Have you ever noticed how difficult it is to use a ruler or tape measure to determine the hight of your sawblade or router bits? I’ve found it equally difficult to measure the depth of a groove or dado. I generally end up marking a piece of scrap wood, then measuring that with a tape measure. Which works but it’s not great when you want to be super precise. Using a digital height gauge gives you the extreme precision!
Using a Digital Height Guage
Recently I decided to pretend I had the skills and patience to try to be super precise. So I bought myself a digital height gauge. I purchased mine on Amazon for about $25.
It allows me to measure the depth of a cut as well as the height of a blade or bit. The ends are magnetic so it “sticks” on the table saw to measure the sawblade height. I used it to set my router bit height for the dados for the stemware shelf on my wine storage cabinet.
It’s really easy to use.
First, hold it on the surface of the router plate and zero out the digital reading.
You “zero out” the reading by holding the on/off button down until you get a 0.000 reading.
Measure the bit height
Next, align it so the ruler is over the router bit and press down until the legs come in contact with the base. The router bit pushes the plastic ruler up and gives you a reading of the bit height.
Depth of cut measurement
To measure the depth of a cut, there is a little spindle that you attach to the end of the ruler.
Zero it out on the flat surface
Then depress the spindle into the depression (cut, dado, groove, whatever) and you have an accurate measurement of how deep that depression is.
The spindle stores on one of the legs of the device.
Voila! It’s quite handy. I don’t use it every day but I grab it about ever couple weeks so it has definitely proven to be a good investment for my shop.
(For those times that I like to pretend that I’m supppppper duppper precise!)