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One tool I use on every build and every project in my house is a combination square. So it’s important to me to have good ones. That is, squares that are reliably square, and that lock tight and don’t slip.

I have several inexpensive ones that are good enough for framing, but just a hair out – so I don’t use them for furniture work. For precise layout and measurements, I prefer my 6″ or 12″ Starrett squares (one of which is always at home when I need it at work, and vise versa).

Yes, there are decent combination squares from other brands. But if you’re in the market for new squares, I’d recommend Starrett for reliability and longevity ($79 for the 6″/$85 for the 12″ at Lee Valley, from whom I borrowed the image above).

So this selection falls into the category of perhaps a bit pricey compared to some other brands, but worth it. I don’t need or covet a tricked-out combo square, but I absolutely want and need a good one (or more than one).

— Megan Fitzpatrick

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Showing 8 comments
  • Bill Lattanzio

    The 6-inch Starrett is one of the few tools I’ve actually been truly happy to spend the money on. I’ve never used a better square.

  • Dave in Ohio

    Of course, VISE versa has to do with reversible faces on your vise, and is in no way inaccurate in a post relating to accuracy.

  • Bernard Naish

    I am with Shaun. For me the only use is running a parallel line but I more often use my thumbnail for that! Fixed, accurate steel engineering squares work better for less. We are seeing far too many wood work tools being offered at obscene prices and some are more along the lines of jewels than workmanlike.

  • BLZeebub

    Ditto + two more. I use a 12″, 9″, 6″ and a 4″. BUT, I use Starrett’s competition, Brown & Sharpe.

  • Shaun Harper

    Save the money and spend the time making your shooting board as accurate as possible…

  • Clay Dowling

    This one I can actually get behind. Accurate measuring tools are expensive, but nothing is so expensive as an inaccurate measuring tool.

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