The squares I got were half accurate

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Review by RandyMorter posted 04-01-2011 07:20 PM 5953 views 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
The squares I got were half accurate No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I ordered these from Hartville Tool through Amazon. I thought the price and specs looked good and I wanted them for setting up my table and other saws. I was also drawn to them due to the wood box.

When I got them I held them up to each other to test them. The outsides of the blades all seem true – I couldn’t see any light between the blades of different squares. When I placed one square inside another to test the squareness and insides of the blades I could see varying degrees of light between the blades. One of the insides didn’t appear to be square to the inside of the blade. The others just didn’t appear to be true edges.

I had purchased a brand new Starrett C33H-12-4R at the same time and using it I seemed to verify the results. The Starrett showed the outside edges were square and true but the insides had issues.

So, I think the squares are half okay, resulting in the 3 stars.

Also, the box is nothing to be proud of but for the price it’s okay. It’s just not as good as some of the other things I have (Wood River forstner or MLCS router bit boxes for example).

As for Hartville Tool, they are great, willing to take the merchandise back without any issue and will reimburse shipping if they feel the product is defective. Can’t argue with that. I’m still debating on whether to bother since these WILL work for setting up blades and the different sizes are nice.

-- Randy Morter, Phoenix, AZ

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228 posts in 3500 days

8 comments so far

View Bertha's profile


13588 posts in 3502 days

#1 posted 04-01-2011 07:24 PM

Starrett wins again. I have a hard time sending tools back, even if they’re defective. It just feels like I’m losing tools!

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View MrRon's profile


5926 posts in 4053 days

#2 posted 04-01-2011 07:32 PM

I’m not 100% certain, but I believe engineering squares only have to be square on the outside.

View ratchet's profile


1391 posts in 4596 days

#3 posted 04-01-2011 07:52 PM

Agreed, they are designed to be true on the outside only. But that said, it would be nice to have the inside correct as well. I wonder if you could file the insides true. Thanks for the review.

View DraftsmanRick's profile


112 posts in 3869 days

#4 posted 04-01-2011 09:57 PM

Randy, I’ve got a couple of engineering squares i ordered from a mail order mag and they weren’t all that great either. I cant remember the name of them right now (maybe Zog) but it started with a “Z” i believe? They are also NOT square on either inside or out. Ron/Ratchet i didnt know that. You would think a square would be “square” on both sides.

You can also check with this method to see if its square in case you dont know. Place the square on a straight edge of work, draw a perpendicular line, and then flip the square over and check it. If it lines up when the square is flipped, its square. Thats the easyist way to do it. I would send them back if you haven’t already. I know most everyone is feeling this econemy but personally i dont like spending my hard earned money on crap tools that dont perform. As Pat Warner the router guru says when it comes to layout tools: Close work, is guess work.
Thanks for your post and sharing with us.

-- Jesus was a carpenter

View Dusty56's profile


11859 posts in 4497 days

#5 posted 04-01-2011 11:13 PM

Does it say anywhere in their {Hartville Tool} sales ad / literature that the squares are only square on one side ?
Shouldn’t their salespeople let us know before we purchase them ?
They have the final say if the squares are defective or not ???
That doesn’t sound like “great customer service” to me : (

My Engineer squares from WoodCraft {GROZ} are square inside and out and came in a nice box as well : )

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

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11859 posts in 4497 days

#6 posted 04-02-2011 12:39 AM

Two Possible April Fools comments above ? LOL
I couldn’t find anywhere online that states the Engineers squares are only square on the outside , but rather square and parallel inside and out was mentioned.

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

View RandyMorter's profile


228 posts in 3500 days

#7 posted 04-03-2011 12:57 AM

Thanks guys…

I’ve been trying to use them for a day before deciding whether to send them back.

This link is to the actual set I ordered. They say they’re parallel as well so I expected the inside to be square.

DraftsmanRick – Thanks for the instructions – I knew about that but I just measured them with my Starrett and saw a flaw that way so didn’t bother with the line test. On one of the insides it looks like it could be filed because there appears to be just a raised or thicker part near the handle. But I don’t want to file them – if I had a milling machine I might try it but I don’t trust my filing.

To be honest, they actually fit my needs nicely for setting up blades. I’ve been able to set up my table saw and I’ve checked and found my band saw isn’t square (I’d set it with my little Empire 6”). I’m still debating on them – Hartville has a Incra 5” square that looks nice and I’ve discussed exchanging this set for that but then I have just the one size. Those Groz squares pointed out by Dusty56 may actually be the ticket. But again, I don’t think I’ll actually be using the insides.

-- Randy Morter, Phoenix, AZ

View lashing's profile


111 posts in 3630 days

#8 posted 11-10-2012 06:17 PM

The reason this is so prevelant is most people have no real square reference not do actual work. Its like exercise machines at Walmart. They fall apart if you use them but they know the people buying them will simply never actually use them.

They can made perfectly accurate stuff in China and for less than an American product. They do have all the tooling and skill. They choose not to as they would rather sell 100000 squares and get 1000 back then sell 1000 actually good ones at a higher price point. I should rephrase that – the reailer actually takes the lost as China takes nothing back. The retailers simply work the projected returns into price. It all could stop if they simply refused to sell trash or people stopped buying it.

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