M1 Caliber by REEKON Tools – Review
M1 Caliber – Miter Saw Measuring Tool
One of the great things about running a tool review site is we get to see lots of new products before they hit the market. Recently the folks from REEKON Tools sent us a prototype of a new product that they are launching this month called the M1 Caliber. The M1 Caliber is a measuring tool designed to use with miter saws for fast measuring of stock material without the need for a tape measure and marking tool.
M1 Caliber – How it Works
The M1 Caliber is a fairly simple device that uses a spring loaded tensioning arm to put pressure on a digital measuring wheel. As the wheel rotates from sliding material under it towards the saw blade it, it records the linear distance. Before making any cuts the user must select the saw blade width (kerf) in the settings. This allows each cut to be adjusted for the specific blade width being used on the saw. Then, before measuring for a cut the device is “zeroed” with the wood against the saw blade teeth (or better yet by making a starting cut), the the user slides the material towards the saw blade until the digital read-0ut displays the length of the cut needed. You can learn more here.
Using the M1 Caliber
Setting up and using the M1 Caliber is extremely easy to do and well suited to fit a wide range of miter saws (including metal cut-off saws). The unit uses two AA batteries for power which are easily inserted into the right side of the unit. The unit attaches to the fence of a the miter saw with a spring loaded clamp that can easily be set using one hand and no tools. Next the spring loaded tension arm can be lowered down so the wheel touches the miter saw table.
Accuracy and Precision
The benefit of a tool like this is providing consistent accuracy and precision. That’s not to say you can do a great job with a tape measure, but this process can safe a lot of time and result in more accurate cuts as it eliminates both marking and visual errors associated with using a traditional tape measure or ruler when cutting at the miter saw.
I cut a variety of material in different lengths to see how accurate the cuts were and I was surprised at not only how accurate, but how repeatable the dimensions were. Above you can see I ran this piece of Oak through the M1 Caliber set to 6″ and cut the piece. Down below is the cut off piece and it measured 6″.
Where to Buy
Starting on June 16th the M1 Caliber will start a pre-order period. You can learn more about it here. The units will range from $139.99 and $149.99 once they go on sale, however during the presale they will be as low as $89.99.
Overall Impression – M1 Caliber
First let me say this is the first time we’ve published a review based entirely on using a prototype. Because it’s a prototype, we cannot comment on the fit and finish of the unit as the real production units will be much nicer than the one we evaluated. Having said that this review is based on the functionality of the prototype.
At first I was a bit skeptical about the need for this tool and what I’d use it for. But after using it around the shop I found myself enjoying the ability to quickly cut material to a specific length without needing my tape measure or a pencil. The unit is very easy to set up and extremely accurate.
It does have some limitations worth noting. It won’t work on really narrow material as the wheel is set off the fence about 3/4″. Also, the unit needs flat smooth material otherwise the measurements may be off due to the rough or uneven surface.
With pricing well below $200 this is a good value for anyone looking for a more efficient and accurate way of measuring material on the miter saw.
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