M.Power Perfect Butt Profile Scriber
By Dean Bielanowski
Reviewed April 2010
If you have ever done any kind
of home renovation or trim work, and you are a bit of a
perfectionist, chances are you cringe at the sight of gaps
between two surfaces. Whether these present between trim and
drywall or between cupboards and out of square walls for
example, the fact remains that these gaps are unsightly and can
be difficult to fill or hide. The best solution is to prevent
the gaps from being created int he first place, and this is
where a good profile scribing tool comes into play.
Today we are looking at the new
"Perfect Butt" Profile Scriber from M.Power Tools. Unfortunately
this tool does not give you a "perfect butt" in the anatomical
sense, but it will give you one in the construction and material
M.Power Profile Scriber Unlike other profile scribers which may be a large
number of profile "fingers" held together in a bar-like
apparatus that is pushed against a surface to scribe a profile,
the M.Power scriber uses a different design that lends itself
better to scribing over longer distances. It doesn't have the
limitation of only scribing a distance as long as the tool is
itself, but it's design will also not work in every case (what
tool ever works perfectly for every situation anyway?).
Indeed, looking at the design,
the M.Power profile scriber is very simple indeed. And they do
say that the simplest things are often the best, right?
Regardless, what you have here is a steel handle or shaft which
holds a ball bearing and a marker and numerous wheels can be
placed over the bearing to set a pre-determined offset from the
scribing pencil. That's it, in the most simplest form. Now onto
a bit more detail...
Ok, the main handle or shaft is
steel constructed and holds a standard pencil within its body.
The pencil is spring loaded so it can retract into the handle as
it is pushed against a surface, allowing the offset disc to ride
flat against a surface. The pencil comes ready to use out of the
package and is nicely sharpened. The pencil can be removed at
any time for resharpening or replacement by unscrewing the top
black cap of the handle. Inside is a spring and the pencil
At the bottom of the handle is
a fixed bearing. This holds a rubber O-Ring in a groove that is
designed to hold onto the various offset wheels the package
supplies you with. These are offered with the following offsets
(offset is from edge of wheel to center of pencil tip):
Depending on the offset
required, or perhaps the intricacy of a curve or piece to be
scribed, the best wheel for the job can be chosen. Generally
speaking the larger wheels are better for longer scribing tasks
or those with less arc or detail. The smaller wheels can better
scribe tighter radius curves or corners (it can handle outer
corners well but inner corners cannot be scribed square because
iof the wheel shape). Unlike finger-type profile
scribers, the M.Power Perfect Butt cannot get into tight inside areas
or scribe inside square or sharp edges accurately. This does not mean
it doesn't have a raft of uses however.
There is also a fifth "wheel",
so to speak. M.Power call this the "Pro Cap" which is the black
screw cap that holds everything in the shaft in place.
Basically, by inserting the spring into the handle shaft first,
then reversing the pencil and inserting it with tip facing top
of shaft the Pro Cap is then added as usual and the pencil tip
protrudes through the small hole in the end of the Pro Cap. This
method provides a smaller offset of 11/16" from the edge of the
Pro Cap to the tip of the pencil. For working in tighter curves
or pieces with more detail, this is the best option to choose,
however you don't get the benefit of the smooth rolling bearing
in this case. It can scribe sharp outer corners with a bit of
care, but you still have the limitation of not being able to
scribe inside corners because of the round shape of the
I have used the M.Power Profile
scriber to flush fit cupboards to out of square vertical walls,
to set tile cut marks for out of square walls in rooms and for
scribing flooring in my ongoing home renovation. And I seem to
find new uses for it all the time. It can be used to scribe
kitchen benchtops to neatly fit existing walls, to fit shelves
in less than square cabinets for a no-gap fit result, and can
even help to scribe coping cuts on moldings. It can also aid int
he creation of accurate templates for construction or building
work as well.
The offset wheels are made from
plastic (except for the smallest 1-1/8" wheel which is metal) so there is no real problem of marring or
marking/scratching surfaces you run it against. The 1-1/8"metal
wheel has very smooth edge faces to prevent any damage as well. The bearing runs
ultra smooth which provides an excellent level of control as you
run the wheel against an edge to scribe the profile. The knurled
section of the handle provides extra grip too which, while not
essential for this type of tool in my opinion, is a welcome
There is not much more to this
tool really. That about explains it all, but I will demonstrate
a standard use for this tool as part of my built-in storage
cupboard project where I had to scribe a face frame edge to meet
flush with a less-than square vertical wall in the room in which
it is being installed....
Here are the storage cupboards in position.
They will be eventually "built-in" to the space. The scribing
tool is used on the face frame component which is seen on the
far right of the carcass assembly. I am using pine for the face
frame, which will be painted with white enamel before final
fixing and assembly. This shot does show the frame piece cut
after scribing and no gap between carcass and wall is evident.
This is that right edge shown in more
detail prior to scribing and cutting. You can see the gap
between carcass (which is square) and the wall (which isn't
square) widening as you look from top to bottom. The actual
difference between top and bottom is as much as 1-1/4" over the
Running the M.Power Profile Scriber with 2"
wheel (with carcass offset a little extra to accommodate) along
the wall creates an accurate and neat pencil line with which to
make the cut later for a flush fit once carcass is manuevered
back into place and face frame completed and fixed.
Conclusion In a few words, yes this is a good product that works.
It works because it is simple and effective in most scribing
tasks and is extremely easy to use without hassle or
frustration, and it is fast to use as well! It is priced at around US$25 which may seem a
little expensive at first but you will quickly see the value in
your investment as you create your first perfectly scribed piece
that leaves little or no gap against the material you have
scribes it from. Well worth it for that perfect fit each and
every time in my opinion.
YouTube Video Here's a video that shows in a little more
detail the use and benefit of the M.Power Profile Scriber. You
will note the wheels shown in this video are a little different
in design to the ones provided in the reviewed product here,
although the outcomes remain the same...
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For more information on the Perfect Butt Profile Scriber, check out
the manufacturer's website at
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Perfect Butt retail packaging.
Main shaft handle with pencil inserted, bearing
1-1/8" metal wheel shown.
2" (50mm) plastic wheel. Note also the O-Ring
on the bearing to hold wheel in place.
The 3-1/2" (90mm) wheel ready to go.
Standard round pencil can be used. Note the
spring which provides pressure on the pencil during use.
Using the handle and pencil in reverse. Note
the pencil poking through the hole in the Pro Cap. This gives an offset
Instruction manual is included to get you going
in the right direction!
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