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looking for recomendation of an affordable 6" combination square

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TheUnicorn

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would prefer not to pay the earth, but really want a reliable square. I have a cheap 12" square, but the 90 degree is just not reliable enough, so it really only gets used as a ruler / measure / gauge. thank you
 

Ollie78

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I have an Empire combination one which is pretty good value.
Its not a Starrett but its square and legible, certainly nicer than the Bahco one I had before and its metric only which is a bonus.
I also have various engineering squares and a flat steel veritas one which I really like for certain things but it has no shoulder.
One square won`t be enough.

Ollie
 

Fidget

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I can be a real miser sometimes!

Also wanting a small combination square I trawled evil bay and bought one of THESE not expecting much. However it is as square as my engineering square, light and a delight to use
 

Jacob

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I can be a real miser sometimes!

Also wanting a small combination square I trawled evil bay and bought one of THESE not expecting much. However it is as square as my engineering square, light and a delight to use
I had similar looking 12" version dead cheap. No prob at all. Perfectly good quality. I bought it because I wanted the scribe pin to replace one lost from my Rabone.
Also bought a 6" Bahco which is also spot on.
 

Dynamite

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I’m liking those Double Squares. Really don’t know why though. I already have a small combination square like yours.
I think it literally must be tool want, not tool need!!

Kind Regards..........Rob
 

Orraloon

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Empire are pretty good for the money. Regardless of what brand you get its best to check IT IS SQUARE in the shop before you buy. This gets strange looks from the staff but unless its square it aint a square. I brought along a plastic drawing square I know is square as I did not think they would let me draw lines on their plywood.
The square you have may be able to be adjusted back to square. My old combination square got adjusted a few times over the 30 years I had it. I only got a new one because the blade holder pin thingy broke.
How To Adjust A Combination Square - YouTube
Regards
John
 

johnnyb

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for small stuff I love my small Japanese fixed square. it's square. and it stays square. it's an alternative to a combi really also having a 45. shinwa from workshop heaven £20. I got mine from Japan Tokyu hands in Tokyo.a huge shop entirely devoted to crafts.
 

Chris Hawkins

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I have many square squares incl ones from M&R, Bridge City and Woodpeckers. I also have 2 square combination squares - a Starrett and a 6 inch Empire. The latter was very reasonably priced, but I may have been lucky.
 

chris.gid

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I picked up one of the Axminster yellow ones a few week ago and very happy with it. Think they do a more expensive cast iron one which felt lovely......but couldn't justify the extra cost.
 

Droogs

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Just saw this thread and several people have beaten me to it by recommending Empire which are available from Homebase. They have 150, 300 & 400mm combinations squares. I bought a 400m initially as it was cheap but have found myself using it far more than my iGaging or my Moore & Wright vintage ones (though for precision marking etc I do tend to stick with the iGaging or my Incra rule thingy). So much so I now have all 3 sizes as my general use squares
The 150mm/6" is £9 can't be beat really, they all did need a quick run over the edges of the rule and the runner though with a bit of 400 to make them silky smooth to operate.
 

DBT85

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I recall the 150m Starretts were like £25 on amazon just before christmas last year. I didn't get one buy santa did so I was still happy. About £37 now though. The elves must have been hit by Brovid too.

On th esubject of Empire (never heard of them) they are a US company and part of the Milwaukee group and have apparently been in business for 90 years or so. Their website says its all made in the US.
 

TheUnicorn

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Empire are pretty good for the money. Regardless of what brand you get its best to check IT IS SQUARE in the shop before you buy. This gets strange looks from the staff but unless its square it aint a square. I brought along a plastic drawing square I know is square as I did not think they would let me draw lines on their plywood.
The square you have may be able to be adjusted back to square. My old combination square got adjusted a few times over the 30 years I had it. I only got a new one because the blade holder pin thingy broke.
How To Adjust A Combination Square - YouTube
Regards
John
thankyou, I was aware of the technique for truing up a combi square, I just haven't got round to doing it, either way, I think a 6 inch square would be very handy. I agree it has got to be worth the odd looks to check the square in the shop.
 

Sideways

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I use a Moore & Wright CSM (?) modern looking combination square I've had for decades. Hardened and ground. It's a favourite tool and I prefer it to any Starrett I've ever handled. Newer ones of the same thing seem to be a little less well made, certainly much less precisely etched blades, and don't slide so smoothly despite their high price. With that experience, I'd say look at Oxford which I think are now owned by Cromwell Tools, for a hardened combi square at a more affordable price.
A reliable, easy lock and easy slide are key because one of the benefits of a combi square is sliding it to take and transfer a measurement without ever needing to measure. Bahco orange ones are horrid in this regard. You really need a hardened ground square to have a hope.
I also use a blue empire solid aluminium framing square a lot of the time. this is very light, has a machined edge and has good accuracy. The great thing is that being non adjustable it stays correct, aluminium makes it light and the full length T edge means it sits very well on a board without wanting to tilt the way other squares tend to. £20 odd from Homebase if they still carry it, but I'll buy another next time I see one. I think of this as a better alternative to a woodworking square, not a competitor to a machinists square.
 

TheUnicorn

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It sounds like the empire true blue range is definately worth a look, thank you to all that have responded
 
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TheUnicorn

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thank you to everyone who responded, I have looked into an empire true blue, but as I have no homebase near me and everywhere else seems to charge a lot more for them I've opted for a bahco square, which amazon had on offer for £6.50.

As a side note I've also trued up my longer, cheaper square by scraping down one side of the head with the end of the ruler as per several you tube videos, a slightly annoying process (especially when the black spring falls on the black floor) with a lot of assembling and disassembling of the square, but the whole process only took about 10 minutes and the tool is now square, just don't take off too much at a time and it is simple and effective.

If anyone is wondering it is a magnusson square from screwfix (or b+q), I've also used their tape measures and found them pretty useless, can't speak past their measuring tools, but I don't think I'll be buying magnusson again if I can help it. On the other hand I've had a hammer, a speed square and a folding utility knife from minotaur (toolstation own brand) and have found them all great for the money.
 

Chippymint

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Take a look at Stanley combination and set squares. Reasonably priced.
Nothing wrong with these but do check them for accuracy before leaving the shop.
 

Peter Sefton

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I have always been a bit worried about combination squares, a bought a Rabone Chesterman for a small fortune when starting off woodworking but it was never very accurate.

I have been sent a few samples over the years and the only good one was the Starrett until I came across the iGaging which we now stock.

Stumpy Nubs compared the Starrett and the iGaging in this video and we have received 12 five star customer reviews and very happy with my own.


 

Chippymint

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Totally agree Peter. Combination sq's can be hit and miss for accuracy hence why I've suggested you test them before leaving the shop. I tried several before I got one that was correct.
It's clear that manufacturers are knocking out equipment that is not always accurate. I've stopped buying anything off the internet. I go to a shop to check out what I want, do the necessary checks and buy it if it is fit for purpose. No faffing about arguing with a supplier over the phone or sending things back at my expense. Life's too short.
 

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