Best Combination Squares

6 Best Combination Squares (Tested & Reviewed in 2024)

Combination squares are some of the most convenient and versatile tools every woodworker should own.

But as with anything, some are better than others!

That’s why I put together this list of best combination squares—to help you find the most suitable one for your needs and skill level. Let’s begin!

In a hurry? The iGaging Combination Square is the best combination square overall because it’s simple yet consistently precise, and it’s also one of the highest quality squares when compared to other top-tier combo squares.

Quick Answer: Here are the Best Combination Squares! 👇

Best Combination Squares

Best Combination Squares

1. iGaging Combination Square – #1 Best Overall

iGaging Combination Square
iGaging Combination Square Premium 2-Piece 6″ 4R
  • Fully Hardened and Tempered Steel Blade; Satin Chrome finish
  • Etched, machine divided 4R graduations – 8ths, 16ths, 32nds & 64ths

Want to never worry about accuracy again when using a combination square? Then you need the iGaging Combination Square, since it’s extremely accurate, durable, easy to use, and reasonably priced.

The ruler is 6” and made of fully-hardened stainless steel, and I believe this is the main reason why it’s so accurate; the metallic combination squares are always better!

And since the ruler has a matte-chrome finish, the etched, machine-divided graduations are easy to read whether there’s good lighting or not, and the ruler slides easily across all kinds of surfaces.

An inch is broken down four ways on this combination square: one side has 8ths and 16ths while the other has 32nds and 64ths.

And like any good combination square, it has an easy-to-read spirit level, and I’ve found this particularly useful when measuring vertical surfaces to make sure they’re plumb.

Of course, it comes with a metal scriber that fits conveniently in the top of the square, and a padded, plastic storage case is included with your purchase. Love that!

What I Liked:

  • The ruler’s smoothness ensures it can slide effortlessly across virtually any surface.
  • The square doesn’t move when locked in, so you can count on precision measuring.
  • The padded storage case will ensure the tool is highly accurate for many years (if it’s used religiously).
  • Even though it’s made of durable metal, it’s lightweight and therefore easier to use.

What I Didn’t Like:

  • A longer ruler would be nice in some occasions.
  • The square moves stiffly at first, but eventually it slides without issue.

My Thoughts

All things considered, the iGaging Combination Square is the top combination square on the market right now, as it delivers in all the ways a combination square should deliver and then some. And since it’s made of hardened-steel, it’ll stay accurate for many years, especially if you keep it in the case when it’s not being used. The square head is well-built and all the necessary square features are included. Sure, the square moves a little slow at first, but overall this is a fantastic, affordable combination square.

Other Stores

2. WORKPRO Rafter Square and Combination Square Tool Set – Best Combination Square Set

WORKPRO Rafter Square and Combination Square Tool Set, 7 in. Aluminum Alloy…
  • Durable Material – The rafter square is die-cast from heavy-gauge aluminum alloy which enables it to last long…
  • Clearly Identifiable Scale – The rafter square finishing features low glare and protective powder coated. It…
  • Multiple Graduation – The 7-inch rafter square has many kinds of graduation which blends the features of…

Combination squares are rarely purchased alone, which explains why combo packs are so popular. The WORKPRO Rafter Square and Combination Square Tool Set is the best combination square pack I’ve come across, mainly because the combo square and rafter square included are both quality tools.

But since this is a list about combination squares, I’m going to focus more on this component. That said, the rafter square is incredibly helpful, so I’ll discuss its positive features towards the end.

This combo square’s ruler is 12” and made of stainless steal; the square is made of zinc-alloy.

And like the square discussed above, it has a matte finish. But what distinguishes this combination ruler, in this respect, is it has a special powder-based coating that prevents glare.

It can take metric measurements because there are 1mm graduations on both sides. The Imperial graduations, on the other hand, are 1/16” and 1/32”.

The graduations are deeply etched, and on the rafter square there are white, painted markings over the etches to ensure they’re visible regardless of the lighting situation.

Of course, the combo square has a green-bubble spirit level, and a metal scriber is included—this one really helps with taking precise measurements.

Now, a little bit about the seven-inch rafter square. It’s 13/64” thick with a 7/8” lipped fence, and it’s made of heavy-gauge aluminum alloy.

It’s a framing square, try square, miter square, and protractor square all in one, and it has 1/4”-spaced scribing notches and long scriber slots to accommodate a range of carpenter pencil sizes—big fan!

What I Liked:

  • Taking angle measurements is a breeze because this pack has a comprehensive speed square.
  • The square’s markings are easy to see outside thanks to the anti-glare coating.
  • Since the combination ruler is 12”, it can measure length on larger workpieces.
  • Both squares are lightweight and thin, so they can be transported and stored easily.

What I Didn’t Like:

  • The rafter scale doesn’t have a metric scale on one side.
  • It’s more prone to impact damage because it has a cast-zinc body.

My Thoughts

When you need versatile tools that can take all kinds of measurements, you can’t go wrong with the WORKPRO Rafter Square and Combination Square Tool Set. You’ll get a well-designed and highly accurate combination square, as well as a speed square that can take even more measurements in no time. And since both tools have etched markings, you can count on them being precise for years. The only thing I don’t like is they used cast-zinc for the square; swap this out for a steal one and this pack would be perfect.

Other Stores

3. Irwin Tools 12-inch Combination Square – Best 12″ Combination Square

Irwin Combination Square
IRWIN Combination Square, 12”, 45-90 Degree Marking, Stainless Steel…
  • Black precision-etched scales
  • Durable cast zinc body
  • Rust proof stainless steel blade

The Irwin Tools 12-inch Combination Square commands the title of “Best 12” Combination Square” because it’s incredibly simple yet extremely effective, whether I’m using it for measuring, drawing, or something else.

And for such a quality product, you’d expect a high price, right? Wrong. This combination square costs a fraction of what its direct competitors go for. Amazing!

The ruler is a rustproof stainless steel blade, and the square is made of zinc. Regarding its ability to resist rust, I can attest to this; left mine out in the rain and you wouldn’t even know it.

And, of course, the graduations are machine-etched for top-notch precision, and they’re painted blacked to ensure they’re always visible.

Finally, it weighs just 14 oz and is backed by a lifetime limited warranty as is one of the best squares for woodworking.

What I Liked:

  • Since it’s simple yet precise and well-made, it’s good for professionals, hobbyists, and DIYers.
  • The square edges match the ruler color-wise, so drawing clean, accurate lines is so easy.
  • Though it’s lightweight, the ruler won’t even bend slightly when held upright with no support.
  • It’s rustproof to ensure it stays precise for many years.

What I Didn’t Like:

  • The built-in brass scriber compartment doesn’t want to release or receive the scriber sometimes.
  • The die-cast zinc square almost feels hollow, so don’t apply too much pressure against it.

My Thoughts

If you want to stay clear of the bells and whistles, but you need a little bit more measuring capacity, I highly recommend the Irwin Tools 12-inch Combination Square, as it’s simple yet totally capable in the most important respects. And even though others tend to overlook this aspect, I believe the color scheme is a huge part of what makes this combo square so accurate; the black, etched graduations are a big help too. Of course, I don’t like the sticky scriber holder, but otherwise this is a terrific product.

4. iGaging 24″ Combination Square – Best 24″ Square

iGaging Combination Square Premium 2-Piece 24″ 4R
  • 24” Precision Combination Square
  • Stainless Steel 4R Rule Blade

If quality and capacity are your two biggest priorities, the iGaging 24″ Combination Square should be a good fit, as it’s 24” long and built to be exceptionally precise for many years.

The etched graduations are bolder than what you’ll find on other combo squares, and they’re painted black so they’re always visible.

And full disclosure: I love this square’s satin-chrome finish—it provides just the right amount of shine when you need it to.

As far as graduations go, there are 8ths and 16ths on one side, and 32nds and 64ths on the other side.

And since this product is double the size of your average combination square, it’s heavier too, weighing nearly 2 lbs.

Of course, the slidable component has a level and a holder for the scribe that’s included, and all these pieces can be stored in a case that’s padded, durable, and secure.

Note: There’s also a slot in the case for an iGaging center-finder head, but this is sold separately.

What I Liked:

  • The square slides effortlessly up and down the ruler, so adjustments can be made quickly.
  • Since the finish is satin-chrome, light won’t render the ruler unreadable.
  • The lock won’t loosen when the square is engaged, so this combo square is more precise.
  • The square’s sides are longer, which means drawing accurate lines is easier.

What I Didn’t Like:

  • The level is somewhat small for such a large square, so it’s harder to read.
  • Weight distribution can definitely be a problem when the square is at the far ends of the ruler.

My Thoughts

Especially when you’re dealing with larger workpieces, measuring capacity is essential, and this is the main thing the iGaging 24″ Combination Square boasts. Make no mistake though—this is an all-around fantastic combo square, and its straightforwardness (no pun intended) makes it accessible to experienced professionals and those who’ve never used a combo square. Smooth sliding with a best-in-class locking mechanism? You bet! Honestly, its price is the only negative—otherwise it’s first-rate!

5. Swanson Tool Co 6-Inch Combo Square – Best Value

Swanson Combo Square
Sale
Swanson Tool Co TC130 6 inch Combo Square with Stainless Steel Rule, Cast…
  • 6 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

Most people assume that all the top combination squares are expensive, but the Swanson Tool Co 6-Inch Combo Square is proof that this isn’t the case, as it’s durable, versatile, and reliable, yet much more affordable than other combination squares.

Another six-inch square, it can be tucked away in my pocket when I’m not using it, and I love that convenience.

And even though it’s sold at rock-bottom prices, it’s comprised of sought-after materials, so it’s not only durable but impressively accurate as well.

For graduations, we have 1/8”, 1/16”, 1/32”, and 1 cm; all of them are etched and painted black to ensure readability.

And speaking of easy-to-read, the level shares this quality as well. In fact, I’m a big fan of its size and ability to resist impact damage.

Using Swanson Combination Square

Additionally, there’s a spring-loaded bolt to keep the square in place no matter where it is on the ruler, and this is one of the most responsive bolts I’ve encountered.

Finally, this square is backed by a one-year limited warranty, which makes it all the more awesome.

What I Liked:

  • It’s small enough to fit in your pocket, so it’ll always be close but never in the way.
  • The ruler is double-sided to ensure every measurement is precise.
  • The level is large and green, so it’s easy to read on horizontal and vertical surfaces.
  • The spring-loaded bolt ensures stability when engaged, but it won’t wear down the metal ruler.

What I Didn’t Like:

  • The square doesn’t move effortlessly across the ruler because its surfaces aren’t 100% smooth.
  • The square is much heavier than the ruler, so uneven weight distribution can be a problem sometimes.

My Thoughts

Don’t let the Swanson Tool Co 6-Inch Combo Square’s small size and low price fool you—this is one of the most capable and versatile 6-inch combination squares, and I can’t believe such a low-cost product is so precise. Its spring-loaded lock is excellent because it keeps the square in place without leaving gouges in the ruler, and the extra-large level is a big help. If only the square was smoother and not so heavy—then this product would be in the running for the top spot on my list.

6. Johnson Level & Tool Combination Square – Best Heavy Duty Square

Johnson Heavy Duty Combination Square
Sale
Johnson Level & Tool 400EM-S Heavy Duty Professional Inch/Metric Metal…
  • COMBO SQUARE: The square head of this Johnson metal square ruler is CNC machined for enhanced precision. Its…
  • STAINLESS BLADE: This combination square tool has a stainless steel blade with English and metric graduations…
  • CAST ZINC HEAD: The durable acrylic vial; heavy-duty cast zinc head with a chip-resistant e-coating finish;…

I’ve said before that a product doesn’t need to have a bunch of features to be effective and reliable, but the Johnson Level & Tool Combination Square proves that a simple combination square can be made much more useful and versatile with a few unique features.

A 12”, 4.8 oz combo square with four different kinds of graduations, you wouldn’t think it’s anything more than a well-built tool, until you start trying out the special features.

For example, I love the auto-locking square. No more tightening and loosening a knob every time you need to make a minor adjustment.

The durable level and chip-resistant zinc are nice too, as is the screw-in scriber.

Markings that’ll eventually fade away? Absolutely not. Every graduation is machine-etched and painted black to long-lasting visibility.

Using Johnson Combo Square

What I Liked:

  • Making adjustments is quick and painless thanks to the auto-locking square.
  • The square’s chip-resistant coating will help it stay clear of damage that can reduce its accuracy.
  • Since the scriber screws in, it’s a lot harder to lose.
  • The bubble level is big and strong, so you don’t have to worry about it breaking and making a mess.

What I Didn’t Like:

  • The ruler is somewhat thin, so it’s more prone to sliding on super-smooth surfaces.
  • The ruler is sharper than other stainless steel blades, so you may cut yourself if you’re not careful.

My Thoughts

Without a doubt, the Johnson Level & Tool Combination Square is one of the best combination squares for those who value convenience above all else, as it’s quick to adjust, easy to read and maneuver, and built to last. And even though it’s designed for those who like to work fast, it’s still consistently accurate like a metal square-ruler should be. Granted, it’s a little too thin and sharp for my taste, but overall it’s a superb combo square in all the ways that matter.

Factors To Consider When Buying Combination Squares

Precision

Above all else, a combo square has to be precise, otherwise there’s really no point in using one.

The most precise combination squares are the ones that have different graduations, and it’s even better when metric graduations are included.

Also, the best combination squares are made of stainless steel, and that’s in part because the solidness of this material allows for more-precise measuring.

Looking for a speed square? Check out some of the best speed squares you can buy!

Durability

It’s important for combo squares to be durable as well. After all, if your square can take a hit and resist the things that erode metal over time, it’ll stay accurate for much longer.

So look for a combo square with a stainless steel blade, and remember that cast-iron square heads are tougher than the ones made of zinc.

Size

Of course, combination squares come in different sizes, with the 6-inch and 12-inch combination square being most popular.

The six-inch square is ideal because it’s more portable; you can keep it in your pocket or tool belt so it’s always by your side but never in the way while you’re working.

The 12-inch combination square is better when you need a straight edge to make a straight line on a larger workpiece.

Here’s a great video explaining what type of square is perfect for you!

Extras

Sure, a combo square is unbelievably versatile and useful on its own, but it’s even better when there are extra components or tools to complement it.

Let’s be honest: standard miter squares can only do so much, and that’s why you should own a protractor head and center head.

In short, having a selection of interchangeable heads will make your combo square more effective.

Price

You can find quality combo squares going for $20-$30; higher-end models can go for upwards of $70.

Even at the low end of the price range (sub $20), you can still find a product worth purchasing; just look at the Swanson Tool Co 6-Inch Combo Square!

Final Thoughts

To recap, the iGaging Combination Square is the superior combination square because it’s incredibly precise when measuring or serving as a guide for line-drawing, and it’s also well-built, versatile, affordable, and easy to use.

Then there’s the iGaging 24″ Combination Square, an extra-long square that’s capable of getting accurate measurements time after time, even though it’s relatively simple.

Finally, there’s the Swanson Tool Co 6-Inch Combo Square, and this is one of the best combination squares for those who want the versatility and reliability of a professional combo square, without the high price.