Cast Iron or Forged and Hardened steel

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Forum topic by greatview posted 03-05-2010 12:31 AM 3995 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View greatview's profile


110 posts in 2581 days

03-05-2010 12:31 AM

I’m interested in buying a Starrett combination square but don’t understand the difference in the head material as to performance and use for general woodworking. Does it matter?

-- Tom, New London, NH

5 replies so far

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4408 posts in 3383 days

#1 posted 03-05-2010 12:33 AM

Starrett don’t make no junk.
Ifn I was a production tool maker, I’d probably spring for the forged jobby.


View LeeG's profile


40 posts in 2444 days

#2 posted 03-05-2010 01:11 AM

I don’t think it matters greatly for woodworkers.. Forged items are less brittle than cast items. Hardened items are, well, harder but more brittle. I have a Starrett combo square that has seen years of use in a machine shop and is still dead solid square.

-- Lee in Phoenix

View Kugel's profile


23 posts in 2693 days

#3 posted 03-05-2010 01:59 AM

I would also get the “satin” finish on the rule. It makes a huge difference in how easy it is to read the rule. It does not reflect the light, which is great especially if you are outside!

-- J. KUGEL Kirkland, WA

View Ingjr's profile


143 posts in 2439 days

#4 posted 03-05-2010 02:32 AM

I’m from the “doesn’t really matter to a woodworker” school of thought. Starrett is a great tool.

-- The older I get the faster I was.

View Glen Peterson's profile

Glen Peterson

555 posts in 2479 days

#5 posted 03-05-2010 04:53 AM

I have 2 Starrett squares, a 4” and a 12” combo. I have 3 other engineer’s squares, but I always grab these two. I agree with the satin finish recommendation. Starret’s also have a life time guarantee. I believe that’s for the life of the tool, which should be considerably longer than mine. They aren’t cheap, but this is a case where you are getting what you pay for.

-- Glen

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