Bevel Protractor Definition, 6 Types, Range, Construction, Advantages, Disadvantages & Application [PDF]

Hello everyone, In this blog post, I shall be teaching you all about the bevel protractor, its 6 types, its range of instruments, and its construction. I have also covered the pros, cons, and application. I have provided a PDF for the same.

What is Bevel Protractor

The Bevel Protractor is an important measuring tool in the domains of engineering, metalworking, and woodworking. It is employed to determine precise angles as it offers a great degree of accuracy.

This tool helps when measuring and inspecting machined and fabricated components. It has a Vernier scale marking and its blades are long and thin. The vernier scale markings offer accuracy up to 5 minutes which is the 12th part of the degree.

What is Bevel Protractor 
Parts of Bevel Protractor 
Bevel Protractor definition

History of Bevel Protractor

Back in the early 20th century, the Swiss company TESA SA pioneered the development of the bevel protractor. Established in 1941, the company wasted no time and soon commenced its production. Since those early days, the bevel protractor has evolved into a staple tool, finding its place as a standard in numerous industries

Inventor of Bevel Protractor

Rudolf Geßwein (also spelled Gesswein), entrepreneur and a Swiss engineer who established TESA SA, is regarded as the founder of the instrument. The production of bevel protractors began when he established TESA SA in 1941.

Class Of Instruments

This instrument is made out of high-quality material and belongs to the precision measuring instrument class. Generally made up of stainless steel. Other instruments in its category are micrometers, calipers, height gauges

Bevel Protractor Range

The maximum range of the instrument is up to 360 degrees which is full circle measurements. Certain models offer different ranges either 0-90 degrees or 0-180 degrees. People using it for woodworking use such models with a low range where 0-90 degrees is sufficient.

So it’s advised as per your application select the range that fits you the best for the most accurate results.

How to Use bevel protractor
Digital Bevel Protractor

How To Use A Bevel Protractor?

To use a bevel protractor, start by placing it on a flat surface, ensuring the base is level and positioned perpendicular to the angle you aim to measure. Align the blade with the surface of the object or part being measured, ensuring it runs parallel.

Rotate the blade until it precisely aligns with the desired angle, making sure the degree markings on both the base and blade are in sync. For a more accurate reading, utilize the Vernier scale. Once the desired angle is achieved, lock the blade to prevent any movement.

Double-check the measurement for accuracy, and finally, record the angle for future reference or use in calculations. It’s crucial to follow each step diligently for precise measurements when using a bevel protractor.

Remember, look at the angle straight from above to avoid mistakes. Also, keep the protractor steady to get the right measurement. This way, you can measure angles accurately.

The Types of Bevel Protractors

Types of Bevel Protractors are as follows

  • Universal Bevel Protractor: Widely used in engineering and mechanical applications, it features a rotating blade with a Vernier scale, allowing measurement of angles in any plane.
  • Optical Bevel Protractor: Utilizing an optical system with a magnifying lens and light source, it offers enhanced visibility for precise angle measurements.
  • Digital Bevel Protractor: Incorporates an electronic display for accurate angle measurement. The rotating blade accompanies a digital readout displaying the angle.
  • Vernier Bevel Protractor: Employing a Vernier scale on the rotating blade, it ensures more precise angle measurements for detailed applications.
  • Dial Bevel Protractor: Equipped with a dial indicator for heightened precision, it features a rotating blade and a dial indicator displaying the angle measurement.
Types of Bevel protractor
bevel protractor types
optical bevel protractor
Vernier Bevel Protractor

The parts of a bevel protractor

The parts of the bevel protractor are as follows

  • Base
  • Blade
  • Vernier Scale
  • Clamping Mechanism
  • Protractor Head
  • Degree Scale
  • Locking Screw
  • Magnifier
  • Light Source
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Construction of a Bevel Protractor

Base: Typically crafted from robust materials like cast iron or steel, the base offers a stable foundation for the protractor during use.

Blade: Constructed from durable, lightweight steel, the blade is affixed to the base and allows for rotational measurement of angles.

Vernier Scale: Engraved directly onto the blade, the Vernier scale consists of graduated marks for precise angle measurements.

Clamping Mechanism: This mechanism, often a locking screw or lever, secures the blade in place once the desired angle is set.

Protractor Head: Positioned atop the blade, the protractor head is adjustable for measuring angles in various planes. It typically features a movable arm, lockable in different positions with a screw or lever.

Degree Scale: Marked directly onto the base, the degree scale displays the measured angle. It works in tandem with the Vernier scale for accurate measurements.

Magnifier: Some models include a small magnifying lens on the protractor head to improve visibility of the degree scale.

Light Source: In some cases, a small light source on the protractor head enhances visibility for easier reading of the degree scale.

It’s important to note that the specific parts of a bevel protractor may vary depending on the manufacturer and model of the instrument. However, the basic design and functionality will remain the same.

Universal Bevel Protractor
vernier scale readings

Main Scale & Vernier Scale Reading

Using a bevel protractor involves reading both the main scale and Vernier scale for precise angle measurement. The main scale, marked in degrees, is read by aligning the base with the reference surface and noting the degree marking directly under the protractor head.

The Vernier scale, located on the blade, has graduated marks for more accurate angle measurement. Align it with the main scale and find the zero mark. Note the number on the main scale aligned with a Vernier mark, then read the smallest division on the Vernier scale. This value represents the fractional part of a degree.

For instance, if the main scale reads 30 degrees and the Vernier scale reads 0.2, the total angle is 30.2 degrees. Though Vernier scale designs may vary, the alignment and measurement principles remain consistent.


  • Precise angle measurement.
  • Versatile for various uses.
  • Easy to use with minimal training.
  • Durable and long-lasting.
  • Lightweight and portable.
Vernier Bevel Protractor
Advantages of Bevel protractor
disadvantages of bevel protractor


  • Limited angle range.
  • Precision is affected by quality and user accuracy.
  • Limited functionality for diverse tasks.
  • Potential for user error.
  • Can be relatively expensive.

Applications of a bevel protractor

  • Metalworking: Measures angles for cutting metal, welding, and making things.
  • Woodworking: Helps measure angles for cutting wood and other woodworking jobs.
  • Engineering: Used in engineering to measure angles for planning and building things.
  • Inspection and Quality Control: Checks if angles and measurements are correct to make sure things are good quality.
  • Machining: Sets up tools and checks if the angles are right when making things out of metal.
  • Architecture and Construction: Measures angles for drawing and building things like houses and structures.


How to Read Bevel Protractors?

Align the base, adjust the protractor head, lock it, and read the main scale for whole degrees and the Vernier scale for fractions. Add them for the total angle. Proper alignment and securing ensure accuracy.

Types of Bevel Protractors?

Main types: dialed (uses a dial indicator) and digital (uses electronic sensors).

What is a Universal Bevel Protractor?

It’s versatile, with a movable arm for measuring angles in various applications. Used in metalworking, engineering, and construction. Measures angles from 0 to 360 degrees, for both internal and external angles.

How to Measure the Bevel Angle?

Place the protractor on the surface, align it, adjust the head, and lock it. Read both scales for the angle measurement. A magnifier can enhance Vernier scale visibility if needed.


I hope this guide helps you understand everything about bevel protractors. If you have any queries make sure to reach out to us in the comments. Please check other articles on the website too.


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