Best Combination Square for Woodworking: Which One Should I Buy

Published on: April 14, 2022
Written by Eric Devin / Fact-checked by David Rowan

A combination square is a multi-use measuring instrument and marking tool for wood lovers. This tool is highly used for woodworking, metalworking, and stone masonry. 

It is also known as combo square, sliding square, or adjustable square. Most carvers use it for marking the work surface, determining flatness, depth gauge, measuring angles, and more.

best combination square for woodworking

However, there are many combination squares in the marketplace. Which one should you buy? It depends on your budget, purpose, and personal choice. Having no worries, we collect here the six best combination squares on behalf of you. You can choose what you expect.

First, you see some consideration factors that are essential to realize. Then, turn into short reviews of the six rulers, FAQs, and more.

Factors to Consider When You Pick the Combination Square

If you are a new combination square user or want to use the combination square first, you should consider some things. For example, product’s materials, marking quality, price, easy-to-use, and other features that information support finding the right & perfect square for woodworking. 


Material is one of the most important things that you have to check before buying a combination square. You can easily decide whether or not your product is suitable for long-term use, just justify ingredients. Durable ingredients provide you with a more durable tool. For this reason, stainless steel is used by most companies for preparing square blades. 

Markings Quality 

The good news is that maximum modern combination squares contain etched marks. These kinds of markings are readable, durable, and long-lasting to measure. Some old models have markings printed on them. Avoid these tools because they fade as well as damage easily. So, select the newer version of the squares. 


Another thing is to check the square’s weight, length, and easy-to-use features. More flexible and adjustable combination squares are suitable for beginners to professional craftsmen. This is because you should check the product fitness. 


Lastly, you have to ensure durability, functionality, and convenience when you are going to buy the best quality combination square for a wood carving project. Also, check the price of the product. Try to receive the latest version as well as a reasonable price.

Find the 6 Best Combination Square for Woodworking:

At this point, we provide you with comprehensive information about these great combination squares. From the six alternative options, Irwin Tools Combination Square is our top-selected product. If you don’t have more time to justify all the rulers, you can buy this with confidence.

Let’s start with the full review.

1. Starrett-11H-12-4R Combination Square

Desire to get the highest quality combination square where the budget doesn’t matter? Starrett-11H-12-4R can be a great choice for you. This is an expensive square but persistent. 

It comes with a solid, machine-divided, and strengthened steel rule that is adjusted. It also contains a reversible lock bolt that assists the blade to turn over securely. 

Never think it is made from the cheapest materials. The combination square head is made of cast iron. Ensures the 100% quality of the heads and blade. Good for utilizing the different purposes.

Furthermore, it is accurate and permanent. It is also able to mark down to 1/64″. The poor side is that its shipping package is not ideal. But, delivery is fast. Also, some customers noted that its marking system is a little hard to read quickly. 

Highlighted Features 

  • Comes with cast iron head with black wrinkle finish;
  • Reversible lock bolt, scribed, spirit level;
  • Contains sharp graduation and square blade to read easily;
  • Also, 12-inch hardened steel;
  • 1/32″ and 1/64″ quick reading.

2. Irwin Tools Combination Square

With the combination of affordability and best quality, the IRWIN offers a popular combination square for woodworking. The company made this necessary device from a durable cast zinc body along with a rust-proof stainless steel blade. For this reason, users don’t worry about its strength and durability. 

Due to its black color, you are getting accurate marks for the 45° and 90° marking. This tool is ideal for reading easily and clearly. Allows you to work for several purposes. 

There are not enough benefits from this combination square. Learn more? It gives you an excellent measurement feature in both metric and standard both. Even tight lock blades. 

Unfortunately, most of the customers claim that the Irwin combination square is not completely square. 

Highlighted Features

  • Contains 12-inch size good for woodworking;
  • Affordable price & durable cast zinc body;
  • Comes with rustproof stainless steel blade;
  • Suitable for 90° and 45° marking
  • Also, as a gauge for transferring measurement.

3. PEC 7121-012 2 Pc 12″ 4R Cast Iron Combination Square Set

Imagine if you are going to buy the best combination square for woodworking but are not satisfied. So, don’t select any brand. PEC is one of the trusted names, producing many high-quality products. Among those PEC 7121-012 2 Pc 12″ Combination Square Set is also a great deal. 

It is made in the USA. Used cast iron for the head and satin chrome for the blade. This smart tool is used for set-ups, depths, layouts, checking heights, angle set-ups, etc. Also, you get a quick accuracy because of its four separate measuring blades. 

Ultimately, the finish on both parts was perfect except for one minor 1″ scratch on one face of the head. Allows the pencil line to be tested for .0005″. You can lock down the blade or rule so that it doesn’t move. Remember, before buying you have to check the product’s defects. Its head is about ⅛” out of square so observe that. 

Highlighted Features 

  • It is made in the USA;
  • Includes square head and blade;
  • Can be used for several purposes;
  • And, satin chrome blade;
  • Not expensive.

4. Swanson Tool Co TC132 12-Inch Combo Square 

Do you expect to get overall benefits from one product? Why are you not going through the remarkable brand Swanson? This brand has been popular for producing original speed squares since 90 years ago. 

The 12-Inch Combo Square is a multi-tool, highly recommended for a depth gauge, square, a level, and scriber. Whether you are a woodworker or metal worker, it is suitable for any goal from home to professional level. 

Another key aspect, the CNC-machined working surface as well as the 6-inch pocket provides accurate & reliable 45° and 90° marks. This works as a depth gauge. Even its portable layout makes it easy to handle.

On the other hand, this Square is the perfect choice for getting the best service. By using stainless steel, the blade is constructed along with a cast zinc body. Contains precision-etched gradations US and metric both units for more accuracy. 

Highlighted Features 

  • Made from high-quality materials;
  • More accurate marks;
  • Includes Cast Zinc Body, Stainless Steel blade;
  • Acts of the depth gauge, square, a level, and scriber.

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

The exceptional thing, this set comes with two alternative sizes combination squares just like 6-inch and 12-inch high precision. It features heavy-duty hardened and precision ground satin chrome blades that make your woodworking job easy. 

This professional iGaging Combination Square Set is one of the super high-quality tools in today’s market. The locked heads are more secure in all positions along the blade. Each square is graduated in 8ths, 16ths, 32nds, and 64ths. Also, provides clear markings for easy readability. 

No worries, these combination squares are reliable and affordable than the regular squares. As a professional carver, you can work within 0.0008″ accuracy. We recommend this set due to its US Standard Accuracy and Squareness. Plus, it includes a storage case to store them safely.

Highlighted Features

  • Comes with 0.0008″ accuracy ;
  • Each combination square is made to strict US accuracy standards;
  • It has a 4″ 4R blade with a 2.5″ base;
  • Bubble Level as well as Graduated in 8ths, 16ths, 32nds, 64ths.

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

The most important things are a heavy-duty professional-grade, lifetime warranty, and an exceptional price combination square suitable for Craftsmanship. Yes, Empire Level E250 12-Inch combination square is suited for all higher-level woodworking. Also, this brand is one of the leading brands nowadays. 

Contains stainless steel blade and a true blue vial for maximum accuracy. Believe it or not, it is ensured within .00050 inch accuracy. Furthermore, a lifetime warranty ensures that you can use this tool for any long-term project. 

Easy to read the measurement and it is very square to the head. The lid of the rule is 12-inch in length. But, the downside, its bottom of the rule is 11 and 15/16″ in length that is 1/32″ shorter. 

Highlighted Features

  • Made in the USA;
  • It is a professional grade combination square;
  • Provides lifetime warranty and great customer service;
  • Never rust or corrode;
  • Also, self-aligning draw bolts.

Combination Square vs Speed Square 

Combination square and speed square both are used for multi-purpose. Now, here are some basic differences between the two squares.

Combination Square Speed Square 
The combination square is a multifunctional measuring tool.A Speed Square is also a multifunctional tool, known as a rafter square or triangle square.
Suitable for using woodworking, stonemasonry, and metalworking.Suitable for use in several woodworking projects. 
This tool was developed in 1879 before the speed square invention by Mr. Laroy S. Starrett.It was invented in 1925 by Albert J. Swanson. 
The combination square is made from different materials where hardened steel squares are more solid and lasting.Generally, this multifunctional tool is made of plastic and metal. Plastic speed squares are lighter than metal squares.
The low-end combination squares are less durable. The metallic speed squares can bend or wrap.

FAQs About Combination Squares

What Is the Best Square for Woodworking?

A wide variety of different squares are available in the market. Among those 12-inch length is the most common size and used maximum woodcarvers. Plus, 4R graduations or ⅛, 1/16, 1/32, and 1/64″ etched markings are readability and durability. So, you can choose this type of combination square. 

What Is the Most Accurate Combination Square?

MATSUI, the remarkable brand, comes with Precision Try Squares which is a more accurate combination. This tool is made from highly authentic instruments such as rustproof stainless steel. Additionally, it has square heads and thin blades that act well.

Is a Starrett Combination Square Worth It?

The Starrett combination square is also qualitative and made from high-range elements. If it is a high-value product, it contains more price than the other brands.


Now, we reach the last moments of the article. It is time to make the right decision and select the best combination square. 

Only Starrett-11H-12-4R combination square is a little pricey, but other products are budget-friendly and available for users. Keep in mind that Irwin Tools Combination Square is affordable and high-quality.

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About This Writer

author eric devin

Hi, I am Eric Devin and I am a professional interior architect. Since childhood, I've always enjoyed DIY projects! And, I have loved to solve simple household problems using essential tools and equipment. I have also acquired a lot of information about basic household tools settings by working with contractors.

Hi, I am Eric Devin and I am a professional interior architect. Since childhood, I've always enjoyed DIY projects! And, I have loved to solve simple household problems using essential tools and equipment. I have also acquired a lot of information about basic household tools settings by working with contractors.

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