Digital inclinometers, also referred to as clinometers, are the quickest and easiest way is ascertaining absolute and relative angle measurements today (Source).
What Are Digital inclinometers?
Digital inclinometers are a digital tools that offers accurate angel measurements.
Additionally, modern angle finders feature a compact and lightweight design. This makes them easier to transport and store.
Most of the leading models available today incorporate a magnate in their construction. The magnet allows for a secure attachment of the tool to various surfaces, such as saw benches.
Once attached, you can then use the zero-setting buttons to re-calibrate your angle finder in reference to the attached surface. While the basic functionalities of these units are similar, choosing the right one can be a daunting task.
Common Issues with Digital Inclinometers
- Simple Angle Readings: Certain digital inclinometers won’t use decimal points to calculate angles to the tenth degree. It is common for people to not consider this beforehand, and end up with a model that only produces simple readings not precise enough for professional use.
- Too Big and Bulky: One of the whole reasons to get a digital inclinometer in the first place is to be able to measure angles of just about any corner or surface. If you get a digital inclinometer which is too big and bulky in design, it will be naturally harder to use in certain areas.
- Poor Battery Life: Digital inclinometers will typically either use disposable or rechargeable batteries. It’s important to consider the type of battery, and how long it will last so it doesn’t turn into a burden for you down the line.
Best Digital Inclinometers
1. Wixey WR300 Type 2 Digital Angle Gauge – Best Overall
Are you looking for the best heavy duty digital angle finder? Very few gadgets are as good as the Wixey WR 300 Type 2 Digital Angle Gauge today. This product was specifically designed for accurate, heavy-duty angle measuring applications. Not only does the model have a durable and tough construction, it is equipped with an assortment of features you would need.
To begin with, the product is equipped with a durable metallic body. This makes the unit resistant to damage, especially by impact. This being the case, you will find the WR300 Type 2 one of the most durable inclinometers in the market. Ease of use is another aspect many users love about this gadget today.
In this regard, it features a strong in-built magnet at its base for attachment to metallic surfaces. By securely attaching the gadget to your saw blades, the magnet ensures that you have a hands-free measuring experience. You will also love the comparatively large display on this product.
Situated on the front end of the unit, the large unit is easily readable, even from a distance. The compact design of this inclinometer allows for an easy 90-degree setup. The relatively high range of accuracy offered by the product is another reason users across the glove prefer it.
- Features a strong in-built magnet for attachment
- Offers impressive accuracy
- Features a compact design
- Equipped with a large display
- Allows for easy 90-degrees setup
- Relatively easy to use
- Runs on batteries, hence is portable
- Features a zero calibration button
- You may get inconsistent readings on wood
2. AccuRemote Digital Electronic Magnetic Angle Gage Level – Most Lightweight Digital Inclinometer
Unlike the WR300 inclinometer reviewed above, the AccuRemote Digital Angle Gauge level features a plastic construction. However, it is still a great product by a renowned manufacturer. So, why do users still find this model a favourite today? Though made of plastic, the plastic casing is thick enough to resist damage by impact.
As such, you should not expect it to get damaged by mild accidental drops. The LCD display used on the unit is another reason why so many people love it today. The Display on this gadget is not only large; it is also bright and clear enough for you to get your readings even during the day.
Although the display on the inclinometer is rather outdated, it is still more visible than most OLED displays being used on angle finders today. You will also love the battery life offered by this unit. The angle finder is equipped with a 9V battery that can last for more than 250 hours.
- Relatively easy to sue
- Enhanced battery life
- Equipped with a clear LCD display
- Backed by a 1-year replacement warranty
- Features inbuilt magnets on 3 faces
- Has an extended range of 360 degrees
- Offers an accuracy of +/- 0.2 degrees
- Has a plastic construction
3. Bosch DAF220K Miter finder Digital Angle Finder – Most Versatile
Versatility is one of the things that lacks in most digital inclinometers today. Well, this is not the case for the Bosch DAF220 Miter Finder. As a matter of fact, the unit serves as 4 different tools in one. This versatility makes the unit one of the best today, with regards to value for money. So, what can the DAF220 do?
Basically, the unit is designed to function as four different tools, a cut calculator, level, angle finder and a protractor. With this product, you do not have to but the other 3 tools separately. This is why the value offered by this tool is still one of the best today. Additionally, you will also find an array of impressive convenience features in this product.
For instance, the new Miter inclinometer features angle memory. This feature will come in handy when using the gadget for repeated measurements. You will also love the log extension and digital readout features offered by the unit. Such unit make the DAF220 Miter a favourite measuring tool for remodelers, carpenters and contractors.
With this angle finder, you will be able to measure angles between 0 and 220 degrees at accuracy of 0.1 degrees. The unit comes with a 16-inch extension leg that has a range of about 6-3/4 inches. This makes it easier to measure angles in more confined areas, such as sloped windows and ventilation shafts.
- Backed by a 3-year limited warranty
- Serves as 4 different tools
- Comes with a carrying case
- Features an angle measurement memory
- Comes with a separate leg extension
- Offers a great value on money
- Offers a range of 220 degrees
- A relatively high accuracy of 0.1 degrees
- Has a limited measuring range
4. General Tools 822 Digital Angle Finder Rule – Most Affordable
Are you working on a limited budget? Then you should opt for a simple, yet accurate inclinometer that is easy to use. The General Tools 822 Digital Angle Finder Rule is one of the best products, in this regard. Though priced below $20, this unit has all the features you need for accurate measurement of angles.
To begin with, the inclinometer features a rugged and durable design. This may be attributed to its analogue metric and standard rulers. However, these are merged with an easy to read digital technology for enhanced accuracy and readability. This being the case, you will have an easy time measuring outside, inside as well as reverse angles using this tool.
You may use the hold button on this unit to save measurements digitally. Alternatively, you may use the ergonomic locking know to save angle measurements manually. Reading the measurements on this product is not going to be a problem either. This may be attributed to its relatively large LCD display.
- Equipped with an easy-to-read LCD display
- Can measure up to 360 degrees
- Features a simple, lightweight design
- Comparatively affordable
- May be zeroed at any swing point
- Equipped with a 5-inch digital measuring stick
- Offers reverse and lock angle functions
- Functions as an angle finder and a ruler
- The battery on this unit is not very reliable
5. GemRed 82412 Backlight Digital Level Box Protractor Angle Finder – Most Portable
What if you had an inclinometer that is both lightweight and features a durable construction? If you are looking for such a tool, the solution lies with the GemRed 82412 Backlight Digital Level Box. The unit features a compact design and is relatively lightweight. As such, you will find it very easy to carry around or move from one point to another.
You will also find this model comparatively easy to use. To begin with, the product features a concealed magnet at the bottom. This allows you to attach the unit to metal surfaces for hands-free measurements. Additionally, it is equipped with a relatively large LCD display. The display features a green backlight, which makes it easier to read in the dark.
- Equipped with a backlight LCD display
- Features a compact and lightweight design
- Offers absolute and relative measuring modes
- Comparatively easy to use
- Offers an extended battery life, up to 100 hours
- Durable and water proof construction
- Features powerful built in magnets
- The accuracy drops when measuring angles beyond 180 degrees
There are many different circumstances where you might need to know the angle measurement of an object. A digital inclinometer is an electronic device for quickly measuring the slope angle of an object.
Typically, readings are projected onto a screen after being placed on the surface you want to measure. Digital inclinometers are portable, battery-powered, and offer a faster means of measuring angles than doing it manually.
Features of the Best Digital Inclinometers?
Unless you plan on purchasing several different digital inclinometers and determining which one is the best on your own, a little bit of background research will be necessary.
The good news is that we have done all the hard work for you. After countless hours of research and experiences with digital inclinometers, here are the most important features to check for.
Easy to Read & Use
The interface of the digital inclinometer itself is an important feature to consider. Any of the best digital inclinometers will come with a screen that clearly projects your readings.
If you see a model with many different buttons and settings, make sure that you would know how to use the device right out of the box. If you are concerned with the potential of a learning curve, make sure it comes with a user manual and clear instructions.
Quick & Accurate Measurements
Unless you are really talented at measuring angles manually, any digital inclinometer on the market should be able to measure angles faster than you. Readings should be calculated and projected on the screen in a matter of seconds.
You should also make sure that the model you choose will measure angles to the tenth degree. This way, you receive measurements which are more precise than you can probably do manually on your own.
Enough Measuring Range
It’s important that your inclinometer is able to meet your needs. The maximum measuring range for any of the best digital inclinometers is anywhere between 180 to 360 degrees. Depending on the type of measuring job you are doing, you may or may not need more than 180 degrees.
Tons of Battery Life
Digital inclinometers don’t usually use that much power. For this reason, it is reasonable for you to expect a really long battery life.
To put this in perspective, it is common for a digital inclinometer battery life to last more than 100 hours. The AccuRemote Inclinometer battery life is one of the most impressive models in this regard, lasting more than 250 hours.
Portable & Lightweight
Any digital inclinometer that you consider needs to be portable and small enough to fit in tight corners and small areas of space. This will both help you measure in small areas and make the inclinometer easy to store. In any case, the product you purchase should also weigh right around (or less than) one pound.
Things You Need to Know Before Buying
As opposed to olden days, you do not have to use a bubble level to ascertain the angles on various surfaces. Owing to technological advancements, modern digital inclinometers are some of the best tools for this task. These instruments are designed to eliminate guesswork while measuring angles.
Unfortunately, not all the angle finders available today are so accurate or easy to use. Again, not all the digital angle finders in the market are suited for all applications. This being the case, choosing the right digital inclinometer can be daunting task.
In order to choose the right angle finder, there are several aspects that you need to consider. Discussed below are the key considerations you should make while shopping for the best digital inclinometer.
1. Reliable Accuracy
Whether you are a wood worker, an engineer or just a floor installer, you need accurate tools in order to do the job correctly. This is not an exception when it comes to digital inclinometers. While shopping for these tools, the accuracy should be a key consideration. While most digital angle finders are known to be very accurate, not all the available units are good at it.
For enhanced accuracy, you should go for the models that use reliable electronic-based angle measuring system. In this regard, the inclinometers that can provide angle readings in tenths of a degree are some of the best.
2. Measurement Range
In some applications, you will need a tool that can measure relatively small angles accurately. Regardless of the application, it is advisable to go for a tool that offers a bigger measuring range. Most of the digital angle finders available today have a measuring range of between 0 and 220 degrees.
However, you can still get tools that can measure angles greater than 220 degrees accurately. A greater measuring range makes these tools more versatile in application.
3. Display Type
One of the things that set modern angle finders from the traditional tools is the display. The display on your inclinometer will determine its ease of use. This being the case, it is advisable to opt for the inclinometer with a display that is relatively easy to read and interpret. In this regard, you will find the larger displays easier to read.
In addition to a larger screen size, it is advisable to go for the back-lit displays. However, this feature can have a negative effect on the battery life of the gadget. If the display on your preferred inclinometer is backlit, you need to ensure that the tool has an auto-off feature as well. This goes a long way in extending battery life.
With regards to design, digital angle finders may be grouped into two broad categories; protractors and cube angle finders (commonly referred to as digital angle blocks). The two inclinometer designs are known to offer consistent accurate readings and are relatively easy to use. The main difference between these two types of inclinometer is the build quality.
In this regard, the greatest digital protractor models are known to be made of durable and tough materials as compared to the angle blocks. The Wixey WR300, for example, features a durable metal construction and is lined with composites for reinforcement. This being the case, the best digital protractors are more durable than digital angle blocks.
Ready To Buy The Best Digital Inclinometer?
Digital inclinometers are some of the most versatile tools today, with regards to application. Although all the angle finders are meant to measure angles, not all angle measuring conditions are the same. This being the case, some digital inclinometer models will be suited for certain applications than others.
As you have learnt in this guide, the right angle finder should be of the right design, have an easy-to-read display, offer the right measurement range and be accurate enough. Regardless of the intended application, this guide will help you buy the best digital inclinometer.