Try Square vs Combination Square

If you are on the verge of adding to your carpenter tools and considering getting a carpenter square, which will you get between a try square and combination square? This post on try square vs combination square will help you have an easy decision to make. 

What makes each of them unique, why, how, and where should you use any of the squares?

Try Square vs Combination Square

If you are looking for the best square for woodworking, these two squares are sure on the list for consideration. So, let’s check out things you need to know about the two squares.

Try Square Definition

A try square is an L-shaped carpenter instrument that is used in most of woodworking projects. It is a perfect tool for construction work as well. If you take a close look at the tool, you will notice it has an ideal squared edge at 90-degree angles.

The square is also called tri-square, and it is best for checking the level on woods, marks, or measures, especially for construction work.

Starrett K53-14-N Stainless Steel Carpenters Try Square, 14"...
  • 14" try square for marking and measuring right...
  • Inch graduations in 8ths of an inch on both sides...
  • Stainless steel blade for durability and rust...

Try square parts

The try square is usually made of wood and metal. The shorter one is called the stock, and it is made of wood, while the longer edge is known as the blade and is made of metal. 

The metal is usually bolted to the wood using rivets which makes the square firm to handle any condition. Also, some tri squares are made of acrylic, wood, or metal, but this style is not common, unlike the one made from wood and metal. 

While getting familiar with the parts, it is important that you know the types of try square out there in the market to make your work easier to do. The traditional, the 45 degree, and others. 

How do you Use A Try Square ?

If you’ve got a try square for a woodworking job, you must know the uses is endless. 

To use a tri square on a piece of lumber, you need to pick the square and place it against the edge of the wood. Once you can get to see a trace of light, it is an indication that the wood is not level.

It is also used to check the joint of wood and also ensure the wood fits what you intend to use it for. Another use of the tool is when you want to check how square a wood is; it is the right tool to use. 

You just need to move the try square along the length of the wood, and if you get to see a trace of light between the edge of the wood and blade, it shows that the wood is not squared. 

Also, if your tri square comes with a measurement mark, you can use it for marking and calculation. Most of those you will find are fixed, but there are some adjustable ones too that you can use to change the dimensions between edges. 

Please note that it is smaller than a carpenter square and usually measures not more than 12 inches and when thinking of what to consider, always ensure you do your findings to help you choose the best try square.

Spear & Jackson Carpenters Try Square CTS9

Spear & Jackson CTS9 9 Inch Carpenters Try Square
  • Hardwood stock
  • Brass top and bottom faces
  • Spring steel blade

The Spear & Jackson CTS9 comes in 6 inch and 9 inches. It comes with a rosewood-stained hardwood as the handle and brass fittings. The square is perfect for detecting and checking the angle of a wood either on 45 degree or on 90 degree.

It has a spring steel blade that is well joined to the handle for accurate and precise performance. It can be used in different way to get an angle on a wood or board and it is very easy to use.

Combination Square Definition

A combination square is a multi-purpose measuring instrument that can be used to measure different angles such as 45 degree, 90 degrees, center or a circular object, and find the distance and depth of a material.

Starrett Combination Square, C11H-12-4R - Pre Cutting and...
  • USED FOR: A Combination Square is a measurement...
  • BLADE DETAILS: Made with a hardened steel, machine...
  • STANDARD HEAD: The square head is made of heavy...

Combination Square Parts

A combination square is a versatile and effective tool, but before you ever try to use it for your major project, you need to be familiar with the structure and parts of the tool. The square has a rue-type blade that is attached to the handle. While the handle is made of two parts, and the first is the anvil while the second is the shoulder.

If you are to use the combination square, you need to place the shoulder at an angle of 45 degrees between the blade and itself. The anvil is best on angle 90 between itself and the blade.

The handle of the combination square has an adjustable knob that you can use to move horizontally. On the handle, you also have the combination square scribe that is best for marking measurement, while an anvil is used to confirm the level of wood.

Combination Square Uses

if you want to use the combination square, you have to place the anvil of the square right against the edge of the wood you wish to work on. Once you place the square on it, you can make a mark using the knife or blade. 

Once you get the desired angle you want to work with, you can go on with your cutting.

How to use a Combination Square for Angles

To use a combination square for angles, you need to place the shoulder, which is the handle, against the edge of the wood you are working on, and then draw a line along the blade edge until you get your pencil right at the shoulder of the shoulder square.

Once done, you should get the line at a perfect 45 degree or 90-degree angle using the edge of the working wood.

Combination square price

The price value for combination square is never the same in the market and lots of factors contributes to that. The brands, the quality of the material, the style and many other features all contributes to the price of the square. However, come cheap and some are expensive.

Always opt for the one that meets your budget but if your attention is on the quality ones, you will have to spend more dollars to acquire that.

Combination Square Set : Carpenter Square for Woodworking

Combination Square Set with Protractor, Woodworking Square,...
  • The combination square makes it quick and easy to...
  • This woodworking square is the perfect tool for...
  • The combination square is a precise gauge for...

The combination square comes with carpenter square, 180-degree angle finder, woodworking square, 12 inches bevel ruler, and protractor. All the features make the square a perfect tool for woodworking and metalworking.

The design makes it very easy to use in drawing lines for cross cuts, bevel cuts, rip cuts and miter cuts. It is also ideal for checking the depth of dado cuts and joinery. Its accuracy in measurement makes it a great choice for checking accuracy on any angle. With all the features and design, it is a perfect tool for professional work. This is far better than rafter square.


Choosing the best combination square and try square should be your utmost goal if you need any of the two tools. The two are essential tools for woodworking and other construction work, and you can choose anyone that fits perfectly for your work. So, this page on comparing Try square vs combination square opens you to more that you need to know about the two carpenter squares.