10 Best Speed Squares in 2021

Stuart Wellbert
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For many DIY woodworkers, the importance and versatility of a speed square is somewhat lost in the shopping conquest of the perfect power tool set. However, if used correctly, a speed square (or combination square) can be an indispensable part of your workspace, allowing you to perform a variety of jobs by itself, and with the addition of a router, make other handy jobs a breeze.

There’s no point in trying to convince you otherwise. In the end, all you need to know is which speed square is the best for your in-house furniture construction, repair and creation needs.

Read about my top ten selections of the best speed squares in 2021 below.

NameCategoryProduct
Swanson Tool S0101 7-inch Speed Square Layout ToolBest OverallSwanson Tool S0101 7-inch Speed Square Layout Tool
Stanley 46-071 Premium Quick Square Layout ToolBudget PickStanley 46-071 Premium Quick Square Layout Tool
CH Hanson 03060 Pivot SquareUpgrade PickCH Hanson 03060 Pivot Square

1. Swanson Tool S0101 7-inch Speed Square Layout Tool

Our rating: 9 / 10

Swanson Tool S0101 7-inch Speed Square Layout Tool

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Pros:

  • Very well made
  • Easy to carry or store
  • Simple in design
  • Nice color
  • Great for layout

Cons:

  • Can get damaged easily, leather pouch excellent storage
  • Numbers can wear off

When it comes to speed squares, this one by Swanson Tool is a top contender. The Swanson Tool 7-inch speed square layout tool with a blue book cloth carrying case is a neat combination tool that acts as a pencil box, and leveler. It’s a simple in design speed square that really gets the job done.

This is the perfect tool for measuring and marking up surfaces, and the model we recommend most for all those home needs. Its 6-inch ruler is set at 90 degrees to the pencil holder so that you can accurately transfer measurements. It also comes with a book cloth carrying case, which makes them easy to carry around and store.

The Swanson Tool S0101 is made with blue book cloth, which makes them an excellent leveler. The folding arm allows users to store it flat in your toolbox or tool cabinet.

2. CH Hanson 03060 Pivot Square

Our rating: 9 / 10

CH Hanson 03060 Pivot Square

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Pros:

  • Stylish Expanded Legs
  • Compact in the Clamp
  • Contoured Soft Grip Handles
  • Beveled Edge for Greater Accuracy

If you need a speed square, there are few options that are better than the CH Hanson 03060 Pivot Square. It’s affordable, and it’s a lot more compact than the traditional speed squares. This makes it great for using inside of a cramped shop.

The legs are a lot bigger than many other speed squares, which makes it easy to see from a distance. It’s a great addition to any shop, and you can be sure that it’s dependable with solid construction.

The size of this speed square is actually fairly unique … it’s pretty small and folds up. This makes it easy to bring with you and have it on hand when you need it. It’s designed for a variety of purposes, such as leveling, marking a cut line, and on-the-fly measuring.

3. Swanson Tool S0101CB Speed Square Layout Tool

Our rating: 9 / 10

Swanson Tool S0101CB Speed Square Layout Tool

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Pros:

  • Includes 41 bonus bluebook tools book
  • Large 16 inch size for easier readability
  • Made of high-quality materials

If you’re looking for quality tools, Swanson Tool has the perfect line-up for you. This speed square layout tool is more than just a speed square; it includes 43 different tools and is so compact that you can carry it with you anywhere.

This speed square layout tool contains two rulers for you to work seamlessly because it is made for both imperial measurements, as well as metric measurements. It comes with devices for layout work, as well as thicker rulers to make cutting and measuring easy. The speed square layout tool can measure angles up to 66 degrees in either positive or negative directions.

One of the most useful features of the speed square layout tool is its built-in combination square that allows you to use the tool as a marking gauge. It contains eight different layouts that you can use for different design ideas.

4. Johnson Level & Tool 1904-0700 7-Inch Johnny Square

Our rating: 8 / 10

Johnson Level & Tool 1904-0700 7-Inch Johnny Square

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5. VINCA ARLS-12 Aluminum Rafter Carpenter Triangle Square 12 inch Measuring Layout Tool

Our rating: 8 / 10

VINCA ARLS-12 Aluminum Rafter Carpenter Triangle Square 12 inch Measuring Layout Tool

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Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Easy-to-read markings
  • Durable
  • Reasonable price
  • Terrific storage case
  • Easy to use · Cons:
  • Not accurate when have· a high angle

With the number of different measurements that you need to make when building a house, you’re going to need a lot of different measuring tools. And for those that are working with rafters, you need a speed square. So, what makes a speed square different from other kinds of measuring tools?

A speed square looks a lot like a carpenter’s square, but in reality it has a completely different design on the inside. A carpenter’s square is designed to work with an existing or perpendicular surface. A speed square is designed to work with surface that isn’t exactly perpendicular.

The speed square has a unique design that allows it to be used for a variety of constructing projects. While it’s not quite as accurate or as fast as a laser measuring tool, it’s a great middle-of-the-road solution that has been updated for the modern age.

6. Stanley 46-071 Premium Quick Square Layout Tool

Our rating: 8 / 10

Stanley 46-071 Premium Quick Square Layout Tool

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Pros:

  • Precision tool
  • Ideal for both general carpenters and do-it-yourselfers
  • Stanley premium quality
  • Anvil-shaped head for better accuracy
  • Aluminum legs for lightweight but durable construction
  • Durable
  • Handy
  • Features spring-loaded pin that holds material up to 1-1/2" thick
  • Locking lever for easy to use
  • Safety carrying handle on shaft

7. Empire Level E2994 7-Inch High Definition Rafter Square

Our rating: 8 / 10

Empire Level E2994 7-Inch High Definition Rafter Square

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Pros:

  • Accurate
  • Easy to use
  • Sturdy
  • Made of durable materials
  • Great carrying case
  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Comes with a 90 day money back guarantee

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Not great for long term storage

Empire has specialized in carpenters levels and square tools for over a century. They produce quality tools at affordable prices. Their 7-inch miter level is a top choice for its construction durably molded from tough ABS plastic. The design is simple but effective. The laser-etched blade is razor accurate. It’s so easy to use that just about anyone can use it as long as you can read a tape measure. It’s good for a variety of construction projects. All in all it’s a quality product made by a time-honored company.

8. DEWALT DWHT46031 Aluminum 7-inch Premium Rafter Square

Our rating: 7 / 10

DEWALT DWHT46031 Aluminum 7-inch Premium Rafter Square

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Pros:

  • Affordably priced
  • Very large and easy to read

This is a staple tool for any job. It works on a lot of things including cutting, marking, framing laying out. It is very versatile and can be used to make a lot of things easier. They may be a little expensive but worth the investment. My mom even used one to cut a part of the house's siding.

9. IRWIN Tools Rafter Square

Our rating: 7 / 10

IRWIN Tools Rafter Square

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Pros:

  • Constructed from stronger aluminum
  • High contrast for easier reading
  • Laser etched markings on both sides
  • Hole in the center

Cons:

  • May not be a full 1:1 square
  • Heavy against lighter aluminum squares

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best speed square?

Sale 56 Reviews SKIL 6480 Easy Read Digital Protractor Speed Square with Angle, 90 and 45 Degree Readings Magnetic in head allows for hands free use, and the head is removable for greater versatility and allows the user to measure against the side of the square.

What size speed square should I get?

Speed squares are easy to use for quick measurements and simple enough for any user. They can also be used for more advanced construction projects as well.

For a quick and accurate scale, we recommend buying a speed square that is between 8" and 12" in size. 4" and 6" speed squares are good choices for finer measurements and detailing.

The size of the speed square you buy depends on your needs.

Larger speed squares tend to be more accurate as they have extra space to make fine measurements. However, these larger speed squares are going to be more difficult to carry around in a toolbox.

Smaller speed squares may be easier to carry around, but they are likely going to be less accurate. You'll have to be careful about which size square you choose based on your specific needs.

How do you speed a square?

Speed squares are used for general-purpose framing to quickly square up corners, both square and diagonal. Get yourself an advance square, or a combination square, to not only speed up your work but also to achieve the darkest corner.

In the construction industry, you can find speed squares in models ranging from 18 inches to over 24 inches, depending on the model and use. The longer the model, the more surface area the tool has, which makes it possible to perform different kinds of jobs.

Due to their popularity, you can easily find these tools on the market in different forms and brands, but our pick is the most reliable option you can pick. The product is accurate and precise, and of course it doesn't cost much, which makes it a perfect tool for beginners.

How thick is a speed square?

Speed squares come in a range of sizes. Smaller squares are lighter and easier to carry, but the down side is that they don't offer as much stability or precision as larger squares.

As with most tools, the more you pay, the sharper it will be. When you buy a speed square, also make sure to keep the blade honed. A dull blade is more likely to warp over time.

Squares come in a range of sizes. Smaller squares are lighter and easier to carry, but the down side is that they don't offer as much stability or precision as larger squares. As with most tools, the more you pay, the sharper it will be. When you buy a speed square, also make sure to keep the blade honed. A dull blade is more likely to warp over time.

Conclusion

Speed squares are great tools to help you work fast and accurate. This article is written with the goal of helping you pick the right option for your needs. It features a complete guide and review of a list of the 10 best speed squares and a discussion of what to look for when you’re comparing products. The conclusion features a comprehensive buying guide to help you understand which factors are more important and how you can save money on your purchase.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Swanson Tool S0101 7-inch Speed Square Layout ToolBest OverallSwanson Tool S0101 7-inch Speed Square Layout Tool
Stanley 46-071 Premium Quick Square Layout ToolBudget PickStanley 46-071 Premium Quick Square Layout Tool
CH Hanson 03060 Pivot SquareUpgrade PickCH Hanson 03060 Pivot Square