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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.
Simple, light in the hand, and appealing, this Japanese gauge has a red oak fence and beam, a brass thumbscrew, and beveled steel cutting blades.
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