Irwin Combination Square Review – An Honest Opinion

Irwin Combination Square

What We Liked

  • Build Quality
  • Precision & Accuracy
  • Design & Function
  • Value for Money

What We Didn’t Like

  • Not for Fine Work
  • Repairing is Painful

My Opinion

I have used a few different combination squares in my day, and I have to say that the Irwin is one of the best. It is accurate, well-made, and easy to use. It is also very affordable, which is a big plus.

So you are looking for a new combination square, and you have narrowed it down to the Irwin 1794469 12-inch combination square. But is it worth your money or not?

This Irwin Combination Square review will cover all the features, pros, and cons to help you make a decision on whether it is the right fit for you and your needs.

Features & Specifications Of The Irwin Combination Square

People like you and me are often lured by the lure of low prices, specifications, and other marketing gimmicks. But, is the product really good for us?

Let’s first check the specifications of the Irwin Tools Combination Square Set.


  • The body is made of high-quality zinc cast
  • The blade is made of rust-proof and hardened stainless steel
  • The scale is accurately etched with black enamel
  • The blade provides accurate 90 and 45-degree angles
  • Powder-coated finish throughout the body and blade
  • Built-in bubble-level checker

You might have already read this on Amazon or Walmart, but let me just reiterate – this product is solid. And the benefits speak for themselves.

The Pros Of Buying Irwin Combination Square

Build Quality

Irwin Combination Square Build Quality

It’s a solid product that will last for years. The build quality is great, and the powder-coated finish is top-notch. I really loved how it provides accurate angles and how it is easy to use.

The zinc cast body is also very durable, while the stainless steel blade makes it rust-proof.  Overall, this combination square is a good product and is built to last.

The blade edges are evenly beveled on both sides and offer clean, precise cuts. The black enamel finish is not just for looks but also for added durability.

The combination square has a nice, solid feel to it and fits well in the hand. The blade is firmly held in place by the body and does not wiggle or move, even when pressure is applied.

This is what Gus Chops said about the build quality of Irwin Combination Square:

Well built, sturdy tool. Absolutely love it.

“Ordered this to help with (mainly) tile cutting during a recent bathroom reno, so pleased I ordered this one. The sliding nature allows you to select and lock in any measurement that, in turn, helps with marking your work, this single feature has helped me hundreds of times and saved me a ton of time. Also, having the ability to mark at 45′ as well as 90 has been essential for me. All in all, an absolutely fabulous tool for a fantastic price.”

Precision & Accuracy

The Irwin Combination Square is a precision tool. It has accurate measurements that are perfect for tile cutting and other similar projects.

The sliding head can lock in any measurement that you need, and the 45′ and 90′ angles are very handy. Also, one side of the scale is itched with 1/8″ and 1/16″ segments, while the other side is a metric scale with 1mm increments. Additionally, the sliding nature of the blade allows the user to make sure they are getting the right angle every time.

All the edges are sharp and have a nice finish with no nicks or cuts. And the imperial and metric measurements are engraved clearly and are very easy to read.

The built-in bubble level is also a great addition that allows you to make sure your work is level and accurate.

This is what Fabrike said about the precision & accuracy of Irwin Combination Square:


“Easy to use and accurate combination square, my first tool of this kind. I just finished building a workbench and have used this tool extensively.”

Another user, Bookman, quoted this;

Very good. It’s accurate.

“Very good. It’s accurate, and it’s easy to get the straight edge back into the square after you’ve taken it off, which is not always the case with combo squares.”

Design & Function

The design of the Irwin Combination Square is simple but effective. The black etched markings on the sliding blade give the user an easy way to get the angle they are looking for.

Additionally, the blade is well-built and will last for years. The combination square is easy to use and is accurate. It is a great product for those who need a precision tool.

This 12-inch combination square has a sliding ruler that is easy to use and can be locked at the length using a knurled thumb turn.

The sliding feature comes in handy for those working on projects where the accuracy of the angle is paramount.

This is what William T. said about the design & function of the Irwin Combination Square:

Sturdy and functional

“This is a quality tool. Heavy and secure. This is much better than the plastic handle type and is providing consistent and reliable measurements (at least as reliable/accurate as a non-rigid square can be). Worth the slightly higher cost, and I have no doubt it will last a lifetime.”

Value For Money

The Irwin Combination Square is priced at under 15 bucks on Amazon. This tool retails for under 20 $, but if you can find it on sale, the price will be much lower.

The Irwin brand has a reputation for quality tools, and this is no exception. It is a solid tool that will last for years, making it well worth the price.

The construction is sturdy and durable, and the design makes it easy to use. With accurate measurements, this combo square is a great purchase for any homeowner, DIYer, or professional.

This is what Christopher said about the value of the Irwin Combination Square:

Amazing value

“For the money, I seriously don’t think this combo square can be beaten. I have had it for a few months now, and it is very versatile and does the job without getting in the way of what I’m doing. You get more than what you pay for, and unless you are going to be buying something like the woodpecker brand, this is perfect for what you’ll need.”

The Cons Of Buying Irwin Combination Square

I often say that don’t get fooled by the positive reviews and look for the negatives. Well, I didn’t face any significant problems with this product, and nor did I find any serious negative reviews.

But of course, it has some minor issues that you need to be aware of before you buy it.

Not For Fine Work

The Irwin Combination Square is not highly accurate, but it is better than a non-rigid square. With a sliding ruler and lockable length, it makes it easy to get accurate measurements.

However, it is not as accurate as a more expensive option or a rigid square, so be aware of that before buying.

This is what a user said about the accuracy of the Irwin Combination Square:

Not Accurate enough for fine woodworking

“Ruler feature was bowed right out of the box, off 1/16th of an inch end to end. Precise enough for some projects I’m sure, but not for fine woodworking.”

Repairing Is Painful

The cast zinc head is heavy, but it is also incredibly durable. But if the sliding head gets detached from the ruler, getting it back in place is a lot of work.

And, even if you manage to reattach it, the ruler may be damaged in the process. This is not a tool that you want to be taking apart and repairing frequently.

This is what Reidco said in his experience with the Irwin Combination Square:

Doesn’t hold up

“I got this square for use as a DIY homeowner for some projects. It worked great while I built my tool shed and a few other things, was easy to read and use. But after it fell off my workbench, it has never been the same; Always jams up, or the ruler portion pops out of alignment. I would have expected better from a brand like Irwin.”

Is There Any Alternative To Irwin Combination Square?

After reading the cons, you may wonder what the best alternative to Irwin Combination Square is. Well, believe me, the product is worth the money, but still, if you want another option, then you should check out Starrett C11H-12-4R.

Starrett C11H-12-4R

Starrett Steel Combination Square

It is a durable, super precise, and high-quality combination square that comes at a significant cost. But the investment is worth it because this combo square is not going to disappoint you.

If precision is your primary need, then this is the right combo square for you. It has a cast iron body that is exceptionally sturdy.

The blade is also 12” long, which is great for taking measurements. The combination square also has a built-in level, which is a nice touch.

With a 1/64-inch accuracy, you can use it for the most delicate of measurements. The head is also adjustable so that you can get just the right angle.

The 4R graduation in scaling is also a huge plus. It has 1/8”, 1/16”, 1/32”, and 1/64” graduations that allow quick and easy reading. It is really a versatile tool that you can use for many projects, which is why it is worth the investment. 

FAQs – Irwin Combination Square Review

What Is The Most Accurate Combination Square?

If you are looking for a more accurate square, then the Starrett C11H-12-4R is an excellent option to consider. It is much more expensive, but it is worth it if you are looking for a more professional product. 
With accurate measurements, this combo square is an excellent purchase for any homeowner, DIYer, or professional.

What Is 4R Graduation?

4R graduations are the 1/8″, 1/16”, 1/32”, and 1/64” markings on the ruler scale that indicate the level of accuracy of the measurements.
This is a great feature because it allows you to measure to the nearest quarter inch. This is a big plus if you are looking for an accurate square. The graduations are also legible, which is great for precision.

Do I Need A Combination Square?

A combination square is an essential tool for every professional or DIYer. They may seem like an advanced tool, but they are must need if you want to make accurate cuts and measurements.
Without a combination square, you may not be able to get the precision that you need. So, if you are unsure if you need one, then think about whether or not you will benefit from owning one.

What Size Combination Square Should I Get?

Most of the combination squares available on the market are 6 or 12 inches long. This is due to the fact that most people buy a combination square to use as a straight edge.
If you are looking for a combo square to be used as a ruler, the length of the square should be 12 inches or less. A combo square that is too long is bulky and hard to store.

Final Verdict – Should You Buy Irwin Combination Square?

final verdict on irwin combination square

At under $30, the Irwin Combination Square is an excellent value for the money. If you are looking for an accurate yet affordable square, then this is a great option.

With a sliding ruler and lockable length, it makes it easy to get accurate measurements. But be aware that it is not as accurate as a more expensive option or a rigid square.

If you are looking for a more accurate square, then the Starrett C11H-12-4R is an excellent option to consider. It is much more expensive, but it is worth it if you are looking for a more professional product.

So that is our honest review of the Irwin Combination Square. Overall, it is a great product that is worth the money. It is accurate and easy to use, which makes it a great option for those who are looking for an affordable yet accurate square.

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