Most useful combination square or double square size?

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Forum topic by diito posted 02-03-2015 08:04 AM 1824 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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22 posts in 1016 days

02-03-2015 08:04 AM

In my user collection of squares I have a new 12” Starrett combination square, an old ~1920’s but still accurate 12” Starrett I think my great grandfather might have taken home from his job at Ford (it’s etched on the blade, with a number), and a similar aged Stanley Sweetheart 6” solid square that’s also still accurate.

The 12” combination square is great for most things but sometimes it’s a little too big. I don’t end up using the 6” square too much. I think I need a smaller combination square or double square. What do you guys find to be the most useful as far as size, the 4” or 6”? Is there any reasons to get a double square vs. a combination square? I can’t see any advantage to the double square but maybe I’m missing something?

14 replies so far

View ksSlim's profile


1203 posts in 2314 days

#1 posted 02-03-2015 11:25 AM

I use both a 12” and a 6” Starrett combo and a 3” double.
Double is nice for smaller pieces.

-- Sawdust and shavings are therapeutic

View unbob's profile


699 posts in 1327 days

#2 posted 02-03-2015 03:38 PM

I like the Starrett 4” combo, another in this photo is a 6” flat square.

View willie's profile


533 posts in 1878 days

#3 posted 02-03-2015 03:51 PM

I use both combination and double squares in 4”,6”,12”, and 24”. I use the 4” more than the rest, I do a lot of small projects. Although I don’t need the 24” often, it’s nice to have when needed. If I had to choose between a combination or double head, I’d go with the combo. I also have multiples of each so once I have one set I don’t have keep changing them.

-- Every day above ground is a good day!!!

View JayT's profile


4687 posts in 1635 days

#4 posted 02-03-2015 04:05 PM

I use the 12” the most, but also get a lot of use out of a little 4” Starrett double square.

-- "Good judgement is the result of experience. A lot of experience is the result of poor judgement."

View Richard H's profile

Richard H

483 posts in 1104 days

#5 posted 02-03-2015 04:29 PM

I had a 4” Veritas double square and used it as my go to square until I dropped it and broke the pin that holds the blade in place. I have been living without it since and really do miss the thing. I might go with a Starrett double square of the same size when I get around to replacing it probably once the weather warms up a bit but there is nothing wrong with the Veritas version either.

Now I mostly use a 6” combination square. The thing is ok but it’s a lot bulkier than the double square even though it’s really not that big. I do find the combination head on the 6” isn’t that useful to me as if I need a 45 degree angle I often need the reach of the 12” one anyways. I hardly ever use my 12” combination square as I just don’t need something that big most of the time.

So I guess in order of use I would say for my work. 4” double square, 6” double square, 12” combination square. at which point I might be tempted to just ditch the 4” double square and go with a 6” double square instead. Now that I type this maybe I’ll put off replacing my broken 4” square and get a 6” double square instead.

Hope that helps.

View brtech's profile


884 posts in 2346 days

#6 posted 02-03-2015 05:01 PM

The most used square in my shop is the 4” Veritas double square. It’s in my apron pocket or in my hand all the time. I have a 6” fixed square from Woodpeckers that I reach for a lot, but my 12” Starrett combo square is always close at hand.

View bondogaposis's profile


3972 posts in 1775 days

#7 posted 02-03-2015 05:05 PM

I use a 4” double square constantly it is always in my shop apron. I don’t know how I got along without it. I think it is the perfect size for most things.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View MrRon's profile


3898 posts in 2667 days

#8 posted 02-03-2015 06:02 PM

I use my Starrett square to check the accuracy of my other squares, modifying them if needed. I keep the Starrett safely in a toolbox and use the other squares for woodworking. A 12” Stanley combination square is the most used in my shop.

View ChefHDAN's profile


798 posts in 2273 days

#9 posted 02-03-2015 09:57 PM

I’ve got 2 4” starrett double squares that I use all the time, and only go get the 12” off it’s hook on the pegboard when I need a longer line.

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

View HornedWoodwork's profile


222 posts in 638 days

#10 posted 02-03-2015 10:50 PM

6” for me. I have three and I set them for different measurements on the project and keep them set for future use. Occasionally I use my 12” but it is pretty rare.

-- Talent, brilliance, and humility are my virtues.

View AandCstyle's profile


2541 posts in 1681 days

#11 posted 02-04-2015 12:52 AM

I had a 4” Veritas double square and used it as my go to square until I dropped it and broke the pin that holds the blade in place. I have been living without it since and really do miss the thing.
- Richard Hillius

Richard, I bet if you call LV and ask about a replacement pin, they will send you a new one gratis.

I almost never use use my Starrett combination square since I got a 4” Veritas double square, but I have been working on smaller projects.

-- Art

View Ghidrah's profile


667 posts in 646 days

#12 posted 02-04-2015 01:15 AM

For framing I use a 12” combo or speed square, when I’m in my shop I use a 6 and 12” machinist square for marking and a 6” combo along with a marking gauge for mortise, tenon, and shoulder cuts.

-- I meant to do that!

View diito's profile


22 posts in 1016 days

#13 posted 02-04-2015 05:37 AM

It seems the 4” double square is really popular. Any reason why you guys are using that over a 4” combination square? The 45 degree reference face on the combination square head seems like it’s worth a few extra bucks to have. I’ve never owned a double square though so maybe it gets in the way somehow?

View PatrickH's profile


51 posts in 1311 days

#14 posted 02-08-2015 05:21 PM

I love my 4” double and 12” combo. They pair very well together. I do wish I had one of the tiny engineer squares for checking tails with narrow pin sockets.


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