The Best Gage Block Set: Finding Grades and Uses

Published on: June 4, 2022
Written by David Rowan / Fact-checked by David Rowan

Find the best quality gage blocks for your machine shops? Don’t destroy your time. Just notice our reviews. Here are six high-grade but affordable gauge block sets on behalf of you.

Anyway, gage blocks are familiar with different names like gauge blocks, Jo blocks, Hoke blocks, Johansson gauges, and slip gages. This device is urgent for measuring calibrated equipment and more. 

gage block set

They are commonly square or rectangular bases. Ceramic, precision-ground steel, or carbide are used to formulate the gage blocks. You find some unique identification numbers to do this job. 

First, we share some fundamental knowledge about the gage blocks. Then, go through the main topic. So, read on! 

What Are Gage Blocks Used for?

Gage blocks are used for multiple purposes. Each block has separate tag numbers to measure the length. They are wrung together. Gauge blocks come with several grades and quality. 

Grades indicate the deviation or tolerance of the particular block from the nominal length along with the surface finish, flatness, parallelism, and length.

Generally, higher grade gauges are used to calibrate engineering equipment. On the other hand, it is suitable for use in machine shops for measuring sine bars, micrometers, dial indicators, and calipers.

You can even use gauge blocks in factories, labs, shops anywhere if you oblige a precise measurement. 

Types of Gage Blocks 

The different types of gage blocks are angle, square, rectangular, wear, and scribing. They are available in ceramic, carbide, and hardened steel material. Below, you learn the details of the gage block types.

Square Gage Blocks

These types of gage blocks are attached to the exterior gage block holder. They have no central hole. 

Angular Gauge Blocks

Angular gauge blocks are used in checking protractors and angle gages together with finding the precise angle for gaging angles. 

Rectangular Gage Blocks

This is another popular type of block set available in the market. Rectangular gage blocks contain several central holes. Some have one central hole for mounting on keeping bars. 

Wear Gage Blocks 

These blocks have an end gage block stack which is used to contact the parts or variable gauge analysis. 

Our Favorite Picks Reviews

Now, focus on the six best gage blocks. In this review, guideline helps to pick the right gauge blocks with confidence along with lots of information that are helpful to the users. 

1. Accusize Industrial Tools 81 Pcs Steel Gauge Block Set

From the Accusize industrial tools, Nothing but truly reliable, professional, and affordable’ this 81 Pcs Steel Gauge Block Set. So, this set is a Grade B block set certified by MFG’S. Remember that they are not calibrated to NIST. 

There is no doubt that all accessories are made to special standards. Even if you use them frequently, these are not defacement & corrosion within a tight moment. 

Besides, each gauge block set ensures its quality due to meeting federal specification GGG-G-15C. Allows users to control these sixty-eight degrees Fahrenheit temperatures. What do you think of the serial numbers? No worries, all sets have a selected serial number that supports finding and deviating each block with ease. 

Another thing is to come up with an affordable price so anyone who has a tight budget can collect this 81 pcs set. Alternatively, if you are a professional user, it can be a great opportunity for you.

Why we loved

  • Comes with all clear and easy-read markings;
  • Includes a chart of measured numbers which are a few microinches.
  • This block set is calibrated to the MFG so that it is more reliable;
  • Relatively cheap and nice gauge block set for home machinists.

Why we didn’t love

  • Not certified by the NIST and we wouldn’t expect it due to the low price.

2. HFS (R) 81 Pcs Grade B Gage Gauge Block Set

This, however, is another 81 pcs grade B gage gauge block set coming from the remarkable brand HFS. The manufacturer made these gauges using a fully seasoned alloy tool steel hardened. This is because it is suitable for long periods of rust resistance and stains resistance blocks. Easy to control these top-quality blocks and allows you to work when the room temperature is 68 degrees Fahrenheit. 

These grade B gage blocks are critical for multiple platforms especially in the workshops for calibrating and analyzing mounting tools, and more. All blocks have individual serial numbers that help to do this job without turmoil. Believe it or not, they are calibrated to the accredited ISO-17025 gage lab as well as calibration traceable to the N.I.S.T.

Overall, these 81 pcs grade B blocks are perfect, accurate, parallelism, and inexpensive. Each of the gauges is clear and readable, and would not be wet or rusty. Also, you get a solid storage case. These seem enough to use in professional machine stores. So, why are you not collecting this high-quality product?

Why we loved

  • Confirms accuracy of parallelism and flatness;
  • Offers an extremely good finish;
  • Its mirror-polished coverings stand with special wringing characteristics;
  • All of the gage blocks don’t become rusty or wet because of the plastic mirror-polished 

Why we didn’t love

  • All block numbers are not straight according to the directions.

3. Mitutoyo – 611201-531 Steel Rectangular Gage Block

Sometimes users desire to get the 0-grade gage block including all features. The leading global producer Mitutoyo comes in the “0” rectangular grade gage block along with a great warranty. This brand is prominent due to manufacturing high-grade metrology equipment & system, and precision measuring tools.

The main features are made of high-chrome steel, the length etched in inches for easy understanding and an inspection certificate that means these blocks meet ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers). Further, high carbon, as well as high hardness, makes each block stronger so it can not break down quickly. Block’s 0.355 inches depth is also considerable. 

People can use the 1.0″ Length Steel Rectangular Gage Blocks for multi-purpose like calibrate fixtures and exactness tools in workshops, inspecting tools, and other goals. You would like to enjoy the standard finish, parallelism, and nominal length of the individual block. You think that the length of the gage block is quite short. But, not, it is standard. If you see many blocks are wrung, allow you to use the oil to solve this problem. 

Why we loved

  • This gage block is certified by the NIST or National Institute of Standards in Engineering;
  • Provides unique identification numbers;
  • Ideal for calibrating measuring equipment in several industries;
  • Includes a definitive carrying case with a padded and formed interior.

Why we didn’t love 

  • No cons.

4. Fowler 53-672-081 Steel Shop-Blox Rectangular Economy Gage Block Set

This seems to be a great choice for small shops and honestly perfect bang for the buck! Fowler 53-672-081 Steel Gage Block comes with high-performance 81 pieces for ensuring overall pick within a tight budget. Capitalizes high-accuracy ultima bore gauging system. 

The ultima system contains an accurate measurement range along with 0.00001-inch resolution. The depth of the measurement is 3.15 inches. So, easy to handle and do it. Alternatively, you enjoy the one-year warranty offer from the company. If you feel troubled at the time, you will contact the manufacturer directly.

The weakness of the block is not as well finished as other traditional Jo-blocks. If the price is too low, you can not ignore some tiny issues. But, this block provides users with more outstanding benefits. 

Why we loved

  • Offers a great warranty;
  • A lot cheaper;
  • High-Performance and durable gage blocks;
  • All blocks contain individual numbers. 

Why we didn’t love

  • Includes an awful storage case.

5. WEN 10481 81-Piece Steel Gauge Block Set with Case

Do you want to get an incredible quality gauge block at a very affordable price? There is no exception to choosing this WEN 10481 81-Piece Steel Gauge Block Set. This is a perfect product for small job shops and home shops. It comes with impressive & individual block steel pieces of various sizes. They are certified by the ASME B89.1.9 standards. 

Thanks for the well-made case for keeping each black diverse as well as you expect. Every block provides an actual measure of value to the nearest microinch. 

Do they wring together?

Yes, these blocks are wrong together. For this reason, you can squeeze or wring them jointly without any problem except for the massive gage blocks. For larger blocks, you have to make some effort wringing continuously. 

Remember,  these are not full-size gage blocks (1″ ×1″) but perhaps 0.25×1 inches is very useful and great for the value. Made from softer materials you don’t have to be disheartened to buy this product.

Why we loved 

  • Great value for the home machinist;
  • Packaged securely for protecting them perfectly;
  • Each block is verified by the certificate of inspection;
  • These 81 blocks are of various sizes and the range of size is .05 inches to 4 inches.

Why we didn’t love

  • Not qualified for larger projects.

6. CME Tools – 81 PCS Precision GAGE Block Set

Finally, we recommend that you select another new grade 81 pcs steel precision gage set. This perfect block set comes from the well-known brand CME Tools. It has GRADE A(-)/3 #702-G3-NC. The exceptional thing, each of the blocks is mirror polished according to size as well as serial number. So, users don’t feel uncomfortable and confused while using this high-quality set. 

Alternatively, all blocks are verified by the certificate of inspection and reliability. You can apply it for heavy-duty & small shops that you expect. No worries about weight blocks because the item weight is 11 pounds enough to hold easily.

Two highlighted things: reasonable price and very high quality require good customer reviews. The only downside is that the case is not strong enough to protect against damage. But, if you contact the manufacturer, you can get another.

Why we loved

  • The great value of the money;
  • User-friendly;
  • No compromise quality while making these gage blocks;
  • All blocks are certified by W. Certificate.

Why we didn’t love

  • Not secure packaging.

Tips & Tricks to the Proper Care Gauge Blocks

Gauge blocks are the general measuring tools used for accurate measurement. Now, we are summarizing some tips and tricks for the proper care of the gage blocks. Following the below directions, you can ensure long-term use. 

  • You have to use a lint-free cotton glove or chamois when handling the gage blocks. Because it can scrape or drop. Always use natural oils and avoid direct contact with the blocks.
  • One of the most crucial parts is to clean them regularly. Without proper care and frequent cleaning, they don’t provide you with better service. You need to remove extra oil and debris to protect against damage. Allows you to use a commercial gage block cleaner or solvent. Then, use the soft lint-free cloth or tissues to dry the blocks. Remember, don’t try to apply the water to clean gage blocks. 
  • After using gauge blocks, don’t leave them standing out. Keep them in case of storage to reduce the risk of unexpected damage. 

Benefits of a Gage Block Set

A gage block set, also known as a gauge block set or a Jo block set, is a precision measuring instrument that consists of a set of blocks of various sizes that can be combined in various ways to create precise measurements. The benefits of a gage block set include:

  • High precision: Gage blocks are typically made from a high-grade steel or ceramic material and are carefully manufactured to precise dimensions, which allows for highly accurate measurements.
  • Versatility: Gage blocks can be combined in various ways to create measurements of various lengths, which makes them useful for a wide range of measuring applications.
  • Durability: Gage blocks are typically made from very hard and durable materials, which makes them resistant to wear and tear and allows them to maintain their accuracy over time.
  • Convenience: Gage blocks are small, lightweight, and easy to handle, which makes them convenient to use in a wide range of settings.
  • Interchangeable: Gage blocks are interchangeable with other gage blocks of the same standard, which allows for flexibility and easy replacement in case of loss or damage.
  • Cost-effective: Gage blocks are relatively inexpensive and long-lasting, which makes them a cost-effective option for precision measurement.

Frequently Asked Questions about Gage Blocks 

1. What Are the Grades of Gauge Blocks?

Gage blocks have four tolerance grades 0.5,1,2 and 3. According to the nominal values, grades 0.5 and 1 gage blocks require slightly similar lengths compared to the other grades. These grade blocks are excellent for calibration masters. If you analyze grades 2 and 3, they are of lower quality. These are suitable for measurement as well as gauging purposes. 

2. How Many Gauge Blocks Are in a Set?

The amount of gauge blocks of a set is dependent on the brand and quality. Multiple well-known brands offer from 9 to more than 90 blocks in a set. Some block sets have more large numbers. When you activate a large number of blocks in a set, you recognize more combinations. It supports achieving the extended lengths in fewer increments.

3. How Gauge Blocks Work?

Gage blocks work by using forces. The source of the gage block forces are: 

  • Air forces are coming from the surrounding atmosphere, especially while blocks are sliding together, these air forces are wringing out.
  • Surface pressure is coming from oil. It works as an adhesive for holding the gauge blocks together by using water vapor pressure. 
  • Another force is molecular pressure that is used to activate the gage blocks. In this case, there is no necessary oil or water on the blocks. Just require a vacuum. This force is created if the two flat surfaces go on close to each other and interchange the electrons between the separate blocks. 

4. Are Gauge Blocks Square?

Standard gauge blocks are rectangular or square. Perfect for working with ease. Although quality and accuracy depend on the manufacturing process, square block sets are more suitable. Mitutoyo, one of the renowned brands, produces the high-quality square gage blocks available in the market at a reasonable price. These blocks are steel or ceramic and inch or metric types.

Some Final Words

So, gage blocks are important for the home machinist to the professional shop’s holder. In this writing, we outlined inclusive info about the gauge blocks as well as highlighted six prominent gauge block sets in detail. Be sure you have checked the whole review and understand them overall.

Although our selected products are good for users, the Mitutoyo Steel Rectangular Gage Block set is the best-selling among those.

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About This Writer

david rowan author

Hello, I am David Rowan. I am a professional contractor with 10 years of experience in home building, different tools used, construction, home remodeling, and other home improvement work. I have already built many custom homes and continued to do several woodworking projects along with how to deal with all categories of tools.

Hello, I am David Rowan. I am a professional contractor with 10 years of experience in home building, different tools used, construction, home remodeling, and other home improvement work. I have already built many custom homes and continued to do several woodworking projects along with how to deal with all categories of tools.

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