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Speed squares, also known as a speed square or carpenter’s square, is an essential tool for any woodworker. You can use it to measure angles and draw right angles on boards, cut off excess material from a board, mark two lines that need to be parallel, and more.
Carpenters use this tool all day long to get accurate measurements while building structures of all shapes and sizes. But what exactly is a speed square? What does it do? Why should you buy one? You want to make sure that your projects turn out just right, so you must have the right tools on hand when starting a new project! They’re also highly versatile and come in all shapes and sizes. So, if you have just started working with wood or other materials, this guide will be perfect for you!
This article will answer these questions by reviewing the different types of speed squares available on the market today and highlighting their benefits. We will also talk about how they can make your job easier when working with projects.
Which one should you buy? Check out this article about different speed squares and see which one could work best with your next woodworking project!
Here’s a quick rundown of what we cover in this best speed square review article:
- First, we compare our top 10 brands side-by-side in a comparison table. Ideal if you have little time!
- Next, we take a deep dive into each model’s features and benefits you’ll find useful
- Then, we share their drawbacks we think you know about
- And finally, use our buying guide and FAQ sections to learn more about the product range so you can quickly see which one would best suit your needs.
Sound good? Great, let’s get started!
Our Favorite Speed Squares | Compared
|Swanson Tool Co S0101 Speed Square||Click Here||4.9 / 5 (Best Value)|
|Top||Irwin Tools Rafter Square 1794463||Click Here||4.9 / 5 (Best Overall)|
|WorkPro Rafter Square and Combination Square Tool Set||Click Here||4.7 / 5|
|Mr. Pen Rafter Square||Click Here||4.6 / 5|
|Milwaukee 4-1/2” Trim Square||Click Here||4.7 / 5|
|Crescent X-6 2-in-1 Extendable Layout Tool||Click Here||4.6 / 5|
|CH Hanson 03060 Pivot Square||Click Here||4.6 / 5|
|Johnson Level & Tool – 1959-0700||Click Here||4.6 / 5|
|Deartisan Carpenter Square||Click Here||4.5 / 5|
|VINC ARLS Aluminum Carpenter Triangle Square||Click Here||4.4 / 5|
10 Best Speed Squares | Reviews
1. Swanson Speed Square S0101 (Best Value)
2. Irwin Tools Rafter Square 1794463 (Best Overall)
Video: The Basics on a Speed Square
Speed Square Buying Guide
Now that we have looked at some of the best speed squares you can obtain in the market, and we should show you how to make the perfect purchase decision. Several brands deal with this type of tool, and you risk falling for a low-quality option if you are not careful.
Like most tools, there are subtle variations between models, and choosing the right one can be overwhelming. It’s important to know what features you should look for when buying a and which ones aren’t as important. The first thing we will cover is the materials used to give you an idea of what type of will work best for you.
The most common material for speed squares is . They are lightweight, durable, and affordable, which makes them an excellent choice for most people. Speed squares made with this material tend to be a bit more expensive, but those who have bought one swear by it as you can use them repeatedly without wear or tear. Their longevity will save you money in the long run.
In addition, there are that are lighter and can be used on softer materials such as wood. They tend to be cheaper, but not everyone thinks them to be as durable as ones. They also tend to be a little flimsier, making measurements a bit difficult at times.
There usually are two sizes: 12 inches and 7-the will be a bit harder to use on larger surfaces as you’ll have to make several measurements before cutting. . The smaller one is perfect for those who need more accuracy as they are easier to handle. But
The twelve-work on construction or carpentry and can cover a large surface area in just one go. is the type of most people use as it is the standard size and is powerful enough to be used even for large projects. It is the perfect size if you
It would help if you were looking for a that you could use to make an accurate . Some brands will offer different types of markings; others will have both and metric units available, which is essential if you work on international projects or buildings that require the use of one unit over the other.
When using a , make sure that the measurements are accurate. If they aren’t and you need to use them for anything meaningful like construction or carpentry work, it could ruin your project because of poor quality control. It would help if you did your research when shopping for speed squares, so you don’t waste your money.
A laser-cut edge is also good to have because it helps with accurate measurements. It prevents the material from moving around while getting a precise cut which can be frustrating when measuring things out on a board.
Before buying a , think about the type of work you will be doing with it and how important accuracy is to your project. If you need highly accurate , then take a look at the features and think about what would work best for you so you don’t have any problems getting your measurements correct.
Speed squares are used by professional carpenters or construction workers and anyone who needs to get accurate measurements every time. Their ease of use and accuracy makes them an excellent choice for most people, especially when it comes to simple projects that need custom cuts or you want a result that looks like an expert did it.
Most speed squares offer different measurements such as one-quarter of an , one-half of an , and three-quarters of an which means you can get the same type of measurements without using a tape measure. They work by simply placing them onto a table or surface and then sliding it along so that both ends touch the edge on either side. The markings will then indicate where you will need to cut with a pencil.
Speed squares are an essential tool for your DIY tool kit because you can use them on different surfaces, whether using wood, metal, or any other material. If you have never used one before, it is best to learn about them to know how they work and why they are so good to use.
Speed squares are one of the most commonly used hand tools because they make accurate measurements easy and can be used on different surfaces without a problem. They have many benefits associated with them, including making a project more manageable and giving you better results in less time.
A is a tool that allows you to get accurate measurements on surfaces with great ease and convenience. The markings on the sides of your guide should be evident so that you can easily see where you need to cut or how much you need. But the one thing some people do not like about this type of is the print used for the markings.
If you cannot read the imperial or on your due to poor print, make sure that it is of high enough quality before buying one. You can ask for help from an expert or read reviews online to get more information about the tools you are considering buying.
In addition to finding out if the printing used will make for , you should also be on the lookout for the durability of the . If it is a high-quality product, then it will last a reasonable amount of time and be able to withstand several impacts with some force behind them without breaking apart or rubbing off the etchings.
Some manufacturers have the measurement markings an utterly opposite color to the mainframe, making it very easy to read – even in poor lighting.
Before buying a , make sure it is durable because this will affect the accuracy of your measurements. A should resist rust, bending, and warping when exposed to extreme weather or working conditions. If you drop it or bump into something with it, there is no point in choosing one that won’t hold up in harmful conditions.
Many people buy a that will withstand being dropped, or in some cases, they drop it on purpose to test the durability before buying. The materials used in the manufacturing process are often made of , which is solid and lightweight. This allows you to get accurate measurements without having to tire yourself out when you are trying to cut.
Avoid any flimsy they can easily bend because this will affect the accuracy, and if you can quickly turn them, it is unlikely that you will get accurate measurements. If the is warped or rusted, this won’t help with doing your work accurately.
What do you plan to do with your speed square? This will largely dictate the speed square you will end up with. A carpenter and an architect will use different speed squares due to their jobs’ need for .
When considering the intended usage, the tool’s material and durability should be at the top of your list of considerations. We suggest getting a stainless steel or aluminum alloy product if exposed to more elements, such as outdoor work. Remember to pick an appropriately engraved tool for the outdoor job to ensure that the measurements do not fade.
Size and weight
The size and weight of your speed square determine its portability. Luckily, most speed squares in the market are lightweight and can be moved from place to place. All in all, ensure that you settle on an option that will get the work done. If heavier tools give you more control, pay for metal speed squares.
What do other buyers have to say about the given speed square? This should be one of your first considerations when buying an item. You can consider buying the product if the reviews are positive. However, several negative reviews should tell you that there is a problem with the product.
Speed Squares Frequently Asked Questions
Which is the most common size for speed square?
There are many sizes of speed squares on the market. It can be hard to pick one that will work best for you. The most popular size is 7 inches, but there are also 6 inch and 12-inch options available. Determine your needs before picking an extent, so you don’t get stuck with an item that doesn’t fit your needs or expectations.
On the other hand, you can use these sizes for different purposes. For example, if you have just started working with wood or another material, a 7-inch square will work best! Choose one appropriate to your needs and expectations to fit nicely into what type of project you will be doing.
What are the primary purposes for your speed square?
The Speed Square is the Swiss army knife of carpenters everywhere. Not only does it include all the functions of a combination square, try square, and framing square – but it also includes basic measurements like length and area in both imperial (inches) or metric (centimeters).
The Speed Square combines a framing square, try square, and combination square in one device. It is used to make basic measurements on dimensional lumber and marking lines when cutting with a saw at 45 or 90-degree angles.
Why is a speed square called a speed square?
It was an invention by Albert Swanson way back in 1925. He would later create the Swanson Tool Co., and the name Speed Square is branded to them, but the name has stuck to describe them.
A Speed Square is called a speed square because it can be used to quickly calculate the most common angles in carpentry (90 and 45 degrees) and use this tool to mark lumber lines when cutting with saws. A framing, try, or combination square is not always convenient enough, so people find these functions useful all packed into one tool.
How thick is a speed square?
Speed squares come in different thicknesses on their various sides. A thicker side is often designed to be a saw guide, making it quite thick and dangerous for some people since you may not expect the edge of such an object to be sharp that could cut your hand. The other sides are typically thinner, so they won’t slice down through whatever material or sheet metal you’re using them with.
Speed Squares Conclusion
The Best Value speed square is the Swanson Tool Co S0101. This Swanson Tool Co Speed Square is made of heavy gauge aerospace aluminum and has markings for the Swanson Blue Book rafter length and roof construction. The black gradations make measurements easy to read against a matte finish.
It also features markings for using the one-number recessed layout method, which is faster to measure than traditional methods and easier to compare measurements in different zones. For the money, it’s the best value available.
Our Best Overall pick went to the Irwin Tools Rafter Square 1794463. The IRWIN Tools Rafter Square is the professional’s choice with its durable deep-stamped markings that are most visible under low lighting conditions. It has an aluminum body that cannot be corroded and is weather-resistant, so it can withstand whatever challenges Mother Nature throws at you.
This tool also features a variety of scales: 1/8in, 1/10in, 1/12in, and 1/16in so that there is never a need to measure twice! The square includes rafter tables, brace and octagon scales, Essex board measures for use on construction sites.
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Here are our favorite combination squares:
CLICK any image to see Ratings & Reviews on Amazon
Image Model Buy Walts Rating Top Irwin Tools Combination Square Click Here 4.9 / 5 (Best Overall) Johnson Level & Tool Metal Combination Square Click Here 4.8 / 5 (Best Value) Starrett Combo Square Click Here 4.8 / 5 Swanson Tool Co Speed Square Click Here 4.7 / 5 WORKPRO Rafter Square and Combination Square Set Click Here 4.6 / 5 DUEBEL Combination Square Click Here 4.1 / 5 iGaging Combination Square Set Click Here 4.5 / 5 TICOFTECH 12-inch Combo Square Click Here 4.4 / 5 Brown & Sharpe Combination Square Click Here 4.2 / 5 BEETRO Zinc Alloy Combination Square Ruler Click Here 4.6 / 5
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