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TM reader nrChris writes: “I bought this Harbor Freight dial indicator to check runout on my new — and in need of a rehab — table saw.  It’s amazing: flip the switch and it’s a very strong magnet. Flip it again and it’s inert. The best part is that this features a standard thread — 5/16″ I think — so you can re-purpose them nicely. I’m going back for a few more to use with tablesaw jigs and featherboards while they’re on sale.”

Checking online, we discovered it offers a 12″ reach with a swivel post, swivel snug, gauge rod, and indicator clamp, plus knurled thumbscrews to lock everything in place.  Sadly, the sale Chris found doesn’t appear online, but they normally run $18.  You might have better luck checking in HF’s brick-and-mortar locations, though.

Multi-Position Magnetic Base w/Fine Adjustment [Harbor Freight]
Product Manual [HF, Warning: PDF]


6 Responses to Reader Favorites: HF’s Switching Magnetic Base

  1. nrChris says:

    There is a coupon taking the price to $7, if you don’t get the HF weekly coupon email, sign up! You can find the above mentioned coupon as well as a bunch more at:


    Also, I was wrong, these use an M8 threaded stem–they are rated to 45 pounds, and with two I could lift one of the cast iron wings from the new saw. (Now that most of the rust is gone.) They are great–like the rare earth ones available for much more money.

  2. Jeff says:

    I am a little confused on what this tool is, and how it is used with a table saw, but I am sure I want one.

  3. BarelyFitz says:

    I bought a couple of those switching magnetic bases a few years ago (don’t remember where) and made a featherboard that could lock down to the tablesaw. Pretty useful things, those.

  4. JamesBrauer66 says:

    I saw a tip in some magazine that suggested using these at the back of the rip fence to help avoid flex on that end. Personally I wouldn’t use a fence that flexed that much, but it sounded like a good fix. I have two of these and like them quite a bit.

  5. Bill says:

    Careful, these are designed as indicator and instrument stands not fixture anchors. A new HF Store opened in West Springfield, MA July 10.

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