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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. The most handsome of those tested but also the most expensive, the Bridge City features a smallish locking knob and didn’t tighten smoothly, making it uncomfortable to lock and unlock.
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