What is the better solution to daily working problems? Having 3 different tools to perform 3 different tasks or having 1 tool that can perform all the 3 different tasks? 2nd one sounds cool, right? With the best combination square, you can easily improve the working performance in your workplace.
These squares can be used for carpentry for metalworking and so more. They are accurate handy and easily usable. So, how to choose them and how to use them? In this article, we are going to give you a complete guide.
What is a combination square?
To define combination square I would like to say that it is a tool of a combination of some particular parts to be used to do some multipurpose tasks. Like they are used in carpentry or for metal working or to measure distance, angle or even to find the center of a circle.
They are a medium sized tool and very handy and portable. It has a scale with graduations and provides the facility to create 45 and 90 degrees of angles. Having an adjustable knob and some other feature, it is one of the best solutions to your daily problem in the workplace.
How to Recognize the Best Combination Square?
Getting the best performance mostly depends on how much the product suits you. Here are some tips on how to recognize the best combination square that will fulfill your expectations.
What the Blade Shold Made of?
The blade i.e. the scale is the most important part of the square. It must be durable, solid, strong, and free from rust and other things. A stainless steel-made scale is a perfect material for this.
What the Combination Square Head Should Made of?
The Head or the handle is another important part that you should care about. Most of the case cast zinc-made bodies are a perfect one, the shape should be perfectly square.
You can check the angle of the body edges with the scale whether they are making accurate angle or not. They must be perfectly squared that is very necessary to draw a sketch.
How the Combination Square Graduations Like
You are working with a combination square but the graduations are bad, then what would you do with that tool! The graduations must be sharp and clear. They must be deeply etched so that they last long.
There may be two or more type of increment that is needed for precise measurement. If they start from both ends, then it will be very much helpful if you are a left-handed person.
How Powerful a Combination Square Tool Is?
A combination square is a powerful tool for your toolbox, as it can do some but very important tasks that you need in your daily schedule for sure.
Want to measure the distance, just measure it by using the scale. If from a particular point, then set the body at that point, tighten the lock bolt and measure the distance.
You can also make different angles the body sides make these angles with the scale. So, to make the angle, mark a point on the scale and draw a line along with the edge of the body.
There also can be used to check the level or the flatness of a surface. Amaze already? You can also use them to check the gauge, measuring the depth, or transfer measurement.
How to Use Combination Square Perfect?
Using a combinational square are not rocket science. But to use it accurately is very important. So, it’s better to check the accuracy of the tool before you are taking the wrong measurement. to check the accuracy of the scale you just need a pen and a white paper.
At first draw a line with the scale. Mark at least two points 1/32 or 1/16 inches far from the line and draw another line on that point. If the two lines are parallel to each other than your tool is accurate.
Who Makes the Best Combination Square?
Irwin, Starrett, iGaging, Swanson, Stanly are top companies that make the best combination square. We picked here the top 7 best quality combination square best in precision and accuracy.
1. IRWIN Tools Combination Square
High expectations on the first product, right? Let’s start the list with a product that is at it’s best for its durability, its features and functions. perfect in shape and accuracy make this one a unique tool to be on your toolbox.
This Irwin’s combination square has a strong and solid blade made of stainless steel, have still any confusion about the durability? On the other hand, the body is made of cast zinc that makes it a powerful one, a tool that you can use for years.
Let’s talk about the features, the precision-etched scales with the combination square makes 45 and 90 degrees. No, it is not finished yet, there you will find black and clear graduation in inches with two types of increment, 1/8 and 1/16, enough for precise measurement, huh?
The last thing I want to mention is that the body can be easily slid over the scale as well as locked by a screw. Bubble leveler and two angle edge, a perfect tool for rugged use in carpentry and other applications.
However, talking about the cons I would say there is a gap between the scale and the cradle that means it will not stay square after using it many times.Check on Amazon
2. Starrett 11H-12-4R Combination Square with Cast Iron Head and Black Wrinkle Finish
Looking for a gorgeous tool with great performance. This Starrett combination tool may have all the feature you need, but the black head with wrinkle finish will create an amazing first expression in anyone’s mind.
It has all the basic features like good durability, spirit level, well graduation with sharp reading, scriber, etc. So, let’s talk about something else that will force you to change your mind to this one.
Talking about the graduation, starting from both ends, it has 4 types of increments from 1/8’’ to 1/32”, precise measurement at its best.
However, the machine divided blade long blade has two kinds of angle with the body, 45 and 90, enough for you, isn’t it?
Looking at the body, the reversible lock bolt will allow you to lock the body at the exact position. The bearing surface is accurately ground, means that it is perfectly squared.
You will find hardly any bad review of the product. One con I can mention is that the blade is not made of stainless steel that means there may be rust after using it for several years.Check on Amazon
3. Swanson Tool S0101CB Combination Square Value Pack
This Swanson’s combination square is an ideal tool for all kind of users, there remains no doubt in mind about the durability of this square. To clarify, the body of the combination square is made of cast zinc and the blade is made of precision machined stainless steel.
Guess what’s the next big deal? The main amazing fact of the product is that the shape, measurement indicators, and the outlook everything is up to the mark making it a perfect one for anyone’s needs. For example, the graduations are clear and sharp with black in color.
In addition, the body has two sides one having 90-degree and another one has 45-degree with the scale. If you are going to facilitate a line on any surface, the graduations having 1/8 and 1/16 increments will help you to reach the exact position.
There is a spirit leveler on the body, just up of the lock screw. The lock screw locked the body with the scale perfectly to ensure a perfect measuring.
To sum up, this thing’s impressive and all but like everything has a limit to what it can handle. The combination square was not properly square out of the box.Check on Amazon
4. iGaging Premium 4-Piece 12” 4R Combination Square
Are you a premium tool fond? Here is your product, a premium tool with elegant looking. Look at the outlook of the product, it says all. A lot of feature with style, a perfect product of legacy.
Let’s have a look at the features, the blade is made of fully hardened and tempered steel, undoubtedly one of the best combinations for ensuring long durability as well as strong and powerful. To add more, the blade has a satin chrome finish.
Now the important part, about measuring, the blade is machine divided having clear and sharp graduations, the 4R graduations will able you to have a precise and perfect measurement. And yeah, don’t be tensed the gradations start from both ends.
Unlike others, iGaging insert a full protractor with the square that means you can easily draw a line of any angle with the scale, the protractor can also be slide over the scale.
The first bad side about the tool, the price is a little bit high but remember it is a premium tool.
However, there are some rough edges on the scale and lock bolt.Check on Amazon
5. IRWIN Combination Square, Metal-Body, 12’’ 1794469
Looking for a simple combination square from a brand manufacturer? Here is our suggestion from Irwin’s. First of all, the durability of the product is beyond your expectation as the body is made of cast zinc.
Want to hear something unique? The blade of the instrument is rust proof so that you need not any extra effort to keep it clean. In addition, the blade is stainless steel that makes is strong and durable enough to use for a longer period of time.
The black precision etched scale has clear graduation and make 45 and 90 degrees with the body. The bubble indicator is also good to check the level.
The last thing I would like to say is that the tool is solid, sharp and accurate. Moreover, the corners are perfect to get a proper sketch.
No one would like to say the cons. But as we are giving you a true review you will not hide anything from you. For example, the tool is not properly square. So, if your hoping to get a proper square shape, you will be disappointed.
However, the worst part is the un-squareness of the tool that changes every time you adjust it.Check on Amazon
6. Stanley 46-131 16-Inch Contractor Grade Combination Square
So, what do you expect from a product? Good durability, amazing performance, impressive outlook? Stanley’s combination square has all the thing you desire.
Double etched hard chrome plated blades are durable and rust resistant that means you never have to waste time thinking about the durability. The body is yellow in color and the brass hardware with a metal handle made it a unique one with flexibility.
Still, confuse why we put this on the suggested list? To give you the maximum readability this tool is black in color and deeply etched. In addition, the indicators and the numbers are sharp and clear. Nothing left to make an error.
Precision machined working surface improve accuracy. The level vial and scratch awl perfect in position with accuracy.
Yeah, overall this is an amazing tool to have. But something you also should know is like the edges are not completely smooth.
Another fact that disappointed me is that this thing is not perfectly square in shape.Check on Amazon
7. Kreg KMA2900 Multi-Mark Multi-Purpose Marking
Our last product on the list is a little bit different than the above products, it is a handy and multi-purpose marking tool. This kreg’s product is incredibly light and easy to use, the blade slide over the body and can be direct to any angle.
Now the crazy part, the multi-mark features of the tool has three different scale configurations, use whatever you prefer. The 3/16’’ reveal gauge will keep you in touch with perfect measurement. On the other hand, the scale can be positioned in 3 different positions.
Meanwhile, there is a built-in torpedo leveler to check the horizontal level of the surface. So, you see there are different types of measurement and marking functions, a compact tool for your toolbox.
However, there is an imperial and a metric scale, so it’s very easy to transfer the measurement according to your needs. To sum up, it is light and compact, very easy to use with a lot of functions and also portable to carry in a tool bag like Hilmor tool bags.
Talking about the cons, one thing I must say is that the body is plastic made, so the build quality is not up to the mark as well as there remains confusion about the durability.Check on Amazon
Frequently Asked Question
Confused with some points? Here are the answers to some FAQ that you may look for.
Is a Starrett Combination Square Worth It?
The best squares
I think Starrett combination squares are the very best made. For the quality and engineering standards they tick every box. Price wise they represent good value for money, but they are more expensive at three to five times the price of all others.
What Is the Most Accurate Square?
Veritas Precision Square Metric Version This could easily become the most-used measuring tool in your shop. An ideal size for cabinetmaking, it has the accuracy of an engineer’s square (0.001″ per inch of length = 0.15 mm over the 150 mm leg).
What Do You Use a Combination Square For?
A combination square is a multi-purpose measuring and marking tool used in metalworking, woodworking, and stonemasonry. It is composed of a rule and one or more interchangeable heads that can be attached to the rule.
How Accurate Are Combination Squares?
Made out of metal with a durable cast zinc body and a stainless steel blade, this combination square is designed to resist corrosion and rust even after many uses in many different settings. Its ruler features black precision-etched scales that provide accurate 90 degree and 45-degree readings.
Are Empire Squares Good?
Empire does an excellent job of updating their already well-loved squares. Both the Rafter Squares and the Combination Squares offer incredible precision and durable construction all without an exorbitant price.
What Is the Size of a Square Combination?
Four, six, and twelve-inch lengths are the useful sizes for the woodworker. The two I use most are a 6″ combination and a 4″ double square. These fit easily in an apron pocket and cover most common tasks.
How Do You Know if a Square Is Accurate?
Draw a line along the edge of the long side of the square. Then flip the tool over, aligning the base of the mark with the same edge of the square; draw another line. If the two marks don’t align, your square is not square. When buying a square, it’s a good idea to check its accuracy before leaving the store.
Q. How many angles can I make with the square?
Ans: Usually there are two angles that can be made with the square, 45 and 90.
Q. Is the reading auto readable?
Ans: No, you have to take the reading manually.
In the bottom line, I would say these all products are best in their perspective. It’s hard to say a final suggests. If you are a looking for a long scale brand product than Irwin’s 12-inch combinational square is a perfect choice. Or small? Then go for the 6-inch Irwin’s tool. You can select Starrett’s product if you want a complete performance with good review.
If you are a premium fond user, then why not the iGaging? Swanson’s tool is perfect for you if you have to perform a variety of tasks as it has also a speed square. Kreg’s product if you want to try multipurpose works. After all, looking for something small? Stanley’s one is good for you.