The 9 Best Carpentry Squares

Updated December 15, 2016 by Daniel Imperiale

9 Best Carpentry Squares
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Best Inexpensive
We spent 26 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Whether you are a professional contractor or a home DIYer, whenever the job calls for accurate measurements and angles, you'll need one of these carpentry squares. They are ideal for stair framing, roof framing and a variety of woodworking applications. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best carpentry square on Amazon.

9. Zona 37-434

The Zona 37-434 is a simple 3 x 4" tool made from stainless steel that measures .022" thick. At this short of a length, your ability to measure larger lines is a little stunted, but it keeps the metal from flopping around dangerously.
  • metric measurements on back
  • densely packed interval markings
  • etchings catch on paper
Brand Zona
Model 37-434
Weight 0.3 ounces
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

8. Dewalt DWHT46301

The Dewalt DWHT46301 utilizes a fat, flattened base to extend around the edges of work materials, providing a much better grip against whatever you're marking or cutting. The base also serves as a convenient stand to keep the tool close at hand.
  • white-on-black printing
  • weighs only 8 ounces
  • bends in the body tend to stick
Model DWHT46031
Weight 8.8 ounces
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

7. Maxtech 18140MX Multi-Square

The aluminum frame of the Maxtech 18140MX Multi-Square is housed in a durable ABS material. Its multifaceted design includes a framing square, tri square, protractor, and mitre square, all within a right angle with a lockable straight edge.
  • built-in spirit level
  • integrated v-groove
  • slide-out piece is flimsy
Brand Maxtech
Model 18140MX
Weight 1.2 pounds
Rating 3.5 / 5.0

6. Johnson Level & Tool CS10

The all-steel Johnson Level & Tool CS10 measures a full foot along its longest edge, and a solid eight inches along the other, giving you a simple, versatile right angle. It's powder-coated finish keeps the metal from rusting, but nothing will stop it from wobbling.
  • thermal bonded numbers
  • dual interval spacing
  • scratches easily
Brand Johnson Level & Tool
Model CS10
Weight 9.6 ounces
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

5. Swanson Big T0108

For anyone new to carpentry applications who would require a good square, the Swanson Big T0108 comes with the company's Blue Book of Instructions, a 60-page tome detailing the tool's finer points of use. Its 12" length makes it suitable for a variety of tasks.
  • matte finish to reduce glare
  • plain gradations
  • less precise than others
Brand Swanson
Model T0108
Weight 1.3 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

4. Stanley 46-071 Premium Quick

The yellow markings on the black body of the Stanley 46-071 Premium Quick make it easy to read your work in some of the toughest lighting conditions. Its extra-thick aluminum body ought to stand up to whatever workplace mistreatment it encounters.
  • 0-90 degree protractor
  • works as a saw guide
  • no scribing grooves
Brand Stanley
Model 46-071
Weight 7 ounces
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

3. Swanson Tool T0118 Speedlite

The Swanson Tool T0118 Speedlite comes in one of three colors to help distinguish your square from those belonging to anyone else on your crew. Its beveled edge makes it easy to read your measurements even if you have to look down on your work from above.
  • center line guide
  • exclusive diamond cut
  • eighth-inch spaced notches
Brand Swanson
Model T0118
Weight 3.2 ounces
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

2. Stanley 46-053 Premium

The adjustable design of the Stanley 46-053 Premium lets you use it as a saw guide, a bevel, or a protractor in addition to its traditional right angle straight-edge. It features common, jack and hip, and valley scales for even more applications.
  • heavy-duty body
  • high-contrast markings
  • limited lifetime warranty
Brand Stanley
Model 46-053
Weight 12.8 ounces
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

1. CH Hanson 03060 Pivot

To more accurately mark for degree or roof pitches, the CH Hanson 03060 Pivot features a locking mechanism that can set the square at a specific angle. It also has three UV resistant bubble vials built into its body to help you find your line.
  • machined aluminum alloy construction
  • great for leveling and plumbing cuts
  • carrying pouch included
Brand CH Hanson
Model 03060
Weight 1.8 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

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Last updated on December 15, 2016 by Daniel Imperiale

Daniel is a writer, actor, and director living in Los Angeles, CA. He spent a large portion of his 20s roaming the country in search of new experiences, taking on odd jobs in the strangest places, studying at incredible schools, and making art with empathy and curiosity.

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