This particular model is sold under a number of brand names, all manufactured by Shenzhen Sunhkey in mainland China. While most of us are not used to seeing high quality products from of China, this digital protractor may indicate a change coming. Of all the digital angle blocks on the market, it has the most features for the money.
The display features measurements off of both the horizontal (X) and vertical (Y) axis, as well as a bubble level which can be used by laying the unit flat on a surface. Resolution is down to 0.02 degrees, with an accuracy of plus or minus 0.01 degrees. It can measure both single and dual axis angles, with a 360 degree range on single angle and a 40 degree range on the second angle. The unit comes with rechargeable batteries which can recharge off the included charger or a USB port. A convenient hold button allows you to store a reading for later use.
The case for this digital angle block is unique as compared to the others on the market. Rather than smooth sides, it has protruding corners, which are actually V blocks for using it on either flat or round surfaces. This is the only model with this feature. Five magnets in the case allow you to connect it in a variety of different ways.
The Wixey unit looks extremely simple, until you start looking at its features. This unit is both a digital angle gauge and a digital level with a graphic of a bubble on the display for quick and easy use. The display itself is mounted so that it can flip up, giving you good visibility at almost any angle. An aluminum V-block plate on the bottom of the unit is backed by a strong magnet for good grabbing power and allows the unit to be used with pipes and tubing, but only on the bottom side. The units range is 180 degrees, with resolution and accuracy of 0.1 degrees. A hold button is included and the unit runs two years off of two AAA batteries.
Fowler is a company that makes precision measurement equipment for use in machine shops and inspection work. While this digital angle gauge, which they refer to as a protractor, looks simple, it’s made with the same attention to quality as everything with the Fowler name on it. The measurement range is 360 degrees with a resolution of .05 degrees and an accuracy of 0.2 degrees. A hold button is included and powerful magnets are installed on three sides of the case allowing you to attach it in a variety of ways to surfaces. This model runs off of a standard nine volt battery.
Beall Tool Tilt Box II
The Tilt Box II is an upgraded version of Beall Tool’s popular Tilt Box. Like the Fowler unit it has magnets on three sides, allowing it to be held in place. You can zero the unit on your table saw and then measure the angle of the blade relative to it. It will also function in absolute mode, reverting to the factory calibration for use as a level.
A hold button allows you to store the angle measured for later use and the display automatically flips if the unit is turned over, always allowing you to read it easily. Like the Fowler unit, this model runs off of a standard nine volt battery. While most units read an accuracy of 0.1 degrees, the company rates the unit at 0.2 degrees so that their customers won’t be disappointed if the unit doesn’t perfectly meet the 0.1 degree specification.
iGaging makes a number of different measurement devices for the woodworker and carpenter, including an excellent digital protractor. This gauge provides extreme accuracy, rated at 0.2 degrees, with a resolution of 0.05 degrees. The aluminum case is backed up by magnets on three sides for ease of attachment. It will work in either relative or absolute mode, allowing you to use it as a level as well. It will measure up to 90 degrees off of any of the four sides and operates off of one 9 volt battery.