A combination square is a ruler's design with one or more interchangeable heads that may join it. The most common head is the standard or square head, used to layout or check right 90° and 45° angles. It is a standard tool in building job sites, home workshops, and metalworking.
On the other hand, many of their blades' design comes with metric values and graduations systems. It usually is manufactured by cast-iron, steel, and aluminum materials. The blade looks like a regular ruler, but it's longer and could measure up to 16 inches.
A combination square takes great responsibility to make your measuring work accurate and precise. Below we have the most useful combination square out there with detailed reviews to enable you to pick which one is the most fitted for your work. But before we talk about them, you need to know some must-have features that a perfect combination square holds.
Our Top Picks at a Glance
View Top 12 Best Combination Squares Reviews, Below
1. Irwin 1794469 Tools Combination Square
- Weight: 12 ounces;
- Long:12 inches;
- Marking: 90° and 45°.
Our top pick, Irwin combination square, is much popular among the woodworkers for its precise measurement and easy to use functions. It's 12-inch long with a stainless steel blade. This high-quality precision square has rust-proof properties that last long, even in an outdoor environment.
The machine-etched scales have simple black prints that are easy to read and don't fade in prolonged usage. This reliable tool helps to manage accuracy and squareness in a short time. The different colors of its cast-zinc frame and the markings on its steel blade can be seen in a low light that allows you to mark angles and draw lines accurately.
It is an ideal square for marking 90° and 45°; you can also use the T-bevel similar depth gauge. Overall, this Irwin model is durable, and its measuring scales can withstand workplace abuse.
2. Swanson S0101CB Speed Square Layout Tool
- Weight: 12.4 ounces;
- Long: 6 inches;
- It has five measuring systems.
- This speed square by Swanson holds a thick-metal combination square.
It is sturdy and durable enough that doesn't bend under pressure and can serve for many years. It's a reliable pro-grade layout tool for woodwork, rafters, and carpentry lovers.
As it is a pocket tool, so the compact designs allow you to carry it in your pocket and don't need a toolbox. Another exciting feature is it arrives with a pocket-friendly Swanson blue book that allows you to measure the exact lengths of rafter during roof construction.
The quality of the ruler square is better than the rulers of regular combination squares. It is made from stainless steel, and its speed square frame is built by lightweight aluminum. So, you can measure the radius of hardwood edges like a pro.
3. Starrett 10H-6-4R Graduation Combination Square
- Weight: 0.960 ounces;
- Long: 6 inches;
- Graduation: 1/8, 1/16, 1/32, and 1/64 inches.
Starrett is an accurate and hardened combination square with a built-in scriber, spirit level, and reversible lock-bolt. Its tempered steel blade etches with clear markings and sharp graduation. Moreover, the graduation can quick read of 8ths, 16ths, 32nds, 64ths angles.
This lightweight 1.22-lbs handy tool is compact enough that it allows you to make quick measurements available from your pocket during projects. It offers quality cast-iron heads that are sufficiently durable in pressure work. Also, the blade regulates with the miter heads.
It fits a range of applications that can optimize all level markings and squaring functions. Additionally, it designs to guide and explain "youngsters" and apprentices to layout and check their work more efficiently. So its more likely used in some vocational schools and apprenticeship programs worldwide.
4. iGaging Combination Square
- Weight: 2.27 pounds;
- Long: 6 and 12 inches;
- Graduation: 8ths, 16ths, 32nds, and 64th.
This lightweight 1.2 lbs iGaging combination square set uses a non-metric system that allows you to check corners for squares. It arrives in a two-piece set of 6-inches and 12-inches high precision combination squares. Additionally, these double squares have a satin-chrome hardened steel blade with finely-printed to increase easy readability.
Further, it designs with a 4R blade with a 2.5-inches base that can graduate in 8ths, 16ths, 32nds, 64ths to get a high-precision value during woodworking and engineering projects. Though, this iGaging square set's accuracy level is 0.0008″ per inch.
As a quality tool, it comes in a sturdy storage case with a foam insert that protects every part of this tool. Also, it maintains global accuracy standards.
5. Kapro 325M Magnetic Lock Combination Square
- Weight: 1.06 pounds;
- Long: 12-inches;
- Angles: 90 and 45 degrees.
This 12-inch Kapro Combination Square is renowned for woodworking, stonemasonry, and metalworking applications. The compact size fits into any toolboxes easily. It comes with a built-in belt holster, zinc head, and a stainless steel scribe. Also, its 325M powerful six rare-earth magnetic slide-lock holds the ruler securely in place for accurate measurements.
The stainless steel blade has a clear marking that allows us to read the scale with minimal errors, and cast zinc improves durability. The reliable layout etches with centimeters, millimeters, and inches graduations. It allows the users to determine 45 and 90-degree angles without disputes.
Overall, the materials of this Kapro combination square are durable and user-friendly. Additionally, this 12-inch rule's height pattern provides the ease of transporting and storing after each use.
6. Ticoftech 12-inch Protractor Level Measuring Set
- Weight: 8 ounces;
- Length: 12-inches;
- Material: Aluminum and stainless steel;
- Angles: 90 and 45-degree.
Ticoftech manufactures this multi-functional carpenter combination square to use as a square, scriber, depth gauge, and a level application. It is ideal for marking 90 and 45-degree angle markings. The 12-inch length is compatible to use for experts and beginners to complete their tasks suitably.
Apart from it, this multi-functional layout tool arrives with a scriber, bubble level, and depth gauge. Also, the blades come with dual-sided 12-inches British and 300mm Metric systems markings of inches and millimeters. Further, the Chrome blade has heavy-duty and rust-proof construction to last long.
It's suitable for level markings and precise measurements of deck, rafter, stair, and roofing projects. Nonetheless, the cast-zinc body has a bright orange color with a built-in regulating screw. These user-friendly components are unyielding to everyday wear and tear.
7. Swanson TC130 Combo Square
- Weight: 6.2 ounces;
- Length: 6-inches;
- Material: Die-cast zinc body and stainless steel blade.
The Swanson 6-inch pocket combination square is a versatile multi-tool with over ten uses, including leveling, squaring, marking, scribing, etc. The die-cast zinc body, stainless steel blade, and brass bolt hardware make it more durable and precise that any measuring work became more comfortable.
The self-locking spring-loaded blade slides comfortably on the frame to assures a firm and accurate setting. The stainless steel blades with a precise black etching enhance user readability.
The CNC machined working surfaces are so accurate to provide more reliable accuracy. It has an impact-resistant acrylic level vial that design so firmly to withstand worksite damage.
8. Johnson 400EM-S Metal Combination Square
- Weight: 4.8 ounces;
- Length: 12-inches;
- Material: Die-cast zinc body and stainless steel blade.
This combination square is a master of providing precise measurement that can avoid any tiny errors in any measurement work. The computer-machined gauging edges and the cast zinc head deliver sharp accuracy at the craftsmanship.
The machine-etched graduations on 12-inch stainless steel blades can measure and draw angles accurately. It comes with finely-gauged edges of 1/32nds, 1/16ths, and 1/8ths graduations. Also, the steel blade has a protective anti-rust coating that allows you to work outside.
Moreover, the hardened and removable scriber improves the flexibility and quality of your metalwork, woodwork, and stonemasonry applications. The acrylic yellow barrel vial helps to measure plumbs and levels to minimize inaccuracies. This lightweight tool is easily flippable.
9. Mr.Pen Framing Combo Square
- Weight: 8 ounces;
- Length: 12-inches;
- Graduations in 1/32, 1/16, and 1/8 inches.
Mr. Pen 12-inch combo square is a multipurpose tool that helps you to get accurate measurements in metalwork, woodwork, and stonemasonry. It appears with precision-etched scales marked with both centimeters and inch graduations. With its spring-loaded brass bolt, you can get an accurate measurement quickly.
This metal square has a rust-proof stainless steel blade that's durable and long-lasting. Apart from this, you can draw 90 and 45-degree angle wooden frames with this square set. Another fantastic feature is the strength of the steel angle ruler. Its metal construction allows a clear and ease of reading measurements.
10. iGaging Double Square Set
- Weight: 1.2 pounds;
- Long:6 and 4 inches;
- Material: Stainless steel;
- Graduated in 8ths, 16ths, 32nds, 64ths.
The iGaging double square 4R set comes with two squares at the price of one, making them an excellent deal for woodworkers. These adjustable squares come with heavy-duty hardened blade and precision-ground satin chrome steel frames. Together they weigh about a pound, which is the lightest combination square available in the market.Most woodwork or construction work needs high correctness in measurement form 1/64th of an inch that this combination square can. If you're frequently moving in different job sites and want to protect your tool, you will be happy to know that it comes with a foam inserted storage case. It's easy to read and increases the user's performance and saves time.
11. Swanson SVC133 Savage Combination Square
- Weight: 1.76 ounces;
- Long: 12 inches;
- Material: Aerospace aluminum;
- Graduated in 8ths, 16ths, and 32nds.
The savage strength frame built by aerospace aluminum makes it different from other combination squares. The manufacturer also concentrates more on its accuracy besides durability; that is why its scale is graduating using chemical etching that provides accurate measure within .001 inches.
Furthermore, brass tightening bolt, die-cast zinc head, and scribe awl increase longevity and durability. The handle holds a hardened removable scribe for marking surfaces quickly, and the screw-in scriber attaches firmly. Also, it includes an acrylic block vial to improve accurate reading.
Besides, the appliances include gauging depth, mitering, scribing lines for ripping material, and drawing notches. It has options to mark in metric, mm, and cm as users conveniently. Overall, this is a compact and multi-functional classic square that's crucial for every Carpenter.
12. Accusize Industrial Combination Tools
- Weight: 3.42 pounds;
- Long: 12 inches;
- 4R graduation in 8ths, 16ths, 32nds, 64ths.
If you want an extra function in a combination square, this four-piece set is perfect for multiple purposes, layouts, including setups, checking heights, depths, and angle setups. This 12-inches measuring square has a tough and fully hardened satin chrome finish blade, which is easy-to-read.
Moreover, the tempered square head has a level and scriber points that allow exceptional accuracy and precision. It has a micro-fine blade with 4R graduations marking in 8ths, 16ths, 32nds, and 64ths. The lightweight and compact designs allow the user to carry it anywhere with a portable case.
What to Look Before Buying a Combination Square
At first, the combination square seems to be a simple tool. But the building materials and other features make a big difference in how accurate it is and how long it lasts. So this buying guide provides the following features that help you identify the right combination square for any project.
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Some combination squares are made by plastic components and others with sturdy metal components. But we suggest going for aluminum as it is a lightweight material that provides clear contrasts of markings on its surface.
Also, the blades of a combination square are made of a variety of different materials. Hardened steel generally considers being durable without being much expensive. Adding to this, heat-tempered blades are the most durable. It's essential to buy combination squares with rust-resistant blades. Always purchase materials that don't bend or break under work pressure.
Accuracy and Blade
The precise combination square can square up and measure angles accurately. Also, the black marking should be easy to read. Usually, top-rated combination squares can carry their etched markings for many years. Even it can withstand rough weather. Versatile combination squares have a range of graduations like inches, metric, millimeters, or centimeters.
Another name of the miter head is the anvil, which plays a vital role in combination squares. An adjustable screw on it allows you to slide the blade. Also, you can use the frame on miter heads to measure 45 and 90 degrees.
Further, the mark lines help to increase accuracy with set angles. Additionally, this miter head supports the blade to slide over its built-in aperture. The anvil assures a specific right angle that produces accurate combo square measurements.
A bubble vial is used for measuring plumb and level. It allows you to use a combination square as a quality level. With this feature, you will be able to check that something is level as well as square. To check the plumb, place the blade's outside edge against the vertical surface and ensure that the bubble position is in the middle of the vial. By using this method, you will get accuracy. So we recommend looking for this feature while purchasing a combination square.
The head of the handle included inside is called a scriber, which is used for marking measurements. It is placed into the back of the combination square. It's a sharp steel point that can mark a more refined and more accurate line than a pencil on all surfaces. Moreover, the mark doesn't get blurred or erased by handling. So keep the scriber feature in mind at buying time.
So here we try to present every useful small nature of different top-rated combination squares to help you with your projects.
To Sum UP
The best usage of a combination square is to measure 90° and 45° angles and the workpiece's thickness. But we can find a range of components with it and get confused. To recall you in short, the key features of a perfect combination square are black-etchings on metal blades, corrosion-proof, pressure-proof and accurate marking.
So considering all these features, you can now buy a perfect combination square to optimize your craftsmanship performance. We hope we can lessen your dilemma by our selected high functioned product reviews.
Last Updated on January 1, 2021 by John Dylan
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I am John Dylan. I have a clear experience about different types of tools since my childhood. I start my career as a handyman then I also work as a plumber, electricians. At one point I noticed that people struggle to find quality tools.
So I started to research and explore different tools. I try to present a proper information about any tools I use. Hope my attempt help you!