Remember those plastic protractors from geometry class?
We had to dig up ours when we needed to set the platform angle on our Mettler wedge.
That got us to wondering whether there had been any advances in "angle-setting technology" since
our trusty half-moon tool.
In the analog space, we found two other (square, bubble) angle-finders which were easy to use and
effective. The metal speed square was designed for use in roof and stairway construction.
angle finder has a magnetic base, a full-view acrylic vial protractor dial, and is graduated in 5-degree increments.
The bubble tool is great for any situation where one needs to determine an existing angle, but not that convenient for setting one.
On the digital
side, we found the Craftsman 4-in-1 Digital Angle Finder. This tool is a compound-cut calculator, a protractor, a level, AND an angle finder. The unit has a folding leg, horizontal and vertical bubble levels, and LCD displays on both sides of the base. Its range is from 0º to 220º and is accurate to +/- 0.1º. The tool is powered by two AA batteries. While we like to work when it is a comfortable 65º and dry, the Digital Angle Finder will operate in temperatures from freezing to 104ºF.
tool, like all Craftsman tools, is well built. The main housing and arm are constructed with
aluminum, so even thought the unit is sizable it is actually quite light in weight. The dual LCD is play is backlit. The numbers are large and very easy to read.
The panels have buttons for computing miter and bevel angles based on the Spring Angle, but it is not a full-fledged calculator (and we don't understand why not). There are two bubble vials (vertical, horizontal) which are accurate to 0.029º for determining level and plumb.
There is a cushioned end cap to take up some of the shock from the inevitable bumps and knocks.
The designers incorporated lots of nice features to make the angle finder convenient to use in real life. The leg extension slides out on either end to allow
for easier angle measurement. There are buttons to freeze, flip, and turn on/off the display. The only suggestion we have would be to have some
stuff etched on the back (formulas, conversions, etc...). If nothing else, some markings on the extension arm to make it a ruler would be helpful.
The only thing odd with this Craftsman Digital Angle Finder is that it emits a rather loud buzz. Apparently this is just something Craftsman does not feel is a problem, as the noise was noted in the user manual and listed as "normal." We are going to check out some other brands to see if they also have this "peculiarity.". [Permalink] -Craftsman Digital Angle Finder