Lee Valley Pocket Marking Gauge

Well-designed gauge ideal for use on small, narrow stock


Lee Valley Pocket Marking Gauge

Lee Valley already makes a great marking gauge in both standard and micro-adjust styles (the Veritas Wheel Marking Gauges). I've been using one for the past six or seven years, and like it much better than a traditional pin marking gauge.
This new Lee Valley Pocket Marking Gauge is essentially a smaller version of the Veritas gauge, with the added feature of a head on both ends of the rod. It's made of stainless steel, and has hardened steel cutters. At 4-1/2" long it fits very comfortably in the hand, and slips comfortably into your pants pocket or apron. The heads are 3/4" diameter, giving you 1/4" of bearing surface. The thumbscrews may look small, but they are easy to tighten and loosen. There is a brass shoe inserted below the thumbscrew to prevent damage to the shaft. The thumbscrews will also keep the gauge from rolling off your workbench.

Small head locks securely with thumbscrew
Brass shoe protects shaft
The cutters are attached to the ends of the shaft with Phillips screws. These aren't the same cutters as used on the Veritas Wheel Marking Gauges so are not interchangeable. Sharpening the cutters shouldn't pose a problem. The screws are recessed, so likely won't need to be removed. Up-end the gauge and lap the face on a benchstone.

Cutters are easy to hone
Fits nicely in the hand
There is no scale on the shaft, but adjusting the head to obtain a precise cutting depth is very easy. I found it best to loosen the thumbscrew just a tad, ensuring there is just the slightest bit of tension against the shaft. Then slide the head to the required depth. Of course, the real clincher here is that you can set two marking depths; no need for two marking gauges. I found that the widest marking depth is about 2"; I've been using it for depths up to about 1".


I quite like the Pocket Marking Gauge; it fits nicely in the hand, is quick and easy to adjust, and doesn't roll around when laid on the workbench. I find it most convenient for laying out mortises and dovetails on small stock. It won't replace my Veritas Wheel Gauge, but neither will it collect dust.


  • 4-1/2" rod, 1/4" shaft and 3/4" heads
  • Cutting wheels retract into heads
  • Retains two measurements simultaneously

Manufacturer:Lee Valley Tools
Model Number:15N02.01
Retail Price:$19.50
Made In:Canada
Carl Duguay, March 2010
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