7 Best Dial Indicator for Woodworking 2022 [Reviews & Guide]

Be it metalworking or woodworking, a dial indicator is a necessary tool. And, if you know how to use it properly, you’ll be able to work well in the workshops. But, you don’t need a fancy one to complete the job. In fact, many people can work fine with normal ones.

Then again, there are almost a thousand brands of the best woodworking dial indicator in the market. So, which one is the best dial indicator for woodworking?

Don’t fret, we’ve got you covered. In fact, our research team has worked non-stop for the last 2 weeks and we’ve listed the best dial indicators for you. We’ve even discussed their pros/cons and provided their overview elaborately.

From the list, we’ve also shared our top pick. In the end, we also gave an idea about the types of a dial indicator and where they’re used at. Furthermore, we’ve shown how to use a dial indicator as well.

Seems interesting? Let’s dive right into the details-

Best Dial Indicator for Woodworking-Comparisons

ProductTypePrice
A-Line It Dial IndicatorAnalog
All Industrial Tool Supply Dial IndicatorAnalog
Cowryman Table Saw Dial IndicatorAnalog
Grizzly Industrial G9849Analog
Neoteck DTI Digital Dial IndicatorDigital
Clockwise Tools DIGR-0055 IndicatorDigital
Triton 1" Dial IndicatorAnalog

Best Dial Indicator for Woodworking-Reviews

1.A-Line It Basic Kit with Dial Indicator

A-Line It Basic Kit with Dial IndicatorPresenting the Best Dial Indicator for woodworking – The A-line it Basic Kit. This is the best-seller in the market for the best dial indicators. The main selling point of this product is that it’s easy and quick to tune. After tuning the product, it’ll maintain accuracy throughout its use.

Another great thing about this indicator is that it can align quickly to table saws and fences. Moreover, you can adjust the alignment as you want and then take the measurements. The self-adjustment of this product ensures that you can perfectly fit it on the surface that you’re working with.

Apart from this, you’ll also receive DVD guidance and different hardware for setting up your woodworking materials.

Pros

  • You can self-adjust the indicator.
  • The spring plungers provide a perfect fit.
  • It’s easy to tune in the product to the surface.
  • Provides accurate readings.
  • Comes as a table saw dial indicator jig.
  • Provide great value for money.

Cons

  • Some users have complained that the indicator scratches the surface.

 

2.All Industrial Tool Supply TR72020 Dial Indicator

All Industrial Tool Supply TR72020 Dial IndicatorThe second product we have for you is the All Industrial Tool TR72020 Dial Indicator. The USP of this product is that it provides accurate readings almost all the time. In fact, it’s considered to be the best dial indicator for lathe. But how is it so?

Well, the magnetic base and the 9” height of the switch make it easy for this indicator to take measurements in the lathe. Also, the whole set includes a 0-1” dial indicator and indicator points of 22 pieces. And, the indicator point set is AGD specified.

Pros

  • In the set, there are 22pieces of indicator points.
  • The magnetic base keeps the indicator stable which causes the indicator to take accurate readings.
  • Smooth readings.
  • It doesn’t take much time to provide a reading.

Cons

  • Many users complained about the point set to have burrs in them.

 

3. Cowryman Saw Gauge Table Saw Fence Alignment Jig Table Saw Dial Indicator

Cowryman Saw Gauge Table Saw Fence Alignment Jig Table Saw Dial IndicatorPresenting to you the best dial indicator for table saw – the Cowryman Saw Gauge Dial Indicator. The main selling point of the product is that it’s perfect for the table saw and fence alignment.

Other than that, the design of the product ensures that you can take smooth measurements using it. It features a tail-like design and will ensure a perfect fit. Moreover, it’s the lightest product on the list with only 15.2 ounces of weight.

Hence, you can easily use it in measuring things. Apart from this, you can attach it to the table saw gauge as the tail design will ensure a perfect fit. As a result, you can take accurate measurements.

Pros

  • It ensures accurate readings.
  • It’s easy to use.
  • It has a lightweight design with only 15.2 ounces of weight.
  • It has great value for money.
  • It saves time.

Cons

  • Some users complained about the build quality.

 

4.Grizzly Industrial G9849

Grizzly Industrial G9849The next product we have for you is known for its accuracy. The Grizzly Industrial G9849 has a magnetic base that allows the indicator to be stable. The main selling point of this product is that it can auto-adjust with a turn of a switch. So, you won’t need to adjust it yourself.

Moreover, it features a resolution of 0.001 inches and the travel of 0-1 inch. On the other hand, as it has a magnetic base and an auto-adjustment, it’s the best magnetic base dial indicator for the table saw adjustment.

Pros

  • Great value for money.
  • Accurate readings.
  • It has an auto-adjustment ability.
  • It has a magnetic base.

Cons

  • Users complained about the knob getting loose at times.

 

5.Neoteck DTI Digital Dial Indicator

Neoteck DTI Digital Dial IndicatorNext up, we have a digital indicator on our list. The product is the Neoteck DTI Digital dial indicator. The USP of this product is that it has a large display which makes the data clearly visible.

Apart from this, as it’s a digital device, it’s easy to take measurements. The measuring range is from 0-25.4mm. Also, the large 4digits on the display makes it useful for measuring distances in the industrial processes. Hence, it’s known as the best automotive dial indicator as well as a woodworking dial indicator.

Pros

  • It has a large LCD display available.
  • It has a lightweight design.
  • You can switch between mm and inch.
  • It has a long-lasting battery and you can change it as well.

Cons

  • You can’t download or share the information with other devices.

 

5.Clockwise Tools DIGR-0055 Electronic Digital Dial Indicator

Clockwise Tools DIGR-0055 Electronic Digital Dial IndicatorIn a world where technology has benefited us at every stage, it has also impacted on the indicators. This is because nowadays there are a lot of digital dial indicators available. And similar to those digital indicators, we’re presenting the next product of our list – the Clockwise Tools DIGR-055. This is also considered to be the best digital test indicator.

The main selling point of the product is that it’s easy and simple to use. Being a digital product with a magnetic base, it’s easy to take readings as well. Moreover, it has a large LCD screen and it comes with a lithium battery. Also, you’ll get a  cable in the box and you can charge it later.

Another distinct feature of this indicator is that you can store its information into other devices as well. Apart from this, it’s made of stainless steel and has an accuracy of ±0.001″/0.03mm.

Pros

  • Has a premium quality.
  • It’s powered by a long-lasting battery.
  • It has an auto on/off the system in it.
  • It has a large LCD screen.
  • It has a factory certificate included.
  • The data can be transferred to other devices through the cable.

Cons

  • The auto-off setting causes the previous measurements to get deleted.

 

6.Triton 1″ Dial Indicator 0.001

Triton 1" Dial IndicatorFinally, we’re at the end of our list of the best dial indicators. And, the last product we have for you is the budget dial indicator for you. The product is the Triton 1” dial indicator. Do you know why the product has made its way into our list of the dial indicators?

Well, the product is known to have the best features at an affordable price. This is one of the reasons why people love it. Also, the lightweight design and overall feel of the product makes it easy to use at the time of woodworking.

Even though this product is made out of metal and plastic, it has a solid build quality. Hence, it’s durable and doesn’t break down easily. As a matter of fact, the contact point is made of stainless steel. So, when it comes to building quality, it’s a solid product.

Apart from this, the measuring range of the product is 0-1” and there is a reading of 0-100. Also, the stem diameter is ⅜” and the dial diameter is 2”. And, the manufacturers’ All Industrial has made this product following the ASME standards as well. In the end, you can say that this is the best dial indicator for the milling machine.

Pros

  • Has a solid build quality.
  • It’s durable and has a smooth action.
  • Has a lightweight design and a weight of just 4.8 ounces.
  • Always provides consistent and accurate readings.
  • Cheap and Affordable.

Cons

  • Some users complained about the face of the indicator being stiff and hard to rotate.

 

What is a Dial Indicator?

Dial indicators are simple measuring devices that are used for metalworking equipment. But, you can also use them for woodworking as well. But why do people need a dial indicator?

Well, these devices are essential as you can set up different machines by taking measurements with the help of a dial indicator. In fact, the indicators provide clear and accurate readings. So, when you use this indicator, the needle shows how much further you need to go on by showing the readings.

On the other hand, the dial indicator has a spring-loaded rod and needle attached to it. So, you’ll just have to move the rod and the needle will rotate itself around the dial’s face. Here, the dial will indicate to you how much the rod of the indicator has traveled.

What are Dial Indicators Used for?

Well, by now, you’ll know what a dial indicator is and what it consists of. Also, you might even know briefly how a dial indicator works. But, where should you use a dial indicator?

Well, as dial indicators are measuring tools, they’re used on metalworking and woodworking equipment. But wait, let me tell you something. They aren’t only used on metalworking equipment. Many people also use them on engine building and on decks.

Turns out, this product is used to measure the clearance and straightness of the deck. Also, it’s used on measurements between two surfaces and the distance between different components.

Types of Dial Indicator

Dial indicators are measurement instruments that provide accurate readings. These instruments are used for measuring the alignment or distance of an object from its standard.

Just like other measurement instruments, there are different types of dial indicators as well. So, let’s take a look at them:

Balanced Reading Indicators

These types of indicators arrange the information upon the face of the dial. The figures are shown on the dial and they run in two directions. These figures start from zero and the positive number is featured on the right and the negative number is featured on the left of the zero.

Continuous Indicators

These indicators don’t have a number featured on them like the balanced indicators. The figures on the continuous indicators run in one direction only without getting separated.

Reversed Balanced Indicators

The indicators have the same positive and negative scales on the sides of the zero. However, the positive numbers will always be on the right of the zero. And the negative numbers will always be on the left of the zero.

Reversed Continuous Indicators

The reversed continuous indicators are almost the same as the continuous indicators. The only difference between them is that the numbers of the indicator move in the opposite direction

Test Indicators

We’ve given an idea about the best dial test indicator in our review section. Similar to that product, these indicators almost have the shape of a watch. And the needle is on one-side. These indicators can be adjusted and calibrated according to one’s own choice.

Dial Indicator vs Test Indicator

Both the dial and test indicators have advantages of their own. In fact, both indicators are used frequently. In our reviewer’s guide, we’ve shown the products of both dial and test indicators. So, let’s take a look at both of their differences:

Dial Indicator

Let’s take a look at some of the features of dial indicators:

  • Used for comparative measurement of the gauges.
  • Can’t reach at narrow places without any attachments.
  • Wide range of measurements.
  • Isn’t more flexible to use.
  • Is a bit heavy and has a large shape.

Test Indicator

Let’s take a look at some of the features of test indicator:

  • Provides better consistency.
  • Used to measure broad surfaces.
  • Small and light shape. Are smaller than the small dial indicators.
  • Has the ability to work on irregular surfaces.
  • Is more flexible to use.
  • Higher resolution and short measurement range.

How Does a Dial Indicator Work?

So, you know about the definition and types of a dial indicator but you don’t know how it works. Don’t worry, we’ll give you the exact idea of how this instrument works. So, let’s begin:

The normal dial indicator has a plunger and 2 dials in it. When the plunger moves, the dial starts to rotate. This rotation of the dial indicates the plunger to travel. And, when the plunger travels, its accuracy is limited within 0.001.

Turns out, the large dial revolves around 0.100. And, the clamp on the edge holds the face into its place. But, why is it necessary?

Well, if the instrument isn’t leveled, the readings won’t be accurate. So, the clamp is necessary as it holds in place. And, speaking of accessories, you’ll need two accessories for the indicator – base and plunger extension.

And yes, it’s better if you have a magnetic base as it’ll hold the instrument and keep it leveled. We’ve already mentioned the best dial indicator and magnetic base in our reviewer’s guide. So, you can take a brief idea from there.

How to Use a Dial Indicator?

We’re almost at the end of our article. In case you’re wondering how to use the dial indicator, we’ve got you covered as well. Below is the step-step process on how you can use the dial indicator and get a precise reading from it. So, let’s begin:

Step 1: Calibration of the Indicator

Firstly, mount the indicator to the stand, Here, you’ll need to secure it on the stand with any attachment. If you don’t have a stand, the calibration won’t be easy at all. But, why do you need a stand?

Well, the stand will stabilize the indicator at the time of taking the measurements. Many times people ask for how to set up the table saw. And the answer to that is there shouldn’t be any angle for the dial indicator. In fact, it should be stabilized completely so that it gives accurate readings.

Step 2: Turn the Outer Face & Displace the Spindle

Start by twisting the rim of the dial. By doing this, you’ll turn the outer face of the dial. Keep doing this until the dial hits in zero. Here, it’s important that you hover up to zero as you want your measurements to start from zero.

After you’re done, stop at the 1/10th of the measurement every time. By doing this, you’ll calculate any errors. Also, continue on checking the errors at the 1/10th of the measurements when you’re revolving.

Step 3: Check for Errors & Reverse the Revolution

Instead of 1/10th marks, start checking for errors at the half of the revolution. Also, don’t let the spindle go as you’ll need to check the errors again at the time of the reversed revolution.

After you’re done, start repeating the process again. Here you’ll need to check errors again in the same way. Just remember that you’ll need to go reverse this time around.

Step 4: Tighten the Flex Arm & Ensure the Needle on the Surface

It’s essential that you tighten the flex arm to the indicator. If you just move the level, it’ll secure the flex arm in place.

On the other hand, you can ensure that the needle is secured to the surface by pulling it on and off a couple of times. In the end, make sure there’s no movement in the dial indicator or in the flex arm.

Step 5: Move the Surface in a Clockwise Direction & Check Reading

When you’ll rotate the surface in a clockwise direction, you’ll observe that the needle of the digital indicator is oscillating back and forth.

Here, you’ll find the low and high points of the surface. When you’ll find the lowest point, take the face of the indicator and turn to zero as we’ve discussed in step 2. Finally, take the measurements in a notebook.

Conclusion

Well, that’s been it. This marks the end to our reviewer’s guide on the best dial indicator for woodworking. In the end, we’d like to say that we’ve reviewed the best ones in a detailed manner. So, check out all the reviews and select the best one for yourself.

At the end of the day, it’s your choice that matters. But we do hope that our dial indicator reviews have benefitted you in coming up with a decision and a final product for yourself.

Do let us know if we’ve missed anything. Good Luck!

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