The 10 Best Woodworking Squares in 2019

Woodworking square dates back in 1925, and as time goes by, the carpenter’s layout tool continues to improve in regards to its design. The device incorporates features of different tools into one making carpentry job easy. And for years now, the tool continues to be relied upon by professionals to perform various tasks with high accuracy within no time.

As simple as it may seem, owning a quality one can be at times challenging due to the ever-increasing brands in the market. But you do not have to punch yourself hard as we are going to take you through high-quality brands to help you choose the best woodworking square. Read on to identify your preferred model. If you don’t have the time to read all the entire review, here is a quick comparison of the products we have featured in our review.

Best Pick

Swanson Tool S0107 Speed Square Layout Tool

Swanson Tool S0107 Speed Square Layout Tool has managed to stand out from its peers and makes our best pick. The tool features a heavy-duty aluminum design to withstand job site misuse. Its black gradations facilitate easy readability while its matte finish prevents glare. The tool incorporates features of 7 tools in one and is one of the best tools for staircase building and deck framing.

Budget Pick

Stanley 46-053 Premium Adjustable Quick Square Layout Tool

Stanley 46-053 Premium Adjustable Square Layout Tool is the best woodworking square for the money. The tool is affordable, accurate, versatile, and convenient for use. Its superior aluminum design gives its extreme strength to withstand harsh working conditions. The tool features multiple scales with high contrast yellow graduation on a black background for increased accuracy, making it our best budget pick.

Quick Comparison: Top 10 Best Woodworking Squares


1. Swanson Tool S0107 Speed Square Layout Tool

Highlighted Features

  • 12 inches long
  • Designed with superior quality aluminum alloy for durability
  • High contrast black markings
  • Versatile
  • Adjustable lock pin
  • Has a full 900 scale
  • Patented layout bar
  • Built to last

If the best woodworking square is all that you are looking for, then look no further than this Swanson tool. The tool is designed with a heavy-duty aluminum material with a matte finish for a glare-free tool. The S0107 series is a pocket-sized tool which combines features of a try square, protractor, mitre, tri and framing square. This feature saves you time and makes your woodworking projects easy to manage.

Its ½” and ¼” spaced notched help inscribing lines. Its graduation marks are marked to facilitate easy reading. The tool comes along with a detailed guide to help you handle even the toughest jobs with ease. Though it is recommended for staircase building and decking framing, it can also be an excellent pick for your wood projects where repetitive measurements are needed.


2. Stanley 46-053 Premium Adjustable Quick Square Layout Tool

Highlighted Features

  • Handy
  • Adjustable design
  • Multi-purpose
  • Has different scales to suit different user needs
  • Affordable
  • Comes with an adjustable arm
  • Offers optimal readability

This Stanley 46-053 series is a high quality adjustable quick square layout tool which boasts of its heavy-duty aluminum construction which allows you to enjoy using it for generations to come. It has a ruler length of 6 ¾” and 10 ¾” base length for use in most woodworking applications.

The tool touts of valley, jack and hip scales suited for different applications. Its black body features clear yellow markings for optimal readability in varying light conditions. Its adjustable design makes it easily make adjustments to suit the application or task at hand.

The price is also right, which enables you to own a quality tool at an affordable price.  Taking advantage of this tool will offer you convenience, reliability, and effective way to handle your woodworking projects with ease.

3. Johnson Level & Tool 1904-0700 7-Inch Johnny Square

Highlighted Features

  • Thick dropped edge
  • 7” long
  • Durable
  • Handy
  • Continuous scribing notches
  • Versatile
  • Permanent laser etched markings
  • Accurate

Johnson Level &tool is a rafter angled squared made from high-quality aluminum which features CNC machined edges for improved precision and durability. The tool has distance and angle scales, which are perfectly integrated to help you make precise marks quickly on your cut lines on your stringer.

It also has a marked scale for making cuts on hip, valley and jack rafters. The multipurpose square has a thick edge which can be used as a saw guide. Its scribing notches can be utilized to make precision saw cut lines for rip cuts. The protractor scale is etched and can be used against the square along with the saw to perform angled cuts.

Its permanent graduations enable you to make your readings faster in different light conditions. This tool can be an excellent pick for those who may be looking for the best rafter square for woodworking. Its design and great features make it a go-to tool for professionals.


4. DEWALT DWHT46031 Premium Rafter Square

Highlighted Features

  • Marked numbers with great contrast
  • Reliable
  • Handy
  • Versatile
  • 7” long
  • Large base
  • Built to last
  • Measurements system in inches

DEWALT is a leading manufacturer of quality professional tools, and this rafter square has not been left out. The tool features a unique thick extruded aluminum design for withstanding heavy-duty use. Its broad base offers a better grip of materials which enables you to manage your woodworking projects with ease.

The rafter square can also be used to scribe notches for your rip cuts. It’s contrasting color graduations facilitate easy readability without glare. The 7” tool has been relied upon for years by professionals for carpentry and woodworking projects.

Its size fits perfectly well on any toolbox and is a great pick for less demanding DIY projects and home recodification jobs.

5. Swanson SW1201K 7" & Big 12" Speed Square Layout Tool Kit

Highlighted Features

  • Accurate
  • Built to last
  • Versatile
  • Easy to read without glare
  • ¼” spaced scribing lines
  • Ideal for stairway and roof layout

Swanson has designed yet another fantastic square for your woodworking projects. The tool kit comes with a 7 and 12-inch speed squares for use on different applications. The speed square layout tool incorporates the functions of a framing square and a try square in one tool which makes your woodworking projects easy to manage.

Each speed square features high contrast black markings for better readability without glare. With this tool, you can make small angle cuts from 45 to 90 degrees with ease. Better still; you can also make scribing marks, and perform precision cuts with the help of the saw guide.

The 5 in 1 tool is a great pick for professional carpenters and DIYer. Included on the package is a 40-page guide book to help you eliminate any guess work, which makes this tool set the go-to speed square for beginners.

6. Empire 3990 Heavy-Duty Magnum Rafter Square

Highlighted Features

  • 12 qout. framing blade length
  • Heavy duty design
  • Break-proof
  • Comes with a detailed manual
  • Accurate
  • Stamped conversion tables
  • Versatile

Sometimes when working on your woodworking, it can be a challenge to convert your measurements, but with this quality rafter square, you will enjoy fast readability. The tool features a permanent conversion table for quick and fast measurement.

The empire level square is constructed with superior quality aluminum for a break-proof and robust tool. Its graduated area is perfectly notched to help you pull your layout lines with ease. That's not all; its compact frame design allows you to utilize the tool like a saw guide for increased precision.

With this tool, you can perform precision marks and cuts for up to 12” wide. Taking advantage of this tool will help you improve your working speed and accuracy levels for your woodworking projects.


7. CH Hanson 03060 Pivot Square

Highlighted Features

  • UV resistant vials
  • Versatile
  • Durable
  • Has a locking mechanism
  • Facilitates easy readability without glare
  • Comes with the must-have requirements to get you started

Making angled marks can sometimes be challenging if your speed square is not professionally designed to minimize any chances of moving. But with this pivot square, you can improve your woodworking precision. Thanks to the locking mechanism which keeps the tool in place, enabling you to perform high precision markings in angle or roof pitches

The tool is designed with a finely machines aluminum alloy for incredible performance and durability. What makes this tool stand out from its peers is its three UV resistant vials which are specifically designed to help you determine the grade, roof pitches, angles right level, miter cuts, and plumbing cuts.

The pivot square comes along with a marking pencil, technical guide, and a pouch which allows you to start working on your projects right away. CH Hanson 03060 series is a quality tool for professional carpenters who may be looking for the best precision woodworking square.

8. IRWIN Tools Rafter Square

Highlighted Features

  • Multiple Scales
  • Extremely durable
  • Rustproof
  • Weather resistant
  • Easy to read measurements
  • 7” rafter square
  • Glare-free tool
  • Accurate

IRWIN is a superior quality rafter square which is designed to withstand the test of time. Unlike other standard rafter squares which would be affected by weather and moisture, this model will not. Its aluminum body is exceptionally durable with rustproof and weather resistant properties.

Its high contrast yellow markings on a blue background facilitate easy readability. Conversion of your measurements has also been made easy, thanks to its multiple scales. You can easily perform the brace, octagon scales, rafter tables, and Essex board measure.

Investing in this rafter square is a great treasure you can have as a professional carpenter.

9. VINCA ARLS-07 Aluminum Rafter Carpenter Triangle Square

Highlighted Features

  • Wide base for better grip
  • Multiple Scales
  • Comes with a conversion table
  • High accuracy
  • Deep stamped markings to avoid any guesswork
  • Durable

VINCA rafter square is designed to withstand heavy duty use, a feature which enables you to conquer demanding woodworking projects with ease. The tool features a broad base which is specially designed to provide a better grip of your material. Its yellow marks are deep stamped on a black surface for easy readability.

With its multiple scales, you can get precise measurements without guesswork quickly. Its rafter conversion table enables you to improve your accuracy levels and deliver professional services all the time. At 7”, this rafter square is ideal for your carpentry and construction projects. Unlike plastic models which may crack, this tool will not. It's metal design gives it exceptional strength for any job site misuse.


10. IRWIN Tools Tri and Mitre Square (1794473)

Highlighted Features

  • Measurement system in inches
  • Quality
  • Rustproof stainless steel blade
  • Ideal for making 900 angle cuts
  • 8” long
  • Precision etched scale
  • High impact handle

Making precise angle cuts have been made easy with this IRWIN tri and miter square. The tool boasts of its precision etched scale which enables you to perform your marks and cuts accurately. Its ABS handle offers you a secure grip on different materials without moving for improved accuracy.

Its stainless steel blade has rustproof properties and facilitates precision cuts for your woodworking. Relying on this tool will transform your carpentry job and increase your accuracy levels. Besides, the tool is of good quality that can last you for years to come.


Factors to Consider When Buying a Quality Woodworking Square

Material

Most models you will come across are made with wood, plastic, or steel alloy. Wooden speed squares are affordable but may break easily, especially when they are not taken good care of.

Plastic models, on the other hand, are lightweight and may not withstand the heavy-duty use on the job site. Steel speed squares, on the other hand, are durable, and strong enough to withstand job site misuse. However, if not professionally finished, you may have challenges reading your measurements due to excessive glare.

Steel is also prone to rust. So in case you opt for steel speed squares, make sure they are of good quality with rust proof properties.

Purpose

Speed squares are designed to give you great versatility. But before you decide on the best model to buy, you need to outline the intended use. Some models may be suited for other tasks as compared to others.

Most manufacturers list the number of applications for each tool. For greater versatility, consider choosing a model that combines different tools features into one.

Accuracy

One of the most critical aspects to look out for in a speed square is accuracy levels. The accuracy of your tool has a big influence on the results. However, sometimes, it is hard to determine the efficiency of your tool by mere looking at it. But this shouldn’t be a reason to settle for poor quality models.

One way to go about it is to check out the accuracy level provided by your manufacturer. High precision tools should have a small error to enable you to calculate your measurements correctly. Another way of determining your tool quality is by reading other customer reviews.

Measurement system

Different models will feature different measurements system. Some have two while others have multiple scales to allow you to make your conversions faster. The type of measurement system you opt to settle for will depend on your personal preferences and what you are comfortable with.

In case you may need to utilize different scales, buying a tool with multiple scales will enable you to save the time you would have used to do conversions.

Type of graduations

Nothing can be frustrating like investing in a speed square with temporary graduations, which makes it hard to read your measurements. This can mess up with you big time. To avoid all these disappointments, consider buying models with permanent graduations which are either laser etched or stamped.

Other included items

While different models are of varrying sizes, some come withmore items. While some may only contain the tool, others may come with a detailed guide, pencil, or a pouch. Never ignore these items as they help ease your job. Better still; you will also have to save on money that you would have spent to buy the items.

FAQ

Is a woodworking square worth it?

Woodworking square is one of the most super versatile tools that every professional carpenter should never miss on their tool bag. The tool is designed with great features to make your projects manageable while increasing your accuracy levels. Speed squares are great treasures which are worth every penny.

What is the difference between a rafter square and a speed square?

Most people confuse a speed square with a rafter square, but all are the same thing. Other terminologies which can be used for woodworking square are triangle square or rafter angle.

Why is the speed square used for staircase layout?

Rafter squares are versatile and combine different tool features in one. They are utilized in measuring, framing, and performing precision marks, and cuts. A tool that incorporates the features of a framing square will be best suited for this purpose.

Final Verdict

When working on lumber, speed squares are great tools for improving your accuracy levels. And those who have used the tool before knows how having one can make a huge difference. They offer a simple, quick, easy, and reliable way to create measure and perform your angle cuts with ease. However, the tools may differ slightly from each other, which require you to be vigilant when making your choices. Regardless of the model you opt for, the best woodworking square should be accurate, reliable, quality, and professionally designed to help you complete your projects with ease.
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