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When you’re trying to do precision work with wood, a square is one of the most important tools you can own. They are the secret to making projects look professional. We tell you what to look for before buying your woodworking square.
For centuries, woodworkers have depended on their trusty tools to get the job done. One of those essential tools is a woodworking square. It’s one of the most necessary and versatile items in any toolbox! If you are a severe woodworker, there is no doubt that you have considered the purchase of a woodworking square to help improve your work. You may already own one or two, but if not, it would be wise to read through this article and find out which one best suits your needs.
While not the most glamorous of tools at an average home workshop, the woodworking square is undoubtedly one that will never go unused. Perhaps you’ve found yourself browsing through woodworkers’ forums and have heard your fellow forumites discuss their opinions on different squares. Maybe you’re looking for an excellent little gift idea for a friend who’s just taken up his Grandpa Jimbo’s familiar hobby?
Or maybe you’re simply trying to figure out what kind of carpenter tool you want to purchase. Regardless, there are many variables to consider when shopping for a new or replacement metal square.
There are many different types of squares on the market, and you want to get a set that is right for your needs. There are also several manufacturers of woodworking squares, and they vary in price, size, shape, and quality.
This article reviews 5 of the best models currently on sale today to help you make an informed buying decision. We also provide a buyer’s guide to learn more about the type of product range available on the market today.
Here’s a rundown of what to expect in this best woodworking square article:
- First, we compare our top picks side-by-side in a comparison table. Perfect if you’re short on time.
- Next, we’ll explore each model’s features and benefits we think you’ll love
- Then, we share their drawbacks we believe you need to know about
- And finally, at the bottom of the article, you’ll discover our buyers guide and FAQ sections to give you all the information you need to buy with confidence.
Sound good? Let’s begin!
Our Favorite Woodworking Squares | Compared
CLICK any image to see Ratings & Reviews on Amazon
Image Model Buy Walts Rating Top Woodraphic Precision Square Click Here 4.9 / 5 (Best Overall) Milescraft 8409 MC- Square 150 Click Here 4.7 / 5 (Best Value) Kinex (Model 4033-12-015) Machinist Square Click Here 4.7 / 5 iGaging Double Square Set Click Here 4.6 / 5 Swanson Tool (Model TS152) Try Square Click Here 4.6 / 5
What Is The Best Square For Woodworking? | 5 Best Woodworking Squares
1. Woodraphic Precision Square (Best Overall)
2. Milescraft 8409 MC- Square 150 (Best Value)
Video: Which Square? All About Squares for Woodworking
Woodworking Square Buying Guide
You will not automatically land the best woodworking square just by glancing at the shelf. You should know what to look for when shopping. In this part of the article, we will discuss several factors that should help you get the best product out of the thousands of available options.
Whereas some factors to consider are apparent, others are tool-specific. Let’s take a look.
This is one of the first factors that should come to mind when thinking of obtaining a woodworking square. Remember, the main reason for getting one in the first place is to help you enjoy a level of precision in your woodworking project.
Your choice should not be even slightly out of square, or you risk messing up the entire project. Only entirely square models can give you accurate and precise measurements in your projects. We advise that you consider getting squares with a leveling bubble or any other feature that enhances precision.
Related Reading: The Ultimate Best 10 Speed Squares Showdown | Reviews & Buying Guide
The blade plays an essential role in the overall functioning of the woodworking square. Note that these tools have different blade lengths, with some more extended than the others. We advise that you settle on an option with a lengthier blade since it will allow you to measure more area.
However, this comes with a disadvantage. Longer blades are generally difficult to use in tight and hard-to-reach spaces, which may impair your overall craft if you are not skillful enough. Therefore, while selecting a woodworking square, ensure that you go for one whose length aligns with your intended purpose.
Getting the ideal length for different purposes may be pretty challenging, and we suggest obtaining more than one square of various sizes in such a case.
Marking and measurement types
Even though several people rarely consider this feature, the woodworking square’s marking and measurement type should feature in your top considerations. The blades are typically marked and calibrated for accurate measurement.
We advise that you settle on an option with standard units. You are deciding on a square whose measurement units you understand saves you the stress and hassle of interpretation. If you intend to use more than one measurement unit, go for an option with both imperial and metric units.
Also, ensure that you check out the blade calibration, which refers to how the measurements are placed on the blade. Here there are two options. You will find woodworking squares with options printed on them and models with etched on measures.
The first option usually is cheaper than the latter, only that the calibrations wear off faster, preventing precision marking. Therefore, we advise that you settle on a choice whose measurements are etched onto the blade.
Instead, we would spend a few extra dollars and end up with a durable option than save a few coins only to go back shopping after a few months.
Type of woodworking square
There are different types of woodworking squares that you should take note of. Remember, all these have their intended purposes. The T-square is a carpenter’s friend and usually is smaller than most woodworking tools.
If you need something versatile, the combination square is the perfect option. Unlike the T square, you can either choose a medium or a large-sized option. The framing square is also used for carpentry and ranges from small to large.
The speed square is yet another tiny option that you can get if you want a versatile tool. The largest in the list is the drywall T square used for drywall and plywood measurements and cutting. The last option is the T square, used for carpentry or engineering. It is usually medium-sized.
If you need to make different angles, you are better off with a speed square since it is designed for that. Therefore, first, ask yourself your intended purpose before spending your dollars on a woodworking square. We want to help you make the perfect purchase, and that starts with you.
Budget – What Is The Ideal Price Range For Woodworking Squares?
How much do you plan to spend in obtaining your woodworking square? How flexible is your budget? Remember that several brands have different prices for their creations, so that these tools will have separate price tags.
Note that high-quality tools usually cost an arm and a leg, which may force you to expand your budget. However, this does not mean that all higher-priced items have the best quality. You should check out as many options as possible before making up your mind.
If you are low on cash or looking for an option to help you save, you will be lucky enough to find a wide range of low-priced woodworking squares that can work the magic. However, note that you may have to sacrifice certain features.
We advise that you have a defined budget before going out to shop or ordering a product online.
How to Make Your own Woodworking Square
Did you know that you can also make your woodworking square? Well, even though this shouldn’t be your first consideration, it may come in handy when you are tight financially. Here is a step-to-step guide on how to ace this.
- Cherry wood (for the handle)
- Straight edge
- Try square
- ¼ inch white oak
Make the handle
You will use cherry wood, straight edge, and razor blade for this. Mark your desired length on the piece of cherry wood to help you cut a straight line. Use a handsaw to help to cut off the excess material.
Next, you need to create a mortise, which the blade fits down into. On the handle, mark the mortise thickness by placing the oak blade beam. Ensure that your markings are precise before using the rip saw to make the mortise cuts. You can then use the chisel to clean out excess wood.
Make the blade
The blade follows the handle. Here, you will use the white oak, which you will cut to a width of around two inches, before choosing your preferred blade length and cutting it. Remember to leave some space between the cut and the marking line while doing this. The last part is to flatten out the blade up to the marking line.
Creating stair steps
The stairstep is created by making lines on the oak blade. These should be placed at different inches. Therefore, mark at the quarter, half, and three-quarters inch of your already prepared edge. After marking, cut down along the lines to come up with a stairstep design.
In case you are wondering why we are doing this, there is a simple answer. The stairstep design is used as a measurement gauge for your woodworking square.
Join the pieces
Now that you have both the handle and the blade, it is time to join the pieces and develop one final creation. Here, it would be best if you had wood glue. Apply it to the blade before attaching it to the cherry handle. However, before piecing them together, use the try square to ensure that you have a precise square.
Once your model proves square, clamp these two pieces together and wipe away the excess glue to come up with a perfect finish.
The last step is to add the measurements, which should be done once your model is dry. Therefore, give your square time to dry, and with the help of another square or a tape measure, add the measurements. It would help if you were as patient as possible to come up with the best markings.
You will have the perfect woodworking square by following these five simple steps. This is usually a fun experience that allows you to define the level of precision and accuracy you need. However, note that your self-made square cannot beat the professional ones in precision. The latter also has more functions that offer you more usability and accuracy.
Woodworking Squares Frequently Asked Questions
How Should I Determine The Build Quality Of The Woodworking Square?
The first thing you should ask yourself is what my needs are? Accuracy and durability could be important for benchtops. The finish will matter to most people. Good customer reviews on build quality usually mean the product lasts longer, which may also lead to higher rigidity of materials, being an indicator of high-quality construction with a long lifespan.
Its materials determine the build quality of the woodworking square. The best squares are made from high-quality steel. They have a durable coating to protect them against rusting or corrosion over time. You might construct cheaper models with lower-grade metal that can easily bend out of shape when pressure is applied onto it, which will affect accuracy in measurements.
- Accuracy: How accurate is the square once used? Does it stay in place, does it wobble, and can you read the markings accurately?
- Durability: how long will this last before breaking or needing repairs?
- Materials: what type of materials are used in making the square; what kind of finishing touches were applied to keep the blade from rusting and discoloring with age?
What Is The Ideal Size Of A Woodworking Square?
Different squares have been manufactured that range from small to large (generally between 3″ to over 48″). You must find the right size for your needs, as they will vary in size and shape depending on what type of work it’s being used with. Around 12″ long is the most common size.
What Square Do You Need For Woodworking?
Several different types of squares are used for woodworking, such as adjustable squares, combination squares, and speed squares. Some squares are better than others, depending on the woodworker’s trade. The carpenter, for example, will want special-sized squares that measure 12″ or 24″ per side to use for framing carpentry jobs. Cabinetmakers and stonemasons also need a few specific sizes in their tool belts – along with other devices like a try square.
The most common type of square used for woodworking is the combination square. These are typically made from a metal alloy and have one edge at 90 degrees. In contrast, another has 45-degree angles on it to mark off an angle in either direction – making them very versatile tools with many uses for a woodworker.
How Do You Know If A Square Is Accurate?
You expect your tools to do their job. And a woodworking square should help you make sure pieces are aligned and at right angles. But if it’s out of alignment, the work can be off—and might not fit with other parts! (Plus, it makes you look a bit silly!)
Fortunately, there’s a way to check for accuracy on any combination square: you need two different-sized metal strips (or pieces of paper). Place one strip under one side of the blade in the tongue slot, then put another in line with its cutting edge. Flip the blade over and see if they align when lined up.
If the strips don’t line up, it means that one side of your square is out of alignment. You can adjust this by loosening or tightening a screw in either direction to make sure they are aligned correctly before you start using them again!
What Are Engineer’s Squares Used For?
Engineer’s squares are a type of tool, and you can use them for many different things. Engineer’s squares consist of two legs that should always measure the same distance apart from one another and be perpendicular to one another – no matter their orientation. For this reason, these types of square tools when handling carpentry work, metalwork, or construction tasks for convenience or accuracy.
An engineer’s square is more accurate and has a metal stock, whereas the blade of a try square isn’t exceptionally as well-made. There are many minor differences between an engineer’s square and a try square, but the main difference is accuracy.
An engineer’s square must be accurate within its range on both the inside edges of the blade and stock, which sets it apart from a try square.
What Is The 3 4 5 Rule For Squaring Corners?
The 3-4-5 rule is a simple technique to build right angles. If you’re using too much time measuring lengths, the carpenter can use this method and save some time by creating their triangle to count for 90 degrees.
Using the 3-4-5 rule, carpenters and builders can easily create a 90-degree angle without any complex calculations. The benefit of this technique is that it does not require decimal points or angles to be rounded off into fractions for them to work, which means they are more accurate than ever before!
It’s easy to use the Pythagorean theorem: if you know two of its dimensions, it’ll tell you the third. If your short side is 3 feet and that same leg extends at a 90-degree angle from there for four more feet, then your hypotenuse will be five full-sized feet!
Woodworking Squares Conclusion
WOODRAPHIC’s professional square ruler is constructed of aluminum that can withstand the elements while providing excellent durability. Accompanied by a sturdy blade, its measurements are laser engraved, and it comes in many sizes to suit your various measuring needs. The edges make this ideal for marking cut-off work on comprehensive stock and verifying 90 degrees of products! It’s our Best Overall choice.
Milescraft’s sturdy 8409 MC square 150 is precision-engineered to the highest quality. This aluminum framing and woodworking square will outlast most other squares of a similar design.
This model is made with a durable anodized aluminum material that has been specially developed for longevity. Its thickness helps prevent wear and tear over time. The 8409 MC-Square150 also includes two quick angle finders: one for 30° angles and another for 45° angles; notches with 1/4″ spacing that can be used as stop points or as measurement increments. For the price, it’s our Best Value pick.
Here are some other articles you may like:
Here are our favorite framing squares
CLICK any image to see Ratings & Reviews on Amazon
Image Model Buy Walts Rating Top Johnson Level & Tool CS12 Click Here 4.9 / 5 (Best Overall) Mr. Pen Steel Carpenter's Square Click Here 4.7 / 5 (Best Value) Irwin Tools Framing Square (1794447) Click Here 4.8 / 5 Powertec Rafter Table Square 80008 Click Here 4.7 / 5 VINCA (Model SCLS-1208) Carpenter L Framing Square Click Here 4.7 / 5 Swanson (Model SVL123) 12-Inch Savage Builders Square Click Here 4.6 / 5 Starrett (Model FS-24) Steel Framing Square Click Here 4.6 / 5 Empire Level (Model e1190) Professional Framing Square Click Here 4.5 / 5 Milwaukee MLSQ024 Framing Square Click Here 4.6 / 5 Mayes Level (Model 10222) 12-Inch Utility Steel Square Click Here 4.6 / 5
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