Starrett Combo square help!

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Forum topic by SoCalDJ posted 02-27-2011 02:38 PM 1561 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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46 posts in 2829 days

02-27-2011 02:38 PM

Ok first post here!

So I recently realized that my combo square which I thought was square, was a piece of garbage, and realizing that I needed to get a new one, I figured why not replace it with something that will last as long as I do?!

I did a bit of research and found that for combo square Starrett is the most recommended, and one of the best brands out there.

So here’s my question.

I did a bit of digging and found both of these:

C11 series (Cast Iron):

C33 series (Forged Steel):

What are the pros and cons to having a square like this?

The biggest one I’d guess at is rust? I live in Southern California, in the inland valleys where it’s mostly hot and dry with very little in the way of humidity. If I choose the cast iron, will I need to worry about rust?

I just want some good and bad about the different choices here since this is my first major hand tool purchase (And it’s expensive for a ruler :D)

4 replies so far

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3252 days

#1 posted 02-27-2011 03:41 PM

This is a product that you can purchase used on e-bay for a very reasonable price. It just takes a little patience. A used one is just as good as a new one. They never wear out, but some cleaning may be desirable.

Regarding steel versus cast iron – I’m very happy with my cast iron one and have never had a rust problem. I have no experience with the steel version.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2170 posts in 3028 days

#2 posted 02-27-2011 04:03 PM

Yikes! Does it come in a special dovetailed presentation box made of select exotic hardwoods, lined in precious antique silk and engraved with your name?

I am a strong advocate for quality tools, but, according to my values, this is triple the cost of a tool which will measure depth, allow you to scribe a right angle and get you to 45 degrees and do all that to a degree of accuracy which is acceptable even in the finest woodworking.

It might be time to take the temperature of your reaction to your unsquare square.



-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View ChefHDAN's profile


1144 posts in 3027 days

#3 posted 02-27-2011 04:03 PM

I’m still using my Grandfathers set, he was an engineer for Sperry. Thier stuff is expensive & used is the way to go, steel wool, & some elbow grease is all it takes, here in MD not to far from the shore we get alot of damp weather & hunid summers, my cast set does fine

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

View brtech's profile


1049 posts in 3100 days

#4 posted 03-01-2011 12:42 AM

Yup, ebay.

I paid $46 with shipping for mine. 12” rule, both the square and protractor heads. Decent shape, missing the scribe, level is okay, finish is okay. Having the protractor head is very nice, so I bid a bit more for that one. Not missing the centering head yet.

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