The Best Combination Square

The Best Combination Square

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Our pick

Irwin 1794469 12-inch Combination Square

Irwin 1794469 12-inch Combination Square

A combo square is a great all-purpose marking tool—and the Irwin has a better build quality than other, more expensive rivals we tested.

Buying Options

$13* from Amazon

*At the time of publishing, the price was $14.

The Irwin 1794468 12-inch Combination Square surpassed the other combination squares we tested thanks to several details that differentiate an excellent tool from an average one; in particular, we liked the smooth machining of the main body, the evenly chamfered edges, the nice powder-coated finish, and the fact that it’s a touch heavier than the rest, which gives it a truly solid feel. Like some other combination squares we tested, the Irwin has a zinc body and a stainless-steel ruler, so it won’t rust or corrode. Our carpenter test crew kept coming back to the Irwin because it got the job done and it feels like a high-quality tool—much higher quality, in fact, than its price would suggest.

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Also great

Swanson 12-inch Combo Square

Swanson 12-inch Combo Square

The Swanson will get the job done for a few dollars less, but it lacks the excellent fit and finish of our main pick, the Irwin.

Buying Options

$11* from Amazon
$11 from Lowe’s

*At the time of publishing, the price was $10.

If you can’t get the Irwin, we also like the Swanson 12-inch Combo Square (about $9). It has all of the same functions; it’s simply not as polished as our main pick.

Everything we recommend

Our pick

Irwin 1794469 12-inch Combination Square

Irwin 1794469 12-inch Combination Square

A combo square is a great all-purpose marking tool—and the Irwin has a better build quality than other, more expensive rivals we tested.

Buying Options

$13* from Amazon

*At the time of publishing, the price was $14.

Also great

Swanson 12-inch Combo Square

Swanson 12-inch Combo Square

The Swanson will get the job done for a few dollars less, but it lacks the excellent fit and finish of our main pick, the Irwin.

Buying Options

$11* from Amazon
$11 from Lowe’s

*At the time of publishing, the price was $10.

Source: NY Times – Wirecutter
Keyword: The Best Combination Square

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