Best Framing Squares – Reviews And Buying Guide 2019

 

PreviewNameAwardsPurchase

Starrett

High End

Stanley

Medium Priced

Empire Level

Affordable

Finding the most reliable, durable, and best framing square for you can be challenging, and we understand that. But, have no fear, as we’ve compiled a list of the Top 5 Best Framing Squares for you, to make your job easier, saving you time, money, and effort!

A framing square is a must-have for any serious contractor, carpenter or construction professional, DIYers, and hobbyists alike that regularly find themselves making and needing a tool for exact measurements – specifically 90-degree angles – around their home with an efficient, manageable, and easy to use tool.

Framing squares are used for cutting off and notching, scaling, taking measurements, milling, and cutting metal or roofing tiles down to the precise inch so that work doesn’t have to be repeated, time lost – or additional money spent on new materials after a mistake in measurements the first time.

Below, you will find the most popular, trusted, premium and affordable, best framing square reviews, so continue reading to find your top pick!


Best Framing Squares Reviews


 

Starrett 13C 6-Inch Double Square with Hardened Blade

Starrett 13C

Head is 3-1/2 inches long; face is 9/16-inch wide

The Starrett 13C 6-Inch Double Square with Hardened Blade is a trusted, American made framing square that is perfect for both professionals and hobbyists alike for its pinpoint accuracy, excellent edging, and double square utility.

Customers that require a framing square for fine measurements, furniture work, layout work, and the most accurate device for marking, and measuring this is the ideal product. While the Starrett comes at a premium price, there is no doubt that it is made of premium quality, and in turn, has been reported by happy customers to last ten years or more with normal usage and show minimal wear.

With a 1” slider, high-quality steel, and a double square sliding blade which is easily fastened it is an excellent design, and perfect for ensuring your work is done right the first time – and avoiding unwanted or unnecessary loss of time and money on materials. The Starrett stays square, is easy to use for locking in specific measurements, and likewise finish dimensions are also made much more comfortable with this device. Indeed, the best framing square for saving both time and effort, a secure lock and precision blade and head without a gap mean you get all the features you’ve come to expect from a framing square, and the Starrett remains a top choice for generating fine measurements for just that!

PROS:
  • Built from high-quality steel the Starrett 13C 6-Inch Double Square with Hardened Blade will not bend, flex, or break under pressure and is reliable to be used time and time again in rough conditions.
  • Convenient locking mechanism for ensuring precise, consistent measurements while you work.
  • Lock and precision blade to improve both measurements and utilization of your materials regardless of project type.
  • Easy to fit into your work apron pockets.
  • An American brand and product trusted by professional machinists and woodworkers alike for decades.
  • A precisely made scaled measuring tool – down to the 1/64th”

CONS:
  • High-quality steel has been known to rust over time if left out, or not regularly used indoors for working – therefore proper maintenance is a must.
  • This framing square is not made out of chrome and so, can be a little difficult to read the measurements without a reliable, natural or artificial light source while working.
  • Few customers have reported that the thumbscrew doesn’t grab and hold the blade as well as expected – in which case the customer can request an even exchange.
  • Some customers were disappointed that this square did not include the bevel blade, and only the standard blade – however, the bevel blade may be ordered separately or as a package deal as seen HERE.

Specifications

  • 6″ double square which is ideal for toolmakers, patternmakers, and machinists alike
  •    Built with a hardened blade and integrated level for precise, consistent measurements
  •    Convenient, practical size of 3-1/2″ long head, and 9/16″ wide face

Both hobbyists and professionals trust Starrett to produce the best framing squares because they are built durable, with quality materials, and with a trusted reputation that has developed over decades between customers is an excellent choice for long-term everyday use. For more details and to order yours today click HERE.


 

Stanley 45-300 Aluminum Carpenters Square

Stanley 45-300

Helpful reference conversion including new lumber, decimal equivalent, and metric conversion tables; 45-, 60- and 30-degree angle markings

The STANLEY brand has been a long-time trusted manufacturer for producing durable, reliable, sturdy construction and hardware tools since 1843. STANLEY continues to both serve and satisfy its wide range of customers including professional laborers, engineers, and machinists, as well as hobbyist customers with a wide range of products.

If you’re looking for the best framing square which includes the necessary scales, tables, and conversions along with a modernized device to get precise measurements with a lumber scale, decimal equivalent table, or metric conversion tables then this is the perfect product.

The Stanley 45-300 Aluminum Carpenters Square is the perfect solution for a carpenter square and will always guarantee the most precise cutting no matter the industrial task at hand. This framing square is hands down a “carpenter grade” tool as announced by customers and is very desirable for those who have grown tired of mediocre, poorly built, or inaccurate carpenter squares in the past.

Customers have been pleased with the Stanley 45-300 and have noted it’s lasted a decade or more with regular use and “abuse”, while still giving exact, precise measurements. It’s also made with tough materials that keep it safe from damage, so chemicals like tar or roof sealant will not destroy the integrity of your framing square, or your ability to read the measurements and scale. It is also light-weight, keeps its shape through regular hard use, is easy to understand (even upside down), and is both compact and the ideal size for taking on the go to your next work project.

If you are a new homeowner, this is also one of the top rated choices for the best framing square, is made in the USA, and is the perfect solution for lining up the fence on your table saw, rafter cuts, and doing other DIY carpentry tasks around the house!

PROS:
  • Excellent and most precise for checking squareness
  • Feels sturdy and is durable for rough or outdoor projects
  • Quality, light-weight aluminum build makes the STANLEY 45-300 Aluminum Carpenters Square both convenient and desirable to take on the go
  • Easy to handle, ridged, and comes with helpful conversion tables for various project types
  • The aluminum build makes this framing square RUST-FREE
  • LIFETIME WARRANTY

CONS:
  • Some customers have reported having a hard time using this Stanley with poor lighting, shadows, or reflections during use
  • Not as strong as other framing squares, which means bend resistance is lower
  • Manufacturer stickers may be inconvenient or difficult to remove (minor problem)
  • Dead square and accurate readings, but does not come with numbers for rafters
  • No centimeters

Specifications

  •    Aluminum, industrial grade build for maximum durability
  •    A protective lacquered coat and buffed finish for both physical strength and cosmetic appeal
  •    Compact 13.3 oz weight
  •    Includes a lumber scale, decimal equivalent table, and metric conversion table
  •    24- by 2” body, 16- by 1-1/2” tongue

The Stanley 45-300 Aluminum Carpenters Square is a top choice for customers looking for the most bang for their buck, a premium grade framing square, and a product that includes both a solid reputation and LIFETIME warranty. Stanley customers have always reported being satisfied with their tools, are repeat customers, and the brand remains a popular choice for gifting to loved ones who are big DIYers or carpenters/construction workers.


 

IRWIN Tools Framing Square, Hi-Contrast Aluminum

Irwin Tools

The square has multiple scales: 1/8-, 1/10-, 1/12-, and 1/16-inch

The IRWIN Tools Framing Square is a great solution, and one of our best framing square choices because customers get a quality, trusted brand and the product for any cabinet making and woodwork oriented projects.

With an aluminum rust proof body you’re sure to get your money’s worth and long-term use out of this framing square, and, with permanent stamped marks on the framing square, there’s no need to have to worry about not being able to make out the marks through frequent use over time. So, whether you are making cabinets, installing cabinets, cutting and measuring wood, tables and carpentry this IRWIN framing square is the perfect, affordable solution.

IRWIN even went as far to manufacture this framing square with a saw guide, ruler, and can also be used as a protractor – so it’s really an “all-in-one tool” that can be trusted for any DIY job around the house, or at your next contracting gig.

Customers enjoy this framing square’s bright, blue color and have reported that it is much more visible, durable, and flexible while still being light-weight making it all the more convenient and portable to carry with you from job to job.

So, if you’re looking for a high-quality framing square to get the job done right the first time, high-quality materials, and an affordable price we are confident that the IRWIN Tools Framing Square, Hi-Contrast Aluminum, 16-Inch by 24-Inch (1794447) is a perfect choice – see below for more details.

PROS:
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Durable, aluminum build guarantees a rust free experience making this the perfect choice for outdoor, tough weather jobs
  • Simple, efficient, and accurate design to deliver the ideal 90-degree angle every time
  • Perfect framing square for both beginners and professionals
  • Great for squaring metal and welding measurements

CONS:
  • One customer reported that this framing square is easy to bend. However, being built from aluminum, this is one of few inevitable trade-offs in exchange for a water-proof and rustproof, lightweight contractor framing square.
  • Edges may not be as straight and molded in comparison to more premium-priced framing squares.

Specifications

  •    Deep, permanent stampings for easy to read measurements
  •    Multiple scales ranging from 1/8-, 1/10-, 1/12-, and 1/16- for maximum diversity in use and measurements
  •    Includes rafter tables, brace and octagon scales, as well as an Essex board measure.
  •    Additional features such as saw guide, ruler, and protractor.
  •    Enhanced contrast and reading build designed with yellow (stamped) marking on a blue background to maximize visibility.

If you are just getting started with DIY projects around your home, woodworking, or carpentry, then the IRWIN Tools Framing Square is an excellent choice. For professionals seeking a reliable, easy to read, all-weather framing square this is likewise a good choice, will hold up long, stay tough on the job, and give precise readings with every use.


 

IRWIN Tools Carpenter Square, Steel, 16-Inch by 24-Inch (1794461)

Irwin Tools 16-Inch

Layout square is also used for checking squareness and flatness

IRWIN is a trusted brand by contractors, DIYers, and project-management companies along with some of the largest industrial projects around the world. Customers and continue to use IRWIN products because they are made durable, are long-lasting, reliable, and affordable.

The IRWIN Tools Carpenter Square, Steel, 16-Inch by 24-Inch framing square is an excellent framing square, at an affordable price, and has gained customers approval and feedback which reflect that the square and measurements are dead on!

From around the house projects, to building a house from the ground up, this IRWIN framing square is tried and trusted time and time again, and customer feedback illustrates this. It’s also an excellent framing square and a top pick for welding, quilting, making posters, and other crafting projects. The visible marking stamps make it easy to use, and the epoxy finish guarantees no rust forms while its steel build keeps it durable and firm enough to not ‘flex’ or bend during use. It also includes large numbers for easier readability, is water-proof, and overall an all-around ‘must have’ for your toolbox as both your primary and a backup framing square for your next project.

PROS:
  • Convenient, portable size and durable build
  • Reliable, and ideal for those on a budget but still looking for a premium grade product
  • Steel build means no flimsy bending or unwanted measurement mistakes when it matters the most
  • Consistently accurate measurements, easy to read lettering
  • Perfect for various uses ranging from woodworking projects to crafting, welding, and more.
  • Epoxy finish means both water-proof and rust free design

CONS:
  • Few customers have complained that the IRWIN framing square was not square.
  • One customer reported that it is only a 1/8th scale framing carpenters square
  • Some customers found it hard to read the measurements
  • While durable and sturdy, some users expected this IRWIN framing square to be more sturdy under pressure

Specifications

  •    Durable, easy to read deep stamped markings
  •    Desirable and practical 16″ x 24″ dimensions
  •    Perfect framing square solution for various jobs from the woodwork to roofing, framing, and welding – any work involving laying out or marking angles.
  •    Heavy and durable steel construction to offer both firmness and security while avoiding unwanted “flexing” during work

The IRWIN Tools Carpenter Square, Steel, 16-Inch by 24-Inch (1794461) is a great framing square solution, starter-tool, or gift for your friends and loved ones that will require such a tool and need it to be reliable, durable, and easy to read and use.

Customers have been very pleased with the IRWIN Tools Carpenter Square in particular, and expressed their desire to come back for a second or third!


 

Empire Level e1190 16-Inch by 24-Inch Professional Framing Square

Empire Level

24-inch by 12-inch body, 16-inch by 1/2-inch tongue, 1/8-inch thick, includes 1/8, 1/10, 1/12 and 1/16-inch stamped graduations and conversion tables

The Empire Level e1190 16-Inch by 24-Inch Professional Framing Square is a practical, colorful solution for professional framing projects, roofing, hip roof and roof rafter framing, and other projects around the garage and home. It is an accurate and lightweight framing square, durable, and also ideal for carpentry projects, and woodwork. The lettering and numbers are very easy to read, comes with accurate squaring and measurements – and customers have also reported success with using this for stairway projects.

Customers need a reliable, accurate, and precise framing square for house projects, DIY projects, and other professional projects so going with a brand like Empire make sense, and overall most customers seemed very pleased for the quality of this framing square in consideration of its price, versatility, and durability. Not to mention a lifetime warranty, this framing square may be last but is by no means the least popular or frequently purchased framing square, so definitely check it out HERE to see if it will fit your woodworking and carpentry needs!

Best of all, the coated metal stays clean and rust free, which means this framing square will last you for many years and projects to come!

PROS:
  • Great for stairway projects, woodworking, and roofing projects
  • Ideal framing square for most carpentry projects, reliable, precise measurements
  • Made in the USA, trusted by customers and a frequently purchased and used the framing square in the construction industry
  • Good for precision woodwork
  • Very accurate square gets the job done right the first time
  • The most popular choice for non-machinist squaring projects

CONS:
  • Not the best framing square for furniture building as expressed by some customers
  • Woodworking compatible, but not an ideal framing square for fine woodworking projects
  • Manufacturer stickers may be difficult to remove and require careful application of a straight blade, or a simple, cheap solution like “Goo be Gone.”

Specifications

  •    High visibility measurements and easily readable pressed white lettering
  •    Choose between blue or black color schemes
  •    Lifetime Warranty GUARANTEE
  •    24″ by 12″ body, 16″ by 1/2″ tongue, 1/8″ thick, and also includes helpful conversion tables and stamped graduations for exact measurements
  •    Made in the USA

The Empire Level e1190 16-Inch by 24-Inch Professional Framing Square is a great product, favorite among professionals and experts, as well as hobbyists alike. It is made durable and produced in the USA which a lot of professional contractors appreciate. The Empire brand has been around long enough to have achieved a positive, trusted reputation among consumers in the construction and home-repairs industry, so be sure to check it out HERE.


 

Choosing The Best Framing Square For You

Above we have compiled the most practical, informative, and most accurate and best framing square reviews possible to make your job easier, guide you into the correct product for you – as well as saving you time and money!

We also know how important, serious, and time consuming it can be to find the perfect tool, framing square with the necessary blade and tongue measurements, and how demanding stair framing, roof framing, side cuts, hip valleys, and rafter tables (or jack rafters) can be when it comes to getting the perfect measurements.

As we can see from the reviews above, framing squares are not necessarily limited to just carpenters (commonly known as a “carpenters square”) or roofers – as plenty of hobbyists and professionals alike have found great use for framing squares in cutting cloth and tapestry, milling measurements, tiles, and woodwork. In some cases, a framing square is also ideal for use when cutting or creating furniture.

Best of all, a framing square is a trusted, firm, and easy to use tool that is a standard must-have for any construction worker or laborer who is looking to build a house from the bottom up in an efficient, time-saving, and profitable way. Some framing squares come with added features or desirable build qualities, such as a sliding lock mechanism to rest and secure a precise measurement, such as the Starrett 13C 6-Inch Double Square with Hardened Blade.

Some framing squares are made with specific metals such as stainless steel to prevent rusting, be more flexible, but, at the same time may also be susceptible to bending more frequently. So, it is essential to determine whether durability and weight/portability are more important to you. What works best for each professional can vary greatly, and each framing square is unique, although, for those just starting, as well as those with more professional experience who know what they want or need, a trusted and tried framing square manufacturer like STANLEY or Starrett makes the most sense!

Extra Tip

Keep in mind some of these essential qualities when shopping for the best framing square:

  •    Rust-free or waterproof material
  •    Weight, compact, and convenience
  •    Exact measurements, and adjustable functions
  •    Manufacturer’s reputation and consumer feedback as listed above
  •    Readability or color schemes of framing square tool
  •    Warranty
  •    Measurement types, and any additional measurement schemes, design, metric table, and other maps or resources included with each framing square.
  •    The most practical tool depending on your experience level
  •    Job type ranging from woodwork to tiling, metalwork, furniture, or cutting clothing or tapestry

Best of luck, and happy shopping for the best framing square for you and your family, or other professional needs!

 

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