Combination Square with All 1/16" Graduations

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Forum topic by pintodeluxe posted 01-26-2017 01:27 AM 1460 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View pintodeluxe's profile


5855 posts in 3079 days

01-26-2017 01:27 AM

Topic tags/keywords: starrett igaging pec square squares combination squares combination square

I have been shopping for replacement combination squares, and notice that most have 4R graduations. One side has 1/8” and 1/16” scales, while the other side has 1/32” and 1/64” scales. I’m not sure how wide the tip of a pencil is, but a 1/64” scale is of limited utility in my shop. Some even have tenths of an inch, or metric.

My preference would be all 4 scales 1/16” increments. 1/8” and 1/16” increments on both sides would also work.
I don’t need metric, and I don’t want to measure a sixth or tenth of an inch. This should not be so hard to find!

I’m looking for a nicer set with etched markings and reliable build quality. My iGaging combination square would be perfect if it had 1/16” on both sides. It is reliably square, slides easily, and locks securely. PEC and Starrett look good but all seem to have the 4R markings, which I will not buy anymore.

Any recommendations for 6” and 12” combination squares?

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

13 replies so far

View CharlesA's profile


3380 posts in 2063 days

#1 posted 01-26-2017 01:34 AM

That’s interesting that you don’t like 4R. While I don’t use the 1/64” much either, I like the other 3 Rs.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View pintodeluxe's profile


5855 posts in 3079 days

#2 posted 01-26-2017 01:37 AM

It’s just as easy to split the 16th marks. Most measurements in woodworking are relative anyways. Consistency is often more important than absolute accuracy. I actually design projects with 1/8” dimensions, so that upon dividing you are still only dealing with 1/16” increments.

I would rather not have to re-orient to a new scale every time I flip the square over. Somewhat aggravating.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View PPK's profile


1278 posts in 1075 days

#3 posted 01-26-2017 02:13 PM

Pinto, I really don’t have any idea – I’m in the very same boat – I’d like a 1/16ths scale only. I was about to drop the money for a PEC, just like the one you pictured on top. Currently I only have a Empire “square” that isn’t square. I’m getting to the point that I think being aggravated by having to find the right side of the rule for the desired tick marks is going to be better than dealing with non-square lines…

I noticed that Lee Valley had a set of Non-Starret combo squares that looked to be better than your box store kind, and I was going to check them out, but they were some promo or something, and now they aren’t available anymore :(

-- Pete

View Ken90712's profile


17642 posts in 3454 days

#4 posted 01-26-2017 08:25 PM

Its crazy how much we can spend on these. With that said I found once I bought my Starrett I was in love. I’m also a big fan of the Incra products, both of these are more accurate than myself. LOL

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5167 posts in 4226 days

#5 posted 01-26-2017 08:37 PM

Use a marking knife. That way ya don’t have to worry about minute increments.
Oh, get good glasses. :)


View HokieKen's profile


8135 posts in 1404 days

#6 posted 01-26-2017 08:48 PM

All of my combo squares are 4R. I use the 32 scale almost exclusively. I did a little looking and didn’t find anything with only 1/16 scales. Not sure where you might find such a thing. Good luck though!

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View RobS888's profile


2537 posts in 2111 days

#7 posted 01-26-2017 09:04 PM

This says only 1/16th….

Don’t know if I would trust the squareness, but you could use your current head with the rule portion.

-- I always suspected many gun nuts were afraid of something, just never thought popcorn was on the list.

View DirtyMike's profile


637 posts in 1168 days

#8 posted 01-26-2017 09:07 PM

stay away from empire if accuracy is important to you.

View ajshobby's profile


103 posts in 2574 days

#9 posted 01-27-2017 12:24 AM

Any of the big orange squares can work if you dig through them to find a decent one. I have a starret and they are the best. I stumbled across a mitioyto combo square a few years ago and I now buy them for work. Half the price of starret with all the same quality.

AJ in mpls.

View Roger's profile


20969 posts in 3070 days

#10 posted 02-17-2017 04:43 PM

I have a Pinnacle from Woodcraft that I purchased quite a few years ago when it was on sale. Don’t remember what I gave, maybe 50 or 60 bux. Too many of our badly needed tools seem to always be over-priced, in my opinion.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View mramseyISU's profile


571 posts in 1811 days

#11 posted 02-17-2017 04:51 PM

In all seriousness go to Home Depot and look at the Empire squares. They’re guaranteed good to .005” and everyone I’ve checked is dead nuts square. I am concerned about how long the aluminum head will wear compared to a steel or iron one by so far I have no complaints with them.

-- Trust me I'm an engineer.

View pintodeluxe's profile


5855 posts in 3079 days

#12 posted 02-17-2017 06:09 PM

The Empire square is what I’m starting with. I buy one every year or two, as they tend to go out of square. The current one is intermittently square, and certainly not good enough for exacting work.

I recently ordered two Woodriver 12” squares. The first one had a manufacturing blem and wouldn’t slide. The second one wasn’t square (off by nearly 1/8” at full length). So I returned them.

I also looked at the Pinnacle, and 8 out of 10 reviews said it broke in the same place. Apparently it is a weakness with that brand / model.

I had high hopes for the iGaging square, because I really like some of their products. My 6” iGaging double square is okay. It doesn’t slide very nicely, but at least it is square. The markings on one side are impossible to read.

I guess I’m stuck with getting a Starrett and those fine markings on one side.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View PPK's profile


1278 posts in 1075 days

#13 posted 02-17-2017 06:51 PM

I just bought this one, and have been using it for a couple weeks now:

It is a true PEC square, and is dead on. The graduations are very well etched, and it slides OK. Really don’t care if it doesn’t slide super easy, as long as its square! For the price, you can’t beat the quality…

-- Pete

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