Choosing Marking Tools
Marking, mortise and combination gauges come in myriad styles and prices
Synopsis: Marking gauges employ knives and wheels, and each design has its advantages. Mortise gauges employ two cutters for parallel lines. This objective overview shows the various styles and products and gives recommendations on purchasing and maintaining these shop essentials.
From Fine Woodworking #164
Marking, mortise and combination gauges are simple layout tools designed to cut shallow reference lines into wood, parallel to an edge. While a pencil line might be too thick or easily smudged, an incised line is clean and precise.
Look through a woodworking catalog for a marking, mortise or combination gauge, and you’ll likely find that choices abound, from basic all-wood tools to elegantly crafted versions complete with inlaid brass wear strips. To get a better idea of what’s out there, I surveyed a few of the most commonly available gauges, from makers such as Bridge City Tool Works, Colen Clenton, Crown Tools, Glen-Drake Toolworks, Marples, Starrett,…