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What is an Angle Block?

By B. Turner
Updated May 17, 2024
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An angle block is a tool that helps wood or metal workers to cut materials at a specific angle. The standard angle block tool consists of a precisely-engineered metal triangle with one 90-degree angle. Using the other two corners of the triangle as a guide, craftsmen can quickly and easily determine where to cut sheet metal or wooden objects. Most users own a variety of angle blocks to measure a wide range of angles.

These tools can be used for a number of functions in a home or commercial workshop. In addition to helping workers measure for cuts, the angle block can be placed between two objects to determine the size of an existing angle. For example, a worker trying to recreate a piece of furniture can hold the angle block between two adjacent pieces of wood to measure the exact angle between these objects. Angle blocks also help installers locate objects in the field and install them in the correct position.

An angle block set or kit contains a full selection of triangles to represent different angles. The most advanced units offer angles that vary by only one degree, while basic kits include tools with angles in five-degree increments. Some of these kits also allow workers to combine several different angles to achieve the desired size. Typically, more expensive sets offer tools with smooth, precisely-machined edges for maximum accuracy.

To use one of these angle blocks, craftsmen typically use clamps to hold the block in place against the object they're working on. It often takes a few tries to find the right angle block tool when the worker is trying to match an existing object. With the clamp holding the block in place, the worker can use a pencil to mark the correct angle. Some may find the correct angle using the block, then set a router or miter saw to this angle in preparation for cutting the object once the angle block has been removed.

Adjustable angle blocks provide a compact alternative to traditional kits. These units include a wood or metal block, which supports a steel wheel. The wheel features a cut-out section along its outer diameter, as well as a series of markings to represent different angles. Users manually rotate the wheel to adjust the size of the cutout and change the specified angle. These adjustable models work best in small work spaces, but may not offer the same level of precision as a standard set of blocks.

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Discussion Comments

By Jacques6 — On Aug 01, 2011

@w00dchuck41 - That's funny. Yes, there's a difference between angle brackets (which are made to hold two pieces of wood together) and angle blocks. When I started wood working I ran into similar problems.

I read online that I need to buy wood angle blocks to cut what I was working on so that it came out even. When I went to the store, I asked the store clerk for "metal angles." He took me to the brackets and asked if they were what I needed. They looked like angles to me so I bought them.

After fumbling with using them at home, I went back and asked if they had better angles for cutting wood -- showing the clerk the brackets. He didn't break a smile or anything, just politely pointed me to the angle block kits. I felt pretty stupid, but at least I got the project done.

By w00dchuck41 — On Jul 31, 2011

I just recently got into wood working and my friends suggested that I buy a angle block cutting set. I wasn't even sure what they were talking about, so I got a few types of different angle brackets.

When my buddy came over and I called him into the garage to have him show me how to use a hacksaw, he thought it was hilarious that I had been using angle brackets instead of angle blocks.

I bought one but it was kind of small. Then, for last Christmas -- my friends got me a set of 12 angle blocks. Thank god I don't have to use the angle brackets anymore.

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