In this guide we’ll take a look at the best combination squares for the UK market.
We’ve compared dimensions, weight, type of metal used and cost
to give you our top recommendations.
What is the Best Combination Square?
More Detailed Combination Square Reviews
Bahco CS300 300mm Combination Square [Energy Class A] Review
The Bahco CS300 is probably the best combination square because it has been precision machined and has sharp, accurate edges. Premium Swedish tool brand Bahco have produced a quality adjustable set square that’s made from thick stainless steel for strength and durability.
The die cast body is well put together, with an easy to read level bubble and a well knurled adjuster knob that really grips the ruler section when you need to scribe along a line. As you’d expect from the best combination square UK users get easily readable metric and imperial measurements on both sides of the ruler, but on the opposite side so you don’t have to swap the ruler around.
Stanley Combination Die Cast Square, 300mm/ 12” Review
One of the biggest names in tools, STANLEY have come up with one of the best adjustable set squares available right now. Proudly made in England, the Stanley Combination Die Cast Square is a sturdy but lightweight die cast set square tool for marking accurate 90 and 45° angles anywhere along the combination square’s ruler.
The markings along the ruler are in imperial and metric and are well etched for taking those fine measurements. The locking knob is well-sprung and stops the ruler section of the adjustable square from moving, so you can scribe along any length you need. And because this combination square set is bright yellow, you shouldn’t lose it in your toolbox.
Irwin Combination Square, Metal-Body, 12″, 1794469 Review
Famous for some of the best locking pliers in the world, US tool brand Irwin know a thing or two about machining the best combination square. Using a durable cast zinc body for extra durability, the Irwin Combination Square is an adjustable set square proved by carpenters all over the world.
The black etched scales on the ruler section are incredibly sharp and easy to read- we’d say it was the best combination square UK users could get hold of apart from the fact that this combination square set shows imperial measurements only. If you’re used to working in metric, try out a different adjustable square.
Faithfull CS300 Combination Square 300mm/12-inch Review
Hand tool experts Faithfull have been making faithful tools since 1989 that won’t break the bank. Their CS300 combination square is a great choice for keen DIYers and even professional carpenters that want a decent adjustable square for the right price.
It might not be as refined as some of the best combination squares on the list, but we found it to be accurate to 90 and 45°, and the cast body is sturdy enough for regular use. The stainless steel ruler is well etched with imperial and metric measurements, making this a handy set square tool to have around.
Rolson 50858 Combination Square, 300 mm Review
Budget hand tool bosses Rolson are a familiar sight to DIYers that don’t want to overspend but still demand quality. The 50858 combination set square is surprisingly good value when you take a closer look. The etched imperial measurements are well marked out along the ruler and the die cast body feels nice and sturdy.
The brass locking nut and scriber tool look well machined, but what we like the most about this combination square set is that it’s accurate- the body is true to 90 and 45° and it feels like it will stay that way for a long time. An excellent quality and super light budget combination square.
Combination Square Buyer’s Guide
Any self-respecting carpenter or woodworker will have the best combination square to hand whenever they tackle a precision job. A versatile bit of kit, you can get a lot done with an adjustable set square.
As with any hand tool, you must strike the balance between durability and weight- heavy duty adjustable squares for professional carpenters usually have hardened stainless steel rulers to make them tough as well as weatherproof. If weight is a big issue, go for an Aluminium set square tool. The body needs to be accurate to the tenth of a degree, so expect to find cast iron or zinc.
Although you can get hold of combination set squares in longer or shorter lengths, the most common is the 300 mm, or 12” combination square.
All the best combination squares come with clearly engraved metric and imperial graduations on both sides of the adjustable square ruler. You can use the locking knob to adjust the ruler’s position, which makes it an adjustable square.
Most combination square sets come with a spirit level for making horizontal lines without the need for a straight edge on your workpiece. Other set square tools come with a 45° edge for marking accurate angles, and if you’re short of a pencil there’s a metal scribe tool screwed into the body.
Commonly used by craftspeople, carpenters and metalworkers, adjustable squares can be used to scribe, mitre corners, lay out heights and depths and measure and mark accurately.
Combination Square FAQ
How do you use a combination square?
With a bit of practice, your adjustable set square will become your go-to marking tool. You adjust the ruler section by undoing the metal knob on body.
Hold the straight edge of the body against the straight edge on your workpiece and use the ruler to mark accurate 45° or 90° lines.
You can set the ruler to any measurement and use the included scribe tool or a pencil to scribe accurate parallel lines if you hold it on the end of the ruler and run it along the straight edge of the workpiece.
The adjustable set square tool can be used to measure the depth of a rabbet or step if you set it to the right depth as well.
Learning to use the best combination square will increase the accuracy and speed of your work. We’d have any of these adjustable squares in our tool kit, but the best combination square for quality is the Bahco CS300. It’s accurate, robust and incredibly easy to read.