10 Best Speed Squares in 2020

best overall rating
  • Traditionally designed
  • Perfect for all trades
  • Comprehensive pocket guide
premium choice rating
  • Mechanism lock
  • Accurate angles
  • Precision
great value rating
  • Precision readability
  • 7-inch or 12-inch tool
  • CNC-machined finish

View the Best Speed Square, Below.

best overall rating

1. Swanson Tool S0101 7-inch Speed Square

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The Swanson Tool S0101 7-inch Speed Square is a traditionally designed speed square which is perfect for people of all trades. This product features a try square and a miter square in addition to a line scriber, a protractor, and a saw guide. A comprehensive pocket guide comes complete with this item, ensuring that you use the tool to its maximum capacity. This tool is produced from heavy-gauge billet aluminum alloy and provides expert accuracy to offer you precision. The matte finish ensures that you can read the numerical easily, regardless of the lighting conditions.

Why We Like It
  • Traditionally designed
  • Perfect for all trades
  • Comprehensive pocket guide
  • Heavy-gauge billet aluminum alloy
  • Expert accuracy and precision
Material
Heavy-gauge Billet Aluminum Alloy Construction
Size
7-inches
Our Verdict

The Swanson Tool S0101 7-inch Speed Square is a traditional speed square layout tool that features a comprehensive pocket guide so that you gain the most from your purchase and usage of the product.

Editor Rating
premium choice rating

2. CH Hanson 03060 Pivot Square

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The CH Hanson 03060 Pivot Square is made from aluminum alloy, providing a specific pivot mechanism lock to set your desired angle accurately and precisely. Roof pitches are quickly provided utilizing the three UV resistant vials, while this durable speed square provides you with the ability to level and produce plumbing cuts.

Why We Like It
  • Mechanism lock
  • Accurate angles
  • Precision
  • Durable tool
  • Level and produce plumbing cuts
Material
Aluminum Alloy
Size
7-inches
Our Verdict

This speed square provides a pivot mechanism to lock and allow you to set the desired angle.

Editor Rating
great value rating

3. Johnson Level & Tool RAS-1 Aluminum Rafter Angle Square

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The Johnson Level & Tool RAS-1 Aluminum Rafter Angle Square offers precision readability due to graduations being cut deep, offering a 7-inch variety or a 12-inch sized tool. Providing you with a CNC-machined finish, this product additionally features an integrated bottle opener and continuous scribing notches. Accurately mark your lines for cutting and provide angle scales, achieving a professional finish every time.

Why We Like It
  • Precision readability
  • 7-inch or 12-inch tool
  • CNC-machined finish
  • Integrated bottle opener
  • Mark cutting lines with accuracy
Material
Aluminum
Size
7-inches or 12-inches
Our Verdict

The Johnson Level & Tool RAS-1 Aluminum Rafter Angle Square provides two different sized speed squares, perfect for suiting a variety of tasks.

Editor Rating

4. Swanson Tool S0101CB Speed Square

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The Swanson Tool S0101CB Speed Square provides a 6-inch pocket speed square, perfect for a multitude of tasks and jobs. Featuring the Swanson trusted brand, you know you can trust your tools to achieve a professional finish. This Swanson speed square features a miter square, line scriber, try square, protractor, and saw guide. In addition, a pocket-sized Swanson blue book is provided complete with your purchase, offering you tips and hints to receive the best use from your tool.

Why We Like It
  • 6-inch pocket speed square
  • Swanson trusted brand
  • Achieve a professional finish
  • Pocket-sized Swanson blue book
  • Offering you tips and hints
Material
Aluminum
Size
6-inches
Our Verdict

This speed square comes complete with a handy pocket-sized Swanson blue book, featuring a comprehensive guide of everything you need to know about the tool and its uses.

Editor Rating

5. DEWALT DWHT46031 Rafter Square

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The DEWALT DWHT46031 Rafter Square features a sleek black design with the gold DeWalt logo. Offering clearly visible numerals and straight, sharp edge, you are able to produce accurate and professional tasks with this desirable speed square tool.

Why We Like It
  • DeWalt brand
  • Sleek black design
  • Stylish gold logo
  • Clear numerals
  • Achieve an accurate and professional finish
Material
Aluminum
Size
7-inches
Our Verdict

The DEWALT DWHT46031 Rafter Square provides a stylish addition to your toolbox while ensuring that you achieve a professional finish every time.

Editor Rating

6. Johnson Level & Tool 1904-0700 Johnny Square

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The Johnson Level & Tool 1904-0700 Johnny Square provides you with a durable aluminum speed square, which increases your ability to achieve an accurate and precise finish. The protractor scale is etched and is perfect for angled or crosscuts. In addition, numerals are easy to read, and this speed square includes continuous scribing notches.

Why We Like It
  • Aluminum speed square
  • Accurate and precise
  • Etched protractor scale
  • Easy to read numerals
Material
Aluminum
Size
7-inches
Our Verdict

The Johnson Level & Tool 1904-0700 Johnny Square is a durable and precise speed square with clearly visible numerals.

Editor Rating

7. VINCA ARLS Carpenter Triangle Square

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The VINCA ARLS Carpenter Triangle Square is available in a 7-inch or 12-inch size, offering deep yellow markings set against a black tool. Made from aluminum, this speed square is durable and excellent for heavy-duty use, offering a wider base to ensure that materials possess a good grip on the speed square.

Why We Like It
  • Black speed square
  • Yellow markings
  • Aluminum
  • Durable and precise
  • Suitable for heavy-duty use
Material
Aluminum
Size
7-inches or 12-inches
Our Verdict

The VINCA ARLS Carpenter Triangle Square possesses a wider base, ensuring that materials are secured against a solid tool grip.

Editor Rating

8. IRWIN Tools 1794463 Rafter Square

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The IRWIN Tools 1794463 Rafter Square is made from aluminum and provides a weather-proof and rust-proof tool for your toolbox. Available in a 7-inch size, this speed square offers deep stampings to enable numerals to be consistently visible, providing yellow markings which are clear and allows an accurate and precise cutting.

Why We Like It
  • Aluminum
  • Durable and precise
  • Deep yellow stampings
  • Clear numerals
  • Accurate cutting
Material
Aluminum
Size
7-inches
Our Verdict

The IRWIN Tools 1794463 Rafter Square provides deep yellow stampings that ensure precise and accurate numerals to enable you to achieve a professional finish.

Editor Rating

9. Stanley 46-071 Premium Quick Square

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The Stanley 46-071 Premium Quick Square offers a durable speed square, constructed from aluminum. This tool is set against a black background with deeply stamped yellow markings, ensuring that numerals are clear and allow you to produce an accurate and professional finish. This speed square comes complete with a limited lifetime guarantee for the best possible value for money.

Why We Like It
  • Durable
  • Black background
  • Deep yellow markings
  • Allows an accurate and professional finish
  • Limited lifetime guarantee
Material
Aluminum
Size
7-inches
Our Verdict

The Stanley 46-071 Premium Quick Square possesses an aluminum body and deep yellow markings to achieve a clear vision and a professional finish.

Editor Rating

10. Empire Level E2994 High Definition Rafter Square

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The Empire Level E2994 High Definition Rafter Square offers an aluminum body in a thick, matte finish, offering an increased cutting width for producing cutting lines on deck boards. This speed square guarantees excellent readability in any lighting condition, ensuring that you achieve an accurate and precise finish.

Why We Like It
  • Aluminum
  • Thick, matte finish
  • Increased cutting width
  • Excellent readability
  • Precise and accurate finish
Material
Aluminum
Size
7-inches
Our Verdict

The Empire Level E2994 High Definition Rafter Square offers an increased cutting width to help you achieve professional results on larger tasks.

Editor Rating

Speed Square Buyer’s Guide

A speed square is a common tool to find inside of your toolbox, although you must choose the most appropriate material, weight, and durability for your tool to discover the best speed square for you and your tasks.

Material

Speed squares, also known as rafter squares, are available in a wide variety of materials, allowing you to choose the most suitable framing square for your projects. If you usually carry around a large number of tools, you may decide that a lightweight option may be the best speed square for you, providing a plastic construction that is easier to use when measuring roof pitches. However, any plastic construction is not infallible and may eventually crack with extensive use or if it is stored with other, heavier tools.

Alternatively, you may prefer a wooden speed square, offering a traditional speed square layout tool that possesses greater durability than a plastic speed square. However, a wooden speed square may possess shallow scribing notches, which may reduce the longevity of the tool due to the reduction in visibility and subsequent accuracy. Many of the best speed square tools are currently made from aluminum, offering a strong and durable material that offers weather-proof and rust-proof properties. An aluminum speed square provides the deepest available scribing notches, ensuring that the numerals on your speed square are fully visible and readable regardless of the lighting conditions.

Weight

The weight of your speed square is important so that you can attain the best from your purchase. If you will be working with roof pitches, you may decide that the best choice of speed square for you is a lightweight choice, which is easy to hold and will not result in aching arms and shoulders. However, if you will be working with projects on a flat surface or workbench, then you may decide that the best choice of speed square is a heavier option so that the speed square stays in position and does not lose traction.

Precision

The best speed square is ultimately the speed square, which provides you with the best level of precision and accuracy, ensuring that your project receives a professional finish every time. You may decide that you want to purchase a trusted brand, such as Swanson, DeWalt, or Stanley, ensuring that the measurements and the speed square layout tool are accurate and reliable.

Durability

When purchasing any product, you will want it to be durable and achieve longevity and value for your money. Therefore, to purchase the best speed square, consider purchasing a speed square that is made from a durable material such as aluminum, preventing the risk of your product cracking or breaking during use or storage.

Size

The most common size of speed square is 7-inches, allowing you to accurately measure cutting lines for a wide range of projects and tasks. However, if you are completing larger projects and tasks containing larger lumber, you may require a 12-inch speed square.

Readability

In addition to purchasing a tough and durable speed square, you must also assess the readability of the scribing notches surrounding the triangular shape. Speed squares possess a variety of different measurements and numerals, and these figures should be easy to read so that you can accurately mark the most precise cutting lines for your project. A speed square with reduced readability may result in you making mistakes when marking your cutting lines.

Using Your Speed Square

To gain the best performance and use from your speed squares, you must understand what each marking represents and exactly what speed squares are used for. On the first side of speed squares, you will see markings measuring inches, similar to a ruler. On the second side, you will see a raised edge or a lipped fence. Finally, on the third side, which is the longest side of speed squares, you will see degree markings, which is the side you use with a miter saw.

To accurately mark cutting lines, carefully line-up the lipped fence along the edge of the wood and press firmly so that the speed square does not move. Using the top edge of the speed square, mark your cutting lines. This position is also perfect for a guide when cutting using a saw.

As well as drawing a straight line, this position will additionally help you to draw a 45-degree angle. Speed squares can also be used as a protractor, allowing you to position the tool and create a pivot point, enabling you to accurately draw precise angles.

Did You Know?

The diamond presented on a speed square can be used so that you can mark a birdsmouth or a notch. The diamond can also be used proficiently during rafter work.

Expert Tip

An additional product that complements the speed square is the combination square. The combination square can be used in a variety of ways to make measurements, just like the speed square, and it can also be used to accurately mark a 90-degree or 45-degree angle. To use a combination square, you must place the anvil against the working surface edge, drawing a cutting line until you have reached the anvil. An accurate 90-degree angle should be achieved.

About the Author

Bob Robinson has been a tool enthusiast and lawn care expert for the past 11 years. First working with John Deere to reduce their impact on the environment, whilst building his love for writing in his spare time. Now, Bob runs the editorial team at BestofMachinery and tends to his garden in his spare time.

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