The Best Machinist Squares for Woodworking

So which is the best Machinist Square in the Market Today?

A machinist square or an engineer’s square is a very vital tool in the workshop. It has numerous uses making it very important to choose the best machinist square for the job you have at hand. Unlike other squares, the engineer square gives you a chance to use the inside and the outside corners giving you an opportunity to check for inside and outside squareness.

There are different sizes and shapes of the machinist square and they have a grade that indicates their tolerance level. There are low grade squares and high grade squares.

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You can use the low grade square in your workshop as a normal tool. Tasks like setting the angle of your table saw or confirming the squareness of wood boards you just sawed can be done with the low grade square.

You also need a high grade square in the workshop to help you with the calibration and inspection of all your low grade squares. You need to set aside one sacred square that you keep safely and use it only for verification, calibration and inspection of your try squares, framing squares, T- Square, combination square and even your double square. Every square in your workshop needs a regular check against a machinist square.

Machinist Square Vs. Woodworking Try Square

It is common to see a woodworking square that has a wood head and a metal blade that are pinned to make it a unit. A machinist square on the other hand comes as a single unit with zero conjunctions, the head and the blade are integrated directly (no rivets no pinned).

The size of the blade with also give you a clear distinction between a machinist square and a wood working square. The woodworking square comes with a longer blade that makes them suitable for large wood projects. The Machinist square comes with shorter blades and they are mainly used for small metal projects.

The other main difference that you may not notice with your bare eye is the accuracy. An engineer square is more accurate compared to a wood working square.  We all want to have 100% accuracy in our projects, but wood shrinks or expands depending on the humidity making it hard to have a perfect square in woodworking projects. However, you ought to be 100% with machinist projects as you will not have a chance to change after completing the project.

Here is a list that gives you every detail that you need to know.

Best Machinist Square for Wood Working : Engineers Pick

  1. Woodpeckers 1281R-300 Woodworking Square – 300 MM Metric – Best Professional Square

  2. Woodraphic Signature Precision Square in Tool 12-inch – Best Carpenters Square

  3. Starrett 56366 C11h-12-4r 12″4r  – Best Budget Combination Square

  4. Wezu 100mm (4″) Precision Wide Base Machinist Engineer Square – Best Cheap Machinist Square

  5. 100mm/4 inch Engineers Square– Moore and Wright – Budget Engineers Square

  6. GROZ 12-inch Steel Square | General Purpose | 96 Micron Squareness (01107) – Best General Purpose Square

The Machinist Square Buying Guide

Professional and woodworking enthusiasts may know all the buying points to check out for when buying a machinist square. However, this might not be the case with newbies. We put up this guide with expert tips to help you make the right decision.

  • Grades

There are different grades of machinist squares. The grade determines how accurate your square will be hence you will need to know the specifications before making your choice. In the UK, the machinist squares are graded according to the BS 939 code that gives three levels of accuracy. You can get either grade AA, grade A or grade B.

The lowest grade is grade B, however it is accurate enough for professional construction jobs. The grade A tools are highly accurate and are used in Laboratory and other tools calibration works.

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  • Material Used and Construction

Different engineer squares are made of varying materials. The material used will determine the quality and the reliability of your square. The most common squares are made of hardened stainless steel which dost not rust or corrode. The construction ensures that they are ground and lapped to maintain parallelism and straightness for a long time. This a perfect buys for long term use and investments.

  • Measurements

Getting the right size of the tool you want to use will make your work easier. This applies to machinist squares too. Get a square that matches the work piece at hand as this will ensure that you will be more accurate and efficient. Try to get the perfect balance, don’t make it too short or too long.

  • Buying price

There are low budget, mid-range and high end machinist squares available in the market. You will need to work on your budget to pick on that suits you perfectly. However be very careful not to be misled by the price and you miss out on the perfect tool for your project. Let your decision be mainly based on the use of the tool.

What to Avoid When Buying Machinist Squares

The first thing to look out for when buying a machinist square is ensuring that the square is actually 90 degrees. The linear error of the square should not exceed 0.0002 else it will not be a perfect fit for your machinist projects.

Inspect the square physically and ensure that the squares metal is not so thin and bendy. Such squares warp over time resulting to inaccurate measurements.

Do not fall for squares that have been made with a blend of metallic and wooden bodies. This squares lose their accuracy with time as they are affected by climatic conditions and humidity which you have little or no control over in your workshop.

Do not buy adjustable try squares for machinist projects. The adjustable try squares are not accurate and they wear down with use losing their squareness. You are better off with a simple design accurate metal square.


We hope you enjoyed and learnt a lot from this article on the best machinist squares. With the tips here in you will get the perfect square for your projects and get the perfect and accurate measurements. Thanks for reading.

For detailed expert reviews visit this page – Machinist Squares 

You will get all the details that you need.