Product Reviews - Kristeel

Kristeel-Shinwa Straightedge

Good news on Rules

When I began woodworking some years ago, accurate measuring tools were difficult to find in India and I found myself spending a lot of money buying very expensive measuring tools from the United States through amazon.com.

It is not that I hadn’t tried the local market; the tools were abysmal; it was a hit or miss affair. I was frustrated by the inaccuracy of simple measuring tools such as squares and straight edges.

I splurged and bought a 12-inch combination square and a 6-inch double square made by the famous US company Starrett. The purchase cost me a small fortune. 

Sadly, the Starrett double square was not accurate and I had to ask for a replacement which came promptly but which wasn’t dead square on the outside. It was fine on the inner angle and I stuck with it.

A couple of weeks ago I stumbled upon a company on amazon.in selling square, rules, protractors and other measuring tools. Ordered some, was delighted, ordered more and was even more delighted!

Kristeel steel protractor and centre finder

Good news is we have a company called Kristeel selling beautifully made accurate measuring tools in India costing a small fraction of any similar imports.

I am informed by a reader, G Ram Mohan , that  Kristeel Shinwa has been making excellent measuring equipment for a very long time.

He writes: "I do not know about wood workers but every engineering workshop knows about this brand. Earlier they used Mitutoyo make of Japan, now generally they are using Kristeel-Shinwa which are at par, at least for rules, protractors etc. The downside is that Kristeel Shinwa has not increased their prices for many years and now they are decreasing the thickness of their scales, protracters etc,(still accurate) which is unwarranted."

At any rate, I bought a 6-inch square and found it was dead accurate inside and out and a 12-inch straight edge that came with a certificate of accuracy bearing my name! I also bought a small steel protractor, a centre finding ruler and a drill bit gauge. All excellent stuff made from good stainless steel.

Drill bit gauge

7-inch square

It appears that the maker of these tools, an Indian company called Kristeel has forged a tie-up with the well-known Japanese company Shinwa.

Amazon says about the company: “KRISTEEL-SHINWA has the largest share of the Indian market and is the most preferred choice in the International market for Stainless Steel Precision Rules & Gauges. KRISTEEL has its headquarters in Mumbai & its state of the art manufacturing set-up is located at Silvassa. The factory is laid out to the collaborators exacting standards, with plant & equipment, imported from USA, Italy and Germany.”

The Japanese company Shinwa Rules Co., Ltd. was “established in 1971 has branches in China and the United States.

A price comparison:

Kristeel
US import Shinwa  or similar(amazon.com prices inlcuding shipping and import duties)
12-inch straightedge
Rs 550
Rs 2,355(Shinwa)
Protractor
Rs 255
Rs 1,400 (Shinwa)
Centre finding rule
Rs 100
Rs 1,400
Drill bit Gauge
Rs 100
Rs 900
7-inch square
Rs 320
Rs 2,000

Quite apart from the prices, it is a relief to know that one can get decent rules, easily and reliably online in India these days.

Indranil Banerjie
23 May 2016

Comments

  1. Its great to hear that such accurate rules/squares are available locally. I am going to order one set today. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. Great information, another international know brand I found is Groz, bought a 100mm engineering square very accurate and handy.

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    Replies
    1. From where? Available on amazon.in?

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  3. I picked it at hardware store in gurgaon but I believe Groz is available on tolexo and industrialbuy. Groz has a manufacturing unit in gurgaon.

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  4. Very useful information.Thanks a lot.

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  5. Its a much needed piece of information. Thanks for sharing :)

    But I found that online price of Kristeel products, its much more then what you mentioned above. Can you please tell me from where you got it?

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  6. Excellent piece of information Indranil Da! Thanks so much for sharing!

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  7. Excellent blog, a real guiding light for newcomers to woodworking! Adding a few details for any one searching online for the above tools:
    1) The straight edge is - Kristeel Signature series ruler model SSC 12
    2) The protractor is - Protractor cum depth gauge (D head) model 1501-A
    3) The drill gauge is - Drill stand Model 1513 D
    4) The centre finder is - Centre finder cum Protractor Scale Model CSPS-12

    ReplyDelete

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