Friday, March 7, 2008

Harbor Freight Cen-Tech Digital Angle Gauge

Cen-Tech Digital Angle Gauge
From Harbor Freight. Regular price $29.99, at the time of this writing it is on sale for $24.95!

I know, Wixey has the name for these little digital angle gauges. But the HF version works just fine.

It ships with the angle finder and an instruction sheet (I hesitate to call it a pamphlet) in a small white paper box.

It's pretty straightforward to use. Set it on your horizontal surface and turn it on. Give it a few seconds to settle on an angle then push the "Calibrate" button. The trick here is not to move the device while pushing the button. If you move it too much it will either be inaccurate or you'll get an "Err" on the display. Once you've calibrated it and it reads zero, put it on your blade or fence (my Rockwell 4" Jointer is in the photo). Give it a few seconds to settle then adjust your device a bit at a time. You have to let it catch up to your adjustments, so adjust slowly. Once you think you are set, wait a few more seconds to let the reading settle down. You may have to make another tiny adjustment at this point to nail your desired angle.

Once you're done, or you've got an "Err" on the display, press and hold the "On/Off" button for 5 seconds to turn the device off.

Not having owned a Wixey or other Digital Angle Gauge, I can't do a direct comparison. But the HF one is very accurate. It is sensitive to being picked up or moved too suddenly while it is turned on, resulting in the "Err" display, but rebooting the device takes care of the error.

It was definitely worth the $$.

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