The Sleek Shinwa Sliding Bevel Gauge
Posted on 23 June 2016
The Shinwa Sliding Bevel Gauge is a pretty darn good tool. Up to this point, I have just always used an old wood and brass Stanley, which is fine and I will continue to use it, but now along with my new Shinwa. The Stanley sure is a chunky fella, and it certainly isn't the most comfortable thing to have rattling around in your apron pockets. This is one of the primary benefits of the little Shinwa. They come in two sizes - 6" and 9 7/8." In my opinion, the 6" is the most useful size as it fits in the pen slot on my button up shirts. The larger of the two fits comfortably in an apron pocket.
They are both made entirely of stainless steel, with the exception of the brass thumb nut. Their smooth faces mean you can write on them with sharpie to remember what they are being used for, then wipe them clean with thinner or alcohol when you're done.
The nut has a screwdriver slot in it, which fits the head of a house key or engineers square rule perfectly. Snugging the nut by hand is enough for quick layout work, but if you really want to keep that angle accurate for a while I would snug it up a bit. Once you do snug it, that puppy isn't going to shift for anything short of a drop on the floor.
All in all, it's a darn good little tool. For the price, it can't be beat. For around the same coinage, you will walk out of the big box store with a shoddily made number. If you want a traditional style bevel gauge and don't want to spend major dough for it, you are likely going to have to hunt down an antique. Or you can just get a Shinwa for 14 or 20 bucks, and stick it in your shirt pocket. Or get a few for projects where you need to keep track of more than one angle at a time.