The woodworking square seems to most of us to be such a simple product that it’s not worthwhile to put any contemplation into it before buying.
But you’ll be surprised at how many variations are available and how many hidden built-in features some manufacturers have added. Often it’s these small details that make the whole difference when you want to work fast, efficient, and most importantly: with precision.
Best Woodworking Square Comparison Table
|1. Woodraphic Precision Square 200mm
|2. Woodpeckers Precision Woodworking Tools 1281R Woodworking Square Imperial
|3. iGaging 4″ & 6″ Double Square Set 4R Steel Blade
|4. IRWIN Tools Tri and Mitre Square
|5. Irwin Tools Combination Square, Metal-Body, 12″
|6. Starrett K53-14-N Stainless Steel Carpenters Try Square, 14″ Length
|7. POWERTEC 80015 Try Square with Hardwood Handle (8″)
|8. Swanson Tool S0101 7-inch Speed Square Layout Tool with Blue Book
|9. Johnson Level & Tool 1904-0700 7-Inch Johnny Square
|10. Milwaukee 7 In. Magnetic Rafter Square Easy to Read MLSQM070
That’s why we made for you this list so you can get the best woodworking square that will deliver you precise results.
You’ll be surprised to discover that the best ones aren’t necessarily the best ones either.
So let’s dive in and we’ll show you the most popular models available. For each model, we’ll delve in deeper and show you the features, pros and cons.
Our Best Woodworking Square Reviews and Comparisons
1. Woodpeckers Precision Woodworking Tools 1281R Woodworking Square Imperial
Beautifully machined out of a block of high-grade aluminum. Also, the packaging wasn’t overlooked, which includes a fancy wall-mountable wooden case.
It features a well-thought-through design for working hands-free and while tracing.
Moreover, the ergonomics have been taken into account. Offering a big slot to put your fingers through. This not only provides more comfort but also more control and precision.
- High quality machined aluminum
- Luxurious and practical packaging/stand
- Thought-through for proper tracing
- Big slot for comfortably handling with precision
What We Like About Woodpeckers Precision Woodworking Tools 1281R Woodworking Square Imperial
Working with this square is truly bliss, the weight not only feels good in the hand, it almost “anchors” perfectly on whatever spot you need it.
Also, the comfort provided with the slot to put your fingers through is proven to be very useful, especially while tracing in challenging spaces.
The accuracy on ours was spot-on too.
What We Don’t Like About Woodpeckers Precision Woodworking Tools 1281R Woodworking Square Imperial
What we don’t like about this square though, was mostly the price. Also, some complained about accuracy issues.
- Beautiful product and packaging
- Good heft
- Precision in handling
- Some have complained about accuracy issues
2. Woodraphic Precision Square 200mm
If money isn’t the issue for you when choosing your tools, while accuracy is of the most importance, look no further. Woodgraphic has been certified level 1 in Japanese Industrial Standards (JIS) with an accuracy of 0.039 inches. It also includes precisely machined holes to put your pencil through, enabling precise and fast tracing.
It’s machined out of high-grade anodized aluminum with a steel frame to guarantee long term accuracy. All markings have been laser-cut and painted white to offer superior visibility on the black anodized background.
- Certified accuracy
- Machined holes for comfortable tracing
- Steel frame prevents bending of the aluminum after much use
- High quality anodized machined aluminum
What We Like About Woodraphic Precision Square 200mm
We were so much impressed with its accuracy that it has become our new standard for accuracy.
Also, the machined holes for tracing are dead-on accurate. This tool incorporates the best of both worlds material-wise: Aluminium for tracing without damaging your tools and an integrated steel frame to prevent bending over time.
Also the white on black markings helped a lot with visibility.
What We Don’t Like About Woodraphic Precision Square 200mm
Once again, the price is hefty for such a “simple” tool. But attaining and maintaining spot-on accuracy isn’t an easy feat to achieve even in our modern days.
Another con we found, is that the machined holes are pretty small. Most of our carpenter pencils didn’t even fit in! This isn’t a dealbreaker, but something to be aware of.
- Ultimate accuracy
- Aluminum for tracing
- Steel frame for rigidity
- Very expensive
- Small tracing holes
3. iGaging 4″ & 6″ Double Square Set 4R Steel Blade
This purchase includes two precision squares. One is 4” in length with a 2.5” base and the other is 6” in length with a 3.75” base.
The blades are manufactured out of heavy-duty hardened steel with a satin chrome finish. The increments are etched.
Furthermore, it adheres to the US Standard Accuracy and Squareness and includes a nice storage case.
- Two squares in one protective case
- Heavy-duty hardened steel
- Adheres to the US Standard Accuracy and Squareness
What We Like About iGaging 4″ & 6″ Double Square Set 4R Steel Blade
We found them to be an affordable, fairly accurate set of squares.
What We Don’t Like About iGaging 4″ & 6″ Double Square Set 4R Steel Blade
Readability is somewhat lacking, especially for older eyes. Also, the edges weren’t buffed off, remaining pretty sharp.
- Poor readability of the markings
- Poor finish
4. IRWIN Tools Tri and Mitre Square
This highly affordable square is made out of steel with edged-in markings. The handle is made out of durable ABS and includes a water level inside of the handle.
- Steel blade
- Etched markings painted in black for visibility
- ABS handle
- Built-in water level
What We Like About IRWIN Tools Tri and Mitre Square
We liked the affordability, coming from a renowned tool-manufacturer. The water level is a nice bonus. Also, it’s lightweight.
What We Don’t Like About IRWIN Tools Tri and Mitre Square
We didn’t like that the overall feel was pretty cheap and wonder for how long it will remain square.
- Built-in water level
- Cheap construction
5. Irwin Tools Combination Square, Metal-Body, 12″
The body is made out of a durable cast zinc body with a rustproof stainless steel blade. It incorporates 90° and 45° corners. And could be used as a gauge too. Its markings are etched in.
- Durable construction
- For 90° as 45° corners
What We Like About Irwin Tools Combination Square, Metal-Body, 12″
We liked its sturdy construction and price-point.
What We Don’t Like About Irwin Tools Combination Square, Metal-Body, 12″
We were disappointed with the accuracy.
- Solid construction
- Accuracy lags behind
6. Starrett K53-14-N Stainless Steel Carpenters Try Square, 14″ Length
A simple, straight to the point stainless steel square. 14” in length with a cast aluminum handle. The graduation markings are on both sides in ⅛ inch increments.
- No-nonsense steel blade
- Markings on both sides
What We Like About Starrett K53-14-N Stainless Steel Carpenters Try Square, 14″ Length
Its lightweight and flat design are great. Also for the price, it’s fairly accurate.
What We Don’t Like About Starrett K53-14-N Stainless Steel Carpenters Try Square, 14″ Length
Accuracy could be better and had an overall cheap feeling to it.
- Light and flat
- Accuracy could be better
- Subpar construction
7. POWERTEC 80015 Try Square with Hardwood Handle (8″)
The straight edge (blade) is made out of precision machined rust-proof stainless steel. And the handle out of fixed brass bound hardwood, built for long-term durability.
Furthermore, the scale is laser-etched and is easy to read with its black markings.
- Stainless steel blade
- Hardwood handle
What We Like About POWERTEC 80015 Try Square with Hardwood Handle (8″)
The square seemed well built and accurate enough. It looks gorgeous too for an affordable price.
What We Don’t Like About POWERTEC 80015 Try Square with Hardwood Handle (8″)
Some complained about the handle cracking over time
- Fairly accurate
- Long term durability
8. Swanson Tool S0101 7-inch Speed Square Layout Tool with Blue Book
This square includes a Miter and Try Square and is made out of a single piece of aluminum. Other incorporated features are a protractor, saw guide, and line scriber. The Swanson Blue Book, a comprehensive guide to help make correct angle cuts, is also included. A Diamond cutout and Scribing notches are added for easy scribing and rafter seat cuts.
- Single-piece aluminum
- Miter and Try Square, protractor, saw guide, and line scriber
- Swanson Blue Book
- Diamond cutout and Scribing notches
What We Like About Swanson Tool S0101 7-inch Speed Square Layout Tool with Blue Book
Since it’s made out of a single piece of aluminum it gives us peace of mind it should stay properly square for a long while. Together with the many integrated features and an acclaimed guide for this price, it’s an absolute winner!
What We Don’t Like About Swanson Tool S0101 7-inch Speed Square Layout Tool with Blue Book
It would have been nice if they would have put some more attention to the lettering and markings for improved visibility. Not to say it’s horrible, at least they stay put, but could have been better. But at this price point with all the above features, we’ll give them a pass for now.
- Durable, accurate one-piece construction
- Many features
- Blue Book
- Markings could be improved upon
9. Johnson Level & Tool 1904-0700 7-Inch Johnny Square
Made out of CNC machined aluminum. The tool incorporates a saw guide, protractor scale, and scribing notches. It also integrates angle and distance scales and hip, valley, and jack rafter scales.
- CNC machined aluminum
- Saw guide, protractor scale, and scribing notches
- Angle and distance scales and hip, valley, and jack rafter scales
What We Like About Johnson Level & Tool 1904-0700 7-Inch Johnny Square
It incorporates many features. Also, we liked a lot the construction and finish with its clear, accurate markings
What We Don’t Like About Johnson Level & Tool 1904-0700 7-Inch Johnny Square
That the markings and overall look wear out too fast.
- Clear, accurate markings
- Paint faints away quickly
10. Milwaukee 7 In. Magnetic Rafter Square Easy to Read MLSQM070
This professionally machined aluminum square incorporates magnets for easy storage. It’s feature-rich, as it incorporates all of the common angles and scales. Also, scribing notches have been accurately machined.
- All common scales, angles
- Scribing notches
- High-quality built and markings
What We Like About Milwaukee 7 In. Magnetic Rafter Square Easy to Read MLSQM070
This is a professional square: sturdy, accurate, and clear markings. It also incorporates all common features needed. The magnet was a nice bonus for easy storage.
What We Don’t Like About Milwaukee 7 In. Magnetic Rafter Square Easy to Read MLSQM070
The price is pretty steep compared to its competitors.
- High-quality built
- Clear, accurate markings
- Many features
- High price
Like we already “warned” in the introduction, the most expensive square isn’t always the best one to choose for most of us. True, we might have thought that the Woodraphic Precision Square 200mm is the clear winner. Since it includes a certification assuring that the tool adheres to the highest standard of accuracy.
But in fact, taking into account all the features included. Also, its accuracy and overall built quality, the Swanson Tool S0101 7-inch Speed Square Layout Tool with Blue Book is the clear winner here for most of us.
It’s really accurate, and is built out of a single block really gives us the peace of mind it will stay that way for a long time.
On top of all this, the Swanson square tool is at a great price, and the Blue Book proved to be a handy gift too!