Different Types of Squares Image

Types of Woodworking Squares – Choose & Use Effectively

There are different types of squares, all the squares have two basic components. Some squares are movable and adjustable along the blade, while some are fixed. There’s a right square for every project. The right measurement and angles are what make every project standing and stunning. Squares are the tools that make perfect measurements and examine the right 90 degrees angle.

What is a Square Tool?

A square is a woodworking tool used to mark and check the angle of 90 degrees on pieces of wood. Carpenters and machinists use it, and thus these tools are also known as carpenters square. It is to check the accuracy of right angles when drawing lines on materials before cutting or locating some marks. This tool checks the squareness of different edges, faces, and ends of materials or wood pieces. Woodworking square is the simplest tool comes handy in almost every aspect.

Design and Working of Square Tool

Square tools are specially made of metals as woodworking requires the cutting and framing of rigid materials into fabricated products. They are available in many shapes and sizes. Some of them are named so because they resemble that particular shape. Though there are different types of squares, all the squares have two basic components. The first one is beam or the blade and the other one is stock or head.

Different Types of Squares

To clearly understand the various types of woodworking tools, we have listed them below with their proper introduction, construction, and usage. Browse through these and learn something new about them.

1. Try Square

Try square Image

Try square is a small measuring hand tool used in woodworking. It is for checking corners and edges on the pieces of wood. Though there are many other different tools, try square is one of the essential tools in woodworking. Talking about its construction, a trying tool has a straight edge called a blade and a stock beam. The blade and stock of the try square are fixed together at exactly 90 degrees. Therefore, both the parts of the try square are perfectly sharp and straight. The sizes of the try square vary from 3″, 6″, 9″, 12″, and 16″. To get the right measurement, always keep the try square at the right angles to the surfaces.

The most common uses of try square are:

  • Measuring short distances.
  • Checking flatness.
  • Checking edges and ends of the pieces to see if they are perfect right angles or not.
  • Examining the width and the thickness of the narrow boards of the materials or wood.

2. Combination Square

Combination Square Image

The combination square is a multipurpose marking tool used in woodworking, metalworking, and stonemasonry. It is a measuring tool consisting of a steel rule with more interchangeable or adjustable heads. One edge of the head has a 90 degrees fence while the other has a 45 degrees angle. It’s a good tool for marking down the lines at 90, 45, and 135 degrees. A combination square is an upgraded version of a try square. It has quite more features than the try square. This tool serves as great equipment for those who have to deal with many tasks.

Uses of the combination square are:

  • Depth gauge and height gauge.
  • For marking 90 degrees angles and checking if surfaces are square to one another.
  • For marking and referencing 45 degrees angles.
  • Marking lines perpendicular to a curved edge.
  • Bisecting square corners.

3. Drywall Square

Drywall Square Image

A drywall square is a T-shaped tool designed to cut drywall or other plasterboards. It is primarily used in technical drawing for drawing straight horizontal lines on a drafting table. This tool varies in size, common sizes are 18 inches (460mm), 24 inches (610mm), 30 inches (760mm), 36 inches (910mm), and 42 inches (1,100mm). Drywall T-square has two components, the long shaft called the blade and the short one called the stock or head. This tool is made of aluminum to measure and cut drywall.

Uses of Drywall Square are:

  • To measure a Sheet of plywood
  • Guiding a utility knife to cut a board

4. Framing Square

Framing square Image

A steel square, framing square, or a carpenter’s square is an L-shaped carpentry hand tool used to square layout structures. This tool consists of a long, more comprehensive arm and a shorter, narrower arm that meet at an angle of 90 degrees. The wider long arm is called a blade, and the shorter one is called the tongue. Typically, the blade is two inches (55mm) wide, and the tongue is one and a half inches (38mm) wide. Framing square has a diagonal scale, octagonal scale, and a board foot scale.

The different uses of this tool are:

  • This tool is self-calibrating.
  • It lays out a perpendicular line and determines the error’s size and direction.
  • It helps in stair framing and roof framing.

5. Sliding T-bevel Square

Sliding T-Bevel Square Image

A sliding T-bevel square adjustable moving gauge for setting and transferring angles. It can also be referred to as a bevel gauge or false square. This tool has two components connected with a thumbscrew, allowing the blade to be locked. The sliding bevel can draw any angle and transfer it to another piece. In other words, the bevel can duplicate an existing angle or set any desired angle between 0 to 360 degrees. This is done with the help of other measuring tools such as a ruler, framing square, or a protector. The handle of the bevel is available in both plastic and wooden. The sliding bevel is also for bisecting the angles for mitering when used with a compass.

Different Uses of Sliding T-Bevel Square:

  • Mark the angles other than 90 degrees
  • Transfer the angles from one sheet/board to another

6. Speed Square

Speed Square Image

A speed square is a multipurpose triangular carpenter’s handy tool for making markings. It is also known as a rafter square, rafter angle square, and triangle square. This is mainly for making basic measurements and markings between 45 and 90 degrees angles. The functions of speed square include many of those of a try square, combination square, and framing square.

Speed squares are in many sizes like 7 inches, 8 inches, 25 cm, and 12 inches. This tool has a ruler on one equal side and a fence on the other, making it an isosceles right triangle. These are made up of aluminum, steel, and composites. Its various uses include marking, laying out stair stringers, determining angles, and making square cuts on boards. It is to draw perpendicular cut marks and roof angles, stairways, and decks.

Different Uses of Speed Square:

  • To mark perfect square cuts for different projects
  • Acts as a guide to different types of saws


Choose a best square for woodworking among various accessible squares to mark and measure the correct angles. With each square having its different application area, it is important to know how and when to use one. We have provided you with some general information about the usage and the types of squares. To make your project stunning, you need some exact and correct measurements. These exact and right measurements help your windows and doors close tightly and make your drawers fit properly. When working, be sure to wear gloves for your safety, as the blades of many tools might be sharp.

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