Feeler gauge is a tool that is basically designed to measure gap thickness. However, in fact, people also use it to set and adjust in order a gap to have a certain thickness.
Measuring a small gap is impossible to do with a regular precision tool, especially when it locates in a hard-to-reach place and the gap thickness is estimated about thousands of an inch. In that case, a feeler gauge comes into a play.
As said before, it functions not only to measure but also to set and adjust. Checking spark plug gaps, setting valve clearances, adjusting space between the string and guitar neck are some of the activities we can do with a feeler gauge. Therefore, the function of feeler gauges spreads over many areas: machinery, engineering, mechanics, music, etc. The users also vary such as engineers, designers, mechanics, musician, etc.
One unit of feeler gauge consists of several blades. The blade is a thin strip that is made of strong metallic material such as steel. Each blade is manufactured in a particular thickness and assembled in an increment order.
Most feeler gauges in the US are graduated in inch and mm. However, the metric graduation (mm) is only the conversion of those inch graduation. They are engraved on the surface of the blade to indicate the thickness of the blade.
It’s made of metal, most commonly steel or stainless steel or other rigid material. This creates a strong body. The thinnest one will be bent temporarily. Today, a feeler gauge is commonly made of tempered steel. Tempered steel means it’s passed tempering process.
In this page, we are going to provide you our top-rated feeler gauges. Here is the table where you can have a quick view. The following content contains affiliate links to Amazon which means each time the purchase happens, we will receive a little commission from Amazon without affecting the product price or charging you extra money. Your support is always welcome and we thank you!
How to Choose the Best Feeler Gauge
There are some things we need to put into consideration during the purchase of feeler gauge. We enlist them in the following.
How to discover that a particular feeler gauge is accurate? This may be a problem when we are buying a new feeler gauge. We don’t know because we don’t investigate it yet with any inspection tool, for example, micrometer. We can rely on the certificate. If it’s not attached, we can trust the brand and the reviews of people who bought it.
Unfortunately, many feeler gauges that we review don’t provide the inspection certificate along with the tool. We suggest using an inspection instrument such as micrometers and calipers.
The accuracy of a feeler gauge is also determined by the material. Since any metallic material is reactive to heat, choosing the most resistant-to-heat material is crucial. It prevents the blade from extending or expanding. If the blade expands, surely it affects the accuracy. In case you are working with an environment that emits heat; you are measuring a gap around the area of a hot machine and the heat will transfer to the blade and the effect is considerable, you need the best feeler gauge which has good material to handle this issue.
As said before, the material you are choosing matters the accuracy. Make sure to buy the feeler gauge that is made of durable material such as steel or stainless steel. It benefits you to save money because it lasts for a long period of time. Don’t buy ones which are made of iron. It’s easy to corrode and last for a few months.
The material has to provide flexible characteristic to the blades/leaves. The best blade of feeler gauge is those with though material but flexible enough so that it can insert into a hard-to-reach gap.
The better the material, the higher the price. When you focus on the material quality, buy those made of stainless steel. It’s the best material for feeler gauges because it’s durable against rust. However, the tempered steel is adequate, provided that you keep maintaining it by oiling periodically.
3. Range of Measurement
In short, it is around from one-thousandth of a millimeter (0.001mm) to one millimeter (1mm). The wider the range the better it is. However, a typical feeler gauge has a measurement range under 1 mm. You need to know the range of measurement your gauge has. If you are handling a gap that you estimate about 0.001″, then find the blade with that size. However, that thin blade is rare to find. In this case, you may need to collect a set of feeler gauges that has various different thickness.
The number of blades also determines the measurement range of a feeler gauge. A feeler gauge consists of around 25 blades in general. More blades mean better because the range between each blade is reduced and the measurement becomes more accurate.
4. Blade Length
You also need to consider the blade length before buying. Many people have to deal with the position of the gap. A short blade cannot work properly, while an extra long blade is surely capable to do that.
A typical blade is 3″ in length. You can buy the 12″ feeler gauge for better performance with the distance of gap from your hand.
5. Feeler Gauge Type
Another thing to consider is the feeler gauge type. There are a set of feeler gauge types you can choose to see which one you think really best to perform with your work. Surely, the type is associated with the gap condition we are trying to deal with. When the gap is somewhere around a magnetic field, use the brass feeler gauge. Also, when the gap locates in a tight space, use the offset feeler gauge. Moreover, when you need regular use with a certain thickness, just use the single feeler strip.
If you don’t know which one to buy, it’s best to buy the straight type. It’s the most common feeler gauges people use.
6. Unit System
Most feeler gauges in the US are graduated in inch and mm. However, it’s actually manufactured for inch users. The metric graduation (mm) is actually the conversion of those inch graduation which is equivalent in terms of its value. Then they both are engraved on the surface of the blade to indicate the thickness of the blade.
Considering the unit system is necessary when you deal with metric measurement. In an imperial feeler gauge, you will not find thoroughly simple numbers since they are actually converted from inch. For that case, choose the real mm feeler gauge.
Fortunately, in the United States, the vast majority of people are familiar with the inch unit and the companies seem to know what to do with that majority issue.
7. Engraved or Printed
Engraved graduation is necessary for easy reading. Even though it’s not too demanding, we need to consider it. After long use, the graduation may fade due to many scratches on the surface of blades. Selecting the engraved graduation will resist to this kind of problem. Conversely, printed graduation will fade more easily. Luckily, many best feeler gauges today have been empowered with laser etched graduation.
Top 9 Best Feeler Gauge Reviews
1. OEMTOOLS 25025 (26 Blades) Feeler Gauge
One of the best feeler gauges we recommend is OEMTOOLS 25025. OEMTOOLS 25025 is a great feeler blade for medium level use where you don’t frequently use them. The number of blades is fairly complete. They are readable since the marks are etched. The graduation is in inch and metric, however, the metric is actually the equivalent value of the inch graduation. Don’t worry about the smallest thickness blade 0.0015″. Unlike the other thin blades which bend permanently, it will bend temporarily.
0.0015, 0.002, 0.0025, 0.003, 0.004, 0.005, 0.006, 0.007, 0.008, 0.009, 0.010, 0.011, 0.012, 0.013, 0.014, 0.015, 0.016, 0.017, 0.018, 0.019, 0.020, 0.021, 0.022, 0.023, 0.024, 0.025.
0.038, 0.051, 0.064, 0.076, 0.102, 0.127, 0.152, 0.178, 0.203, 0.229, 0.254, 0.279, 0.305, 0.330, 0.356, 0.381, 0.406, 0.432, 0.457, 0.483, 0.508, 0.533, 0.559, 0.584, 0.610, 0.635.
- Blade thickness’s order is in SAE order.
- Comes with oiled blades, good to protect from corrosion
- Laser etched graduation
- Designed with thumb slot for blade removal
- Chrome coated blade protector, which looks great.
- Only 26, uncompleted size
2. ABN 0075 (16 Blades) Feeler Gauge
If you are looking for an offset feeler gauge with a limited budget, then ABN 0075 may suit your need. The offset shape benefits to reach a hard-to-reach gap and your work becomes easier with this one.
0.002, 0.005, 0.006, 0.007, 0.008, 0.009, 0.010, 0.011, 0.012, 0.013, 0.014, 0.015, 0.016, 0.017, 0.018, 0.019
0.051, 0.127, 0.152, 0.178, 0.203, 0.229, 0.254, 0.279, 0.305, 0.330, 0.356, 0.381, 0.406, 0.432, 0.457, 0.483
- One year warranty
- Thumb slot
- Very limited size, only 16 blades with increment 0.001 from 0.005 to 0.019
- Having trouble with the accuracy of blade thickness
3. Hotop (32 Blades) Feeler Gauge
Hotop feeler gauge comes with more complete blade thickness. It consists of 32 blades where one of them is made-of-brass blade. Brass is a material which doesn’t stick into any magnetic material. So when you are working close to a magnetic object, it works properly without disruption. However, it tends to be weaker than steel.
0.0015, 0.002, 0.0025, 0.003, 0.004, 0.005, 0.006, 0.007, 0.008, 0.009, 0.010, 0.010 (brass material), 0.011, 0.012, 0.013, 0.014, 0.015, 0.016, 0.017, 0.018, 0.019, 0.020, 0.021, 0.022, 0.023, 0.024, 0.025, 0.026, 0.028, 0.030, 0.032, 0.035
0.04, 0.05, 0.06, 0.08, 0.10, 0.13, 0.15, 0.18, 0.20, 0.23, 0.25, 0.25 (brass material), 0.28, 0.30, 0.33, 0.35, 0.38, 0.40, 0.43, 0.45, 0.48, 0.50, 0.53, 0.55, 0.58, 0.60, 0.63, 0.65, 0.70, 0.75, 0.80, 0.88
- 32 blades, more complete thickness size
- SAE standard
- equipped with 0.010″ thickness brassed blade
- Lock nut
- Oily blades
- It’s not stainless steel as described in the advertising, it’s manganese steel.
4. ABN 9364 (32 Blades) Feeler Gauge
ABN 9364 is considered currently as the most affordable feeler gauge that we highlight here. For a wide use, we advise you to buy this one. For this kind of price tag and there are 32 blades available with 31 sizes, it may be a money saving option for you.
Two of them identically have the same thickness 0.010″, one is steel and the other one is brass. The brass blade benefits you working in a magnetic area. For limited budget and wide needs, this tempered steel feeler gauge can be your option to pick up.
0.0015, 0.002, 0.0025, 0.003, 0.004, 0.005, 0.006, 0.007, 0.008, 0.009, 0.010, 0.010 (brass colored), 0.011, 0.012, 0.013, 0.014, 0.015, 0.016, 0.017, 0.018, 0.019, 0.020, 0.021, 0.022, 0.023, 0.024, 0.025, 0.026, 0.028, 0.030, 0.032, 0.035
0.04, 0.05, 0.06, 0.08, 0.10, 0.13, 0.15, 0.18, 0.20, 0.23, 0.25, 0.25 (brass colored), 0.28, 0.30, 0.33, 0.35, 0.38, 0.40, 0.43, 0.45, 0.48, 0.50, 0.53, 0.55, 0.58, 0.60, 0.63, 0.65, 0.70, 0.75, 0.80, 0.88
- Complete set of blade sizes
- SAE order
- Thumb slot
- Medium accuracy
5. Mitutoyo 950-252 (26 Blades) Feeler Gauge
This is a great 3″ length tapered feeler gauge that will help various gap measurement in handy. It’s made of high-quality processing so that provides accurate thickness for reliable measurements.
0.0015, 0.002, 0.0025, 0.003, 0.004, 0.005, 0.006, 0.007, 0.008, 0.009, 0.010, 0.011, 0.012, 0.013, 0.014, 0.015, 0.016, 0.017, 0.018, 0.019, 0.020, 0.021, 0.022, 0.023, 0.024, 0.025
- Mitutoyo Brand
- Accurate thickness
- Lock screw
- Detachable blades
- More expensive
6. Starret 66B (32 Blades) Feeler Gauge
Starret 66B is the solution when the amount of Mitutoyo 950-252 blades is not enough for you. It’s a complete 31 blades for your various gap measurement. The graduation is only available in inch, but you can make your own table for each convertion to mm.
0.0015, 0.002, 0.0025, 0.003, 0.004, 0.005, 0.006, 0.007, 0.008, 0.009, 0.010, 0.011, 0.012, 0.013, 0.014, 0.015, 0.016, 0.017, 0.018, 0.019, 0.020, 0.021, 0.022, 0.023, 0.024, 0.025, 0.026, 0.028, 0.030, 0.032, 0.035
- Complete 31 blades with thickness from 0.0015″-0.035″
- The blades’ order is in SAE stardard
- Thumb slot
- Locking device to tight the blades while working
- The blades is removable
- The most expensive than the rest feeler gauges in this post.
7. Proto J000TL (25 Blades) Feeler Gauge
It may be a hard job to apply a measurement for a long reach object. CTA Tools a311 comes with extra longer blades to help you handle that condition. They are 12″ in length which is nice for valve adjustment, flange gap measurement, etc.
There are 25 sets of blades available to serve your various measurement needs, from 0.0015 to 0.040 inch blade thickness. They are etched both in inch and millimeter. The most eye-catching is the 0.040 inch blade which is the thickest blade of the rest. No feeler gauges mentioned previously which have such this thickness.
0.0015, 0.002, 0.003, 0.004, 0.005, 0.006, 0.007, 0.008, 0.009, 0.010, 0.011, 0.012, 0.013, 0.014, 0.015, 0.016, 0.017, 0.018, 0.019, 0.020, 0.021, 0.025, 0.027, 0.030, 0.040
0.04, 0.05, 0.08, 0.10, 0.13, 0.15, 0.18, 0.20, 0.23, 0.25, 0.28, 0.30, 0.33, 0.35, 0.38, 0.40, 0.43, 0.45, 0.48, 0.50, 0.53, 0.63, 0.68, 0.75
- American pride, made in the USA
- Long blades for long reach object measurement
- Removable blade
- Thumb slot
- SAE order
- with the thickest 0.040″ blade
- Uncomplete blade set
8. CTA Tools A308 (11 Blades) Feeler Gauge
If you are looking a stainless steel feeler gauge, CTA Tools A308 is what you want. There are many benefits you can get from this: the material, offset type for easy insertion, and comes with two handles.
It’s made of stainless steel which is currently the best material for a feeler gauge, more durable against rust. Moreover, the individual blade use with its handle makes valve adjustment and measurement becomes easier. Additionally, the offset blade-type makes harder adjustment conquered.
Don’t forget about the thickness set. Even though it’s not as complete as we may wish, but the thickness set is adequate. The number of blades might be the reason to keep the price affordable.
It’s not only graduated in inch, but also in millimeter version. CTA Tools A308 comes with great material but reasonable price, why not choose this one. Check the price on the button below!
0.004, 0.005, 0.006, 0.007, 0.008, 0.009, 0.010, 0.011, 0.012, 0.013, 0.014
0.102, 0.127, 0.152, 0.178, 0.203, 0.229, 0.254, 0.279, 0.305, 0.330, 0.356
- Stainless steel
- A set of two handles
- The single blade is suitable for frequent use
- Money saving, reasonable price
- Limited size
- You have to change the blade manually for different gaps.
9. Precision Brand 19740 (20 Blades) Feeler Gauge
Precision Brand 19740 feeler gauge is not like the other. Instead of coming with a handle, it comes with a pocket kit. You can just pick a single blade when you think you only need that blade (with certain size). However, you can buy the handle separately though.
Another important thing is the thickness size where you can find the 0.001 inch blade. This is actually a rare size but you can get it here.
There are two sets available for this product. One is manufactured with 5″ length 20 blades and the second is 12″ 20 blades.
0.001, 0.0015, 0.002, 0.003, 0.004, 0.005, 0.006, 0.007, 0.008, 0.009, 0.010, 0.012, 0.014, 0.015, 0.016, 0.018, 0.020, 0.022, 0.024, and 0.025
0.025, 0.038, 0.051, 0.076, 0.102, 0.127, 0.152, 0.178, 0.203, 0.229, 0.254, 0.305, 0.356, 0.381, 0.406, 0.457, 0.508, 0.559, 0.610, 0.635
- Including 0.001 inch size
- Simple use
- Accurate thickness
- Made in the USA
- Great for regular use, you don’t need to pick all the blades together with its handle.
Blade Availability Comparison
|Brand||OEMTOOLS||ABN 0075||Hotop||ABN 9364||Mitutoyo||Starrett||Proto||CTA Tools||Precision|
How to Use Feeler Gauge
Using a feeler gauge is simple but takes several times of practice until we become used to. As its name, “feeler” means you will use your sense of feeling to feel the level of resistance you are wanting. By using a feeler gauge, you can set in such a way what kind of friction you want.
In short, the key to using any type of feeler gauge is the feeling to feel the friction experienced by the blade.
When you need to know the exact width of the gap, then the level of friction you feel should be moderate. The blade doesn’t slide too freely or too though.
Expand your need. You want to measure the threshold of the gap thickness, at which thickness either the blade inserts freely or starts to get stuck. Certainly, you need to do it several times until getting the feel you think it is the thickness.
You can use two or more combination of blades to measure a gap. Simply, double up the two blades and add up the thickness. It’s easy to read the thickness because it is etched on the blade.
Need to remember to clean up the dirt from the gap first. The dirt can disturb the measurement. Moreover, it results in an inaccurate measurement. In the end, after the measurement, apply the oil on the blades evenly to prevent the material from corroding.
In addition, it’s better off checking the thickness accuracy by inspecting it with a precision micrometer. It’s not rare that the feeler gauge you’ve just bought doesn’t have good accuracy. By inspecting it, we can decide whether the measurement continues or not.
Types of Feeler Gauge
Recognizing the feeler gauge types help us find the best tool that suits the condition we are facing. There are several models:
1. Straight Feeler Gauge
This is the most common used feeler gauge. As the name tells we know that the blades’ appearance is straight. The width of the blades remains the same until the curved edge of the tip area.
2. Tapered Feeler Gauge
It’s almost similar to the straight feeler gauge. The tapered look at the tip area makes them vividly different. When tackling a condition where the gap is too small in terms of its width and thickness dimension, a tapered feeler gauge is suitable for that.
3. Metric and Imperial Combination Feeler Gauge
When two feeler gauges combine in a single tool. Generally, these two feeler gauges are connected by the case, the place of the blades are folded. One is graduated in inch and the other is graduated in mm. Sometimes a single feeler gauge, even though has been graduated with two unit system, cannot provide graduation order as expected. Here is this type of feeler gauge comes into a play.
4. Offset Feeler Gauge
We frequently face a though condition where it’s too hard to get the blade into the gap. The blade may be too rigid and you are using the thicker ones. When using the offset type, the problem is over. It has permanent bent tip where will help you insert the blade into.
5. Brass Feeler Gauge
Your feeler gauge is sticking into due to the magnetic field around the measurement area. By using the brass feeler gauge, it’s not reactive anymore. You can easily slide the blade through the gap.
6. Go-No-Go Feeler Gauge
A go-no-go feeler gauge blade has a different thickness between the base and tip part. The base is commonly thicker while the tip is commonly thinner. We never find otherwise.
7. Feeler Strip
A feeler gauge comes in a set of blades, while a feeler strip comes in a single blade. They are actually the same, to measure the gap size. But the difference resides at the number of blades used. Using a feeler strip is more affordable and simple but not as complete as feeler gauge with multiple blades.
In short, it depends on you. However, the Starret 66B may be the greatest of our choice because of its complete blade sizes and made in the USA. The next is Hotop and ABN 9364 since they provide complete sizes. If you are looking for a durable feeler gauge, then pick out CTA Tools A308. CTA Tools A308 also gives you a 0.004″ blade thickness which is the thickest blade we collect here. Furthermore, if you are looking for the thinnest blade 0.001″, then Precision Brand 19740 provides that.