Having multiple uses, the speed square is actually a combination of Try square, Miter square, Combination square and Framing Square. A quality it may alone do the functions of other squares and make your projects easier. So, you need to choose the best speed square for your work. That’s where we can help by showing you the truth and make this thing easier for you.
What is a Speed Square?
A speed square is a triangular shaped tool used in woodworking, metal working etc. for marking or measurement purpose. It’s also known as triangular square or rafter square. It is usually made of steel or aluminum or plastic. It is a combo of multi-tools.
This has a ruler, a try square, a protractor, a scriber, a board ripping guide, a saw guide for making 90 and 45-degree cuts. The speed square is full of graduations. You can easily recognize it by its common triangular shape.
How to Choose a Speed Square?
It’s necessary to know the characteristics that a quality speed square possesses. You should consider some criteria like material, weight, durability, accuracy, cost, ease of use.
The quality of a speed square mostly depends on the material it’s made from. Usually, there are many options, when it comes to material. It can be made of aluminum or steel or plastic or some special fabrication. Obviously, the speed square made of aluminum is better than that of plastic or steel.
You have to also consider the weight. Usually, the lightweight speed squares are better than the heavy ones as they are easy to carry and comfortable to work with. The heavy one isn’t ideal for you unless you want its heft and sturdiness.
You will want to have a durable speed square. You want to use its utility as long as you can. The durability mainly depends on the material and also how you use it.
The main resource or quality of a square is its accuracy. The speed square must have high accuracy and precision in its measurement. Make sure the model you have is 100% accurate at its scale.
Cost is also an important factor. You will get the quality as you invest. Good quality speed squares will be a bit expensive. But, also you can always get one in your budget. However, this is always true that the best product is expensive always.
Our Recommended Best Speed Squares
We talked on how to choose the best product and now we are going to cover few best of the best speed square in the market.
1. Swanson S0101 7-inch Speed Square
The Swanson has a good reputation for supplying quality speed squares. It can be your best you have ever used.
This is a 7-inch square, can be easily fitted in the pocket. It blends the features of framing square, try square, miter square, and protractor square. The square has the construction of aluminum alloy. It comes with a 62-page blue pocket booklet.
The square is pocket-sized; easy to carry. It comes with a guide to using the square. It’s also cheap.
With Swanson S0101, you can always expect accuracy and precision in the measurement. So you can invest in it.
2. Johnson RAS-1 7-Inch Aluminum Rafter Angle Square
It is a speed square of good quality. You can also keep it in your consideration.
The Johnson RAS-1 features solid aluminum body and the edges are CNC machined. It has permanent graduations. It has a thick edge. The square has continuous scribing notches which are ideal for ripping at 3-1/2″ and 5-1/2″, is a unique feature.
For measuring 1-1/2″, 3″ and 3-1/2″, it has 2×4 board dimension markers. The square finishing is low glare and protective powder coated. It comes with a complete instruction manual including rafter tables.
The square is built for greater accuracy and durability. The graduations are such that the numbers are easy to read. Having scribing notches is a unique feature. The square is cheap.
Some products have been reported not to be delivered as is supposed.
The Johnson RAS-1 is a nice square. You can consider it for buying if you have the budget.
3. CH Hanson 03060 Pivot Square
You may consider buying CH Hanson 03060 Pivot Square, as it is made keeping precision in mind.
The square features finest machined aluminum alloy body. It includes a unique locking mechanism. It sets the square at a definite angle for marking repetitive cut lines accurately. It has three UV resistant vials which can determine the roof pitches and angles quickly and easily. It also indicates grades and does miter cut facilitation.
The square is extremely durable. It gives accurate and precise measurements. By allowing the users to measure the angles precisely and lock it in for the repetitive layout, it makes precision layout easy and fast. The square can easily pivot.
The square is very expensive. Users face difficulties in setting the locking in different positions.
If you have a high budget, you can consider this square to buy. It is a good square with some nice unique features.
4. IRWIN Rafter Square
You can consider the IRWIN tool for its quality features.
The square features rust-proof aluminum body. It has permanent deep markings. It can be used as a protractor, saw guide, try square and miter square. Multiple scales are available-1/8, 1/10, 1/12, and 1/16-inch.
The square is a durable professional tool. It is rust free and weather resistant. The color combination is such that it has yellow markings on the blue background, easier to read.
The IRWIN speed square is a good square to have. And, also it’s not so expensive. If you want, you can consider buying it.
5. Johnson 1904-0700 EZ Read Rafter Square
It is a speed square of good quality with some unique features. You can consider it.
The Johnson 1904-0700 features solid aluminum body and the edges are CNC machined. It has permanent graduations and has a thick edge. It has continuous scribing notches, is ideal for ripping at 3-1/2″ and 5-1/2″, a unique feature.
For measuring 1-1/2″, 3″ and 3-1/2″, it has 2×4 board dimension markers. The square finishing is anti-glare and protective anodized coated. It comes with a complete instruction manual including rafter tables.
The square is built for greater accuracy and durability. The graduations are such that the numbers are easy to read. Having scribing notches is a unique feature. The anti-glare protective coating doesn’t reflect sunlight, rather diffracts it. So, it does look crisp in sunlight as in shade.
Some products have been reported not to be delivered as is supposed.
The Johnson speed square is a nice square. You can consider it for buying if you have the budget.
6. Stanley 46-053 Adjustable Quick Square Layout Tool
The Stanley speed square is a versatile tool for carpenters and people who love roofing and woodworking. You can put it on your favorite speed square list.
The square features heavy duty aluminum construction. Its body is black with yellow graduations. It has Common, Jack and Hip, and Valley scales. Its base length is 10-3/4″ and ruler length is 6-3/4″. It features an adjustable arm.
The square is constructed to be durable. It has maximum readability for different light conditions. The square has a different type of scales for various applications. It is a multipurpose tool, can be used as a saw guide, bevel or protractor.
The Stanley square is a flexible and versatile tool. If you want to have a square like this, you can consider it.
Cool Uses of Speed Square?
A speed square has multiple uses. It can do the functions of other squares.
The speed square is used in marking some object. It has a lipped fence which allows holding the square against a board firmly. You can accurately scribe a line from there. You can do it at 45 degrees or 90 degrees along the edge of the square.
There is a conventional English ruler along one of the edges of the speed square. Depending on the model it may be 7 or 12 inches. It’s used for measuring cuts.
The speed square can be used as a guide for cross-cutting lumber. It can be done accurately at an angle 90 degree or 45 degrees.
You can cut at a definite angle by using the protractor feature. For this, you need to find the pivot point and by using it you can get the required angle.
The square can be used in finding common angles for the pitches on the roof. There are different types of scales for it.
A speed square can be used in more functions depending on the type of diamond cut, leveling and so on.
1. What is diamond cut in a speed square?
Some speed squares have a feature called diamond cut. It is basically a diamond shaped cut and is used for squaring on a line scribed along the board to make a perfect right angle with the board.
2. What is a plumb cut?
It is basically a cut in the vertical plane; a top cut face of a square.
As the speed square is a multi-use tool, it is a resource to the carpenter’s toolbox. But, in order to use its full utility, you have to know and choose the best speed square for your work. Choose wisely and buy according to your purpose. We have just shown you the path, but you have to make the walk. All the best for that.