Best Combination Square Reviews: The Measuring Tools We Swear By

Best Combination Square ReviewsA combination square is an indispensable tool in metal workers arsenal. You would think finding a combination square is a walk in the park but with so many choices out there, it is imperative that you look for one that has the accuracy and convenience to boast of.

We narrowed down your choices for you. Check out the combination squares we recommend below.

Best Combination Square Reviews

1. Swanson Tool 12-inch Combo Square

Durable & Versatile

  • Price: $
  • Highlight: Comes With A Brass Scriber
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2. Empire Level E250 Heavy-Duty Professional Combination Square

True-Blue Technology

  • Price: $$
  • Highlight: Self-aligning Draw Bolt
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3. Irwin Tools Combination Square

Slide & Lock Feature

  • Price: $
  • Highlight: Comes With Scribing Tool
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4. iGaging Combination Square Set

Pack of 2 Squares

  • Price: $$$
  • Highlight: Comes With Storage Case
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5. Starrett 11H-12-4R Combination Square

Long Lasting But Expensive

  • Price: $$$$
  • Highlight: Reversible Lock Bolt
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1. Swanson Tool 12-inch Combo Square

Don’t let the low price tag put you off. This is just as heavy-duty as many of the combination squares with a higher price tag out there. This one boasts of a die-cast zinc body that ensures it will last for a long time no matter what you subject it to. You can leave it lying around your metal woodworking area without a problem. The stainless steel blade features black etchings. The numbers are legible and easy to read.

You can get the most accurate settings thanks to its spring-loaded blade. It also comes with a level made from an acrylic vial, which is known for its ability to withstand impact. A brass scriber is also included.


  • This 12-inch combination square is very versatile. Because it is longer, it allows you to do a wide range of projects that need measuring.
  • The level is durable as well. It is made from acrylic material. Even if you accidentally drop it, the level won’t break.
  • This tool is very versatile. You can even use it as a depth gauge.
  • You can rely on this for a long time as well.  
  • The body is made from stainless material. It should be able to last for a long time. The brass hardware also gives this more durability.
  • The brass bolt is spring loaded. That means you can get the most accurate settings possible.
  • Many of the users said they were able to get perfect square measurements in just minutes. It makes quick work of measuring because of its excellent alignment.
  • It is small enough to fit in a shop apron pocket. It is very handy to have.
  • It has a nice and solid feel and weight to it. It doesn’t feel cheap at all.


  • There were those who said theirs were missing a scribe pin.


2. Empire Level E250 Heavy-Duty Professional Combination Square

This is a 12-inch combination square that will make it easier to make accurate measurements. The etched stainless steel blade is precise and made from durable materials, so it will last you for a long time. The True Blue vial is striking. It is just as accurate as the rest of the combination square because it has an accuracy of up to .00050 inch.

The draw bolt is self-aligning for more effective and easier changes of blades. It also has a built-in scriber made from stiff materials. Overall, it has the durability to boast of as the ruler itself is made from stainless steel and the machine head is made from heavy-duty materials.  


  • The True Blue technology ensures accurate vials. It is also easier to read.
  • Everything about this product is heavy duty. From its stainless steel blade to the vial, this is a combination square you would want to have if you want it to last for a long time. The stainless steel blade also boasts of a matte finish, so you know it will never succumb to corrosion.
  • It is backed by a lifetime warranty.
  • The vial makes it easier for you to read through the material.
  • You can easily reverse the ruler using the spring-loaded thumbscrew.


  • Some said it is not really as heavy duty as advertised.


3. Irwin Tools Combination Square

When it comes to a combination square, you would want to look for precise scales. That is how you will be able to create things with the perfect symmetry. This tool will help you out. Its black scales are so precise, you will be able to make perfect measurements.

This will last you for a long time, even if you treat it roughly. It has a rust-proof stainless steel blade and a cast zinc body. This can also double as a gauge when transferring your measurements.


  • The numbers are big and easy to read. They are also precise. You can rely on these to help you get the best measurements for whatever you are working on.
  • The cast zinc body makes this an ideal choice for heavy-duty projects. If you are a professional welder or woodworker, you will find this a good choice because it can withstand the rough environment of your work area. The stainless steel blade is also rust-proof.
  • If you need to do 90 degrees of 45 degrees marking, this is an excellent option.
  • This product is also affordable. Since you will already spend a lot of money on your welding tools, it’s nice to know you can save some on your combination square but without sacrificing on quality.
  • It has a nice weight to it. You can tell it is really high quality because of the weight.
  • The bubble gauge has a transparent design, so it doesn’t block your vision when working on a surface.
  • You can slide and lock it to get accurate measurements. You can mark the material you are working on with ease. It also saves you a lot of time.
  • It comes with a scribing tool.


  • There were those who said the accuracy could use some more work.


4. iGaging Combination Square Set

If you need different sizes of combination square, get this one instead. It is a set that includes a 6-inch and a 12-inch high precision combination square. Both these squares have 4R blades. It is hardened and heavy-duty. The numbers are legible and sits precisely on the chrome blade. Each number is laser etched for easier reading. This product is protected by foam inserts when delivered and comes with its own storage case for easier transport.


  • This is a high-quality product that you can rely on for many more years to come. It meets the US Standard Accuracy and Squareness. It has a ground satin chrome blade that should withstand corrosion.
  • It comes with a storage case, so you can bring this with you anywhere. It also makes organization a lot easier.
  • The markings are quite legible. You should have no trouble reading them. Because the markings are thinner compared to others, it offers more accuracy.
  • It is easy to use. You can get accurate measurement all the time.
  • Since there are two sizes, you can choose the one that will suit your needs. The smaller one is great for smaller projects.


  • There were those who said the surface is a bit rough.


5. Starrett 11H-12-4R Combination Square



This combination square has a cast iron head for added durability and resistance to rust and corrosion. The black wrinkle finish is stylish and classy to look at. The blade has markings that are easy to read. It offers a sharp graduation.


  • This has a good quality that will make it last for a long time. The blade is made from tempered and hardened steel for extra durability.
  • It features a reversible lock bolt to make sure the blade can be turned over as needed. It also allows end-for-end minus the need to first remove the lock bolt.
  • The alignment of the head and blade is one of the most accurate ones out there. If you are working on sensitive projects that require utmost precision, you should invest in this kind of tool.
  • If you are going to make 45 degree and 90 degree angles, you won’t be disappointed with this.


  • Some said the level has lost its liquid after just a few years.

Which is the Best Choice for You?

Irwin Tools

Editor’s Choice: Swanson Tool 12-inch Combo Square You will be surprised at how well-made this is because it is very affordable. It is actually sturdy and has accurate inscriptions, so you should not find it hard to use. It has a good build that will make this a staple in your metalworking arsenal.

Accurate Vial: Empire Level E250 Heavy-Duty Professional Combination Square What gives this an edge over the others is its True Blue vial. It is actually and it lets you see through what you are measuring for easier usage.

Great Durable Build: Irwin Tools Combination Square The build of this tool is good. It has a solid construction and design that means it can hold up well against a lot of abuse. For its price, you will be surprised that it really does what it says to do. If you are looking for a great combination square that won’t cost you a lot of money but still delivers when it comes to accuracy, get this one instead.

Complete Set: iGaging Combination Square Set If you need a small and a big combination square, get this. It is one of the most accurate out there and it also doesn’t disappoint when it comes to its durability. It is a good buy if you are looking for a mid-range combination square.

High-End Quality: Starrett 11H-12-4R Combination Square If you don’t mind spending a bit more money on a combination square, get this one. Starrett is known as one of the best brands of combination squares just because of the quality and accuracy. You are really getting your money’s worth with its durable blade and accurate head. This is an ideal choice for avid or professional metal workers.

Factors to Consider When Buying a Combination Square

To make sure that you are getting the best combination square, here are some factors you need to keep in mind:

Blade and head material: This tool will get a lot of abuse. You will use it for a variety of purposes and most likely will be thrown aside carelessly when you are in a hurry. Make sure it can hold up well against that level of abuse. It should be made from a material that is resistant to not just corrosion but also scratches and bumps. It should also be smooth enough that the lock will glide through easily.

Accuracy:Ideally, you would want to look for pins that are thinner. That will give you a more accurate reading. You should be able to get 45 degree and 90 degree angle with precision. The bubble level should also boast of accuracy. Do some reading and find out what other people say about the accuracy of the level.

Ease of use: Can you get accurate measurements easily? Do you still need to re-calibrate the head and the blade? Does it have a bubble vial that is too dark that it is difficult to read through it? Look for one with a design that makes the combination square easy to use.

Impact resistant:It is inevitable that you will drop it, so make sure it has a good impact resistant property. The bubble, particularly, should be resistant to impact as you don’t want it to shatter or lose liquid easily.

Price: Consider a price you are comfortable with. With combination squares, you really get what you pay for. If you want to see the difference between an excellent square from a mediocre one, try spending more. The more expensive square will really provide you with the most accurate results.

Here are the combination squares you would want to get:


Aside from a combination square, there are many other products out there that you can get to make metalworking easier. Do check out our homepage for more information on the best products to buy. Don’t forget to read our buying tips and suggestions as well.