As you shop for a carpenter square, you’ll notice a lot of different options on the market. A carpenter square is particularly useful when doing carpentry or roofing work and works well with a circular saw. Typically, you will use a carpenter square to make sure that the right-angle cuts you are making are precisely squared, so it’s important to get a high-quality product that will not only stay in place, but is also accurate and durable. Here are a few tips and reviews to help you find the best carpenter square for your next project.
Comparison Table – Carpenter Square
Top 20 Best Carpenter Squares Reviews
Swanson Tool Speed Square – Best Overall Carpenter Square
Offering a value pack, the Swanson Tool Speed Square gives you one 12-inch and one seven-inch speed square. Both these innovative tools are incredibly versatile allowing you to use them in place of a saw guide, miter square, protractor, and line scriber. You can also use the larger speed square as a stair layout square and a corner angle finder.
Durable and Accurate
The larger speed square is a good choice when building stairs. This die cast square is accurate and durable. Both of these squares are made out of a heavy-gauge aluminum aerospace alloy and have a design that is meant to last you for years out on your job site.
Easy to Use
Easy to read and simple to use, the Swanson Tool Speed Square features gradations that are included for marking jack, Valley, hip, and common rafter. Both squares are useful for marking and determining angles as well as making square cuts on a board. Highly visible, black gradation has a matte, non-glare finish that you can read in any type of lighting condition.
- It’s easy to read and use
- This is a long-lasting tool that can withstand a harsh environment at your job site.
- It can take the place of a lot of different tools
- It’s not an attractive looking tool
- The small edge is not truly perpendicular to the long edge
Irwin Tools Combination Square – Best Combination Square
Featuring a metal body, the Irwin Tools Combination Square is durable and precise. Made with a cast zinc body, this square is also equipped with a rust-proof stainless-steel blade.
This precision-etched square is ideal for marking 45-degrees and 90-degree angles. The Irwin Tools Combination Square can also be used as a gauge when transferring measurements
- It’s a handy tool when marking angles
- This tool has a rustproof design
- This is a durable and precise tool
- The edges on this tool are so flat that they are sharp
- If you happen to take it apart, it’s really hard to reassemble
Dewalt Premium Rafter Square – Best Heavy-Duty Use Square
Perfect as a guide for your saw, the Dewalt Premium Rafter Square measures seven inches and features a very thick body. This aluminum tool is perfect for heavy-duty use and comes equipped with a large base to give you a good grip on materials.
Easy to Use
This is an easy-to-read square thanks to the contrasting color graduation that is stamped on it. The Dewalt Premium Rafter Square also includes scribe line notches that allow you to mark rip cuts. This is a high-quality and functional tool that is very well-made.
- This is a well-made, high-quality, and functional tool
- It’s easy to ready with the contrasting color design
- This heavy-duty tool will last you years
- It’s on the expensive side
- It’s not completely accurate
Steelex D3383 Precision Square – Best Four-Inch Carpenter Square
This four-Inch precision square is ideal for machine set-up and precise 90-degree layouts. The Steelex D3383 Precision Square has a four-inch blade and a three-inch beam.
Accurate and Durable
Constructed out of polished, hardened, and tempered steel, this square has an inside notch for accuracy. The Steelex D3383 Precision Square has beam faces and blade edges that are accurate to within ± 0.0006 of an inch.
- This solid steel tool does not have any moving parts
- It’s a very hefty and solid tool
- It’s great for DIYers and hobbyist woodworkers
- It needs a 45-degree edge
- The blade isn’t quite six inches long and the base isn’t quite four inches long
VINCA Carpenter Square – Best Framing Square
Measuring eight-inch by 12-inches, the VINCA Carpenter Square is a great choice for professionals and DIYers. Featuring a double side scale, this tool has a 0.09-inch thickness. Made with high-quality hardened steel, this tool was created for long-term use and comes with a one-year warranty.
Accurate and Durable
Both the back and front have a measurable design in inches and the durable punching press features finished graduations. The finish on the VINCA Carpenter Square receives a rust prevention treatment and has a square accuracy of ±0.0573°.
- This is an easy to read tool
- It’s made from hard, solid, strong steel
- There are measurements on each side
- You do have to sand off the edges
- Some users had to square off the outside with sandpaper and a file
WORKPRO Square Tool Set – Best Square Set
This set includes a seven-inch carpenter square and a 12-inch rafter square layout tool. The Workpro Square Tool Set is made with durable materials and features a clear and identifiable scale. This user-friendly set offers multiple graduations and a lot of versatility.
The seven-inch carpenter square is die-cast in aluminum all while the 12-inch square is made out of zinc-alloy. Both were designed to last you a long time, and the combination square features a steel ruler that has a matte finish and is made out of stainless steel.
Easy to Use
Featuring low glare and a protective powder coating, the rafter square features deep, permanent marking and graduation in white for the most readability no matter what the lighting. This stainless-steel ruler includes a deeply etched scale for better legibility and long-term usage.
The seven-inch square features several types of graduation that blend the features of a protractor square, miter square, try square, and framing square. These are user-friendly squares that include a lipped fence that lets you easily brace the square flush against the wood and create an angled or straight line that is proportionate with the edge of the wood.
The combination square has a spring screw that makes it easier for you to detach the ruler and slide it for your measurement. The combination ruler also features a metal scriber and easy to see level vial to increase the product’s versatility and practicality. You can use the rafter square as a guide when crosscutting lumber, and you can use both squares to create accurate 45- and 90-degree angles.
- Both of the squares are easy to read and use
- You can create both straight and angled lines
- Both squares are practical, versatile, and long-lasting
- It doesn’t have the best finish
- They aren’t very accurate
Mr. Pen- Combination Square – Best RustProof Carpenter Square
This 12-inch combination square can be used as a metal square, square tool, combination square, framing square metal ruler, woodworking tools, and carpenter square. Mr. Pen-Combination Square is made out of durable stainless steel along with an alloy base. This is a great tool when you need to make 45- and 90-degree markings.
Accurate and Reliable
Used for measuring width and length, the Mr. Pen-Combination Square can determine flatness and measure angles. Thanks to its scale laser calibration, this square is reliable and accurate as well as wear-resistant to ensure the accuracy of the 90- and 45-degree markings.
Rustproof and Durable
This rustproof and durable square features a stainless-steel blade that is marked with inches and cm. The Mr. Pen-Combination Square includes a spring-loaded brass bolt that assures accuracy along with a brass scriber and level.
- You can use it for angles and length
- This is an accurate and durable square
- It’s easy to read and wear-resistant to ensure its accuracy
- The writing on the square is small and hard to read
- The material is kind of cheap
Woodstock D4089 Machinist Square Set – Best Four Piece Set
This four-piece set is convenient to have on hand. The Woodstock D4089 Machinist Square Set is made with finely ground steel that is tempered, hardened, and polished. Each square is equipped with a common beam and blade thicknesses and widths that let you use them in combinations. Ideal for inspection and set up work, these squares come in two, three, four, and six-inch sized square.
Accurate and Versatile
Incredibly accurate, the Woodstock D4089 Machinist Square Set is a good choice for a wide range of applications. With solid construction and tight tolerances, you can many years of reliable use out of them.
Stable and Durable
Precise and stable, this heavy-duty square comes with a base that is precise and stable, plus the compact-sized squares make them easy to store. The precise squares of the Woodstock D4089 Machinist Square Set are ideal of a precise 90-degree layout and machine set up and are accurate to within ± 0.0006 of an inch.
- It’s design makes it easy to store
- This is a very precise square that last you a long time
- The four piece set is really versatile
- They are made of a low-grade stainless steel
- This square isn’t good for precision work
iGaging Double Square Set – Best Professional Carpenter Square
The iGaging Double Square Set includes a six-inch blade with a four-inch base and a four-inch blade with a 2 ½ inch base. These professional squares are reliable and precise and made to strict accuracy standards.
Featuring a high-quality hardened steel blade, you can easily lock the head securely in place along the blade. The iGaging Double Square set is graduated in 64ths, 32nds, 16ths, and 8ths. The blade is made with a hardened, heavy-duty precision-ground satin chrome and has an accuracy of 0.0008″ per inch.
Easy to Use
Both squares have easy to see marked increments, and on the six-inch square is a bubble level. The iGaging Double Square also comes with a storage case and a foam insert.
- You get a nice case with the set
- The increments are easy to read and well-marked
- This is a reliable and precise square set
- They aren’t the easiest to read
- The locking thread nuts are pretty rough
CH Hanson Folding Layout Square – Best Folding Carpenter Square
Accurate, fast, and easy to use, the CH Hanson Folding Layout Square is a 90-degree folding aluminum layout square. Easily fold it up for storage and fold it out when you are ready to use it. This is a great choice for pavers, masonry, timber, non-marring composition, and countertops.
This heavy-duty aluminum square is accurate to with 1/32-inches. The 3 x 4 x 5-foot CH Hanson Square is durable enough to last you a long time and accurate enough to complete any job. Designed with simplicity, this is an easy-to-use product that gives you accurate and fast measurements.
Easy to Use
Great for general layouts, the CH Hanson Folding Layout Square makes perfect right angles. This is a valuable tool for anyone that does squaring, angle layouts, carpentry, or framing timber.
- This tool folds up easily
- It easy to read and gives you accurate and fast measurements
- It super durable and will last you a long time
- It has two pretty sharp points that could damage a surface
- It doesn’t have ruler markings
Zona L-Square – Best Stainless-Steel Carpenter Square
This stainless-steel square measures three by four inches. The Zona L-Square is made out of .022-inch-thick stainless steel.
Easy to Use
Featuring 3/32-inch measuring intervals, it also has the metric equivalents on its back. The Zona L-Square is ideal for artisans, designers, architects, sculptors, miniaturists, scale modelers, and students.
- Nice quality square that is durable and accurate
- It’s very versatile and is handy for all kinds of projects
- It has measurements on both sides
- The picture is deceptive and makes you think you are getting two squares
- The square is pretty flimsy
Johnson Carpenter Square – Best Scoring Carpenter Square
Featuring a high-impact plastic head, the Johnson Carpenter Square is foam molded. This square is equipped with an insert-molded aluminum blade and screened black graduations.
Easy to Use
The Johnson CarpenterSquare features perforations that accept utility knife blade points allowing you to score drywall. This square is thermally bonded with graduations in black.
- It’s easy to read with graduations marked in black
- This is a good square to use when scoring drywall
- This durable square comes with a high-impact plastic head
- It comes out of square
- The measure is slightly off
Milescraft 8409 MC-Square150 – Best Carpenter Square for Woodworking
Capable of measuring angles, right angles, or a layout square, the Milescraft 8409 MC-Square150 is a woodworking or aluminum framing square. This multi-functional square is a great marking and measuring tool for precision woodworking or remodeling. Featuring an easy-to-read built-in angle readout, it allows you to mark 45- and 90-degree angles.
The Milescraft 8409 MC-Square150 also allows you to draw circles by just removing the fences and securing the square with a screw or nail. Made with a 3mm thick anodized aluminum material, this square is equipped with outside and inside scales for either marking or measuring outside and inside your workpiece. Plus, the notches are elongated to allow for precise line scribing.
Durable and Easy to Use
Measuring six by four inches, this aluminum square features elongated holes that give you precise measurements with notches ¼-inch spacing. The MIlescraft 8409 MC-Square150 also comes with a removable fence that is a guide for inside measurements. You can remove this fence when you want to make a circle or create marks on a flat surface.
- You can use this square to make circles
- This tool allows you to measure with inside and outside scales
- It has notches for ¼ inch measurements
- It doesn’t come square
- It’s a little small for some users
Woodraphic Signature Precision Square – Most Precise Carpenter Square
Equipped with two accessories, the Woodraphic Signature Precision Square is perfect for marking and measuring. This is a great tool for carpenters, woodworkers, and framing.
Every blade has a layout of two holes on the surface of the handle, which gives you improved precision. Conveniently mark dimensions, lengths, and diameters by just inserting the 0.5 mm sharp pencil through the marking hole. With accurate positioning, it’s possible to mark the holes arranged in two rows.
The Woodraphic Signature Precision Square is perfect to mark 90-degree angles, plus you can measure the diameter from the outside or inside. The square ruler is available in a wide range of sizes and is ideal when verifying 90-degree angels or marking cut-off work on wide stock. This is an easy-to-read tool that features an aluminum blade that is milled precisely with state-of-the-art MCT equipment.
Stable and Lightweight
The lightweight but stable tool is made with a two mm thick anodized aluminum material. The Woodraphic Signature Precision Square is stable and sturdy making it perfect for a professional that uses a square ruler all day. With its ergonomic design, it alleviates any pressure on your wrist or elbows as you mark and measure.
- This is a great quality tool that is perfectly square
- It has a comfortable ergonomic design
- It’s easy to read and very precise
- The blade should be 1 ½-inches wider
- It’s on the expensive side
Starrett 56366 Comb Square – Best Easy to Read Carpenter Square
Featuring a satin chrome finished blade, the Starrett 56366 Comb Square is a combination square that includes a square head. It also comes with a photo-engraved, hardened steel blade, spirit level, scriber, and reversible lock bolt.
Easy to Use
The cast iron head comes with a black wrinkle finish, and the graduation Type 4R is marked in 64ths, 32nds, 16ths, and 8ths. Made with hardened steel, the blade features a satin chrome finish that is easy to read. The precision-ground head comes with 45- and 90-degree faces, and the measuring tools are accurate to +/- .00001-inches.
- It’s easy to read and simple to use
- This is a precise and accurate tool
- It is easy to create 45- and 90-degree angles
- The packaging is lacking
- It doesn’t come with a case
Crescent EX6 2-in-1 Extendable Layout Tool – Best Extendable Carpenter Square
This two-in-one tool is perfect for professionals and can work in a wide range of environments. The Crescent EX6 Layout Tool is a good option for a tradesman who wants to invest in a long-lasting tool. Allowing you to easily complete many types of tasks, this tool has a durable and advanced design that offers durability and functionality.
Able to outlast harsh elements, the Crescent EX6 Layout Tool includes a six-inch fold-out extension arm that eliminates the need for a seven-inch and 12-inch square. A quick-to-access thumb lock allows you to release the fold-out extension and then lock it back into place when you are done.
Easy to Use
The Crescent EX6 Layout Tool features solid aluminum construction that includes a corrosion-resistant finish for added durability. For better visibility, this tool is equipped with laser-etched markings, and this lightweight tool is easy to store in either your pocket or work pouch.
- This is a lightweight tool that is easy to store
- It durable and easy to read
- It has a corrosion-resistant finish
- It’s not very accurate
Kapro 317-48-A T-Square – Most Durable Carpenter Square
This adjustable T-Square is 48 inches long and perfect for drywall applications. The Kapro 317-48-A T-Square is a marking and layout tool that comes with a sliding head. It also includes a ledge with end caps and an indentation on the profile of the T-head to let you mark a cut from the edge of the board.
Easy to Use
With a durable printed scale, you get etched angle markings. The Kapro 317-28-A T-Square features an anodized aluminum finish and a sliding head that will adjust to any angle.
Easy to Store
Easily foldable for storage, this square won’t flip and has a hands-free hold. The Kapro 317-48-A T-Square has a strong screw lock and a double-edged, heavy-duty scale.
- It offers a hands-free hold option
- You can easily adjust the square
- It has an easy to read measurement scale
- This is a cumbersome tool
- It has some play in it
ZOTA Carpenter Squares – Most Lightweight Carpenter Square
Featuring two squares, the ZOTA Carpenter Squares are made with proprietary hardened steel. This professional square is easy to read and permanently stamped. You get a seven-inch rafter angel square and an 8 x 12-inch carpenter square making them a good choice for tiling, roofing, flooring, brickwork, and carpentry.
Durable and Accurate
Easily create a layout for laminating, lumbering, paving stone, bricking, and tiling. Made with premium aluminum alloy and stainless steel, the ZOTA Carpenter Squares are lightweight, durable, and accurate.
Easy to Use
Featuring easy-to-read numbers, these squares feature continuous scribing notches and can measure in both centimeters and inches. The ZOTA Carpenter Squares includes a scale-clear coating that helps prevent rust.
- The accuracy of the tools is good with accurate angles
- It’s an easy to read tool
- The metal is solid and thick
- The edges need to be polished more
Tulead Machinist Square – Best Steel Carpenter Square
Measuring 63 x 40mm, the Tulead Machinist Square is made of steel and has a 3 mm thickness. Offering accurate measurement data, this square gives you clear design specifications and right angles.
The Tulead Machinist Square is not easy to scratch and has a bright, durable steel surface. This high-quality square has a thick base that is not easy to tilt.
- This is a durable tool
- You can’t knock it over easily
- It is easy to draw right angles with
- It often arrives with chips
- Some users complained it wasn’t square
Pacific Arc T Square – Best Traditional Carpenter Square
This 18-inch T Square is a traditional acrylic graduated square metric and inches. The Pacific Arc T Square has a detachable head and a high-density acrylic body design that makes it durable and sturdy. This long-lasting square gives you a wide variety of measuring options that include horizontal and vertical measurements.
With the detachable T frame head, the Pacific Arc T Square makes it handy to store and pack, plus you can use it without the T Frame. This professional tool is easy to see and the secure frame makes it simple to hold in place on the board.
Easy to Use
This lightweight plastic blade has a traditional design that makes it simple to draw a perfectly straight line. The Pacific Arc T Square is versatile and perfect for technical drawings, creating blueprints, line art, and cutting.
- It’s very easy to read and use
- You can draw perfectly straight lines
- It gives you a lot of measuring options
- It doesn’t give you accurate measurements
- The T square has played in it, so it can be sloppy to set
Considerations When Choosing Carpenter Square, Buyers guide
What is a Carpenter Square Used For?
A carpenter square is used for measurements on right angles, layouts, and other pitches. But, if you are a carpenter or furniture maker, you may use it for other reasons like basic ruler measurements and miter saw lines. Overall, a carpenter square really just adds more functionality to your work.
Features to Look for in a Carpenter Square
Depending on your project, a typical carpenter square will be made from either aluminum or steel. Aluminum squares are lightweight and ideal for a handyman or DIYer while a steel square is more durable and accurate making them a better choice for a professional. Just remember that when you use a carpenter square in direct sunlight, they tend to carry lots of heat.
It’s surprising how many users don’t feel that pressed markings are that important when they first use this tool. Pressed marking is an important function of the tool when you are creating accurate measurements and angles. And if you can’t see the graduation or numbers, the tool is pretty much useless. Look for a carpenter square that has the measurements laser etched or hard-pressed so they can’t come off. There are also other carpenter squares that have contrasting colors make the square easy to read in dim light.
Scale and Graduations Range
The space between marking is the graduations of the square. What type of graduations you need depends on how precise you have to be for your projects. The scale range is another important feature, but not as easy to spot on some squares. A scale range helps you create an octagonal, square, or hexagonal shape. Whether you need the scale range depends on your projects.
Conversions and Tables
Conversions and tables are very important in a carpenter square and prevent you from needing to do hard mathematical equations. High-end carpenter squares will etch these tables into the metal to make them more convenient. Remember this feature isn’t necessary if you aren’t doing a difficult project. But if you are, look for rafter tables, Essex Board Measure tables, and decimal conversions.
What Type of Measurements Does My Square Need?
Depending on your project, the type of square you need can differ. Remember that a carpenter square features the US measuring format, but you will find some that use the metric system too. If you don’t know which you should use, go with the square that has both measuring options.
What Size Carpenter Square do I Need?
As you shop, you will notice that some carpenter squares have longer blades and bodies than other squares, so it all depends on what you need the tool for. The blade and body are as important as what metal the square is used in its construction. A thin blade is easy to handle, but not as accurate since it can easily slip out of place. In comparison, a thick blade will stay in place and give you better accuracy.
It’s amazing how many types of carpenter squares are available for this simple tool. Remember to look for a carpenter square that has very precise measurements, simple lines, and has a design that will stay in place to help make your next project precise and accurate.