Incra Gauge vs Woodcraft's new WoodRiver Offset Gauge

A few posts back I wrote about my most-used non-Shopsmith tool; the Incra Gauge.  Imagine my surprise when I opened the recent Woodcraft sales flier and saw what looked at first glance like a knock-off of this tool.  Upon closer inspection I noticed several differences including the much smaller size of the tool.  Because I figured that you might be interested in this too I placed an order for the Woodcraft WoodRiver Offset Gauge.

As you can see from the photo at right, the WoodRiver Offset Gauge (or "WROG" as I'm gonna call it) is quite a bit smaller than the Incra Gauge, which is shown below.  For example, the max length or depth that the WROG can measure is 4", while the Incra Gauge can measure 7".


So what do they have in common?  They are both made from two identical plastic parts which are held together with a bolt and knurled brass knob.  Because they have a ruler moulded into the body they can both be used as a marking gauge without the need for a ruler for setting, as shown in both photos.  They can both be used to measure the hight of a bit or blade.

Here's where they start to stand apart: The WROG has a feature that MAY be an advantage; it has a rare earth magnet that is designed to help support the tool when it is stood on end.  The only problem I have with this is the fact that I don't own a single tool with a steel table insert! That means that the magnet will be on zero value to me in this function.

I do a lot of woodworking with metric materials and hardware, and you are too but may not be aware of it.  Most all sheet stock, like particle board, melamine board and plywood are produced in metric thicknesses.  The Incra Gauge has only an inch scale, and with it's interlocking toothed rack that make it so accurate, using it for metric measuring can actually introduce unwanted errors.  The WROG features both a standard a metric scale, and because it does not have the Incra Guage's rack system it can be locked in infinite positions.

One of the most useful features on the Incra Gauge is that it has an 1/8" thick tab that makes it a breeze to set a table saw's rip to width +1/8" for jointing the sawn edge.  This is absent from the WROG and while I am trying to explain this I realize that I need to shoot a video to cover all of these fine points in detail.

What else?  Oh yes, there's more!  While they both can be used to quickly find the center of a large piece of wood, such as on the end of a spindle prior to turning, but the Incra Gauge has a nifty center finder built into each end that allow you to quickly locate and mark the center on the edge of end of any board.  I'm not sure why this wasn't emulated in the WROG, but perhaps this is something the Woodcraft should consider for a future iteration of the tool.

Keep an eye on and perhaps even subscribe to my Youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/MrToolHunter and I'll post a video on these two tools next week.


Click this link to get your own Woodcraft WoodRiver Offset Gauge at Woodcraft.
Click this link to get your own Incra Gauge from Woodcraft.

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