Swanson Combination Square Review – Pro Carpentry Squares!

What We Liked

  • Durable, impact-resistant, and hard-to-break
  • Precise markings and better readability
  • Multipurpose tool
  • Appropriate for ambidextrous usages
  • Stainless steel ruler blade
  • Sturdy brass screws and bolts
  • Detachable pointy scratch awl to mark the surface
  • Acrylic vial securing the position of the blade
  • Flexible shoulder and anvil for accurate readings
  • Comes with an affordable price tag

What We Didn’t Like

  • Difficulty in removing the awl
  • Extra pressure might be required to tighten the screw


If you want something durable and strong tool, you can use it. Also, you can carry it in your toolbox. After all, you might not find a more portable and compact combination square than this one. Also, Swanson speed square is one of the valuable additions!

Also, the clear gradation stampings and flexible parts are super easy to work with! So, it is time that you try it once to ace up your working skills!

Read the review of the Swanson tool to know why to buy this among the popular squares.  Know about the features of this Swanson product line and much more from the product description.

Do you know why the Swanson combination square is one of the best tools used in carpentry? Read this Swanson combination square review to know if it is worth your money.

Specifications of Swanson Combination Square

Tool TypeCombination square
Graduations available 1/8, 1/12, 1/16, and 1/32
MaterialStainless steel
Additional features includedBlock vial, tightening brass bolt
Frame materialAluminium
Machined head typeCNC machines working surfaces and made of die-cast zinc body

8-inch Swanson Combination Square

12-inch Swanson Combination Square

Features – Swanson Combination Square

Here are some essential features of Swanson’s combination squares that make them a popular choice –

Made in the USA and Compact

The combination square is delicately made in the USA.

The superb build quality and high durability prove that the manufacturers have taken special care while crafting this and ensure quality and accuracy.

Also, the compact design allows it to fit in your pocket, so it even acts as a depth measuring tape if you are a beginner at home. Also, the workhorse even acts as proof of authenticity.

Imperial markings and etched readings

The markings on the ruler blade are imprinted in the imperial format that is prevalent in the USA. The markings and the numberings are etched on the ruler blade.

It reduces the chances of the numbers getting removed after long-term usage.  It not only features a compact design but also comes was metric scale units that are accurate.

Different units of markings and a longer range of markings

For better readability and convenience, you can find three types of markings on the ruler blade of the popular squares.

Swanson’s tool comes with precision-etched gradations in both us and metric units that are accurate, and centimeter and millimeter.

Also, the range of the black precision etchings starts from 1/8 inch to 1/16 inch and goes up to 1/32 inch.

Stainless steel blades and Screw-in scriber

This composite combination square blade is made from stainless steel and includes precision-etched gradations.

The zinc body mechanism also ensures strength and it is rust-proof. That’s why it is ideal for woodworking as well and also acts as a depth gauge.

The brass scriber is fixed securely in the combination square mechanism with the help of a screw.

You can easily remove it whenever you don’t need the scriber as it is removable. But the screw will provide you with an extra layer of protection since it won’t fall off accidentally.

Presence of a block vial and Inbuilt scribe

The impact-resistant acrylic level vial outperforms the other brands’ readability for people using combination squares.

Also, this inbuilt vial outperforms less durable tube-type vials and is considered indestructible with long-lasting results.

Moreover, it is appropriate to provide you with an accurate reading. Also, you can measure different angles with accuracy as well as 45° and  90° marks.

The scriber is a kind of pointed pin that is extremely functional while you take the measurements and mark them on the surface of the working object.

The head of the blade

The head of the ruler blade provides you with a heavy-duty performance. It is nearly unbreakable if you use it carefully.

Moreover, the ruler blade is made of a die-cast zinc body which is also popular for being a rust-proof material.

Also, the pocket combination square features CNC-machined working surfaces for more reliable accuracy as well as mechanism.

Bolt and screw

The brass hardware bolt and the screw that come with the combination square tool are enough to secure the position of the blade at the right point.

They are also made of brass to ensure that the durability of the metal is maintained in the future as well so that you can avoid any sort of malfunctioning.

Choose From 2 Different Lengths Of Combination Square

Swanson is a reputed brand that manufactures different sorts of combination squares. Depending on your convenience and preference, you can choose any one of them.

  • There is a 6-inch combination square that you can use if you work outside and you need to carry it around.
  • If you work on bigger projects, you can choose the 12-inch or 16-inch combination square.
  • Also, Swanson manufactures plastic combination squares that are easy to carry around. You can check out customer reviews as well to make decisions.

Tips To Read The Gradation Marks On Your Swanson Square

In a 1/32-inch combination square, you will find four different types of markings.

1/8 inch: you will find 8 lines placed at regular intervals, and eight tiny lines will make a 1-inch marking on the ruler blade. When you are working with projects that will require you to mark the minute details then this gradation will help you.

1/10 inch: There will be 10 line divisions to mark 1 inch on the ruler blade. This will help you to make precise calculations and measurements.

1/16 inch: 16 tiny lines will mark an inch on the ruler blade, and each of the sections will be marked as one by 16 inches.

1/32 inch: It will help you to calculate and mark the working surface more precisely. You can make small adjustments in length calculation with these gradation markings.

What Makes A Combination Square Stand Out?

Look out for the following things to decide whether a combination square is worth your while or not –

The Heads And Materials

Look for the appropriate functioning of the square head, center head, and protractor head as it will help you to gauge the distance on flat surfaces, point out the center in circular objects, and measure the angles properly.

Always look for something that is made of study material and something that is also rust-proof. You want to use the combination square for four to five approaching years.

Blade Size

The blade size is one of the crucial factors that you should always consider before you purchase one.

Always look for gradations between 10R and 4R which means it should start from 1/8 inch to 1/64 or at least 1/32 inch.

Consider The Readability And Versatility

Look for a combination square on which the stainless steel blades with black markings are strongly imprinted and preferably etched.

If you can get your hands on something that makes use of contrasting colors for marking the gradations, that tool is indispensable.

Look for something to add to your tool pouch that comes with all the heads so that you do not have to buy the individual parts.

You should be able to use your combination square for taking different types of measurements.

FAQs Answered – Swanson Combination Square Review

Who makes Swanson Speed Square?

Swanson Tool Company makes one of the best types of original speed squares. They also include a diamond-shaped cutout at 312 inches on the ruler side.

What are the best combo squares to buy?

Among the various types of combination squares, you need to choose the best one. Some of the best options available in the market are Swanson 12-inch and 6-inch combination squares, Irwin Tools Combination Square, Johnson Level & Tool Metal Combination Square, Stanley Contractor Grade Combination Square, etc.

Where is Swanson Speed Square made?

From its headquarters in Frankfort, Illinois, Swanson Tool Company still manufactures and distributes the Swanson Speed Square.
They also manufacture other high-quality carpentry pieces of equipment that are blowing the international market.

What is a Swanson Speed Square made of?

Swanson Speed Square is made of aerospace aluminum alloy that is heavy-gauge. Also, the black-filled gradations are present there on the surface of the ruler blade for easy reading.

Final Verdict On The Swanson Combination Squares!

Being a carpenter I am responsible for working on different types of projects that require rough handling of these tools. But, honestly, I preferred using this combination square partly because of its accuracy and partly because of its durability.  Also, the compact design that’s small enough to fit in your palm attracted me even more!

Workhorse also acts as the authenticity of product information and warrants its products as Swanson’s only liability and Swanson assumed control are reasons for which customers also search this. The tool is a favorite feature in a compact list of frequently bought together on Google.

With this particular combination square, I didn’t face any issues like accidental breakage. However, choose a reputable service provider when you order yours to avoid issues concerning damaged products.

The only issue I faced was that the screws were a bit tight for me and sometimes, I needed to put some extra pressure to detach the anvil from the shoulder. But, if you are comfortable with this, it won’t cause much trouble.

Also, I could read the gradation markings from a considerable distance. In a nutshell, it is one of the great budget-friendly and sturdy fine carpentry tools to invest in, if you prioritize precision as long as prices remain competitive. Also, the limited warranty shall make you fall in love with this.