The question is about specific producs or lines by brands. This is meant for hobbyist use - but if there just isn't anything in a roughly "hobbyist price range", then so be it.

I attempt to make this not "primarily opinion based" by defining what I find not acceptable accuracy.

I am speaking of try squares with a metric ruler, and a handle with greater thickness than the ruler, so you can hold it against a piece of wood's side while the ruler is going over the side, to have the ruler at a perfect right angle to the work piece's edge.

Any of such instruments I ever bought at Germany's ~ equivalents of a "Home Depot" is basically an unusable toy:

  • Say it's ruler is 25cm long.
  • The supposed right angle is off
  • so that at its end, it will be several millimeters off on the perpendicular axis, and at its half maybe ~ 2 mm.
  • The ruler is not perfectly positioned at the start at the handle, all the measurements will be ~ 1/2mm off (plus offset due to the bad right angle)
  • And it's slightly different on the flip side - ruler markings on both sides are not perfectly aligned.

Are there products which are significantly better than that?

  • If the markings are not aligned take back that is a manufacturing defect.True machinist tools are extremely accurate but fairly expensive. Some reasonably priced are quite accurate (Empire last ones bought) good framing squares are very accurate but clumsy in my opinion. With few exception 1/64 in 10" will not make a difference as wood moves. Commented Nov 11, 2019 at 2:16
  • "The question is about specific producs or lines by brands." This is a shopping question, which I'm afraid are off-topic here. However, general piece of advice when buying modern try squares intended for carpentry or woodworking is to buy in person and test for square (both on inside and outside edges of the blade). Many brands, even some previously well-regarded ones, no longer produce squares that are uniformly accurate so you must check accuracy before you buy.
    – Graphus
    Commented Nov 11, 2019 at 8:06
  • 1
    If this question can be re-worded so that instead of asking what product to buy, but rather how to evaluate and (possibly) validate to some extent the many budget precision measure and markup tools out there, then maybe this can be salvaged. It could even the source of a wiki style entry. (I'm prompted to comment because I just spent a week reviewing my motley collection of measure/markup tools trying to determine which ones were "good enough". So I could say what I've done...)
    – user5572
    Commented Nov 11, 2019 at 19:15
  • PW has a nice selection of articles that would be hard to beat, though someone could summarize appropriately in one or more Q&A: popularwoodworking.com/marking-and-measuring and specifically: popularwoodworking.com/tag/precision-instruments
    – user5572
    Commented Nov 11, 2019 at 19:18
  • 1
    Sorry I ran out of room and forgot to post a second Comment yesterday, if you can wait until they come in as weekly specials you can buy squares from Lidl or Aldi! Even though they are lightly constructed from aluminium they can be accurate (but you must check). In the meantime, you can make a square from wood, no measurable error is easily achievable in any workshop if you have one straight edge to work from (the factory edge of MDF or plywood will usually be straight enough) and then use the 3-4-5 rule (Pythagoras) for layout. There are numerous articles on making various styles online.
    – Graphus
    Commented Nov 12, 2019 at 7:41


Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.