Measuring, trimming, cutting, and more – a speed square is probably the fastest-using and most practical type of square you can have.
Whether you are a woodworker or a contractor, you will love having the best speed square at hand reach. The functionality one of these gives unbeatable in measuring tasks. And here, we’ll explain all that.
We’ll go over different models for this tool that you can pick, as well as various factors you need to think about when buying one of them. And of course, we’ll tell you what a speed square is useful for.
If you are looking for one of these, then reading the following guide may come useful for you. Keep scrolling down to find out more!
Main Uses of a Speed Square
Speed squares are probably among the most practical measuring tools you can have as a constructor or carpenter. Here are a few operations you can get done with one of these:
The majority of speed squares models come with angle marks. They usually go from 1 to 90 degrees. Figuring out angles with one of these is a piece of cake.
Measuring and marking things in different ways is the best use you can give to a tri-square. Locating studs, positioning floor joists, and laying out stringers are all jobs you’ll need a tri-square to measure with.
- Cutting Guide
Want to cut something with a utility knife or saw? Then use the speed square as your fence to make sure the cut is as accurate as you need.
Finally, you can always use one of these tools to scribe or mark wood. Don’t need to use a compass or any other unusual tool – get your speed square, and that’s it.
Our Top 8 Best Speed Square Reviews
Without knowing what you’re getting, picking the right product can be a nightmare. The following reviews may help you out in selecting a good speed square for your jobs:
1. Swanson Tool The Original Speed Square
From a framing square to a tri-square, a protractor square, and meter square plus every measurement and angle it needs – this is a complete model that won’t let you down.
It is also 7-inches in size, ideal for portability, and overall convenience when using. And with its aluminium construction, carrying it around will not be an issue. In fact, it is among the most practical to use in different kinds of jobs – so you can get the most out of this piece thanks to its overall portability.
2. Johnson Level & Tool Johnny Square
It stands out for its CNC machined edges so you can achieve the highest accuracy possible no matter how you use it. The low-glare protective powder coating helps to see more easily even if there’s too much illumination around.
But apart from accurate, the edges are also thick enough so you can make it work as a cutting fence at any time with excellent results. Scribing notches is also totally safe and easy with one of these. It even comes with easy-to-read numbers, and scales for easy measuring.
It measures 7-inches so you can carry the piece around without problems. Whenever you need a functional speed square, having the Johnny Rafter close will be your best choice.
3. Swanson SW1201K Speed Square Kit
The Big 12 is a 12-inches speed square for medium-sized operations where you need some precision in small size. Then you get the 7-inches Plain Speed Square, a highly practical option for the smallest operations that makes it easy and fast to use.
The two pieces are amazingly well-made, with 1/4-inches notches that you can use to scribe lines effortlessly.
The best thing about them is the heavy-gauge aluminum alloy construction, ideal for stable markings and a durable product. It gets better with the matte finish that avoids glare in its entirety.
4. Swanson S0101CB Speed Square
Why is this kit ideal? Easily because it boasts a Speed Square, a Blue Book for construction & rafter length, and a magnificent 6-inches Combination Square. Everything is made of stainless steel apart from the paper Blue Book.
You’ll get the most out of this piece if you want a reliable product for roofing. The miter square, saw guide, line scriber, try square, and protractor on the speed square will add tons of practicality to the piece.
The best of all, you also get a level and a scriber – so making marks and scribing on wood becomes a piece of cake.
5. DEWALT DWHT46031 Premium Rafter Square
The exciting part of this 7-inches piece is the black color of the aluminum. This color contrasts with the colored graduations all around the square so you can read everything much more quickly.
The aluminum body adds a superb sturdiness, so you can make it work in different projects, but also for many years. Especially when you add the broad base, this aluminum square offers the ability to get an outstanding grip without leaving precision behind.
It even comes with two scribe-line notches for rip cuts or marks on the wood. When it comes to practicality, a few rafters will meet this level.
6. VINCA ARLS-12 Rafter Carpenter Triangle Square
What stands out is the thick aluminum build that helps you in all kinds of operations. It gets even better with the deep marks in the surface, colored in yellow that contrast with the black color of the aluminum. This way, you get superb visibility, even in dark places.
The base adds tons of stability, and the rafter conversion table makes it even more practical when using. You also get multiple scales and three different types of scribe notches. Adding it all together, this is a piece you don’t want to dismiss.
7. Stanley 46-071 Premium Quick Square Layout Tool
The whole design of this square offers the chance to make accurate and quick measurements without having to waste a minute. It matches an aluminum construction that helps to receive a durable product that won’t fail.
The exciting part of this square is the yellow markings for the angles and measurements, as well as a black body, so you have maximum readability when using.
It comes with a protector scale and a solid base that you can use as a saw guide if needed. Practicality at its best is what you get with this piece.
8. Johnson Level & Tool RAS-120 Rafter Angle Square
This square comes with an aluminum body with CNC machined edges. The die-cast material with the edges helps to reach a maximum level of precision when measuring and working as a guide. And surely, it delivers outstanding durability too.
You also get three scribe notches that make cuts and marks quick and easy. The graduations and the measurements are totally visible too, with deep contouring and uncolored shapes, so you don’t lose any read while working.
And to make it a unique option in the whole list, this square comes with a bottle opener. So you have an exclusive model to pick.
How To Choose The Best Speed Square
There are many ways you can end up choosing a speed square, but it’s always critical to do it right, or you won’t have a pleasant experience using the piece. For that, there are several factors to consider:
The most common material is aluminum. We recommend it for people who want a sturdy but still light option. Framers and woodworkers who operate small jobs often get the most of aluminum models.
But if you are someone who needs a larger and sturdier piece, then you’ll want something made of steel. In workshops, a steel square also helps to work as a guide for saws if needed.
You’ll want a speed square that has readable markings that you can see at any moment. For that, we recommend pieces with colored numbers and measurements over any other type of marking.
Some models also have stamped markings, while others have deep carvings as marks, and the rarest of all may come with numbers and lines as protuberances.
The color is also important. If you can go for a black square with yellow or white markings, that will be a much better choice than a metallic or white square with black numbers.
Some additional tools like protractors and scribe notches are standard features of speed squares. We heavily recommend picking the pieces with the highest number of features so you can get the most out of it.
Some options come with additional levels, while others offer a cutting guide or base that works as a sturdy fence. Anything that adds more practicality to the tool is an excellent option to go for.
How To Use Speed Square Tools For Wood Working Project
Even if you have the best speed square for woodworking, it is essential that you know how to use it. Otherwise, it can be a complete waste of money. Here we teach you how to get the best out of your speed square instead:
This is one of the most regular uses of a speed square. And it is probably one of the easiest too.
The only step to take is to just adjust the pivot to the board or wood, and then mark the piece by swinging the rafter to one side.
To know which the angle you want to mark is, you’ll have to match the markings of the angles to the edge or a
You should mark following the path from the edge or starting point to the finish point or last angle of the square.
This will help you have a much more accurate angle marking experience.
The pitch is the part of a roof or object that veers down. For example, a speed square pitch would be the one on the side, the angle that goes down.
The work of a speed square to measure pitches helps to make them more accurate. It does this by placing the side of the square on top of an angle with the border that has no base.
Then, you’ll use the flat base or guide part of the square to measure the pitch with a level. You’ll have to make sure the level is flat completely. Otherwise, it will tell you a different pitch measurement according to the marks on the side.
Fencing Saw Cuts
To use the speed square as a fence for saw cuts is even easier than the previous two modes of use. You just need to grab the side of the square that has the flat base or added fence and place it against the guide of the saw.
This way, you can make 45-degree or 90-degree angle cuts depending on your needs. Just make sure the flat base or the fence of the square is directly on the guide of the saw for accurate results.
Frequently Asked Questions
You’ll find thousands of things about speed squares that you won’t understand. Here we want to help you understand some of them:
Q: Can I use a speed square like a regular scale or ruler?
A: Yes, that would be the most basic use for a speed square.
Q: What tool do I need to make scribes or markings on wood?
A: You can use either a pencil or a small blade like a utility knife.
Q: Is a speed square useful for finding the diameter of a circle?
A: Yes, the angle markings on the sides of most speed squares help to make circles and measure them.
Q: As a beginner, what kind of material should I go for?
A: We recommend going for aluminum as a beginner as it is the most affordable.
So, are you ready to pick the best speed square for your needs? Don’t hesitate and get the one that meets your standards now.
Remember to consider the material, the functions, and the markings for the best results. You won’t regret picking the ideal speed square with our help.