We know how important it is to get accurate measurements in any design or construction project. Any wrong measurement can result in you having to rebuild the whole thing, costing you both time as well as money. Hence, to avoid such mistakes, a framing square is preferred by architects, carpenters, and civil engineers. Framing squares are used for taking precise measurements in various projects, so they need to have perfect gradations. These hand tools might seem difficult to operate at first glance, but they are actually very easy to use and extremely helpful in any design project. However, getting a perfect framing square can be tough as there are ample products available on the market. To help you make the right choice, we have reviewed the best framing squares in 2023 and developed a comprehensive buying guide so you can make an informed decision.
Before buying a framing square, proper research is required because these tools hold an important role in any designing project. If the hand tool is not perfect, it can hamper your project for a long time. Hence, we have created this buying guide that consists of all the important factors you should keep in mind while selecting the best framing square for your projects.
What Are the Factors You Should Look For in a Framing Square?
The material used for the construction of a framing square plays a vital role in determining its sturdiness and accuracy. Most manufacturers use stainless steel, carbon steel, or aluminum for designing framing squares that give excellent results. However, if you go for a stainless steel tool, then you need to make sure that it doesn’t get damaged due to rusting and oxidation.
Accuracy is the most important thing that you must keep in mind while selecting a framing square. If the tool is not accurate, it can lead to wrong measurements and hamper your work. For checking the accuracy of a framing square, place it with a ruler and check the markings. If they match, then draw a line with the square to know whether it’s straight or not.
If you are unable to read the gradation marks on the framing square, then it’s of no use. A framing square should have good readability to prevent any mistakes. Most manufacturers stamp the gradations on the framing squares or use lasers to make the marks permanent. The color of markings should contrast with the body color of the framing square to ensure good visibility.
A framing square should have excellent durability; otherwise, the instrument would be of no use. The durability of framing squares depends on the material used for construction and the gradation marks. If the material is not sturdy, then it can break or bend under high pressure, which will further lead to wrong measurements. Moreover, if the gradation marks fade away after a few months, the scale would be of no use.
Different framing squares have different measurement systems, and you need to check them before buying one. The measurement system of a framing square depends on inch divisions and conversion tables. Inch divisions state the type of gradation markings the tool would have, while conversion tables help you know the type of measurement system used in the instrument to convert it as per your convenience.
How To Use a Framing Square
In case you’ve never used a framing square before, this video from Make Build Modify can help you get started:
Framing squares are essential for budding architects and other designers to get correct measurements and make accurate cuts. Here we have stated the best framing squares that have passed industry standards and are preferred by most people. We hope it would help you in purchasing the perfect framing square as per your needs.
A sturdy framing square is a basic need for every architect and civil engineer as it helps in getting exact measurements for projects. This tool from VINCA SCLS is made of heavy steel with an extra rust-proof coating, which works perfectly for all types of designing projects.
Besides, the accuracy of this square is around ±0.0573 degrees and has inch measurements on both sides. On the smaller scale, the outside gradation is up to 8 inches, while on the inside, it is 6 inches. For the larger scale, the outer measurement is up to 12 inches, and the inner is around 11 inches. This product is known for its accurate measurements and incredible durability. Though the tool is a bit heavy, it provides precise results.
It has an accuracy of up to ±0.0573 degrees
Heavy steel is used for the construction of this framing square that makes it durable
It comes with an extra rust-proof coating
This framing square has accurate measurements
Due to usage of steel, this instrument is quite heavy
If you are looking for a framing square that is durable and affordable, then this product from Mr. Pen would be the perfect choice for you. Apart from its incredible price, this tool comes with amazing features such as accurate measurements, sturdy construction, different gradation units, and more.
It is made of Carbon steel that increases the strength of this framing square, prevents bending, and makes it light in weight. On top of that, it has imperial units on one side of the scale, with 1/6 -inch measurement range, and metric units on the other side, with mm gradation. Due to different units, you can use whichever measurement system is convenient for the project. It is also perfect for all kinds of DIY and carpentry work, thanks to the length of both legs. While the shorter leg measures 8-inch on the outside and 6.5-inch inside, the longer one has a 12-inch measurement on the outside and 11-inch inside.
It has two different measurement systems for your convenience
It is constructed with Carbon steel that makes this framing square robust and lightweight
It is suitable for various works like framing, roofing, designing, and more
It has good readability as the white print contrasts well with the square’s black body
The Milescraft MC square is designed for doing all kinds of carpentry and woodworking projects. It is constructed with aluminum, due to which it has incredible strength and is lightweight. Moreover, it comes with an in-built protractor that allows you to get accurate angles while making round cuts.
This framing square has a thickness of 3mm to fix the scale in its position and prevent measurement errors. Besides, the fence of this ruler is removable so that you can take proper measurements of small pieces. You can also easily hang this instrument with the hinge mounting holes that come along with it.
It has smooth edges for precise lining
It is robust, durable, and has precise measurements
This framing square has an in-built protractor for making perfect angle cuts
It is made of aluminum, hence it’s strong yet lightweight
It needs some adjustments to attain perfect angles before starting any work
IRWIN Tools is known for manufacturing products for professionals in every field. This framing square from IRWIN Tools is built with precision and has multiple scales like 1/8-inch, 1/10-inch, 1/12-inch, and more. Moreover, the gradation marks are stamped over the ruler so that they are easy to read and don’t fade away with regular use.
This instrument is engineered with aluminum that gives it extra strength and durability while decreasing its weight to prevent wrist aches. The designers have added extra rust-proof coating on the product to guard it against any kind of damage. Though it is a bit expensive, the quality of this framing square is worth the money.
The gradation marks are stamped on the scale for better readability
This framing square has an aluminum body with an extra rust-proof coating
It has various scales for better measurement
You can use this ruler as a saw guide, protractor, and more
Designed with anodized aluminum, this framing square from Empire Level is one of the most preferred hand tools by experts. It has stamped gradation marks that improve the tool’s readability and durability.
Apart from that, this instrument’s body is coated with rust-proof laminations to prevent it from getting damaged. As the tool is made with aluminum, it can withstand high pressure without bending an inch. It comes with multiple scales of 1/10-inch, 1/12-inch, and more, along with conversion tables for understanding the measurement system. On top of that, it has two legs of 16-inch and 24-inch, which makes this product perfect for all kinds of measuring work.
The whole body is engineered with anodized aluminum that increases its lifespan
It has good visibility due to stamped gradation marks
This framing square will not bend or break under high pressure
It comes with multiple scales and conversion tables to understand measurement marks
It is difficult to find this framing square as the stock sells out fast
If you want a product that can perform tasks of various tools, then the Swanson Tool framing square is the perfect pick. It can function as a miter square, angle finder, try square, and saw guide. Apart from its versatility, this framing square has good durability, thanks to the high-grade aluminum used for its construction.
Moreover, it has an adjustable sliding tab to lock the blade for taking repetitive angles, which in turn increases accuracy and saves time. Due to its foldable design, you can carry this framing square anywhere easily. Besides, the gradation marks are easy to read as they are laser printed on the body of the ruler.
This framing square has a foldable design which makes it easy to carry
It has an excellent locking mechanism to lock the blades for precise angle readings
The gradation marks are printed with laser and will not fade away
This framing square can function as various tools like saw guide, miter square, and more
This instrument from Starrett is designed for doing DIY projects and other easy tasks. It is a one-piece framing square engineered with tempered steel and has permanently stamped gradation marks of 1/8 inch on both front and back.
Its robust construction makes this instrument resistant to bending and breaking under high pressure. Moreover, it has a clear coating that prevents rust from damaging the tool. Though it does not have adjustable sliders or extra scales, it is an excellent choice for beginner architects. This framing square has a 24-inch long leg with 2-inch gradation marks and a short leg of 16 inches with 1-½-inch gradations.
It is constructed with tempered steel that makes the tool robust and reliable
The gradation marks are permanently stamped on this framing square for better visibility
It is designed to withstand high pressure and will not bend or break under any circumstances
The gradations are noted with a font size of 1/8 -inch for better readability
It does not have any adjustable ruler or multiple scales
People Also Asked
Q: How can I know the measurement system of a framing square?
A: You can know the measurement system of a framing square by looking at the description box. Make sure to check whether it comes with conversion tables or not because it would help you to use the tool at your convenience.
Q: Can I use a framing square as a saw guide?
A: Yes, you can use a framing square as a saw guide if it has an adjustable sliding ruler. It would lock the blade so that you can make smooth cuts without adjusting the ruler several times.
Q: Should I buy a framing square made of stainless steel or aluminum?
A: You should always go for a framing square made of aluminum as it is light in weight and makes the tool robust. Stainless steel can get damaged due to rusting or oxidation due to which it won’t last for a long time.
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