Buying a Combination Gauge

Buying a combination gauge is more cost effective as it essentially combines the marking and mortise gauge into one gauge. Paul recommends the type that have pins rather than discs as the discs tend to be brittle and fracture in places around the circumference. Discs are often difficult to re-sharpen and if broken can be impossible. Some gauges come with wear plates in the stock part of the gauge. Depending on the atmosphere/humidity, these wear plates can protrude above the wooden surface of the wood and this can affect the accuracy of your marking.

Amtech is a less expensive choice than Marples and works just as well. You can also buy secondhand as they can be cheaper, for example Clay or Mawhood are both good Gauges which Paul has bought secondhand. No matter if you are buying new or used, make sure to check that the pins are in good condition and are of equal length before you buy.

🇬🇧We purchased this Silverline Expert Combination Gauge from Amazon for £15.34 in November 2017.

🇺🇸If you are ordering from the US, we recommend this one. Please note Paul has not purchased this, however it seems to fit his recommended criteria.


  1. Byron Stephen Wiseman on 8 January 2019 at 6:20 pm

    Hi All,

    Tilgear has a British made Marples Beech Combination Gauge on sale for 8.75. Would this be a good one? Any advantage of more expensive one with a end screw adjustment?

    Many Thanks,

    • Izzy BergerTeam Member on 11 January 2019 at 2:41 pm

      Hi Stephen,

      Paul may not have used this but he says its a good price.

      Kind Regards,

  2. Christian Bieck on 28 January 2019 at 5:41 pm

    I bought the recommended Silverline and found it is way out of square – about 2.5 mm at 16 cm, i.e. an angle of 9 degrees. (There weren’t any comments about it on, but found on that this isn’t an isolated occurrence). Is being square a must for a gauge, and if no, what offset is acceptable?

    • Izzy BergerTeam Member on 30 January 2019 at 8:41 am

      Hi Christian,

      Paul recommends you send it back and reorder until you get one that is square. It is ideal if it is set to the long stem axis.

      Kind Regards,

  3. Trevor Hosken on 16 August 2019 at 4:38 pm

    Hi Paul, I have used this type in the past but the type with an adjusting knurled nut on the end of the gauge I found easier to use as the pin doesn’t move as you adjust the distance from the edge of the timber.
    What do you think?

    • Izzy BergerTeam Member on 29 August 2019 at 12:59 pm

      Hi Trevor,

      Paul says:
      I think it’s true. I also think it’s a lot more expensive and prohibitive for users. So I remove the moveable pin and slightly bend the bar, put it back and the friction fit is improved markedly. Nothing slips.

      Kind Regards,

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