Best Combination Square Reviews 2017

A combination square is a great tool to have if your project depends on accuracy. What’s more technical than using this tool is having to select from among the plethora of squares available. But we’ve already taken care of that for you by painstakingly sifting through the options. We came up with 5 of the best combination squares from trusted brands. Now go ahead and read our review, keeping in mind that these brands have other variants of combination squares you can check out.
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Overview
PROS
CONS
SPECS
Type
Size
Graduations
Angle
Material
Our Top Choice
PEC Tools 3 Piece Combination Square
PEC Tools manufactures superior-quality tools that are valued in the construction and engineering industries for their accuracy and durability.
Satin-finished blades; square provides perfect 90 degree angles; miter head and level; multiple graduate styles
No protractor head
3 piece
12 inches; 3 pounds
8th, 16th, 32nd,64th
45 degrees
Cast Iron
Best Value
Empire Level Heavy Duty Combination Square
Empire Level designs and manufactures innovative tools that are trusted in the construction industry for their performance and versatile applications.
Stainless steel blade with matte finish; etched graduations; limited lifetime warranty
No metric units on ruler
2 piece
5.2x12x0.8 inches; 0.42 pounds
8th
180 degrees
Stainless steel
Starrett 12-Inch Combination Square
Starrett is renowned for manufacturing a wide range of high-quality precision tools and measuring instruments that are used by professionals and amateurs alike.
Versatile; best used for projects requiring 45 degree miter
Excellent quality, but very high price tag
2 piece
12x6.1x1 inches; 1.1 pounds
8th, 16th, 32nd,64th
45 degrees
Steel
Irwin Metal-Body Combination Square
For over 130 years, Irwin has been a major manufacturer and distributor of superior-performance hand tools and accessories that trade professionals have come to trust.
Adjustable knob; stainless steel blade; suitable for measuring 45 and 90 degree angles
Square may not be quite square
2 piece
5.5X12.4X0.8i inches; 1.1 pounds
16th
90, 45 degrees
Cast zinc
Stanley 16-Inch Combination Square
Since 1843, Stanley has been known for its high-quality, top performance, and reliable hand tools that are great for both professionals and household users.
Chromed-plated, stainless steel blade; etched ruler; suitable for marking 45/90 degree angles
Some isolated complaints about the square being off
2 piece
16.2x5.5x0.8 inches; 0.75 pounds
8th , 16th , 32nd
45 degrees
Brass

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How Do I Choose the Best Combination Square?

(Updated )
A combination square is one of the most fundamental tools for any project that requires precision. Woodworkers have been able to produce perfectly finished jobs by using this tool in conjunction with a wood router, especially when making cabinets or other home-use projects. Another tool that complements the functions of combination squares is the battery or corded jigsaw. After using your square to align angles and take measurements, which are marked with the attached scriber, you can then use your jigsaw to cut!

A combination square is a highly versatile tool that is useful in almost every technical and engineering field. It’s used in architecture, carpentry, building construction, interior and exterior design, and much more. With a square, you can draw perfect angles of 90°, 45° and 30°, and take measurements with precision. They have legible and long-lasting calibrations and are made with sturdy materials that’ll stand the test of time.

There are combination squares that are small enough to fit into the pocket of your apron, but there are also some that are designed to hang from your tool belt. Whether you’re a professional or a DIYer, a combination square is an excellent tool to have!
Price
There are different types of combination squares with different parts, and each part is made of different materials that largely affect the price. A 12-inch combination square with a forged steel blade and satin chrome finish can cost about $120, while a less expensive option with fewer features can cost about $25.

We came across some cheap combination squares and realized that they were made with flimsy materials. You don’t want to trust the accuracy of the measurements you take with these as their calibrations cannot be trusted.
Features
If you’re working on a precision-sensitive project, you know that being a single degree off can have a huge impact. A combination square can help you achieve exact measurements that ensure all your shelves are level and all your edges are square. Since you’re shopping for one, here are features to look out for:
  • Accuracy
  • Graduation style
  • Calibration
  • Scriber/ruler
  • Construction
  • Finish
  • Measurement
  • Blade
  • Type of Level Vial
With these features in mind, let’s take a look at how each one affects this tool’s efficacy.
Construction and Design
A combination square reduces the hassle of making accurate measurements, including angles and corners. Without using a chalk line or a long straightedge, you can use the scriber and ruler on the square to mark a long line with proper width. The square head can also be placed on your workstation and slid against the cutter to get your height measurement.
The graduation style increases the versatility of this tool because it contains different scales of measurement. It’s possible to switch graduation orientation by removing the blade from the head and reinserting it. Graduation styles range from 64ths to 8ths, depending on the set piece, and each one can be used for different purposes. For example, 4R graduation would be most suitable for woodwork as it has 8ths and 16ths on one side, and 32nds and 64ths on the other.

There are also different finish options for you to choose from. The standard finish is often of polished chrome. Some blades are thicker and stiffer than others, such as 3/32’’ blades, and their graduation marks are slightly darkener. You’ll also find squares with a satin chrome finish, which looks matte and may be easier on the eyes for some people because it reduces glare.

If you accurately set the blade of your combination square, you can use it to check the tenons and other important joinery on your project. With a dedicated marking gauge, you can strike parallel lines on the project you’re working on. The right-angle measurement and joining will result in straight wall corners, snug-fitting drawers, tight-closing windows, and quality craftsmanship! You can also scratch or scribe a line perfectly without smearing or smudging. The best combination square performs the composite tasks of marking gauge, try square, level, miter square, sawing square and much more.
Performance and Ease of Use
Combination squares are so versatile, you can de-clutter your tool bag by emptying out your level, your square, your ruler and more. You can trust a good square to rip, miter, crosscut and make notches from those lines that you have carefully drawn. This tool is also flexible enough that it can be used for almost any type of project, from woodworking to making cards or scrapbooking.

Most combination square heads will allow you to slip the head in reverse format, rotate the lock bolt, roll over the blade and reinsert it in a fast and smooth process.

You can also make a short line seem long and parallel miter-gauge slots. When you move the square piece around, you can feel the gradient of the project for spots that need to be removed and holes that need to be smoothened out. The 45° anvil can be used for broad applications including decorative carpentry and picture framing.

What is the Best Combination Square?

Now that you know what you want in a combination square, go on and read the reviews for each product to find the one that suits your needs. We hope that our research will make it easier for you to select the best tool for your project!
Our Top Choice
The PEC Tools 3 Piece Combination Square is made of hardened and tempered metal that’s finished with a powder coating. It also has a contrast and legible calibration that won’t wear over time. If you would want a 4-piece set from the same brand, check out the PEC Tools 12" 4R 4 Piece Machinist Combination Square, which has a reversing protractor.
PEC Tools 12" 3 Piece Set Combination Square – No Protractor Head

brand1 Combination Square 7122-012 4R


Features
PEC Tools is a company operating out of California, USA. It manufactures and distributes engineering tools and devices that are used in industries that require precision. It uses the best materials for making its tools, which is why it’s famed for quality and durability. Some of its products include squares, rulers, probes, calipers, gauges and more! Every tool is RoHS certified because this company is committed to creating tools that are environmentally friendly. To make sure everyone has a chance to use its products, PEC Tools utilizes a vast distribution network.

The 3 Piece Combination Square by PEC Tools is made in America, which signifies the company’s commitment to American laborers. The blades are made with tempered and fully hardened cast iron. The heads are finished in baked enamel and have a powder-coated finish. The square has a level dial to give you precise measurements for any project! We also really liked these features…
  • Sturdy and durable construction
  • Features multiple graduation styles
  • Satin finished blades
  • Square head with scriber point
  • Legible, high-contrast calibration
  • Meets federal specifications
  • Comes with a hard-plastic case
Best Value
The Empire 12-inch Level Heavy Duty Combination Square has a machined head that ensures your measurements are accurate and a scribe pin that lets you conveniently mark surfaces. If you’d like a smaller version, check out the Empire Level 6-Inch Pocket Combination Square!
Empire Level 12-Inch Heavy Duty Professional Combination Square with True Blue Vial

Empire Level Combination Square E250


Features
Empire Level was founded in 1919 and has since been committed to creating top quality and superior performance tools that provide value to workers in the construction industry. Its full range of tools, such as levels, squares, utility tape and measuring tools, are durable and accurate, making this brand a trusted one! It operates out of Wisconsin and distributes its products in over 50 countries.

Empire’s Level Heavy Duty Combination Square is a professional-level square designed with high quality, durable materials. It sports the patented True Blue vial, which has been praised as one of the world’s most accurate level vials. The stainless steel blade fits perfectly with the machined square for accurate measurements. The following are some other features of this tool:
  • Heavy duty head
  • Self-aligning draw bolt
  • Etched graduations to avoid fading
  • Scriber pin for marking surfaces
  • Matte finish to prevent corrosion
  • Limited lifetime warranty
The Starrett 12-Inch Combination Square features blade and square heads made of hardened steel. The blade is finished with satin chrome while the square heads have a smooth, enamel finish to ensure their longevity. If you’d like a set made with cast iron, check out the Starrett Cast Iron Combination Square!
Starrett 12-Inch Combination Square with Square Head Only

Starrett Combination Square C33H-12-4R


Features
Starrett was founded in 1880 and has become a world leader in manufacturing technologically enhanced, innovative precision tools. Part of its numerous products include measuring items, gages, saw blades and more. With its vast experience and consistency in product quality over time, it has won the trust of users worldwide.

The Starrett 12-Inch Combination Square is a show of great craftsmanship with its forged steel construction and superior finish. You can use this tool for anything that requires the use of a 45o miter, and it takes accurate readings with its spirit level. The following are some other features we wanted to highlight:
  • Steel head has enamel finish
  • Hardened steel blade with satin chrome finish
  • Reversible lock bolt
  • Machine divided blade
  • Legible calibrations
  • Multiple graduations
  • The blades are tempered for longevity
The Irwin Metal-Body Combination Square has a head that’s made of cast zinc for durability. It’s easily viewable level vial and black etched scales help you get the straightest, most precise measurement. If you’d like one made of a different material, go for the Irwin Tools ABS-Body Combination Square, which is made from proprietary steel.
Irwin Metal-Body Combination Square – Available in 3 Sizes

Irwin Combination Square 1794469 – 12-Inch


Features
Irwin was founded in 1885 when it created the auger bit. It grew to manufacture many other innovative hand tools that proved to be valuable not only for professionals, but for amateurs, too! Irwin tools were widely embraced, and it became a major brand in the industry. Today, the company prides itself on offering top-quality products that out-perform consumer expectations.

The Irwin Metal-Body Combination Square is a sturdy and durable tool. The head is made of cast zinc and the blade is crafted from rustproof stainless steel. Its level dial is well positioned for visibility, and it has a scribe for marking surfaces. Its adjustable knob makes taking precise measurements a breeze! The ruler is also very detailed and etched in black, allowing you take measurements with micro precision. If you’ve been waiting to tackle your next big project, this square is perfect for marking 90 and 45 degree angles!
The Stanley The 16-inch Combination Square has a handle made of die-cast metal with brass, and it features an easy-to-read level vial as well as a built-in scriber for marking surfaces. If you would like a smaller ruler, go for the Stanley 12-Inch English\/Metric Combination Square, featuring chrome-plated blades.
Stanley 16-Inch Contractor Grade Combination Square

Stanley Combination Square 46-131


Features
Stanley was founded over 170 years ago with a commitment to offer only the best quality tools. Its consistent construction of quality products has made Stanley a well-known name not only in homes, but in garages, workshops and factories, too! Whether you’re a DIY-er or an experienced professional, you’ll find that Stanley has a giant selection of impressive tools perfect for any project.

The Stanley 16-Inch Combination Square is well designed to meet professional standards. It’s made with high-quality die-cast metal and brass. The blade is made of stainless steel and has deep etching for superior legibility and long-lasting usage. The square is suitable for anything that needs 90 and 45 degree measurements. The following are other features of this combination square:
  • Easy to read level vial
  • Sturdy scriber for marking surfaces
  • Hardened, chrome-plated blade
  • Rust-resistant ruler
  • Machined surface for precise measurement
  • Limited lifetime warranty

Get the Best Combination Square of 2017!

Now that you’re at the end of our review, we hope you found the perfect combination square! All that’s left to do is make your purchase and start getting your projects done in record time.

Our Top Choice
PEC Tools 3 Piece Combination Square
Best Value
Empire Level Heavy Duty Combination Square
Starrett 12-Inch Combination Square
Irwin Metal-Body Combination Square
Stanley 16-Inch Combination Square