I finally broke down and purchased a Digital Angle Finder or Inclinometer as some call them. Basically, they are a small box that after being "centered" they can be tipped to one side or the other to measure the degree of angle, simple ... or so I thought.
Watch it on Youtube: https://youtu.be/PWYEq-RM1v0
Someone gave me one of these well over 10 years ago, he told me that he had owned for a while but that it didn't seem to work correctly and that I could have it and if it didn't work, I was to throw it away, he didn't want it back. Well, after fussing with it for a time, I chucked it out and let him know, that he was right it was not working and I disposed of it ... roll forward about 15 years ..
Yes, it's time for me to go out and invest in my own 'working" Digital Angle Finder. I knew ahead of time it was not something I would use a lot, but there are situations where my other digital angle square - simply does not work. I ended up going to Amazon and purchasing an inexpensive no-name version that had some good reviews. I think I paid around $20 ... and many were priced around the same.
For your reference, the black one on the left in the picture below was the first digital angle finder that I purchased first and also the least expensive.
The other digital angle square that I purchased many, many years ago is shown below both the digital angle finders.
I have used the digital angle square a lot over the years and it works fine.
Of course, my reference square is ALWAYS the steel, engineers square in the background that is ALWAYS accurate and true.
After using my "new" Black Digital Angle Finder for a few days, I wanted to cut a 12-1/2 degree angle on my table saw for a special molding I was making. I set the black box on the deck of my table saw, "zeroed" it the with the magnet on the bottom "clicked" it to my table saw blade, and of course, the numbers are not vertical but more than that, they were sort of jumping around, which evidently happens when these boxes reach their 90-degree angle and the mechanism inside can't decide if it should display top-down or bottom-up.
Undeterred, I thought ... Oh, I'll just use the magnet on the side of the box and attach that to the table saw blade. "WHAT?" there is no magnet on the side ... or on the other side of the black digital box.
That revelation led me to do something I should have done in the first place RESEARCH before I purchase. (I am still learning some things that hard way)
What I found is that YES, there are very few Digital Angle Finders with magnets on both sides and not just the bottom. And so I ordered one, yes it was more money but I figured that with much less frustration, that would be a good thing .. and it has been.
Below you can see both angle finders attached to my saw blade. Which one is easier for you to read? No bear in mind I am going to be looking for 12.50 degrees and not 90 degrees, less 12.50 degrees which now reads 77.50 degrees (and for which I would need to do the math in my head to figure out).
The truth is, it is imperative that you have at least one steel square that never changes. This is always the quickest and most accurate way of aligning your saw blades to the 90-degree setting.
And even if you are setting it to 45 degrees, a drafting or engineers triangle is the quickest and most accurate for that angle.
The Digital Angle Finders and Squares are perfect for all those situations where you want an angle that is between 90 and 45 degrees. If you already own an angle finder and it only has one magnet on the bottom ... don't worry, unless you use it a LOT, then you may want to upgrade. If you are constantly setting angles wrong because the display is hard to read when it is at 90 degrees, you may want to upgrade ... otherwise, be happy with what you have, you probably saved a few dollars, and just take a wee bit more time to read it.
If on the other hand, you are ok with spending a little bit more ...
here is a list of OTHER angle finders with magnets in BOTH sides, one is through the woodworkweb Amazon store that I make a small commission on, other listings I don't make any money, I just give you the listing for your convenience and for your choice.
Woodworkweb Amazon store - Click Here
Beall Tool Company (US) - Click Here