Are you looking for a tool that will help you with your next flooring project? Maybe you need to fix that pipe or door frame. Whichever is your next project, you’ll want to consider getting a contour gauge.
If you’re looking for a contour gauge profile tool to smooth out the irregular shapes in your next project, read on to see how it can be beneficial getting one and some of the best contour gauge tools on the market.
Top 3 Picks
Best overall: Saker Contour Gauge
The Saker contour gauge is our favorite with contour gauges because it is durable and can make deep impressions when contouring. It is also adjustable so you can change the tightness of the pins to get precise measurements.
Best Value: General Tools 833 Contour Gauge
General Tools is the runner up due to the fact that it can give perfect shape duplication. It also creates perfect profiles.
Best for the money: Nadakin Contour Gauge
Nadakin made it on the list because of what you get for the money. There Are three different colors to choose from, has imperial/metric makers for easy measuring and is extremely durable.
What is a contour gauge?
A contour gauge is a simple tool that is usually at least 5 inches long and it has a row of tiny teeth on it for precise measurements. The tool usually has an integrated ruler on it so that you can make accurate measurements. It helps smooth out irregular shapes, contour siding, and more. When the contour gauge profile tool is pushed against an object, the pins match up to the object’s shape, creating a mold to help you trace cut lines with flooring tile or whichever material that you would be working on.
How do I use a contour gauge?
A contour tool is very easy to use. Even if you are new to using it, once you get the hang of it, you’ll be using it often in your projects. Follow these steps to use the contour gauge profile tool correctly:
- You want to align the pins on a flat surface. This is how you’re going to get your precise impression of the material.
- Push the gauge evenly against the irregular shape to create a contour.
- If the contour gauge has a locking mechanism, this is the time to engage the lock so the pins can stay in place.
- You will want to transfer the gauge to the material and start tracing the shape.
How to lock a contour gauge
On contour gauges, there is a small metal lever or switch on the end of the gauge. After you created the contour, you should lock the pins in place and move the switch/level to the locked position.
What to look for in Contour Gauges
Contour gauges are usually made of using two materials- plastic and metal. Metal is more durable than plastic, guaranteeing it will never break making it the perfect tool for any job or professional jobs.
There is another important thing you should know about. The metal wires or pins are put in the metal housing of the gauge to where if you dislodge any, then more pins will be dislodged as well. If you have a plastic gauge, you won’t have to worry about this issue as the pins are completely locked into the tool.
This is very important for any tool. You’ll want to make sure your contour gauge lasts you a long time. Metal ones tend to last longer than plastic because they don’t break. Even high quality plastic can break after some time. This is something to consider when looking for your contour gauge.
Metal contour gauges have little pins so it means there’s more points/pins pressing every single inch, giving you precise measurements. Plastic gauges don’t usually give you accurate tracing due to the pins being wider etc. Plastic ones are good for projects if you are okay with a broad estimate of measurements. If you need accurate measurements, you’ll want to go with metal contour gauges.
Most contour gauges aren’t very long, as they are usually around 10 inches. But if you need to measure material that’s longer than 10 inches, you’ll have to keep moving the tool until you get all of your measurements recorded which can be very time consuming. But if you have two, it can save you much more time and you’re likely to get accurate measurements. Most brands that sell contour gauges sell two for this reason.
You’ll want to make sure that the clamp actually locks so that you can use the tool properly. If it doesn’t lock, it will dislodge and you won’t be able to transfer the contour to the material.
What are some of the best brands to consider?
Saker is located in the UK and is one of the best tool companies that makes contour gauges, caulking tools and more. They are a best seller because they make high quality and reliable tools that last years to come.
LionZ is another tool company that makes high quality tools. They make contour gauges and aluminum foil. They are widely known for their high quality, extra wide contour gauge tools.
General tools have been around since 1922, nearly 100 years. They are the leading hand tool company coming from New York City. It was founded by Abe and Lillian Rosenburg. Since 1922, the company has over 1000 tools that you can select, from contour gauges to woodworking tools to measuring tapes. Around 1937, you could find General Tools products exclusively at General Hardware. In 2014, the company was acquired by High Road Capital Partners. The reason why General Tools is popular is because of their ongoing innovation in their products that gets better every year.
LUTER is a company that sells all kinds of quality items. They have a good reputation for selling everything from scissors to candles to contour gauges.
Yoleto is a company that sells everything from laptops to tools. They are known for their high quality products.
Nadakin is a company that sells a variety of high quality items. Most notably, their contour gauge profile tool is one of their most popular items for sale.
The Best Contour Gauge to Buy in 2021
Best Overall: Saker Contour Gauge
We’re starting off with the Saker contour gauge because we feel it’s the best contour gauge all around. It’s one of the best construction rulers on the market and it’s definitely worth considering for your next project.
The Saker Contour Gauge Profile tool is made from metal and high-quality ABS plastic, which means it’s harder than regular plastic. There’re also small pins to help ensure a high accuracy level. There’s a lock switch that helps hold the pins firmly after it has contoured an object. There’s also an adjuster on the side so you can alter the tightness of the pins if you need to. The Saker Contour Gauge comes in 2 sizes which is 10 inch and 5 inch. For this one we’re talking about, it is 10 inches long and 5.9 inches wide.
Due to its size, it can do larger flooring projects. It can also do deeper impressions on plumbing pipes and door frames, which is more than most contour gauge can do. One of our favorite features about this contour gauge is that it’s adjustable. You can change the tightness on it according to your needs. It’s so easy to use that you can use it to shape objects and make precise cuts at the same time. This contour gauge tool also has an extensive application that can locate profiles and can accurately transfer to the material to be cut. You can use the Saker for woodworking, auto work, any sort of metal, and more.
Saker offers a limited warranty for 6 months to a year should there be any damage not caused by use.
Is the Saker Contour Gauge Profile Tool worth it?
When you buy this, you get two Saker Contour Gauge Tools so having an extra one in case it goes missing or brakes is always a plus in our books. It does the job more accurately than most contour gauge tools and it’s wider than most. Anyone who has no experience can use this tool (remember to read the manual or watch Youtube videos for how to use it) and it’s great if experienced users use it too. For the price ($29.99) and what the tool does, it deserved a top spot on our list.
Other Cool Contour Gauge Tools
We’re starting off with LionZ because it’s a brand to consider when it comes to choosing contour gauge tools. It is extra wide at 10 and 5 inches. You get two contour gauge tools from Lion Z so already you are getting a bang for your money. What we like about it, is that it has a metal locking mechanism which helps it lock in place. It also has an aluminum core which means it will keep the tool in shape for years to come. This tool is made from high quality plastic ABS, another reason why we meant it will last for years. The teeth on the LionZ gauge are very thin, so it can make accurate measurements and the perfect shape profiles. The LionZ comes with a carpenter pencil and a carrying bag.
- You get 2 contour gauges
- Made from high quality materials
- Doesn’t work well on wide titles
The 10-inch gauge tool from General Tools is definitely worth considering. It’s made out of high-quality plastic that is durable. The tool can also duplicate shapes perfectly, which is one of the features we love about it. You can get perfect profiles from the General Tools gauge with 3
inch deep fingers that will measure up to 1 ¼ inch precisely. It does help that this gauge tool is less than $20 so it’s a handy and reliable tool for any DIY’er or anyone who’s more experienced.
- Creates perfect profiles
- Precise shape duplication
- Can be fragile according to some reviewers
LUTER is a simple design that has a durable build. It also has a high degree of precision. Being 10 inches, it’s long enough to handle most contouring needs. It’s made from high quality durable plastic and it has razor-thin pins for high-resolution contouring. The LUTER can also do wide applications such as auto metal sheet, woodworking, flooring, moulding and pipes. There are two different colors that you can choose from in case you want a different color. Overall, it’s a great tool for any DIY’er or any experienced user.
- Makes precise cuts/contour
- Can handle a vast amount of contouring
- Can be too thin for some users
The YOLETO Contour Gauge is lightweight weighing in at 10.4 ounces. It’s 15 inch in width, making this tool perfect for any deep contouring. It’s also 5” tall. The 0.1” pins on this tool are very flexible and easy to move so that you can make the correct measurements without all the guesswork. It also copies irregular shapes precisely making things easier as well. You don’t need to worry about rusting or deforming as it’s made with high quality ABS plastic. That means this contour gauge will last you years to come. You can choose between the three colors (blue, green and red) and they’re bright so if you put it away in your toolbox, you won’t have a hard time finding it. Overall, it’s a great tool to have for your next project at home.
- Different colors options
- High-quality material
- Doesn’t lock into place (lack of locking mechanism)
Nadakin gives you three contour gauges for just $13 so right off the bat it’s a good deal. It comes in three different colors and two are 5-inch gauges, the other being a 10-inch gauge. It can handle projects from molding to laying title, so that’s why it’s always a good idea to have a set of contour gauges in case you need to use different ones. The Nadakin contour gauges are made out of ABS plastic, which means it’s higher quality than your everyday plastic so it should be durable enough for anyone who’s taking on a project.
What’s good about these gauges is they have both imperial and metric markings so that you don’t have to guess how many inches or how many cm when it’s on the gauge. For the extras, there are three pencils included, a pencil sharpener, and a stainless-steel ruler. The downsides about these contour gauges is that there is no locking mechanism, so it may affect the accuracy of contouring.
- Good value for money
- Comes with extras
- Can handle most projects
- No locking mechanism
Finally, we’re rounding up the GENERAL TOOLS contour gauge that we think was worthy to be here. It is stainless steel so right off the bat it’s durable and it has a high level of resolution with 35 pins per inch. This contour gauge tool can do high accuracy thanks to the metal design that allows the pins to be much finer than plastic pins.
This tool doesn’t have the locking mechanism and adjustment that other contour gauges have, but it is wide enough to at least measure up to 3.5 inches deep. You can duplicate deeper shapes. The integrated ruler includes imperial (standard) markings so remember to keep that in mind.
- Made out of stainless steel so can’t break
- High level of resolution
- High accuracy
- No locking mechanism
Whether you are gearing up for your next flooring project or need to fix something such as a door frame, a contour gauge profile tool will help you with that. It can be especially handy for woodworking projects as well. These tools are usually not too expensive and they’re great to have in your toolbox. The contour gauge tool is usually very cheap and durable which is another reason why it belongs in your toolbox. If you have found this guide about contour gauge interesting, feel free to leave a comment if you like.