra has a “GlideLOCK” miter bar that consists of 4 expandable nylon adjustment spacers in the bar to be perfectly taylor fitted to the standard 3/4”x3/8” miter slot on your saw. There is a removable t-clip on the end of the bar for added holding stability in slots that have a t-groove. The V27 features 27 indexed angle settings with laser cut notches every 5 degrees plus a couple extra for the most popular angles. It’s held firmly in place with Incra’s “AngleLock” – a positive locking steel pointer that fits perfectly into the v-shaped notches . It also has one degree hash marks on the protractor compass for more minute adjustments. The push handle is a robust hard plastic round knob mounted just behind the face. Overall it’s well built but is a little lighter duty than my stock cast iron gauge. It is however considerably more precise.
My gauge was not dead-on as received out of the package. Adjusting the miter head square to the bar is a bit tedious and requires loosening 4 hex screws in the face using the supplied hex wrench, and manually aligning it to a reference like the miter bar or miter slot. Once dialed in, it’s very accurate and stays put. Another task that’s a bit tedious involves the Glidelock bar width adjustments. Three of the adjustment spacers are easily accessible and require only a turn of the hex screw to adjust, but the fourth adjustment washer resides underneath the head assembly which needs to be removed in order to access. Again, once adjusted and dialed in, the performance is amazing. There is no lateral slop in the miter slot, and with my hand resting on the table surface using only thumb power, a flick of my thumb launches the gauge to the back of the saw! (“Don’t try this at home folks…”) The nylon pad under the head is a really effective feature. No other gauge I’ve ever used slides anywhere near as well as the Incra. Great design feature. The instructions for making these adjustments are clear with good picture examples.
The V27 is extremely easy to use and is very accurate at the prenotched angles. Loosen the AngleLock pointer and the handle, rotate the gauge to the desired notch, and place the pointer firmly back into the form fitting V slot. It’s simple and goof proof as long as you use the 5 degree notch settings provided. The AngleLock pointer sits firmly in the indented V notch for the indexed settings, but for finer increments, the pointer gets backed out of the notch and is consistently skewed from this position and doesn’t lend itself well to precision with the one degree increments. The Incra 1000 and higher models address this issue with an additional plastic vernier pointer which slides back and forth above the indexed notches and points directly at the printed markings on the compass. I added my own version of this pointer using a small piece of mylar that I aligned with the zero reading, and can be pointed more accurately at any 1 degree marking on the gauge much like the more expensive models. (One of these days I’ll replace the transparency film with something more elegant and permanent, but this works…see the pics below) At $60 the V27 is tremendous value in my opinion.
-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....