Our other sites:

Maintenance of Marking Out Gauges

Maintenance of marking out gauges

Shop for Marking Out Gauges

Keeping the tool dry

Towel, use to wipe dry a marking gauge if it gets wet to stop wood rotting or metal corroding Marking out gauges should be kept indoors and out of moisture to stop the wood rotting or metal corroding. If the surface does get wet, wipe it dry as soon as possible.

Keeping the pin sharp

Marking gauge pin / spur used to mark accurate lines across a wood surface, can be sharpened to a point but this can make them less accurate The pin on a marking or mortise gauge can be sharpened if it gets dull by using a knife to shape it to a point. However this can make the tool less accurate as the pin may not be straight or have as thin a tip.
Marking gauge marking work piece Ideally, if the pin of a marking gauge becomes dull, the user should replace it with a new pin. This is done by simply pushing the old one out and inserting the new one through the hole from the top. The pin you buy must be the correct brand and size for your gauge, check your tool for details.

It is important that the tip of a marking out gauge remains sharp otherwise it can leave a thicker line which will be less accurate.

Cutting gauge with retracted knife to protect it and keep in sharp When a cutting gauge is not in use, the fence should be brought up so it is against the knife. This will help protect the knife and keep it sharper for longer.
Sharpening a knife, the blade of the cutting gauge can be sharpened to make sure the line created is still thin and accurate Cutting gauge knives can be sharpened by removing the knife from the end of the tool and sliding it along a wet abrasive stone. The knife can be removed from the gauge by first removing the knife wedge. As the blade is quite small, sandpaper may also be used.
Securing screw of a wheel marking gauge which when undone releasing the blade so that it can be sharpened The wheel gauge’s blade may also need to be sharpened over time. To do this, remove the securing screw in the centre of the blade and rub the blade face down on an abrasion stone before reattaching.

Plastic vs. brass thumb screws

Plastic thumb screw on a marking gauge Over time, you may find that the plastic thumb screw on your marking out gauge has worn away and become slightly loose, leaving the fence insecure. This can cause inaccuracies in marking.

If the tool is required to be used often then a marking out gauge with a brass screw may be preferable as brass is a much stronger material.


Lubricant to keep the fence moving easily up the stem of a marking gauge To keep the fence moving easily up and down the stem, it can be lubricated with a lubricant oil or paraffin from the stub of a candle.

Protecting the wood finish

Linseed oil used to protect the wood finish of a marking gauge To keep the wood finish of a marking out gauge looking its best, linseed oil can be occasionally rubbed over the wood.

Wonkee Donkee Tools