Canadian Woodworking

PINNACLE layout tools

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Premium quality layout tools built to last a lifetime.

Author: Carl Duguay

There are a lot of good quality tools on the market for laying out or checking right and mitre angles for your projects or setting up machinery. They’re essential for doing precise work.

These new Pinnacle layout tools from Woodcraft are among the best that I’ve shop tested over they years. They’re precisely machined from solid aluminum and with adequate care should last a lifetime. Compact in size they fit nicely in a shop apron and are ideal for smaller scale, detailed use.

ManufacturerWoodcraft
Models: Thumb rule, Precision square, Mini carpenter square
Price: Thumb rule $19.99, Precision square $79.99, Mini carpenter square $73.99 (prices is US$)
Warranty: 90-day return policy
Made in: USA (thumb rule, precision square); Taiwan (mini carpenter square)
SourceWoodcraft.com

 

Features:

  • Available in metric or Imperial (carpenter square only in Imperial)
  • Machined from one-piece solid aluminum
  • White laser engraved imperial markings
  • Black anodized

 

Thumb Rule

Pinnacle Thumb Rule

This is a unique design that I’ve not see before. It has two adjacent edges, one that enables you to lay out registration line 9.5mm (3/8″) from the edge of a board, the other that has a 19.05mm (3/4″) offset. The concave surfaces make it easy to pick up and hold the rule, and the bright white markings (graduated in 1mm increments) are easy to read against the black anodized surface.

It only weighs 84 grams (3 oz) but is chunkier than a flat rule so best to store in a shop apron or on a wall shelf than in a shirt pocket. For laying out lines along the edge of stock it’s a very handy tool to have on hand.

pinnacle thumb rule
One edge is offset 3/8″, the other 3/4″.
pinnacle thumb rule
A handy accessory for edge work.

Precision Square

Pinnacle Precision Square

This is a sweet try square that I reach for frequently in the shop. Because it’s machined from a single billet of aluminum it’s quite light (159 grams / 5-5/8 oz) and the offset ledges on the stock allow it to sit firmly on stock and not tip over. The blade is 6.35mm (1/4″) thick and 28.6mm (1-1/8″) wide.

I like a thick blade as it makes scribing with a marking knife easier. A hole on the end of the blade enables you to hang it on a shop wall. You’ll also find a convenient 45° shoulder on each side of the stock that enables you to layout 45° angles. Like the Thumb Rule the markings are very clear.

Precision Square

Mini Carpenter Square

Mini Carpenter Square

At roughly 125mm (5″) along each side and 208grams in weight (7-1/4 oz)  I’d not classify this as a mini square, but rather a small square. I have a couple of mini versions that are about half this size. Semantics aside, this is a square you could easily come to love. Unlike the other two Pinnacle tools this one is available only with an Imperial scale.

Like the Precision Square it has offset ledges on each side that keep the square balanced on your stock. What I really like is the arrangement of holes in the blade and the stainless steel indexing pin that enables you to quickly mark out 22.5°, 30°, 45°, 60°, and 67.5° angles. The indexing pin conveniently stores in the stock. The pin fits snugly in the holes ensuring precise angles. Once you’ve used it a few times you’ll find it considerably quicker than using a protractor or other devices.

Mini Carpenter Square
Indexing pin stores in the stock.

Mini Carpenter Square

Published:
Last modified: January 25, 2024

Carl Duguay - [email protected]

Carl is a Victoria-based furniture maker and the web editor at Canadian Woodworking & Home Improvement.


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