Top 10 Combination Squares for Everyday Woodworking | Reviews & Buyers Guide

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You don’t have to be a carpenter to understand how these simple yet powerful tools can help you with your daily projects. A combination square is a carpenter’s best friend. They are essentially indispensable when creating anything that involves straight lines, whether a decorative trim or furniture frame.

 

A combination square is a tool that you can use in all types of construction projects. It is an accurate measuring device, and it has various uses, such as marking lines on floors and walls for cutting or installing drywall. A combination square also helps to ensure angles are 90 degrees when working with wood or metal pieces.

These tools are beneficial for several different jobs. You can use them to do woodworking, metalworking, and even stonemasonry too! They’re not just an occasional tool either – they’re used all over the place depending on your job or how much work needs to be done at once!

Don’t forget these handy instruments because they’ll come in very useful, especially if it means saving tons of money by doing less work for yourself than paying someone else who charges way more than you would ever want.

As with any tool, there is a wide range to choose from, and in this article, we take the hassle out of all the tedious research by providing you with the top ten best combination squares.


Here’s a quick rundown on what we cover in this best combination squares article:

  • First, we compare our top 10 picks side-by-side in a comparison table.  Perfect if you have little time!
  • Next, we take a deep dive into each product and explain their features and benefits you’ll find handy.
  • Then, we’ll tell you about their drawbacks we think you should know about.
  • And finally, our buying guide and FAQ section will give you greater insight into the product range

Sound good? Let’s get to it!

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Best Combination Squares | Compared

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Combination Square Reviews

 

1. Irwin Tools Combination Square (Model 1794469) (Best Overall)

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • The blade has clear markings
  • It is easy to locate
  • It is light and portable.
  • Accurate
Cons
  • It may be hard to put the blade back once removed

 

2. Johnson Level & Tool Metal Combination Square (Model 400EM-S) (Best Value)

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • It is affordable
  • It is pretty durable
  • Offers great value
Cons
  • Some buyers have complained that it may be hard to use.

 

3. Starrett Combination Square (Model 56366)

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • It is perfect for woodworking.
  • It is durable and will probably last a whole lifetime
  • It is well-designed and carefully crafted.
Cons
  • It is costly

 

4. Swanson Tool Co Speed Square (Model S0101CB)

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • It comes with a guide on roof construction and tool usage
  • It is versatile.
  • It can support heavy-duty usage.
Cons
  • Lacks accuracy
  • Missing pieces

 

5. WORKPRO Rafter Square and Combination Square Tool Set

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • It has multiple graduations.
  • It is user friendly
  • It is highly versatile.
Cons
  • Some users have complained that it is not 100% squared.

 

6. DUEBEL Combination Square

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • The company offers 24hrs customer support.
  • It is durable
  • It is practical.
Cons
  • Some customers have complained of poor quality.

 

7. iGaging Combination Square Set

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • It has an easy-to-read scale
  • It is accurate
  • It is sturdy.
Cons
  • Needs some setting up at first.

 

8. TICOFTECH 12-inch Combo Square

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • 100% money-back guarantee
  • It can be used in a wide range of applications.
  • It offers accurate measurement
Cons
  • The markers are too far apart on the spirit level

 

9. Brown & Sharpe (Model 599-439-1204) Combination Square

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • It is accurate.
  • It is sturdy
Cons
  • Poor quality

 

10. BEETRO Zinc Alloy Combination Square Ruler

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • It is durable
  • It has a regulating screw for tightness adjustment
  • It can be used in a range of applications.
  • It is accurate
Cons
  • Metric difficult to read.

 

Related reading: The Ultimate Best 10 Speed Squares Showdown | Reviews & Buying Guide

 


Video: Combo Square Basics

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Combination Square Buying Guide

Getting the right combination square for your projects is not as easy as it sounds. Even with the thousands of options available, falling for the wrong product is very easy. What then should you do to ensure that you get the right product? 

We have put together some factors to consider when out shopping. We want to ensure that you get the right product and get value for your money. Take a look. 

Durability 

It would be best if you strived to get a durable combination square. However, this is dependent on several factors. First, look at the material used in the construction of the combination square. We advise that you settle on one made out of a combination of alloys. 

Also, the blade needs to be made of stainless material to support outdoor usage. We suggest that you consider blades made of stainless steel as they never rust. You can use your combination square in the harshest of conditions without making constant purchase plans.  

combination square
TICOFTECH 12-Inch Combination Square (Credit: Amazon)

Size 

You should consider the size of your combination square since it dictates how to use it. However, this is closely related to your intended purpose. What do you plan to do with your combination square? To be on the safer side, we advise that you settle on multiple sizes to fit a range of applications. 

When working in your shop, you will realize that small to medium-sized squares come in handy for several jobs. Also, the size determines the portability of the tool. Therefore, if you’re working outside the workshop, you need a small or medium-sized combination square to move from place to place quickly. 

Head 

The head design plays a vital role in the overall functioning of the tool. Even though most combination squares come with similar heads, some have inside variations. We advise that you settle on a product that has a bubble level in the head. 

The bubble level comes in handy in small projects, saving you time and effort as it does away with constantly switching tools in the building process. The interchangeability of the head also plays a vital role in the working of the device. 

Even though all combination squares come with this feature, you may have difficulty getting the perfect fitting head design. We, therefore, advise that you make these heads available to you before making a purchase. 

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Budget

The combination square is a standard necessary tool offered by several manufacturers. You can be sure that the available products have different price tags. Therefore, create a budget based on what you need in a combination square. 

Quality and durable tools usually are higher-priced. Therefore, expect to spend more if you aim to purchase a premium combination square. However, this does not mean that all low-priced or relatively affordable products are of poor quality. 

We advise you to ensure that the price aligns with features such as the material of construction and functionality. Also, make your budget more flexible to include pricier options that you may have to consider. 

All in all, ensure that the product you settle on gives you value for money. 

Buy on Amazon

 


Combination Squares Frequently Asked Questions

 

You should consider the size of your combination square since it dictates how to use it. However, this is closely related to your intended purpose. What do you plan to do with your combination square? To be on the safer side, we advise that you settle on multiple sizes to fit a range of applications. 

When working in your shop, you will realize that small to medium-sized squares come in handy for several jobs. Also, the size determines the portability of the tool. Therefore, if you’re working outside the workshop, you need a small or medium-sized combination square to move from place to place quickly. 

Head 

The head design plays a vital role in the overall functioning of the tool. Even though most combination squares come with similar heads, some have inside variations. We advise that you settle on a product that has a bubble level in the head. 

The bubble level comes in handy in small projects, saving you time and effort as it does away with constantly switching tools in the building process. The interchangeability of the head also plays a vital role in the working of the device. 

Even though all combination squares come with this feature, you may have difficulty getting the perfect fitting head design. We, therefore, advise that you make these heads available to you before making a purchase. 

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Budget

The combination square is a standard necessary tool offered by several manufacturers. You can be sure that the available products have different price tags. Therefore, create a budget based on what you need in a combination square. 

Quality and durable tools usually are hiHow Do You Know If A Combination Square Is Accurate?

Accuracy with any measuring and leveling tool is vital, and there are ways to check accuracy. A combination square is accurate if the blade and ruler are parallel to each other.

To check for accuracy, place a straight edge on top of one end or side (depending on which way you want your measurement) with its long axis perpendicular against that surface. Then slide it across until both edges meet at an intersection point in the line where they cross over. If the two ends meet, then the combination square is accurate.

If the two points do not meet, you will need to adjust your blade and ruler until they are parallel with each other again before using them for any measurements or leveling work. If a combination square is inaccurate in this way (or if there’s an error on one end of its scale), that inaccuracy can be transferred when making cuts because those errors compound its lack of squareness.

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What Are Combination Squares Used For?

Woodworkers use combination squares to ensure that their measurements are accurate and ensure they have a square surface. You can also use combination squares for leveling work; the blade is slid across an edge of your board until it meets with one end at 90 degrees (or as close to it).

The combination square then acts like any other straightedge when using its scale on top or bottom edges to measure distances from those two points. Combination squares may come equipped on either side by sliding blades, allowing them more versatility than just being able to slide along only long sides – this will enable woodworkers greater flexibility.

The long, versatile blade on a combination square makes it the perfect tool for ensuring that your joint is 90 degrees and checking to make sure you have an accurate 45-degree angle. The spirit level vial can be used as a depth finder or another way of measuring distance – don’t forget about its ruler function!

Why Buy A Combination Square?

The main advantage of the combination square is that it’s a multi-purpose tool. It can be used as an angle finder, depth gauge, and ruler, to name just three of its many functions!

Combination squares are made from either stainless steel or brass, which is durable enough for everyday use in the workshop. Most models have some form of rust resistance coating added by the manufacturer. Higher-priced. Therefore, expect to spend more if you aim to purchase a premium combination square. However, this does not mean that all low-priced or relatively affordable products are of poor quality. 

We advise you to ensure that the price aligns with features such as the material of construction and functionality. Also, make your budget more flexible to include pricier options that you may have to consider. 

All in all, ensure that the product you settle on gives you value for money. 

Buy on Amazon

 


Combination Squares Bottom Line

Our Best Overall pick went to the Irwin Tools Combination Square has precision-etched scales in black and durable cast zinc body, make this tool a must-have for any construction job. The rust-proof stainless steel blade is perfect for 90˚ marking, and the easy-to-read, molded shapes make it accurate for 45° measurements. 

The Irwin Tools square weighs approximately 2 pounds and has an overall length of 12 inches. It comes with a screwdriver that allows you to adjust the degree markings on the scale, which can be used as a gauge for transferring measurements from one surface or object to another.

Our Best Value award went to the Johnson Level & Tool Metal Combination Square. It features an etched stainless steel blade with 1/8″, 1/16″, mm graduations, a self-aligning drawbolt, a hardened removable scriber, and a heavy-duty 45° and 90° precision machined square head. A combination square is used for multiple purposes in woodworking, stone masonry, metalworking, so this professional-grade multi-tasker will be the answer at a price you can afford.

 


Here are some other articles you may like:

5 Best Woodworking Squares for the Money | Reviews & Buying Guide

10 Best Framing Squares and Buyer’s Guide: Everything You Need to Know

 


Here are our favorite woodworking squares:

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Walter Snyder