Want one of the best products for proper measurements? Well, you should try out a speed square. A speed square is also known as the rafter angle square, rafter square, and triangle square. This is a multi-purpose triangular carpenter tool that is used for marking.
Carpenters use it to make the basic measurement and mark lines on the dimensional lumber, and they see it as a guide for 45 to 90 degrees cut. Do you want one for accurate measurement? Well, there is nothing to worry about because we are going to tell you about some of the best speed squares that you can buy as per your needs.
The first speed square that we are going to discuss is from Swanson Tool Company. It is available in 7-inch, and you can also consider buying the value pack. It is made in the USA, and it is very useful for construction professionals, DIYers, roofers, and carpenters. It belongs to every tradesman’s tool bench that includes Miter Square, Try Square, Line Scriber, Protractor, and Saw guide.
It also has a pocket-sized Swanson blue book. It is a guide to help workers in making the correct angle cuts for pitched roofs.
It features ¼-in spaced scribing notches and has a diamond cut-out for easy rafter seat cuts.
The gradations include hip, valley, and jack rafters.
The next speed square that you can get is from WORKPRO. It is 12-inch in size, and it is made from heavy-gauge aluminum alloy that will allow it to last longer. It also has a steel ruler that is made from stainless steel that provides a matte finish. It provides you with a clear and easily identifiable scale.
It features a low glare and has a protective powder coating.
The combination square has a 12-inch stainless steel ruler with 3 types of minimum scale values: 1/16, 1/32, and 1 mm.
This is a 7-inch square that will fit easily in your pocket. The gradations included are for marking common, valley, hip, and jack rafters. They are very useful in identifying and marking angles and making square cuts on the board. It has a heavy-gauge billet aluminum alloy construction. The construction is do-cast for better accuracy.
It provides you high visibility with white gradation.
The gradations have a non-glare matte finish for easy reading in light conditions.
It is a multi-purpose square tool. It is used for 45-degree lines, marking squares, protractor saw guide, finding roof pitch, and much more.
Looking for something premium when it comes to speed square? If yes, then this is the product you might need! It is a 7-inch premium rafter square. It has a dimension of 3.0 cm L x 19.3 cm W x 19.9 cm H. It is made in the United States. It has a weight of 0.24 kg. It is available in black color
This product is made from aluminum which provides a premium look to it.
The gradations are done with white color to make the reading properly visible.
It has all the scales that are an improvement for marking and doing measurements.
The next product on our list is from Johnson Level and Tool Store. This is a versatile tool for builders and welders. It has a thick edge that is very useful as a saw guide. Moreover, you can use it directly with the saw against the square for cross cuts or angled cuts by using the protractor scale. It also has a magnetic edge that makes the rafter square feel best for welders as it will easily attach to the ferrous metal.
It can be used for marking, measuring angles, setting, and checking squares before and after the welding is completed.
The speed square has strong magnets that will encourage hand-free use.
It is very accurate in marking and has an aluminum body for better durability.
You can get this triangle square in 7 and 12-inch sizes. It has a weight of 1.12 pounds, and its dimensions are 12 x 12 x 1 inch. Moreover, it is a 12” x 12” square that has multiple scales that include ⅛, 1/10, 1/16”; 12” x 0.001. It is very accurate in marking and making all the necessary measurements without any problem. This product also has a deep stamping.
This speed square has deep marketing on black for better visibility.
The speed square has a wide base that will provide you a stable grip on the material.
It also comes with a rafter conversion table.
It is not very precise; there is a little difference.
The last speed square that you can get for perfect marking on our list by Empire Level. This product has a weight of 7.4 ounces, and its dimensions are 8 x 8 x 1.13 inches. The best part of this product is that the gradation done will never fade or change with the passage of time. It has an increased width for cutting deck boards.
It is thick and made up of aluminum. It has a matte finish.
The product has an anodized finish that will not corrode or rust.
The laser etching process provides you superior and correct readability in different light conditions.
The product is made in the USA.
The body is soft and deforms easily.
Buying Guide for the Best Speed Squares
A right angle is a standard that is used by the carpenter when they are building anything. When corners are going to meet at 90 degrees, drawers fit properly, windows close tight, and walls will stand straight. This all is achieved by using the speed square. It is used by people in construction and carpentry. You can get this in different measurements.
If you are planning to buy the best speed square for your needs, then the following buyer’s guide is going to be very useful for you to make the right purchase decision:
Why Do You Need a Speed Square?
Rafter Squares are a versatile technical tool used for measuring anything in terms of angles and degrees. This tool is used by craftsmen and woodworkers frequently. This is definitely a convenient device that will save your time or money and offer maximum accuracy.
You can get this tool in two measurements that are 7-inch and 12-inch. It is interesting to note that these tools are now present in smart sizes that can be easily placed inside your pocket, and they are made from aluminum. In addition to this, they are also available in plastic form.
What Are the Uses of a Speed Square?
The speed square is used for various purposes, but three of the main uses are listed below:
Finding roof pitch
For this, you have to place the pivot point against the shingles of the roof. After that, place a torpedo level in the speed’s square fat base. Next, you have to adjust the square to the proper level. Finally, read the pitch on the side of the speed square. The pitch is going to tell you the extent of vertical rise for every 12 inches of run.
For marking angles
To do this, you have to swing the speed square unless you are going to read the desired angle on the board’s edge. Next, you have to mark the angle present on the board.
Guide saw cuts
Cut 45 and 90-degree angles by using the speed square as your guide. This will be done properly when the right-hand user has a circular saw with a motor to the right of the blade.
What Are the Key Considerations for Buying a Speed Square?
When you are going to buy the speed squares, then you have to keep the following points in your mind:
The speed squares are available in different materials. Some of the widely used materials used for the construction of speed squares are metal, aluminum, and plastic. You can pick any that you like and have the graduation written properly for great visibility. When the marks are prominent, you can use any lighting condition and there will be no problem marking the things at all!
Yes, the speed squares should be lightweight so that you can carry them easily. The squares that are made of aluminum are very light in weight. The weight of the plastic square is also fine. But the squares made of metals are heavy in comparison to the plastic and aluminum speed squares.
Another important thing to check is the durability of the speed squares. The plastic squares will get scratched after continuous usage. The aluminum speed square might get bent from the point depending on the use, but they also last longer in most cases. However, the metal squares will last longer if there is a coating present to prevent rust.
How Did We Choose the Products on This List?
Wondering how we have recommended the above product to you? Well, the answer to this question is listed below:
One of the first things that we see before recommending any product is the reviews given by the people on different online platforms. Whenever you buy anything online, you should always check the reviews about that particular product to know about its quality and value. For instance, you can check Amazon to read the reviews for different products.
The next important thing to consider is the brand from which you are going to buy. Always pick a brand with a good reputation and has years of experience in providing a particular product. For instance, in the case of speed square, you can rely on brands named Martinez, Swanson, Dewalt, and much more.
The last important thing for selecting a product from our side will be the price. You should also consider this factor when making the final decision. In the case of speed squares, you can expect to pay a price of $ 4 to $28, depending on the speed square material. The plastic and aluminum are cheap in comparison to the metal speed squares.
Speed Square FAQ
Q: What is the best size for the speed square?
A: According to experts, the best size will be a 12-inch speed square. The reason behind this is its versatility and durability. It will provide you 45 and 90-degree angles. It can also be used as a ruler and help in measuring angles precisely without any mistake.
Q: Are plastic speed squares good for work?
A: The plastic speed squares are for those who want to work with lightweight tools. They can help you in marking and measuring, just like the steel speed squares. But it is recommended to use the plastic squares only if you have no other choice left.
Q: What is the use of diamond cut out on speed squares?
A: The diamond cut-out is present in the Swanson Speed square and the ruler that will allow the square to the lines in the perfect way. Furthermore, this diamond cut-out can be used for making birdsmouth, notch, and for rafter work.
The Old House Journal Review Team’s product reviews and in-depth guides are here to help you restore, repair, update, and decorate your home. The content is created by The Old House Journal Review Team. The Old House Journal editorial staff is not involved. Old House Journal is reader-supported: When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.