Best Speed Squares

I Tested 7 Speed Squares: Here are the Best (2024)

The speed square is one of any carpenter’s best friends, as it combines so many useful measuring devices in one easy-to-use tool.

But finding the best speed square isn’t always a walk in the park.

Don’t worry! That’s exactly why I put this list together—to help you find the best speed square for your needs and skill level. Let’s begin!

In a hurry? The iGaging Bench Square is the best speed square overall because its precision and versatility are second to none, and it’s also durable, affordable, and simple enough for inexperienced DIYers and hobbyists.

Quick Answer: Here are My Favorites! 👇

Best Speed Squares

Best Speed Squares

1. iGaging Bench Square – #1 Best Overall

iGaging 4" Speed Square
iGaging Bench Square II Set 4″ and 7″ Aluminum w/ 16th and 32nd Scale Light…
  • 4″ / 90° and 7″ / 90° Squares
  • Triangle Square – Joinery Layout – Machine Setup – Measure and Marking – Center Finder
  • Triangle Square: CNC Solid Aluminum Construction – Blue Anodized Finish – Precision Laser Engraving

The iGaging Bench Square is firmly in place at the top of my list, and I believe it’s the best speed square overall because it’s extremely accurate, well-designed, versatile, accessible to DIYers, and more affordable than other high-quality speed squares.

And you don’t just get one speed square but two—and they’re both first-rate!

Both are made of stainless steel and aluminum, and both have a scale accuracy of 0.0015” and a squareness of 0.005”. I’m a big, big fan of that precision!

The four-inch speed square has 100 mm on the flip-side of its ruler edge, while the 7” speed square has 175 mm on its flip-side.

Both squares have angle markings from 0°-90°, and additional markings for 22.5° and 67.5°. Plus, the center cutouts have 15°, 22.5°, 30°,45°, 60°, 67.5°, and 75° angle markings.

iGaging 4" Speed Square Markings

There are drilled holes on the straight edges every 1/8” (2 mm), and both tools in this speed square set are 2 mm thick. Their bases are 1/2” tall, the blades go out 1/4”, and they’re about 1.2 lbs together.

And since they both have a matte finish, you don’t have to strain your eyes to see the engraved markings, and that’s huge for me!

Finally, these speed squares come with mechanical pencils, lead refills, and a protective case—talk about bang for your buck!

What I Liked:

  • It’s clearly labeled and there are more markings, so it’s incredibly versatile and precise.
  • Every hole is as big as advertised, so you can count on consistently accurate measurements.
  • Even though it’s metallic, there’s no glossy sheen, so it can be used outdoors or under bright light.
  • It comes with a protective case that ensures long-term accuracy.

What I Didn’t Like:

  • Its solid-blue color makes the etchings harder to see in dimly-lit areas.
  • The rulers are somewhat congested with markings, especially on the mm sides.

My Thoughts:

There are many speed square combo packs on the market today, but I’ve yet to see a combo pack that can compare with the iGaging Bench Square combo pack. The 7” and 4” squares included are top-of-the-line in every respect, yet this product is cheaper than comparable combo packs. And since there are so many markings, pin holes, and polygon cutouts (between the two squares), this set delivers unmatched versatility. If their color didn’t get in the way sometimes, they’d be vastly superior!

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2. WorkPro Rafter Square – Runner Up

WORKPRO Rafter Square
WORKPRO Aluminum Alloy Carpenter Square and Zinc-Alloy Square Ruler Set – 7…
  • Durable Material – The rafter square is die-cast from heavy-gauge aluminum alloy which enables it to last long and still give an accurate measurement. The combination ruler itself is…
  • Clearly Identifiable Scale – The rafter square finishing features low glare and protective powder coated. It has permanent deep markings and white graduations for max readability in…
  • Multiple Graduation – 7-inch rafter square has many kinds of graduation which blends the features of framing square, try square, miter square, and protractor square. The combination…

When you want top-notch precision and a handful of features that ensure easier and faster measuring, you can’t go wrong with the WorkPro Rafter Square. And since it comes with a 12-inch square ruler, you can effortlessly measure surfaces large and small.

This 7” rafter-angle square is made of die-cast aluminum, and it’s 13/64” thick with a 7/8” wide-lipped fence.

The scribing notches are 1/4” apart, and the scriber slots are extra-long—and pretty wide—to ensure carpenter pencils of different sizes can be used efficiently. Beautiful!

This square also has a semi-circle gap, so I can make hanging-plumb lines quickly and with little effort.

The ruler is made of steel and die-cast zinc alloy, and the adjustable part is held in place by a screw-spring mechanism.

There’s also a green-bubble level on the adjustable component to ensure the ruler is extremely precise.

As far as notches go, the ruler has 1/16” & 1 mm notches on one side, and 1/32” & 1 mm notches on the other.

Finally, these measuring tools weigh approximately 1.5 lbs together, and they come with a scriber so measurements are quicker and easier to make.

What I Liked:

  • The rafter-angle square is durable yet lightweight, so it’ll be precise and easy to use for years.
  • The ruler has an adjustable squaring component to ensure every measurement is spot-on.
  • The gap on the square is just the right size, so it doesn’t take long to make accurate plumb lines.
  • Metric measurements can be taken with the ruler since there are 1 mm notches on both sides.

What I Didn’t Like:

  • The spring-screw mechanism becomes less reliable over time, negatively impacting the squaring component.
  • The square’s solid-blue color can make pencil markings harder to read.

My Thoughts:

I love when simple products deliver precise results consistently, and that’s exactly what I count on the WorkPro Rafter Square for. Its weight and shape are ideal, and it has all the measurement markings I need. Best of all, an ultra-precise square ruler is included, so you’ll never find yourself in a situation where you can’t make an accurate measurement because you lack the right tools. Granted, I don’t like the rafter square’s color, but this one gripe is vastly outweighed by all the benefits!

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3. Swanson Tool Co Speed Square – Best Value

Swanson Speed Square
Sale
SWANSON Tool Co S0101 7 Inch Speed Square, Blue
  • MULTIPLE GRADATIONS: Make the exact mark you need! Gradations Included For Marking Common, Hip, Valley, And…
  • FEATURES: Pocket-Sized Swanson Blue Book, A Comprehensive Guide To Help Workers Make Correct Angle Cuts For…
  • INCLUDES: Features Common To 5 Different Tools (Try Square, Miter Square, Saw Guide, Line Scriber, And…

With the Swanson Tool Co Speed Square, you get superb bang for your buck, mainly because it’s a try square, miter square, saw guide, line scriber, and protractor all in one compact tool.

Made of die-cast aluminum alloy, this 7” speed square is pocket-sized, and it weighs just 8 oz—talk about convenience!

Its heel is 7/8” thick, and the scribing notches are 1/4” apart.

Its rafter squares are laser etched and extruded, and there’s a diamond cutout that accommodates a range of stud widths.

And when you need to hold piping steady to measure it, this speed square won’t let you down.

Plus, it has a non-glare finish and black markings, so I never have a hard time reading it.

And if you need a speed square for making roofs and/or stairs, this is the one to get, since it comes with an instruction booklet that includes helpful reference diagrams and tables.

Finally, it’s made in the USA and backed by a satisfaction-guarantee, so you can return it for a refund if you don’t like how it performs.

What I Liked:

  • The scribing notches are spaced just right, so making rip cuts is quick and easy.
  • Better rafter-seat cuts and scribing thanks to a perfectly-sized diamond cutout.
  • Easy-to-read black markings make this tool more accurate.
  • It’s durable and easy-to-read because it’s made of flat-sheen aluminum alloy.

What I Didn’t Like:

  • Wear and tear can make it inaccurate over time.
  • Since it’s made of unpolished metal, it doesn’t move smoothly across rough surfaces.

My Thoughts:

The Swanson Tool Co Speed Square is one of the best metal speed squares, combining five essential measuring tools in one product! A high-visibility speed square that’ll fit comfortably in a pants pocket, it’s great for dimly lit areas, mainly because it has black, laser-engraved markings. And since it features multiple scales, it’s extremely versatile—something I rarely say about ultra-simple products. Of course, it doesn’t slide great because it’s made of unpolished metal, but this is the only notable downside on an otherwise terrific metallic speed square. It’s one of the best woodworking squares you can buy!

4. DFM Speed Square – Best Mini Speed Square

DFM Carpenter Square
Sale
DFM Small Carpenters Square Work Tools w/Fixed Miter Angle Pin – Precision…
  • CARPENTRY TOOL FOR EVERY TASK: Designed for carpenters and engineers alike, this versatile tool is essential…
  • PRECISE SPEED SQUARE PERFORMANCE: Experience unmatched accuracy with our speed square, engineered for high…
  • POCKET-SIZE PRECISION TOOL: Measuring at a handy size of 3.5″ x 3.75″, is designed for convenience and…

If a 7-inch speed square is too large for the surface you’re working with, the DFM Speed Square will come in handy, as it’s superior to all the other mini steel speed squares on the market right now – other than the iGaging above.

Made of alloy steel, this speed square is 3.5” x 3.75” and just 7.2 oz, so it fits in any of my pockets when I need it to be 100% out of the way.

It has 1/16” scribe holes up to 3”, and there are five 1/4” pin holes so polygon miters can be quickly and easily marked; a pin is included.

Finally, its foot is 1/4” thick, and I never have trouble using it on 2×4 wood.

What I Liked:

  • It’s perfect for DIYers because it’s affordable, accurate, and easy to use.
  • It’s made of durable steel, so it’ll stay precise for many years.
  • Its color makes it easy to distinguish from the material it’s measuring.
  • It slides well across any material because it’s smooth all around.

What I Didn’t Like:

  • Markings aren’t etched but painted on.
  • The pin is smaller than the pin holes, so you may get inaccurate measurements when using it.

My Thoughts:

There are times when smaller metallic speed squares are needed, and when these times come you’ll be glad you own a DFM Speed Square. This durable, easy-to-use, and precise speed square is perfect for measuring smaller surfaces. And since it’ll fit comfortably in your pocket, it’ll always be close by yet never in the way. Plus, it’s lightweight, well-balanced, and smooth, so it slides easily across any surface. If it had etched, precise markings and came with the right-sized pin, I wouldn’t hesitate to call this perfect.

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5. DeWalt 12″ Speed Square – Best 12″ Speed Square

DeWalt 12" Speed Square
Dewalt DWHT46032 12 in. Premium Rafter Square
  • Stamped-in contrasting color graduations for better readability
  • Extra-thick extruded aluminum body holds up to heavy-duty use, ideal for use as saw guide
  • Large base helps provide better grip on materials

Got some roofing work to take care of? The 12-inch, highly reliable DeWalt 12″ Speed Square—with its extra-thick body and wide base—will help you get top-tier results in no time!

This rafter square has all the markings you’d expect, and several more since the ruler goes to 12”.

And because it’s a 12.8 oz, heavy-duty speed square with a thick edge, keeping it in place while I take measurements is no trouble at all. That’s exactly what I want!

It’s made of solid-black aluminum alloy, but the markings are engraved and painted white to ensure top-notch visibility.

Of course, it features pencil notches that can accommodate a variety of pencil sizes, and there’s an easy-to-read rafter conversion table.

Best of all, it’s made in the USA and backed by a lifetime limited warranty, which basically covers any defects related to materials or workmanship.

What I Liked:

  • Its matte-black body and white etchings allow for accurate measuring in virtually any space.
  • It’s larger than most speed squares, so it’s ideal for measuring big surfaces during roof construction.
  • It’s on the heavier side, so it’ll stay in place when you’re measuring angles or drawing straight lines.
  • Its thick body and wider lip make it easier to guide than plastic speed squares.

What I Didn’t Like:

  • There’s no diamond cutout.
  • It doesn’t fit easily in a pants pocket like smaller speed squares.

My Thoughts:

When you need a 12”, professional speed square that’ll stay useful for many years, you can rely on the DeWalt 12″ Speed Square. DeWalt rarely misses, and they certainly didn’t with this one. Its sturdiness and thick edge clearly distinguish it from the rest, and its visibility is second to none. If it had a diamond cutout, I could see this rafter square commanding the top spot on my list, even though it’s a 12-incher—it’s that good!

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6. Beslands 7 inch Rafter Square with Level – Best Speed Square with Level

Beslands 7" Speed Square
Beslands 7 inch Rafter Square with Level, Aluminum Metal Triangle Ruler...
395 Reviews
Beslands 7 inch Rafter Square with Level, Aluminum Metal Triangle Ruler…
  • 【 High Quality Rafter Square 】: Made of high-quality aluminum alloy, the surface is matte, anti glare,…
  • 【Multi-functional Rafter Square 】: 7-inch rafter ruler is widely used for marking square ruler,Quickly…
  • 【Detachable steel ruler 】: The magnet has good suction, and the stainless steel ruler is easier to slide…

The Beslands 7 inch Rafter Square with Level is an extremely capable and well-designed 7-inch rafter square, and its built-in, easy to read level distinguishes it from all the other speed squares on my list.

Another all-black rafter square made of aluminum of alloy, it weighs nearly 8 oz, so it’s a little heavy for an aluminum-body rafter square.

It has all the scales you’d need, including the degree scale, valley rafter scale, and common rafter scale. And its scriber slot is nice and long, so it’s wide enough to accommodate a range of carpenter pencils.

The level and stainless steel ruler component are magnetically attached to the rest of the rafter square, and they can be pulled off and reattached easily—couldn’t be more pleased with this!

Finally, it’s another rafter square with an anti-glare surface, so you shouldn’t have trouble reading it regardless of where you’re working.

What I Liked:

  • The ruler and level component has a strong magnet, so you can count on it when it’s fixed in place.
  • The markings and labels are larger than what I’ve seen on other products, so they’re easy to read.
  • Its anti-glare finish makes sliding it across surfaces easier on your hands.
  • It’s even more portable since the bottom portion comes off and can be carried separately.

What I Didn’t Like:

  • A 6-inch detachable ruler would’ve been better, but there would’ve been no room for the level.
  • If you lose the bottom component, the whole tool becomes unusable.

My Thoughts:

So many rafter square manufacturers claim their products have a useful magnetic component, but I’ve found the Beslands 7 inch Rafter Square with Level to be the only rafter square that actually has one of these. And overall, it’s very capable in all the ways a rafter square should be, and it’s much easier to read thanks to larger markings and etchings. Granted, I wish the tool was functional without the detachable component, but that’s my only gripe with this mostly-phenomenal product.

7. Empire 7-Inch High-Definition Rafter Square – Best Rust Protection

Empire 7" Rafter Square
Empire Level E2994 7-Inch High Definition Rafter Square
322 Reviews
Empire Level E2994 7-Inch High Definition Rafter Square
  • Graduations will not fade or change over time
  • Increased width for cutting deck boards
  • Thick, matte 6063 aluminum provides a safer cutting guide anodized finish will not rust or corrode

If you’re going to be using your rafter square outside a lot—or if it’s going to be exposed to moisture frequently—I highly recommend the Empire 7-Inch High-Definition Rafter Square, as it’s simple, easy-to-use, and designed to protect against a rafter square’s number-one enemy—rust!

This 7” rafter square is made of anodized aluminum, so it resists rust, corrosion, bending, and cracking better than other products.

And since the markings are laser-etched, you can count on them being clear and easy-to-see for years.

Granted, it’s pretty bare bones in terms of what it offers, but it still has all the scales and slots I’d need from a rafter square.

And although I’ve been critical of colored rafter squares at different times throughout this post, I must say they got the color right on this one—the blue and white go great together, and you don’t have to worry about fading changing that later on.

Finally, this rafter square weighs about 7 oz, and its manual is viewable online—just scan the QR code under the “TrueBlue” label.

What I Liked:

  • It’s simple yet strong and accurate, so it’s perfect for those who are learning about rafter squares.
  • Its color and etched markings ensure it’s easy to read in dark and bright spaces.
  • It comes with a thorough user manual, so you can know all its capabilities.
  • It takes a lot to wear this rafter square down, which means you can bet it’ll be precise for years.

What I Didn’t Like:

  • It doesn’t have pin holes, so you’re limited in terms of the kinds of measurements you can take.
  • There’s no diamond cutout for rafter-seat cuts.

My Thoughts:

Rust can wreak havoc on a speed square, but you won’t have to worry about this if the Empire 7-Inch High-Definition Rafter Square is your go-to, for this speed square resists rust and other elements that erode metal over time. It’s also the perfect shade of blue, and this—along with its etched markings—makes it easy to see and read, whether you’re in a bright or dark space. Sure, it doesn’t have any bells and whistles, but it’s still a good speed square in all the important categories.

What to Consider When Purchasing a Speed Square

Size

A speed square’s size is arguably its most important quality. After all, the larger the square, the more markings it’s able to include. Well, this isn’t always the case, but most of the time it is.

But number of markings isn’t the only thing to consider in relation to a speed square’s size. Obviously, smaller speed squares are more portable, as they can fit in your pocket.

And larger speed squares tend to be thicker and heavier, which can be a minor problem when you need to make multiple lines that are all close together.

Markings

Usually, the best speed squares have multiple scales, helpful labels, and a rafter conversion table.

And if the speed square has a durable aluminum body, chances are it’ll have etched markings, which are easier to see and longer-lasting than markings that are painted on.

But don’t think for a second that a speed square’s usefulness depends entirely on how many scales and markings it has. In fact, speed squares that are jam-packed with markings tend to be harder to use.

Supplementary Products

Many speed squares are sold with supplementary tools so there’s virtually no measuring task you can’t accomplish.

For example, the WorkPro Rafter Square comes with an adjustable square ruler, and this tool is equipped with a small, green-bubble level to ensure top-notch precision no matter the measurement being made.

Material

The kind of material a speed square is made of is important too, of course. Many are made of aluminum, some are made of steel, and most are made of both metals.

An aluminum speed square with decent weight isn’t just durable but sturdier too, so you can count on it to stay in place whenever you’re taking a measurement.

And if a speed square has a thick, aluminum body—like the ones that are made of heavy-gauge aluminum alloy—you can count on it staying precise for years, as aluminum resists wear better than other metals.

Looking for a combination square? Check out my list of the best combinations squares you can buy!

Price

As far as prices go, the best speed squares go for anywhere between $50 and $100. That said, you can still find high-quality products at rock-bottom prices, and the Swanson speed square is proof of this.

What Size Speed Square Do I Need?

If you’re just starting out with speed squares, it’s best to get a 12-inch speed square first. This speed square can measure large and midsize surfaces well, and it’s a ruler, protractor, and a few other tools all in one.

Once you’re familiar with the 12-incher, you can move down to 7”. A 7-inch speed square can do pretty much everything a 12-inch speed square does, but it can also measure small surfaces without being difficult. Plus, it’s small enough to fit in your pockets!

Who Makes the Best Speed Square?

I’ve tested simple and complex speed squares, large and small speed squares, conventional and unconventional speed squares.

What I can say now, with certainty, is iGaging makes the best speed squares. They’re well-designed, unbelievably accurate, easy to use, versatile—what more could you ask for?

Here’s a great video explaining how to use a speed square the right way.

Final Thoughts

To recap, the iGaging Bench Square is the best speed square available now, as it offers unbeatable precision and versatility for a terrific price.

And when you want a speed square that’s equipped with special features to make measuring quick and easy, the WorkPro Rafter Square is the product to go with.

Finally, there’s the budget-friendly yet dependable Swanson Tool Co Speed Square, which can outperform speed squares that are much more expensive.