WTB: 6 inch combination square

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Forum topic by ballsofclay posted 02-03-2014 05:29 PM 1797 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View ballsofclay's profile


12 posts in 1819 days

02-03-2014 05:29 PM

I need a small combination square. I don’t need Starrett quality for this one, but would take it for a good price. I am probably looking for one priced a little lower than a Starrett.

14 replies so far

View waho6o9's profile


8539 posts in 2817 days

#1 posted 02-03-2014 05:48 PM

Here ya go. There’s a lot a great values on this site as well.


View natenaaron's profile


442 posts in 2037 days

#2 posted 02-03-2014 06:06 PM

Somewhere on this site is a comparison between a Starrett and an Empire form HD. No difference, except the price. I am more than happy with the Empire brand. Has not failed me yet, and if it grows legs or hides I am not out a butt ton of money.

View Whiskers's profile


389 posts in 2267 days

#3 posted 02-03-2014 08:54 PM

I bought a set of the Empires off Amazon, they were very reasonably priced at the time and seem to give me a perfectly square line. I have never owned or used a starrett, but can not see how something so simple should be that pricey.

View Domer's profile


252 posts in 3607 days

#4 posted 02-03-2014 09:41 PM

Lee Valley has a nice one for not too much. It is easier to read the numbers than the less expensive ones.


View PurpLev's profile


8548 posts in 3889 days

#5 posted 02-03-2014 09:46 PM

I compared the starrett and the Empire-Pro in my review.

mind you – the empire-pro is much higher quality than the standard ‘empire’. the starrett isn’t just more expensive, it is machined to a far higher degree, and the materials are beefier on it – it just wasn’t any ‘straighter’ ;) so the empire would do just fine.

the first post here actually looks like a very good alternative. the casting look very good, much better than the empire. but hard to say how straight it is without holding it in your hand and testing it out.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Whiskers's profile


389 posts in 2267 days

#6 posted 02-03-2014 11:36 PM

For anyone looking to buy a assortment of such things, thought I would mention another thing. After I got my empire 6,12 and 16 inch combination squares, I was shopping at the HF and saw this 24” monster that has 3 different combination widgets for various angles super cheap. I can’t speak to how well this works as a combination square cause all those things ended up pulled off and laying loose in a tool drawer. I am astounded at how much I keep getting spams for metal rulers from Woodpecker and Incra for a simple metal ruler. I find the 24” HF ruler easy to read and plenty straight enough to draw a line when I want, and if I should ever need a giant combo square, I guess I got one.

As a side question, PurpLev, how do you tell the Empire-Pro from the standard Empire line? All I know Is I remember the ad copy seemed so proud of their blue bubbles, which personally I couldn’t imagine how the color of the bubble would make that big a difference.

A note on the squareness of the Empire levels. After I bought them for a long time I would measure and mark my line, than turn the empire level over and check the line to see if it was slightly off. If a square isn’t true 90 degrees it will show up that simply. I did this for a long time with all 3 levels and only near the end did I finally run into a line that screamed I am not perfect!. After scratching my head for a few seconds I turned the board up on edge and discovered the board wasn’t cut straight.

View Armandhammer's profile


235 posts in 1866 days

#7 posted 02-04-2014 01:36 AM

Great to see there’s an inexpensive alternative…at least to get started with.

View mantwi's profile


312 posts in 2136 days

#8 posted 02-04-2014 01:45 AM

I bought an Empire pro 16” combination square at Sears and it is as accurate as anything I’ll ever need. if the 16” square is dead on, and it is, I can’t imagine the 6” being anything but a good tool. After looking at Woodcraft and the big box stores Sears (it galls me to say this) had the best value and quality in the price range I was looking to buy in. Don’t even think about the Harbor Freight Combination Squares. I checked them out and they are just looking for someone to give them a ride to the scrap yard. You won’t regret getting the Empire Pro.

View Whiskers's profile


389 posts in 2267 days

#9 posted 02-04-2014 01:48 AM

Yeah mantwi, I read lots of reviews on the squares and the HF ones do not fair well, but grab the big one when it on sale if you want a big ruler.

View lateralus819's profile


2241 posts in 2130 days

#10 posted 02-04-2014 02:22 AM

Good thing about the empires too though, they’re made in U.S.A. and they’re cheap.

I had one of the cheaper empires once. Couldn’t figure out why all my stock was off.

It was bent, and bowed. Lol.

View Whiskers's profile


389 posts in 2267 days

#11 posted 02-04-2014 02:34 AM

you should treat your tools better, of course you can bend and bow a starrett just as easily, it just won’t hurt as much with a Empire.

View ballsofclay's profile


12 posts in 1819 days

#12 posted 02-04-2014 03:27 PM

Thanks for the tip on Harry Epstein. I am going to order one of theirs and some drill bits. I figure the stuff is inexpensive enough that it is worth giving it a try.

View BinghamtonEd's profile


2298 posts in 2610 days

#13 posted 02-05-2014 07:12 PM

I have 2 empire 6” squares and 2 Craftsman 7” squares. Every once in a rare while, the Sears rewards points give you a bonus $10 credit (it expires after 3 days or so so you have to use it quick). When that happens, I just grab another square. I like all of them. Are they Starretts? Definitely not, but they work for me. The extra 1” might not seem like a lot, but it comes in handy when working with 6” wide stock, since the blade will reach all the way across. Having multiples also comes in handy for repetitive marking tasks, like mortises for example.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View lateralus819's profile


2241 posts in 2130 days

#14 posted 02-06-2014 03:42 AM

Whiskers, it wasn’t ME who bent it. It was purchased that way.

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