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Marking, mortise, and combination gauges come in myriad styles and prices. What differentiates them from one another is the number and type of cutters each employs. Marking gauges have a single cutter for scribing one line at a time. Mortise gauges have two cutters and are used mostly for marking parallel lines to establish the width of a mortise. Combination gauges typically have three cutters: a single cutter on one side of the beam for use as a marking gauge and an additional pair on the other side of the beam for laying out mortises.
The beech pin-style marking gauge from Crown Tools features a single, hardened-steel cutter, brass wear strips inlaid on the fence, and a plastic thumbscrew. Although it was not the fanciest of the marking tools tested, it appeared to be a very serviceable gauge. And at $12, it won’t break the bank.
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