Smooth Square, Great Price

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Review by PurpLev posted 05-05-2010 12:02 AM 2870 views 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Smooth Square, Great Price No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

not much to say. good square, and can be had for a bargain price.

I was using Empire combo squares (12” and 6”) since they were cheap (less than $10 each) at HD. I found them to be as precise as the next square, but the locking and the sliding of the ruler left a lot to be desired. I eventually replaced them both with Starrett equivalent which I found to be as precise, but made of heavier materials, and with higher precision in the machining which means smoother sliding action, and smoother locking of the nuts which just felt better, and easier to use in general.

I wanted a smaller square to just have at hand in the pocket, as even the 6” is slightly too large to do that. the Starretts are somewhat pricy, and I was looking for a more affordable solution when Rockler had their once in a while sale on their double square which was priced at ~$10 AFAIR. I was worried that it wouldn’t be as smooth action as I’m used to, but for that much, I decided I can’t go wrong, and worst case, I can return it. this was about a year ago, and this square performs great! it has smooth action, firm lock, and holds well to use and abuse.

highly recommended, and if you can hold off till Rockler is having a sale, it’s even better!

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

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10 comments so far

View CreekWoodworker's profile


409 posts in 4147 days

#1 posted 05-05-2010 01:39 AM

Nice timing with your review and thanks for taking the time to write it up. I also have HD squares and I’ve been thinking about upgrading. I’ll wait out Rockler for a sale.

-- Mike ...Success is often the result of taking a misstep in the right direction

View PhineasWhipsnake's profile


77 posts in 3897 days

#2 posted 05-05-2010 02:02 AM

Your photo looks exactly like Lee Valley’s Veritas version. I’ve used one for years, and couldn’t be without it. The Roickler price is a great deal.

-- Gene T

View 8iowa's profile


1591 posts in 4610 days

#3 posted 05-05-2010 02:06 AM

I have been using an Empire 6” combo square for several years. It fitrs nicely in a pocket in my apron and it gets a ton of use. The Empire “Pro” models are very accurate.

However, after getting dropped a few times it now slides with difficulty. I’ve been thinking about getting a 6” double square like the one that you have just reviewed. Having a Starrett would be great, but they are heavier, and I’m concerned about having such an expensive square in my apron, knowing that it would just be a matter of time before it gets dropped on the floor.

Thanks for your review, this is a lot of food for thought.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

View PurpLev's profile


8585 posts in 4497 days

#4 posted 05-05-2010 02:23 AM

as I’ve mentioned – the Empire ‘pro’ squares ARE as accurate as my starretts, but the sliding and locking mechanism are far from being as smooth and solid – nothing that affect their accuracy, just convenience.

As for the Lee Valley double square – yes, I agree, the rockler version looks identical to the LV one, and I assume it is the very same square. I usually am a LV addict, but in this case, with the Rockler sales, it was a no brainer.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View bigike's profile


4057 posts in 4137 days

#5 posted 05-05-2010 03:40 AM

thanks for the review, i was looking at these for awhile now i can get one with no worries. ;)

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop, http://[email protected]

View Abbott's profile


2570 posts in 4152 days

#6 posted 05-05-2010 04:58 AM

Thanks for the review Purplev. I wanted one but I didn’t want to pay $60.00 for a Starrett.

-- Ohh mann...pancakes and boobies...I'll bet that's what Heaven is like! ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣

View Dusty56's profile


11859 posts in 4537 days

#7 posted 05-05-2010 05:38 AM

Thanks , Sharon ….I’ve been looking for one of these as well and a good review from a friend like you seals the deal : )
Sorry I won’t be able to see you at the gathering this weekend : (
Have a great time !! : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View 8iowa's profile


1591 posts in 4610 days

#8 posted 05-06-2010 07:23 PM

Well, I bit the bullet and purchased a Starrett 6” combination square. Woodcraft had a “no shipping charge” day. This, with no sales tax, gave me the motivation that I needed.

I use this accessory so much I decided to treat myself to the best. Now I’m going to have to be extra careful not to let it drop out of my apron.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

View PurpLev's profile


8585 posts in 4497 days

#9 posted 05-06-2010 07:41 PM

8iowa: Congrats! the 6” combo from Starrett is a very well machined tool, you’ll appreciate it when you use it.

I find the 6” to be just a tad bit too big to be carrying it around in my pocket though – which is why I got the 4” double square which I reviewed here, it is significantly smaller, and since it’s not a combo square, it’s body is also slimmer and fits better in the pocket – and doesn’t have a chance of falling (unless you really want it to).

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View swirt's profile


5462 posts in 3821 days

#10 posted 05-06-2010 07:47 PM

I had a 6” Swanson combination square that was just really bad… it was square, but wouldn’t hold a setting, and the ends weren’t ground true. When it broke I replaced it with a 7” Craftsman which is a much better square. Added a pencil notch to the end have been happy ever since.

I like the looks of the double square but I often use the combination square to transfer depths and I’d be too likely to mistakenly use the “wrong end” of the double square and transfer the wrong measurement. This is not a worry with an ordinary combination square.

-- Galootish log blog,

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