Please note that any woodworking tool or range of products that I review is an entirely honest appraisal based on the following criteria:
- I have purchased the items at normal price.
- I have used the items for a minimum of 6 months in my own workshop.
- I have not been paid or coerced in any way to give favourable reviews.
Tool Review #004: Wixey Remote Thicknesser Readout Kit:
It goes without saying that any improvement when trying to accurately get a single or multiple boards to a specific thickness on your Thicknesser is a good thing.
Very much like the "Measure, Tap, Nudge & Pray" method that most of us (without Incra Table Saw Fences) need to go through every time on our Table Saws, a good quality, easy to set up, calibratible readout on your thicknesser makes a gargantuan difference to your accuracy.
I bought my Wixey "Remote Planer Readout" about six years ago directly from Wixey in the USA, as these products were not available in South Africa at the time.
At that stage, Brian Wixey led the world market in digitally based readout products for woodworkers and by all accounts, Wixey products still lead the pack. We have all heard of or used a "Digital Bevel Box", well there are no prizes for guessing which company first introduced them to the woodworking market!
The really good news is that Wixey Products will be freely available in South Africa both online and in store from Toolcraft in about 2 weeks from now.
The Wixey Digital Remote Thicknesser Readout is really easy to install and an absolute walk in the park to set up.
The kit includes all of the necessary mounting hardware, drill bits, and thread forming screws. You can place the actual readout box anywhere on your thicknesser or even on the wall next to it at eye level, as it comes supplied with a reasonable length cable. (I mounted mine directly onto my Jet Thicknesser).
The device runs off a pair of AAA Batteries, which last for ages, due to the very small amount of current required to operate the system.
The Wixey Digital Remote Thicknesser Readout is an extremely flexible and versatile system and with a little creativity you could adapt it to many other woodworking machines other than your thicknesser, such as drum sanders or combination machines.
Additionally, Brian Wixey's products incorporate patent pending "Precise Fraction Technology"TM. This technology displays both decimal inches and fractions at the same time. The fractions only appear when they are almost precisely at the decimal equivalent. This gives you at least 4 times the accuracy of other fraction displays.
Another nice feature is that you can switch between the three measurement systems during use with no loss of accuracy. So, let's assume you are building a project from Fine Woodworking or Popular Woodworking and the drawings and cut lists specify boards 3/4" thick. No Problem... Just switch the Readout to Inches and away you go. when you have finished with this set of boards, simply press the button and you are back to Metric!
Here are the specifications of the product:
- Measuring Length or Height: 12" (305mm)
- Resolution - Decimal: =+/- 0.005"
- Resolution - Fractional: =+/- 1/32"
- Resolution - Metric: =+/- 0.1mm
- Accuracy - Decimal: =+/- 0.002"
- Accuracy - Fractional: =+/- 1/500"
- Accuracy - Metric: =+/- 0.05mm
- Power Source: 2 x AAA Batteries
- Decimal Inches/Fractional Inches/mm
- Absolute or Incremental Measurement
- Auto Shut -Off
- Maintains Calibration when Off
It goes without saying that due to my experience of the Digital Remote Thicknesser Readout, I am most definitely a fan of Brian Wixey's products.
My general reasons for choosing the Wixey WR-550 Readout:
- The only product available that does the job!
- Quick and very easy to assemble and calibrate.
- Strong & well made, extremely accurate and reliable.
- Long Term Usage: About 6 years
- Problems: None
- Build Quality: Excellent
- Price: Premium product at a reasonable price
- Adjustability: YES
- Would I add more Wixey products to my workshop going forward?: YES
- Would I recommend this Wixey product to fellow woodworkers?: YES
- Backup, Service & Spares availability: YES (www.toolcraft.co.za)
Wixey also produces a Digital Readout (WR-510) designed specifically for 12" Benchtop Thicknessers, a Digital Readout for Router Tables (WR-525) and the (WR-700) Digital Fence Readout for Table Saws as well as Digital Bevel Boxes and a wide range of Digital Protractors, Height Gauges & Depth Gauges.
I hope that the range of Wixey products available from Toolcraft will increase as we go into 2019.