Combination Square?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by Beginningwoodworker posted 04-29-2010 05:18 AM 7623 views 0 times favorited 27 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3697 days

04-29-2010 05:18 AM

I am wondering if buying a Starrett 11H-12-4R Combination Square with Cast Iron Head and Black Wrinkle Finish a good idea? I have lots of squares, Japanese squares, Try squares, Speed Square, and a Framing Square. I dont think I really need square even thou I wont one.

27 replies so far

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3198 days

#1 posted 04-29-2010 05:27 AM

You’ll never regret it, and … you’ll have it for life.

-- -- Neil

View patron's profile


13606 posts in 3365 days

#2 posted 04-29-2010 05:41 AM

charles ,
i wanted a starett for 45 years ,
just because it was starett .

never could justify paying that much money ,
i finally got myself a nice combo square ,
looks just like a starett , acts like a starett ,
but only costs $18 , and you can get one here
its like wanting a mercedes benz ,
when you can barely afford gas for a beat up truck .

now i got a real nice combo square with a 16” blade ,
and i checked it with my engineers square ,
it’s right on !

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View mike85215's profile


127 posts in 3168 days

#3 posted 04-29-2010 05:48 AM

Charles….I too wanted a Starrett. I had a really bad case of the wants too. Almost bought one but then I saw a Pinnacle at woodcraft for less than half the price which started me to thinking. The Starrett is accurate to some ridiculous number +/- .001 or something like that, the Pinnacle is accurate to something like +/- .005 think about this we are talking about four thousandths of an inch ! It is my understanding that the humidity in the air will cause the wood that we are measuring to move more that that four thousanths of an inch.
Bottom line…if you already have a reliable square save your money, buy another tool that you can really use if the money is burning a hole in your pocket.
Just my two cents worth.

View Abbott's profile


2570 posts in 3327 days

#4 posted 04-29-2010 07:01 AM

Way to pricey for me. I have a couple speed squares and framing squares (one small and one large each) a small 6” tri-square (not a starrett) and a 4 foot drywall square. The drywall square is out about an eighth in 4-foot which has to be accounted for when using it. I need to work on fixing it one of the days if I can but I haven’t gotten to it yet.

-- Ohh mann...pancakes and boobies...I'll bet that's what Heaven is like! ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣

View degoose's profile


7234 posts in 3378 days

#5 posted 04-29-2010 08:44 AM

No reason is better than… I want it…
I have to say… go for it…. get the best…..

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18286 posts in 3699 days

#6 posted 04-29-2010 09:27 AM

Can’t take it with you, may as well spend it before Uncle Sam or Goldman Sach takes it ;-))

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View GuyK's profile


356 posts in 4103 days

#7 posted 04-29-2010 11:16 AM

It will be one of the best investments you made for your shop and woodworking skills. We will all spend thousands of dollars on power tools and hand tools, but complain about spending a couple of hundred on one of the most important aspect of woodworking, makeing sure our wood is square and measured correctly. How do I know the above, I complained myself till I used my Starett Combination Squares ( 6” and 12” ). They have proved to be one of my better investments. Get them you won’t regret the purchase.

TopamaxSurvivor- Its not that they will take it, its that they won’t let you have it.

-- Guy Kroll

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2137 posts in 3132 days

#8 posted 04-29-2010 12:30 PM


I think the purchase would depend on where you are at with your woodworking game. I have a number of squares and measuring tools at my disposal, none of them as accurate as the Starrett. However, I am not at the point of woodworking where my cuts are as accurate as the measuring tools I am currently using :) Since I already have the tools, there is no immediate justification to buy a new one. Once I reach that new plateau, then I will make the purchase. It all depends on where you need to invest your money. As others already noted, it isn’t a purchase you will kick yourself for making years down the road. It is just a question of whether or not you need that money to be invested in another item and whether that item will best suit your needs in the now.


-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3846 days

#9 posted 04-29-2010 01:09 PM

Charles, go for it. The Starrett is a top notch tool that you will enjoy using. It is a quality tool that will last you a lifetime.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View lumberdustjohn's profile


1263 posts in 3190 days

#10 posted 04-29-2010 01:10 PM

Can’t beat it…... and it will last a lifetime.

-- Safety first because someone needs you.

View PeteMoss's profile


207 posts in 3494 days

#11 posted 04-29-2010 01:50 PM

I guess it is like they say, ignorance is bliss. I was blissfully ignorant about combination squares for a long time. I was perfectly happy, with my Stanley, with making marks that were not square and with a rule that was so rusty/tarnished that I couldn’t read the numbers on it. I finally purchased the Starrett. It has become my favorite tool. After all it is the one tool that is always there, on every project, being used in a variety of different ways. So many things in my shop I don’t trust. I have to check the setup on my jointer fence every so often becuse it will move over time, same with my bandsaw table ange. If I ever change my tablesaw angle I cannot rely on the stops to put it back to where it is supposed to be. Having that one thing, the Starrett, that is absolutely dependable, absolutely accurate, no matter what, really makes a psychological difference for me. Man, I sound like a hippie or something.

The only downside (at this point I don’t even really consider cost to be a downside, because I would gladly spend it again), is that it is a somewhat heavy and large tool. This is a good thing is certain situations, but for laying out small joints and such a smaller verision would be better. I am planning to purchase a 4 or 6 inch version to compliment my 12 incher pretty soon.

-- "Never measure......cut as many times as necessary." - PeteMoss

View TungOilTim's profile


83 posts in 3240 days

#12 posted 04-29-2010 01:57 PM

Look around at flea markets if you’re looking for one. I got lucky and picked up a Starrett 6” double square for 15 dollars I believe.

-- Tim, Plant City FL

View rhett's profile


742 posts in 3691 days

#13 posted 04-29-2010 02:16 PM

I would have to say the most used tool in my shop is a combo square. One of the few opportunities to support an American tool company with products made in the USA. The price difference is due to the fact they are a superior professional grade tool and some 10 year old asian isn’t pumping them out for $2 a day.

-- Doubt kills more dreams than failure.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16275 posts in 4242 days

#14 posted 04-29-2010 02:37 PM

I would say it depends on what you plan to use it for. I have a Harbor Freight knockoff that seems to be pretty well made for the price, and it is plenty accurate enough for woodworking applications like checking the square of a box or making a 90 degree crosscut mark on a piece of lumber. However, if you plan to use it for machine setup, and you really want to get as accurate as possible, I’d invest in a Starrett.

Bottom line for me is this: No, you don’t have to have one. But if it’s on you list of “wants” ... hey, that’s a big part of what this hobby is about…. collecting the tools you want.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3697 days

#15 posted 04-29-2010 03:23 PM

I will be using it for woodworking, like laying out dado’s for casework and for checking my power tools for squareness. My 6’’ and 9’’ squares are not cutting it.

showing 1 through 15 of 27 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics