We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Marking Gauge?

Patrick Wensink
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
About Mechanics is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At About Mechanics, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A marking gauge is a woodworking tool that helps make exact measurements for cutting. Consisting of three simple parts, it resembles a slide ruler but is set apart by its marking pin and locking mechanism. There are four distinct varieties of marking gauges that are used in woodworking shops: traditional, mortise, cutting and panel.

A marking gauge usually is constructed from wood or metal, but both types use the same basic design. A marking gauge always has a central arm that operates like a ruler. The arm normally is a square piece of wood or a large metal rod — rarely is it flat — but it does have measurement points ingrained into the material. The head is a a piece of wood or metal that fits around the arm and can slide up and down the arm, also locking into place wherever necessary using a clamp or wedge. Finally, all marking gauges have a marking device at the end of the arm, either a pin, a pen or a pencil.

A marking gauge operates simply enough for novice woodworkers to understand immediately. The head is laid flush against an edge of the wood that needs to be measured, and it is unlocked. The arm is then slid up or down until the measuring pin is in the position to make a mark. The head is locked into place, and the user can press the metal pin into the wood for a quick mark or, if the pencil or pen is inserted, can run the head gently along the edge to create a straight line for cutting.

The marking gauge has been used in wood shops for centuries and has evolved over time into four different types: traditional, mortise, cutting and panel. The traditional marking gauge consists of the basic design and is used for marking lines. A mortise marking gauge has the same basic setup as a traditional gauge, except that it has two marking pins at the end of the arm. A cutting gauge has the same arm and head setup, but it has a sharp knife in the pin position in order to cut across the grain. A panel gauge is an enlarged version of the traditional gauge and is several feet long, but it is mostly outdated because a table saw can perform long, straight cuts without any need for a panel gauge.

About Mechanics is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Patrick Wensink
By Patrick Wensink , Former Writer
Patrick Wensink, a bestselling novelist and nonfiction writer, captivates readers with his engaging style across various genres and platforms. His work has been featured in major publications, including attention from The New Yorker. With a background in communication management, Wensink brings a unique perspective to his writing, crafting compelling narratives that resonate with audiences.

Discussion Comments

Patrick Wensink

Patrick Wensink

Former Writer

Patrick Wensink, a bestselling novelist and nonfiction writer, captivates readers with his engaging style across various...
Learn more
About Mechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

About Mechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.