Top 5 Best Speed Squares (Review) In 2021

Imagine what it would be like if you don’t use any tool while doing woodworking, framing, or construction-related work. No confusion that you will end up with an inefficient and time-consuming task.

When you need to measure anything for a perfect 45° or 90° angle, the best speed squares will undoubtedly deliver you precise measurement. Even you can use them as a ruler or crosscut fence.

Figuring out the right speed squares is a tricky task. This tricky task will be much easier once you finish reading this article. We came up with a list of quality rafter squares after in-depth research.   

Let’s get things underway.


Jump To The Right Speed Square

Top 5 Best Speed Square Reviews

Our review section is designed to give you peace of mind. We show both pros and cons so that you can make a precise decision before picking the right product.

Below is an in-depth review that would be helpful while picking the best item.

DEWALT DWHT46031 Aluminum 7-inch Premium Rafter Square

When the product comes from a renowned manufacturer, DEWALT, you don’t need to be worried about the quality of the product. The tool has come with a high-contrast option that you will not face any problem to read the number while measuring. The rafter square’s body color is black, and white is the numbering color. So the numbers on the body are highly visible.

The base is quite more abundant in the DEWALT DWHT46031 aluminum made speed square than average speed squares. So it is a perfect tool that can hold larger lumbers. Also, it has an excellent scribe-line notch. As a result, you will have a comfortable rip cut since marking lumber will become extremely straightforward.

Although most metallic rafter squares claim that they are durable enough to be used as a saw guide, the tool will must receive thumbs up to this claim. It is a lightweight tool: 8-ounces only and perfect to carry. You can store it at any belt in your toolbox. Due to the base lip, more security is ensured while working with wood or any other surfaces.

The product comes with an affordable price range. Heavy-gauge billet aluminum alloy made construction ensures the longevity of the item. A complete pocket guide is available with the tool to get the highest efficiency from the speed square.

Key Features:

IRWIN Tools Rafter Square, Hi-Contrast Aluminum, Blue , 7-Inch (1794463)

If you are looking for a heavy-duty, premium quality speed square for your construction work, the IRWIN 1794463 Rafter Square will be a safe choice. The best feature of the rafter square is its numerous scales: 1/8”, 1/10”, 1/12”, and 1/16”. The numbering of the tool is easy to read. Even if you are below subpar light conditions, you will not face any trouble to read its yellow numbering on the blue colored body. 

The tool is made of aluminum; at the same time, it is durable and lightweight. Moreover, it is rust-proof. Besides, no damage will happen due to weather because of its weather-resistant feature. In terms of design, it has all the features that a standard rafter square should carry. In some cases, it is better performers than other speed squares, such as the 1/16” scale is unavailable in its previous model.

Irwin rafter squares are popular among professionals and DIY hobbyists. And this rafter square is also no exception. For a home workshop, it will be a great addition for sure. Also, you can give this as a gift to a professional. Its weight is only 0.16 ounces, measurement 9.2” x 7.5” x 1.0”, an ideal design to carry it in your nail bag without any trouble.

Another notable feature is; an instruction booklet is available with the item that contains enough information.

Key Features:

CH Hanson 03060 Pivot Square

In fact, the CH Hanson 03060 pivot square is a sibling of rafter triangle square. However, it will be a great tool if you want to focus more on precise angle measurement. If you need multiple cut lines, it will allow you to do so without making any trouble with the help of its locking mechanism. As per your requirement, you can mark the cut lines with both degree or roof pitches.

In terms of accuracy, you will hardly find any other tools that are much accurate. It contains 3 ultra-violet proof spirit levels, which will assist you in doing roof pitch, grades, and different types of leveling jobs.

Aluminum alloy made construction is one of the best durable speed squares in the market. The CH Hanson 03060 comes with a sturdy bag, pencil marker, and a manual guide for roof framing. The manual stands almost as misused as a square, and some customers report being able to use the manual despite years of neglect.

Since this tool was created to extend the angle functions of a motion square, degrees can be added against any protractor or cardinal clinometers with unbelievable precision. The item is easy to use and robust enough that you will get long term service from the tool.

Key Features:

Johnson Level & Tool 1904-0700 7-Inch Johnny Square, Professional Easy-Read Aluminum Rafter Square w/out Manual

The cheapest product on this list comes with less than $10 and it is full of excellent features. Most affordable price doesn’t mean in terms of performance the Johnson Level & Tool 1904-0700 7” Johnny Square is cheap. It will satisfy you with its performance that you will start appreciating it to others. The extruded aluminum body of this 7” speed square comes with CNC machined corners. Also, it offers excellent accuracy and readability through laser-etched numbering.  

The great thing in this speed square is, it doesn’t reflect light, but it diffracts it. Due to its anti-glare coated body, you can easily read its numbering at heavy sunlight or full shade. At the same time, when you are using a saw guide, it creates more friction because its edges are thick enough.

Scribing notches help spread from 3” – ½” or 5” – ½” and an ideal option for measuring 2 X 4 board measurement of 1 – ½”, 3” and 3 – ½”. Generally, a traditional speed square comes with 3 scribe slots. But this rafter square is equipped with 5 square slots that make the item much appreciated by its user in its range.

Its integrated distances and angle scales allow you to smear your cut lines effortlessly on your strings without taking much time. Also, you can take measurements for hip, jack rafter cuts, with the help of the tool. Besides, in terms of durability, it is a champion product.

Key Features:

Swanson Tool Co SW1201K Value Pack 7 inch Speed Square and Big 12 Speed Square (without layout bar) ships with Blue Book

Since 1925, the SWANSON is in the tool industry, and from then to now, they come with quality products. The SWANSON 7” Rafter Square is also no exception in this case. The item is manufactured in such a way so that it can fulfill the requirements of professional construction workers, woodworkers, and DIY lovers.

The extraordinary feature of the item is a patented diamond cutout. Without any hassle, you can precisely scribe lines because the patented diamond will let you measure and align the lines. Knowing this correctly and accurately, you can make a 90° line from the angle of your scribed at the edge of the board.

Also, it is a set of 2 squares that will allow you to accomplish a wide range of projects. The smaller one is 7” and 12” is the larger one that makes it ideal for many projects. It prevents glare due to its matte finish.

It consists of a pivot point that will assist you in using the rafter square as a protractor. The best thing is, you will receive a blue book with the item which describes all the essential formulas related to the stairway and roof, diagrams, etc.

Key Features:

Buying Guide | Characteristics of the Best Speed Squares

What is the difference between a traditional and the best product?

There are some specific kind of characteristics available with the best item that makes them a much better item over a traditional item.

So, what are the characteristics of the best speed squares?

Below are the main characteristics that need to be kept in mind.



In recent times, most of the speed squares are made of durable materials like steel or aluminum alloy. Don’t pick an item that is made of inferior materials. Since you are investing a few bucks, no doubt that you want to get long term service from the item.

However, in the market, you will still find a few rafter squares made of wood. They are also tough as well as come with a rustic look. Some are made of plastic. Both types can break easily after a while.



What you plan to use your rafter square will largely determine the completion of your purchase. The requirement of an architect and a carpenter is dissimilar.

Architects require to draw complicated and accurate drawings, whereas a carpenter in a construction site needs to measure the rooftop accurately. So, their requirement is different; they need to pick a speed square that fulfills their needs.

Firstly, ask yourself why you want to use a speed square, and depending on that, pick your speed square.


Weight and Size

Most of the speed squares come with the lightweight feature. Remember, aluminum or metal made speed squares are heavier than a plastic made speed square.

You need to keep the size of your selected speed square into consideration also. You may think size doesn’t matter, but the fact is, large size speed squares are less durable, prone to break easily, and they are bulky too.

The standard size of a speed square is 8”.

Since you may need to carry your speed squares into your workstation, so it has to be lightweight and standard in size.



It probably won’t be a surprise that the little kids have learned that the speed squares in their classroom are much different from those of a carpenter’s rafter square.

The markings need to come with a high visibility option. If you can’t see the markings comfortably, and measure correctly, then the purpose of purchasing a speed square will go in vain.

So make sure your selected item comes with high visibility.

You may want to read this article – Best Laser Level 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is there any other name available for speed square?

Speed squares are also known as “rafter square,” “triangle square,” or “rafter triangle square.”

Speed squares are made of what material?

Different types of materials are used to make speed square. Wood, aluminum, is the most widely used material. Also, some speed squares are made from stainless steel too.

Who uses speed squares?

Speed squares are versatile and can be used in different types of work. It is a great tool in the woodworker’s toolbox.

What is the standard size of a speed square?

Speed squares are available in different sizes. Although project to project, the size of a speed square varies, but the most standard size of a speed square is 12” triangle and 7” triangle.

Wrap Up

The best speed squares are versatile, deliver an accurate result, and use them in a wide range of projects.

When you are going to measure any angles or drawing anything, they will give you the best companion.

Don’t pick an inferior quality item. Purchase the best product and value your time and money.

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