A combination square, which includes several tools in one, is the hybrid model of a square tool. Woodworkers, metalworkers, carpenters, and masons leverage this tool to measure angles.

Being a multipurpose tool, the best combination square should incorporate all the features. 

After numerous in-house tests, I’ve combined a list of the best combination squares and a buyer’s guide to help you settle for one that meets your needs. 

Our Top Picks

Best Combination Squares

  1. Combination square-Starrett C11H-6-4R Combination SquareBest Overall
  2. Starrett Combination Square C11H-12-4RBest Accurate Combination Square
  3. Mr. Pen Combination Square 12″Best Affordable Combination Square
  4. WORKPRO Rafter Square and Combination Square Tool Set-Best Combination Set
  5. iGaging ‎34-212Best Multifunctional Combination Square
  6. Johnson Level & Tool 400EM-S 12″ Inch/Metric Combination SquareBest DIY Combination Square
  7. Stanley Contractor Grade Combination SquareBest Durable Combination Square
  8. Swanson Tool TC134 16-Inch Combo SquareBest Combo Kit
  9. IRWIN Tools Combination Square, Metal-Body, 6-InchBest Compact Combination Square

Best Combination Squares

1. Best Overall Combination square-Starrett C11H-6-4R Combination Square  

Starrett Steel Combination Square with Square Head - 6' Blade Length, Cast Iron Heads, Hardened Steel, Reversible Lock Bolt, Scriber, Spirit Level - 4R Graduation - 11H-6-4R
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Starrett Steel Combination Square with Square Head - 6" Blade Length, Cast Iron Heads, Hardened Steel, Reversible Lock Bolt, Scriber, Spirit Level - 4R Graduation - 11H-6-4R
  • Designed for Precision - The ruler has a 4R graduation type with 8ths, 16ths, quick reading 32nds, and 64ths that greatly increase the accuracy of your measurements.
  • Built to Last - Able to withstand even the harshest environments as our combination squares are designed to last a lifetime. They are very reliable and perfect for any project you take on.
  • Variety of Uses - The square head can be used for a variety of purposes such as scribing right angles and parallel lines, measuring, tri-squaring, mitering, depth gauging, height gauging, and levelling.
  • Quality Made - The blade is made of hardened steel, offering exceptional durability and resistance to wear, rough usage, high-impact pressure, and shock.
  • Versatile Layout Tool - Starrett squares are offered in a practical variety of styles to suit the needs of the individual, whether it be a toolmaker, mechanic, carpenter, or a "do-it-yourself" homeowner.

It is no shock to find Starrett products among the leading combination squares on our list. The company is renowned for manufacturing quality, accurate products. 

The Starrett C11H-6-4R is a well-designed combination square that meets all your requirements. It features a small 6-inch blade, allowing you to fit it into your pocket or apron.

The tool allows woodworkers and machinists to check angles or locate center holes. Moreover, you can use it to check the squareness of corners. It also measures the length and finds the center point of round objects. 

The super-hardened steel blade includes a satin chrome finish which allows seamless reading. Moreover, the head is cast iron and features a black wrinkle finish. This allows you to measure 90-degree angles precisely. 

This combination square also features photo-engraved black-on-white markings. These markings allow you to take measurements seamlessly. 

Moreover, it includes a reversible lock bolt, a spirit level, and a scriber. Finally, it features 4R graduation, allowing quick readings for 1/8″, 1/16″, 1/32″, and 1/64″. 

In this model, you’ll also notice an accurate ground-bearing surface. Finally, this six-inch combination square is our top pick because of its reliable accuracy and compact size. Moreover, it’s versatile enough to suit most of your projects.

Pros

  • Easy to read graduations 
  • It features a durable blade material 
  • Compact size 
  • It is highly accurate 

Con

  • It’s expensive

 




2. Best Accurate Combination Square-Starrett Combination Square C11H-12-4R  

Starrett Steel Combination Square with Square Head - 12" Blade Length, Cast Iron Head, Hardened Steel, Reversible Lock Bolt, Scriber, 4R Graduation Type - C11H-12-4R
  • Designed for Precision - The ruler has a 4R graduation type with 8ths, 16ths, quick reading 32nds, and 64ths that greatly increase the accuracy of your measurements.
  • Built to Last - Able to withstand even the harshest environments as our combination squares are designed to last a lifetime. They are very reliable and perfect for any project you take on.
  • Variety of Uses - The square head can be used for a variety of purposes such as scribing right angles and parallel lines, measuring, tri-squaring, mitering, depth gauging, height gauging, and levelling.
  • Quality Made - The blade is made of hardened steel, offering exceptional durability and resistance to wear, rough usage, high-impact pressure, and shock.
  • Versatile Layout Tool - Starrett squares are offered in a practical variety of styles to suit the needs of the individual, whether it be a toolmaker, mechanic, carpenter, or a "do-it-yourself" homeowner.

Here’s yet another premium product by Starrett. I recommend buying this combination square if you’re running on a flexible budget. 

Despite being pricey, the product is a cut above and promises to deliver the best in every project. 

Like most other models from this brand, this combination square has a durable cast iron head. Moreover, it sports a black wrinkle finish which enhances its general aesthetics. 

In addition, it comes with a 12-inch hardened steel blade. The machine-divided blade features a satin finish. 

This tool combines first-rate materials and machining methods. This helps to minimize flex from the blade hence guaranteeing  enough accuracy. As a result, you can use it on projects requiring a high level of detail. 

Besides taking your readings quickly, the 4R graduation ensures you achieve a high level of accuracy.  

While it may cost more than other products on our list, this tool is worth your money. I use it whenever I don’t want to compromise the precision of your measurements.

Moreover, it includes a reversible lock bolt that holds the body in place whenever you use the tool. There’s also an in-built spirit level and scriber. 

Pros

  • It is highly accurate 
  • It features a quality cast iron body 
  • Durable satin-finish blade 
  • Photo-engraved marking that is easy to read 
  • 12-inch blade suits many jobs

Con

  • It is expensive



3. Best Affordable Combination Square-Mr. Pen Combination Square 12″

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Mr. Pen- Combination Square, 12" Combo Square, Carpentry Tools, Carpenter Square, Woodworking Tools, Metal Ruler, Framing Square, T Square, T Ruler, Combination Square Set, Square Tool, Metal Square
  • 12-Inch Heavy Duty Combination Square
  • Combo Square with Durable and Rust-Proof Stainless Steel Blade Marked with Precise inch and cm Graduation in 1/16,1/8, and 1/32 Inch
  • Spring Loaded Brass Bolt to Assure Accuracy
  • Brass Scriber and Level
  • Accurately Measure and Draw 90 Degree And 45 Degree Angles

At times, you may be working on projects that don’t need a high level of precision. As a result, you needn’t have to look for a combination square that lies on the higher end of the price spectrum.  

In this case, Mr. Pen combination square will suit your needs. However, I wouldn’t recommend subjecting the product to rugged daily use. In return, you’re guaranteed a long service span.

The 12-inch Mr. Pen combination square includes a corrosion-resistant die-cast zinc head. Moreover, it features a stainless steel blade with distinct markings. While it’s only calibrated down to 1/32″, it also includes a centimeter scale in 1 mm divisions. 

The tool also includes a spirit level, a spring-loaded brass bolt, and a brass scriber. However, the blade and head casting are thinner than other high-quality tools. 

As a result, the tool may not be as durable as You’d wish. Yet, since it is an affordable option, you won’t have to dig deeper into your pockets for a replacement.

While this 12-inch combination square is great for most construction needs, don’t use it for projects that demand high precision. Instead, I’d recommend it to hobbyists and DIYers. 

Pros

  • It’s an affordable option 
  • It features easy-to-read scales 
  • It includes a rust-proof zinc head

Cons 

  • It doesn’t suit heavy-duty use 
  • It isn’t suitable for projects requiring high precision levels.

 




4. Best Combination Set-WORKPRO Rafter Square and Combination Square Tool Set 

Unlike your typical combination square, this set has a built-in carpenter square. Moreover, it includes a bubble level and a removable brass scriber. Also, the ruler is quite solid and features graduations down to 1/32 inches.  

The rafter square is die-cast and consists of a heavy-duty aluminum alloy. So, besides being durable, you can trust the tool to deliver precise measurements. It also includes a combination ruler that’s die-cast from zinc alloy.  

The ruler, which consists of stainless steel, sports a matte finish. You’ll also appreciate the marked-out scale that’s easy to read. 

Besides being deep and permanent, the white graduations enhance readability. Thus, you can use it in all lighting conditions. This also guarantees superior legibility and a long service span.

 The rafter square finishing has a low glare and a protective powder coating. Moreover, it offers many graduations. It blends the features of a try square, framing square, protractor square, and miter square. 

The tool also features a 12-inch stainless steel blade with 3 scale values, including 1-mm, 1/16″, and 1/32″. 

It is also a user-friendly option, with the lipped fence allowing you to brace the rafter square flash with wood . This enables you to achieve an angled or straight line proportional to the edge of your wood surface. 

You can also use the 7 or 8-inch fence as a circular saw guide for crosscutting lumber.

While the Workpro combination square looks like a quality tool at first glance, it includes major flaws in execution. This may impact your experience negatively using the tools. Also, the square costs more than other competitor brands we’ve tested.  

Pros

  • It offers reliable precision 
  • It features a marked-out scale that’s easy to read 
  • It has a durable steel ruler.

Cons

  • It doesn’t have a differentiating mark at ½ inch 
  • It wasn’t 100% square 
  • More expensive than other competitor brands



5. Best Multifunctional Combination Square-iGaging ‎34-212 

This is a premium 24-inch combination square. It consists of a cast iron center finding head, a cast iron degree protractor, and a mitering head. 

The miter head offers 45 and 90-degree precision ground faces. Since its head is adjustable, you can lock it in any position along the satin chrome-finished steel blade. 

Also, the protractor can rotate in both directions, allowing you to measure angles in tight-fit areas. The blade features machine etched and machine-divided graduations. 

The graduations come in 1/8″ and 1/16″ on one side and 1/32″ and 1/64″ on another. Besides its hardened steel construction, the blade features a parallelism of 0.0006/12″. 

Moreover, the square head includes a hardened scriber and a built-in bubble level. This combination also comes in a plastic padded storage case. 

Luckily, being a premium product, you can expect greater efficiency and high accuracy in various applications. Additionally, with its versatility, you can use the tool as a spirit level or 45-meter. It also works as a plumb level, depth gauge, and precision tool.  

Lastly, the machine-etched 4R graduation scales are permanent and easy to read. Plus, it features a good level of contrast. 

Pros

  • It offers a high level of accuracy 
  • It has a permanent and easy-to-read scale 
  • It has a good contrast level 
  • It comes with a protective case for storage
  •  It is versatile enough to suit various project needs 

Cons

  • It’s not suitable for rugged use 
  • It is overkill, especially for beginner woodworkers 
  • It is expensive



6. Best DIY Combination Square-Johnson Level & Tool 400EM-S 12″ Inch/Metric Combination Square

Johnson Level and Tool is a trusted brand in the construction niche. The company prides itself in manufacturing quality products. 

However, this particular option suits DIYers and hobbyists more. You could also use it in heavy-duty projects and high-precision.  

Fortunately, you’ll find it an easy-going tool. It features graduation in both imperial and metric units. 

In addition this tool could save your hard-earned money and  ieliminate the need to buy two tools to suit your project requirements.

The combination square features a durable rust-proof stainless steel blade and a CNC machined die-cast zinc head. Moreover, the tool offers a desirable level of resistance to wear. 

Besides the self-locking blade assembly, the product also comes with a screw-in scriber and a spirit level.

The black-on-white divisions offer a lot of contrast, making it easy to use and read the scale. Moreover, since the markings are machine-etched, you can trust it to last long. This great tool comes in 1/8″, 1/16″, 1/32″, and 1-millimeter scales. 

Also, this tool is the best bang for your back if you’re on a tight budget. However, with this price range, we could easily doubt the level of accuracy offered by the product. 

Another downside is that the square’s ruler features stamped marking. Nevertheless, this tool emerged top in our testing for knob adjustability and smooth ruler slide. 

Pros

  • It’s an affordable option 
  • Includes both metric and imperial calibration 
  • The etched markings last long 
  • It features a quality adjustable knob

Cons

  • It doesn’t suit rugged use 
  • The ruler features stamped marking 
  • Low accuracy level 



7.  Best Durable Combination Square-Stanley Contractor Grade Combination Square

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Stanley 46-131 16-Inch Contractor Grade Combination Square
  • Mpn: 46-131
  • Country of manufacture: United Kingdom
  • Manufacturer: Stanley
  • Contractor grade combination square with a square for English measurements, a level vial, and a scratch awl
  • Precision-machined working surfaces for improved accuracy; deeply etched blades for long-term readability

Sometimes, you’ll be working with something larger than a regular piece of lumber in your project. In this case, you’ll need a long tool for marking and measuring. Fortunately, you can mark large projects with this 16-inch combination square from Stanley. 

Moreover, it is durable, allowing deployment in high-stress projects such as construction and building sites.  

Moreover, the product comes with a lifetime warranty that guarantees a long use without needing replacement. However, like all other tools, this one has its fair share of flaws. 

Firstly, although it’s a contractor-grade tool, it isn’t 100% square. Moreover, it was too far out to cause frustration when deployed for use. 

Even after fixing it, you’ll have to deal with the not-so-easy-to-read markings. While the markings are etched, you’ll have to shift your viewing angle to make them out. 

Moreover, unlike other combination squares in this review, its blades come with rather sharp edges. Consequently, you might want to file the down to avoid injuring yourself. 

Pros

  • Stanley’s lifetime warranty backs it 
  • Long enough to mark larger materials 
  • It is highly durable 
  • It’s affordable 

Cons

  • Not 100% square 
  • Etched markings are difficult to read in certain lighting conditions 
  • It features sharp blade edges 



8. Best Combo Kit-Swanson Tool TC134 16-Inch Combo Square 

Swanson Tool TC134 16-Inch Combo Square (Cast Zinc Body, Stainless Steel Ruler and Brass Bolt)
  • 16 in. stainless steel blade features precision-etched black gradations, includes brass hardware
  • Multi-tool: square, depth gauge, height gauge, plumb level, scriber, and level
  • Impact-resistant acrylic vial in handle
  • Spring-loaded bolt holds blade in place for firm, accurate settings
  • Durable die-cast zinc body for durability

This Combo kit by Swanson includes a 6-inch combination square and a speed square. This feature makes it suitable for both professional and newbie woodcarvers.

Besides the precision-etched black graduation on the stainless-steel blade, the product includes brass hardware. 

This multi-tool has a square, height gauge, depth gauge, scriber, plumb level, and bubble level. It is also highly durable and features an acrylic vial handle that can withstand impacts. 

Moreover, it features spring-supported bolts that hold the blade in place for a firm and accurate setting. The body consists of die-cast zinc, which is extremely durable. 

If you’re always on the move, you’ll appreciate working with this tool since it easily fits in the pocket or tool belt. In addition, with the built-in scribe, you can make quick markings without a pencil. 

While this model doesn’t suit large applications, it’s a great addition to your toolbox, especially if you already have a 12 or 16-inch combination square. In addition, it offers great value for money. 

Pros

  • It features a compact design 
  • Highly Durable 
  • Precision-etched black gradations 
  • It includes metric and imperial measurements 

Con

  • It doesn’t suit large applications.



9. Best Compact Combination Square-IRWIN Tools Combination Square, Metal-Body, 6-Inch

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IRWIN Tools Combination Square, Metal-Body, 6-Inch (1794468)
  • The Black, Precision-Etched Scales On This Combination Square Give Accurate 90° And 45° Readings
  • This Combination Square Has A Cast-Zinc Body For Durability
  • A Stainless-Steel Blade Is Built For Rugged Use
  • Country Of Origin : China

If you need to check angles or take measurements in a confined space, this 6-inch combination square by IRWIN Tools is your best bet. This China-made product promises to offer the best quality features you can find. 

It comes with a rigid, stainless steel blade with etched markings that are easy to read. The divisions are down to 1/8″ and 1/16″ segments on one side of the blade. The other side features a metric scale with 1-millimeter divisions. 

The die-cast zinc head is compact enough to fit in your hand. Also, the tool comes with a built-in scriber and spirit level. 

Despite its affordable price, the tool features etched machine markings that last long. Moreover, with its sharp contrast, you can trust the tool to offer easy readability. 

Also, I recommend this tool for large layout projects. This includes all construction jobs which don’t require high levels of precision. 

Pros

  • Durable etched markings 
  • Affordable 
  • Durable 

Cons

  • Low accuracy 
  • Don’t suit heavy-duty projects 



Best Paint Combination Square Comparison Table

Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Combination Square 

Before settling for a combination square, you’ll want to consider what you will use it for. For instance, any model will work if you only want to achieve square angles and use the ruler for measuring. 

However, for more intricate projects, consider the following factors: 

1. Length of the blade 

The blade length is the first thing you’ll notice in any combination square. Typically, the suitable length ranges between 4-24 inches or 150-600 mm.

In our comprehensive list, you’ll find combination squares with blades measuring 150 mm, 300mm, 6″, and 12″ long. These are average and premium squares. They meet most project demands, regardless if you are a novice or a professional.

Normally, I’d prefer compact combination squares that are easy to move around. While you can settle for any blade length, pick the 6-inch combination square if you’re uncertain.

Besides working well for most projects, they are easy to carry around and prove to be practical in tight corners. 

However, they mostly suit small and medium jobs. For larger projects, go for the 12-inch models. They offer more coverage than their 6-inch counterparts. 

2. Material 

Of course, you’ll want a heavy-duty combination square with a long service span. Therefore, I recommend purchasing combination squares made of stainless steel.

Similarly, hardened steel is a good material for combination squares. You can trust such products to offer unmatched resistance against wear and tear. 

As a result, for a long-lasting blade that won’t require frequent replacement, choose tools consisting of durable and robust steel. 

On the other hand, the head might consist of different materials. For example, you’ll find tools with the head comprising cast iron, die-cast zinc, or stainless steel. 

From our in-house tests, cast iron proved to be the most durable material among the three. Unfortunately, due to its durability, combination squares made from cast iron heads cost more. Nevertheless, they make the best tools for professional or heavy-duty projects. 

In the contrary, cast zinc makes the least durable material for the head. As a result, you’ll want to use a zinc head combination square for DIY projects

3. Scale 

Combination squares feature graduations in the imperial unit, metric unit, or both. Thus, this is an essential factor to consider when picking a combination square.  

For woodworkers and metalworkers living in the US, you are more likely to work with the imperial units. Subsequently, you’ll want your combination square’s scale to measure in inches. 

However, it’s common for woodworkers living outside the US to work with both imperial and metric units. In this case, you’ll want your tool to include both units.  

This way, you needn’t have to buy two different tools. Ensure that you settle for the correct product since a metric tool won’t deliver the expected result in a project involving imperial units. 

4. Accuracy

The accuracy of a combination square depends on its material and manufacturing technique. Additionally, the divisions on the blade play a major role in determining the tool’s accuracy.

I prefer tools with 4R calibrations. They are the most detailed and include markings in 1/8″, 1/16″, 1/32″, and 1/64″ divisions. Other models use 10R blades, which include markings in 1/10″ divisions.  

Similarly, you wouldn’t expect lower-cost combination tools to offer high precision. Instead of machine-etching, Such low-priced tools have their blades marked differently. 

Typically, the blade is punched out of a metal sheet, and the same punch creates the divisions. Often, this results in a slightly faint marking.  

Some may feature painted markings, which tend to wear over time. Once the wearing starts, this leaves you with a faint scale that’s difficult to read. 

On the other hand, premium and high-end options feature etched machine markings. This results in sharper calibrations that promise to deliver high precision.   

5. Versatility

A combination square should be versatile. This ensures that it suits various marking and measuring tasks. Moreover, they should be suitable for on-site and workshop use. For instance, it should feature a removable blade you can use as a ruler. 

Also, it should include extra features. For instance, with a built-in spirit level, you can check the alignment of door frames and walls. Additionally, you can pick a niftier combination square that has interchangeable heads. However, you are more likely to come across this feature in four-piece combination squares.  

Besides the standard head and a blade, it should have a center finder head. This is essential when determining the center point of cylindrical or round objects. You also shouldn’t miss a protractor head that allows you to set the blade at any angle between 0 to 180 degrees.

Combination Square vs. Combination square set

In our comprehensive list above, you must’ve noticed that some products come entirely as a combo set. Similarly, others come singly as a combination square. 

Combination squares that come with all three heads are called combination sets. On the other hand, a combination square features a single head, known as the square head. 

Besides the difference in the number of heads, these categories also vary in price. Typically, a combination set will cost more than the combination square.  

So, I recommend picking the entire combination set if you’ll need a protractor head and center finder in your projects. In other cases, a combination square will rise to the occasion. But, first, ensure that you settle for the best tools in the market. 

Finally, when settling for a combination set, confirm if the protractor is reversible or not. A reversible protractor makes it easier to measure angles. 

FAQs

Do I Need A Combination Square? 

Firstly, combination squares are adjustable tools. With this feature, you could use the tool to transfer same-length measurements repeatedly. Secondly, if you have a full combination square set, you’ll have an extra protractor head and a center finder.  

In addition, the square head includes a 45-degree and 90-degree edge for making quick scribes at 45 degrees and checking the squareness of corners.  

Lastly, you can dismantle the tool and use the blade as a standalone ruler. Moreover, if the blade is straight, you can use it as a straight edge. 

Consequently, having a reliable combination square in your toolbox is essential for woodworking and metalworking needs. This will make your work much easier. 

How Accurate is a Combination Square? 

When you come across a beautiful DIY project that integrates different wood pieces perfectly, the woodworker likely used a combination square. Besides being easy to use, this tool can accurately measure 45 and 90-degree angles. 

What Is The Most Accurate Square? 

Starrett Combination Square C11H-12-4R ranks as the most accurate combination square. Moreover, it features clear markings that allow you to take precise measurements in varying lighting conditions. 

What Is The Most Versatile Type Of Square? 

Combination squares are versatile tools. You can use it for most carpentry tasks, including checking corners and edges. They consist of a long blade and a shorter tongue that comes in handy when marking up wide sheet stocks or boards.

Why Is A Combination Square Good To Have?

While they may seem like advanced tools for professional use only, combination squares are more useful for amateur woodworkers than you might know. 

With their 90-degree handle, you’ll ensure that your angles are square, and don’t include errors. This can be very handy when cutting square holes in wood.

Moreover, they include an adjustable design that enables you to lock in accurate measurements.

 Conclusion 

A combination square is a must-have tool for woodworkers and metalworkers alike. Subsequently, you’ll want the best combination square that meets all your requirements. 

The Starrett C11H-6-4R Combination Square is the best overall and guarantees maximum efficiency and accuracy. 

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