No-Mistake Protractor | Popular Woodworking Magazine

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Tool: 5-in-1 Combination Protractor Shop Now 

Manufacturer: Starrett

MSRP: $142

If walls were all exactly 90 degrees, installing cabinets and trim would be a lot easier. When it comes to installing trimwork–especially crown molding–it sure would be nice to have a device that directly reads a corner’s angle and instantly gives the exact setting for your miter saw. Here it is, from a company whose name is synonymous with precision: the Starrett ProSite 5-in-1 Combination Protractor.

To use the protractor, just hold it up to a corner and swivel its 12 in. legs to contact both walls. Say you’ve got a wall or cabinet with a 110-degree corner. Let’s see: that requires a 55- degree miter, but the settings on a miter saw require you to subtract 55 degrees from 90 degrees, to get….confused, right? The Combination Protractor gives you the answer right away: set your miter saw to 35 degrees. No math required.

If you’re cutting crown molding flat on your miter saw, you can refer to a compound cut table on the protractor for miter and bevel angles. If you’re butting molding into an angled corner, the Single Cut arrow on the main dial gives the correct miter saw setting. The opposite side of the protractor gives the actual angle of a corner.

This is an extremely sturdy and reliable tool, easily readable within 1/2 degree. No doubt it’ll be handy for any kind of cabinetmaking project.

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