Wixey WR300 Type 1 vs. Type 2 vs. smartphone app precision

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Forum topic by Rob posted 02-26-2015 09:00 PM 5573 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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704 posts in 3093 days

02-26-2015 09:00 PM

Topic tags/keywords: digital angle gauge wixey wr300

I was looking at getting the Wixey WR300 and found that Amazon sells the Type 1 while Woodcraft sells the Type 2. As it turns out, the differences go beyond the backlight and type of battery.

According to Wixey's website, the Type 1 has some mechanical components which are the same type used in digital calipers. The drawback is that it is always on, and turning off the display only reduces battery consumption by 50%. The CR2032 battery life is estimated at over 6 months.

The Type 2 uses an accelerometer instead and has a backlight. The AAA battery is said to last over 1 year.

I installed an angle gauge app on my Android phone and found that it was not very precise—I could not get the exact same reading several times in a row. Sometimes it was off by more than 1/2 degree. Because of this I’m concerned that perhaps the WR300 Type 2 also has the same issue.

Has anyone owned both the Type 1 and Type 2, and if so, how would you say they compare to each other? How does each compare to itself in terms of repeatability of measurements?

Has anyone compared either WR300 model to a smartphone app and noticed whether the WR300 gave more precise/repeatable readings than the smartphone? Or are some smartphones better at giving repeatable measurements? (And if so, which ones are better?)


-- Ask an expert or be the expert -

12 replies so far

View Kazooman's profile


1024 posts in 1974 days

#1 posted 02-26-2015 09:25 PM

I own the type 1. I posted previously about the battery issue. I was surprised at how quickly the battery died and I wrote to Wixey. That’s how I learned about the “always on to retain the calibration” design. I don’t understand the philosophy behind the design. I think that most people who buy the unit would use it like I do. For example, I calibrate it to zero on my tablesaw table and then use it to set the angle of the blade. The same goes for the fence on the jointer, etc. I really don’t care if the unit remembers three months from now what the zero setting for the table was. Actually, I am certain it has changed whenever I have moved the saw. I now take the battery out of my Wixey after every use. It’s a pain, but it is the only way to prevent killing the battery.

The website claims essentially equal accuracy for the Type 2 unit. It costs $10.00 less, shuts itself off, and uses chaep AAA batteries. If I were in the market again I would buy one of these.

View OggieOglethorpe's profile


1276 posts in 2132 days

#2 posted 02-27-2015 01:03 AM

A bevel gauge and a setting plate are cheap, useful, require no batteries, and almost indestructable…

I love technology, I REALLY do, but I don’t let it replace simple solutions. No need to write an app or spreadsheet macro to add or subtract two small numbers… ;^)

View Rob's profile


704 posts in 3093 days

#3 posted 03-02-2015 04:40 PM

Thanks guys. A lot of people really seem to swear by the digital gauges which is why I’m considering buying one. If I would have looked more closely at the website I would have seen that Type 1 is accurate to within 0.1 degree while Type 2 is accurate to within 0.2 degrees. Both supposedly give repeatable measurements within 0.1 degrees. I guess for now I’ll stick with my squares for setting right-angles and bevel gauge for setting other angles, but I think even the slightly less accurate Type 2 should be adequate.

-- Ask an expert or be the expert -

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4947 posts in 3982 days

#4 posted 03-02-2015 04:44 PM

I’m with Oggie. Simple is sometimes the best.
I’m amazed at all the aftermarket items being sold that will mimic the old tried and true methods.


View jmartel's profile


7950 posts in 2172 days

#5 posted 03-02-2015 04:51 PM

Eh, I’d argue that this is a more accurate and faster method than the old methods. I get better results with one of these than I ever did with a bevel gauge.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View Rob's profile


704 posts in 3093 days

#6 posted 03-02-2015 05:06 PM

I guess I should point out that the allure of the digital gauges (to me, at least) is that it takes about 3 seconds to zero the gauge to your reference surface then take a reading on the surface you’re trying to calibrate, and you can keep reading while you dial in the adjustment. In contrast, the old tried and true methods usually take longer, there’s more room to introduce inaccuracy since there are more steps, and usually it takes me more than 3 seconds just to read a scale when setting a gauge. It sounds stupid, but sometimes just saving a few seconds here and there can make any kind of work a lot more enjoyable.

-- Ask an expert or be the expert -

View MrUnix's profile (online now)


6757 posts in 2221 days

#7 posted 03-02-2015 05:20 PM

In a previous life, I used to draw up the mechanical blueprints for a largish HVAC company and still have all my drafting stuff.. this was pre-CAD where we did things with a pencil ! I like simple, and rarely need to set my blades (and fences) at anything other than 90 and 45, so the easiest for me is to use one of my old drafting triangles. You can pick up a set (90/45 and 30/60/90) just about anywhere for around $5. If you are always setting weird angles, they won’t be much use, but for the majority of what I do, they are cheap, simple and always accurate :)


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View hotbyte's profile


991 posts in 2997 days

#8 posted 03-02-2015 06:13 PM

Interesting…I could not understand why my Wixey burned up batteries so fast when I would shut it off. I figured I was just forgetting to hit the Off button and it didn’t go out. Guess I’ll start pulling battery at end of a day in the shop :(

View waho6o9's profile


8204 posts in 2599 days

#9 posted 04-09-2016 05:33 PM

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4947 posts in 3982 days

#10 posted 04-09-2016 06:45 PM

I’m in to the accuracy thing too, but I wonder why we sometime wish to measure to the nearest .0001 degree when the workpiece will change dimensions with the time of day and humidity. That was my point in making the comment about the techniques used by the old masters.
We are not building space ships.


View MadMark's profile


979 posts in 1475 days

#11 posted 04-10-2016 12:27 AM

None of you have bad vision. Reading digital gauges is a lot faster and easier than bending down and reading a vernier.

Also I took a commission to make pieces bevelled at 17.3°! Cut that with your plastic drafting triangles & protractor.

It’s interesting advocating quality while poo-pooing better tools. Like obsoleted tools are a virtue. Some of us are interested in the results, not the process, and production time is a factor. Meself I like better & faster, If you like worse & slower so be it.


-- Madmark -

View NormG's profile


6134 posts in 3025 days

#12 posted 04-10-2016 04:36 AM

I have a waxy type one. I haven’t had any problem with it at all. My battery’s generally last anywhere from six to nine months haven’t had any problem with any accuracy on it. I actually spent three and a have.

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

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