This is the new 35th Annaversary Veritas Stainless-Steel Marking Gauge by Veritas. Now, when I first heard of this new gauge I was excited because it looked a lot like the Veritas Mortise gauge that they make. I have had the original Veritas wheel gauge for a couple years now and it has done a great job, but when I bought the mortise gauge it was evedent that Veritas had learned a few things about marking gauges. Or, at least the wheel style gauges that have become popular over the past decade.
Now, there are several things that make the new marking gauge better than the previous ones that Veritas has produced.
First, is the eccentric placement of the rod. With the rod off center it creates a much larger reference area which makes the gauge more stable while in use. That is a major improvement in my book over all other wheel gauges. Also, all the rods are interchangeable between versions.
The second improvement is simply that the face is larger then the original gauge, but not as large as the mortise gauge they make. The larger area combined with the off center placement of the beam makes the reference area and stability even better.
The third major improvement is the material that was used. The stainless steel stands up a lot better then the original surface material and it weighs just enough to feel even better in your hand. The original gauge weighs 5 1/2 oz, Stainless at 8 oz , and the mortise at 9 3/8 oz.
The off center and heavier head has some great advantages. With both the mortise gauge and the new marking gauge I can easily use them with one hand. What I mean is that the extra weight helps the head sit better in your hand, allowing you to lock the beam in place with one hand. This is a plus. Also, as far as not having a micro adjust, well, I never used the micro adjust on the original gauge anyways. Never really saw the importance of having one and I am glad the new one doesn't have one.
Another nice update is the type of cutter on the gauge. This might not seem that important, but I have found that the old flat cutters don't work as well as the newer "pot" style cutters. The old ones sometimes worked loose during use.
Here is a better view of the difference between the new and old cutter heads. The one on the left is very flat and held on with a phillips screw, the new style is deep and held with an allen screw.
In short, I highly recommend the new Stainless-Steel marking gauge by Veritas. With all the improvements over the original gauge and the fact that they are only available for a limited time. You really need to purchase one of these before they run out. I bought three, because I wanted more gauges and I wanted to replace my original gauge regardless. I also think that the stainless version will last a lot longer than any other gauge on the market and you can't beat the $29.95 price.
You can get the new gauges here at Lee Valley Veritas