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Starrett Combination Square

Specifications
Length: 12"
Price: $80
Rating:
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Review

If there is a tool in the shop that is used on every project it has to be my Starrett Combination Square. An old coworker of mine gave this to me as a gift. He must have heard me daydreaming about this tool. A generous gift, you bet. I'm sure I'll never forget it. Anyway, back to the tool review.

I've owned other combination squares and to fully appreciate this tool I feel it is necessary to own inferior tools first. The main differences in this tool over cheaper tools are the accurate head alignment, visible numbering and hardened steel rule.

Head
The head of this tool is machined to provide very precise measurements. This tool's purpose is to measure so I feel that feature is certainly important. The matte black finish reduces glare from powerful shop lights and is not too bad aesthetically either. Locking the head in place hardly requires any effort, but once in place, it stays in place. Consider it dead on until it is moved again.

Numbering
Don't underestimate the importance of highly visible accurate numbering. This rule uses grooves that are painted black to mark the graduations. This may sound meaningless until you compare it to just cut graduations. Under shop lights this is very easy on the eyes and certainly provides a greater level of accuracy.

Steel Rule
This is not some wimpy steel rule. This is made of hardened steel. I feel comfortable using this to determine if a board is truly flat. Other rules may slightly conform to the contour but this one will stay dead flat. The rule is also finished with a matte finish. This allows the black painted graduations to really pop.

At around $80 this seems to be quite an expensive tool. Sure, for a couple of pieces of metal I'd tend to agree that the price seems a little rich. However, if you can get past that notion and realize how important this tool is to woodworking, I think you'd agree that it is money well spent.

Final Thoughts
When taking a woodworking class at the local Woodcraft the instructor said something to the effect that if he was woodworking in his socks, this would be the one tool that he'd use his foot to break the fall. I don't do woodworking in my socks but if I did, I'd stick my foot out to break the fall too.

This quality tool gets top honors. Overall Rating 6 out of 6.

Purchase Starrett Combination Square

 

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