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Although sliding bevels are not complicated tools, I learned that there are differences among them. Some differences are obvious and others are more subtle, but all have an effect on the quality of the tool. A sliding bevel consists of a body and a slotted blade that pivots on a machine screw or steel pin on one end of the body. A thin opening along much of the body accepts the blade. Manufacturers employ a variety of methods to lock the blade in place. A good sliding bevel will have a body and blade that are flat and straight and a locking mechanism that’s strong yet unobtrusive. On the Crown bevel, the blade locked securely, but the brass wear plates fit unevenly. The wing nut extended past the blade, making for awkward machine setups, and allowed only one side to lie against a flat surface. The company also offers a model with a smaller 3-7/8-in.-long blade that sells for about $12.
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