Best Combination Square for Woodworking

When it comes to woodworking, a combination square is an incredibly versatile tool. Its uses range from leveling to marking and measuring.

We’re going to have a look at the best selections for your woodworking needs. 

There are plenty of different measuring tools that you can use, but the combination square has the most varied use.

You can use it to measure depth and length and it can also be used to check squares and 45 degree angles. 

Best Combination Square Woodworking

A lot of combination squares also have their own bubble level so that you can be sure your projects are straight and level.

Combination squares can save you a bunch of money as they are actually a neat combination of many other woodworking tools. 

We would recommend anyone who usually works in woodworking to get themselves one of these tools. There are plenty to choose from, which can usually make the decision process quite difficult. 

So, we have created a guide for you to be able to choose the best combination square for your work. Let’s take a closer look at the best options when it comes to choosing a combination square. 

The Top Picks

In this section, we will look at the best range of combination squares. We have selected each of these for their specific features according to their category.

We have options that vary in size, material, and price so that there’s something for everybody. 


Starrett Combination Square 11H-12-4R

Best Combination Square Overall

This combination square can measure up to 12 inches and is constructed to the highest standard. It has a tempered hardened steel blade which means it is durable.

The measurement markings on the tool are etched onto the surface by a machine which means that they won’t wear off. 

There is also a reversible lock bolt, meaning that the person using the tool can switch to the blade part without having to remove the nut. It has a cast iron head and a corrosion-resistant black finish. 

The bearing surfaces are finely ground, ensuring that the angles are accurate. It also has a bubble level and scriber included as well. 

This tool does require quite an investment, it is great for professional engineers and woodworkers. So, if this is you, then we highly recommend this Starrett product. 

  • Bubble level included
  • Reversible lock bolt 
  • Scribe included
  • Measures up to 12 inches
  • Quite costly 

Also available at OpenTip, Raptor Supplies

This combination square also measures up to 12 inches, making it a huge competitor for the Starrett combination square. On top of this, it is also a much more reasonable price, further making it a competitor to our best overall. 

It comes with a blade that is entirely rust-proof and made from stainless steel. The measurements are etched onto the tool in 4R scales. The body is also corrosion-resistant thanks to its die-cast zinc.

A bubble level is also included and in a position where taking readings is easy because it isn’t obstructed by anything. A scriber is also included. 

  • Rust proof blade
  • Measurements etched on
  • Measures up to 12 inches
  • Bubble level and scriber included
  • No reversible lock bolt

Also available at Homeloft, Direct Nine


Irwin Tools 6″ Combination Square

Best Compact Combination Square

Sometimes, you may be working with spaces that aren’t big enough to accommodate a 12 inch combination square, and so you will need something a little more compact.

This 6 inch Irwin combination square is a great tool for this scenario. 

It has a stainless steel blade that is rust resistant and rigid. The markings are etched onto the surface and easy to read.

A big difference is that the measurements are laid out in 1/16 and ⅛ inch increments. However, on the other side of the tool there are 1 mm increments. 

The head is made out of a die cast zinc in the standard Irwin blue. It is ergonomic and sturdy so that it’s comfortable to hold. On top of this there is also a scriber and bubble level. 

  • Compact, great for small spaces
  • Rust-resistant stainless steel
  • Choice of incremental measurements
  • Bubble level and scriber included
  • Compact, not suitable for larger surfaces and measuring

Also available at: Ubuy 

This premium combination square option comes in 3 different sizes including 6 inch, 12 inch, and 24 inch measurements. Each of these vary in size, so your choice depends on your unique situation. 

The measurements are etched onto the stainless steel blade in ⅛, 1/16, 1/32, and 1/64 inch increments. This is only the start of this amazing 4 piece toolset.

With markings like these, you are looking at an incredibly precise measuring tool. 

It comes with 3 different tool heads, each with their own unique uses. One head is similar to what we’ve already seen, including a bubble level and scriber.

Another, is a centering head that comes with 90 degree jaws to sit on the edge of a cylindrical or round piece. 

Lastly, there is a head that comes with a protractor. This is capable of adjusting to 180 degrees and is entirely reversible. All of this comes in a handy ergonomic case to be easily transported and put away. 

  • Protractor head included
  • Centering tool included
  • Bubble level and scriber included
  • Precise measurements
  • Storage case included
  • Quite costly 
  • Better suited for professional use

Also available at: Desert Cart


WORKPRO Rafter and Combination Square

Best Combination Square for Marking

This combination square has a stainless steel blade that has etched measurements in 1 mm and 1/32 inch increments. It has a die cast zinc head that includes a scriber and bubble level. 

This is a pretty versatile option when it comes to choosing a combination square. However, its main selling point is its use for marking out measurements. Professional carpenters often make use of a rafter (or speed) square. You’ll find that there are spacings and angles that can be used for most measuring instances. 

The rafter square also comes with slots for the user’s pencil to be able to fit into. This combination square is quite thick at 13/64 inches. It also comes with a fence that can be easily used as a guide for a circular saw. 

  • Comes with a rafter square
  • Most versatile for marking
  • Best variety of measurements
  • Bubble level and scriber included
  • May be overwhelming outside of professional use 

Also available at: UbuyOnBuy


TICOFTECH Combinaton Square

Best Combination Square for DIY

The majority of combination squares use a 4R marking system and this tends to be the most sought after.

However, when it comes to using the tool for DIY purposes, it is most likely that you’re going to want to be able to measure in 1/64 inch increments. 

This tool includes scales for ⅕ and 1/16 inches on one side of the blade and 1 mm on the other side.

The TICOFTECH measurement blade is very easy to read and is a great option for those who like to do their woodworking at home. 

The blade is made from stainless steel which is hardened and a lot more durable than other chrome finished options. The head is also die cast and includes a scriber and bubble level. 

When it comes to using a scriber, you are only able to make marks on sheet metal and not on wood.

Unfortunately, the sharp end of the scriber actually digs into the wood and doesn’t tend to make clear or straight lines. 

So, for this a user will prefer to rely on a pencil. Luckily, this product comes with two carpenter’s pencils for this exact purpose. 

  • Two carpenter’s pencils included 
  • Great for DIY
  • Options for measuring increments
  • 12-inch blade
  • Doesn’t use the regular 4R measuring system

Also available at: Bigamart


iGaging 24 inch Combination Square

Best Large Combination Square

iGaging employs high standards for accurate measuring when they design their combination squares. When using this combination square, your measurements will be accurate and precise. 

It has a corrosion resistant blade made from stainless steel and utilizes the 4R measuring and marking system.

The measurements are etched onto the blade using a laser cutter which allows for the measurements to be entirely accurate. 

The head has been die cast and made out of zinc. It has great ergonomic support making it incredibly comfortable to use. There is also a scriber and bubble level included. 

On top of this, the combination square comes with its own case that is used to protect the tool. You can also buy additional heads for this tool, including protractor heads. 

  • Bubble level and scriber included
  • 24-inch blade for large spaces
  • Accurate measurements due to laser cut etching
  • You can buy additional heads for other purposes
  • Not suitable for smaller spaces

Also available at: Wood Workers Workshop

Combination Square Buyer’s Guide

There are a plethora of combination squares to choose from, all made from different materials and made in different sizes.

You can find these tools being used for general purposes as well as others that are made with more fine tuned engineering tasks in mind. 

We have put this guide together to help you find the best combination square for your specific needs. 

Accuracy And Size 

When looking at this tool in particular, sizing means how long the ruler blade is. These can be anywhere from 4 inches to 24 inches. It is all dependent on the area that you’re wanting to measure. 

A 4 inch combination square is great for compact jobs and can be kept in a tool box easily. However, the longer blades are best used for checking squares.

Typically, you will find that the majority of combination squares come in 12 inches. This is the most popular option, but you can find larger models. 

The accuracy of the combination square is entirely dependent on the material that is used as well as the manufacturing method. You will also need to bear in mind the divisions that have been used on the blade. 

You will find the most accurate divisions are 4R. This means that the markings come in ⅛, 1/16, 1/32, and 1/64 inch increments.

Brands that are a little cheaper may not be as accurate as the brands that require more investment. 

You can also find models that measure in 10R. These have markings in 1/10 inch increments. They also have metric models too. Each brand will mark their blades in a different way.

Cheaper options will usually have blades that are made out of sheet metal and the markings will have been punched onto the metal whilst it was cut. This usually leads to markings that are a little fuzzy. 

Other brands may paint on their markings which can actually wear off over time. You want to look for a combination square that has had their markings etched on using a machine.

When this method is used, the marking will be sharper and also more precise overall. 



You will find that the blade of a combination square is typically made out of stainless or hardened steel. The latter is much stronger but is usually easy to rust if not well maintained.

A lot of brands have chrome plated blades to help deter this rusting. 

Stainless steel is not as strong as hardened steel but is corrosion resistant. You can also find blades that vary in thickness.

You won’t find flex to be much of an issue when it comes to most carpentry tasks, but if you have a piece that requires a high level of accuracy then it may be a problem. 

Heads tend to be made from plastic, cast iron, or die cast zinc. Plastic heads are a lot cheaper to produce which means that the combination squares tend to be cheaper.

However, when heated, the plastic can distort which means that your measuring and squaring is a lot less accurate. 

Heads made from die cast zinc are a lot tougher and are resistant to rust and corrosion. Tools made with this material tend to cost a little more but it is the best choice for combination squares. 

Combination square heads made from cast iron are usually premium quality. It can be quite heavy and does require the proper maintenance to stop the metal from corroding.

However, the durability of this material is unrivaled and is able to withstand most damages. 


Combination squares can be used on a professional job site or in a DIY workshop for a huge number of marking and measuring purposes.

You can also remove the head from the blade so that the blade can be used as a ruler on its own too. 

A bubble level should be used to make sure things are aligned correctly as well as making sure things are level and straight.

You can make a combination square even more versatile by purchasing additional heads. 

You will find some combination squares that come with the interchangeable heads already in the package. These tend to be 4 piece combination sets.

These usually include the blade and standard head, a center finder, and a protractor head. 


Most top quality combination squares will feature a head made from cast iron and will have finely ground bearing surfaces with blades that have their measurements etched on.

They may be expensive, but they are great for professional use. 

Opposite to this, you can get combination squares most suitable for DIY projects. These are great to purchase as they are easily replaceable should anything happen to them. 

However, there are lots of in between options available as well depending on your individual needs.

There is a combination square for everyone whether you are making furniture, welding, or just a hobbyist woodworker. 


Combination squares are so highly sought after due to their many versatile uses. You can use the ruler to measure lengths and heights of materials that are being used.

You can also check the 45 and 90 degree angles of an object to make sure that these are accurate. 

There are many different combination squares to choose from, but you can be sure that there is a perfect square for every individual use.

If you need a combination square that can be taken everywhere and used for smaller spaces, then a more compact 6 inch combination square might be what you need. 

If you need a combination square that will be able to be used to measure many different things including circles and cylinders, then you probably want to purchase a 4 piece combination square so that everything is covered. 

Using our comprehensive guide, you can be sure that you have all the information you need to help you make the decision about which combination square is best for you.

We hope that this has been helpful for your future projects! 

Paul Brenner

I'm your guy for any type of electrical installation or plumbing repair. I'm a jack of all trades. You name it, I can do it. I've seen it all and I'm not scared.

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