The Best Combination Square for Woodworking


Looking for a special multipurpose ruler for your tasks as a builder?

Good thing we’re about to introduce the best combination square for woodworking. Get ready to bring your projects to perfection with the following products:

Our Pick: Irwin Tools 1794469 Combination Square

To boost precision, the black markings of Irwin Tools 1794469 Combination Square look really clear. They’re etched into a blade made of stainless steel, a rust-resistant metal. Meanwhile, the body consists of cast zinc to stay durable for years.

As a gauge, this tool is practical for transferring measurements. It is specifically ideal for 45-degree and 90-degree marking.

Runner Up: Swanson Tool Combination Square Pack

If you’re also looking for a speed square, we recommend Swanson Tool Combination Square Pack. The seven-inch speed square is made of aluminum alloy. It is useful as a line scribe, saw guide, protractor, miter square, and try square.

Of course, let’s not forget about the combination square. This six-inch tool is excellent as a depth finder, try square, line scribe, and miter square. When it comes to the material, it technically has a cast zinc body and a stainless steel blade, just like the first option.

As a plus, this product comes with a book packed with tables for constructing stairs and roofs. That’s why it’s perfect for novice woodworkers.

Also Great: iGaging 6″ & 12″ Combination Square Set

Here’s another set of tools you might prefer. Instead of being paired with a speed square, iGaging 6″ & 12″ Combination Square Set aims to give you two size options. It is contained in a classy storage case with a foam insert to prevent scratches on the items.

Regarding their composition, both combination squares have heavy-duty chrome blades. They also have laser-etched markings for easier reading.

Budget Pick: Johnson 400EM-S Combination Square

If you just a want a decent option to save money, you should consider buying Johnson 400EM-S Combination Square. Its precision and durability are comparable to the level of more expensive products.

To be more specific, the stamped markings will never fade since they’re designed to be permanent. In addition, the steel blade has a rust-resistant coating to remain tough despite heavy use. Lastly, the head and vial are made of cast zinc and acrylic respectively.

How to Test the Accuracy of the Best Combination Square for Woodworking

Before using the best combination square for woodworking, make sure you’re holding an accurate piece. A little mistake can affect the whole outcome of your project. To ensure flawless results, simply do the following:

  1. Tape a piece of white paper on a perfectly straight board.
  2. Put the square’s anvil against a straight edge.
  3. Draw a straight line along the outer edge of the blade.
  4. Flip the combination square.
  5. Draw another straight line that’s only 1/32 inch away from the previous line.
  6. Gauge the shoulder’s angle with the blade by doing it against a 45-degree drafting triangle.

If the two lines are parallel to one another and the square’s angle matches the triangle, the tool is accurate. On the other hand, if it isn’t, contact the seller to fix the problem.

How to Choose the Right Combination Square for Your Budget

Do you prefer a cheaper combination square? What about a more expensive one with top-notch features? Whether you want a pricier or a more affordable square, you should know what exactly to look for.

Check out the following tips for different types of buyers:

  • For freelance construction workers and DIY enthusiasts: Opt for a practical option made of die-cast zinc or aluminum. It can last for years with careful use. Meanwhile, if it gets broken due to high drops and other harsh situations, you wouldn’t be so disappointed because of its cheap price.
  • For buyers ready to spend a bit more money for better quality: Choose something made in India or China, great manufacturers of affordable yet quality tools. You may even pick a set with different sizes or tools so you can build more stuff. Regarding the material, look for squares with satin or polished chrome blades and cast iron heads.
  • For people all set to buy the best no matter the price: Look for combination squares that are also designed for metalworking. You may resort to the cast iron kind, but you should also consider buying a square with a head made of forged steel, hardened to perfection.

Here are more factors to think about when you prefer costlier combination squares:

  • Check if the combination square has a center head. That component is specifically a casting with a distinct “V” shape. Its purpose is to find the center of a turned blank or a big dowel.
  • The protractor head should have graduation from zero to 180 degrees etched by a laser to keep the markings permanent. Avoid the ones with burrs.
  • The blade should be a little bit thicker than the standard. You can easily make sure of this by checking if it’s harder or stiffer. When it comes to the graduations, they should have darker markings for a more defined look, typically made possible by acid etching.
  • If you’re usually working in bright environments, choose a square with a matte finish. Polished chrome will only reflect glare.
  • Buy a combination square with a 4R graduation for a more successful woodworking project. This type of graduation has separate sides for 8ths/16ths and 32nds/64ths.


We believe that the best combination square for woodworking should be very affordable and, at the same time, high-quality. That’s why we selected Irwin Tools 1794469 for the number one spot. It is practical for both beginners and professional woodworkers.

For other measuring tools, check out the best tape measure for woodworking.

After doing the right measurements and building your project, what should you do next?

You might appreciate some basic tips in perfecting the finish. Learn how to sand the wood with an electric sander. If you’re always in a hurry, you should also learn the techniques in sanding wood faster.

Planning to design more details to make your project more attractive? If you don’t have a pyrography pen, we suggest using a soldering iron as the alternative. Find out how to achieve elegant wood burning with that kind of tool.