Best Marking Gauge for Dovetails (Editor’s Picks)

Published on: April 19, 2022
Written by David Rowan / Fact-checked by Eric Devin

What is ideal for woodworking? Well, these projects require precision and accuracy with a number of different gadgets. One of these is a marking gauge for dovetails. Dovetails marking guide leads prospective users to even accuracy. To achieve the finest and detailed design on the woodgrain, and to this extent, nothing can beat the required place for a dovetail marker and for sure, it will amaze you.

You can thank woodwork tools, not only for the finest task making it easier but also to off shoulder the craziest burden within seconds. Even when it is about a big woodworking project, for instance, creating a hammering nail, preparing a furniture set, making gauge for dovetails works like a part of woodwork joinery. 

Therefore, you may have good questions to arise in our mind. To go through the answers and whatever needs planning before purchasing one, we have enlisted 6 dovetails marker guides too. So, here is the depth that we hope you will enjoy. 

marking gauge for dovetails

What Exactly Is a Dovetail Marker? 

The first question will arise in your mind while spending a small number of bucks on the dovetail marker. The basic sense tells as per name that the form is in a jointer by a single or more tapered projection on a single tool that interlocks with corresponding notches in another part. 

The tool actually consists of a fence that the user can move, as well as lock along a beam. At a closer look, you will find a single pin to originate in one line. If in the meantime the lock gets fixed, then the perfect fence size to the accurate location on the beam will be on board to secure your marking jobs. 

Unlike the feeler gage or height gauges, this device is much handier to manage your scribing, as well as to do jobs like marking in an appropriate way, however, available in manual designs.  

Why Choose a Marking Gauge for Dovetails?

Dozens and mechanisms, as if the dovetails integrated valuable systems are increasing its demands at a rocketry speed. Besides these versatile mechanisms, ensure the fence lock. However, some categories persuade the variety to capture the wedge to sort out some thumbscrew. 


Instead of a knife, consists of a pin as a marking gauge. To cut across with a knife trade-off applying a pin though it is quite sensitive. The theory behind this purpose is pretty sharp, however, we have not experienced much of differences in applications compared to customized and other types of gages. Nevertheless, this model is features handy mechanisms in itself to take your command. 


Compatible with a long beam as a long marking gauge that you can move to several feet longer in the application fields. A major use which makes it distinct from other gages is in scribing boards to the accurate width. 

In previous days, correct shaped rip fences and multi-sized and purpose table saws, this model was used to create parallel signatures to one edge of a board to another width of the board. However, for creating central marking to any width of the board, panel gauge is an extreme assistance.  

marking gauge for dovetails


Another style comes with 2 pins on 2 sides to scribe both sides. Some similar models, feature only one pin to move to the other side as a regular marking gauge to scribe evenly which is popular as combination mortise gauges. 

Relying on the design, the integrated pin is adjustable by means of a screw adjuster or a slider. The primary advantage is that the pin which you can move will remain independent and at one place of later fence adjustments. One thing is worth checking whether the pins are the same height or not, however, this convenience comes with prices and complex mechanisms. 

Main Advantages of Using a Marking Gauge for Dovetail Joints

1. Accurate Transfer of Measurements:

Marking gauges are great for transferring measurements from one workpiece to another with accuracy. This is particularly useful for creating dovetail joints, which require precise measurements and angles.

2. Quick Setup:

Setting up a marking gauge for dovetail joints is a relatively quick process, allowing you to quickly and easily mark out your dovetail joints.

3. Easy to Use:

Marking gauges are easy to use and require minimal skill or practice. By setting the gauge to the correct width and depth, you can quickly and easily mark out the dimensions of your dovetail joint.

4. Versatility:

Marking gauges can be used for a variety of tasks and can be adjusted to accommodate different measurements or angles. This makes them highly versatile and ideal for creating dovetail joints.

Are There Any Mandatory Parts of Dovetail Marker that I Should Know?

  • The simplest and most useful handy tool maybe we have ever used to take the marking task down to earth with a single ruler. However, the tool consists of versatile parts that every woodworking enthusiast should know. 
  • The beam, the headstock used to move along.
  • The headstock is referred to as the face plate or fence.
  • The marking device, is often a pin, cutting wheel, pen or pencil.
  • The locking mechanism secures the beam.

How Do You Set Up a Marking Gauge for Accurate Marking of Dovetail Joints

1. Adjust the marking gauge to the desired width of the dovetail joint. You can use a combination square to measure the width of the joint.

2. Set the depth of the marking gauge by loosening the locking screw and adjusting the depth stop to the desired depth.

3. Use a square to make sure the blade is perpendicular to the stock.

4. Lock the blade in place using the locking screw. 5. Use the marking gauge to scribe lines along the edges of the stock at the desired depth and width.

A Marking Gauge vs A Marking Knife?

Between a marking gauge and a marking, knife distinction is created from the equipment that has integrated in itself. While a marking knife holds a sharp knife or blade and is very favorable for veneer work, for instance, cutting or marking across the wood grain.

Instead of a blade or knife, a marking gauge for dovetails has no sharp pin, or pencil except for a graduated imperial ruler to leave marks on wooden workpieces. However, pin-shaped ones are also available which are in-built beneath the I-beam. 

How to Select the Right Type Marking Gauge for Dovetails?

Solid Built

Durability is the first thing in the consideration or worthy checklist before purchasing a better and solidarity marking gauge for dovetails, in fact, the worst material made one can be the worst nightmare often while working.

Whoever, and however the professionalism that the woodworker holds, needs a definite material made marking gage, for instance, A buff Wood manufactured one of a solid billet of aluminum. Not only this categorized material but also brass made ones also popular to make marking gauges for dovetails down to the earth.

With easy-going functionality, this is a choke tool not only for pro-graded woodworkers but also for passionate workers at the same time. 

CNC Machined 

Stands for Computer Numerical Control or CNC, however, the feature actually ensures the efficiency to work with any type of wooden jobs with precision. Moreover, a complete CNC machined marker guide leaves no stone unturned to make you possibly right. 

Relying on perfect measurement, the woodworkers cut and create their obsessive tools or products, something like an album wooden frame, scale for tailoring, and something significant for regular purposes. In that case, a permanent and globally certified graduated measurement scale will help you on both sides to make the work easier. 

Recommended Top 6 Marking Gauges for Dovetails

With no further ado, to get yourself involved with a wide range of complicated projects, such well-organised and specially experienced marking gauges for dovetails will help you to find ways to any extent.  

Abuff Wood Dovetails Marking Gauge


Guide slopes Solid Dovetail Marker – 1:5, 1:8;Hollow Dovetail Marker – 1:5, 1:6, 1:7, 1:8
Material Aluminum 
Compatibility Hardwood and Softwood 
Size Solid Dovetail Marker – 2.6x 0.9 inches;Hollow Dovetail Marker – 2.6x 1.3 inches

Q & A

How much does it weigh?

Yes, we have got the lightest one in our first pick listing. However, the mentioned weight is around a single pound, yet we found less than that. 

Does it come in solid or hollow sizes? 

Well, in terms of sizes, we were very much fortunate to avail it from a shop with 2 different sizes in a versatile range. For solid applications, as if on solid wood scribing or marking, 2.6x 0.9 inches one is available. Another one in hollow shape for soft marking purposes for a longer time, available in more than that 2.6x 1.3 inches. 

Does it include any versatile ranging slopes?

As if the dovetail marker has mentioned 2 purposive marker gages in one pack, then yes, it has slopes for solid and hollow shapes, as well as solid Dovetail Marker – 1:5, 1:8 and hollow Dovetail Marker – 1:5, 1:6, 1:7, 1:8.

Any ideas about material in construction?

Only Aluminum made to keep it rust free with lubricated oil on the polished surface. 

What We Liked 

  • Durable and lightweight;
  • Rust free;
  • Resilient, strong and long-lasting joints. 


  • Found nothing. 

Newkiton Dovetail Marker


Guide slopes 1: 5, 1: 6, 1: 8, 1: 10
Material Solid Billet of Aluminum
Compatibility Hardwood 
Weight 2 pounds

Q & A

Is it a CNC machined marking gauge for dovetails?

Yes, apparently, for precision and to create no daunting problems while working and for longer tasks. Even if you want to act like a pro, together with the tool you will feel consistency in marking on woods with a uniform grip. 

How many proportions have been marked?

It has 4 kinds of proportions, yet mentioned to work on both, we have found only suitable for softwood. Such 4 ratios are 1: 5, 1: 6, 1: 8, 1: 10 to meet marking needs.

Does the layout leave messages?

Well, we should say the far better one is only for novices who are dreaming of building or generating something new in a simple way. However, its layout permits for easy angles creation. 

Integrated equipment?

Compared to previous marking gage for dovetails, the construction is solid with Aluminum, but a graduated imperial measurement scale is a great addition onto both sides. 

What We Liked 

  • Lightweight and durable design;
  • CNC machined for precision;
  • 4 kind of proportions;
  • Layouts for quicker achievement;
  • Simply marking with a measurement scale. 


  • Hefty-priced. 

HNBun Marking Gauge for Dovetails


Guide slopes 1: 5, 1: 6, 1: 8, 1: 10
Material aluminum alloy
Compatibility 2 pieces for separate woods 
Weight 1.5 pounds 

Q & A

Is the material a blend?

The answer is a big NO! However, other dovetail marker guides may have Steel or solid Aluminum, yet this one is Alloy Aluminum made to provide the consistency and accuracy together for one-piece cutting. And yes, the durability, yet lightweight feature is an awesome addition to HNBun Marking Gauge for Dovetails.

Ideal for hardwood or softwood?

The perfect answer is for both. As per our experience, this device is something that considers each one piece for separate wooden applications. Such as 1:8 and 1:5 is for softwood and 1: 5, 1: 6, 1: 8, 1: 10 for harder ones like pine or oak. With such variations, this dovetail jig lessens the frustration of ripping dovetails by providing you the ability to coherently create precise either for softwood or for hardwood and sometimes both. 

Application width?

A very useful model which has evenly worked proficiency for the professionals, especially producing chests, drawers and big boxes similar to woodworking projects.  

What We Liked 

  • Much more handy;
  • Good enough for one-piece cutting projects;
  • Suitable for each type of woods;
  • Separate slops for wood versatility. 


  • Get flimsy often. 

Eagle America 415-9307 Dovetail Marker


Guide slopes 1:5 for softwood and 1:8 for hardwood
Material Aluminum Alloy 
Compatibility Different woodworking projects 
Size 1” 

Q & A

Is it comparable to David Barron’s Guide?

Barron’s is an utmost magnetic guide for ripping off the dovetails. In this case, the first acknowledgement is that your marker guide is magnetic or not. We have found the answer is no, so, unfortunately if you search for highland woodworking projects, then you may fail if you do not have efficiency with techniques. But we ensure the adjustability will give the primary breeze till your projects get done.

Does it cut this side and either side?

Of course, it does not, however, it can only allow users to mark both boards. As if it is a layout tool to make the dovetail scribe and shape prior to cutting. Just how, all the marks you require by flipping the marker gage on the board end. 

What is the angle?

Though a set up has made up for a 1 in 7, and a 1 and 5 angle for a joinery, you can customize in dovetailing at a one in 8. 

What We Liked 

  • Customizable;
  • Lightweight and portable;
  • Non-breakable strength;
  • Separate wooden proficiency;
  • Simplify projects with accuracy.


  • Hefty-priced;
  • No cutting proficiency. 

WoodRiver Marking Gauge for Dovetails 


Guide slopes 1:5, 1:6, 1:8, 1:10
Material Aluminum 
Compatibility Hardwood and softwood 
Size 2”

Q & A

How is it comparative to other models?

We have felt proud to employ it in both hardwood and softwood projects measurement. Also, it is a production directly from the well-reputed manufacturer WoodRiver.

Now working from their well-known premises, right now the dovetails marker gauges is another product to earn reputation. However, they have gone for production of wood stain and paint, sanding, routers, dust collection, kit and more for the novice and pro-garden woodworkers.

Which makes the look superb?

Well, similar to other marking gage models, this one has Alloy Aluminum in its construction, specially the screws that it helps to match the other portion of the marker. Not that much durable, yet provides enough flexibility, strength and anti-corrosive performance to avail the field of marking. 

Slope sizes?

In this case, got the highest achievement for both wooden projects type, and evenly the 4 slopes are equally dominating the point. For example, 1:5, 1:6, 1:8, 1:10 slopes within 2” length is enough to provide enough working flexibility on workpieces.   

What We Liked 

  • CNC machined for precision;
  • For versatile wooden types;
  • 4 different proportioned angles;
  • Enough accuracy.


  • Not expectedly durable. 

Magic&shell Marking Gauge for Dovetails 


Guide slopes 1:5, 1:6, and 1:8, 1:10
Material solid aluminum blank
Compatibility Hardwood and softwood 
Size 1”

Q & A

Does it have Solid Aluminum in its offer?

The answer is a big YES! For the definite construction, solid metals, for instance, Aluminum blank are very popular and durable to give that ultimate non-breakable strength while moving to measure the hardwood evenly. More than that, we have checked with our machine, so no further confusion even. 

Hardwood and softwood compatible slopes?

Upper side 1:8, 1:10 and the lower side 1:5, 1:6 respectively to work as a dovetail marking gauge for hardwood and softwood projects. First of all make sure the wooden art you are thriving for. Then grab the perfect match.

Is it a CNC machine?

Yes, the CNC machine in general confirms the precision of marking accuracy that a device can provide. However, it has no precision issue to deal with, and creates indispensability for newbies or experienced woodworking enthusiasts. 

Conclude with each side’s attachments?

Well, it has graded imperial scale on offer, as well as has etched to each side. 

What We Liked 

  • Feature powerful scale and construction;
  • Durable;
  • 4 different ratios. 


  • Not that much lightweight;
  • Pricey. 

Final Thought

We hope and always believe that your marking guide or dovetails marking gauges will not only be of great assistance similar to other small tools, for instance, ruler, plier and so on. But before planning on purchasing one which will support long-term services that you will provide as an enthusiast of woodworking, you should know the top to bottom details of such a tool. 

However, we have provided, not only to save time but also ensure what you are expecting from buying a good one. Hope better for your delicate craftsmanship, as well as large scale carpentry projects with this.  

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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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