No Shop Should Be Without a Set of Steel Rules

Infinity Tools Stainless Steel Rule Set 100-068
Infinity Tools Stainless Steel Rule Set 100-068

When I'm shopping for a steel rule (or set of rules), there are a few features I look for. First, I stay away from any rule that has stamped markings. You'll find these in hardware stores and home centers. The markings are simply pressed, or stamped, into the steel. Usually, there's no ink applied to help you see the markings. And even if you can see the markings, they're so wide that taking an accurate measurement involves a fair amount of guesswork. With stamped markings, the line is too fat to make an accurate determination of the measurement.

The best rules use lasers to etch the markings onto the steel. Doing this creates a hairline at each division, so making precise measurements is easy — it's either on the line or it isn't. But to make these fine markings even easier to read, look for the rules where the etchings have been inked so they stand out.

The rules I keep near my table saw and router table at all times also include a handy feature you won't find on a lot of rules. The ends of the rule are marked in 1/32" increments. These are perfect for setting bit and blade heights. As a matter of fact, I also keep a 6" rule in my apron pocket so it's always at hand.

iGaging Premium Steel Rules

Steel rules are a must-have tool in the workshop. Ours are easy on the eyes with their satin, non-glare finish and precision, laser-engraved etchings. Each rule also features markings in 1/32" at the end of the rule. This makes checking the bit or blade height easy at the router table or table saw.

Etchings on the end of the stainless steel rule are ideal for tool setup
Etchings on the end of the stainless steel rule are ideal for tool setup

Finally, I stay away from rules that are so shiny that they reflect the light and make it hard to read the markings. A satin finish is preferred. It provides a nice contrast to the inked etchings without producing distracting glare.

You'll be happy to know that Infinity Cutting Tools offers a complete set of stainless steel rules that meet all of my fussy requirements. They're available individually or in a set that includes 6", 12", 18", and 24" rules.

These rules are perfect for tool setup and layout work. They also make a handy straightedge for checking tools and workpieces for flatness.

I keep the 12", 18", and 24" rules near my table saw for setting the rip fence and marking cut lines on workpieces. I have another set near the workbench for layout work. As I said, I have several 6" rules that reside near all my stationary tools and in my apron pocket.

A 6
A 6" stainless steel rule from Infinity Tools (100-064) makes an ideal apron tool

This set of rules offers a good value for quality measuring tools. There's no excuse not to give them a home in your workshop.