Best Combination Square 2020 | Top Picks & Reviews

There are hundreds of combination square out there. But, all of them do not come with high-quality and accuracy. If you are looking for the best combination square out there, this post is for you.

Here we have picked 5 best combination square omitting hundreds of them. These combination square will not disappoint you regarding the money you pay for them.

However, before we enter into the review part, we will also let you know what a combination square is, what’s the use of it, and other related issues of a combination square.

After the review, we will cover a buying guide to help you choose the right combination square for you. And, at the end of this article, we are going to come up with Frequently Asked Questions to let you answer your potential questions regarding the combination square. So, let’s start.

Combination Square and Its Uses

A combination square is a multi-use instrument made for measurement purposes. The first objective of a combination square is to ensure the integrity of a 90-degree or 45-degree angle.

However, it is also used to measure the center of any circular object. you can also use it for simple distance measurements or to find the depth of objects. employing the spirit level vial, it is possible to determine level and plumb.

A combination square is popular due to its versatility which outweighs any square out there of its nature.

It is important to get acquainted with the parts of a combination square before going to use it. A combination square is formed by several parts. It comes with a blade attached to the handle that works as the ruler to measure objects including woods.

To adjust the blade, you will have an adjustable knob. This adjustable knob helps a lot to measure objects of different depths and angles by letting you freely move it horizontally along the edge so that you can perform your job as required.

And when it comes to the handle, it accommodates two important parts in it. One is Shoulder Bubble vial and the other is an Anvil.

Usually, the shoulder is supposed to place at 45-degree angle between the blade and itself. We generally need to use a shoulder for the measurement and layout of miters. On the other hand, the Anvil is usually placed at a 90-degree angle between the blade and itself.

Moreover, you will find a scriber at the head of the handle which helps to mark the measurements and a vial as well to measure plumb and level.

The purpose of using a combination square is to maintain the accuracy of the measurement. So, it is the most important thing to check when it comes to using a combination square. However, let’s now see how to use a combination square:

  • Place the anvil against the edge of the working surface that you want to cut.
  • Start drawing a line along the edge of the blade as long as you reach the anvil of the combination square.
  • Once it is done, you will get a perfect 90-degree line with the edge of your working surface.

Top 5 Best Combination Square Review

Name
Irwin Tools Combination Square, Metal-Body, 12", 1794469
Swanson Tool TC132 12-Inch Combo Square (Cast Zinc Body, Stainless Steel Ruler and Brass Bolt)
Empire Level E250 12-Inch Heavy Duty Professional Combination Square w/Etched Stainless Steel Blade and True BlueR Vial
iGaging Combination Square Set 6" & 12" 4R Steel Blade High Precision
Combination Square
Images
Irwin Tools Combination Square, Metal-Body, 12", 1794469
Swanson Tool TC132 12-Inch Combo Square (Cast Zinc Body, Stainless Steel Ruler and Brass Bolt)
Empire Level E250 12-Inch Heavy Duty Professional Combination Square w/Etched Stainless Steel Blade and True BlueR Vial
iGaging Combination Square Set 6" & 12" 4R Steel Blade High Precision
Combination Square
Weight
14.4 Ounces
12.8 Ounces
8.8 Ounces
2.27 Pounds
1.22 Pounds
Dimension
5.5 x 12.4 x 0.8 Inches
5 x 5.8 x 0.8 Inches
5.2 x 12 x 0.8 Inches
13.7 x 6.1 x 1.6 Inches
1 x 1.4 x 12.3 Inches
Material
Metal Body
Cast Zinc Body, Stainless Steel Blade
Plastic body, Stainless Steel Blade
Hardened steel blade
Hardened steel blade
Rating
Name
Irwin Tools Combination Square, Metal-Body, 12", 1794469
Images
Irwin Tools Combination Square, Metal-Body, 12", 1794469
Weight
14.4 Ounces
Dimension
5.5 x 12.4 x 0.8 Inches
Material
Metal Body
Rating
Name
Swanson Tool TC132 12-Inch Combo Square (Cast Zinc Body, Stainless Steel Ruler and Brass Bolt)
Images
Swanson Tool TC132 12-Inch Combo Square (Cast Zinc Body, Stainless Steel Ruler and Brass Bolt)
Weight
12.8 Ounces
Dimension
5 x 5.8 x 0.8 Inches
Material
Cast Zinc Body, Stainless Steel Blade
Rating
Name
Empire Level E250 12-Inch Heavy Duty Professional Combination Square w/Etched Stainless Steel Blade and True BlueR Vial
Images
Empire Level E250 12-Inch Heavy Duty Professional Combination Square w/Etched Stainless Steel Blade and True BlueR Vial
Weight
8.8 Ounces
Dimension
5.2 x 12 x 0.8 Inches
Material
Plastic body, Stainless Steel Blade
Rating
Name
iGaging Combination Square Set 6" & 12" 4R Steel Blade High Precision
Images
iGaging Combination Square Set 6" & 12" 4R Steel Blade High Precision
Weight
2.27 Pounds
Dimension
13.7 x 6.1 x 1.6 Inches
Material
Hardened steel blade
Rating
Name
Combination Square
Images
Combination Square
Weight
1.22 Pounds
Dimension
1 x 1.4 x 12.3 Inches
Material
Hardened steel blade
Rating

Now that you know what a combination square is and how it usually works, it’s time to know some of the best combination squares for woodworking.

Though there are hundreds of combinations square out there made by many manufacturers, all of them are not worth buying. Some of those are of low-quality, while some of them are mediocre. However, while we researched for the best combination square for you, we omitted both.

What we searched from the hundreds of combination square is actually quality and we found that very few of them are truly worth buying and ensures proper quality control. From those few, we have chosen the top 5 best combination square that offers the best quality. We are going to discuss all of the chosen combination squares below one by one.

However, if you are in a hurry, you can refer to the table given below to quickly understand our judgment and rating for the combination square we have reviewed here.

And, if you have time, we highly encourage you to go through the whole review to know all the features, pros and cons of the combination squares we have reviewed. That will help you very much to choose the one that really suits your needs and will work best for you.

So, let’s wait no more. We are going to give you the top chart first with little info about them, and then we are going to review them one by word. Keep reading.

Irwin Tools Combination Square, Metal-Body, 12″

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Coming with a durable cast zinc body, Irwin Tools Combination Square features a stainless steel blade which makes it strong against rust and corrosion. Being good for heavy-duty projects, it is just perfect for marking both 45-degree and 90-degree angles.

Besides doing its work as a combination square, it can play the role of a gauge to transfer measurements. It has black and precision-etched scales that help for better marking.

As having an accurate scale is very important for perfect measurement, this square promises for lifetime accuracy. It will last for a longer period in any kind of use.

The number on the scale is big enough to be read clearly. And as it is accurate in measurement, you have nothing to fear about.

When it comes to price, it is really affordable. But, the affordability in price did not decrease its quality in any way.

With a transparent bubble gauge, you can be certain about the fact that your vision will not be blocked when you work with it.

Weighing 14.4 ounces, this combination tool has got a dimension of 5.5 x 12.4 x 0.8 inches.

Pros:

  • Can mark 45-degree and 90-degree accurately
  • Affordable to buy
  • Can be slid and locked for better result
  • Good quality precision-etched black scales
  • Transparent bubble gauge design
  • Works as a gauge too
  • Strong and heavy-duty construction
  • It can rough use and environment
  • Rust-proof stainless steel blade
  • Save a lot of time
  • Easy to set and use
  • Good weight
  • Easily readable scale numbers
  • Features a scribing tool

Cons:

  • Some users think that it needs more accuracy yet.

Swanson Tool TC132 12-Inch Combo Square (Cast Zinc Body, Stainless Steel Ruler, and Brass Bolt)


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Featuring brass bolt spring-loaded blades Swanson Tool TC132 12-Inch Combo Square is one of the best combination square available in the market due to its firm and accurate settings. Its body is well-constructed by die-cast zinc.

You will also have a scriber made of brass and a level as well. To make sure that the blade of this combination square remains unaffected from rust, stainless steel blades with black etching is provided by the manufacturer.

Though this combination square comes with heavy-duty quality, the price is not so high.

It is not very tough to maintain it. You can even keep it lying in your metal woodworking area.

The numbers in the blade are easy to read and legible enough for users.

When it comes to level, it features a level of the acrylic vial which is very much able to go under any circumstances.

To talk about the dimension, it is 5 x 5.8 x 0.8 inches with a weight of 12.8 ounces.

Pros:

  • Though inexpensive, it feels solid with a good weight and finishes
  • Handy to carry anywhere
  • Comes with excellent alignment to ensure better measurement
  • Spring-loaded brass is used to get the accurate settings effortlessly
  • Very durable due to its material
  • The level doesn’t get broken easily
  • Versatile design
  • Eligible to be as a depth gauge
  • Good for a wide range of project work

Cons:

  • Some users complained that the package missed the scribe pin.

Empire Level E250 12-Inch Heavy Duty Professional Combination Square w/Etched Stainless Steel Blade and True BlueR Vial

Empire-Level-E250-12-Inch-Heavy-Duty-Professional-Combination-Square

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Empire Level E250 is a professional and heavy-duty combination square featuring True Blue vial and etched stainless steel blade.

The matte finish in the stainless steel contributes to making it free from rust or corrosion. This combination square ensures enhanced readability along with extreme durability.

When it comes to accuracy, the True Blue vial guarantees to be accurate to within  .00050 inches to accommodate the maximum accuracy level.

The draw bolt used here is self-aligning which is really good for beginners. This drawbolt has also contributed to making the blade more effective along with making the change of blades easier.

It has a hardened scriber along with the high-quality and heavy-duty square head. You would be glad to know that, this is not made in China like many other combination squares. Rather, it is made in the USA.

Pros:

  • Comes with a lifetime warranty
  • Accurate vials
  • Easy to read
  • Durable stainless steel blade with a matte finish
  • Rust and corrosion-resistant blade
  • The easy reverse of the ruler
  • Spring-loaded thumbscrew system
  • Made in the USA
  • Self-aligning drawbolt
  • Scriber made of stiff materials.

Cons:

  • Some users have opined that this is not as heavy-duty as it claims to be.

iGaging Combination Square Set 6″ & 12″ 4R Steel Blade High Precision


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If you are looking for the best 6-inch combination square along with a 12-inch heavy-duty one, this combined pack of Combination pack offered by IGaging is just perfect for you.

With this package in hand, you can precisely measure the angle of anything with the highest accuracy. Coming in storage case with foam insert, this set of combination squares can be used both in small and large measurement due to the variety in size.

At the time of designing this combination square set, the US standard was followed and maintained. With an accuracy of 0.0008″ per inch, iGaging is truly something you should consider to invest money on.

The blades used in these squares confirms heavy-duty and hardened precision. The satin chrome blade makes sure that it is not destroyed by rust.

Featuring 4″ 4R blade with 2.5″ base, this combination squire set is very easy to use. You are at liberty to choose which size of the combination square set to use as per your need.

However, no matter, which blade you choose, you can always be sure that you are going to get an immaculate measurement experience.

It is easily portable as it comes with a storage case. On top of that, you can also use the storage case to organize things and easily.

Coming with a product dimension of 13.7 x 6.1 x 1.6 inches, it is only 2.27 pounds in weight.

Pros:

  • Markings are not difficult to read
  • The very high accuracy level
  • Storage case for carrying with ease
  • Good for both small and big projects
  • Maintains US standard of quality
  • High-quality blade made of satin chrome
  • Reliable and durable
  • Very lightweight

Cons:

  • The surface of this square is not so smooth

Starrett 11H-12-4R Combination Square with Cast Iron Head and Black Wrinkle Finish


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Being one of the most lightweight combination squares, Starrett 11H-12-4R is a durable choice with cast iron head along with black wrinkle finish. Made of the 12-inch hardened steel, it offers machine divided blade. The square head is easily adjustable.

You do not require to remove the nut or lock bolt for turning over the blade or taking end-for-end. Ther is a reversible lock bolt that does the work pretty well.

The cast iron in the square head is not as cheap as imitation plastic or even die-cast heads you usually experience in the market. This combination square is very accurate in its measurement.

On top of that, it is durable. However, you can use this combination tool for different purposes other than using it as a combination square. You can either use it as a try square, a depth gauge, a miter of 45-degree, plumb, level, and as a precision rule as well if you want after withdrawing the blade.

So, if you just have this one, you do not need to engage your whole workbench with so many tools. In that case, this combination squire works as an all-in-one solution.

Frankly speaking, with Starrett 11H-12-4R in hand, you can enjoy greater efficiency along with better accuracy.

Pros:

  • Machine-divided high-quality blade
  • Cast iron head with wrinkle finish
  • Lasts longer
  • More accurate
  • Spirit level and scriber
  • Reversible lock bolt technology
  • Can be used as a multipurpose tool
  • Strong cast iron head
  • Flexible and easy to carry

Cons:

  • The level may lose its liquid after a few years

Which Is the Right Combination Square For You?  

We have featured the top 5 best combination square above as per our observation. But how do you know which one is the best choice for you? Let’s have a small glimpse of the unique sides of all the squares we have just reviewed.

  • Irwin Tools Combination Square, Metal-Body, 12″ has the most durable construction. It can withstand any abuse and can stand upright in any situation. It is not that costly, but it is accurate.
  • Swanson Tool TC132 12-Inch Combo Square is very much affordable to buy. Being made of sturdy material, it does not compromise with the quality in spite of offering a low price.
  • Empire Level E250 12-Inch Heavy Duty Professional Combination Square features the best true blue vial which is extremely accurate and almost immaculate in measurement.
  • iGaging Combination Square Set lets you experience both 6” and 12” combination square. As a mid-range combination square set, this really helps well in measuring both the small and big surface in any kind of projects.
  • Though it is costly, you won’t regret if you invest in Starrett 11H-12-4R Combination Square with Cast Iron Head and Black Wrinkle Finish. If you are a professional worker, this suits you the best as it comes with good parts with better durability.

You that you know the specialty and uniqueness of the combination square we have reviewed, try to choose the best combination square for you which seems to you the right one.

 

Buying Guide: How to Choose a Combination Square

No matter whether you buy a combination square from the list we suggested above or not, there are some aspects of a god combination square that you must know before going to buy the best combination square. If you do not become careful, you may end up buying a faulty and low-quality combination square with worse durability. So, have a look at the things you should consider while choosing a combination square for your home or your workplace:

Durability

Nothing can be better than looking for a combination square that lasts longer. When it comes to durability, the price and material of combination square matter a lot. You can not get a durable combination square without having the intention of spending a good amount of money. Again, the material or construction of the combination square tells a lot about how much time can that combination square endure. The blade should be stainless steel to keep your square free of rust. On top of that, it is also important to take care of the square. If you just leave your combination too and fro after finishing your work of the day is done, how can you expect good durability?

Material

The material of a combination square should be sturdy and strong to endure the test of time. If it is very fragile, it can not do its work as required. However, we always suggest you check the material grade and quality. When it comes to choosing the material, it is better if the body is made of metal. At least ensure that the blade comes with stainless steel.

Accuracy

The more accurate your combination square is, the better it is. An inaccurate combination square does not help you anyway. So, see the level of accuracy first before looking at the other issues that may arise. Most of the cheap combination square out there are not accurate enough to provide the best data. So, do not get distracted by cheap squares ever. It is important to catch the 45-degree and 90-degree angle correctly. Compare and contrast the accuracy level between the combination squares to take the final decision as to which one to buy.

Price

Keep a handsome budget if you want a good combination square. Don’t be stingy to prioritize the good square over a mediocre one. If you want the better one, you must pay something extra that the amount you would spend for a mediocre or low-quality combination square. Just think that expense as an investment that will worthy to you later on.

Readability

Having a combination square that offers good readability is important. You should find it easy to read on the blade/ruler so that you can measure properly in any environment. A combination square that is easy to read increases the chance of better output in measurement.

Impact Resistance

There is a good chance that your combination square may get dropped from the hand or from the working table. If your combination square can not withstand that impact and fails to stand strong, that is nothing other than crap. The bubble should be more resistant to impact. It should keep its liquid and strength for long naturally.

Ease of Use

You should find your combination easy to use. Be it getting the accurate measurement, head, and the blade, bubble vial, or any design, it should be flawless and without complexity or issues.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why is the use of a combination square?

With a combination square, you can identify 45-degree and 95-degree angles properly for woodworking and other works. However, a combination square can also accommodate the feature of other tools.

Should the blade of the combination square be made of stainless steel?

It is not necessary, but of course, it is better if your combination square blade features stainless steel with a black etched or matte finish. This feature helps to keep your combination square away from the rust and corrosion and thus contributes to the durability.

How do I know if my combination square is truly square?

There is a way to test if your combination square is really squire. Take a block of wood. Place the head of the combination square against that wood. Make an L-shaped square by extending the blade. Use a pencil to draw a line that comes along the blade. The longer it would be, the more accurate it is. Now flip the tool over by placing the opposite side against the block. Push the blade up to the point you draw the line. It should meet to prove that it is a true square. But, if it forms V-shape, it means that it is not completely square.

Why are thumb screws made of brass? Is there anything special using brass here?

Brass is a symbol of good quality. On top of that, a thumbscrew made of brass is secured from rust. However, though it is soft outside, you will find a hardened steel machine screw underneath.

Why does the price of the combination squares differ from one another?

It is actually the accuracy and precision that make the definition of a good combination square. If you use the combination square once in a blue moon, it is okay to buy an average combination square. But, if you require a combination square for the regular and accurate job, we highly recommend you to invest a bit more than the traditional chap models of combination squares. It will pay you off later on.

Final Words

So, we believe that by now you know almost everything about the best combination square you might buy for your future projects. We expect that you would be able to buy the right combination square for you now without much hesitation. We hope the review and the buying guide will help you in this regard.

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