6 Best Combination Squares of 2024

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The Best Combination Squares

best combination square
  1. Presch Combination Square Set

  2. Stanley Combination Die Cast Square, 300mm/ 12''

  3. Bahco CS300 300mm Combination Square [Energy Class A]

  4. Irwin Combination Square, Metal-Body, 12", 1794469

  5. Faithfull CS300 Combination Square 300mm/12-inch

  6. Rolson 50858 Combination Square, 300 mm

Combination Square Reviews

One of the German tool brands you might not be familiar with, Presch make some brilliant hand tools that are well-engineered for DIYers as well as professionals. If you want a pair of quality measuring tools, their combination square set is an essential purchase. Having one decent combination square is great, so having two to hand must be even better!

The smaller square measures 150 mm in length and the longer one 300 mm. Made from cast zinc, the body is well machined and can lay out accurate 90° and 45° angles in seconds. Featuring all the useful gadgets that make a square like this so useful, there’s a little spirit level and a hardened scribing tool hidden inside the body of the square.

The stainless steel ruler section can be infinitely adjusted and is held in place with a knurled brass knob. The face is well marked out in millimetres, and the double blackening process should mean it stays easy to read for a long time yet. If you want a quality set of combi squares, you can’t go wrong with Presch.

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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 precision measurements. The lock bolt is well-sprung and stops the ruler 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.

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The Bahco CS300 combination square is precision machined and has sharp, accurate edges. Premium Swedish tool brand Bahco have produced a quality adjustable set square with a thick stainless steel blade for strength and durability.

The combination square features a die-cast body that is well put together, with an easy-to-read level bubble and a well-knurled adjuster knob that really grips the ruler when you need to scribe along a line. As you’d expect from one of the best combination squares, UK users get accurate measurements, easily readable in metric and imperial scales on both sides of the ruler, but on the opposite side so you don’t have to swap the ruler around.

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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 die cast zinc body for extra durability, the Irwin Tools Combination Square is an adjustable set square proved by carpenters all over the world.

The black etched scales on the ruler are incredibly sharp and easy to read – it would be 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.

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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 our 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 blade is well etched with imperial and metric measurements, making this a handy set square tool to have around.

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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 lock 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. This is an excellent quality and super light budget combination square.

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Harry's Smart Buying Tips

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.

Construction

As with any hand tool, you must strike the balance between durability and weight. Heavy-duty adjustable squares for professional use have hardened 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.

Dimensions

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.

Main features

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 lock bolt to adjust the ruler’s position, transforming it into an adjustable square.

Other features

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.

Usage

Commonly used by craftspeople, carpenters and metalworkers, adjustable squares can be used to scribe, mitre corners, calculate height and depth, and measure and mark accurately.

How to Choose The Best Combination Square

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.

Construction

As with any hand tool, you must strike the balance between durability and weight. Heavy-duty adjustable squares for professional use have hardened 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.

Dimensions

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.

Main features

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 lock bolt to adjust the ruler’s position, transforming it into an adjustable square.

Other features

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.

Usage

Commonly used by craftspeople, carpenters and metalworkers, adjustable squares can be used to scribe, mitre corners, calculate height and depth, and measure and mark accurately.

Combination Square FAQs

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 the body.

Hold the straight edge of the body against the edge of 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.

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