How to Use Stair Gauges

Are you looking for an innovative solution for making the most of your stair-building projects? If so, then look no further than using stair gauges! Stair gauges are incredibly effective tools that enable you to create precise angles and lines on your stairs. 

How to Use Stair Gauges

These affordable and highly versatile tools are a must-have in any carpenter or woodworking workshop. In this blog post, we’ll explain all the basics of how to use stair gauges and show you how they can help make your project easier and more accurate than ever before. Read on to learn more about this life-saving tool!

Step-by-Step Guidelines on How to Use Stair Gauges

Step 1: Measure the Stair Rise and Run

The first step in using stair gauges is measuring the rise and run of your stairs. This is done by measuring the vertical distance (rise) between two consecutive treads, as well as the horizontal distance (run) of the treads themselves.

Measuring the rise and run of your stairs is essential for creating accurate angles. Use a tape measure to get the most accurate measurements possible.

Step 2: Adjust the Stair Gauges

Once you have your measurements, it’s time to adjust your stair gauges. Start by setting one of the gauges to match the rise measurement of your stairs. To do this, simply loosen the screw on the gauge and slide it up or down until it matches the rise measurement.

Next, adjust the other stair gauge to match the run measurement of your stairs. Once you have both gauges set, tighten down their screws to secure them in place.

Step 3: Mark Out Your Angles and Lines

Mark Out the Angles

Now that your stair gauges are set up, it’s time to mark out the angles and lines of your stairs. To do this, hold the stair gauges securely against the treads and rungs of your stairs. Then, trace around their edges with a pencil to create an accurate representation of your stair angles and lines. You can also use a spirit level to check that everything is level before moving on.

Step 4: Cut Along the Marked Lines

The final step in using stair gauges is to cut along the marked lines. This will ensure that your stairs are correctly angled and line up with each other perfectly. Use a circular saw or jigsaw to do this, ensuring you follow safety precautions at all times. While cutting, be sure to refer back to your stair gauges to make sure the angles are correct.

And that’s it! With these steps, you now know how to use stair gauges and create accurate angles and lines when building stairs. We hope this guide has been helpful in showing you all the benefits of using stair gauges. Happy building!

Additional Tips and Tricks to Use Stair Gauges

1. When measuring the angle of a staircase, use an adjustable stair gauge to make sure you get accurate measurements. These simple tools can help you take precise measurements quickly and easily.

2. Before starting any project involving stairs, it’s important to double-check your stair gauges with a carpenter’s level to ensure accuracy. This will help you avoid any costly mistakes down the line.

3. To ensure your measurements are as precise as possible, use a ratchet system when adjusting your stair gauges. This will allow for smooth and accurate adjustments that can be easily replicated on both sides of the staircase.

Ensure Measurements Are as Precise as Possible

4. Make sure to adjust each side of the staircase individually; this will ensure that the stair tread and riser heights are equal on both sides.

5. If you’re having trouble with complicated measurements, consider using a template to help you get the job done easily and accurately. This can be especially helpful for more complicated projects where precision is key.

6. Finally, remember to measure twice and cut once; this adage always holds true when working with stair gauges. Take the time to double-check your measurements, and your stairs will be perfect every time.

These tips and tricks should help you get the most out of your stair gauges. With these in mind, you’ll have no trouble getting accurate measurements for any project involving stairs! Good luck!

Things You Should Consider to Use Stair Gauges

1. Measure the Stairs: 

When using stair gauges, it is important to measure the stairs accurately so that you can make sure that your stair gauge is set correctly and will not cause any harm or damage to the flooring or walls. Measuring the stairs correctly will also ensure that you get accurate measurements from your stair gauge.

2. Set Up the Stair Gauge:

Once you have measured the stairs, it is time to set up the stair gauge so that it can measure accurately. To do this, attach one side of the stair gauge to the face of a step or staircase and then move the other side to the same height. This will ensure that your stair gauge is measuring correctly and accurately.

3. Mark the Staircase:

Once you have set up the stair gauge, it is time to mark the staircase with marks for each step or riser of the stairs. This will help you keep track of where each step should go and also make sure that the measurements are accurate. While marking, make sure to go slowly and accurately.

4. Check the Measurements:

Once you have marked the staircase, it is important to check the measurements from your stair gauge to make sure that they are accurate. If they are not accurate, then you may need to adjust the settings on the stair gauge or take additional measurements before proceeding with the installation.

5. Install the Staircase:

Time to Install the Staircase

Once you have measured and checked the stair gauge, it is time to install the staircase. Make sure that all of the measurements are correct before proceeding with installation to ensure that your staircase fits correctly and looks good when finished. With careful measurements and attention to detail, you can easily use a stair gauge for accurate results in your staircase installation project.

6. Maintenance of Your Stairs:

Finally, it is important to remember to maintain the stair gauge regularly in order to ensure its accuracy and proper functioning. Regularly check for any wear and tear or damage that may affect its accuracy, and make sure that it is always kept clean. This will help you get accurate measurements every time you use the stair gauge.

By following these considerations, you can easily use a stair gauge for accurate measurements and successful installation of your staircase. With the proper attention to detail and care in setting up the stair gauge, you should be able to get accurate results every time!

Common Mistakes in Using Stair Gauges

1. Not Fully Understanding the Use of Stair Gauges: 

While stair gauges may seem like a straightforward tool, they can be difficult to master. It is important to understand how stair gauges work and all the possible ways they can be used before attempting any project with them. You should also be aware of how to properly set them up and make any necessary adjustments.

2. Not Taking Precise Measurements: 

Stair gauges are designed to help you take precise measurements but if they are not used correctly, it could result in an inaccurate measurement or the wrong cut. When using a stair gauge, be sure to measure carefully and double check the measurements before making any cuts.

Double Check the Measurements Before Making Cuts.

If your measurement is wrong or off by even the slightest degree, it could cause major problems with whatever project you are working on.

3. Not Making Necessary Adjustments: 

Stair gauges can be adjusted in multiple ways to help create a more precise and accurate measurement. When making any adjustments, be sure to follow the instructions that came with your stair gauge so that the adjustment is done correctly.

4. Not Having the Correct Tools: 

Using a stair gauge requires more than just the tool itself. It’s also important to have additional tools such as a level, a marking knife, and a straight edge to ensure that your measurements are accurate and precise. Without these tools, it can be difficult to use the stair gauge properly.

5. Not Cleaning the Stair Gauge: 

Stair gauges should be kept clean at all times in order to prevent rust or wear and tear. Before using your stair gauge, make sure to wipe it down with a clean cloth and lubricate any moving parts to ensure that it is in good working condition. This will help prevent any problems or issues while using the tool.

Stair Gauges Should Be Kept Clean

By understanding how to properly use stair gauges and avoiding some of the common mistakes, you can be sure to achieve accurate results for any project you are working on. With the right knowledge and tools, you will be able to maximise the effectiveness of your stair gauges for all your projects.

Safety Tips When Using Stair Gauges

  1. Make sure that the surfaces that you are measuring are clear and free of any debris or obstacles that could interfere with your measurement.
  2. Use the appropriate tools for the job, such as a level or straight edge to ensure that you get accurate measurements.
  3. Take your time when making any adjustments to the stair gauge and double check your measurements before cutting any material.
  4. Wear protective gear, such as safety glasses or goggles and gloves, while using any power tools.
  5. Be aware of your surroundings and make sure that you are not in a hazardous environment.

Following these safety tips while using stair gauges will help ensure that you stay safe and get accurate measurements for all your projects. With careful preparation, the right tools, and knowledge of how to use them, you can be sure to achieve successful results with your stair gauges.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Purpose of Stair Gauges?

Stair gauges are used to mark and cut identical, repeated angles on boards while building stairs or other structures. By attaching a pair of stair gauges to a carpenter’s square, the measurement will be transferred onto the board and can easily be followed with the saw.

What Do Stair Gauges Look Like?

Stair gauges have a “T” shape and are made of metal or plastic. The vertical side of the “T” is formed by a screw that can be adjusted to fit onto different carpenter’s squares. The horizontal part has two arms with measurement markings, usually inches, and a locking mechanism so adjustments don’t move when the gauge is in use.

How Do You Use Stair Gauges?

Using stair gauges is very straightforward. First, attach both sides of the gauge to the carpenter’s square with the desired measurement facing outwards. Once secured, line up the mark on the board with one side of the square. Next, use the stair gauge to transfer the measurement onto the board by sliding it across the edge of the square. Finally, cut along the marked line with a saw.

Repeat these steps until all angles are transferred and cut.

Are There Different Types of Stair Gauges?

Yes! Although most stair gauges are made of metal or plastic, there are also specialty gauges for specific projects such as roof trusses and other angled structures. There are also adjustable stair gauges that can be used to mark and cut at different angles.

Although Most Stair Gauges Are Made of Metal

What Are the Benefits of Using Stair Gauges?

Using stair gauges helps ensure that all angles are marked and cut accurately with minimal effort. It is a much faster and more efficient way of building stairs or other structures, as opposed to manually measuring each angle. Additionally, stair gauges save time by allowing carpenters to easily replicate measurements across multiple boards.


As you can see, using stair gauges is an essential skill in any carpentry or construction project. Whether you’re simply marking the desired angles, measuring a portion accurately, or ensuring that a line of cuts is level and even, they will be your best companion in all your woodworking endeavors.

With the correct techniques and understanding of how to use stair gauges correctly, you can make sure that each job goes faster and more smoothly every time. Take some time to practice with them now and start seeing impressive results in no time! So what are you waiting for? Invest in some quality stair gauges today and get ready to start creating with confidence!

Photo of author

Enrique Howard

Hi, I am Enrique. I started my professional life as a handyman and did a lot of external and internal repair of home and office with a little bit of electric and plumbing support. I have extensive experience in tools testing such as drilling, turning, milling, and non-conventional machining like EDM. So let me help you on your journey towards becoming an enlightened DIYer with amazing tools that you can use on your project.

Leave a Comment