Monday, April 13, 2015

Review: AccuRemote Digital Inclinometer

From the outside in ... The packaging was attractive and consistent with other products sold by iGaging (makes no difference but shows the company takes some pride in their products). Inside the retail box was a sturdy white cardboard box that contained the inclinometer, a nice storage pouch, the instructions, a 9V battery, and a tiny screwdriver. I expected the AccuRemote to be made of plastic but it's actually a cast metal, possibly zinc, quite sturdy and heavier than expected. The battery compartment is accessed by removing four dinky Phillips screws that jump to the magnets as you pull them out, an unintended but welcome feature as they would be super easy to lose and very difficult to find. The dinky screws + battery cover are too 1970's for me, there are better ways to cover a battery but including the screwdriver was a nice touch.

The inclinometer was easy to use, I didn't bother with instructions. I spent awhile measuring angles everywhere then going around checking the machines in my shop. I tried testing for accuracy the same way you would test a level, by flipping it 180 degrees, but got inconsistent results. According to this, after setting my table saw blade with an engineer square, I was 0.20 of a degree out. So pretty close but if this thing is accurate then it's nice to get that extra precision especially when cutting miters or segments for turning. My miter saw was dead on perpendicular, as I believed. My band saw was off .5 degree which I already suspected.

It turned out, the case is not square to the bottom on all sides. So if you zero the device then turn it on it's side, it should read 90 degrees. The left side read 90 degrees, the right side read 89.70 degrees. Since I have a right tilt saw and would be using the bottom and right sides most often, being off by .30 degrees would just be annoying. I was also bothered that rotating the device 180 degrees does not give the same or reciprocal reading. And I had issues with precision (repeatability) when the daytime temperature was under 60 degrees Fahrenheit. So I sent the inclinometer back to Amazon. Based on the many reviews of this and similar products like the Wixey, I believe it is luck of the draw whether you get an instrument that is accurate and precise. So I wouldn't say iGaging makes poor instruments, just that digital inclinometers in this price range suffer poor quality control. The summary is I can not recommend for or against the product.